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REVIEW: 10184 Town Plan


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#1 timbutnice

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:59 PM

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Hope you will all forgive another Town Plan review, given that there is one here, but I wanted to review the set in comparison to Café Green Street – feel free to skip down to the end if you don’t want to sit through the review…


Name:Town Plan
Number:10184
Pieces:1981
Price:£90 (extra penny at Brighton Lego Store)
Year:2008
Brickset

I’ve been taking pictures of the various Lego sets stashed around my house (Brickset)
and came upon a bunch of MISBs that I’ve had hanging around over the last few months

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The town plan has been under my bed for months, mainly to annoy my wife who is getting increasingly frustrated that I would buy it and not build it! She has now tempted me by promising to buy me Lego if I do build it (this cool way of getting new Lego may not work on your wife / husband / girlfriend etc, and it may nor work again for me, but I may try ).

So, on to the review, here’s the front of the box:

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And the back

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The document up the top right isn’t actually a certificate like the one in the UCS MF, its just a page in the instruction booklet – very nice to have none the less.

Here’s all the pieces in their baggies - the box was not a stuffed full as the Taj Mahal, but still plenty of lovely pieces.

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Closing in on the baggie, you can see that they are all numbered  - this made the build quite quick (relatively speaking), but I prefer the unnumbered bag approach for really big sets – feels more of a challenge, and there’s more of a “where will that end up” factor.

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The DSS was perhaps unfortunately inevitable, but it’s still a real shame that Lego couldn’t have stretched to more printing (there are some printed tiles) for the anniversary set. I will not stick stickers on Lego, so they get to go in my unused sticker stash.

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Moving on to the instruction leaflets (x2) we have the part list, spread across 4 pages. The variety of parts is fantastic, as are the colours.

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The instructions themselves are nice and clear, with colour distinction being pretty good

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As I said above, the letter from Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is in here too (in multiple languages):

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Some nice minifigs in this set, especially the bride and groom – my wife vetoed my idea for sticking these on our wedding cake back in June. Pity.

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I started with the garage first – all its 2x2 bricks have the slit in their side that takes the roller door construction, despite not all of them being needed for this purpose – result=lots of these bricks to use elsewhere that we wouldn’t otherwise have, which =nice.

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The main feature of the garage is the lovely lovely curving window, which is just demaning to be made into an Edwward Hopper bar scene like this – anyone spotted this in MOC form?  

Hope you can see the cooler in the middle of the floor, complete with croissant, banana and apple, mmmm.

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The carwash is fun, and the bristles feel surprisingly nice if you roll them on your skin, but I digress…

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Here’s the finished article:

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There are some great details like this gas cylinder contraption

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And some more questionable ones, like this tree, with its glowing alien branch core…

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The garage is hinged which allows it to work on different corners on your streets

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it also gives a different shape to the interior, either you can have three rooms (car port, office and car wash, see the pic above), or just an office and an integrated vehicle bay and carwash:

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The second set of baggies include the all important gold bricks (and some silver dishes too). They aren’t chrome gold or silver (think of the chrome in Roaring Roadsters or the gold crown in the smaller recent Castle chess set), but have a duller appearance – I assume this is much cheaper given what I’ve read on these boards before.

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Anyway, the bricks form part of the fountain

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Which is very nice, especially the 8x8 trans light blue (I think that’s the colour) plate at its base. The discs are part of the petrol (or gas if you are so inclined) pumps

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The two vehicles are very nice, and have a suitable retro feel to them, first the car

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And secondly the petrol (gas) truck:

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Have a close look at the truck – there are no less than 4 old style doors on there – if Lego can do it here and make it work, why oh why can’t they do it on the otherwise fantastic vehicles they’ve brought out in the last two years (yes Mr. recycle truck and Ms. concrete mixer, I’m talking about you).

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The truck also has a neat hose at the back, which I think is worth a quick look

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Don’t spend too long gazing at it though, because we are on to the cinema!

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I love the tiley goodness on the floor – as others have said, does this make it part of Café Green Street? Well you’ll get my opinion in a bit.

The Cinema has two rooms, an open plan foyer and a screen room through a door – the popcorn looks tasty!

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Here’s one of those printed tiles, although how a poor minifig can get up there to change the movie is anyone’s guess.

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Here’s a close up of the screen room – due to my hatred of stickers, its currently showing The Polar Express – Extreme Blizzard Edition.

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The advertising boards and lights are great, shame about the stickers (again). One nice touch was the use of chunky light grey bricks in the roof, which gives it that “built out of huge amounts of concrete and painted brightly feel” that is so true of many modern cinemas (which I think this is despite the art deco bits on the roof – clearly its trying hard, but this ain’t no art house picture palace, baby).

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Speaking of art deco, here’s the decoration above the roof on the finished building – it is nice

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Next stop, town hall, and my flash became a bit temperamental about now, so watch out for the changing light balance…

Foundations:

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First floor (from the back):

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Second floor….

…but there isn’t one – a little office behind the clock tower wouldn’t have hurt too much?

All done:

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Extra pieces in the mandatory fruit bowl. As with my Taj Mahal review there are loads of extra pieces – I think I’m getting careless in my old age, but I can’t work out where I missed them off (especially that plate …).

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And the town plan all together:

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My main reason for posting this was to compare it to Café Green Street in all its glory, so here we go with Lego’s most desirable street

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Across the road we have the result of some retro looking town planning, which while very nice, looks a bit pathetic compared to the rather more substantial addresses just a stone throw’s away.

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Have a look from above and down the street – the two sets of buildings don’t go at all – they are on a completely different scale. How many cinemas are smaller than a café, or town houses smaller than an apartment block above a green grocer’s shop?

