One of the most pleasant LEGO surprises has been the success of the LEGO Friends Central Perk set, one of 2019’s most popular LEGO releases.
To follow on and build on what was seemingly a massive demand for LEGO sets based on the hit American TV sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S, LEGO have followed up with a much larger offering – 10292 The Friends Apartments, which is now available to LEGO VIPs, ahead of a 1 June 2021 general release.
Priced at US$149.99 / AU$259.99, The Friends Apartment is a steep increase the US$59.99 / AU$89.99 price point of the Friends Central Perk set, so I hope this early review will help you make a decision on whether to add this set to your collection or not.
See below for regional links and pricing.
- LEGO 10292 Friends Apartments [US] – US$149.99
- LEGO 10292 Friends Apartments [AUS] – AU$259.99
- LEGO 10292 Friends Apartments [UK] – £134.99
- LEGO 10292 Friends Apartments [EU] – €149.99
- LEGO 10292 Friends Apartments [CAN] – CA$199.99
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
10292 The Friends Apartments Set Details
Name: The Friends Apartment
Set Number: 10292
Price: AU$259.99 | US$149.99 | £134.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK]
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Creator Expert / 18+
Release Date: 19 May 2021 (VIP Early Access) / 1 June 2021 (general release)
Just to put things into perspective, 10292 The Friends Apartments is a HUGE set, and nothing communicates that better than when you place it side by side with Central Perk, and the huge black 18+ box dwarfs the compact Ideas set.
“Graduating” from the LEGO ideas theme, and now absorbed into the black abyss that is the 18+ branding – you can also tell that much of the fun, levity and Friends branding is lost to the darkness of 18+ box design.
Unlike some of the more premium sets which can boast all printed elements – we get a pretty large selection of stickers, many of which are callouts and references to both apartments, including iconic elements such as the peephole door frame, and a selection of whiteboard marker messages that the characters use to communicate with one another.
The instructions manual is as you’d expect from a large 18+ set, rich with detail, from a nice profile of Anderson Ward Grubb, the LEGO designer who wasn’t that familiar with the TV show, to a useful guide on episodes and outfits that the minifigures are based on.
The build experience
The build experience was honestly, not very engaging and felt quite boring. There aren’t many innovative techniques employed, and it wasn’t challenging in any way.
Much of the build is devoted to building furniture and items that litter both apartments, so lots of fiddly bits but often, you encounter some cool techniques.
Unless you enjoy building minifigure-scale furniture (like Tiago Catarino), the build does drag on and get stale after a while
Which segues nicely into the next section – the minifigures. Like the stars of Friends which have become household names, the minifigures are truly the highlight of the set – and you get 7 minifigs – 6 of the main cast – Ross, Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Phoebe,
Here’s a closer look at Phoebe Buffay, Monica Geller and Rachel Green.
Phoebe is dressed in her pink cardigan from S06E07 “The One Where Phoebe Runs”, Monica appears in her yellow apron from S07E09 “The One With All The Candy”. and Rachel is a white top and plaid skirt from S01E19 “The One Where the Monkey Gets Away”.
Here are their back prints and alternate faces – out of all the minifigures, I like Monica and Rachel the best, as they’re both in memorable outfits from memorable episodes.
Sadly, Rachel’s leg printing and lack of dual-moulded legs is quite disappointing as it doesn’t show off the back of her knees.
For the boys, we have Ross Geller, Chandler Bing, and Joey Tribbiani who are in outstanding outfits.
Ross is in his tight leather pants from S05E11 “The One With All The Resolutions” which is a classic Top 5 Ross moment. Chandler is more lowkey, with a brown sport coat and khaki pants with a fancy tie from S04E02, “The One with the Cat” and lastly, we have Joey from S03E02 “The One Where No One’s Ready” where he puts on all of Chandler’s clothes.
Here’s a look at their alternate faces, and back printing – Ross has his classic quizzical face, Chandler has a great laughing face, and Joey has his classic “how you doin’?” expression with raised eyebrows.
Joey and Ross are the real winners here, with two immediately recognizable outfits, especially Ross’ leather pants which is quite possibly one of the best gags on the entire series.
In Central Perk, we got Gunther as an complementary figure, and in the Friends Apartments set, we have Janice Hosenstein, with her classic leopard print top and big hair, which is a dark brown variant of Bellatrix Lestrange’s hairpiece.
Janice is of course Chandler’s ex-girlfriend and is best known for her nasally voice and “OH MY GAWDDDD” line.
Along with Ross and Joey, Janice is my favourite character in the set, mostly because of how well the designers captured her look – it’s so good that you can audibly “hear” Janice when you see her minifigure.
And here are the minifigue comparisons with the Friends characters from the Central Perk set.
