life in plastic: Purchasing Your First LEGO Modular Building

December 10, 2015 by  


For LEGO fans, especially AFOL (Adult Fans of LEGO) and TFOL (Teen Fans of LEGO), the LEGO modular building sets are among the most anticipated, most wanted sets released once a year. Often priced at over $150 with over 2,000 desirable pieces, many love these sets because of their functionality (you can connect them to form streets of neighborhoods and if you have the space in your home, create actual cities) and each floor has its level of playability.

The first LEGO modular was the Cafe Corner (set #10182), designed by LEGO designer Jamie Berard, the corner building was released in 2007, suffice to say, unless you were a collector at that time and were willing to invest that much money in a building, it’s one of the most expensive LEGO modular buildings to get in the market, as boxed, unopened versions tend to go for over $2,000. It comes with three minifigures and no interior details.

Later that year, LEGO released Market Street (set #10190) designed by Dutch LEGO fan Eric Brok. This set featured the least amount of pieces, it included three minifigures and instead of recommended for people age 16 and older, this was for people 10 and up. It’s also a modular set that features LEGO FACTORY on the box.

By 2008, LEGO went back to making the modular for age 16 and up. Titled Green Grocer (Set #10185) designed by LEGO designer Jamie Berard, the set is one of the most popular modular series build and attracted collectors because of its grocery LEGO parts and was the first to feature props inside the building instead of the bare interiors the last two had. The set comes with four minifigures.

By 2009, LEGO released Fire Brigade (Set #10197) designed by Jamie Berard and utilized a 1930’s style of building, came with four minifigures and a fire-dog, and also was the first modular building to come with a vehicle (a ‘30s fire truck).

In 2010, the fifth set would be the Grand Emporium (Set #10211) which would be the first department store that would include seven minifigures, an escalator, dressing rooms and more. This set like Cafe Corner is a corner building.

In 2011, LEGO released Pet Shop which is the first LEGO modular that is made of two buildings and pins that allow the buildings to open up. The set comes with four minifigures, two parrots and a fish tank with goldfish. The building has a pet shop and a brown town house. The set is the oldest modular that is still available on LEGO’s online shop.

In 2012, LEGO released their seventh set titled Town Hall (set #10224) and is the largest modular set so far. Featuring eigth minifigures, the building contains a working elevator, balconies but to LEGO fans chagrin, LEGO discontinued the set two years later.

In 2013, LEGO released the Palace Cinema, the third corner building and the eight modular set. It’s also the first set to feature the LEGO Creator Expert on the box and has two floors and includes a vehicle. It’s also the first to have stickers in order to put the movie banners on the windows. The set is still available on LEGO’s online shop.

In 2014, LEGO released Parisian Restaurant (set #10243)and has 2,469 pieces. The restaurant has a kitchen with tableware, pull-down bed, fireplace, an artist studio , diner and more. The set is still available on LEGO’s online shop.

In 2015, LEGO released their tenth modular building titled The Detective’s Office (set #10246) features the office plus an apartment. It is the only modular to have two buildings utilizing the same baseplate and comes with six minifigures. The set is available on LEGO’s online shop.

And on New Year’s Day of 2016, LEGO will be releasing the Brick Bank (set #10251). This is the fourth corner building but is the first bank which includes a bank, secretary office, bank manager’s office, a laundromat and five minifigures.

For its price and piece count, I know that the modular sets are not the easiest for some people. In fact, the most difficult is when you are missing a part (which LEGO will quickly replace). But of all the LEGO sets that I have found satisfying and absolutely loved for its challenges are the modular sets. And if I had to purchase one set a year, hands down, it would be the LEGO modular sets.

For the AFOL or TFOL, they are highly recommended!

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