LEGO released 10182 Cafe Corner in 2007, setting a new standard for large-scale modular buildings. Since then, LEGO has continued to release new structures in the modular building series — 10190 Market Street, 10185 Green Grocer, 10197 Fire Brigade, 10211 Grand Emporium, 10218 Pet Shop, and 10224 Town Hall as of 2012. Meanwhile, LEGO fans have adopted the “Cafe Corner standard” and built hundreds and hundreds of beautiful buildings that fit with the official sets. See some of the best here on The Brothers Brick.
The Enchanted Diamond by Maxim Baybakov is a LEGO ode to “studs not on top” construction. The entire front façade is based on a very clever inversion of arch bricks with lovely insets of 2×2 turntable bases. I’m also fond of the column that flank the lower windows. The unusual texture there is thanks to Technic gearshift connectors. The roof has a great technique as well, with layers of dark blue 2×2 and diagonal tiles forming an intricate pattern. The end result is very upscale, as befits a high-end shop.
Maxim also creates a nice little story with the minifigures – it looks like someone is busy casing the joint. It might be easier to just follow along behind the other folks and pick up their costly litter…
Maxim is well on the way to building the perfect downtown district. The Enchanted Diamond would look great nestled between the barber shop and bookshop.
There’s a new build in town and it’s got it all! This LEGO saloon and hotel by Thomas Gion features plenty of interior details, cool techniques, and some sweet brick-built signage. We have “SALOON” in the classic Modular theme font and “HOTEL” in a distinctively Western-style serif font, complete with embellishing and everything. On the facade, the sideways log brick technique works wonders as wood-paneled walls. Thomas also has a water trough made of a translucent blue glass window. There’s also a water pump made of a crowbar and bar holder connection on top of a Technic connector spout. In addition to the neat details at the front of this build, it is fully furnished on the inside.
The floors and walls are detachable for maximum playability. The angled saloon doors look perfectly integrated into the build even with the upper floor removed, with the help of some wedge plates and triangular tiles. A SNOT tile technique is used for the wall frames, creating a very clean-cut appearance. I’m also impressed by the level of detail crammed into the hotel rooms, including ceiling to floor curtains and a mounted deer head.
Here is an up-close look of the saloon furnishing, though it’s not quite the same without the hustle and bustle of its daily customers.
Feeling the itch to go on a road trip? Take a ride through our archives for some more Western-inspired builds!
Reminding all of us how baristas at coffee shops like Starbucks bring a sense of normalcy each day in difficult times, Korean LEGO builder Oh So Jang has built a wonderful Starbucks with a drive-through and detailed interior, based on a real-life Starbucks in Korea.
San Francisco’s most famous painted lady on Broderick Street is the inspiration for this brick-built modular constructed by Cowie, a builder who generally tends to create modular buildings, some influenced by pop culture. Scenes and music from the opening credits of the popular sitcom “Full House” and its recent Netflix sequel “Fuller House” fill my head while looking at this beautiful architectural recreation. While this house is an actual residence in San Francisco that has undergone some remodeling since the television show aired (the door is currently forest green), Cowie stays true to the original image of the building from the 1980s by featuring a red door in her building.
The painted ladies are named such because they are Victorian houses that have been repainted in three or more colors which accentuate their architectural features, Cowie’s modular building accurately renders these features with her white brick-built columns and pilasters – hallmarks of Italianate-style Victorian houses. This LEGO creation definitely has the nostalgia factor built into it — it’s a real treat to be able to see such an iconic and memorable structure at a scale that both builders and minifigures can enjoy.
Some people shave their heads and then shed a tear while gazing in the mirror because the option of having cool Johnny Depp hair has long since expired. Allegedly. Shut up, don’t judge. Other people, like Maxim Baybakov have better experiences with haircuts and visit the same barbershop for twenty years. He liked his local barbershop so much he has recreated it in LEGO. He tells us the balcony still haunts him to this day. Why? He doesn’t provide the answer but I can only presume it was an incident that involved a freshly coiffed haircut and someone dumping hot oil or a pot of soup or something. No matter why the balcony haunts him, admittedly, the build techniques are pretty stellar. The inset tan storefront, the roof, and the round window are also quite charming.
It’s not quite instructions, but this shot offers sort of an exploded view that illustrates some of the more clever techniques for this build. With a little time and patience, this balcony can haunt you as well.
2020 has arrived and the floodgates of LEGO have opened with 153 new sets available today. Fans of Star Wars, Technic, Ninjago, City, Architecture, Creator 3-in-1 and even the new Trolls product line have a lot to choose from. The new modular Bookstore is available today as is a new white baseplate. Nearly every LEGO theme has some new sets–it can be a lot to process!– so we have your complete guide right here detailing each and every new set and item.
Some regions have seen these sets on shelves already, but now they are all available online. There are a few sets that really stand out to us, and you can see the complete list of all 153 sets and items after the jump.
The new Creator modular comes out January first and, while this is exciting news, the general consensus is that it is rather plain. That would not have been said if this creation by Joshua were the new modular instead. This Dancing Modular is part Dancing House by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunić, part Krzywy Domek and part funhouse mirror. The dizzying, sweeping windows juxtaposed against curving transparent balconies is a compelling sight to behold, and the garden roof terrace brings a bit of nature to what otherwise might be forboding architectural chaos.
The interior boasts some brightly lit, yet quaint, well-appointed spaces such as this one. Continue reading →
Take a trip back in time with Andrew Tate‘s bustling downtown scene, depicting a LEGO city during the 1930s. There’s a corner bakery, a menswear store, and a lovely cinema featuring the Egyptian architectural motifs popular on such buildings at the time. The streets are nicely busy, with a tram and a period-appropriate car, and packed full of minifigure action. In a refreshing change for a model set in such an era, there’s not a mobster to be seen! I particularly like the variety of colour and styling in the upper storeys of the buildings, and the top-most portion of the cinema frontage is just fabulous.
Over the years, LEGO’s Creator Expert line of modular buildings has alternated back and forth between European-style buildings like the original Cafe Corner and American architecture like 10197 Fire Brigade 10 years ago and the more recent 10260 Downtown Diner and 10264 Corner Garage. The era and location that inspired 10270 Bookshop are less obvious, because this pair of side-by-side buildings could fit right in on streets as far-flung as Boston and Amsterdam.
Earlier today, LEGO Singapore revealed for the first time to the worldwide public at the Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2019. The announcement was revealed together by Kevin Ahn (the Asia Pacific Market Integration & Community Engagement Manager) and Rohan Mathur (Marketing Director for Emerging Asia). Rohan says “The LEGO business has grown very strongly for the last couple of years and Asia is leading the growth” which is one of the many factors that led to the decision of having the global unveiling here.
LEGO Master Designer Wes Talbott and LEGO Graphic Designer Tore Harmark-Alexandersen sat down to give a tour of the new Creator Expert 10270 Bookshop. In the video, they show off the set, play features, minifigures and give some insight on some nifty details hidden inside.
Some of the revelations include that two of the minifigures are based on Wes’ parents, and that the street address of the Townhouse is actually the internal number indicator for the color Teal which Wes lobbied to have return to the LEGO color palette after a long absence.
LEGO has revealed the upcoming Creator Expert Modular for 2020 as the 10270 Bookshop. The set comes with 2,504 pieces which create a pair of three-story buildings similar to 10218 Pet Shop from 2011. The model features the “Birch Books” bookstore and an accompanying Townhouse. The Bookshop comes with five minifigures and two animals including a chameleon and a blue bird.