If the words El Clasico, Galacticos, Zinedine Zidane, Alfredo Di Stefano, Florentino Perez don’t mean anything to you, or if you live in a country where football is called soccer, this set likely isn’t for you.
But if your heart skips a beat, and your memories of hearing Santiago Bernabeu roar during an El Clasico with La Liga rivals FC Barcelona, or on Champions League nights, then you are exactly who LEGO has in mind when it comes to the 10299 Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
At 5876 pieces, this iconic stadium and landmark is now the 8th largest LEGO set of all time, and follows 2020’s Old Trafford, and 2021’s Camp Nou as the third Creator Expert football stadium where LEGO shines the spotlight on the architectural side of these meccas to football clubs.
Ahead of its release on 1 March 2022, here’s a review of 10299 Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to help you decide if this set is right for you.
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
10299 Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium – Set Details
Name: Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium
Set Number: 10299
Price: AU$549.99 | US$349.99 | £309.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores
Theme: Creator Expert
LEGO Designer: Milan Madge (@milanmadge on Instagram)
Release Date: 1 March 2022
Real Madrid FC are one of the biggest football clubs in the world, if not the biggest, thanks to its incredible success in the Spanish La Liga, and Champions League, the most prestigious European club football tournament.
Thanks to a strategy called Galacticos which translates to superstars, Real Madrid has been able to develop and attract some of the biggest names in football history such as Alfred Di Stefano, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane (as player AND manager), David Beckham, Raul, Luis Figo, Karim Benzema, Iker Casillas… and many, many more that have put on Real Madrid’s white home kit, which gives them the nickname Los Blancos (The Whites), and dazzled fans in Santiago Bernabeu, their home stadium located in Madrid, the capital of Spain.
It makes sense that LEGO would follow Manchester United, and Barcelona with Real Madrid, although I did find it odd that they would do 2 Spanish clubs in a row, and constantly have to field questions about when Liverpool is getting their turn.
LEGO Real Madrid Bernabeu Instructions, Stickers and Build
Here’s a look at the 2 instruction booklets included. As I received this set fairly late, and only had less than 48 hours to build an almost 6,000 set set to ensure this review could get close to catching the embargo, I was really glad that the 2 books included allows you to build in tandem with a partner.
My wife graciously did most of the heavy lifting with this set, building about 70% of the set while I was at work today, and somehow, we managed to finish it in time to take some photos (although not with natural sunlight as I prefer), and smash out this review.
2 books – great if you enjoy building with someone else, and I really found this quite beneficial as it greatly removes much of the repetition of the build, if you’re able to share the load with someone else.
The instruction manual is a wealth of information and trivia not just about Real Madrid’s exploits on the football pitch, but also the timeline journaling its history, as well as future plans for the Bernabeu.
The set has a really interesting proposition, as Santiago Bernabeu will look nothing like the stadium most fans are familiar with as it’s undergoing significant renovations to upgrade its look.
With this being the classic and iconic Bernabeu stadium, it gives fans a chance to own a piece of history, capturing their beloved Bernabeu stadium in its most memorable form as a large, and detailed display model ahead of its evolution.
And last but not least, a lovely profile on the designer of the LEGO Santiago Bernabeu – Milan Madge.
There are a LOT of stickers in the set, so here’s a look at the sticker sheet.
The build was a mixed bag – at 5876 pieces, it makes it the 8th largest LEGO set of all time, so you really do need to take your time with it, to make the most out of it.
Parts of it are repetitive, especially as many sections of the stadium are mirrored, and it really reminded me of building Old Trafford, but at the same time, it felt quite novel and fresh too.
This is a highly technical build, and despite the footballing license, is really a highly detailed and large-scale LEGO Architectural model, with fantastic techniques employed to create the differing angles of the stands, and to minimise gaps between the 4 corners of the stadium.
Me and my wife really enjoyed the challenge, and as it can be quite repetitive, we found it helpful to catch up on some Netflix while speeding through the build – all 40 bags of it.
You build the Bernabeu in quadrants, ending with the roof, before connecting them all together with the use of Technic axels to keep them each half in place.
