The Beach House, wouldn't we all like a full sized one? Or three? I'm pretty much a Star Wars LEGO guy, but every now and then a different series catches my eye. The concept behind the creator theme is great; cheaper sets with multiple builds. Unfortunately, a lot aren't at a mini-figure scale, so they don't hold any interest to me. But this set, for some reason, the color, the shape, I really really wanted to get it. How is it?
Name: Beach House
MSP: $29.99 U.S., £19.55, 5,775 yen (but less than 4,000 on Amazon )
Need to get away? Relax in your very own beach house! This colorful building is packed with fun and realistic details, from the big sunlit windows to the barbecue and umbrella.
* Includes instructions for rebuilding into a cozy café or towering apartment building!
* Second floor lifts off to see stairs and fireplace on the first floor!
* Second floor has a balcony and a skylight that opens!
* Outside there is a patio with table, umbrella and chairs, and even a barbeque grill with chicken!
* Realistic details include mailbox, doorbell, flowers, walkway, light fixtures, chimney, tree and lots of windows!
* Beach House stands over 6½" (16.5cm)high and includes a 5" x 10" (13cm x 25cm) baseplate!
This comes with three books, one for each build. No action shots here
There is a fantastic variety of new pieces here, for me. Very common everyday pieces, windows, slopes, corners, and grates. I don't quite know what to do with them, but they seem really useful. They were all a welcome addition to my collection.
One gripe though, the black slopes seem to have different manufacturing processes. The 8-stud long ones are perfectly smooth, while the two and four-stud ones are textured. I saw the same thing in the Republic tank set. I suppose TLG is shifting from one style to the other, but it'd be better if they could keep sets consistent within themselves I tried to photograph it, but black pieces barely show up, much less the texture of them.
The main set is the best of the three. It uses 99% of the pieces, so it clearly was the main set. I think the tree was thrown in after though, to give some pieces for the other sets to use.
This set has some great features, the satellite dish, the barbecue...
The back's alright, nothing special. Interesting though is that there is a fireplace inside to go with that chimney
The other side. I really like the balcony and the sky light windows. The mailbox is very classy too.
A shot of the balcony, with its own light, a nice touch.
The large window opens up so you can put minifigs in. The detail is great, including the railing down the stairs.
The patio has nice details, down to the flowerbeds. The barbecue is amazing,
The tree is alright, not amazing. I really like the mailbox though, simple sleek design.
Best of all, the roof easily comes off, so you can put mini figs inside. The interior isn't overdone, but the stairs and fireplace do a good job.
Very few pieces are left over after this build.
"Hey, you look a little familiar..."
This is the three-story house, and frankly, I didn't care for this much. It looks alright, but it doesn't work as well as it should. The rooms are tight, and there are no stairs. It just doesn't make sense.
This is a very thin building.
To further make this less satisfying, the back is open. I would have much rather had the three levels come apart than this.
Further disappointment is that the yard is mostly bare, except for the flowerbed. Not so exciting.
This area looks nice though. It looks like a real architectural shape.
I don't know what this is on the first floor
On the second floor, this room has a computer and chair, which is cool.
The third floor seems to be a chair and ottoman.
The balconies look nice enough, but you can't open the windows.
This set has the most pieces left over.
"How did you get up there?" "I don't know, there's no staircase."
This is the cafe. It looks great
From the side it's alright, nothing spectacular.
The back has a service entrance, and a large window.
The other side has a nice bench and the same table as the first build.
The window opens, but the roof doesn't come off.
You can see the cafe, but my hands are too big to get in there
The book shows this great cafe, which is pretty much inaccessible
A medium amount of extra parts.
"It's unfortunate that in order to take a picture of this cafe, we had to rip off the ceiling and doors." "Tell me about it, I haven't even paid the mortgage yet."
The Final Verdict
Design: 10/10 I would've given this 9/10 just for the first build, but the third build rockets this set up to the perfect category.
Build: 9/10 Building walls is never so exciting, but this set has small walls. I learned a lot of neat techniques on this set.
Playability: 8/10 It does the job it's supposed to, it's a beach house. But the other two builds are really display oriented, so they lose some points.
Price: 10/10 A lot of good pieces for a low (near 5 cents/piece) price, this is an awesome deal.
Overall: 9.9/10 I want to give this a perfect score sooo much, but the second build just holds it back The set would have been a 10 without it. But this is a fantastic set, and I recommend you pick it up while it's around.
The beach house is a really attractive set, one that should captivate non-fans of the line (like me). It's got lots of little details, and a great variety of detail. A great mid-sized set.
Edited by WhiteFang, 23 May 2009 - 06:38 PM.