If you visit the Chanel boutique in Amsterdam, you will find that the façade of Crystal Houses Amsterdam uses glass bricks to recreate the city’s traditional architectural style. The transition from bricks to glass has been elegantly captured in LEGO by builder YellowBox. This is a striking creation and, although there was some controversy over the actual building, the LEGO version works beautifully.
This is not just a façade but a modular building with three floors of the boutique shopping where fashionistas can plan their spring attire.
Click to see the interior of this modular building
Each January, LEGO releases a new Creator Expert modular building. Last year’s 10255 Assembly Square looked to the past and celebrated the 10th anniversary of the line, beginning with 10182 Café Corner. With 10 years full of European-style architecture, replete with curlicues and fluted columns, the line heads in a new direction this year with 10260 Downtown Diner, taking obvious inspiration from the American West of the 1930’s through 1950’s rather than pre-crash Paris or London (or even New York or Boston). 10260 Downtown Diner includes 2,480 pieces with six minifigs and retails for $169.99 in the US (with the usual regional price differences elsewhere).
What does this change in direction bode for the theme, and what do we think of the new design aesthetic?
Read our hands-on review of 10260 Downtown Diner
The latest addition to the range of modular sets, 10260 Downtown Diner, features some new and unique design elements not seen in earlier sets in the series. With the recently released designer video and the glimpse it gives to the designers behind the set, it’s pretty easy to see why. Mike Psiaki and Carl Merriam are two well known builders from the fan commmunity who now work as official LEGO designers, and it’s great to see their talents being put use on sets like the Downtown Diner.
While the video is full of fun moments and insights, one line from Mike probably resonates with all LEGO builders out there:
“Honestly it sounds it sounds silly to say, but I just get inspired by LEGO bricks. I start to look at things around me and I just think ‘oh man that you know the the 1×6 sloped brick inverted bow – it would be perfect to recreate the back of that bus.'”
10260 Downtown Diner will be available from LEGO Shop at Home starting on Jan. 1 for $169.99 USD. Add it to your wishlist now in their US store as well as their UK one.
If your minifigures need to stop for a coffee during their busy mini-day, they should look no further than this new coffee house, Kahunka Koffee. Built by Andrew Tate , this is a larger, grander interpretation of the retired, iconic modular set 10182 Cafe Corner. Andrew also built a subtle stone face into the main entrance on the corner in recognition of his favourite LEGO theme – Pirates, hence the name Kahuka Koffee. I always like when street scene details are added, in this case, a delivery truck as well as some relaxed coffee-drinkers enjoying the outside seating.
Andrew admits that he has only built a ground floor interior, but the brown and tan colour scheme perfectly reflects shades of coffee. Perhaps the flight of stairs hints to some further building work to be done on this model.
LEGO has revealed the latest entry in their popular Modular Building series, 10260 Downtown Diner. The three-story building features a 1950s-style diner along with a gym and recording studio, and also includes six minifigures and a car. The set will have 2,480 pieces and will retail for $169.99 USD when it goes on sale January 1, 2018.
See more of this set below.
Amsterdam’s 165 canals were created over the centuries to stimulate trade and transport, reclaiming land to expand the city. They continue to define the city’s landscape as a network of ‘water streets’ and in 2010 Amsterdam’s canal ring was recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. Palixa and the Bricks built a canal corner in LEGO, capturing the essentials of the canal, canal house, and two barges. There’s a busy street scene with a florist, book store and a cheese shop on the ground floors and lots more going on inside the modular buildings.
See more of this lovely city in the Netherlands
Come and live in Haymarket — be part of a peaceful and serene community. Andrew Tate‘s chosen colors are the typical LEGO building hues yet the combinations he’s put together here are delightful. The overall feel and theme reminds me of the Bike Shop & Cafe Set (31026) but with an extended modular size. I’d happily wait in line to get one of these if it was ever to become a real set!
There is a lot going on in this modular-style street scene by Agata Pakita. Apparently we are back in the 1930s, judging by the outfits and car on show. The lower floors of the buildings house an arts and crafts store, a tailor, and a mysterious woman who reads tarot cards and predicts your fate. The colourful architecture is a lovely combination of LEGO’s more muted palette of medium dark flesh, light grey, dark red, and tan. I love the curvaceous greenhouse on the roof of the building, where an older lady and her cat relax away from the bustling street.
See more photos of this beautiful modular building
Finnish AFOL Eero Okkonen created the most amazing street corner ever and we all love modular buildings at The Brothers Brick, especially when they have a distinct taste in architecture! So a mix of art-nouveau buildings inspired by the dream-like city of Prague definetely catches our eyes. Luckily, Eero went to further lengths to name each of the five houses, wrote brief explanations on building techniques and also provided some photographs of inspiring places. Read them all on his personal blog.
Lego Parisian Restaurant is latest modular building released this January. It contains 2,448 pieces and retails for $159.99. Below is a video review of why you should buy this set and possibly hold on to an extra copy of it in the years to come.
- High number and variety of parts for the price
- Several useful building techniques
- Excellent for display
- Has the most reliable investment value for collecting
- No discounts will be available for this set because it is a Lego Exclusive with a set number containing 10xxx.
The modular building series is one of the best lines for adult fans. It appeals to the builder, the collector, and those looking for a gorgeous filler on a shelf. There are already many review of this popular set within a click on Google that shows the technical and aesthetic aspects of the build. Instead I’ll take a moment to point out that the modular buildings are the best sets to invest as a collector or someone who would like some extra cash down the road to buy more Lego with.
Right now, if you want to buy a brand new copy of the first set of the modular building series, Cafe Corner, you won’t find it anywhere for less than $1,000. The second in the series, Green Grocer, is currently selling for prices close to $800. While most Lego exclusives containing 10xxx in their set number are good sets to invest due to their appeal to adult fans, the modular buildings are the most reliable because they are part of an ongoing series. As long as Lego continues to produce modular buildings, there will be increasing demand for earlier releases to expand the city. Even if more people catch on and hold on to these sets for resale later, it’s still a good idea as long as LEGO remains a growing hobby among adults.
The next set to retire among the modulars is Grand Emporium. While there is no fixed discontinuation date on sets, judging by the time that Fire Brigade went out of stock during the holidays last year, it’s a good estimate to say the same may happen for Grand Emporium this year. Within 6 months of Fire Brigade’s retirement, it’s price on Bricklink has already gone up by $100 over MSRP. I will be waiting until the fall of this year to buy Grand Emporium during promotions such as double VIP points.
I hope you found this tip on collecting to be useful or interesting, and once you get the ball rolling, you’ll have a hobby that completely funds itself.