Name: Mini Modulars
Theme: LEGO Exclusives
Price: 99.99 CAD / 79.99 USD
(A few people pointed out that it's a little cheaper in the states, so I changed it!)
This set is listed as a Feb 1st release on the Lego website, but I managed to get one from my local store just the other day! I wasn't planning on getting one, but they looked really nice in the store and bigger than I had expected - so I treated myself!
I am sure someone will come along and do a much better review shortly, but I hope that this will do until then!
Since everyone will spot this in the store easy from the front, here is a look at the back of the box:
And here is a close up of the completed set:
Quite nicely, each set comes in it's own bag, making it easy to tackle over a few different build sessions:
Here are all the parts for the first modular, the cafe corner. Excitingly, the set comes with a new brick separator. This will come in real useful if you place one of these small pieces wrongly!
I took this photo to show how hard it can be telling where to place some of the parts. The instructions were too dark for my liking.
Here is the front of the cafe. It's an odd way to tackle the design, but it looks instantly recognizable:
Here is the completed cafe, along with the spare parts from bag 1:
Bag 2 contains the only parts that I deemed to be of note - there are actually 4 of these 2x4 dark blue tiles:
Why oh why is this the only model in this set to ACTUALLY do this? This tiny set is MODULAR! That's right, the rest are very definitively single builds. This one allows you to actually remove and rotate like in the full sized set.
Bag three gets us started on the green grocer. I wasn't too thrilled about this build, but I did take a photo of the fire escape construction to show you all. I have no idea why it turned out like this though:
And here is the completed build along with the spare parts:
Getting started on bag 4 - the fire brigade is faithful to it's full sized build with several repetitive columns. Here is where I am finishing off the first floor:
And here is the somewhat inspired bell construction:
Finally, the finished build. You can't see it well here (scroll down, or be patient!), but the top of the bell tower looks VERY odd! Very much out of scale.
The final bag, and this includes lots of very nice trans-green parts:
I will touch on this at the end, but this shot shows the consideration that has gone into the design of this set by repeating smaller parts instead of including new, single pieces:
Here is the finished Emporium. We even get a second string!
This shot shows all the mini modulars together:
And the sexy lumberjack turns up to help us to compare the scale of them!
Design: 9/10 A LOT of work has gone into making this set. It was clearly a labour of love for someone, and it shows. There are small considerate touches throughout, such as the mine ice-cream stand out side the emporium. There are a few things that break scale, such as the window washers basket, and a few of the windows, but most of the set looks spectacular.
Parts: 6/10 There are quite a few parts, but there are issues. First of all, they are nothing special. These are all common parts, and other than the printed HOTEL tile and the new (?) dark blue tiles, these are all parts many of us will have in our sorted system already.
Secondly, each of the first three sets were missing a part. Now, I get it. We here all get it. The logistics of this set is incredible, each bag having a very different set of small pieces. I wasn't surprised when the first model had a missing bit. But for three of them too is a little egregious. I can only hope that mine was an outlier case. While I was able to go over and collect the part from my own collection, not everyone will be so lucky.
Build: 8/10 There are some wonderful, inspired parts to this build, especially where small steps are being recreated. But quite a few parts of the build are repetitive, and the only real challenge here is understanding the dark instructions.
FINAL FINAL THOUGHT:
I wish these were modular still. If they were just called Mini Modulars due to them re-creating the original sets I would be a little disappointed, but when the one set IS modular it really just shows you what you are missing.
Overall Score: 75%
At the end of the day, they are a wonderful little ornament. But this isn't something that people will be able to incorporate into their own towns, and while you could break it up and make something new as with all lego sets, it makes a poor parts pack for doing this.
The build was enjoyable, but only takes about 30mins per building. Once you have made the set, it becomes a $100 ornament. As such I have a bit of buyers remorse here. It looks great, but I could have done without it. I may consider selling mine.
Edited by Rufus, 28 April 2012 - 12:37 PM.