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First of all, a big thank you to Bonaparte and LEGO for making this review possible. This has been really fun. I knew very little about this set when it was given to me, so I looked it up and found that it looked to be a very good set. As I'm going to study engineering, the architecture series really quite appeals to me, however, I'd never gotten one as I really like minifigures. :grin: Will this set hold up to my expectations? Read on!

Set Information:


Name: Imperial Hotel

Set Number: 21017

Pieces: 1188

Price: US $130

Ages: 12+

Minifigures: N/A

Theme: Architecture

Year of Release: 2013

Brickset

Flickr Set I left plenty of pictures in their large size!

Box:


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The overall design of the box is the same as the rest of the line, black, with a shot of the model. Very professional looking. Underneath the model, there is what looks to be blueprints, which really give the set a "design" feel.

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Flipping the box over, we have some writing about the set as well as some construction details. A picture of Frank Lloyd Write adorns the upper right corner and his signature is in the bottom middle.

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The left side of the box has pictures of the left side of the built model, and an overhead view of it. On the right hand side, there's a faded out shot of the front of the model as well as the name of the designer; Rok Kobe.

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I find the top most interesting. Along with the 1:1 image, there's a part of the model in a brick-paper format that fades to the built model. Also on the top there's a box that says, "Frank Lloyd Wright Collection." Nothing to special about the bottom, just your usual warnings.

Contents:


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Architecture sets have flaps and open much like other toy boxes, when I opened mine it looked like this. Quite full, and the "Enjoy your Building Experience" printed on the bottom of the box here, made me smile.

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Inside the box were 10 bags, the manual, and six 6x16 plates.

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Only a few parts stuck out to me, the 3x3 corner slope in sand green, the 2x1 brick with studs on one side in light bley, and the printed 1x8 tile. (Though in every Architecture set) I believe the 2x1 brick is new for this year.

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Here are our extra parts. The 1x1 tiles and plates are most useful to me, and there are quite a few of them.

Manual:


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The manual is much more of a book than the usual LEGO set, it's bound and is made of much heavier paper than a usual one. The front of the manual has the same art as the front of the box, minus some of the facts about the set.

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On the first inside page, there's a picture of the hotel as it stands today. (As well as what was recreated in the set, minus the tourists)

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Continuing on, much more like a book, there's a contents listing on the second page.

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Underneath a paragraph talking about the destruction of the hotel, there's a painting of the hotel, and I must say while simple it looks like a grand building.

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As you continue turning the pages, you come across the two page spread. Exactly like the one on the of the box, but three or four times larger, it was also very hard to photograph. :grin:

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Each step in the manual was very clear, I had no problems telling what color was what. Here's a shot of just one of the many steps in building the model.

The Build:


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Here I cover the first few steps. We establish the base for the hotel as well as the concrete around it. (Each of the build pictures link to a 1600+ pixel version)

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Continuing on, the first level is constructed, with plenty of half-plate offsets.

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Then the roofing over the entrance is added, and the bottom floor is completed.

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You then start on the second level and add some of the many windows.

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Finally, the roof is added, and the model completed.

Finished Model:


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Wow, is a good word to describe the completed model. I could sit a look at it all day. The size, details, and colors really have a "wow" factor and make the model shine.

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Here you can see the many windows that you are built using snot techniques, really nicely done LEGO, and capture perfectly the real look of the building.

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The back of the model is flat, and has no details what-so-ever. But since you never see the back why put anything there?

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This set is big. At 34 by 30 studs the hotel has a large footprint, it's bigger than Bag End!

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The next several pictures are all of parts of the model that I thought had interesting building techniques or just looked cool. Here we have some of the windows and the roof, that I think works nicely together,

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The front entryway to the hotel is very ornate.

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A lot of half-plate offsets are used in this model, you can see a few here.

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The windows here on the side are attached with 1x1 bricks with a stud on one side, the snot gives the building a great look.

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This technique here isn't new, I just think that it looks pretty neat.

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Looking at the real building alongside the model, it's very close. I'm not sure about the decision to recreate it in tan, but it does work nicely with the green. The only one thing that could be added is the reflection pool, but that's not part of the building so I see why it wasn't included.

Conclusion:


There's no one good word to describe my feelings for this set. It's large, accurate, and I had an amazing time building it. I was mostly surprised at how complex the model really is, though I'm fairly sure this is common for Architecture sets. 1188 pieces make this the second largest set in the line, and a very good introductory set for it. Again, I'd like to thank LEGO and Bonaparte for the opportunity to review this set, I had a great time!

Ratings:

Playability: 9/10
This isn't a set you can play with, however, it would make a great model to put on your desk as a conversation piece.

Design: 10/10
The design is top notch. It matches the real building nicely and I find no flaws. There are a variety of techniques in this set that I thought were interesting.

Price: 9/10
I didn't pay for this set, but for any set with this large if a piece count anything between $100-$130 is very fair.

Parts: 10/10
There was a
huge
selection of tan light bley, and dark bley tiles and plates. These sets are known for that but I didn't realize it until I got one.

Total: 38/40 An excellent score, I would pick the gem up if you've been thinking about it, or even if you haven't!

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Like this review? Want to learn how to make good reviews? Then join the Reviewers Academy!

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What a lovely set! :wub: I gotta get me one of these. :drool:

Nice work, Masked! Super review. :thumbup:

I'm not sure about the decision to recreate it in tan

It would have been great to see it in sand red. :cry_happy:

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Fan-tas-tic! 21017 Imperial Hotel. I simply love the construction of this model. The detail and building techniques are superb!

@Rok Kobe: I am a fan!

-James Mathis

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is it really only dkk100? (£11.50ish)?! or did you mean USD?

