Review: 75827 Firehouse Headquarters

You don’t need to see the Firehouse Headquarters (75827) from the Ghostbusters franchise in real life to appreciate that it is an impressive building, but let’s see anyway!

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.

This is a huge box and, while I don’t normally bother measuring the size of the box, I couldn’t help myself – 58 x 48.5 x 19 cm (or 23 x 19 x 7.5 inches, or thereabouts).  It’s also a heavy box, which is not surprising given the Firehouse Headquarters has more than 4,600 parts.  This makes it the biggest set that I have by a long shot.

   

The front and box of the box are in different orientations, with the front being in portrait and the rear in landscape mode.

Opening the box was a bit strange.  I pulled out a wrapped instructions booklet (including two sets of stickers), 32 x 32 Dark Bluish Grey baseplate and a couple of un-numbered bags with technic bricks and 6 x 16 Reddish Brown Plates.

Nothing strange there really, but then I kept pulling out high numbered bags, from number 8 to number 14.

This is the reason why:

There were two inner boxes.  The larger of the two had bag numbers 1 to 3, a 16 x 32 Dark Bluish Grey baseplate and a long Pearl Gold twisty pole, while the smaller box contained bag numbers 4 to 7 and a couple of 6 x 16 Reddish Brown Plates.

   

That’s a lot of parts bags. Forty parts bags, in fact.  Or 63 if you also count the smaller inner baggies.  Or 65 of you also count the two un-numbered ones.

The instructions booklet is also hefty 400+ pages.  I wanted to weigh it, but I don’t own any scales.  Similar to the box, the front cover of the instruction booklet is in portrait (and largely matches the from of the box), with the rest in landscape format.

The inside covers provide information about the original Ghostbusters movie (in multiple languages), the characters and the headquarters used by the Ghostbusters.

      

The instructions are printed on black glossy pages, which made them a little difficult to read at time due to glare.  I also found the Reddish Brown difficult to discern.

This was helped, though, by the use of yellow outlining around the parts added in most steps.

Not surprisingly, there were five pages for the parts list:

            

There were four number 1 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

That’s a lot of grey were my first thoughts, followed closely by Reddish Brown doors, which are unique to this set!!  The other parts that caught my eye were the Dark Green bricks and printed tiles and “Proton Packs“.  The brick separator plague continues.

I also wondered about the whips, but these were one of the first things used:

The packs are a little heavy, so our Ghostbuster has to lean slightly forward to balance!

At the end of the number 1 bags, we have started the ground floor and built the lockers for three of the Ghostbusters.

I like the way the pavement has been done using the staggered 2 x 4 tiles.  On the inside, I like the use of the stripes to transition from the Dark Green wall to the White wall.

The lockers are supposed to have name tags on them, but I couldn’t bring myself to put stickers on those doors.  I did manage, after some trial and error, to secure the packs in the lockers without them spilling out.  The trick was to do it back-to-front from how it was shown in the instructions, naturally.

There were four number 2 parts bags, with one inner baggie, with the following parts:

We start mixing up the colours a bit more with some Reddish Brown parts.  There was nothing in this lot that particularly caught my eye and I did let out a little sigh on seeing the large Dark Green panels.  The panels actually look quite good how they have been used on the interior wall.

The wood panel wall is relatively simple in terms of its construction, but it looks great.

There were three number 3 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

This looks largely like the parts to make a monochrome structure or scene.  The eye gets drawn to the 1 x 1 Blue tiles with stars and the Pearl Gold antlers, but the stand out piece in my view is the Black corrugated panel:

This panel really makes the front gate to the firehouse pop.   I also like how it is built so that you can enter through the smaller door without needing to open the whole gate.

The parts from the number 3 bags finish most of the structure of the ground floor:

   

There is also a great looking cast iron column in Black.  This would look great in a New York apartment building to hold up the floors instead of using strategically placed walls!

There were three number 4 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

There were quite a few parts that caught my eye, including the tools, printed tiles and Metallic Gold 2×2 radar dish.  The printed 2 x 2 ‘News’  and ‘Brick Ghostbusters’ tiles are unique to this set.

