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Review: 21007 Rockefeller Center

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#1 Darth Dino

Darth Dino

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 01:55 PM

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as photographer, great fan of New York and its architecture and AFOL
as well the Lego Architecture Set 21007 Rockefeller Center seems to
me to be a must have. I also have been there many times including the
famous “Top of the Rock” observation platform – so there is no
hesitation from my side. But i am sure there are many of you out
there been interested in this set but not 100% convinced to get it.
Although it is a set from 2010 there are no reviews of this set at
Eurobricks right now. Time to change that:

Review: 21007 Rockefeller Center

Set Information:

Name: Rockefeller Center
Number: 21007
Theme: Architecture (Landmark Series)
Release: 2010
Parts: 240 (Bricklink) and 3 Extra Items
Price: EUR 39.90, USD 39.90

The Box:

The front shows the common design of today’s Architecture boxes:
with black background and prductshot on a building plan.
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The back shows a photograph of the real building and gives some
additional information.
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As special we get an “explosion” render on the side of the box.
It shows the whole model and gives us a first idea how many small
parts are used.
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If you open the black box from the front side you will get
greetings in form of well known phrase “Enjoy your building
experience”. That is exactly I am going to do! You will also
mention three bags (medium, small and smallest parts) but now
unsealed parts – I welcome that! Beside the bags there is the
obvious instruction on high quality paper.
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You only got three main colors: black for the stand, light bluish
grey for the basement/pavement and tan for the buildings. The fouth
color is the rare pearl gold, but there are only two 1x1 round
plates of them.

The Parts:

The big bag shows you mostly plates, a couple of smaller bricks
and long 6x1 and 8x1 tiles.
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The content of the medium bag contains a nice bunch of 2x1 tan
tiles, tan jumpers and 1x1 tan bricks with two studs on their
sides. There are also the unique printed 6x1 black tiles with
the Rockefeller and Center printing.
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With the small bag comes some 1x1 tiles in light bluish grey and
tan, 1x1 and 1x2 tan plates and two (one is extra) 1x1 round pearl
gold plates. I made all three parts images with the same scale
that you can see easily how many parts are in and which dimensions
they have.
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Overall there are 243 Parts (240+3), but many of them are small
or very small (1x1 tiles, 1x1 and 1x2 plates). No wonder they are
all together only 160 grams (5.6 oz or 0.35 lb). Compared to that
the Lego 5512 box (4+, generic brick box) contains 1600 parts at
+2 kgs for a similar price tag (40 €).


Like the box, this is in landscape format. There are a couple
of (high quality paper) pages that show the history of the
building complex. E.g. it is mentioned that the well known
“construction workers sitting unsecured on a beam at lunch”
originated when they build the tallest building (former RCA,
now GE building).
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The random instruction page shows you always the piece callout,
red surrounded parts for better differentiation and renderings of
substeps. Sometimes there are steps where you have to place ~20
pieces, and sometimes only a single 4x1 tan plate, followed by
another single 4x1 tan plate. It seems to me they had to fill
empty pages.
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The Build:

As real buildings you start from the bottom. The basement is
13x12 studs wide and shows the Rockefeller Plaza right in the
center. That is the place where the skating rink is in winter.
Like the real skating rink its level is deeper than the pavement.
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Step two adds tan for the buildings (only one parts is in light
bluish grey) and grey for the walkways between them. The small
pearl gold 1x1 round plate symbolizes the golden Prometheus
Statue – bringing the sacred fire to man – and rare colors to AFOLs.
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Step three shows the jumperwork. This is necessary because the
real building is highly interlaced.
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Step four shows the finished buildings along the W48th Street
(south side).
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Step five adds the 70 stories high GE Building (former RCA
Building). The snotwork captures the shape of the building
very well. When closing my eyes I can see myself taking photos
from “Top of the Rock”, the (most?) famous observation platform.
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Step six adds the missing buildings along the W51st Street
(north side). The Radio Music Hall is in the rear right building.
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Building and photography takes more than one hour together. I am
sure fast builders that do not follow the “Enjoy your building
experience” rule can be much faster. But maybe not that fast:
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The Complete Set:

The Lego model of the Rockefeller Center building complex is
easy to recognize for those that know the real buildings. But
maybe it is not that iconic that non-visitors know what it is
like. My wife for example did not know what it should represent,
although half of my house is full of New York photographs
(including the Rockefeller Center).
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Nevertheless it is very detailed for the scale. I also like to
way it produces shadows on the other buildings and add so more
detail and realism. But is miss grillie tiles for the front of
the GE Builsing to add virtual windows.
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The bird’s eye view will get a look at the plaza and the Prometheus
Statue surrounded by the buildings. They all together never
look dull because of the individual but related design of each
building. I am glad Lego did this set as “Rockefeller Center”
and not only as “GE Building”.


