EDIT MODE

Many are calling the Modulars addictive. You can't just build 1. Will I be sucked in? Or can I keep my kidneys?

Contents:

Introduction
The Set
The Box
The Instruction
The Parts
The Build
Conclusion

Introduction

The Modular theme is a phenomena on itself. Among AFOLs, it's regarded as the ultimate building sets. There are a lot of people who have a street in their LEGO City featuring a couple of these, if not all.
I feel I stepped in too late. The first Modular I was aware of, was the 10251-1 Brick Bank, and mainly because of the review Nathan wrote about it. At that time, the series was running 10 years already. The first sets are going for ridiculous prices, so catching up will require selling a couple of organs. And when I start a series, I want it to be complete. So I hold off. I have seen my wife build the 10243-1 Parisian Restaurant, and I've seen most on display on LEGO cons, but I've never build any myself.
Each year, people are looking forward to the new release. Normally, the sets go on sale in January (some shops have them in December), but around June you can expect the first rumors and supposedly leaks.
The series seem to follow a pattern in type of building. After 2 building on an edge, there is a corner building. This way, you can display the buildings in a 4 x 4 square. Each building comes with pins to connect the new Modular to the previous. By that logic, we're currently in the second square. A lót of people were pissed up by the 10255-1 Assembly Square, breaking the pattern. Normally, each Modular sits on a 32x32 baseplate. The 10255-1 Assembly Square is expanded with an extra 16x32 baseplate, making it impossible to fit nicely into the square.
Another controversy was caused by the 10260-1 Downtown Diner. Not only was this set very different in style compared to the previous sets, considered by many to be a 'misfit' in the street. It was also the first modular to feature non-standard heads for the minifigs, giving a OCD/ASD trigger.
The 10270-1 Book Shop is the 15th* Modular. Here is a list of all Modulars so far:
* The 10190-1 Market Street is debatable if it fits in the series.

Year Position Parts Name  
2020 Edge 2504 10270-1 Book Shop
2019 Corner 2569 10264-1 Corner Garage
2018 Edge 2480 10260-1 Downtown Diner
2017 Edge 4002 10255-1 Assembly Square
2016 Corner 2384 10251-1 Brick Bank
2015 Edge 2262 10246-1 Detective's Office
2014 Edge 2470 10243-1 Parisian Restaurant
2013 Corner 2194 10232-1 Palace Cinema
2012 Edge 2772 10224-1 Town Hall
2011 Edge 2034 10218-1 Pet Shop
2010 Corner 2186 10211-1 Grand Emporium
2009 Edge 2236 10197-1 Fire Brigade
2008 Edge 2358 10185-1 Green Grocer
2007 Corner 2058 10182-1 Cafe Corner
2007 Edge 1250 10190-1 Market Street

The Set

Recreate the charm of a backstreet bookshop that you might discover in any European village or town with this LEGO® Creator Expert collectors’ toy. The 3-story bookshop and adjoining modular town house building is filled with fun building techniques and surprising details, including a display window, reading nook and an open-out design. Collectors will love to display this big 2,504-piece LEGO set proudly alongside their other modular buildings. An ever-growing modular house collection The LEGO Creator Expert Modular Buildings series is a premium collection of advanced, interconnecting buildings featuring authentic designs from around the world. LEGO sets that bring passion to life LEGO Creator Expert building sets are for adults and teenagers with a passion. From authentic buildings and classic cars to other objects of desire, Creator Expert advanced LEGO sets offer a world of nostalgia, escapism, self-expression, pure enjoyment and surprise.

The Box

The box measures 57.8 x 37.3 x 9.8 cm and weighs 2940 grams. Inside are 18 bags numbered 1 through 8, a bag with larger plates, 2 baseplates and a foil bag with 2 instruction manuals.

The Instructions

The manuals measure 19.6 x 25.9 cm. Book 1 builds the bookshop in 155 steps on 114 pages. Book 2 builds the house in 128 steps on 99 pages.

