As usual the Creator Export Modular Building is released for sale January 1st. This is a perfect timing since my birthday is in the beginning of January. My wife arranged it so I got this Police Station as a birthday present from my family. She bought it directly from Lego.com so I also got a free gift together with the package. A nice #40448 vintage car that fits nicely with the modular buildings.
A few days later I finished the build and would like to share my thoughts about the 16th member of the Modular Building family.
The Police Station consist of the main building in tan and a 8 brick wide donught shop to the left with a small apartment on top. To the right is a small 6 brick wide news paper shop. Behind it is the prison which is connected to the Police Station. On top of the prison is a small room with photo equipment for taking pictures of suspects.
The first overall impression of this set is that it looks great and is a nice, tall and big building with lot of details.
The first thing I noticed when I got the set was the new design of the box. It’s a complete black box with a picture of the Police Station. On the back is the normal things like the set shown connected to other Modular Buildings, an exploded view of the building and close up details. It doesn’t show the usual Creator logo on the front. I was a big fan of the design of the box from the previous Modular Building #10270 Book Shop with all the nice colors, so this box seems a little disappointing to me.
The instruction manual is one big book around 1 cm thick. In the beginning of the Modular Building series the instruction was divided into multiple smaller parts for each part of the building but this has recently changed into one single book. I like that is just a single book now which looks more professional, but through the building process I think it was easier to have the smaller ones. The thickness makes it hard to open it enough up to see all the details which meant that I actually missed a brick through a step.
There are two things that I don’t like about the instruction manual. The first thing is just a small detail but still annoying. I can’t find the LEGO set number anywhere on it. I’m not sure if its a mistake or on purpose. The other problem was really a big frustration for me. All the pages has a black background (like the box) which I really don’t get. First of all it’s a waste of ink but it also makes it really hard to see the dark brown bricks in the small box showing which bricks are needed for the following step. So a lot of light is needed if you, like me, often builds in the evening.
The build process
Inside the box is a lot of small plastic bags numbered 1 to 14. As I recall earlier Modular Buildings was not divided into that many different bags. What this means is that the number of bricks you have to sort through to find the bricks you need is way more manageable and it’s easier to build. I spent a couple of hours through three evenings to assemble the set.
It’s always a pleasure to build Modular Buildings because there are always new great building techniques to learn and not that many repetitions. Some of the last sets I assembled was set #21321 International Space Station and #10277 Crocodile Locomotive which I both like but they have a lot of repetitions and becomes a little boring to assemble.
- The sides of the building are nice and clear with matching colors without different strange colors caused by the interior.
- I like the green creeper on the front it gives life to the facade and connects them together.
- It gives more details to the building that the facade has different depths for the different parts of the buildings.
- The double door entrance to the Police Station looks great instead of just a single door like on #10224 Town Hall which I didn’t like. And now with real door handles.
- The Modular Buildings have always used some nice architectural details. Even though it was not that fun to build I like the look of the corner details of the tan colored building with the dark tan bricks.
- The internal stairs up through the building is build in a new way using bricks mounted sideways and connected to the wall. This solution is simple but looks great.
- Hidden details is always fun, and the hidden escape tunnel under the prison cell is really nice. Even with a small spoon for digging and a tiny crack that can be seen outside on the building plinth.
- Another hidden detail is in the apartment above the donut shop. Beneath the bed is a small hole so the thief can use his fishing pole to steal some cakes from the shop.
- The interior is full of details. The first floor of the Police Station has an office with desks including a stationary phone and a type writer.
- A great detail that has been consistent throughout the Modular House series is the design of the sidewalk dimensions. It also include the usual details like the street light, plants and a bench.
- The usual round 2×2 tile clock has been updated with a red second hand and shows another time.
- A funny detail is that the theme with the donut shop continues throughout the building. Four different places I found a “hidden” donut.
- I’m not a fan of the new design of the box and especially not the black background of the instruction manual.
- I have several hundreds of the black Technic pins with friction, but still I think it is a big annoyance that the set does not include the two pins for connecting the set to a neighbor building. The set actual list two of those in the parts list but they are used for the bed in the apartment. Usually these are included so I don’t understand why this has changed?
- I like that the front has plants on the sidewalk but I dislike the bricks used for the two small green bushes. They remind me about part 3470 trees.
- The back of the building is a little boring and it seems like something is missing. It’s just the big empty baseplate without details. The tan colored part of the building is also a little boring. The 1st and 2nd floor looks almost the same almost without any details.
- Even though I like the different depths of the buildings seen from the front I think the green part with the prison will almost be hidden in darkness if a tall building is connected to the right side of the Police Station. (I tried by connecting the Book Store on the right side).
The build process was a great experience with a lot of entertainment. I really liked that the bricks was sorted in that many bags so it was easier to manage the amount of bricks. There was a lot of positive things to mention about this set, but please go back to the design of the earlier boxes and instruction manual. I think this set is great value for the money and still I get surprised by all the great details and creative building techniques.
The worst thing is that we have to wait another year for the next Modular Building to arrive? What will come next? Now there is a fire and a police station, maybe a hospital? Actually I don’t hope so. But the speculations has already started.
As usual the Modular Buildings looks even better when connected together.