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10182 Cafe Corner Photo Review!


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#1 dunamis

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 07:55 AM

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Café Corner Reviewed by Dunamis

Set 10182
2056 Pieces
$139.95 from LEGO Retail Store (Glendale, CA)
Build time 5.0 hours



The Box:

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Interestingly, this is somewhat of a departure from the standard LEGO box we have seen in recent years.  Gone are the breakable perforated tabs and the lift-up top.  This box had four seals (two at each end) and re-sealable tabs at both ends of the box (think cereal box).  

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Also, it looks like the box art design has been updated.  For example, looking at the back of the box, the background has a light blue baseplate look to it.  I think this adds more of an �adult� feel to it, perhaps catering to the AFOL crowd.  Obviously, this set was not targeted to children given the price and somewhat advanced building techniques found inside.  The set does show 16+ for the age on the box.

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We do see one alternate model on the back of the box, plus the additional versions of the Caf� Corner that you can build with multiple copies of this set.

Inside the box, the parts are in only the sealed bags (no perforated bags). The two green baseplates are loose in the box along with the two manuals.  

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One of my manuals was pretty bent from being loose in the box.  Also, the bags are numbered (Yes!)


The Manual:

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Two manuals included and they had the typical nice features that we have come to expect lately

- Piece call outs for each step
- Parts inventory at the end of the manual
- Page numbers

I did have some major color separation issues in the first part of the build, specifically in trying to distinguish between black and dark bley.  Usually, these issues can be reconciled by the fact that you only have one color of the part in the set.  In this case, the manual calls for a dark 1x1 round plate and when you go to the parts, there are both dark bley and black.

Random manual photos
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Parts list
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Inspiration Model
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Otherwise, this is another fine effort from the LEGO manual designers.


The Pieces:

All I can say is wow!  There is a huge assortment of parts and range of colors in this set.  Bricks, plates, tiles, slopes, windows � it�s all there and lots of them.  I love the use of the deep blue, brown and dark red colors.  Very nice selection.  

Looking for trans-red 1x1 plates?  How about some 1x1 tiles in white? You have come to the right place.

Also, AFOLs must be dancing in the streets to see not one but TWO female minifigs!  Very nice indeed (see the photo):

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I suppose some will complain that we need more minifigs in a set of this size (and cost) and I agree it would have been nice to have a couple of more.  But adding a 4 or 5 more minifigs from your existing minifig stash is pretty easy or at the very least a bricklink order away�

I do have a minor complaint about the windows (this was also mentioned in the BrickJournal article).  The manufacturing process that creates the clear window panes leaves a noticeable circle in the middle of the window (see the photo).  

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Also noteworthy is the red bike, frogs and grapes:

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Finally, there has been some concern with the quality of parts and the consistency of colors recently.  I mentioned the clear panes above, but I also found more of the circles on some other bricks as well.  This seemed to be more on some colors than others.  Notice the circles in the studs on the dark red pieces below:

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I also did see some of the color difference that some other posters have mentioned.  You can see it in the brown bricks in the walls shown in this photo (far left):

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I�m not sure what to make of this.  The circles on the studs do not impact building, but the color consistency issue is noticeable.  Hopefully, it is manageable and we won�t see it continue in other sets.  LEGO has always been of the highest quality and it would be a shame to start sacrificing quality to increase profits.


The Build:

Well, it is kind of tedious right out of the gate.  You�ve got a zillion of these little 1x1 tiles in multiple colors to put down in a pattern and it just took me a while (kind of like how it takes me an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes.)  There is a lot of tile work as you can see from the photo:

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Also, getting each little tile straight is kind of a chore.  Some of mine are a bit crooked which is why (at the request of my wife) I hired someone to retile the floor and counters in my kitchen.

After that, the build is really straightforward and flows nicely.  I mentioned the color issue in the manual, but otherwise that is it.  The first book covers the first floor and the 2nd book is floors two and three.  The second book definitely moves a lot faster.  One interesting building step on the second floor called for 90 pieces (60 modified bricks and 30 tiles)!  Obviously, due to the nature of the model some of the steps are a bit repetitive, but it is still pretty fun.

Here are a few photos of interim building stages:

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The Design:

I can�t say enough about the amazing design of this model.  As soon as I saw the pictures of this set, I HAD to have it.  It is really that good.  This is what the AFOL community has been asking for and LEGO delivered.  There are some really interesting design techniques used in this set like the angled corner, hotel sign, arch above the front door, etc.  For me, these are really inspirational and I really enjoy building sets that use these techniques.

As you probably already know, this set is modular in a couple of different ways.  
- You can add additional floors going up to make a taller building.
- You can add buildings on either side to make a city block.

