LEGO recently announced that it’s time to expand the Modular Buildings Collection with a new set of storefronts! The 2899 piece LEGO Icons 10312 Jazz Club will be available January 4th from the LEGO Shop Online for US $229.99 | CAN $299.99 | UK £199.99. This 18th set of buildings features not only the jazz club, but also a pizzeria, tailor’s shop, rooftop greenhouse, and eight exclusive minifigures. But is it a good fit for your neighborhood? Come along as we take a close look at this musical destination!
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Unboxing the parts and instructions
The Jazz Club comes in a large, tab-sealed box. It has the standard “Adult Collector” theming, with a black background, small logos, and a colorful strip along the bottom. The Jazz Club is seen from the font, while all eight of the included minifigures mill around outside.
The upper left corner identifies this as part of the “Modular Building Collection”, matching the general look labeling we saw on the 10297 Boutique Hotel. Compared to that set’s box, the lower left corner here has new “Icons” branding, and the age range, set number and part count have all been right-aligned. As always, the suggested age range for this set is “18+”, despite there being no particular reason for that value. There’s nothing here a younger builder couldn’t handle.
As the backyard of these modular buildings is usually unimpressive, the back of the box opts to show the Jazz Club situated between 2021’s 10278 Police Station and the Boutique Hotel. The upper right corner has the dimensions of the set ( 26cm/10″ by 30cm/11.5″), and the left side has the LEGO logo and an exploded view of the club, showing off the four building sections and a small photo showing how the modular buildings align using Technic pins. The bottom has a row of inset shots showing off the set’s interior spaces.
Inside the box are 22 numbered parts bags spanning 15 building stages. The first 12 bags are loose in the box, while the remainder is packed inside a white carton. Also in that carton are a grey 32×32 baseplate and a paper envelope that holds the instructions.
In a change from previous, similar, envelopes, this one is glued all the way around instead of being tab-sealed. Opening it up was a bit messier than usual as a result.
Inside is the 324-page, perfect-bound instruction manual. It has very minimal graphics, with the shot of the Jazz Club matching the one on the box, albeit this time on a pure white background.
Maybe it’s just me, but the paper stock used for the instructions felt flimsier than usual. You can see here how the pages are wrinkled; due in part to their thinness. The first few pages are dedicated to an introduction from the designer Anderson Ward Grubb and a bit of fluff about how Jazz Clubs are a magical place. Odds are you don’t need to be sold on the Jazz theme if you’re already reading the instructions, but it’s still nice to have a friendly word or two before you start in on the 420 steps awaiting you. There are also small factoids and bits of trivia inserted into the building steps to keep you engaged.
As we’ve come to expect from the larger LEGO offerings, this set is awash with new and interesting pieces. First up are a wide range of parts in the cool yellow shade. Of note is the Brick, Modified 1 x 1 x 1 2/3 with Studs on Side, which is appearing in that color for the first time. The 1×6 column in cool yellow has had only one other showing, in 43207 Ariel’s Underwater Palace. There are also newly recolored Dark Azure 1 x 1 x 3 bricks that we’ll see when constructing the front of the club.
New for 2023 are these rounded 2×2 corner plates in dark grey. The 1×2 half-circle tiles w/stud in light grey is a new color, compared to the red seen in 71408 Peach’s Castle.
This black arch was also new to me, as were the plant stalks – although you can get the latter in a number of 2022 CITY sets including the great 60345 Famer’s Market Van. The lilac door also appeared in 10292 Friends: The Apartments.
Like last year’s Boutique Hotel, this set is gloriously free of a sticker sheet. All of the necessary decorations are printed. The 1×2 ticket tile bears the number “0937” – a tricky way to spell out ‘LEGO” in numbers. (This print design has been around since 2017, so some of you might already be in on the joke.) The other prints are brand new, though, including a new 1×1 quarter-circle tile with a Margherita Pizza design. (The classic slice is a more green pepper and mushroom mix). A small complaint from me is the font on the signs – the lower case letters don’t look right to me. The line divisions between the words suggest that the club has a bunch of “single word” signs they insert into the marquee – a bit inefficient when you need to spell out the visiting artist’s name. Maybe they never get headliners. Kind of sad, if so.
The “Jazz” and “Club” tiles have a subtle bit of detailing – as these are meant to be neon letters, there are small gaps in the white outlines to suggest the neon tubing that would be there in real life. While I normally enjoy seeing these sorts of signs designed in brick, I think the increased sleek legibility works well enough to give them a pass this time. We also get some bright orange hot dogs, a long-forgotten relic of the 2019 limited release 80102 Dragon Dance Lunar New Year. We just got some dark grey hot dogs in the 10307 Eiffel Tower, too. It’s been a good year for colorful tube steak. The yellow tri-leaf is just there for color comparison’s sake – it’s been around since 2020, including in 21234 Sesame Street.
