Say hello to the LARGEST LEGO set yet – 10276 Colosseum. Coming in at 9,036 pieces, this amazing build is historic from whichever angle you look at it.
I’m so honoured to be able to bring you an early review of the LEGO Colosseum – the biggest LEGO set that’s currently available at retail stores.
LEGO’s interpretation of one of the most iconic landmarks in Rome and the world, the Roman Colosseum (also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre) is a dream for LEGO and history buffs, and in a year where international travel has ground to a halt, it feels especially poignant to end 2020 with a larger-than-life LEGO build of one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
Will this set make history and endure, just like the city of Rome? Is this set for me?
Be sure to read on for a closer look at LEGO 10276 Colosseum, and has a release date of 27 November 2020 globally on LEGO.com and your local LEGO store.
- LEGO 10276 Colosseum [US] – US$549.99
- LEGO 10276 Colosseum [AUS] – AU$749.99
- LEGO 10276 Colosseum [UK] – £449.99
- LEGO 10276 Colosseum [EU] – €499.99
- LEGO 10276 Colosseum [CAN] – CA$649.99
Thanks to LEGO for providing this set for review.
Set Number: 10276
Pieces: 9,036 (!)
Price: AU$749.99 | US$549.99 | £449.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AU] [US] [UK]
Exclusive to: LEGO Brand Retail Stores, LEGO.com
Theme: 18+, Creator Expert
Release Date: 27 November 2020
This large (but not exactly to scale) set comes in a massive UCS Milennium Falcon/Star Destroyer-esque box – a sleek, back, minimalist box, which makes the model stand out in a really considered way.
At the top of the box is the words Colosseum and the Roman letters SPQR, an abbreviation for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus – which means The Roman Senate and People, a reference to the ancient Roman government.
The large box is home to 4 smaller boxes – which reference the 4 phases of this very long and arduous build.
You begin with a very sturdy foundation, to bear the weight of the entire Colosseum, and begin tackling the walls, first the inner sections, followed by the outer section as the Colosseum slowly takes shape.
As you may imagine, a 9,000+ piece set is going to take a long time to build. I didn’t quite count how long I took, but I was working on this, several hours a night after work for an entire week, and boy, was it painful.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you should not expect to complete the LEGO Colosseum in a day. To finish this review, I naturally had to rush through the build, which probably isn’t the ideal way to fully appreciate building this set.
That said, for a set of this size and scale, there is plenty of repetition and tediousness with the build, especially with the way the Colosseum is designed.
The inner and outer walls are constructed in sections, held together by 2-3 ball-joints to give it a convincing oval shape.
Oh, and it’s likely that you won’t want to see another tan element for a while after you’re done with the build.
The repetition gets pretty bad in boxes 2 and 3, the middle part of the build, where there’s this massive stretch where you’re essentially building the same section that you almost slip into autopilot mode where you don’t need to glance at the instructions.
That said, the build tremendously improves in Box 4 as you feel like the end is in sight, and you start putting together the finishing touches to the LEGO Colosseum.
The end result, is jaw-dropping and something else. LEGO Designers Jamie Berard and Rok Zgalin have done an immense job translating the Colosseum to LEGO bricks, all while capturing intricate little details that make it look as incredible upclose as it is afar.
I’ve never been to the Colosseum in person (it’s on the bucket list), but Gladiator is my favourite movie and I’m a bit of a history buff, so I naturally enjoyed this set.
Set in the middle of the Colosseum is the hypogeum – an intricate labyrinth that runs beneath the colosseum filled with tunnels and cages – this is where they kept gladiators and animals before contests.
Did you know, before the hypogeum was constructed, they used to flood the arena in the Colosseum to re-enact epic naval battles?
It looks great when viewed from above.
On the inside, it’s almost hypnotic seeing columns upon columns of each different tier, sloping towards the middle.
The symmery is beautiful, and the tiers are punctuated by small flourishes here and there – an arch here, an opening there, or an exposed section that’s crumbling away.
It draws you in, often without a focal point and it’s easy to get lost in the lines.
The exteriors are give off a slightly different vibe – more eternal, grand and historic than the inside, thanks to the high arches and pillars that stand in defiance of time.
On the outer wall, you’re treated to arches upon arches, columns upon columns.
Look closely, and you’ll notice the differences amongst the dark tan columns. The new colour element introduced here to bring the Ionic column to life are skates, which appear in dark tan for the first time.
I really like the higher tiers, where the architecture becomes much more erratic, which look like the structure is crumbling or missing key sections – there are great columns, and the use of tan gold bars for their shape and texture is pretty inspired.
