JackJonespaw

21328 Seinfeld: The Review

I WANT YOUR OPINIONS. I NEED YOUR OPINIONS.  

28 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like this set?

    • No. Poor.
      0
    • Below Average.
      3
    • Average.
      3
    • Above Average.
      10
    • I love it, Jerry! I love it!
      12
  2. 2. Favorite Seinfeld Character?

    • Jerry
      4
    • George
      10
    • Elaine
      4
    • Kramer
      10


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Did you know that in 180 episodes of Seinfeld, spanning from 1989 to 1998, not one single time, neither Jerry, George, Elaine, nor even Cosmo Kramer himself mentioned LEGO a single time?

Did you also know that I have no idea if that’s true, but research shows a review should start with a good hook to draw people in. A trivia question is a perfect example of that.

Anyway, let’s talk about LEGO Seinfeld.

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Seinfeld is...Seinfeld. To quote Jason Sudeikis from an SNL sketch: “You’ve seen Seinfeld.” It’s a show that rests beyond most TV shows. Everyone knows Seinfeld, at least passively. And the Venn Diagram between LEGO fans and Seinfeld is at least 10,000 people, because this set comes straight out of the LEGO Ideas site to become big number 36. 

This is the third sitcom LEGO’s made for Ideas, joining the Big Bang Theory and 21319 Central Perk from Friends. At this rate, by 2025 we’ll have a LEGO Cheers Bar and LEGO I Love Lucy. It’s what the fans demand. MOCers, get on it.

Initially, there’s not much to separate LEGO Seinfeld from the other two sitcoms: it’s a centralized location with members of the main cast. The set’s filled with references to the show. But my thesis of this review (as all reviews should have) will prove that this is the best sitcom set.

Until we get LEGO M*A*S*H*, at least.

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As I wrote, this is the 36th LEGO Ideas set, coming logically after a life-sized typewriter and a Winnie the Pooh set. I actually went back and looked back at the LEGO Ideas sets, and completely forgot about 60% of them. Remember LEGO The Flintstones? Or LEGO Adventure Time? What? When did those come out? What a wild time it is for LEGO Licenses. 

The astounding part of this set - something I didn’t know when I got the set - is the price. Only $79.99 for a licensed set with over 1,300 pieces. I feel like that’s absolutely unheard of these days. Price per piece (PPP) is around $.053. Meanwhile you’d be lucky to see a LEGO Star Wars set that dips below $.08 per piece. However, my amazement does have a fair bit of asterisks.

For one, this set has a lot of repeated bricks, which I imagine cuts down on cost. And for another, many of those pieces are pretty run-of-the-mill 1x2 bricks or 1x4 tiles. So where a more expensive PPP set might have more specialized pieces, LEGO Seinfeld gets around it with a lot of standard LEGO pieces. You saw similarities with Central Perk ($.061 PPP) and The Friends Apartments ($.066 PPP). Of course, that’s purely conjecture. I don’t have the science to back me up. Again: I do not look any of my claims up.

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Let me just shut up with throwing numbers at you and let’s open this giant box up. This is one of those fancy, luxury LEGO boxes, that opens like I just bought a new Macbook. It makes me feel special to open the front flap up instead of dumping the bags out on this piece of white posterboard like a mad caveman spilling a bag of rocks he found.

The standard LEGO Ideas mosaic wraps around the bottom here. It changes color from set to set, this time in a nice blue. These black boxes are very classy, keeping all the info regulated to the bottom of the box. It leaves more room for the image of the set in the middle. It’s useful for a set that’s one giant piece / vignette. But I imagine it could end up feeling vacant for sets with a CG background. 

On the back here we have a slightly different view from above (plenty of that to come later on), as well as a few scenes showcase the one thing you can do with this set: move the minifigs around. I will say, I’m a fan of the blueprint-esque layout of the set. It’s design decisions like this that really separate these sets from more traditional “playset.” And as an actual adult (despite what my parents might tell you), I love it.

I feel like the eye is drawn more to the “Seinfeld” logo in the top left than the LEGO logo in the bottom right. I’m sure there was a deliberate marketing to decision to make that more prevalent, but I’m missing my marketing degree that would give me the authority to speculate.

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You get 9 bags in this set. It’s pretty much what you expect: build the floor, then walls, the flesh out each section of the apartment before filling out the middle. We’ll go bit by bit further down. I’m honestly frustrated with these bags for larger sets, where they can just become an absolute mess. They get sort of stuck in one position and folding them or crumpling them doesn’t do a thing. Seriously, look at the mess I had once I was finished building:

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Thankfully, it looks like LEGO is phasing out these plastic bags in their sets. So by the time the LEGO I Love Lucy set comes out, you won’t have to worry about it. Seriously, is anyone else just infuriated by these bags?