Here’s the completed model, which is quite large as it’s almost twice the size of Central Perk’s footprint – but maintains the same-ish scale.
One of the most unrealistic things about Friends is how a rag-tag bunch of New Yorkers (with semi-permanent careers, except Ross/Chandler) can afford such large apartments, and LEGO have done a reasonable job showcasing the square footage of both apartments.
The apartments are connected by a hallway module, and loosely attached (no pins, studs or clips) to each other and allow you to break them apart with ease.
As you can see, the set when displayed as its meant to be, is quite wide and takes up a lot of precious real estate.
It’s up to you (and your display space) on how best to display them – both apartments can be separated and displayed on their own, stacked like above if space is really a constraint, or side by side.
Here’s a look at Joey and Chandler’s apartment, which is littered with references to different episodes, and as you’d expect, will truly surprise & delight hardcore fans of the TV sitcom.
This is just the main living area and kitchen, and while doors to Joey and Chandler’s room exist, they lead nowhere. Like Central Perk, the Apartments are designed to look like a TV set, with studio lightning on each side.
It wouldn’t be Joey and Chandler’s apartments without their black reclining chairs, which can pop backwards just like in S02E15 “The One Where Ross and Rachel… You Know”.
The chairs are placed on the checkered tan rug, which is constructed sideways, and can be lifted out with ease.
Of course, the massively oversized entertainment unit, which houses a TV with Joey playing Dr. Drake Ramoray on Days of our Lives.
Here, I used the doodle board with the repeated “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” written by Chandler as an apology to Joey for kissing Kathy, who Joey had already lined up for a date.
The canoe occupies a prime position in the apartment, which you may remember Chandler and Joey swapping their entertainment unit for it, and when they’re robbed, the canoe is famously their only piece of furniture left.
A lone chicken is included to represent Chick, but LEGO have missed a massive opportunity not including a Duck element!
Plenty of ornaments exist such as the white dog statue, affectionately named Pat, and also a LEGO-ised statue which makes a reference to Billund.
The yellow couch and coffee table is also present, and is where Ross slept when he stayed over at Joey and Chandler’s after being kicked out/divorced by Emily in Season 5.
The foosball table is pretty neat, and makes great use of the statuettes as players.
Next to the main entrance is a corkboard with a reference to Emily (Ross’s wife), and also the initials AW, which is a reference to designer Anderson Ward Grubb.
I’ve accidentally placed Gladys in Joey and Chandler’s, but Phoebe’s creepy artwork is on full display, with a slightly faded face, and ill-fitting wig. I missed a stud being added on here, but it should be slightly raised!
And here’s a look at Joey and Chandler’s kitchen area, which is my favourite part in the entire apartment because of just how well everything fits in. This was quit enjoyable to assemble.
Some more cool posters and wall-art on show here, such as the Kangaroo Boxer, dartboard and Manhattan skyline – all of which have been LEGO-fied.
Here’s a look at the exterior which is pretty drab and blocky – which works well to make it look like a self-contained TV set, but clearly is not meant to be viewed from this angle. The window blinds are created using stickers.
A small narrow hallway connects both apartments and is its own self-contained unit – which also functions to serve as another reference from The One With The Cheesecake where Chandler and Rachel consume a neighbour’s cheesecake that was mistakenly delivered to Chandle in the hallway.
Endearing, but also kinda yuck.
Stepping across the hallway, we have Monica’s Apartment, which has a brighter burst of yellow, lavender and much more colour to the comparatively earthy tones of Joey and Chandler’s.
The interiors are much more orderly with her bright blue kitchen taking center stage. On the left, you can see the famous framed peephole on the door, which looks quite bad for an iconic part of the house as the colour mismatch makes it stand out in all the wrong ways.
The kitchen uses this neat technique to create an angled wall section which again, looks clunky and unfinished when viewed from the outside.
There’s a lot going on in Monica’s kitchen, with well-stocked shelves, and pearl gold saucepans hung from clips. It’s nice and orderly, and the colour blocking here is excellent.
The dining table takes up quite a bit of space because of the 4 chairs and is in quite an awkward position, because minifigures can’t sit properly on the chairs, so some creative repositioning is required to shift them around.
Phoebe’s dollhouse is included as a prop, which you can set on fire, re-enacting the events of S03E20 The One with the Dollhouse.
Like Chandler and Joey’s apartments, a sideways-constructed technique is used for the rug, which can be lifted out.
Here’s a look at the living room area, which makes for a cosy place for the Friends to kick back and relax.
There’s a TV playing American football, and a LEGO-ised poster bearing the LEGO’s company motto “Det Bedste Er Ikke For Godt” which is Danish for “only the best is good enough”
More doodle boards are present here, and I’ve used the “Went to coffee” on this door.