Here’s the completed build, which has a squarish rectangle shape to it, and a really pleasant, complimentary colour scheme to it, with the tans and greys creating a subtle base, for the white roof to stand out amongst the greys.
It’s a large set, measuring 14cm (5.5in) high, 44cm (17.5in) wide, and 38cm (15in) deep, so you’ll need quite a bit of display space for it.
Here’s the view of the front, and when completed, me and my wife were pretty happy with the result – the Bernabeu is a really stunning model, no thanks to its size, but also the repetitive features, and curves on the roof were particularly pleasing to the eye.
Unlike the more modern Old Trafford stadium, with different levels, modern roof, and square footprint, I really enjoyed the curves of the Bernabeu – the design (maybe its the tan), reminded me a lot of arenas like the Colosseum, where gladiators did battle.
The pillars that curve inwards are particularly pleasing to the eye, as is the very liberal use of curved slopes and collumns throughout the entrance. The use of colour is fantastic as well, with trans-light blue being used for glass windows to break up the otherwise stoic looking tan columns and pillars.
While the set does rely on a lot of stickers for the inside, it was nice to get this printed 2 x 2 tile of the Real Madrid crest, as well the stadium’s name above it which is also a printed tile. I did feel like the printing wasn’t as sharp as it could’ve been, and not sure if it’s meant to be this fuzzy.
Similar to the Colosseum, there’s a large area surrounding the stadium, which is a really effective method at communicating scale and the sheer size of the stadium, especially with this cute Team Bus, and fun details like dark green ice creams for the trees, as well as the inspired use of hockey sticks for lights.
At each corner are these Towers, which have stickers on them, denoting the Entrance Towers A, B, C and D.
Here’s a look at the back with this mesmerising panel of grated slopes. The silver used creates an exceptional industrial effect, and I also like the doors on the ground floor, with shutter doors on them.
As we head in, here’s a look at the white roof, has these large tiles with Real Madrid printed on them, which was another nice surprise. They could’ve picked better font, as this screams too much like Arial or Calibri to me.
The white roof is removable, and the technique used is quite clever – it doesn’t attach to any studs, and is just nested there on the inside of the grey rim, making it quite easy to lift up and remove.
We get a brand new football pitch design, which slightly updates the checkered pattern with more dots, and different shades, probably to be closer in line to European pitch regulation, and it’s nice to see these printed goalposts make a return too.
There’s a little technical area here for the managers to shout at their teams.
And here’s the tunnel in which the football players enter the pitch from.
A very cool detail I loved – above the technical area is the VIP boxes where the rich and privileged hobnob and enjoy prawn coctails and other delicacies, away from the unwashed masses.
You can also see the score, where Real Madrid has a comfortable 3-nil lead over the visitors.
Here’s a look at the stands where you can see REAL MADRID CF on the lower stands, as well as plenty of Real Madrid stickers on the dividers.
It’s a shame that we didn’t get more interesting stickers here – some real life sponsors on the advertising boards/screens on the pitch would’ve been nice and a very welcome dash of realism.
The stands are captured brilliantly, and the repetition here is also quite hypnotic. I really appreciated the different angles achieved with each level, and the orange contrasts nicely against the blue.
The compact stands also give it a very satisfying look, as gaps are minimised throughout the stadium, and the little ridges on the bricks look just like little rows of seats.
And my favourite part of the stadium? The TV screen on the roof with the long drawn out GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLL that are a fixture of Spanish football commentators. Flanking it are 2 stickered Nexo Shields with Adidas and Emirates, Real Madrid’s main sponsor, and kit sponsor.
These look really out of place, as they’re the only place where Emirates and Adidas show up, and I still think it would’ve been much better if we had these sponsors on the advertising panels on the pitch itself.
The lack of any scarves or other decorations on the stadium also gives it a bit of a clinical and plain look, but maybe that’s not really a Real Madrid thing, unlike Old Trafford which had all sorts of banners on the stands.
Last but not least, here’s a side by side comparison with Old Trafford – I’m a Manchester United fan, so it’s been hard to tear it apart and pop it into storage.