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You also get one of these slick and fancy instruction manuals. A bold choice to not show the set on the face of the booklet, instead reserving it for the main cast (and Newman). But hey, I guess that’s what we’re all really here for. Each character has a little bio as well, in case you picked up the Seinfeld set accidentally and don’t know who George Costanza is. Hey, I get it, sometimes Seinfeld and Speed Champions trip me up, too. It’s the “S”, I think. The manual can get a bit confusing, but a red outline over each step’s new pieces does help to clarify things. Man, that’s a lot of tiles. Not looking forward to building that.

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ANYWAY, time to swap the poster board, because a white set on a white background, turns out, looks awful. It’s like hiding an egg in rice. You can probably see the egg if you squint, but why work that hard? Just dye the egg black!

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Bag 1 nets us Jerry Seinfeld, main character and mullet-haver. Seriously, that’s an impressive mullet. I’m excited for it to come back into fashion, because it looks just so great. The two expressions are lovely: bewildered amusement and confused skepticism. If that doesn’t sum up Jerry, I don’t know what does. He’s wearing the typical blue button down, which in the show is sometimes exchange for a red button down, or, if Jerry’s feeling frisky, perhaps a green button down. What can I say, Jerry really epitomized the fashion of America’s 90s.

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Pretty much every Seinfeld episode opens with Jerry performing a standup bit in a mysterious, darkly lit room. I was overjoyed to see it included in here, because it’s honestly as iconic as Jerry’s apartment. It’s nothing special: just a 1 brick wide wall with a simple platform, but it’s a really nice touch. A note here: that microphone with the silver top seems to be a new print of the piece. So any LEGO microphone enthusiasts have another piece to add to their collection. Isn’t that wonderful!

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As with most buildings, you start with the foundation. Jerry’s weird pentagonal apartment is no different. In Bags 1 and 2, we get the flooring done, which is very fun and not repetitive and confusing at all. We also throw down a rug in the center of the floor. It’s a good start. By the end, most of those studs will be covered by appliances and furniture.

Another thing to note is just how few studs are on the perimeter of the floor here. Considering walls encircle the whole build, you’ll see how they’re secured as we build them.

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It’s Kramer! Wacky Kramer. Kramer, who could probably do a better job of writing these reviews. He comes equipped with a pretzel that’s probably making him thirsty and his coffee table book about coffee tables. His expressions are similar in concept to Jerry’s - but I think the exaggerated and flexible facial features of Michael Richards translate a lot easier to a LEGO figure. He is, by far, my favorite figure out of the bunch. Plus, he’s wearing his crab shirt, and crabs are cool. 

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Bags 3 and 4 start to build up some of the walls on the left side, as well as some cool details, like those radiators against the back wall. Something I really liked about this set: you’ll build something that seems completely nonsensical, like what I thought were white shelves. But when you incorporate it into the set, suddenly it all clicks: oh, those are radiators! Also, are these the first official LEGO radiators? I’m so glad to have been involved in building them.

Finishing the wall with some basic details - two pictures and a couple of lights. Maybe my Seinfeld knowledge isn’t up to snuff, because I couldn’t place the old man. I thought maybe it was Jerry’s dad, but it doesn’t look like him. So I have no clue. Maybe Jerry just likes hanging up pictures of old men in his apartment. To each their own. Just wait til you see what he has on the other wall.

There’s a little computer room - again, the 90s era of Seinfeld meaning it’s one of those great, clunky computer monitors. George’s fake company, Vandelay Industries, is displayed, showing of their #1 (and totally real) latex goods. Even the Commando 8 is here, sitting precariously out of the window. And, of course, no room is complete without the Kramer portrait. 

The entrance to Jerry’s bathroom is here, too, though it doesn’t lead anywhere but a blank void. Jerry’s rarely-used green mountain bike is here too. It sounds strange, but the set feels weirdly incomplete without that splash of color in the back.

And I might as well bring it up now - I’m very bad at smoothing out bricks. Like, these walls are not smooth at all, not with my hands putting the bricks together. Just use it as a stepping stone - something that you can do better once you buy this set!