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The garage is perhaps the exception – I expect it to be only one storey, and it does sort of work. Its by far my favourite of the three town plan buildings.

To complete the comparison, here’s the front and back of town plan

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And the front and back of Café Green Street

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I know which side of the road I want to live on, although it looks like some unsavoury characters have recently arrived

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There is of course the small matter of price… The town plan is a little more than 1/3rd of the cost of Café Green Street when all three buildings are together, but are they 3 times better than the town plan?

YES!

Town plan scores:

Pieces 5/5 – an incredibly varied selection
Build 4/5 – fun but perhaps a little too easy, some lovely touches in the cinema and garage construction.
Playability 4.5/5 – perhaps a little harsh, but my minifigs want to go upstairs occasionally
Price 4/5 – I always think of this in conjunction with the parts, and its as good as any set for variety, but loses a little on the quantity side
Swooshability 1/5 – it gets one point as its actually fairly easy (I assume) to swoosh its individual buildings, whereas the Taj Mahal isn’t easy to swoosh at all. I haven't swooshed the town plan. Neither is the MF or the ISD, when you come to think of it…

Overall – 4.5 /5 would have been 5/5 but for the stickers and the fact that this was the anniversary set – it needed more WOW factor

Hope you like the review,

Bye

timbutnice

#2 Buttons

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 09:29 PM

Nice reveiw but I still think that the 810 is better.
Now that you've found it, it's gone
Now that you feel it, you don't
You've gone off the rails

#3 WhiteFang

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:17 AM

This is a very fine review and welcome to Eurobricks again!  :thumbup:
You have brought us another interesting review. Why don't you think of signing up the Reviewers Academy?

In Eurobricks, we always welcome multiple reviews for the same set. I enjoyed your review very much, and you certianly done well by putting the Town Plan into correct perspective. Nice job. I assumed you work through the night just to take these photos. Thanks for putting in much efforts to make it possible. I love that Green Grocer too, in fact, this is the only set I am lacking to complete the similar scenario which you have built.

Well done!  :wink:

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#4 timbutnice

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 11:44 AM

Thanks guys, I've just signed up for the Academy - appreciate the gentle persuasion!

cheers,

timbutnice

#5 Guss

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 11:53 AM

that's a really nice review^^ I wanted this set but I ll not buy it, I have other priorities and I'm more into pirate and castle^^

Just one thing shocked me.. the truck don't have rear lights ? oO

Edited by Guss, 13 November 2008 - 11:54 AM.

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#6 FreeBee

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 12:26 PM

Great review, exactly as i would like it to see (compared to the townplan i meen). :thumbup:

Could you also take a picture of everyting but then with the middle floors
removed from the cafe corner side of the street.

I think that will bring it more in perspective.  :wink:
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#7 tedbeard

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 05:19 PM

Nice review. very thorough. Nice to see the details without stickers. Makes deciding whether or not to use the stickers easier. The comparison was an added bonus that really shows how they can or cannot coexist.

BTW I have never noticed the term "Cafe Green Street" before. Are others using that term? I really like it and plan to use it. I hate saying "Modular Houses Standard" - more accurate as it is the TLC terminology but everyone sort of looks at you funny when you say it. "Cafe Corner Standard" is also popular but the Cafe Corner was one set so the term is not accurate and the "CC Standard" already exists as the Classic-Castle Standard. Cafe Green Street sounds like a neighbourhood. Thanks.  :classic:
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#8 legotrainfan

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 03:16 PM

Wonderful review combined with excellent photos! I'd love to have those three splendid buildings plus town plan! I hope I have all of them sooner or later! And it's a nice idea to compare Cafe Green Street to the Town Plan set!
[...]
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Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
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#9 timbutnice

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 04:50 PM

FreeBee,

here you go, with the middle floors out:

From above,

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looking down the street

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and Cafe Green Street by itself, cruelly truncated

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cheers,


timbutnice

#10 TheBrickster

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 06:27 PM

Timbutnice:  Thanks for your review and comparison of the town plan with the modular town buildings.  I've always wondered how the sets would compare, and although a lot smaller, I don't think the Town Plan looks too bad next to/or near the larger modular buildings.  They're just single-floor buildings compared to the larger modulars, although I see your point in regard to the Cinema being much smaller.

In any case, thanks for sharing the review and comparison.

#11 Moose

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 08:02 AM

I got this set yesterday from my mom as a gift for my 21st birthday.  For $150 this set is a steal.  Ive always wanted to create a town block/street, and this alone allows that to happen.  Plus with my old firehouse from 1994 and some other buildings, I can finally start working on my dream!  I think it looks great with the stickers, a lot better than it does without them.  Overall, great review of a great set, I planned on making one in the future.
Moose

#12 WhiteFang

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 08:15 AM

View PostTheBrickster, on Nov 16 2008, 02:27 AM, said:

I don't think the Town Plan looks too bad next to/or near the larger modular buildings.  They're just single-floor buildings compared to the larger modulars, although I see your point in regard to the Cinema being much smaller.
I think that might be one of the reasons why Hinckley wanted to create this cinema and place it beside modular buildings.  :tongue:

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#13 Vestabuyer

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:55 AM

Greetings!  :classic:

Great review to start out with, I liked your comparison with the more detailed buildings. I have been tossing around the idea of purchasing one of these town plan sets as I am an avid fan of the 50's look. I personally think that this set will be ideal for my town as I never have been a huge fan of the modular building sets (they seem too spendy and maybe, dare I say, too detailed). This does not mean I don't admire the detail, but I like the classic town layouts better as to each their own. The reveiw was still a great one none the less and has further made me want the town plan set. I believe this set will go great as an "old town" section by the old steam (my own train) locomotive set.

Thank you

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