When put side by side, the architectural differences, and colours are really apparent – Santiago Bernabeu is an icon of the football world, and I really like the softer curves, and architectural features of the facade, compared to Old Trafford which looks really modern, and has more of an English stadium vibe, compared to the Bernabeu’s European charm.
What I liked:
- Great mix of colours
- With 2 books, this set allows you to build with a partner
- Subtle yet beautiful architecture
- One of the best-looking stadiums yet
What I didn’t like:
- I’m not a Real Madrid fan
- Has a bit too many of the same stickers
- Needs more sponsors within the stadium
- Is quite pricey
During the build, I couldn’t help but appreciate that once you look past the Real Madrid license, and hype around the world’s game, 10299 Santiago Bernabeu is really a large-scale LEGO Architecture set.
Stadiums define the skylines of the cities they are in, and are a mecca not just for football, but for concerts and other large-scale events, and beyond just being a home for football, are monuments to sport and the triumph of human spirit.
A lot of architectural prowess thus flows into the design of stadiums, and Santiago Bernabeu is one the most recognisable and important football grounds in all of Europe.
I really enjoyed the build, and architecture of the set – Milan Madge has done a brilliant job capturing the subtle details, curves, and angles of the Bernabeu, and me and my wife couldn’t help but feel impressed at the model.
There are so many great design flourishes, and Milan was undoubtedly aided by the architecture of the stadium itself, but he managed to solve some really ingenious problems through clever LEGO engineering and techniques.
Alas, this is an expensive set. At US$350 and AU$549.99, it’s the most expensive LEGO stadium yet, probably due to the high piece count. I am very privileged to have been given the opportunity to build and review this set by LEGO, but on my own, this isn’t something I would naturally buy on my own.
This is ultimately one of the flaws of football club-based stadiums, in that it only attracts those who follow and support these clubs. Being a pretty pricey set as well puts up a very high barrier to be able to enjoy this set, so unless you’re a Real Madrid fan, or a fan of stadium architecture, it’s highly likely that you won’t feel that this set is worth the money, time or space to display it.
Which is a shame, because at its core, this is a marvellous, and beautifully designed architectural marvel, at a scale that you rarely see with LEGO. Throughout this, I couldn’t help but imagine if LEGO were to give the world’s Architecture wonders the same “stadium” treatment and just go all out.
Imagine the early LEGO Architecture sets at this scale and complexity! But stadiums like the Bernabeu are one of a kind. Large, and looming, football clubs are able to invest heavily into their aesthetics and design, because of the commercial prowess of the game of football, and as such, stadiums do have an important role in the architecture world, and skyline of cities.
Then again, another thing I really like about this set is the significance of preserving the “old” Santiago Bernabeu at such an impressive scale. In a few years, the new Bernabeu will be unrecognisable, and with an ultra-modern steel look, I think Real Madrid fans who have a special connection with the stadium will look forward to owning and displaying this set as a memento of Real Madrid’s and the Bernabeu’s heyday.
This is a great LEGO set, masterfully designed, constructed with an extremely high level of skill that most LEGO fans will not be able to enjoy – because they don’t have a connection to Real Madrid, and also because of the set’s high pricetag. It’s also a hard set to recommend for these exact reasons.
Buy if you’re a Real Madrid fan, or if you appreciate large-scale LEGO builds, and stadium architecture. Do not buy for Atletico Madrid, or Barcelona fans. It would make an excellent splurge, or extravagant gift for the Real Madrid fan in your life.
Rating and score: 4/5 ★★★★✰
Build  – Slightly repetitive, but techniques used are inspired
Real Value  – You’re getting a LOT of LEGO for the pricepoint, both in piece count and weight
Innovation  – Some really incredible techniques used here, especially for the different tiers, and just how well everything fits with minimal gaps.
Coolness  – This is cool if you like football, La Liga, or Real Madrid
Keepability  – With the Bernabeu undergoing significant renovations, this one is definitely a keeper, preserving the original look of the Bernabeu that most fans know and love.
Thanks for reading my review of 10299 Real Madrid Santiago Bernabeu Stadium ahead of its 1 March 2022 release.
What do you think of the Bernabeu now that you’ve had a closer look at it? Should LEGO keep doing sports stadiums, or do you think the audience is too narrow?
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review