The pdf can be downloaded here.

The Parts

The set contains 2504 parts and 85 spares, in 41 colors, and 36 part categories, with a total of 562 unique parts/color combinations.
Main colors are:

Main categories are:

  • Plates: 96 unique parts, 389 quantity.
  • Tiles: 66 unique parts, 367 quantity.
  • Plates Special: 52 unique parts, 208 quantity.
  • Bricks: 51 unique parts, 517 quantity.

By accident I discovered there is a new part in this set. The Trans-Clear head that is used in the streetlight, turn out to be a new mold. The Element ID for the part also has a new number: 28621 Minifig Head Plain [Vented Stud - 2 Holes]. At first I had it shoved under 3626c, because it happens regularly that LEGO assign an new design number without changing the mold. But this one is physically different. There are 2 small holes in the hollow stud. We've seen this previously in the 3626b, that had 3 holes. According to the information on the Element IDs, there seem to be multiple colors for this part (all Transparent), but it will be a massive job to find back with which set they go with. So, if you have a set from 2019 or 2020, with Transparent heads, please check them! Here's a photo of the 4 types of head: TL 3626a, TR 3626b, BL 3626c, BR 28621.

Parts in new colors:

New prints:

Parts in rare colors:

There are 5 minifigures in this set:

 

The Build

Bags 1 starts the bookshop.

There are some nice details, like the registry, the book case outside, and the fence for the tree.


At the end, the floor is mostly finished.

Bags 2 continues the ground floor.

Some more details. The stairs are simple but effective. There are 2 book cases with a lot of SNOT.


The facade of the building has great decorations above the windows and the door. The arch is made with 35480 - Plate Special 1 x 2 Rounded with 2 Open Studs. The backside is not looking so well though.


At the end of the back, the ground floor seems to be done.

Bags 3 builds the second floor.

First, there is a small balcony.


On the second floor is a reading room and a small balcony outdoor.


This is a big letdown: This column is made of 4x Brick 1 x 2, and 1x Brick 2 x 2. See if you can spot the one different mold. I feel I'm seeing this more often the past year, especially in White.

And the second floor is done.


Bags 4 builds the attic and the birch tree.

In the attic is a bedroom with a bed and a terrarium.


At the front of the store is a birch tree. I'm not a real fan of the design. It's too straight and boring.

And that finished the first building.

Bags 5 starts the next building. This seems to be a normal house.

We start with the basement. I love the stairs to the front door.

Bags 6 build the first floor.

On this floor we find a fireplace and a cabinet.


The window is put together very clever. The columns are held by droid arms. There is a bit of a gap though between the windows.


Bags 7 build the first part of the attic.

There are some nice building techniques.


In the attic we find a bed and drawer.


Bags 8 finishes the attic and with that the building.

Some clever techniques to close the angled roof.

And the finished front part of the attic.

As last part, the back of the attic is added, completing the building.


Conclusion


Looking at the finished product, and the build experience in general: I love it!
I can understand why people are looking forward to the new Modular every year. It's a real expert set with loads of details and ingenious building techniques. Building this set was a great experience. Comparing this set to the other Modulars, going by looking at reviews of them, this seems to fit right in the series.
There are some minor things. The bookstore itself is not as detailed as the house is. Compared to each other, the bookstore is a bit basic. In Modular terms, to be clear. Compared with any other LEGO building, this is still on top. The color difference in the Medium Dark Flesh parts was also a bit off-putting. I'm not really a fan of the brich tree. Also, the backside is boring. I know this part is facing the wall in display, but still. But all this does not affect my opinion of this set. It still is one of the best sets I build for a review so far.
Did I get the addiction? Am I currently browsing BrickLink and eBay for the other sets? Short: No. I did love the build experience. But that's it. With a Technic set, you get moving parts. With Friends, Ninjago or other child sets, you get play features. This build is too fragile for children's hands. It just sits there on a shelf. Sometimes I don't mind that. The 21309-1 - NASA Apollo Saturn V for instance is a great display piece. But that one has a personal connection to me. This is 'just' a building. For me, it's a space filler, and I don't have much space in my LEGO room anymore. On top of that, a lot of the details inside the building are not visible when the floors are put together. So most of your work is hidden away on display. If I'm hiding things inside, I rather have it be a complex Technic drivetrain...
Even though this is not the type of set for me, the set in itself is a great build and a great look. See for yourself if that is enough for you.