Ideally, if this set sells well (which by all early indications it will), The LEGO Company will release additional buildings.  No doubt the AFOL MOC community is on overdrive right now cranking out compatible buildings.  I can�t wait to see the brickshelf galleries of this in a month or two.

Also, I was glad to see the choice of color to come into the design decision.  It would have been easy to just have all three floors be the same color scheme.  I�m really glad the decision was made to have each floor be a different color scheme and building style that still flowed together and looks nice.  That is part of the appeal of the set in my opinion.

There has been discussion about the interior (or lack thereof) of the building.  Personally, I don�t see this as a huge issue.  It won�t take much to slap together a serviceable interior from any spare parts and the more industrious builders out there would want to customize anything LEGO gave us anyway.

There is a working staircase that takes you from the door on the outside to the second and third floors.  Notice the banisters in the photos above.  Again, the detail and thought put in to this set is outstanding.

Finally, I noticed that in many cases the design uses more smaller bricks were used instead of fewer larger bricks, i.e. four 1x2 bricks instead of one 1x8 brick.  I suspect this is a function of the Creator line as it gives a lot more flexibility in building other models from the same parts inventory.

Note that there were no stickers in this set.

And here are some additional photos.  

Interesting building technique in the photo below:
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Notice the circles on the windows below:
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Nice exterior shots:
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And here is what is left over:
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Overall Thoughts:

Wonderful set.  A must-buy for any AFOL and will probably be a finalist for set of the year.  This set will be permanently displayed in my office. The level of detail is incredible and will capture the attention of people passing by.

One thought is that perhaps LEGO could make the parts for the second floor available in a service pack for purchase so that people who want to add floors but don�t want to purchase a second set.

LEGO has really stepped it up in the last couple of years across all the lines and this is a great example.  It seems that LEGO has also listened to the needs and wants of the community and responded well.  As I understand, the financials for The LEGO Company look really good this year and hopefully they recognize this as a function of listening to the AFOL community.

Lastly, I hope the manufacturing quality control issues get worked out.  There is definitely a decrease in the color consistency especially in brown and a little in light bley.


Final Rating: 96%

Build 9/10 (Pretty quick for the number of pieces. Laying tile was a little tedious.)
Functionality 10/10 (It is a great foundation for more buildings to come.  Added bonus is the modularity of the set.)
Design 10/10 (Outstanding)
Parts 9/10 (Excellent.  Would like to have seen more minifigs included�)
Price 10/10 (The price ratio is great & amazing color selection.  You get what you pay for�)


As usual, I welcome your comments, suggestions, complaints, etc.  Let me know what you think.

If you want other photos, let me know as well and I'll post them.
So much LEGO, so little time...

#2 Hinckley

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 07:58 AM

All right, all right! I'll buy it already. Yeesh!

Thanks for the great review!

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#3 Brick Miner

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:53 AM

8-  look at that picture of 6 together...  wow !!!

its like i want to put my entire current collection of LEGOs on BrickLink...  sell everything i got, and get 12 of these for a complete city block !!!  then start saving in case more of these babies are coming...

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actually, when you get the 6 together, you really start getting close to the framework of early chicago skyscraper architecture.  the two bottom stories and the top story are unique, then the middle stories make the body and are more monotonous.  nice.

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#4 Dark Brick

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 09:21 AM

Dunamis, thanks for the great review of this incredible set. As pointed out in another thread, the colors are a bit off, but that does not deter from the overall model by the looks of your pictures.

I knew earlier on that I would be getting this set no matter what, now this is clear more than ever. Your review is clear and concise, you pointed out the pros and the cons, and I will also agree that TLC could have added 2 more figures to the set as well.

Regardless of anything else, the price is definitely right at $139.99US for all those pieces that come with it. Although at this point buying more than one set is really pointless. Other than that I wonder if the next building will be just as interesting, it would be great to know if we can mix and match the floors with the different buildings to come(if and when each arrives). Cheers!


DB

#5 xenologer

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 09:38 AM

Thanks,
how is the diagonal front doorway and steps attached?

#6 Hobbes

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 09:54 AM

Thanks for the review, dunamis, and the effort you put in it. A pleasure reading a review like that  *y*


I have to say, though, that I am bothered by the (few) bad quality parts. This is getting worse and worse. Look at the glasses, that's horrible  :-X I resent spending about 130-140 Euro on that.

I'm building 8289 at the moment and I have discolorations there, too. Not too many but they're there. They're everywhere. I haven't bought a set in the last 18 months where this wasn't the case. This is poor quality management. Period. I don't care what it looks like, I know that there's discolored or bad quality parts in it and I'll always know...

