The forum is now at http://forum.brickset.com. Please update your bookmarks.
Please refrain from posting animated GIFs, memes, joke videos and so on in discussions other than those in the off topic area.

Dismiss this message to confirm your acceptance of this additional forum term of use.
You must be 16 or over to participate in the Brickset Forum. Please read the announcements and rules before you join.

LEGO Architecture Studio Review (#21050)

akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
edited August 2013 in Collecting
I could finally publish my review on the new and massive #21050 LEGO Architecture Studio set. (LEGO sent it to me a month ago, but didn't let me publish an article until now.)

If you are interested to check out this set, see here and let me know what you think!: http://thebrickblogger.com/2013/07/lego-architecture-studio-set-review/

Enjoy! :)
LegoMom1TheLoneTensormurphquakebassbison
«1

Comments

  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,218
    That looks fabulous. If the UK Lego stores / website don't get it, does anyone know if you can order from the US Lego website for UK delivery?

    Obviously there would be customs charges and whatnot, but would Lego process the order, or would they just redirect you to the UK site?
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    As far as I know LEGO would not allow you to shop on the USA site. It would just redirect you to the UK site. I would suggest to wait until someone lists it on eBay or Bricklink, or until LEGO carries it in the UK. I'm pretty sure this set will be available in your side of the pond...(c;
  • SilentModeSilentMode UKMember Posts: 536
    edited July 2013
    I could have used a set like that when I was younger, I was very much into the idea of building maquettes.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    Yes, there are some veyr neat ideas in the book. And the fact that all the elements used are white, they do remind you of paper maquettes!..(c:
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited July 2013
    Nice to know that you are on here Brick Blogger! @akunthita
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    edited July 2013
    I really want this set, but there are a few things that I wish they would have included to make it worth the asking price. I have no problem with white bricks. They work great for architectural models. However at $150, 1200 pieces feels skimpy. The omission of a brick separator is a minor but significant one. These probably cost Lego two cents to include. A few 6x10 dark green plates and a few old fashioned Lego trees would of have really completed things. And I know this is being picky, but why not a spiral bound book like the Fallingwater set?
    margotAdzbadboy
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @margot, oh yes, I'm here! Brickset is one of my favorite LEGO sites. The other is Bricklink. The two places I hang out the most...(c;
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @mathew, yes, I was very disappointed that there was no brick-separator included. I actually was really surprized. Everything else is so professional and well-though out with this set, and there is no brick-separator? Of course I have a bunch I can use, but that's not the case for everyone.

    And some green baseplates and trees would have been quite striking!

    In regards to the book, I believe this design works better than spiral-bound. It is very thick, but still lies fairly flat on pages. Spiral-bound might have gotten torn with this many pages, unless some special reinformcement was added. Just my thoughts...(c;
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    edited July 2013
    akunthita said:


    In regards to the book, I believe this design works better than spiral-bound. It is very thick, but still lies fairly flat on pages. Spiral-bound might have gotten torn with this many pages, unless some special reinformcement was added. Just my thoughts...(c;

    If it lays flat then great. It looks like one of those books that you have to twist and bend for it to stay open. And then the binding comes loose and the pages start falling out.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @mathew - the book is very good quality. Kind of like a shop-manual. Not completely flat when you open it, but flat enugh that you can see the whole page and won't have to stress it. The pages are thick, and have a matte, papery finish. Very nice. Also, they are sewn, not just glued. I just checked again. I think it is nicely done...(c:
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    @Mathew- I agree, I really want this set too. I understand how you would feel that $150 for 1200 is a bit high, but just look at that book! Did you see how thick it is?! 272 color pages of information and inspiration. The consultation fees, royalties, as well as lawyers fees, permission to reprint waivers, etc. would seem to justify this. (Although I would of course like to see a lower price as well, just due to my budget and also the desire to get a good deal.) Also, a brick separator is a must to include as they would have to make it in white. Oh I like me a white brick separator for this set. I also think that as time goes on Lego could offer additional bricks, whether polybags of specific parts, or additional 'add to this set' type boxes, all in white of course.
    chromedigi
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    I think it will be interesting to see how well this set sells. I've said this before, but there's no reason Lego shouldn't release pure building sets based around their own classic lines. Imagine a 1500 piece Castle set that wasn't based around warring factions and included similar elements as the Architectural Studio but in gray, tan and dark green. Include a similar style book on Castle architecture and building techniques.
    margotbluelion3chromedigi
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @mathew! Yes!!! I would love something like that!...(c:

    I guess it just depends if the target audience is there. With the Architecture Studio set LEGO stepped out of it's usual target audience and caters to another very ceative group of people; designers and architects.

