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Review: The White House


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Poll: On a scale of 1 to 5 (68 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you rate this set?

  1. 1 - Poor (5 votes [7.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.35%

  2. 2 - Below Average (6 votes [8.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.82%

  3. 3 - Average (26 votes [38.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.24%

  4. 4 - Above Average (18 votes [26.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.47%

  5. 5 - Outstanding! (13 votes [19.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.12%

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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 11:05 PM

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Welcome to this exclusive LEGO EB review of the new 2010 Architecture set, 21006 The White House.

Set Name: The White House
Theme: Architecture
Year Released: 2010
Pieces: 560
Price: $49.99 USD
Special Elements: 2x4 black and light grey tiles, White House printed tile

The back of the nice black box includes a brief history of the White House:

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A close up of the history of the White House and James Hoban, White House designer:

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While I knew this Architecture set would be small before opening, I was surprised to find this many pieces (560) within the box:

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After about one hour worth of building (and a little television in between), I was almost ready for the roof.  The most tedious part of the build was creating 16 of the same sub-assemblies of the small black windowed wall sections that go between the columns of the house:

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About 1.5 hours of building time, I had completed the house:

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A diagonal view:

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Trans grey bricks would have made better windows than the holed black 1x1 bricks.  Holed bricks, you ask?  Yes, not quite sure why, but all the black window sections use black holed 1x1s turned to show the non-holed side:

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One of the trickier parts of the build was adding the columns to skellie arms in the back of the house:

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Four of the columns attach to the skellie arms, and two to regular 1x1 hooks:

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The roof uses standard black slopes.  In this picture, you can also see the new 2x4 tiles:

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For size comparison, here is minifig next to the White House:

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And compared to something a little larger, a small dinosaur:

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Lastly, the extra pieces:

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Thoughts of this set:

This is my first Architecture set. I didn't plan to buy any of these models but have an admiration for Federal architecture, and of the history of the White House.  I do appreciate and applaud LEGO for offering these non-System/minifig scale buildings of historic landmarks.  At the same time, I do find that they are rather pricey - for the amount of small pieces contained in this and other Architecture sets.

The build isn't too fun, especially with the large number of 1x1 plates.  Nothing stood out for me, aside from adding the roof which neared the completion (no more tiny pieces!)

I find it interesting that this house is white and black vs. white and grey, or other lighter color.  As I said above, trans/smoked grey bricks would have made the windows look more realistic, but the finished model still looks nice.  A removable roof would have added a nice feature allowing one to add coins, dollar bills, or other little secret items.  As it is, the roof would be difficult to remove without causing significant damage to the walls. A printed 1x2 American flag tile or other colored tile (red or blue) would have added a nice contrasting detail rather than a 1x1 hook piece.  

In regard to other aspects of this set, I think the liftable box front and black color makes a nice collectable feature. The added history on the back of the box, picture of White House, and the additional history contained within the instruction booklet adds to the overall value.

For play, this set is a zero. From a historic and collectable stand-point, the set is quite nice.  For pieces, it's probably fair/average.  If I were to visit the Seattle Space Needle or the White House, and find one of these Architectue sets in the gift shop, it would make an awesome souvenir/keepsake. I will most likely display this set in my living room or even my desk at work, far away from my LEGO Train Town. While I would most likely buy this set again (from a collector's/historic standpoint), I'm still not completely sold on the Architecture theme, especially the larger/more expensive sets mainly because of the price and number of small elements. They offer little to no play value, so are incompatible with existing LEGO collections - unless you have a huge miniscale city.

My final vote - it's an average to slightly above average set (based on the historic aspect).  Share your thoughts.

Edited by WhiteFang, 12 July 2010 - 09:11 AM.
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#2 lightningtiger

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:21 AM

Thanks 'The Brickster' for this review - I think it's as good as Fallingwater. :classic:
Now just wait for the Independence Day MOC's to begin ! :devil:
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#3 prateek

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 12:37 AM

Nice review. I'm actually surprised that a set this small has 560 pieces, even though they are mostly tiny ones.

#4 VBBN

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 01:55 AM

A fine review Brickster! :wink:
A nice looking set indeed,
Though I've never cared much for Micro-scale sets, I think a UCS white house would be superb.

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#5 Spencer_R

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 03:25 AM

It looks to me that the black 1x1 technic brick "windows" are necessary to create the 1/2 stud inset of the windows, because they have a hollow top stud. You couldn't build it the same manner with a System brick.
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#6 KielDaMan

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 04:23 AM

Lovely review for a lovely set, great job The Brickster! The design of the White House is pretty simple but it's an ok architecture, pretty good for a lego display.

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#7 The Green Brick Giant

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 05:16 AM

Now get a UFO set and remake ID4.   :sweet:

#8 drdavewatford

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 11:12 AM

I agree with prateek - seeing the constructed model it's almost impossible to believe that it contains 560 pieces.