If I see more pictures with quality concerns turn up I'll think twice about buying it, at least at full price...

This is really becoming a nuisance  >:-(

#7 Ickelpete

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:12 AM

Thanks for another great review Dunamis *y*

Lets hope Lego can sort the colour issues although I dont think it spoils this set.

I am eagerly awaiting my delivery from S@H I hope it comes soon :'-(

#8 ImperialJohn

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:19 AM

View PostHobbes, on Mar 17 2007, 10:54 AM, said:

I have to say, though, that I am bothered by the (few) bad quality parts. This is getting worse and worse. Look at the glasses, that's horrible  :-X I resent spending about 130-140 Euro on that.

I'm building 8289 at the moment and I have discolorations there, too. Not too many but they're there. They're everywhere. I haven't bought a set in the last 18 months where this wasn't the case. This is poor quality management. Period. I don't care what it looks like, I know that there's discolored or bad quality parts in it and I'll always know...

If I see more pictures with quality concerns turn up I'll think twice about buying it, at least at full price...

This is really becoming a nuisance  >:-(
But did you ever complain to LEGO?
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#9 Hobbes

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:30 AM

View PostImperialJohn, on Mar 17 2007, 10:19 AM, said:

But did you ever complain to LEGO?
Ever? They probably have me on their "annoying customers list" if they have something like that...

#10 casewindu

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:48 AM

i have to get this set and it would be amazing to get 6 (i probably wont though  :-( )

i an glad to see normal original smileys back i am getting a bit tired of those cheesy fire-men grins!  :-D

great review very pursuasive!  ;-)

i cant wait to mod up that inside!

#11 natelite

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:54 AM

marvelous. but no first edition tag. i think i will wait until i get my MFs then use the loyalty points for this. ;-)

it is becoming a pricy hobby. but hopefully with more fans joining, there will be an endless of fans out there to keep going! now i cant wait to see what they come up with next.

#12 Asuka

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 12:35 PM

Thank you for that great review of a really marvelous AFOL set!  *y*
Those building techniques used in this set are superb, its like a dream came true.
For these windows, they look like those from the 4856 Doc Ocks Hideout, and there
where no circles on them.... And that color problem is very annoying.... especially if
you want to use that bricks for something different than a building.... The set is beautiful,
and Im grateful to LEGO for giving this baby to us, but its not cheap also and quality
should be delivered to us as well as ingeniousness.  :-/
Now Im waiting for the 40+ sets to come....  :-P
EDIT: Upsy-daisy. In 4856 there are of course fine circles in the outer corners of the windows - not disturbing at all....

#13 Norro

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:02 PM

Thanks for the great review! One question: What is the percent bley in this set, just a guesstimate? Thanks much!

        God Bless,

                Nathan
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#14 Ickelpete

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:42 PM

View PostNorro, on Mar 17 2007, 01:02 PM, said:

Thanks for the great review! One question: What is the percent bley in this set, just a guesstimate? Thanks much!

        God Bless,

                Nathan

If you want to see whats in the set checkout Peeron Here for a full inventory

#15 Bonaparte

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:50 PM

Thanks for this great review! I enjoyed reading it.

View PostHobbes, on Mar 17 2007, 10:54 AM, said:

Thanks for the review, dunamis, and the effort you put in it. A pleasure reading a review like that  *y*
I have to say, though, that I am bothered by the (few) bad quality parts. This is getting worse and worse. Look at the glasses, that's horrible  :-X I resent spending about 130-140 Euro on that.

I'm building 8289 at the moment and I have discolorations there, too. Not too many but they're there. They're everywhere. I haven't bought a set in the last 18 months where this wasn't the case. This is poor quality management. Period. I don't care what it looks like, I know that there's discolored or bad quality parts in it and I'll always know...

If I see more pictures with quality concerns turn up I'll think twice about buying it, at least at full price...

This is really becoming a nuisance  >:-(

These color issues are really bothering me.
I just send a complaint to TLC via their website. I also asked what the cause is of these color problems.
In the past they always responded (the answer was not always useful however), so let's see what their response will be...

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#16 El Bucanero

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 02:11 PM

I'd love to have 6 of those. Beautiful set!
But I'll get 1 for sure... Don't know when..
Very useful review, thanks! *y*

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#17 captaintau

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 02:23 PM

As an ardent Star Wars fan, I don't normally look to Town/City but recnet talk of this set made me curious. What can I type?

Absolutely brilliant review - thanks! *y*

And a fantastic set. If I had the money and space, even I would get it!