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Elaine! The woman with the most 90s hair of them all. I was a little worried about this figure, because LEGO has a history of female minifigs’ faces being...somewhat generic, but her annoyed / confused face is really something special. I love this, because most alt faces are angry, but the Seinfeld cast all have these wonderfully critical expressions, which fits the tone of the show perfectly. She also comes with her goldfish, which I guess was playing dead in the episodes “The Parking Garage”. I couldn’t find a picture of this specific outfit she’s wearing, but I know that woman really likes wearing blazers, so it fits well enough. And I’m loving the crazy curly hair.

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Bags 5 and 6 fill out the kitchen area on the right of the apartment. There are a ton of things to build here: refrigerator, microwaves, kitchenette, shelves, counters, barstools. And each one is a genuine joy. The shelves, especially, are probably my favorite part, because of the mix and matching of different colors, to create the chaos of a 90s bachelor’s kitchen. 

The fridge is filled with even more Seinfeld references, including a picture of Seinfeld show creator Larry David. Or, maybe it’s in canon and Jerry really likes that one random vendor guy. Of course, on the other wall, Jerry has a tasteful photo of a shirtless George. But, hey, after all, it’s the timeless art of seduction.

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Speaking off, here’s George. Complete with fishing rod and what I’m assuming is the marble rye. And I’ll be honest...I don’t love this figure. The face is great, as is the torso, but I really don’t think that hairpiece works. I mean, check out that marble rye clip again. His hair goes up the back of his head, at least. And at the same time, the hairpiece makes him too tall. At best, George Costanza can be described as “rotund”. I think using the shorter, teenager-sized legs would have been a much better move. This figure just feels out of place next to the perfect Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine figures. 

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Bag 7 adds the last wall in here - the entrance to Jerry’s apartment, and a peak at Kramer’s front door. I also love that LEGO managed to add in the pipe that’s to the right of the door. It also helps to remove a gap in between the kitchen and the entrance. You also add a small lamp above Jerry’s bathroom. 

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And we’re almost done here, but not without getting our Newman figure. Newman, the over the top, delightfully evil post office worker. I really love his laughing face, it’s like he really enjoys whatever hell he’s putting Jerry and George through. Weirdly enough, the other Wayne Knight figure, Dennis Nedry from Jurassic Park, has a completely different, but equally delightful evil laughing face. We just need a LEGO Space Jam set to complete the “Wayne Knight in 90s media series”.

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The last two bags set out the furniture and shelves in Jerry’s apartment. These are really a delight, but it makes the apartment really cramped. There’s no space between the back of the soft and the round table behind it. The shelves are just as good as the cabinets, filled with a bunch of different bricks and shapes. There’s a few more reference to Seinfeld moments in here.

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I guess now’s as good a time as any to throw this out here - every single one of these little decals is a sticker. Historically, I don’t like using stickers, not even in sets I review, but I figured it was going to give the apartment so much more life. And, honestly, it did. It was difficult to put some of these on, especially on the 1x2 tiles, so maybe use something like a brick separator to assist you in putting on stickers. And hey, the set includes one, so you might as well.


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You also get this many extra pieces - roughly a handful. A lot of 1x1 tiles and plates, so if that gets you excited, then, well, there you go.

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The final building portion of this set, just like Central Perk, is reserved for these stage lights. I don’t love them, but it does keep the top of the build from being a flat, blank surface. And I suppose they’re non-intrusive enough.

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So that’s the set! It’s pretty easy to pick up, though I would definitely recommend grabbing it with two hands. Luckily, everything’s secured, so you won’t have to worry about anything sliding off or breaking off as you move it around. If you want to, I guess, swoosh it around like a LEGO Star Wars set. I will say, it really only looks best from a front-angle (just like a TV show set would, so that makes sense), so if you’re going to display this, make sure it’s centered up.

Another useful, but sort of pointless feature: you can remove all of the furniture really easily. It’s not like you can rearrange the room at all, so I hesitate to guess at the reason for this. Maybe everyone who buys this set can try for a personal best speedrun time for removing furniture. The current world record is 16 seconds. Best of luck, fellow runners.

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Early on in this review, I promised to tell you why this is the best sitcom set so far (until we get LEGO Family Matters). And it’s got to come down to the sheer quality of the set. Looking at the Big Bang Theory and Central Perk (and Friends Apartment) sets, these are fairly rectangular models that sort of seem like an excuse to sell the minifigs of the sitcom. And to that latter point, I don’t think this set is any different, but Jerry’s apartment has so much personality, not only shape-wise, but in the shelves, furniture, and references. The biggest quality change, I think, is the tiled floor. LEGO has been moving away from having large areas of studs in sets, and I genuinely believe it makes these sets look better. It may not be as “quintessentially LEGO”, but neither is Seinfeld, you know? 

