One of the most anticipated events in the LEGO calendar is the launch of a new addition to the Modular Buildings Collection, the annual range that includes some of the most detailed, intricate and innovative builds the LEGO Group has to offer. This year’s set, 10297 Boutique Hotel, celebrated the 15th anniversary of the subtheme – the very first model originally arrived in 2007 – and as a line-up, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Little is known about next year’s modular building (if it exists), beyond rumoured details of its product number, price point and piece count. 10312 is said to come in at 2,899 pieces for €229.99, releasing – as is custom – on January 1. That’s 167 fewer pieces than 10297 Boutique Hotel for the same price (at least, post-price increase). Without knowing exactly what it could be, though, here are five general things we’d like to see from the new set…
5 – A straight-edged building
We don’t know about you, but we’ve got enough corner buildings to last, oh, forever? The LEGO Group’s pattern of releasing a corner building followed by two straight-edged buildings suggests this is basically a lock for 2023’s set, but beyond that we’d like to see the ratio adjusted in favour of straight-edged buildings long-term. Danish streets must be pretty short for the frequency of corner modular buildings…
4 – More specialist minifigures
Okay, fine, nobody’s buying a modular building for its minifigures. But these sets do typically include some interesting designs, relevant to their particular buildings or settings, and long may that continue. Highlights from the past few years include the boxer in 10260 Downtown Diner, the doughnut seller in 10278 Police Station, and the hotel staff in 10297 Boutique Hotel. More of the same in 2023, please, TLG.
3 – A bolder colour scheme
A good example of the left hand not talking to the right at the LEGO Group is 10297 Boutique Hotel and 76218 Sanctum Sanctorum both landing on shelves in the same year. They’re both corner buildings designed to fit in with previous modular buildings, and both use very similar colour schemes of (shades of) nougat and sand green. Fingers crossed next year’s building pushes for bolder hues: so no more sand green, thanks.
2 – An innovative footprint
One thing the modular buildings designers rarely do is rest on their laurels, forever finding new and interesting ways to work within a 32×32-stud footprint (or, in the case of 10255 Assembly Square, a super-sized 32×48 configuration). This year’s 10297 Boutique Hotel used some ingenious LEGO maths to slice away part of the corner building, making room for an art gallery. We’d love to see the same innovation applied to a straight-edged building.
1 – Something totally new
10297 Boutique Hotel wasn’t our first luxury accommodation in the Modular Buildings Collection: the set that started it all, 10182 Café Corner, featured a hotel on its upper floors. That made sense for the 15th anniversary of the subtheme, particularly given the other nods and references littered throughout the set, but we’d like to see something genuinely new and refreshing in 2023. Even 17 buildings in, the possibilities are endless…
There are still no hard guarantees that 2023 will bring us a new modular building, but it feels like the safest bet possible in LEGO terms. For the latest update to our list of LEGO sets confirmed and rumoured for 2023, click here. And if you’re yet to pick up 10297 Boutique Hotel, there’s a pretty sweet deal currently available at John Lewis.