#18 oo7

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 03:23 PM

View Postdunamis, on Mar 17 2007, 03:55 AM, said:

Also, AFOLs must be dancing in the streets to see not one but TWO female minifigs!  Very nice indeed (see the photo):
Ahha! They managed to sneak J.K. into the very European Cafe!

Thanks for the nice review, Mr. Dunamis! I'm sure many people will be happy about those classic smiles too. Haven't seen those in a while, alothough personally, I like the unique decorated faces alot more.

I have to buy this set........now I have to continue my hunt for the money.

My only complaint would be those white umbrellas are way too small. And the green baseplate. Thanks again for the review!
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#19 dunamis

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 04:17 PM

Thanks everyone for all the feedback.

View Postxenologer, on Mar 17 2007, 09:38 AM, said:

Thanks,
how is the diagonal front doorway and steps attached?

It is done with 2x2 turntables on the top and bottom of each section of each floor.  The adjacent pieces hold the angled front at a 45 degree angle.  Pretty slick really.  I can take a photo of the manual if you need further explanation.

View PostNorro, on Mar 17 2007, 01:02 PM, said:

Thanks for the great review! One question: What is the percent bley in this set, just a guesstimate? Thanks much!

Dark and light bley combined I'd guess is 15-20%.  The inventory is up on peeron (that was quick) and they list it as dark and light stone.
So much LEGO, so little time...

#20 RocketMan

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 04:28 PM

dunamis, thanks a lot for this detailed review, that covered everything of interest - and more!
It truly makes me happy I ordered this set.

(If only S@H were to ship it, it's been over two days since I submitted the order - no shipping confirmation yet. Is it just me or have they gotten slower?)

#21 Norrington

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 06:06 PM

View PostNorro, on Mar 17 2007, 07:02 AM, said:

Thanks for the great review! One question: What is the percent bley in this set, just a guesstimate? Thanks much!

        God Bless,

                Nathan

Did you just say guesstimate? GAAAHHHH!!! I hate the word 'guesstimate'!!!
Just returned from a 3 or so year dark age, so just getting back into the swing of things. :)

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#22 mutley777

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 07:22 PM

A great review dunamis! What a stunning set this really is! I am not a city/town fan but who could not find this set appealing. My only problem is not with the set at all but the fact that for the same money i can get vaders UCS tie  *wub* (which i don't have) and another battle pack and still have change. :-/

#23 Dark Brick

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:23 PM

So I just got back from a LEGO retail store near me and man was it crowded. When I was in there, I got a chance to see the Cafe Corner, built as a display. The manager knows me now pretty well, so we were discussing the flaws in the product, mainly the color issue.

I have to say that she did not even know about these problems. So she asked if I would like to take a closer look at the model that was on display. Now I can definitely confirm the different shades in the colors that dunamis wrote about in his review. So is this a production problem that someone just ignored in the QA department?! The clear plastic window pieces also had the bubble as well.

After a few more words with her, I came to my own conclusion about this set. In the BrickJournal 7 interview, it was mentioned that this was modeled after buildings ciraca 1920's-30's. The different shades of the colors might actually go well for this set due to the time setting.

Although I am not advocating that TLC should just send out crap to make a profit, but in the case of this set, the flaw can actually be seen as a boon to the model as it would be seen if you walked down a street corner in those days.

Basicly if you feel so strongly about the colors being wrong, then just do not purchase this item. As for the rest of us, I guess writing to LEGO and finding out what the deal is with the issue would be the first step. I for one am more concerned with the clear window pieces having that bubble(I wonder if TLC was aiming for the mafia look about the windows :-P ).

To conclude I did purchase mine, but I also saved $25 with coupons and such, so that helped lessen some of the cost of the set, not to mention I got another gift card. Cheers!


DB

#24 alex54

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:16 PM

Thanks for your review Dunamis!
The problem of colors is really disapointing, I agree. Like those circle in the glass-windows, so sad!
I can't wait to have it! I know that the postman will come during the week. But I work, so I will wait until the next saturday for keeping my set in my local poste office. It will be hard to wait in such conditions...

I think that TLC have made a really great work with this set (expect from the quality aspect). In fact, it appeals to a lot of non city-afols! It's the first time that I see so many pirate and star wars afol in a city topic :-D  So welcome to the best section of Eurobricks!

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#25 5150 Lego

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 10:17 PM

Great review dunamis! I now feel more confident about have dropping the dough for this set!

I have an idea. I was thinking about building the set on some road base plates. interection, and 2 straights. This way you could have a place to park cars on the side of the street, or even set up a fire scene. I think this will really give off a good feeling a an actuall street scene. What do you guys think? I should have mine by tuesday, so i might give this a try.
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