Am I biased because I vastly prefer Seinfeld to Friends and the Big Bang Theory? No. Am I biased in general? Yeah, probably. 

Anyway, the point is, if you like Seinfeld and LEGO, you’ll like this set. The price is great for what you get, and it’s one of the few sets I probably won’t demolish after a review.

I give this bad boy a rare 10/10.

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Couple of post-show notes:

Thanks to LEGO for providing me this set. What a great time I had building it. Genuinely. 

You can find a link to all the pictures here on Flickr.

Go watch Seinfeld. It's a wonderful show.

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Fun review Jack. I could read a review from you on any subject, your style is so engaging and entertaining.

It happens that I really like this set too, despite never having seen an episode of Seinfeld. The characters have a lot of personality (plus new hairpiece!), and the set is so wonderfully detailed. It's also so well priced in the US that the Australian price isn't terrible, though not amazing either.

A few notes (of contention? not sure):

Elaine's annoyed face is actually a design copy of Chandler's original annoyed face from the Central Perk, used again for Ron Weasley's annoyed face in his CMF Series 2 appearance. They've changed around the eyebrows and such, but the mouth shape and eyes, and thus the overall expression, are exactly the same.

Central Perk is most certainly not too rectangular, nor a mere excuse to sell the figures. It's got a nicely engineered angle and step up for the musical couch section, the whole right side of the set basically. It's also chock full of recognisable details and had a very decent price. Totally agree that the Big Bang Theory set comes across as a rectangular box to sell the excellent Minifigures, though.

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Awesome review and I like the set. I love the design of the set and figures.   I would personally have taken points off for so many stickers, the front door especially really bothers me.

This is, and has been, a definite buy for my house. We'll probably need two so I can have the parts and we can have one in the display cabinet :pir-laugh:

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Posted (edited)

" Maybe my Seinfeld knowledge isn’t up to snuff, because I couldn’t place the old man. I thought maybe it was Jerry’s dad, but it doesn’t look like him. "

its Uncle Leo!

 

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Edited by Mattallica

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Posted (edited)

Got to love. the. Sein.

I can't wait for this set. I appreciate your review. It is neat seeing it all come together.

I was too young for this show growing up in the 90s (but I watched it anyway. Same with Friends). It really is a show about nothing and it works for almost any situation. Even cell phone etiquette happened in the later seasons when mobiles were first more readily available. It covers the gamut.

I do agree on George needing smaller legs though. He refers to himself as a SHORT, stocky, bald guy. He should be shorter than the other figures. Granted, Elaine is probably about his height also, so does she then need shorter legs? I understand why they didn't go that route, but he may look better with shorter legs. I will experiment when I get the set. Granted Kramer would then need 1x1s under his feet to make himself just a tad taller.

Edited by TheLegoDr
Added stuff

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Been waiting for this for ages. Brilliant review and very much so looking forward to it.

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What a fun review! I enjoyed reading about the set's references to the Seinfield series. I watched it ages ago, and didn't remember much.

I agree with @JackJonespaw, George should be shorter to look more realistic. Perhaps instead of his hairpiece printed head could be used? It's not like he's known for his wild hairdo.

Price-wise the set sounds perfect, and it's a nice display setfor many. It's not something I want my hands on at this moment, but it's a set I'll most likely have by the end of the year. 

Thanks for a great review.

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Great set, turns out way better than I expected. The furniture and the filled cupboards are well done and better than the Friends sets! 

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Great review for a very nice set! I'm not sure this will be very popular in Europe. As far as I know this series has never been as popular as Friends (for example). I do love the show and I can't wait for the Soup Nazi expansion :laugh:

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Thanks for the great review! 

 

Not really a Seinfeld fan at all as it was before my time - but as someone who enjoys and owns both of the Friends sets, this seems to continue that level of detail and truly feels like one of the set pieces has been shrunk down into Lego set form. Time will only tell how long Lego resists The Office as the next inevitable one of these releases. 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/16/2021 at 5:48 AM, JackJonespaw said:

This is the third sitcom LEGO’s made for Ideas, joining the Big Bang Theory and 21319 Central Perk from Friends. At this rate, by 2025 we’ll have a LEGO Cheers Bar and LEGO I Love Lucy. It’s what the fans demand. MOCers, get on it.

What I would love to see is How I Met Your Mother, one of my favorite shows :)

Edit: what an amazing review :) strong, simple, honest and done with love

Edited by Angeli

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