I saved my favorite print for last. I mean, just look at this thing. Gorgeous. The only downside to this great image is that the Jazz ensemble playing tonight doesn’t feature a trumpet player.
As you’d probably expect, the Jazz Club is built from the ground up. A layer of plate and tile go onto the 32×32 grey baseplate, mapping out the walls and sidewalk. The 1×2 and 2×2 jumper tiles are there to allow the interior spaces of the club to be built at a 45-degree angle to the rest of the building.
The pizzeria’s wood-burning oven and a stockpile of wood are built free-standing, then attached to the baseplate. I used a bit of flash photography to show off the 1×1 cheese slopes in transparent orange that are inside the oven – it’s pretty hard to make them out in normal lighting, and nearly impossible to spot once the building is constructed.
Another detail that’s hard to see once the walls go up is this small toilet off the side of the club. It has a tiny wash basin, a bowl, and a roll of TP made from a Technic spacer attached to a Technic pin.
The club’s stage is a wedge that slots into the corner using the jumper plates mentioned above. This set’s minifigures include a drummer, but the saxophone doesn’t have a dedicated player. Maybe it’s on hold for 2013’s Collectible Minifigure from Series 11.
The pizza oven is bricked in thanks to LEGO’s attention to geometry. An arch brick exactly matches the curve of the fender. The rest of the pizzeria gets some love at this stage, too. The counter display of cash register, parmesan, and pepper-flake shakers is ready to go, and the cheese, pepperoni (or hot dog, for those who like very different pizza toppings) and spices are ready to go for the next order.
Next door, the club is also coming together. wall-mounted light fixtures add just the right level of subdued illumination, and there’s seating for six – a pretty good capacity for a town modular.
The bathroom is covered by the stairwell leading up to the second floor. There are 1×3 jumper plates on most stairs, allowing for minifigures to be securely placed…but the space is so cramped and hard to see/get to that I doubt they’ll see much actual use in people’s displays.
You can see just how little accessibility there is for the stairs once the front walls go in. And speaking of accessibility, I hope the 2012 10224 Town Hall isn’t going to be the only time we see an elevator in a town modular. (Maybe there’s been one since then and I’ve forgotten.) There’s no denying that a wheelchair-using mini isn’t getting into most of these shops regardless. I guess there are always fan modifications in the meantime.
Back to the positives, the curtains and light bar above the state are mounted on clips for easy removal and replacement. This makes setting up the performers a lot easier.
The club’s ticket booth and marquee are built on an angle and look pretty great. There’s not much infrastructure on the inside of the club to deal with the selling and redeeming of tickets, though. I think this may be a place where the decision was made to make sure the club looked its best from the street – the way most people are going to encounter it. Giving up club floor space for a ticket office wouldn’t have been a good move; so I guess this was the best compromise solution. Oh, and those are the new Dark Azure 1 x 1 x 3 bricks I mentioned earlier.
Speaking of curb appeal, the first floor looks amazing. The angled vestibule really breaks up what might otherwise have been a very flat-looking storefront.
The back is pretty plain, but the wood storage by the back door is just enough to keep things interesting. It’s more appealing than yet another dumpster or trash-laden alleyway.
The stairs up to the second floor of the building are accessible through this lilac door under the Tailor’s sign. The color choices make it look like a window into the stairwell was boarded up and covered with that poster – maybe they had some problems with rowdy drunks after a show one night.
The second level starts out with the manager’s office for the club. The base is layers of plate, with the walls mostly stacked brick. There is a good bit of SNOT connections built around the windows, which keeps things interesting. The large open space in the corner allows for a clear view of the stage area below.
The manager’s desk has a fun brick-built lamp and rotary phone.
The phone may seem a bit out of date, but this record player is definitely back in style. It’s a simple build that uses a minifigure action-stand to angle the amplifier cone out from the stylus (a minifigure hand-nozzle).
The front windows of the club are stained glass. Made from stacked 1×1 transparent plate and brick, the colors are vibrant. The 1×2 curved jumper plate is capped with a 1×1 quarter circle tile and adds a quality stonework touch to the window treatments.
The windows manage to catch enough light to stand out. A small plant is added to one window sill to keep things from looking too repetitive.
The top of the stairs has another lilac door, and two 1×1 Technic bricks in cool yellow. These are placeholders to align the tailor’s shop with the club building. Inside the manager’s office, you can see a small bit of tile-based artwork, a tie-in to the Boutique Hotel’s art shop.
