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Review: 21004 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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#1 Inconspicuous


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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:08 PM

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Hi everyone! Welcome to my second review here. On my recent trip to New York, I picked up this set in the gift shop of the actual museum itself. I bought it as a souvenir, so I wasn't concerned about the $40 price tag. I enjoyed it quite a bit but I'll let you decide for yourself: Ridiculously Overpriced "Inverted Cupcake" or Appealing, Accurate Model of a Well-designed Monument?  

Set Name: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum®
Set Number: 21004
Theme: Architecture
Subtheme: Architects
Year: 2009
Price: $39.99 USD
Pieces: 208
Minfigs: None
Lego Shop Description:

A landmark of organic architectural design!

2009 marks the 50th anniversary of one of New York City’s best-known museums, the Solomon R. Guggenheim®. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, the museum opened just six months after he passed away. This intricately built LEGO® model, co-developed and designed by architect Adam Reed Tucker, celebrates Frank Lloyd Wright’s innovative vision and organic architectural style. The assembled Solomon R. Guggenheim museum model stands 4 inches (102 mm) tall on a gray and black base with printed name label and includes a booklet with facts about the building, its construction and its history. Perfect for any New Yorker, world tourist or architecture fan!

    * Replica of real-world architectural landmark Solomon R. Guggenheim museum!
    * Booklet included with details on design and history! (English language only)
    * Measures 4 inches (102 mm) tall!


Brickshelf Gallery

Drum roll please! And now, the feature presentation!



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Other Side:
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Inside Edge:
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Enjoy your "building" experience. Get the pun? :tongue:

Nice, sleek design. Very professional and appealing. You have to love the detail on the edges and back. It also opens very nicely. It's designed to be kept. Not too much empty space inside like some sets *cough*EchoBase*cough* I love the pun.  :tongue:


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First two pages:
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Random Page:
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Parts inventory:
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Instructions:: Thoughts: Very sleek and lovely. Great facts and information about the building. The addition of the Piece Inventory for each step is very nice. They could have stayed open more easily though.


All 4 bags:
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Small bricks bag:
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Opened and sorted:
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Small plates and tiles bag:
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Opened and sorted:
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Large pieces bag:
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Opened and sorted:
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Medium pieces bag:
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Opened and sorted:
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Group photo:
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Pieces:: Thoughts: Fairly good selection. Only 3 colors though. I was surprised that the main part of the museum was white. I kept staring at the box before I built it wondering, "why, did they make it gray, when the building is white?" Well, they did make it white. The printed tiles are such a relief :wub:  However, a few stickers to add more detail wouldn't hurt. For example, a sticker glass ceiling would be very nice.

Glass ceiling (Inside view):
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At Step 7, the base is done:
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At Step 14, the base of the museum is done:
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At Step 21, the first floor is done and the second begun:
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In Step 26, a few floors are built for the tan building:
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Then added:
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At Step 29, right before the main spiral is added:
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The main spiral:
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When added:
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The last two floors of the tan building:
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And the completed product!:
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Build:: Thoughts: Very enjoyable when done slowly. Nothing revolutionary, but a few nice techniques used.


No explanation necessary:

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I like the little walkway (If that's what it is):
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There's actually a little tan plate through the gap. Minor but interesting detail:
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Completed Product:: Thoughts: Excellent model. Very sleek, great counter-top display. Excellent, but subtle details.


Extra Parts:
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The set fits back in the box mostly assembled:
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One thing that annoyed me was the fact that the tan building is not attached to the main building. They could have easily fixed that.
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Looks like Captain Rex isn't much of a Frank Lloyd Wright fan!
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The Whole Set:
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Now for the stats:

Design: 9/10 Very nicely designed. The building's "organic architecture" is well captured. Several very subtle optical illusions used. This would get a 10 if the tan building was attached to the main building.

Parts: 8/10 Fairly good selection, but not enough colors.

Minifigs: N/A

Build: 9/10 Very relaxing and enjoyable. The repetitive tan building is broken up nicely.

Playability: 7/10 Unless you're making a Lego horror film in which a monster destroys New York City, it's useless for playing. It's intended for display and gets its job done.

Price: 4/10 $40 is very steep for the part count. Even with a sleek box and great instructions, it should be at least $10 cheaper.

Total: 37/50 Considering all the bashing it's been getting, it's a very nice set. The only major downside is the price. Since I bought mine as a souvenir, and price is not a factor, my personal rating would be a 33/40, which is quite high. If you don't like the building, don't buy it. It's a display. Who would want an ugly display? If you like the building, it's probably worth getting. And if you've been to the museum, this is a must have!

(All pictures of the actual museum were taken by me on my trip)

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read my review. Since this is only my second review here, I'm just getting the hang of things. I would love your comments, feedback, and questions.


Edited by WhiteFang, 29 July 2010 - 08:27 AM.

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#2 AndyC


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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:40 PM

Hmmm, I'm still sort of torn on this. Looking at the comparison shots you have at the end, I cant help but feel it could have been much improved by the inclusion of a couple of smoke plates to represent the windowed areas. And the main spiral bit just doesn't look right to me. As it is, I'm not quite convinced of it as a display model. It seems crazy, but spending more on something far more accurate and visually stunning like the Taj Mahal makes more sense to me.

I can see that it'd be a great souvenir from an actual trip though. But I think interntional jet-setting might be a shade excessive just to justify a Lego purchase.  :tongue:

Great review though!

Edited by AndyC, 28 July 2009 - 11:41 PM.

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#3 prateek


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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:06 PM

It is a very nice set and a very nice review :thumbup: Nice "Echo Base" pun :tongue:

#4 LegoLyons


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Posted 15 August 2009 - 11:15 AM

View Postprateek, on Jul 29 2009, 10:06 PM, said:

It is a very nice set and a very nice review :thumbup: Nice "Echo Base" pun :tongue:

Thanks for the review, i did not even know this set existed, I have also been to the museum, and its an amazing building.

The set looks good, and the review is great, will have to look out for this on ebay.  :thumbup:

#5 Milan


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Posted 15 August 2009 - 12:14 PM

Great review.
I do not like the price, but it adds something to its exclusivity!

Set is interesting, but overpriced.
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#6 BlueBard


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Posted 15 August 2009 - 12:34 PM

It's a very beautiful set, without doubt, and a nice replica of the original.  :cry_happy:  Halas, only its exclusivity makes it interesting, the pieces are a bit too common and it's definitely overpriced  :sceptic:

Edited by BlueBard, 15 August 2009 - 12:34 PM.

#7 Col. Brik

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 02:29 PM

Fitting price for anything that has Wright's name on it.  :classic:  I only wonder how bad the roof will leak or if the foundation will collapse. I've got to take my shots at Wright, I only live 20 miles from the Taliesin in Wisconsin.

Aside from my barbs towards Wright, your review was excellent. Well done, great pictures and writing. :thumbup:

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