These parts are used to complete the structure and furnishings for the ground floor:

The desk in the middle uses a 1 x 4 panel in novel way:

   

I really like the design of this desk, including the items that sit on the desk. The stickers add character and, combined with the design of the computer monitor, transport you back to the 1980s.

The large beam across the middle of the completed ground floor detracts a little from the using, but is understandably required to support the upper floors.  They are also used to hold the lights.

There were three number 5 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

While not unique to this set, the Medium Dark drawers and the Reddish Brown cupboards have only been in 2016 sets and so are relatively new.  There are also a lot of Light Bluish Grey bricks with extra knobs. And there are plenty more of those to come – 131 of the 1 x 2 bricks with two extra knobs and 124 of the 1 x 1 bricks with extra knob!

The number 5 bags are used to start the main section of the first floor:

I like how the sink is done and also the patterned tiling.  The sink used the new 1 x 2 panel with extra sides, which are new this year and found in Light Bluish Grey in only one other set to date.

There were three number 6 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

There was quite a mix of colours and part types, reflecting that these parts were used to complete most of the structure and interior of the main first floor section.

The bed are three studs wide and use an interesting click hinge combination for the bed head.  The beds are attached to jumper tiles, which makes them easy to remove.

Love the computer game console, as well as the design of the fireplace – simple but effective.

The fridge is neat in that it is compact and opens up with enough room to store some food items, but I find it a little awkward looking.

There are a lot of details packed into the kitchen.  The design of the plastic storage containers is simple, but looks great.

There were two number 7 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

The parts that caught my eye were the Reddish Brown door (found only in one other set to date) and the long, tousled White hair, which is unique to the Firehouse headquarters.  The book also looks great, even if it is a sticker!

The number 7 bags finish the main section of the first floor:

And the table and chairs for the kitchen.  I like the design of the chairs, but not that they can’t be pinned down to anything.

This is what the Firehouse Headquarters looks like halfway through the bags:

There were three number 8 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

Slimer (unique to this set) and the Trans-Neon Yellow parts stand out because of their colour.  The other interesting parts are the Reddish Brown life preserver, which is unique to this set in this colour, and the 1 x 1 bricks with scroll in Tan, of which I can’t get enough.

The number 8 bags build all of the first floor bathroom section:

The toilet looks great, although the toxic goo oozing out is a little concerning.  I like the how the toilet bowls done, as well as how the shelf in the shower is done.  This is how it looks on the building itself:

The panels above the windows that stick out above the first floor make more sense later on when the second floor is added.  They create a seamless transition from the first floor windows to the second floor windows.

There were three number 9 parts bags, with only one inner baggie, with the following parts:

While a nice selection of parts, there was nothing that particularly stood out for me.  Having said that, I should point out that there are loads of Dark Red bricks in this set, with 67 1 x 6 bricks and 108 1 x 4 bricks.  That’s a large part of a facade covered!

The number 9 bags start the structure and flooring for the main part of the second floor:

Not much to say about that, so let’s move on to the next lot of baggies.

There were two number 10 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

The two parts that immediately caught my eye were the Dark Blue tool kit and Light Bluish Grey stereo, which are both unique to the Firehouse Headquarters.  There is also another one of the unique ‘Brick Ghostbusters’ tile.  The Trans-Neon Green head (not shown below) is new in that colour in 2016.

The interior of the main part of the second floor includes a billiards table, built using SNOT to get smooth edges all round:

The second floor also houses the lab / work space.  I really like the details in this space, including the industrial shelving, the workbench and the various containers stored on the shelves.

Have you noticed that the ghostbusters have a lot of cardboard boxes laying around?

There were three number 11 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

Back to loads of Grey with a smattering of colour.  That’s not a copper part, just a trick of the reflection, in case you’re wondering.

These parts finish the main part of the second floor:

Consistent with the ground floor and first floor, there is a large beam running the length of the second floor that holds the lighting and, presumably, the roof.  There are exposed studs above the main windows which look a little unfinished given this is the only place that this occurs.

