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If you wanted LEGO to usurp the previous set every time in terms of size, you would eventually find yourself paying $400 for a 4 floor modular :-)
There will always be places where LEGO could have made it better, however that is where they leave it up to you. Every buyer will have some little quirks with the modular I'm sure, but LEGO is smart enough to leave them room to customize the set to what they want. Whether that is throwing in another movie poster, or enlarging the model to make the theater larger, or even adding a 3rd floor. As I like to say... If you want it, build it!
I'll send you payment tomorrow. ;-)
As to Town Hall, it's actually one of the blander buildings (with the exception of the excellent first floor) in the lineup and the extra pieces really don't help it do much except for look odd on the street. Town Hall is still my third favorite building, but it's a significant step down from Fire Brigade and it looks to be quite a step down from this model as well. The shot that shows all three lined up really makes it evident how much more detail is in this set versus the previous two.
That said, I am concerned about how it will look in the overall layout. The exterior is so much nicer than most of the others... and the sidewalk seems like it's going to look extremely out of place with the 'walk of fame' and searchlights. So I'll reserve final judgment for March.
If you can't afford $200 for a modular, then you shouldn't be buying $150 modulars either. Both are beyond normal purchases that shouldn't be purchased by anyone who has to count either amount before spending.
But that is the parent coming out in me I'm sure, thinking of all the foolish money I spent when I was younger, if only I had listened to my parents, who gave me sage advice that I completely ignored. :)
I could spend $3000 on a MF but I choose not to as it is more then my Lego budget allows.
I do agree though, if you actually do not have $200 to your name you should not spend $150 on Lego.
As far as the Cinema goes, I'm not too concerned about the interior, so being a little bare is fine as I generally just look at my modulars sitting on the shelf. Don't think I have taken the floors apart since they were built.
I do like that its $150. I think we have too many releases at $200 and suddenly that becomes the Modular norm. Next thing you know, there's a $250 model one year. Then suddenly the range becomes $200-250. Keeping them mostly at $150, sets a collectible precedent for them. Yes, they'll be the occasional $200 model with more pieces and a larger size, but overall they all fit with each other. As someone else stated, Town Hall does look a tad out of place due to size. It's not horrible in my opinion and I like it anyway, but I like the size of the others and the small town Main Street feel they bring. This isn't a huge metroplex, it's a local cinema (the styling is odd in that aspect, yes, but that's a different argument). Of course, my LEGO citizens live on Main Street. They aren't big city folk.
But that is not really the point. He brought parenting into the matter so I had to throw it back in his face.
From a reseller stand point $150 is a much better price point. You can afford to hoard more. From a Collectors stand point it is great because you can potentially busget in more modulars or even two Cinemas if you want to build a larger more complete model.
Overall, I am unimpressed with the cinema so far. I don't know why, but to ME, it doesn't seem to break new ground or offer some level of detail that just wow'd. me. It is "fine." I will certainly buy it and be happy with it. But with all of the cool $100+ LEGO sets that have come out in the past couple years, I suppose it is hard to continually raise the bar without raising the price. Looking at Cafe Corner and Grand Emporium next to me, this one seems very similar so far.
But I want to see it in person, and of course, go through the build before I really decide on how much I like it. The BUILD process itself really determines so much about a set.
Thanks all for the thoughts here!
Add-on packs are such a limited market, unless that IS your market. See American Girl for such a market.
But with LEGO, people buy the box and that is that. I'm a bit shocked they do the power functions box for Technic, but that does have a role and the box fits a bunch of different sets. They wouldn't do it for just a single set.
I like the $150 price point. This gives us room to add and modify the building to our liking.
The 80's Parts Packs may not have sold well. I'm not quite sure. The internet may change the interest. I think TLG should bring them back. Special elements to spruce up your buildings.
Good news is that this will be the cheapest Modular currently available in Australia. Grand Imporium $249.99, Pet Shop $269.99, Fire Brigade $299.99 & Town Hall $299.99.
I think there's probably just more people aware of them.
But what do I know...I'm very excited for the release of the PC and will buy it right away. Just because it might be available for 3-4 years doesn't mean I don't want it in my city now. Even if they have long shelf lives, they only release so many modulars, so unless they start releasing 5 a year or some absolute stinkers, I'll still get excited for each new one.
The modulars, or I suppose creator expert now, is the theme I look forward to the most. I actually expected to be very excited about the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit sets but I've bought nothing from either theme so far. I think it is because I have a preconceived idea of what Lord of the Rings "should" be like and those sets do not meet my expectations. The modulars, on the other hand, are a blank slate and I'm happier to accept them as is.