Sunday, July 2nd, 2017 at 3:37pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Last year saw the introduction of the skyline models to the LEGO Architecture series, bringing smaller-scale builds representing entire cities instead of individual landmarks. BZPower Forum Assistant Zatth has taken a long look at 21026 Venice from the first wave of these sets and is finally ready to share his thoughts. Read on to see if this set represents the Italian destination and is worth adding to your wishlist!
The City of Canals, dazzling in its architecture and beauty! But does that come across through the set, or does it fail to channel the real deal?
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box is gorgeous as is the case with other Architecture sets, the instructions bound and the whole thing feeling very professional (as LEGO obviously is).
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The start of the set comes from putting both the base and the foundation of the specific landmarks together. Though not much happens here, I quite enjoyed the process of making a base out of plates, and get a sneak peek at the different buildings that'd make up the cityscape.
More than the other cityscape sets, however, Venice allows you to experience the micro scale from this part of the building process, thanks to the trans blue plates that make up the water, and the 1x2 plates that'll make up the tiles on the ground. Before you start putting together the buildings, you get the sense of how they intercut water, or how they feature ornate colors around them.
The Rialto Bridge isn't a complex build, though the use of the fender-like pieces does make for a fun innovative moment. Similarly, the St. Mark's Campanile tower is a mostly bricks-up build that isn't the most dazzling but can still be fun.
St. Mark's Basilica, however, was my favorite part to build: it manages to pack an absurd amount of detail using clever SNOT building, minimalist use of grate tiles, and slowly ascending cheese wedges and circle pieces.
The two little statues representing St. Theodore and the Winged Lion of St. Mark are also a brilliant addition, because with only three pieces each they still manage to become large edifices in the overall cityscape.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Virtually all the pieces in the set are the kind you could find in another set. If you've been looking for these pieces in the specific colors, you'll have plenty to grab (sand green, brown, a lot of varied white pieces). Otherwise, not much jumps out.
The exceptions are the microfig, the printed brick, the printed plate, and the SNOT-like plate. Nothing too major, but you never know.
As I touched on before, many of the moments in the building process, or some of the finished structures, feel a little bit lackluster. But put all together, the cityscape is beautiful in the symmetry of its colors, building styles. From the hints of water running by the creations, to imagining how something as simple as a cheese slope could be a large tower, the set in itself uses all the separate pieces to make the whole that much cooler.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Not that much playability for this set, lest you want to use all your plates to good use and populate the waterfront with micro scale boats of your own design.
Instead, let's look at 'Get-ability,' or how likely you might be to get this set. If you're looking for a good example of the Architecture line, to show how much detail LEGO can pack into one small set that uses the same breadth of colors, then this is an ideal one to get. It also might not be as recognizable landscape to your colleagues as, say, one from the States, and so they can focus on the construction of the buildings. If, however, you are looking for a more varied build, or one that really challenges what can make up a building and a cityscape, you might be better off getting some of the other sets.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Good symmetry in color and building style
- Beautiful level of detail, especially in the St. Mark's Basilica build
- MICROSCALE WATER :D
What's not to like?
- Not a very complex build
- Smaller subset of colors
Would this be my top pick for a cityscape? Probably not. Would I still get it second or third, or recommend it to other non-LEGO friends? Definitely. Do with that as you will, but make sure to pay your respects to the City of the Canals!
A big thanks goes out to LEGO for providing BZPower with this set, and another thanks goes to Pablo for writing up the review. Let us know what you think of the model in the Talkback, and keep checking back on BZPower for more LEGO reviews and news!
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