There were two number 12 parts bags ( and no inner baggies), with the following parts:

The interesting parts here are the Reddish Brown door (unique to this set) and the Red window, which is not that common.  There are also a number of plates with doors rails shown in the bottom left.  These are a favourite of mine for creating detail in facades, and there are lots of them in the Firehouse Headquarters – 25 of the 1 x 2 plates and 35 of the 1 x 8 plates!

The number 12 bags builds the hinged section with the science bench.

There is also a fire extinguisher, which is probably a good idea given that the naked flame isn’t attached to the science bench in any way!

Notwithstanding the fire hazard, I love how this beech has been made.  Very clever!

There were three number 13 parts bags, with two inner baggies, with the following parts:

There are lots of stairs in this lot, so it is no surprise that the number 13 baggies build the interior stairwell, as well as the exterior fire escape:

Unlike the other section of the building, the two floors are permanently attached to each other (and not modular).  There is a three stud gap between the wall and the column, where a balustrade needs to go.  This would commonly be addressed by using the telescopes as balustrade.  However, the solution in this case is to use a 1 x 4 fence piece, with one stud built into the wall column.  While this maintains consistency in the balustrade, it does leave a bit of a gap where a solid wall should be.

There were two number 14 parts bags, with one inner baggie, with the following parts:

The parts that stand out are the two ghosts, which re unique to this set, and the Dark Red roof tiles.  While not particularly rare, I don’t have that many Dark Red roof tiles (hence the excitement).

Unlike the other section, the roof is built in one piece.  It has hinged sections that line up with the sections below it, so that it can be opened up with the roof on.

The larger of the two hinged sections has to be closed first.  It won’t close at all if the smaller one is already closed.

The final parts bags also build the traffic lights, rubbish bin and the fire pole.

The fire pole has great entertainment value, and you could lose hours watching the Ghostbusters twirl there way from top to bottom!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet that the Pearl Gold spiral pole is new in 2016 and the handles used to traverses it up and down are unique to this set.

Let’s have a quick look at what parts we have left over when the all the building is done:

Four spare whips … made me go back through the instructions, but I don’t think I missed anything.

Here is the building, which is as impressive in real life, as it in the pictures on the web!

One of the downsides of the size of this building is that it was hard for me to take good photos of the interior when it is all together.  So, I don’t think I’ve quite done it justice.

The exception is the back of the building, which is as ugly in real life as it is in the photos!

There are also nine minifigures in the set, including the four Ghostbusters themselves.

Ignoring the front row, we have, from left to right: Tully, Zeddemore, Stantz, Venkman, Spengler, Janine, Library Ghost, Zombie Driver and Dana.  I’m going to leave you to take a closer look at each one of them yourselves, but just wanted to point out a few of things:

  • Venkerman is my favourite Ghostbuster as he has the best alternative expression
  • Love Dana’s hair and outfit, but she needs to do something about that hideous eyeshadow
  • Janine, Janine, Janine … sigh
  • It’s a shame the Library Ghost’s torso has green stains on it as it would make a great torso pice for a ball gown.

One final look at the set as a whole:

Overall, an awesome set.  It looks great, was fun and interesting to build, has great interior detailing, plenty of playability and is a massive parts pack for building MOCs.  The main downside to this set is the hefty price tag, but you get a lot of pieces! When I first saw all the large Dark Green panels, I was sure I was going to list them as a negative as well.  However, they actually look good the way that they have been used.

The other thing that struck me was that there are a lot of bricks in this building and (what feels like) a relatively a low number of windows for a building of this size.

If you made it all the way down here, thank you for your perseverance.  I hope you enjoyed the review.  Comments and (constructive) criticisms always welcome!

Head over to the Flickr album for the high resolution versions of the above images and also for the images that didn’t make it into the review.

Note: Information regarding parts and colours based on information in the BrickLink and Brickset databases at the time of writing and may be subject to change.