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Holodoc

[Review] 21042 Statue of Liberty + Comparison + Pimp Guide

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“Liberty enlighting the world”
(Official name of the Statue of Liberty)

This year we see the wonderful 21042 Statue of Liberty hitting the shelves. With this set, you will receive a world-wide known icon of architecture and the symbol for enlightment and freedom. In LEGO bricks. :sweet:


Wait!

Haven't there been other sets of the Statue of Liberty? How many actually? And what has Captain Salazar got to do with this set? *huh*

Well, read on to find out!

Facts
Theme: Architecture
Year: 2018
Parts: 1685
RRP: 89,99 GBP, 119,99 USD or 99,99€ (more on the price later)

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The set comes in the well-known architecture boxes: Harder cardboard with a flip to open and close it again without damaging the box. On the front you see the LEGO model itself on the back it is compared to the real Statue. On the sides you find a lattice model of the set and a small photo of the instructions combined with a notice that you’ll find details in English inside the booklet.

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There isn’t all too much space left when you open the box. It contains 10 polybags, two for each step and the three red technic links which come unpacked.

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I especially like the small note inside the box! It’s all what the real Statue stands for and what somehow got lost in politics nowadays…
(Yeah, Trump – read this!)


The parts
Bags "1"
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Bags "2"
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Bags "3"
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Bags "4"
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Bags "5"
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This is tan and sand green parts galore! :wub_drool:
If you don’t buy it for the set itself, buy it for the parts – it’s a giant tan and sand green parts pack! 485 elements come in sand green, and even 784 in tan. That’s 28,7% sand green and 46,5% tan!
Most of the other colors are hidden inside the statue - 95% of the final build is visible in these two colors mentioned above.

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And you get some nice and rare parts with it.
The bricks to the left are unique in their colors – 17 different ones! :wub:
The numbers show the amount of bricks included in the set. For instance there are 8 double convex slopes in tan, or one pentagonal (Nexus shield) tile (superfluous, but more on that later), 18 1x1 tiles where I was surprised to realize they hadn’t been made in sand green yet.:oh:  Which also counts for the ‘double cheese’ and 2x2 round plate.

The parts to the left are rare parts which can be found in less than 5 other sets. And still 12 parts belong to this group! So altogether you will get 185 unique bricks and 120 rare ones! :wub_drool: Can it get any better?
Have you ever had a set that contains so many rare and new parts? I don’t recall anything alike, but correct me if I’m wrong.

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A few words on the booklet: Nothing really special, it's the usual high-level booklet that can be expected in Architecture sets and this one doesn't disappoint! 184 pages with a nice intro on the history and some lovely photos of the Statue.
I like that small remarks on details are added on some spots in the building process as well as the wireframe models of other Architecture models.

The build

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With the five steps of building you will get to these points:
1)    The base and the lower 3rd of the pedestal
2)    The middle part of the pedestal
3)    The top section of the pedestal plus reinforcement for the statue
4)    The inner part of the Statue
5)    The outer finish

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the footprint
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I won’t discuss the build extensively, just a few notes. This set includes heavy use of snot building and some really clever techniques in between (see the 'boat bottom' round plates on photo above)! It’s a joyful build almost all the way with one minor exception:

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When it comes to put the edges of the pedestal together it’s a tad repetitive and fiddly altogether. You have to stack 1x1 plates with 1x1 round plates. Or 3 1x1 round plates on a 2x2 corner plate. Not once but 64 times…  :hmpf:
But it looks really incredible and the final result is simply fantastic!

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Short before the pedestal is finished you’ll find a very clever way to put a roof above the exits to the balcony. It works by click hinging the structure! In result the roof is a bit overemphasized (an offset jumper plate would have done), but nevertheless cleverly made.

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And the final model receives more stability with the mentioned red technic links. They keep the Statue itself linked (!) to the pedestal. So if you dare, you can turn the Statue upside down and shake it and it won’t fall off the pedestal. Not really necessary if you ask me, but I won’t complain here.
So after having finished step three you see the red structure protruding from the foundation. It will later be locked with a 1x3 axle to the yellow technic brick.

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After step 4 there is almost plain SNOT building left to do. You can clearly see it from the photo above. A lot of submodels using the curved slopes have to be assembled and then put to the snotted core.