The first hint of the tailor’s shop is this clever antique sewing machine. A gold 2×2 corner tile represents some in-progress fabric. It’s placed onto a standard studs-up bed of plate and brick that serves as the shop’s floor.
Opposite the machine, a small tailor’s dummy stands at the ready next to a rack of fabric. The walls are built up and attached to the placeholder brick we saw earlier.
The exterior of the shop features hanging lilac plants – a bit of creative marketing on the part of the tailor to lead people to the door below, according to the callouts in the instructions.
The rear of the second level is pretty sparse, but it does feature a small balcony so the performers can step outside for some air. The staircase continues up to a third-floor landing.
The third floor of the club is where the band and other acts can prep for their performances away from the crowds.
A small music stand is placed next to a yellow couch. I like the shape of this bit of furniture – the dark blue 1×2 cheese wedges used for the cushions add a nice contrast to the rounded armrests.
A silver 2×4 tile works as a mirror. This is the one place where a metallic-foil sticker might have actually enhanced things a little. The clips used to hold the hairbrush are also a little wonky in practice, but at least you don’t have to worry about minifigure accessories rolling around inside the model if it gets jostled.
This floor gets more stained glass windows in the front, with larger clear plastic ones in the rear. Those let in a bit more light, helping keep those front windows looking good.
At this point (page 252, step 332) you might have a moment of panic as you’ve run out of parts. An error in the instructions doesn’t have you open bag 13 until page 254, but that’s what you’ll need to do to keep going. It’s a minor goof, but one I hope gets a mid-production fix (or at least an update to the digital instructions.)
The walls get another painting from the Boutique’s art shop – the instructions note that the title of this piece is “The Blues”. It’s a fun little micro-mosaic.
The third floor has enough variation in the architecture to make it feel unique, while still carrying forward the stylistic choices from the previous floors. I like the grey windscreen element used at the top of the central area; it echoes the shapes of the stonework around the smaller windows.
The rear is pretty plain, but those big windows do invite you to look inside and enjoy the interior spaces. There’s obviously so much love poured into these spaces; it’s almost a shame they’re hidden inside.
The roof of the club has some interesting SNOT work to invert a 1×2 section of studs. Two 1×1 clip plates are sandwiched between a plate and a tile and locked in place upside down thanks to a pair of 1×1 round plates w/bar. Hinged bricks are aligned using 1×2 grill bricks, matching nicely with the ends of the inverted fender in dark grey.
A fun bit of color is added to this squirrel’s nest.
The completed roof has a hatch to access the area, reachable by a ladder mounted on the side of the hallway on the third floor.
The front of the building gets the big “Jazz Club” neon sign next. the construction here isn’t too challenging but does make use of robot arms to hold the neon hotdogs and 1×2 modified plates to provide the bars needed to clip it into the top of the vestibule area.
In place, it blocks most of the central windows. A pain for the occupants perhaps, but you’ve got to advertise, y’know?
The roof of the yellow building starts off with the top of the chimney for the pizzeria’s wood oven, a small bit of stonework, and the floor of the chef’s rooftop garden.
The plants include carrots (because what’s a LEGO garden without carrots?) and a fun tomato plant.
The sides of the greenhouse are built on hinges, allowing the roof to be opened up for play access.
The final bits of detail includes a lamp post and a bit of outdoor seating for the pizzeria.
Due to the wide range of parts and colors in this set, the pile of “overfilled” extra parts is pretty impressive, too. I always find great value in these detail-oriented small pieces, so getting doubles is always a nice perk. This time the extras also include a spare of that new pizza slice. Yummy!
The finished model
With the build completed, we can step back and admire the full Jazz Club modular building. I have to say, this is one of my favorite entries into the collection. The colors are great, the shapes are interesting, and there’s plenty to see everywhere you look. The three floors of the club feel like enough height to encompass the business, while the smaller yellow building houses a couple of retail establishments and a rooftop garden.
From the back, the buildings are pretty plain, but the greenhouse and firewood storage add enough eye candy to keep things perky. I do like that LEGO decided not to fill the alleyway with more dumpsters or trash bins, even if that would have been a bit more realistic.
The sides and top look okay, too. You normally won’t see the sides, though, particularly if you’re integrating this set into a larger town display.
Inside, the Jazz Club is hopping. The tables fit visiting customers well, and there’s enough room for a combo up on the stage. The lighting here is untouched top-down natural light when you remove the second story. The shaping of the curtain/light bar gives the band a spotlighted look automatically.
Like the sign out front says, there’s also a magic act to enjoy. Our magician seems to lean heavily into classic tricks like a rabbit in the hat, and a colorful scarf trick. I used one of the overfill pieces to give her a magic wand – it’s not something that’s called out in the instructions.