You will likely miss a lot of these details during the build, but when all the sections come together, it truly becomes something much bigger than the sum of its parts.
I really enjoyed just exploring the walls, different outer sections and trying to find all sorts of cool little architectural details after I completed the build.
Outside the Colosseum is a pretty large open area, filled with tiny trees and cars.
There is one car that’s unlike the rest – appearing in pale yellow instead of white and black. It’s a neat little nod to the LEGO Fiat 500 from earlier this year!
If you remember, there is a painting of the Fiat in front of the Colosseum, which is just brilliant, as this means that LEGO has been hiding the Colosseum in plain sight all this time!
This is the most meta photo I’ve taken yet, and it just feels so right.
Until you see the LEGO Colosseum in person, it’s really quite hard to demonstrate just how big it is – so here’s an adult human (me) for scale.
This set is heavy, clocking in at almost 8 kgs!
That said, it’s quite easy to transport, as the base is very solidly built. I also really liked the grooves on each side which allow for an easier grip.
A set of this size and complexity is really designed for one thing- being a display piece.
But for a set this grand and ambitious, its sheer size and footprint is also its undoing. I’m sure you can relate, but if you’re like me, you’re likely to have very little space left for LEGO in your home.
Finding space to display this set, especially if you have other large sets like the Roller Coaster, UCS Milennium Falcon and Star Destroyer represents a really huge challenge.
I primarily use Ikea Kallax shelves for storage and as you can see… the Colosseum absolutely dwarfs the depth of Kallax shelves.
I almost feel like you need a white plinth to display it on its own.
Despite not being a “play-set” there are several fun things you can do – microfigures work quite well scattered amongst the ruins of the Colosseum – to simulate tourists and introduce a bit of life between the sparse columns and arches.
I absolutely love historical minifigures, and have a decent number of Roman Soldiers (from Series 6) and Gladiators from Series 5 – which just look fantastic next to the LEGO Colosseum.
I also recommend using Gladiator minifigures to stage a fight on the inside on the arena as well!
What I liked:
- At 9,000 pieces – this set is truly historic
- Packed with so many satisfying and beautiful architectural details
- Makes for an amazing centerpiece for display
- The connection between the Fiat 500\
What I didn’t like:
- The build can be very tedious and repetitive in parts
- I never want to see a tan element again
- Manuals got slightly damaged in boxes
- Despite being a display piece, finding space to display this will be a challenge
Final thoughts: LEGO have done something really fascinating here. The sheer size and scale of the LEGO Colosseum grabs you immediately and you will be wowed at just how big and detailed the set is.
When I first completed it and marvelled at the LEGO Colosseum, it instantly reminded me of massive displays and builds that you typically see at LEGO conventions.
Builds that mere mortals like you and me cannot ever replicate because we lack the skill and parts to do so.
What LEGO have done is essentially translated those types of builds into a retail set that you can buy, and build at your own leisure – when you’re finished, you’ll have a highly detailed and massive set to display – all without needing to design it yourself, or make a dozen orders on Bricklink.
I really like LEGO’s ambition with the Colosseum. Because of its size and footprint, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s just fine.
For US$550, this is not something you want to rush into, and I think it’s perfectly fine to treat this like a massive puzzle or project that you chip away slowly in a few weeks.
With the Christmas holidays coming up, this would make a very impressive gift, and for the size and sheer number of elements, I think the set is priced relatively fairly.
I do wish the build was less repetitive and tedious, but when building at this scale, it’s something you can’t quite escape.
Should you buy the LEGO Colosseum? If you have the means to do so, and the space to display such a massive set – sure, go for it. This is arguably one of the best display sets that LEGO have created in 2020.
If you prefer more compact builds, or can’t afford it, I don’t think you’re losing out of much if you skip this one, especially if large, highly detailed historical builds aren’t your cup of tea.
Now that we have the Taj Mahal and the Colosseum, I am starting to speculate that LEGO is creating a cycle of the New Seven Wonders of the World – at this specific scale.
I would absolutely LOVE it if we get a Machu Pichu, Petra or Chichen Itza after this, possibly in a few years if my assumption where LEGO is heading is correct.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this early review of 10276 Colosseum!
What do you think of LEGO’s largest retail set yet? Is this something you’d be interested in?
10276 LEGO Colosseum will be available from LEGO.com on Black Friday, 27 November onwards from LEGO.com or your local LEGO store.
LEGO VIP members who purchase the exclusive model during the Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend will receive a limited-edition gift with purchase, a Roman Chariot, which can be displayed alongside the Colosseum
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Oh and check out my Youtube channel to see me unbox and do a speed build of the set!