Another new year means another modular building, and January 1’s release of LEGO Creator Expert 10260 Downtown Diner looks to fill that annual rite with aplomb
There’s a lot going for 10260 Downtown Diner, whether you’re caught up on the modular buildings line or not. After 10 years of buildings, topped off by this year’s larger, celebratory 10255 Assembly Square, the Creator Expert subtheme has diverted wildly for its first second-decade entry. Inspired by 1950s American architecture, it’s the sort of building that wouldn’t look out of place in a Back to the Future diorama, and that’s an exciting prospect for the actual future.
After all, if the LEGO Group is willing to diversify its modular street this much, the possibilities for subsequent modular buildings are basically limitless. So whether you’re a seasoned collector or are just jumping in for the first time, there’s plenty to enjoy here on a base level, with the ability to kick off an entirely new street.
That’s not to say 10260 won’t sit well with past modulars, as the press images show, but the distinctive colour scheme will draw the eye much faster than the muted dark and sand colours of previous buildings. Teal is back for 2018, and paired with pink, it really pops – perfectly selling that retro dining experience.
To that end, you might find that this isn’t up your street (sorry) after all – or at least, not until the LEGO Group releases a few more in the same style to complement it. But with how long modular buildings stick around, you won’t have to risk missing out on this one if you do decide to take the plunge a couple of years from now.
The exterior design of 10260 looks great – at least where the ground floor is concerned. The curving windows and border are achieved brilliantly, but the walls above do seem oddly plain compared to past buildings. And thanks to the exterior staircase, the footprint of the building itself feels slightly diminutive at first glance – whether that will remain the case in the flesh remains to be seen.
Over the past four or five years, kicking off with 10243 Parisian Restaurant, much of the focus of the modular buildings has been on the interior detail. In 10260, that same focus continues, with the majority of said detail prioritised for the fully tiled ground floor diner. It’s a shame there doesn’t appear to be more memorabilia plastered on the walls, reflecting real-life diners, as it would have provided a great opportunity for some LEGO in-jokes, like the movie posters in 10232 Palace Cinema.
Still, the diner aesthetic looks to be pretty well realised otherwise, with a black and white chequered floor, jukebox, gumball machine, grill, bar and some awesome booths. As predicted from the leaked image of 10260, the second floor contains a gym, complete with boxing ring, punching bag and free weights area. There seems to be plenty to get stuck into here, and it’s a fun change for the modular buildings, where the upper floors are often just apartments.
The top floor also mixes things up with a recording studio, keeping the music theme from the jukebox going, and really just tying the whole 1950s vibe together. The included car will split opinions as the modular building vehicles are wont to do, but it sits well with previous models like Palace Cinema’s limo and 10197 Fire Brigade’s truck.
While the change of direction might not be to everyone’s tastes, 10260 Downtown Diner brings plenty to the table, proving there’s still life in the modular building line yet – and will be for years to come.