Edited by Fuppylodders

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Fantastic review, MB!

The Imperial Hotel looks like a fantastic set. I fell in love with the architecture line after picking up Fallingwater, and I've been snatching up every set in the series since.

I'm really happy with the decision to turn the hotel into a set. TLC has done a great job of recreating it in plastic form. Looks like there are lots of interesting building techniques, and some good parts in there too. The real building has so many details that I would have liked an even bigger model to help capture those bits. However, considering the relatively small size of the model that they have put out, they managed to pack it loads of the details anyways.

Very happy with this set. I look forward to picking it up as soon as it become available!

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Thank you for the review!

I think the designer did a really good job on this one, and I really hope the Architecture line will continue to expand :sweet:

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Great review, MB, as usual! Having lived in Tokyo, I am very happy to finally see a Japan entry into the Architecture line, and this is great model. But to be completely honest, I would have prefered the Tokyo Tower or the Metropolitan Gouvernment Building.

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Thanks for the excellent review. I grew up within walking distance of a Wright home so I've always been interested in his work.

Those pamphlets describing the buildings in the Architecture series are quite nice, is this one available to be downloaded in English @ Lego.com? They didn't used to be but that may have changed?

Joe

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Wow, another lovely Architecture set and review! Can't wait to get this one....

While I like the colors used here, Rufus' idea of doing it in sand red would have been amazing!

Wonderful to see a Japanese building by such a famous architect. Guess it is time to do a few I M Pei buildings with a Gehry not being far behind. There are so many lovely buildings left to model!

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Thanks for the review mate :classic:! Definately an awesome set!

Btw. I didn't know you're such an EB veteran! Glad to have you in my team :classic:

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What a great review. This set is much better than I originally thought. Though I find the color choice really odd. Sure, it looks good and will look good next to other Architecture sets. But still... the style of the facade is part of the architecture. I'd rather seen it in a red color (sand red or dark red).

Edited by PsyKater

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Thanks a lot for the fantastic review. Is it an impression, or this review was frontpaged a few weeks ago then removed?

This set looks great. I initially thought that the price per piece ratio of the architecture sets was above average but this proves otherwise. Like others said, it would have been more accurate to have the set in a reddish color. However, as I did not know the building before, I do not really mind.

This review convinced me to acquire the set during my next trip to Europe or the US. Thanks again for the review.

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Nice set - it´s on the "must get-"list for sure! And a great review Masked Builder :sweet:! I especially appriciate your close-up pictures of all the off set parts of the model.

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Thanks for the review - looks great. I do agree that the colour scheme is not the most accurate (even a tad boring). That's a shame, but other than that it is an amazing model!

Edited by KristofBD

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Thanks for a great review! I'm getting this as soon as I can, but I might need to buy another display shelf before I build it... seems I've run out of room again. :look:

Now that I've seen more detailed pictures, I'm more a fan of the color scheme. Like actual architectural drawings and models, the colors are desaturated to better emphasize the form. I'm really looking forward to the next set designed by Rok Kobe; this and Big Ben both have some interesting textural brickwork.

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That's an excellent review MaskedBuilder!

I really like this model, as it contains a lot of details and angles, that are true to the real building.

I might buy this one, but it could be out of my budget range..

One note to your review:

On the first inside page, there's a picture of the hotel as it stands today. (As well as what was recreated in the set, minus the tourists)

It's not there anymore. It has been demolished in 1968, as it had fallen into decay in the 1960s. It has been replaced by a modern looking building to take better advantage of the site (thus a higher building)

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Great review! Thank you for taking the time to do such an excellent job.

As for the model, I'm not thrilled about the blank backside but otherwise I think this is awesome. A great addition to the line which I shall be picking up as soon as I can.

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Thanks guys! Your responses make the review worth it!

It would have been great to see it in sand red. :cry_happy:

I think I heard from Mark Stafford that sand red is dead. :cry_sad:

is it really only dkk100? (£11.50ish)?! or did you mean USD?

Well the box said DKK 100, but LEGO has it listed as $130.

The 1x1 trans-black plate is also new to this set. :wink:

Hm, okay that's good to know. I could have sworn I had some! :laugh:

Btw. I didn't know you're such an EB veteran! Glad to have you in my team :classic:

Yeah, I've been here a few years. :classic:

One note to your review:

It's not there anymore. It has been demolished in 1968, as it had fallen into decay in the 1960s. It has been replaced by a modern looking building to take better advantage of the site (thus a higher building)

Actually, the part of the building that the model is designed from does still stand at some museum somewhere. :wink:

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Thank you for this review! Looks like an awesome set. If I only had enough money and space to show it...

Only a few parts stuck out to me, the 3x3 corner slope in sand green, the 2x1 brick with studs on one side in light bley, and the printed 1x8 tile. (Though in every Architecture set) I believe the 2x1 brick is new for this year.

no love for the clip in tan?

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Thanks for the review.

My first architecture set was the Brandenburg Gate thanks to the discount on Amazon. I haven't built it yet. I do like how they incorporate such large structures into a small scale and this is no exception.

I agree about sand red being perfect, that is too bad that it doesn't exist anymore. Tan doesn't seem to fit at all, but I guess with the Brandenburg Gate, Tower Bridge (full scale), Big Ben, and now this, they have an abundance of tan they want to use I guess.

I will not be getting this mostly due to me not collecting the architecture line and my $130 will be spent on other sets I want.

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Thanks for the great review :thumbup:

I started getting into the architecture sets last year, my favorites being Falling Water & The Robie House :wub:

The designers of the architecture sets have overall done a great job capturing the essence of the buildings in such a small scale. Looking at the great pictures in this review I believe this set has achieved this as well.

21017 looks like it will also be one of my favorites - can't wait to get it!

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