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When you are finished you will have a very elegant and sleek rendition of the Statue of Liberty!
The pedestal as well as the statue itself is what can be achieved with the existing Lego elements today: Very, very detailed and close to the original. I’m in love. :wub::wub::wub:


But is it all good?
Sadly no, but the criticism is on a real high level.
There are some more or less flaws:

  •  First of all the face is really ridiculous! The flat Nexo shield for a face? Wow! An engineering masterpiece… :hmpf:

But that can be easily changed. There are some different options you can find on the web, I show you four different approaches to improve the face. The good thing: All of these mods can be made with the parts provided in the set!

 

  1.    44099819735_46cdc152d7_n.jpg
    Exchange the Nexo shield with a 1x2 tile and with 2 round slopes with cutout.
  2.    44099819215_ce7ec8efe8_n.jpg
    See 1, but use a double-cheese instead of the 1x2 tile
  3.    44099818765_a4ab525598_n.jpg
    See 2, but put on the double-cheese upside down
  4.    43199292820_0bd76340e0_n.jpg
    Replace the shield according to an idea of Jason Allemann (http://jkbrickworks.com/). The result reminds me of the Moai on the Easter Islands (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moai) though. :laugh:
    220px-Moai_Rano_raraku.jpg

I for myself chose option 1.
But where do you get the needed parts? It’s very simple, because the needed parts can easily be exchanged on the statue itself.

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If you want to get rid of the nexo shield, turn the statue 180° around and on the lower back you can easily replace it with a 1x2 tile and the needed two round slopes with cutout.

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If you choose version 2 or 3, you can use one of the 1x2 cheese parts from the right side and replace it with the previously gathered 1x2 tile. Viola!

  • Second fail is the length of the statue's right arm! And you instantly see it from the comparison photo on the box! :hmpf::look:On the real Statue the arm makes approximately 21% of the height of the statue, but in this LEGO version it’s just 13%! So the arm should be at least one brick longer.

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To change that I added a 1x2 brick, 12x2 plate and a 2x2 tile in sand green to the model. You have to take the parts off your collection though, they are not from the set!

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To apply the modifications, take the arm off the model at the hinge,
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remove the 1x2 tile to the front and the curved slope to the back and add the brick above the 1x2 plate.

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The 1x2 tile to the front side has got to be replaced with the 2x2 tile version and the 1x2 plate underneath the 2x2 curved slope with the 2x2 plate.

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Add the 1x2 tile on top and here you are!

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  • For my taste (and not only mine) the neck is too long. But you only have to replace a 2x2 round plate with a 2x2 plate and you’re done!

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  • The tablet in the left hand is definitely not at the right angle. Here, a 1x2 jumper plate will do all the change: Just add it on top of the hinge brick.

The final score
With all that changes made, the set is a perfect 10, for the set as-is:
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So how does it compare to the other models – and how many have been made?
I myself was really surprised to realize that we can talk about an amazing sum of 7 (seven!) models TLC has officially made, this new one included! :oh:
I knew the iconic 3450 from the landmark series and some others, but I never thought it were so many.
Let’s have a closer look at all the sets.


The smallest of all seven is the one which hardly can be any smaller – well, if you not just use one 1x1 plate in tan with a round plate in sand green on top. :wink:

  • Architecture 21028 – New York City, released 2016, 49,99€, 45 parts (complete set 598 parts)
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For better comparison I split the submodel and added a few extra pieces to create a smooth edge to the right. It shows the normal architecture black front, some trans clear water tiles, a few olive green tiles to represent the island with a tan star-like arrangement for the fort and pedestal, crowned with a simple sand green microfig on top. The microfig otherwise can only be found in Ninjago City.
Very simple, yet effective and instantly recognisable! :thumbup:
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  • Creator 40026 Statue of Liberty Polybag, released 2012, 4,99$ (only at LEGO Store NY and TRU in the US), 39 parts30098585907_67295f10b3_n.jpg

This is one of the typical polybags only some LEGO stores sell (in this case sold), because it represents some local building or surrounding. It’s made of pretty basic bricks, nothing really unusual here, except for the green minifig head which is unique to this set! The big let-down is, that TLC chose to use green instead of the more appropriate sand green. :hmpf: Additionally the set may be recognisable, but still is not a set you put on your window shelf to show off. I would rather not talk about the pedestal at first, but the torso and the arm holding the torch could be so much better.
It still is a hard-to-come-by set, because of its limited availability. It’s currently selling at BL for 13+€ (avg. price).
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  • Collectible Minifigs 8827 – Statue of Liberty, CMF Series 6, released 2012, 2,99€, 7 parts

 

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I added extra pieces for better comparability to add a pedestal and surrounding according to supermariolego’s MOC on flickr.
That aside, the minifig is as perfect as it can get when you want to represent the Statue in a minifigure way. Even the 1x2 tile is printed with July, 4th 1776 (independence day) :wub:. Almost all of the sand green parts are unique, except for the torch.
This 'set' is even more wanted: BL average price is 18+€.