My last time I have been there plus making photos, I took not care
to get all buildings together on a single picture. But this one
shows in a good way how Lego reproduced the assembly levels of
the GE Building both on the front and on the sides. In the front
of the picture you see the Prometheus Statue and the skating rink.
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It is a wonder, 80 years ago, they did most of the buildings
exactly Lego did today!


Design: 9 - Unless someone did it better in the same
scale it must be a 10, but is see some space for improvement
(grillie tiles). It is also easy to recognize.

Build: 9 - Only the main building build was a bit repetitive.
Lego surprisingly often uses jumper constructions where only one
(of two) stud is connected to the next level. Nevertheless it is
well connected and do not fall off easily.

Parts: 8 – nothing special, beside the pearl gold plate.
If you like tan, this is a set for you.

Value: 8 – it is a 2 or 1 if you do not value the work Adam
Reed Tucker spent into designing this model. It is very expensive
just looking at the parts (243) or grams (160) you get. As mentioned
a pure part pack (5512) is 15 times heavier and has 7 times more
parts for the same price tag. But I care about the designers work
and I am willing to spend money on that. I think every Architecture
customer is doing that too.

Overall: 9/10. I care more about the design and the whole
building process than on money. That is what Architecture sets are
made for - to “Enjoy your building experience”.

Enjoy the reading too and thank you for all the comments.

The difference of men and boys is the price of their toys.

#2 legolijntje


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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:09 PM

Nice review. but even better photos  :oh: That are really good photos  :thumbup:
But not only the photos are good, also the text is very well done. No unnecessary text.

I have only one little thing; on the first photo of "the complete set", it looks like it's not very straight  :tongue:

BTW; I added this to Brickset  :wink:

Edited by legolijntje, 13 May 2012 - 03:11 PM.

#3 Rufus


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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:53 PM

Thanks for the lovely review with such beautiful pictures!  :wub:

And it fills a hole in the Architecture Review Index.  :excited:

You should consider joining the Reviewers Academy:  with pictures like this, you'll sail through. :wink:

#4 WhiteFang


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Posted 13 May 2012 - 04:51 PM

Outstanding review!  :thumbup:

As what Rufus had mentioned, you ought to give the Reviewers Academy a shot. With skills like yours, I am sure it will be a breeze for you. I enjoyed your images and your animated gif to show the building process is a nice touch. Well done and I thank you for sharing it with us.

Also, added a poll in this review.  :wink:

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#5 Darth Dino

Darth Dino

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:32 PM


@legolijntje: Yes you are right, the GE building is in some images not 100% straight. A small tile or plate has fallen onto the "streets" ;) I had to put ky large King-Kong-ish fingers through the buildings to get the missing part. That might be a reason for the bent building. But i had seen it not before i "closed my photostudio". Everything was completely disassembeled :( It would cost me an hour or so to redo the shot.

@ Rufus and Whitefang: Thank you for the kinds comments on my photography. I really care about that. Unfortunately doing a review, even for such a small set, is very time consuming. If i have time to do so, i better spent it into a new review than onto the Reviewers Academy. Sorry i do not want to sound arrogant or similar - i am no native englsih speaker - but i did commercialized macro product photography since 2001. I still know there is ever improvement on ANY image possible, but it is also a question of time. If i had to setup the lightning and background for 1-2 hours to review a 1 hour set (building time) there is something wrong ;) Unlike some others (i have seen that) i do not have a permanent photobooth for macros. Right now i am more into people and architecture ;)

On the other hand: do not expect much reviews for me in the near future. I promised some day to do a review on the Lego 8466 Offroader. This set is huge and i was not able to to the photography for all the building steps. I better kept building it with my son, than caring about the right light ;) The only change to do a review again would be a smaller set that out of production, because all new sets are review by the "real freaks traveling to London to do a comparison" - even before it is released! :)


Edited by Darth Dino, 13 May 2012 - 10:32 PM.

The difference of men and boys is the price of their toys.

#6 Solscud007


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Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:33 PM

You should put a small green cone ontop of the gold circle. Then it could be the Rockefeller Xmas tree.

#7 Roger Rabbit

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:17 PM

Great review of a great set, and absolutely stunning photos!!

This is actually a pretty special set for me, as I got it in the Lego Brand store in Rockefeller Centre on a trip to New York, which means I can point out exactly where I got it on the model (something which very few people can say about Lego models)!

Well done on a brilliant review.

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