Review: 10255 Assembly Square

Designed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of modular buildings by LEGO, Assembly Square (10255) stands out in terms of design, size and parts selection.  Let’s take a closer look why.

First of all a big thank you to the AFOL Relations & Programs team (AR&P) of The LEGO Group for providing me with a copy of the set.
Opinions provided in this review solely reflect my views.  Similarly, the images presented are mine and were not directed by TLG in any fashion.

The Assembly Square has over 4,000 parts, easily making it the largest modular building that LEGO has released to date.  The next largest is the Town Hall (10244), which has just over 2,700 pieces, and most have between 2,000 and 2,500 parts.

The front of the box shows a front view of the set, including the eight minifigures (nine if we include the baby) who live and work at the Assembly Square.

Unlike other recent modular buildings, the front of the box doesn’t include an image showing that the building is modular.  It does however, include an image (at the bottom left) to commemorate the 10-year Anniversary of LEGO’s modulars buildings.

The back of the box shows that the building is modular, as well as highlighting the many features.

A set with more than 4,000 parts needs a big box, about 57.5 x 47.8 x 16.5 cm (or 22.75 x 18.75 x 6.5 inches) to be more precise.  This give a sense of just how big this set it, but what makes it even more obvious is the parts list at the top (side?) of the box:

Here’s a higher resolution image of the parts list.

The box appears to be completely full of parts bags, but a closer inspection reveals an inner box. We’ve seen this in other large sets, such as the Firehouse Headquarters (75827).  So, in the set box, there is an instructions booklet, 32×32 Green baseplate, parts bags number 4 to 6 and an inner box:

Inside the inner box are a 16×32 Green base plate, 8×16 Light Bluish grey plate and parts bags number 1 to 3:

For those who are into numbers, there are a total of 49 parts bags comprising 34 numbered bags and 15 inner baggies.

The instruction booklet was a little damaged around the edges, which probably has something to do with it being unwrapped and loose in the set box.  What ever happened to wrapping them in plastic with a cardboard backing sheet?

This is a very thick instruction booklet, with over 300 pages!

The first couple of pages provide some guidance on the building process and order, as well as the use of the brick separator.

    

The random page from towards the front of the instruction booklet shows that the instructions are easy to follow, with the yellow lines highlighting the build for that page.  It also shows that we start straight away with both baseplate together and not detachable.  Am I going to be able to move it once it gets bigger?

The back pages have the detailed parts lists, advertisements for other Creator Expert models and the LEGO Life app, and the usual back page, which lets us know that we can win a set if we provide feedback on this set.

    

(Excuse the mobile phone holding down the pages!)

   

   

The advertisement for the other modular buildings includes a neat graphic of all the modular buildings in a row. (Before you hit the comment button, let’s assume for the moment that we all agree that Market Street is a modular building).

Just to confirm, no sticker sheet to be found anywhere!

There are five number 1 bags, with the larger one having two inner bags:

Here’s what we find inside the number 1 bags:

The thing that strikes me immediately is the number of flat tiles and then I spot the ones with the corners cut off.  I had to stop myself from drooling.

Bricklink calls these “Tile, Modified 2 x 2 Corner with Cut Corner – Facet”.  I’m going to call them “cut corner tiles”.  These tiles, which are unique to Assembly Square, make for some awesome tiled floor patterns:

These tiles might make for awesome wall murals as well.

The number 1 bags complete the tiling for the ground floor, the outlines of where the buildings will sit and the pram.

There ‘s no baby at this stage, which makes the inclusion of the pram at this point in the build a little odd.

A neat design, and provides the first reference to a past modular building – the Green Grocer (10185) also had a pram (but no baby). Not sure if that reference was intentional, or whether I’m reading too much into it.

There are seven number 2 bags, with two inner baggies:

There were a lot of parts, so I’ve split them up into the big parts and smaller parts.  No science to it other than the little bags and inner baggies were treated as the smaller parts. Here is the first lot, the “big parts”:

The two things that noticed straight away were:

  • Corner door frame in Black, which is unique to this set in this colour.
  • Blue, green and yellow parrot (macaw), which apparently is the result of injecting blue and yellow into the mould (Jamie says so). Does this make each one unique?  Mine has a somewhat different pattern than the BrickLink image.
  • Sand Green bricks.  Not a lot of them, but always grateful for Sand green.

Here’s the small parts from the number 2 bags:

The things that caught my eye were:

  • Cut corner tiles in Dark Blue, also unique to this set.
  • Round 1×1 with tabs in Medium Lavender.  Not new or unique, but my favourite colour and I don’t have many of those yet.
  • Bar with holder in Black, which are not new or unique, but I just wanted to point them out because I think like them.
  • Reddish Brown clock, which is only available in this set and the Disney Princess Castle (71040).
  • Various foods (including printed tiles) and tools.