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  • Pick a model 3850011 – Statue of Liberty, available 2016 in New York brand stores, 4,99$, 58 parts
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Now we AFOL have to stay calm. I don’t know how to say it. What is it exactly? A test? An effrontery? :hmpf_bad::sick:
Until this review I didn’t even know it existed.
Anyway, it’s in the lists and it represents the Statue of Liberty so take a deep breath and read on.
Nothing extraordinary about the build: 90% Standard bricks, but seven of the rare sand green 1x1 with two side studs! And at least it’s sand green. It’s a more comical interpretation of the original and you can decide yourself, if you can get your hands on either 40026 or this one (both were originally sold for the same price) what you prefer.

Note: I don’t own the ‘original’ set, but reconstructed it with own parts. Therefore I had to borrow some of the parts from other models… :innocent:

Finally I decided how to call this edition: An ‘architectural Mixel’. :tongue:

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All four small sets next to each other:

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  • Factory 5526 – Skyline, released 2005, 130$, 672 parts for the pedestal, 409 for the statue, making it 1081 for the submodel, complete set 2792 parts [BL] / 2727 [BS]
    43199306370_6a7a8d687f.jpg5526-1.jpg?200507190512

Here is another ‘unsual’ set you might be unaware of. Once again the statue is part of a bigger set which also contains other buildings, a harbour, a highway tram and some vehicles, all at microscale. I don’t know if it’s true, but it looks like a predecessor/test-balloon for the Architecture series which started in 2008.

The statue really stands out of the complete set, it’s the only submodel with a real example, the rest of the set is not inspired by something you would recognize and therefore pure rubbish. :sadnew: I don’t think this set sold well for exactly this reason.

But looking just at the statue I think it was fairly well made for the time it was released. It was the time when LEGO struggled with sales going down, it was the time of Belville, Clickits and Alpha Team. Need I say more? Of course it’s blocky, especially when compared to this year’s statue. But a lot of parts used for the 2018 rendition simply did not exist. Once again too bad they used green instead of the sand version. Still a nice statue to have on the shelf – until now.

It’s almost exactly the same scale like 21042 which makes comparison very easy.

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What’s the better set? Easy and obvious decision: Detail, colors, parts used – all speaks for the new set, 5526 is almost destructively defeated by 21042.

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Save the best for last:

  • Advanced models 3450 – Statue of Liberty, released 2000, 199$, 2882 parts
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I bet my head this is the set you are thinking about when talking about a LEGO Statue of Liberty, right? And that is for a reason. This is still the best rendition of the original, just because of the sheer size and the amount of parts. :wub:  You can read a full review of this beauty here.

It stands 49 cm tall and weighs 4,7 kg! Don’t choke on your meal when you realize that it was sold for just 199$ - back in 2000 :cry_happy:. But if I’m not mistaken it was only sold in the U.S. – for whatever reason. Now it’s one of the most sought-after sets of all time, reflected by an average BL price of 3484€ *oh2*- if you want to buy a new set. That’s 1,20€ for every single piece! For a used one you will still be set back a whopping 1356€!
I was lucky to get my hands on a wonderful pedestal MOC which adds another 4782 parts and 8,4 kg to the list. So all in all it comes to 7664 parts model with a height of 135,5 cm and a weight of 13,1 kg. Not a set that is well known for its swooshability… :grin:  Therefore I apologize the photos, it was a pain to photograph it properly.

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So how do the three larger sets compare to each other?

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I juggled with the numbers and found out that the ‘statue/pedestal ratio’ is almost the same when talking about parts:  3450 uses 37,6% of the bricks for the statue, whereas 5526 uses 37,8% and 21042 37,4%. That is pretty close!

There is a difference though when it comes to the comparison of the height! While the pedestal of 3450 actually may not be compared here, because it’s unofficial, the statue alone makes 63,8% of the height. In 5526 it’s just 68,6% and in the new set it’s 58,4% - significantly lower.
The original has got a height of 46,05 m, the overall height is specified with 92,99m. But here the fort is calculated in the height of the pedestal. :look:
If you measure the height on a photo you can see that the ratio of the actual statue is 63% of the total height.
So 5526’s statue is too long and 21042 too short (mostly because of the right arm! :tongue:). The MOC pedestal and 3450 are just right.