    The question is with a free-building LEGO Castle set who would that be? Or will the regular LEGO fan group be enough? Will they appreciate it enough to shell out a bit higher price for such a set?

    I would buy such sets, but that's just me. A survey would be interesting to explore this idea...(c:
  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,611
    edited July 2013
    £120 is way too much, I would buy it for £80!!

    I will probably buy it one day!! (My future is to become an Architect or Lego Designer)
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    ^ I agree that the market for such a set would be small. That's one reason why I really liked the LotR sets from last year. Helm's Deep is about as close as we will probably see to realistic castle building set.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited July 2013
    This is a very cool set, but yeah, this should be ~$100.

    I'm also in line with the book comments. I feel any Lego set $100+ should have spiral-bound, lay-flat instructions/books.
  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,611
    edited July 2013
    @akunthita, How did you get it from Lego, I also see Brickset and other websites getting Lego sets early from Lego??
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    ^Gotta read the thread Adzbadboy, Gotta read the thread.
    caperberry
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    tensor said:

    This is a very cool set, but yeah, this should be ~$100.

    Actually the part per piece count is similar to other Architectural sets like Fallingwater. However those sets feature prominent architects and buildings which means licensing fees. The Architectural Studio is generic in nature. I think what is really driving the cost up is the book. I like the book. I just wish they would have thrown in a few more architectural elements as I described above for the same price.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @Adzbadboy LEGO send out review sets to larger LEGO fan-sites, forums and blogs. It is part of their marketing strategy. For example, you might have heard of the "Brickset effect". Huw runs a very trusted LEGO fan-site here and when he reviews a set or shares some news it can have major effect on LEGO's sales. So it makes sense for LEGO to reach out to LEGO fan-sites. It is a win-win for everyone; LEGO, LEGO fan-sites, and LEGO fans...(c;
    Adzbadboy
  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,611
    edited July 2013
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @Adzbadboy as far as who gets what, it depends. As a site owner you can request sets that you feel is most appropriate for your audience, or LEGO sometimes just decides to mix things up a bit and sends different review sets to different communities. Just like Huw recently got the Back to the Future set for review, we got the Studio set, and Eurobricks got something else (I forgot which one).
    Adzbadboy
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited July 2013
    mathew said:

    tensor said:

    This is a very cool set, but yeah, this should be ~$100.

    Actually the part per piece count is similar to other Architectural sets like Fallingwater. However those sets feature prominent architects and buildings which means licensing fees. The Architectural Studio is generic in nature. I think what is really driving the cost up is the book. I like the book. I just wish they would have thrown in a few more architectural elements as I described above for the same price.
    I get that, and one could argue (and I agree) that those are overpriced, but they do have a "premium" feel all around, from the box to instructions, etc. But, at the end of the day, this is all white pieces that would be what, 4 pick-a-brick cups? I also understand that there is a certain level of R&D with regards to the (non spiral-bound) book also, but that's hard to swallow beyond a few bucks per book. I was actually being generous with the $100, because I'd probably only get it if it were marked down 20-30% from that.

    I do agree with you though, a few more uniquely architectural elements would have been very welcome.

    And @akunthita, great review :) Btw, what were the box dimensions?
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @mathew the Studio set is actually featuring prominent architecture and design studios. It is not generic. So I'm pretty sure there were some licensing fees involved here as well.
    chromedigi
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    edited July 2013
    tensor said:

    I was actually being generous with the $100, because I'd probably only get it if it were marked down 20-30% from that.