   

These parts are used to build the florist and the bakery.  The florist has some great details, such as the wrapped bunches held in the lattice fence, the “flap” to get behind the counter and the compact display (on the left).  I also like the floor pattern.

I wonder if the parrot is a reference from the Pet Shop (10218)?

The bakery has some great displays (love the one on the back wall) and a neat oven.

The oven door opens up to reveal the cookies inside.  These can be pushed out using a level under the back stairs. The White croissant  reminds me of the Parisian Restaurant (10243).

The best thing about the bakery though (in my view) are the windows!  The garage door roller sections look fantastic as window panes and they are beautifully framed by the Black trim and Dark Blue canopy.

The bar with holder works great for the railing on the back stairs:

    

This completes the build for number 2 bags and brings us to the number 3 bags, of which there are five plus two inner baggies:

Here’s what’s inside those bags:

The parts that caught my eye include:

    

These parts build the ground floor (a cafe) of the building on the left hand side.  The quarter 1×1 round tiles are used for the interior and exterior seating for the cafe.

I like how the bench seat has been done.  This would make for great booth seating in a fast food restaraunt.

It just occurred to me that the smallest serving of pie available if a quarter of a pie.  Let’s assume they are small pies, or our minifigures are soon going to have a weight problem.

The exterior awnings and shop sign are a tribute to the Cafe Corner (10182). The outdoor tables look great and make clever use of the Tan palm tops and Black technic discs.  The chihuahua sitting on the seat is deliberate (see Step 170 in the instructions).  I looks like someone has abandoned it there. 

The number 3 bags also finish off the ground floor of the florist, including the gorgeous flowers (tulips?) used for the shop sign.

The rear view shows the covered walkway between the buildings.

I think the use of the Trans-Green pieces for holding down the vine was a bit odd.  Why not the standard carrot tops?  That completes the number 3 bags.

There are eight number 4 bags, comprising five numbered bags plus three inner baggies:

Here are the parts from those bags:

Things to note here:

  • Lots of Tan bricks with extra knobs, including the 1×1 brick with two adjacent extra knobs.  How many times have I wanted one of these!!  The 1x1s are new this year and only available in Tan, in this and a couple of other sets.
  • 2×2 macaroni tiles in Light Bluish Grey, which are unique to this set in that colour.
  • Printed window glass!
  • White slope with cutout and no stud, which made me think “end cap” (shorthand for me for the top of a brick railing alongside stairs leading up to a building).  This piece is another one that is new this year and it is unique to this set in that colour.
  • A selection of printed tiles, which re useful for interior decorating.

There is also a lone Sand Blue window frame and a  few Light Aqua flat tiles. These are used for fitting out the dentist’s office.

I love the way that the main basin has been done and the chair is just perfect! The one thing that does concern me about the dentist is the open floor plan.  The only thing between the waiting area and the dentist’s chair is the front counter.

Imagine having other patients watching you while you’re getting your teeth worked on?

The other half of this build is the photo studio above the florist.  The camera is actually on a tripod, which is no mean feat using LEGO!

The number 4 bags finish off the first floor above the bakery and florist.

    

The round section on the front of the dentist’s office is made using the 1×1 bricks with adjacent knobs and cheese slopes.  I should also point out the use of the jumper plates at the top to hold the floors in place.

This is what it looks like overall so far.

There are seven number 5 bags with three inner baggies:

There were a lot of parts here, so I split them between plates, Sand Blue parts and everything else.

I had to resist the urge to hug the bag full of Sand Blue bricks!  According to the top of the box, there are (all up) 22 1×1 bricks, 20 1×2 bricks, 50 1×2 grill bricks and 51 1×6 bricks in Sand Blue.

More goodies to point out:

This builds both upper floors and roof of the Sand Blue building, which is not surprising given all the luscious Sand Blue bricks that were in the number 5 bags.

I love the use of the 1×1 tile with half circle.  They add a nice detail to the facade used in a row like this.  The windows, which remind me of the Green Grocer (10185) – see the upper most windows in the turret, allow for lots of breeze to flow through the building!  The White trim at the top is intended to be reminiscent of the Grand Emporium (10211) roof line (according to Jamie).

The first floor is a music store.

The upper floor is a dance studio, complete with piano:

The mirror piece was also used in the barber in the Detective’s Office (10246).  An issue with that was was that it wasn’t in snug.  This isn’t a problem here with the mirror help firmly in place by the lamp holders.

The piano look fantastic and deserves a closer look!

I couldn’t understand the stairs in the dance studio at first, but they provide access to the roof.  The Pet Shop (10218) also had a skylight using the same Trans-Black pieces.

This completes the building on the left.

The final parts are the number 6 bags, of which there are seven plus three inner baggies.

This was also a large lot, but for some reason I thought it would be OK to try and photograph them in one lot.  Might need to rethink that next time.