 

Summary

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So should you buy the new Architecture set 21042?

Definitely YES, YES, YES! I wrote it in the beginning and I write it once again: If not for the beauty of a wonderful display set, buy it for the parts!
(After having finished the photos for this review I ordered two more copies for my collection.

:wink: )

And here we have to talk about the price: The RRP is round 100€. Nothing to cheer about, nothing particularly bad. But looking at 'street prices', you should be able to get this set for a 30% discount. I for myself spent 65€ on each set. And here you really cannot complain any more. :grin:
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All seven together! :wub:

 

P.S. Captain Salazar's hair piece is used in warm gold for this set's flame! :wink:

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Great review. Thank you for going to the trouble of laying out all the pieces, it really makes this set look like an impressive parts pack. Also I appreciate how in depth you went in comparing all the previous versions, I'd forgotten a couple of those existed.

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29 minutes ago, tkatt said:

.... Also I appreciate how in depth you went in comparing all the previous versions, I'd forgotten a couple of those existed.

Thank you, that's one reason I did it! :wink:

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Thanks Holodoc for doing this awesome review. I am very glad that I didn't have to miss this nice review because it contain all of the information I need to decide if I want to buy or not. To be honest, I was on the fence before deciding. Now I know I got to get it for the built. I am a fan of selected LEGO Architecture sets and this happen to fit my liking. :sweet: 

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Just noticed that the front page article about this review twice calls the set the "Statute of Liberty"... :wall:

Anyway, great review. I love to see a review that goes above and beyond the call of duty by featuring comparisons to similar sets. It's not a necessity for judging a set on its own terms, but it's much appreciated.

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4 hours ago, Lyichir said:

Just noticed that the front page article about this review twice calls the set the "Statute of Liberty”

Ouch. Thank you for pointing it out. I have updated the frontpage. 

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@Holodoc thanks for this brilliant review! I like the collection of different faces too avoid the Nexo shield and even more the corrections of the length of the arm.

When I was building mine I was fascinated about how the sub assemblies in the last stage became the outer "cloth" of the figuremi was not familiar with the rounded cut off slopes but they work very well here. Must have been a nice challenge designing this model. Just building it from instructions is easy, but developing something like this in a MOC would be high level LEGO work.

As I remember 3450 was available through Shop@Home in Germany in 2000. It came in a grayscale box. The box design was changed to a full colored design for the second wave. It was a unique building experience with the instructions showing each layer from a top 2D view rather from a 3D view we all know so well. (LEGO should do such sculptures again!)

Holger

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Excellent review! I bought myself one today. Mostly for the parts, but I certainly would love to build and display the Statue of Liberty as well.

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On 10/8/2018 at 10:19 PM, HoMa said:

When I was building mine I was fascinated about how the sub assemblies in the last stage became the outer "cloth" of the figuremi was not familiar with the rounded cut off slopes but they work very well here.

Thank you for pointing this out - you are absolutely right: By putting the submodels together on the statue you realize this is really a masterpiece in design and wouldn't have looked so nice without this two pieces -  6221729 and 6221730.

Quote

It was a unique building experience with the instructions showing each layer from a top 2D view rather from a 3D view we all know so well. (LEGO should do such sculptures again!)

Seconded!

But if - somehow *cough* - your statue happens to fall on the floor :innocent: you will have a hard time to find out what bricks belongs where, just because of the top view instructions.

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Great review.  Thank you for taking the time to do this.

While I already own this set, I was actually thinking of picking up a few more copies for exactly the many reasons you cite.  While Architecture sets are usually a bit pricey to use as parts packs, the plethora of useful parts in unique colors more than justifies the cost for me.

Also, I really appreciate the discussion of modifications to the face, arm and neck. I'd been thinking about exploring such mods on my own and this has convinced me the changes are worth while.

Wonderful job.

 

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51 minutes ago, ShaydDeGrai said:

Great review.  Thank you for taking the time to do this.

...

One of the reasons I'm doing this is the nice replies like yours. :blush:Thank you very much!

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I can't wait to build mine when I get a chance. Thanks for the revue especially on where to steal the parts for the conversions.

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I've just finished to build it and it was very pleasant. I'm surprised by the size, i didn't expect it as bigger and taller as is.

A great display model, and about the face i'm now ok with this neutral one.

Thanks again Whitefang for your great review.

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2 hours ago, julien4599 said:

Thanks again Whitefang for your great review.

*huh*

I take this as a compliment... :tongue::laugh:

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