Disclaimer: This LEGO set was kindly provided for review by The LEGO Group.
Anything said in this post is the opinion of the author and not The LEGO Group.
Parts- and build photographs by Tobymac (© 2020 Rebrickable)

 

13 COMMENTS

  • 1 week, 5 days ago christakis Level 6
    I checked the clear heads on the lights of my Parisian restaurant and Assembly square and all use the two hole version of the head.
    • 1 week, 1 day ago Berth Level 28 MOC Designer PRO
      How old are they ?
      I checked on my sets and they have no hole in them.
      • 1 week, 1 day ago christakis Level 6
        Both bought new from Lego store in 2019. Interesting right?
        • 1 week, 1 day ago Berth Level 28 MOC Designer PRO
          It's just that LEGO now uses this mold varation for new packed sets. Even if they are in the catalog for a long time.
          A nightmare for the database here. 
          In fact it happens from time to time on some sets produced during the end of the old mold stock and the begining of the production of the new one (it happened to me on three or four SW sets)
        • It happens more often that there is a transition period. We see it now in the Hidden Side ghost heads. We can create a second inventory version.
          • 1 week, 1 day ago Berth Level 28 MOC Designer PRO
            most of users  won't see the difference :D
  • 1 week, 5 days ago TurboRatRods Level 32 MOC Designer PRO
    Buildings are not my thing.  Having said that, I do enjoy seeing how LEGO reuses pieces in completely different ways than originally intended.  I have a friend that has the entire collection and on occasion we disassemble one, clean it, and put it back together.  What I really dislike about being a display model only is the fact that after displaying for a length of time there are pieces that split just sitting there.  The 1x1 cheese slopes and the headlight bricks are the worst.  Also all the bricks lose some of their holding power.  The longer they have been assembled, the less likely they will hold together upon reassembly.  The worst examples I have seen (although not modular buildings) are the Eiffel Tower (10181) and the Millennium Falcon (10179).  After 10 years of display, they will barely hold themselves together.  I have taken modular buildings apart that have only been on display for 1 or 2 years.  They will have split pieces and the holding power is somewhat diminished although not as bad as a 10 year display.  Just some of my thoughts, hope they are useful to someone.
  • 1 week, 5 days ago Polyprojects Level 10 MOC Designer
    If you open your view to what AFOL designers create as modulars, this set is without any inspiration. The tree is absolutely ugly, and the overall feel is like Lego is forced to get a modular out each year.
    • 1 week, 1 day ago Berth Level 28 MOC Designer PRO
      Never forget that this set is the final product, including all costs and cost-killing process. Not the sketch model made by the designer, tkae a look at Jaime Berard's interview on this point.
      • 1 week, 1 day ago Polyprojects Level 10 MOC Designer
        I agree, but if you look just at the design it's rather poor and Jaimie happens to be a lego lego designer, just one...There are designers.that make a one day wonder, but others seem to.have this feeling to create nice things over and over again. Brickative just to name one of them. Stylish,detailed, colourfull and with top building techniques..Stay safe.
        • 1 week, 1 day ago Berth Level 28 MOC Designer PRO
          Yes, but once again, they are more thinks involved in a comercial set than in a moc. This said, yes it seems to be a level under assembly assembly square for instance.
  • 1 week, 5 days ago KWAH_DRAHT Level 23 PRO
    a set which lives from the really lovelly details… thanks for showing and the great review...
  • 1 week, 5 days ago Berth Level 28 MOC Designer PRO
    So you gonna keep your kidneys, a good thing for you :D
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