Next door, the delivery driver is back to pick up an order. It’s a tight little spot, and I’m sure the chef is less than thrilled to be right next to his oven all day. Maybe that’s why he’s more than happy to carry out orders to diners on the sidewalk or take an extra long walk up to his garden on the roof.
Or maybe he’ll just pop out back to get even more wood for the oven. Gotta feed the beast.
Speaking of diners, the seating out front is a great place for the Club manager and tailor to get to know each other over a slice.
Soon enough, though, it’s back to work for our tailor. Or maybe that thin crust needed a bit extra to cut through. You make the call!
Back in her office, the manager can relax and take in the show from her private balcony.
The tailor also gets back to work. You can see the hanging lilac plants outside of his windows.
The singer can take a break and look out over that super-clean alley from the second-floor balcony.
Or she can head back inside and get ready for her show. The interior space here is super fun and colorful, and I really like the brick-built artwork.
The friendly squirrel must have cut a deal with the chef to leave the ingredients alone – that greenhouse doesn’t have a door on it. Possibly the squirrel is more interested in stealing the pizza after it’s been made.
Fitting into the Town
If you’re fortunate enough to own any of the previous entries in the Modular Buildings Collection, you’ll probably want to slot the Jazz Club into the neighborhood. Here it is nestled between 2018’s 10260 Downtown Diner and 2022’s 10297 Boutique Hotel.
If you have enough sets (and enough space) you can even set up things for a rooftop performance by the jazz combo. As you’d expect from anything proudly labeled “modular”, the club slots nicely into just about any configuration of buildings you care to use.
The Jazz Club comes with eight minifigures and two animals. There’s a good mix of new prints, and all of the figures count as “unique” in that these particular combinations of parts haven’t been released previously.
The club manager starts us out with a new single-expression face print. Her dual-sided torso has had only three 2022 appearances, making it somewhat rare as well.
The magician gets a new female-coded tux jacket torso unique to this set. The rest of her appearance uses common parts. The rabbit is part of her act if you were wondering.
The drummer shares a new torso print with the other band member, an intricate number with white sleeves and delicate silver tracery on the vest. The rest of her parts are common.
The other band member has a brand new cello instrument accessory and a brick-built carrying case for it. It attaches to his back with a neck bracket.
I griped earlier about the lack of general accessibility in town buildings earlier, but that doesn’t mean LEGO haven’t been making strides to be more inclusive in their minifigures. The cellist has a new headprint that features a hearing aid. It’s the same design as the hearing aid seen in 2020s LEGO City 60271 Main Square, lending a nice bit of continuity to things. His short black hair is also a rarer element, with three prior appearances in 2022, most recently in Ideas 21337 Table Football.
The singer from the Jazz combo is the real stand-out of this group. She comes with new dual-sided torso and dress pieces, a common face, and a fairly uncommon hairpiece introduced in late 2022.
And this is a good point to bring up the elephant in the room around LEGO’s racial diversity. T the choice to depict all the characters herein “LEGO Yellow” doesn’t feel right. Despite the great array of skin tones in that Ideas Table Football set, and despite the historic racial and cultural origins of Jazz itself, the closest we come to any sort of darker skin representation is the choice of hair on the cellist and singer. LEGO needs to do better. Having various skin tones in licensed sets and Ideas mean that there’s no way to continue to justify monotone figures in the rest of their worlds. I can understand LEGO’s reluctance to take a big step away from an iconic and nostalgic look, but it’s time to ditch the yellow standard and move into a new era for all their sets. I mean, the Friends theme is already completely “flesh toned”, so why stop there?
The pizza delivery person features a torso only seen once before in the Ideas 21335 Motorized Lighthouse. Their scooter appears for the first time in bright green.
The final character is the tailor. Except for darker hair and a bit of stubble, he could be the same person as the one seen in the 10270 Bookshop. Still, a solid addition to the cast. And easy enough to customize into someone more memorable if you have the parts on hand.
Conclusion and recommendation
The modular building collection is a long-time favorite theme of mine. The Jazz Club is a great addition to the neighborhood, with striking colors, unique parts, great build techniques, and plenty of interesting details. The eight minifigures are all unique in this set, and several have unique prints or accessories. At $230 US for 2899 pieces, it’s also a good value at right around 8 cents per part. This set should appeal to both the Town/City collectors, as well as the more general LEGO audiences. Fans of jazz and pizza will also find plenty to enjoy, too. It might be a bit of a struggle to justify to the Space-theme lovers…but, hey, even the Enterprise had a lot of away-missions to streets that looked just like this. Just use your imagination. Or, you know, improvise a new riff. That’s what Jazz is all about, after all.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
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