There’s a sand green door, which opens up to Monica’s cluttered closet which has a stool, aqua minifigure head and some boxes.
Lastly, in this corner of the room is the famous window that looks out of Monica’s Apartment. It’s flanked by some really nice yellow curtains, and I like how they’re designed.
The window uses what I think is the cleverest technique employed in the build to give it a sloped, angled look.
Here you can also see the balcony which is quite cramped, and will struggle to fit everyone in. A cat is here, which is a reference to the cat that attacked Ross as he tried to ask Rachel out on a date in S01E07 “The One with the Blackout”.
One of my favourite references is this long stick – a reference to S03E08 The One With The Giant Poking Device where they think their neighbour, affectionally named Ugly Naked Guy is dead and attempt to poke him with a self-fashioned stick.
Oh and last but not least, a turkey is included in the set – which I’ve done my best to re-enact Monica’s turkey head scene from S05E08 The One With All The Thanksgivings.
Here’s how the apartments can be displayed next to Central Perk.
What I liked:
- Plenty of Friends episodes references that will delight fans of the show
- Minifigure designs especially Joey, Ross and Rachel are fantastic
- Fun little furniture builds
What I didn’t like:
- The set’s high price will be a barrier to many
- Build outside of small furniture models was quite drab and not particularly memorable
- Model’s exteriors look quite clunky and ugly
- Hard to display as you need a lot of surface area
The LEGO Friends 10292 Apartment set seems like a really interesting experiment by LEGO. LEGO have obviously seen the massive demand for Central Perk, and quickly put this larger, pricier and more ambitious set into the pipeline to seize on the hype and interest generated by the first, especially with people who weren’t traditional LEGO fans.
At a price of US$150/AU$260, and coming in at 2,000+ pieces, The Friends Apartments is a far cry from the small, accessibly priced Central Perk set, and is clearly targeted at those with deep pockets, or hardcore fans of the TV show who want more.
As someone that has watched the entire series of Friends more than twice in my lifetime, I enjoyed the references and attention to detail, squeezing in so many little Easter Eggs that has really done the source material justice.
As a LEGO set, however and looking at the set objectively, unless you’re a massive fan of the TV series, this isn’t a particularly good set.
For one, the high price and difficulty in displaying this set make it a hard set to recommend to everyday fans. Central Perk nailed the pricing and size just right – small enough that it was a fun, unique build, and affordable enough for most people to not have to think too hard about it, and get the complete F.R.I.E.N.D.S in LEGO experience.
It’s size and price also made it the perfect gift that LEGO fans could gift fans of the TV show, and subtly introduce them to LEGO.
This however, felt a little too big, ambitious and unwieldly of a set.
The new Friends minifigures and addition of Janice were a nice touch, and for the price, the piece-count is pretty decent, but looking at the overall package, it just doesn’t scream buy me at launch.
I think if LEGO had halved the set, and kept to the scale of Central Perk and maybe split this up into two sets, I would feel a lot more favourable towards the set.
The apartments, being apartments in the 2000s are also quite drab visually in parts, although the plethora of items and furniture pieces does make it stand out, and Monica’s Apartment does benefit from bright pops of colour.
That said, if you enjoy building minifigure-scale houses, furniture or are a massive fan of the TV series, this set will definitely appeal to you, and you’ll have a blast putting it together as it feels like a super-sized update to Central Perk.
If you’re into F.R.I.E.N.D.S and want the definitive experience, I still think Central Perk is a much better buy as you still get the complete experience, that’s a great standalone set for the fraction of the price.
Only get 10292 The Friends Apartments if you’ve got cash to splash, or if you seriously enjoyed Central Perk, and want to indulge in some 2000s TV sitcom nostalgia with LEGO versions of Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and Joey.
That said, if you’re a massive fan of the TV show, you’ll be absolutely delighted with all the references and Easter Eggs stuffed into 10292 The Friends Apartments, and will find heaps of joy searching for them all, and reliving some of the funniest TV moments in LEGO form – the only question is, how much long-term value and satisfaction will that ultimately provide?
Rating and score: 2/5 ★★✰✰✰
Build  – The build was quite tedious and boring, lots of furniture builds and not a lot of interesting/innovative techniques for a set at this price/size
Real Value  – It’s quite expensive and out of reach for most LEGO fans/Friends fans for what you get.
Innovation  – Nothing new is brought to the table here with the build, or layout
Coolness  – It’s really hard to display, and all the best parts are only noticeable up close.
Keepability  – This has been an interesting foray into the quintessential American 2000s sitcom, and thus benefits from the overall novelty, as well as exclusive minifigures.
Are you a big fan of the Friends sitcom, or Central Perk set? I’d love to know if you’ll be picking this set up immediately, or waiting.
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review.