The part that caught my attention immediately was the 2×4 Cafe Corner printed tile:

There were some other noteworthy parts as well:

  • Some more round corner and macaroni flat tiles in Light Bluish Grey.
  • A collection of pots, pans and containers (Fez hat, bowl and Trans-Clear heads).
  • Plant stem in Dark Orange, which was only in one other set before this one.
  • Metallic Silver technical ball joint.  Not new or unique, but caught my eye because I don’t have any in that colour.
  • Black excavator buckets, which had me wondering for a little while as these are not the types of parts you expect to see in a modular building.

These final bags also included the baby!

These parts finish off the upper floors and roofs for the buildings on the right, including an apartment above the dentist and outdoor area with grill above the photographer’s studio.

The Fez hat is used in this set as a pot for a (rather sad looking) plant.

The above shot also shows the handles for hammers sticking out from the wall just behind the pot plant.  I thought these might have been covered up eventually, but they are not.

There is also a Fez hat used for the table.

The apartment is a studio, complete with a sofa bed. It’s a sofa:

Now it’s a bed, albeit a somewhat uncomfortable-looking one:

It also has a toilet, but no basin and no shower.

The apartment belongs to an AFOL and is full of LEGO, including an amazing train layout.  The minifgure that lives there is the (single?) mum with baby.  I’m internally conflicted, wondering whether she has her priorities right.  As a mum, I can’t help but notice there’s no where to change the baby (other than the floor or the sofa).  The AFOL side of me loves her apartment!

Turns out that excavator buckets make for great curved roofs, reminiscent of the Parisian Restaurant (10243).

    

While I’m not convinced about the White spike at the top of the spire (I think it should have been Black), the roof overall looks great.  The White chicken, which is unique in that colour, is a nice touch.

I also like how the rooftop area turned out. I was concerned about those hammer handles sticking out, but you don’t really focus on them once the build is completed.

The final bags also finish off the fountain and the lamp posts.

As show in this overall view, the lamp posts are the traditional style with just a Trans-Clear head and White radar dish. This style has been consistent through all the modulars, if I recall correctly.

And the whole build from a view different angles.

This one above shows the access to the roof above the apartment.

Time to take a closer look at the minifigures.

From left to right, there is the barista, ballerina, florist, mum and baby, dentist, photographer, music shop assistant and baker.

Each minifigure has the standard Yellow head and, with the exception, of the barista, has on plain pants, so I’ll focus just on the noteworthy parts.  Let’s face it, we don’t get these sets for the minifigures!

 

The barista is wearing the same outfit as the barista in the City Square (60097) set.  These are the same pants as Larry, the barista from The LEGO Movie, but not the same torso.  Her hair style is quite common (and arguably not that stylish).

The ballerina is not new in any sense or detail, and is wearing the same top as the photographer / mum from the Brick Bank (10251).  Why do I keep thinking she looks like a guy in a ballerina outfit?

“Look, ma, I’m doing the splits!”

The florist is a sweet old lady, wearing a pretty Medium Lavender jacket matched with Tan pants.

Mum is sporting a Bright Light Blue hoodie over Olive Green pants.  She is wearing her hair in a ponytail, which is a common style for minifigures.

How cute is that baby!  Someone needs to make a daycare as a modular building, and pack it full of these babies.  These are actually perfect babies – they don’t cry, don’t get their nappies dirty and are smiling all day.  I bet they sleep perfectly though the night too.

The baby sits neatly in the pram, but looks a little cramped when laying down.  Mind you, with a perfect baby like this one, he or she probably sits in the pram all day without complaining!

The dentist is the only minifigure in this set with a unique element, this being his torso.  He’s also the only one in this set that is wearing gloves on his hands.

The photographer is noteworthy for the fact that he is the only on in this set that has facial hair.  I can’t help but think of the guy in Mythbusters when I look at the photographer, right down to that totally emotionless expression.

The music store assistant is also not unique in any way.  He reminds me of the lumberjack that was in the Collectible Minifigures, but it is not the same torso.

The final minifigure is the baker, who is similarly not unique.

At the end of all the building, these are the spare parts:

That’s a small set in itself!

A last look at the building as a whole:

Overall, the Assembly Square comes with a hefty price tag ($400 in Australia), but is hard to pass up!  The building(s) look fantastic, they are interesting to build and come with a great selection of parts.  How many times have you wished for a round corner flat tile?  This set has them in multiple colours and sizes.  Cut corner tile in multiple colours.  An abundance of Sand Blue bricks.  Do I need to say more?

When I first opened the instruction booklet I was surprised to see that it was build as one big build, rather than the Sand Blue building being detachable.  I was concerned that I would be able to move the building around easily once it got past  certain size, but it is surprisingly sturdy and easy to lift up and move around.

I must admit that I can’t help but want three separate buildings, and can see how this could readily be done.  However, that project will have to wait for now.

If you made it all the way down here, thank you for reading!  C&C welcome, as always.

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