Hello and welcome to another guest review, this time by a long-time friend – Sze. Sze and I go way back, and he was one of the first friends I had when I emerged out of my dark ages circa 2010.
Sze has always been a big fan of the LEGO Modular Building collection, and for the beloved Creator Expert’s 15th birthday, I thought it’d be a great idea to get his perspective on a modern Modular – 10270 Bookshop, from 2020.
10270 Bookshop isn’t due to retire any time soon, but now’s about the right time to get it before it becomes more scarce.
Special thanks to LEGO for providing the review set, and for Sze for contributing the guest review!
10270 Bookshop Set Details
Set Number: 10270
Price: AU$249.99 | US$179.99 | £149.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [US] [AUS] [UK]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com, LEGO Brand Retail Stores
Theme: Creator Expert / Modular Building Collection
Release Date: 1 January 2020
The Modular Bookshop is LEGO’s 15th modular building set, and has the 6th most pieces, with an average amount of minifigures (5) in the set.
It’s also the second building with separate structures in a set, after 10218 Pet Shop back in 2011. It’s the very first Bookshop in the Modular Buildings theme, but the second time we’ve received a townhouse.
If you’re a box collector, this is worth keeping as the background illustrations on the front and back of the box is beautiful.
Note by Jay: This is also the final modular building with the classic “Creator Expert” art style before LEGO shifted towards the now-ubiquitous bleak black 18+ box.
There are two instructions manuals in this set, together with two 16×16 dark green baseplates. Baseplates are quite rare nowadays, no longer part of any theme sets. Even rarer are 16×32 ones.
This set comes with 4 exclusive printed tiles and bricks, a chameleon animal in bright bluish green with printed body pattern and eyes.
There is also a little bird included too. Roughly 118 rare elements with many in new colours. Pretty good for a set with this amount of bricks. Absolutely no stickers are included.
The Bookshop Building
Let’s look at the exterior of the Bookshop, which reflects a typical European-inspired facade. Medium nougat bricks are used for the first time as the primary colour for a LEGO modular structure.
There is some brilliant use of 1×2 rounded tiles to form the arch above the entrance. The simple 2 steps before the door, together with the formation of 4 pillars using 1×1 double curved slope and 1×1 half circle round tile are simple, yet beautiful.
Moving up to the first floor, all the way to the top floor, the pillars works brilliantly.
The facade was carefully designed, using as many 1×1 bricks, slopes and tiles as possible to create a well-textured facade on the walls.
A highlight is the windowsill – which is crafted by Curved 1 x 1 x 2/3 Double slopes attached to headlights, placed on a jumper, to create a nice recess and shadow.
On the top floor, the facade reflects what you might expect to see from houses in Amsterdam, with the bow tiles creating a lovely curved effect.
The ice cream cones with microphones adds a nice touch to the roof, creating a very satisfying and beautiful facade.
Out the front, there is some nice part usage, with the use of black sausages as the railing for the tree on the pathway in front of the Bookshop.
The back of the bookshop building is rather plain. The highlight for me would be the use of the grey 1×1 pyramid slopes which works well for the posts on the balcony.
I also can’t help but notice the different textures above the back door. Above the frame, a 1×2 plate was used next to a 2×4 tile, an extension of the stair case steps.
Plates and tiles have different side profiles, and it’s also distracting to have the staircase in the way of the back door which looks too tight for comfort.
Moving on to the inside of the Bookshop, we have 2 bookshelves, a cashier’s counter, and a whole bunch of other pieces of furniture.
I removed the half floor above for a better view of the floor plan.
As expected, only the ground floor has a fully tiled floor, and it’s designed nicely here. The carpeted spiral staircase adds to the charm as well.
I found the amount of books and shelves here to be underwhelming – way too few for a Bookshop. I also found it strange to have a stud deep empty display area behind the window panels.
The back of the white mudguard pieces above the display window also stick out, looking unfinished in the interior.
The first floor of the bookshop offers a comfortable place of solitude. The black arm chair is nicely done with a matching stand lamp, together with a small table for cups as well as a tall grandfather clock. The door behind leads you to the back balcony.
The top floor also gives us a beautifully-designed single bed, and an enclosure for the cute chameleon.
It was an excellent choice to use black 4 stud-wide fences with 2 microphones to complete the headboard.
The Townhouse Building
The Townhouse gives us heaps of bright bluish-green elements as the main colour for the first time for a modular building – creating bright contrast that also complements the pale medium nougat building next door.
The angled steps are created with genius usage of the 2×2 triangular tiles and the 2×3 pentagonal tiles.
The black plant stems adds some old-world charm to the wonderfully designed steps.
With the help of 1×2 door rail plates and 1×8 tiles on snot, the depth of the main door is enhanced. 4 pillars made with candles are placed between the windows, creating a seamless shape of a bay window on the ground floor.
To the right is the 3x3x2 round corner dome, placed under two upside down 1x3x2 inverted arch. The intricate roof build highlights the use of dark blue 1×1 quarter round tiles on 4 panels of 1×6 plates.
Behind the townhouse, we have a little 7×4 vegetable patch.
We also have a balcony by the side of the roof window.
On the inside of the townhouse, we only have a welcome rug made of bow tiles behind the main door. Even though the space is small, it’s packed with plenty of detail like a simple fireplace, a sunbed by the bay window, a round table for two, a china cupboard, door hooks and a small pot plant!
We also have a L shaped stairs, which starts off well at the bottom, but strangely, the steps grew much taller for comfort half way.
On the top floor, we have a larger bed with brightly coloured linen. The 1×1 pyramid slopes shine again here, which makes the bed frame design so much more pleasant. Also included is a chest of drawers.
This set is rich with European-inspired architectural details on the facade. From the ground to the roof, the colours and designs make this an unskippable modular building.
The colours are especially great at brightening up your modular building street.
The build techniques employ a great amount of newer elements, especially curved tiles, to create more interesting details and depth.
The bookshop or townhouse can also stand on it’s own too, and this will be greatly welcomed by those with limited display space, as you can split this set up to fill the gaps on your modular street.
Beyond the facade of the building, the quality of the build and techniques used fell off quite a bit.
Generally the back of modular buildings are plain and bare, but the back portion of the roof seems too simple for a Creator Expert set.
There are 7 studs deep at the back of the baseplate that is bare, and the building could have easily been extended, which would also mean that the staircase wouldn’t be so oddly designed.
In the Bookshop, it would also be great to have space for more bookshelves.
Modular buildings, and this Bookshop in particular seem to be getting smaller, which also reduces the overall size of the interior.
I guess after the Parisian Restaurant and Detective’s Office, the bar has been set really high for both exterior and interior of LEGO modular buildings.
My advice would be to utilise your creativity, and this being LEGO after all, to extend the building, making use of the empty space behind, and to add more furniture and Bookshelves to your liking.
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this guest review by Sze!
10270 Bookshop is available from LEGO.com or your local LEGO store, and despite its flaws, it makes for a great, colourful addition to your LEGO Modular Street.
Do you own and have the Modular Bookshop as part of your Modular Street? Let me know in the comments what you think of the build, compared to Modulars past and present!
Special thanks again to LEGO for providing this set for review, and for Sze for contributing his first (I hope of many) guest reviews!
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