    $100 would be more than a fair price including the book. At ten cents per piece I think Lego is figuring in about $30 for the book. $30 for a 270 page, full color book isn't too far off if you compare it to other specialized architecture books. I'm going to probably wait for Amazon to carry it and pick it up when they discount it 20%.

    One added advantage to including a big book is that it adds weight to the overall package. For the average consumer, a heavier box adds inherent value.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @tensor, the box dimensions are 14 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches. Quite large. Also, it is very heavy at over 6 pounds!...(c:
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @mathew good point. The book itself is 1 pound 13 ounces!...(c:
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    Great to see some more of that book, thanks @akunthita, what are the dimensions of the pages? Looks nice and big!

    Price per piece comparison is useless and @mathew takes a sensible approach in that regard. As I've said the part-out value at Quantity Average on BL Current Inventory is US$184.85, so by no means an outrageously high price. But high.

    The set is largely aimed at design/architecture folk and not AFOLs or KFOLs (though I can see a market with teenagers falling into a dark age, but again they'd need to have strong interest in design to be gifted/to buy themselves $150 of goods). I'd like to hope that it will be the 'conversion set' for many soon-to-be AFOLs!

    It feels like a big risk for TLG. Non-AFOLs always seem so shocked by the price of LEGO so something priced above of a regular casual gift aimed at non-AFOLs surprised me. Maybe the cost of the book meant they needed to include a decent amount of pieces to offset it - the same book in a set with half the elements may have been perceived by consumers to be worse value despite being cheaper.

    Above all you're paying for the experience here - a quality book featuring world-renowned firms (and hopefully half-decent LEGO techniques too) that comes with a large kit of parts to enable novices and professionals to easily construct buildings they've imagined. It touches on such old skool LEGO concepts it fascinates me, and being an Architecture and architecture nut, I'll definitely buy this. Yes I'll wait for a discount, but then I almost always do :O)

    I think I will keep it separate from my piece collection, which is rare for me, at least for a year or two. I love the idea of it as a special tool to spark creativity.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096


    I think I will keep it separate from my piece collection, which is rare for me, at least for a year or two. I love the idea of it as a special tool to spark creativity.

    Well said. In a way the Architectural Studio is a break from the doldrums of "paint-by-numbers licensed" sets that we Lego collectors inundate ourselves with.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @caperberry, the bok is 8 inches wide, 7 1/2 inches tall and over 1 inch thick. I should have probably included that kind of info in the review. I'm still learning...(c;

    I would also keep this set separate from my regular LEGO collection, just like I keep my LEGO MBA sets separate. It is for a creative/learning, even meditative process rather than just play.

    My Dad, who is an architect, will love this set. He is working in Egypt right now, but I can already see it on his desk as he studies the elements and comes up with some crazy-creative contraptions. He already uses LEGO for his models, but I think this set is the closest to what looks like a work set right out of the box and looks professional on an architect's desk....(c:
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,218
    I mailed Lego customer services to ask whether this set would be available in the UK, or if it could be shipped from the States. They got back to me within a couple of hours, so thumbs up to the helpdesk!

    They said...


    "Isn’t it exciting that there are so many new LEGO® sets every year? It’s great to see you’re eagerly waiting and trying to find out about what we’ve planned for the future.

    I'm sorry that I can’t tell you anything about 21050 LEGO® Architecture Studio at the moment. Something like that might be coming soon, but our new toys are always kept secret until they’re announced in the catalogue or on LEGO.com. That’s because it takes a long time to design and make new toys, and we sometimes need every minute until they hit the shelves to make them perfect. Besides... we look forward to surprising you!

    Unfortunately, we would not be able to send the set from the North American warehouse to you.  We do not have the means to ship internationally.  We hope that 21050 LEGO® Architecture Studio will be available to our fans in the U.K. shortly after its launch in the U.S."

    So well done on the speedy reply, less well done on making me feel like I'm six years old.
    (I had ticked the 30+ age box!)