I like the Architecture theme, but I'm struggling to understand why the sets are priced at such a massive premium. OK, so there are a lot of pieces in the White House, Fallingwater etc., but they're mostly tiny.

I'll no doubt pick up this set when I'm next in Chicago and can visit one of the brand stores; this set isn't even available in the UK (right now, anyway) and the price of these Architecture sets works out even greater in pounds sterling. Then I'll just have to hope it doesn't get crushed on the flight home !!

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#9 I Scream Clone

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 11:50 AM

Nice review Brickster :thumbup: I was fortunate to see the unveiling of this beauty at Brickworld 2010, and whilst it is quite unique and nicely built, it isn't on my list. I agree with you on the parts usage too.

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#10 FROGG

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 03:22 PM

Overall this set is nice, but there are a few flaws. As mentioned previously, they should have included a printed American flag instead of the white clip piece. I didn't care for the lightsabre blades as columns in the front, they should have used 1x1 round bricks or something a little larger, since those columns are big in real life. I wasn't impressed with the base of the building. It felt kind of flimsy if you try to move the set and often times the tiled border would come loose while picking it up. I ended up adding black plates to cover everything below the building and make it a little more stable. I believe they had to use the 1x1 bricks with holes in them because normal 1x1 bricks wont connect with the 1x2 tiles with studs in the middle which is what was used for the 16 windows. I wouldn't say this set is on par with fallingwater since with fallingwater you can remove various parts of the house and insert them back in which was really cool.

#11 Brickdoctor

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:44 PM

Very nice but not worth 50 bucks for me. Thanks for the review!

#12 Dyson2972

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 04:47 AM

View Postlightningtiger, on 11 July 2010 - 12:21 AM, said:

Thanks 'The Brickster' for this review - I think it's as good as Fallingwater. :classic:
Now just wait for the Independence Day MOC's to begin ! :devil:
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

I was thinking a 2012 MOC.  A big wave with an aircraft carrier about to smash the White House.  :devil:

#13 WhiteFang

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 09:08 AM

This is a nice review and I am glad you did this to encourage me to get this. This is very likely to be my upcoming first Architecture set. I like the iconic design even though it's down to "micro" scale, but it could be a great monument in your tabletop City. It will be a nice addition. Thanks Brickster for sharing this with us.  :thumbup:

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#14 Svelte

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 09:44 AM

I loved Fallingwater, but this set doesn't impress. It doesn't capture the iconic view of the building, in my opinion. Actually if I saw it without the name I'd be hard pressed to recognise it. It may be accurate architecturally but it doesn't capture the feel of imposing height which is the way we usually see it.

#15 LegoDad42

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 05:10 PM

Great, thorough review. But the model is underwhelming for me. Love the idea of iconic buildings made into LEGO but this looks off to me. The roof's sloped too high. The columns look too thin. Just doesn't work IMHO.
What I do like about these architect models is that they give you a history and booklet...plus great packaging...but some of the models seem a bit off from their real life counterparts. The Guggenheim comes to mind as being off and Falling Water seems that way too (even though I like the model regardless).
Maybe some of these should be made to scale or in line with the Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal kits.

#16 Serengeti

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 06:22 PM

Seems very expensive for the amount of bricks.
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#17 Spencer_R

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 03:19 AM

View PostLegoDad42, on 12 July 2010 - 05:10 PM, said:

Maybe some of these should be made to scale or in line with the Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal kits.

With sets of those size and price, I don't think you could go through many of the retail distribution channels that the Architecture line is currently using (museums, gift shops, bookstores). It will be interesting to see how high (and large) they can go with the line. Fallingwater was a big jump from the $20 sets, but going beyond that may be challenging without fundamentally changing the entire business model.

Now that the Architecture sets are showing up in the catalog, at the LEGO stores, and are more prominently featured on the SAH website, perhaps that business model is evolving and becoming more mainstream?
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#18 Pile-of-Bricks

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 01:18 AM

I WANT THIS  :thumbup:

#19 smittyfan

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 11:45 PM

great review!! :thumbup:

actually i just picked it up at my 'not so local' Lego store at the mall...  :wink: just finished building it yesterday!! :grin: it's kinda cool, although i do agree a printed flag woulda been nice, and a removable roof...  :wink:  i'm already thinking of how to do that... :wink:

making the 16 'windows' was definitely the monotonous part of it... :sceptic:  it didn't take very long to do that, but it felt long... :sceptic: and yeah, the holed one stud brick seemed odd, at first, but then again, it's the only brick LEGO has created so far like it, that has a hollow stud top... :look:

i remember thinking the base seemed kinda flimsy for such a building, but as the model came together more, it seemed to get sturdier... a bit... :wink:  

and yeah, not much in the line of 'play value' unless you stage a 'terrorist attack', but ya gotta be careful what you do with the government the way it is these days...  :wink:  :tongue:

definitely a cool shelf model though!! :sweet:

now i'm thinking it'd be cool to have a Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial, to go with it to make a 'Presidental Architectural Series' :blush: wouldn't that be cool? :sweet:
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