    Just have to wait and see, I guess.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    @akunthita I doubt it is info many want to know but I did :O) I'm just keen to get an idea of how prominent this book is within what you get. I feel they could have put more emphasis on it on the packaging to really sell it - actually having the book visible through clear plastic would have been cool
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    edited July 2013
    @caperberry, that is actually a really good idea with the clear-plastic top. The set presentation is really nice though. The box is very architecture-ish, and when you open it, the book is right there in the center, fitting right inside one of the storage/sorting boxes. And next to it on both sides are two of the smaller storage boxes.

    So the first thing you see when you open the box is the book. Nicely hightlighted with everything else around it white. Once you remove the three storage boxes, under it are the elements in standard baggies (if I remember correctly 16 baggies in all), and under those there are two compartmentalized clear storage-trays. It is a well-thought out packaging.

    If you have any other questions feel free to ask....(c:
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    @akinthita said: It is for a creative/learning, even meditative process...

    I find it interesting that you said this. I attended the B&N event yesterday and while we were building I commented that it was a sort of Zen like experience. With all one color bricks and no instructions, there is no right or wrong way, which translates into no pressure. Just a go with the flow type of build. The more I read on this thread, the more I want this set!!!!!!!!!!
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @LegoMom1, nice! I'm glad you had a chance to go to the B&N event! I really wanted to go too, but I live in a small town and our B&N didn't run the event. Yes, there is real value in working with just one color elements; it becomes all about form. There is a reason most of Nathan Savaya's LEGO art is one color. When you take away all the color options and ony have one to work with LEGO looses its toy-ish-ness and gets stripped down to being a creative medium. You sit down with it, open your mind, and connect with the magic of creativity.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    Mariann Asanuma, a former LEGO designer, had a chance to co-run the B&N event with a local architect. Their event was packed. She talks about it on her blog: http://modelbuildingsecrets.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/barnes-and-noble-lego-architecture-building-event/
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    ^Pretty similar to how our event went, the "expert" gave up at talking point 2 and said "just build" because that's what the kids were doing, no one was listening to him.
  • clickdastardlyclickdastardly United StatesMember Posts: 14
    The event near me was canceled because only 4 people signed up. So I went to the next closest one. It was fun. An architect talked for a little bit at the beginning and then we all just started to build. There were some interesting builds! I bought a set (got $15 off with my Barnes and Noble member card). I knew there would be no freebies, but I guess I was hoping for an extra $10 off the set or something if you had signed up for the event and bought it that night.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    Could be completely wrong but this screams of "Not going to ever be available in the UK" to me.
  • shorroshorro AlbertaMember Posts: 10
    For those still on the fence, the B&N coupon that went out by email this morning (15% off sitewide) works on the Architecture Studio. My code is Y1MDJELBGJWV8, but it appears to be a one time use coupon (can't confirm as I won't be using it). Enjoy!
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,469
    Lego have put the pdf of the book up online. I don't know if this is a mistake or not, given that they don't do the same with MBA and so on. It is big (400MB), but I have grabbed a copy in case it is taken off again.
    CupIsHalfEmptycaperberry
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,005
    @CCC I have to check that out! It would be way awesome! It's a big book, so yeah 400 MB sounds right!...(c:
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,469
    I've fairly sure it is the full thing - it's 276 pages.
  • CupIsHalfEmptyCupIsHalfEmpty CanadaMember Posts: 547
    Thank you! I grabbed a copy for myself.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    No complaints from me, especially given the rumours it won't get a release outside the US, but they're nuts to put that online. So many FOLs are keen on the book but not so much the inventory... this will kill a lot of their sales.
  • CupIsHalfEmptyCupIsHalfEmpty CanadaMember Posts: 547
    They will probably pull it off the website shortly. They did the same thing with the Inside Tour Exclusive set instructions earlier this year.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,469
    ^^ Yeah, that is why I downloaded it!

    I have no interest in the set now, I have enough bricks as it is and now the book.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    ^And the book contains exercises that require non-white bricks <:Os

    I will happily buy the full set, if they will sell it to me.

    ^^I wonder how many more "hey we didn't mean to put THOSE instructions online" errors it will take before TLG manage to implement a process to not just automatically put instructions online. Especially instructions that aren't actually instructions but a heavily researched expensive educational manual.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,469
    They did it with MBA kit 1 too, which made their way onto the internet.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.
Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy