LEGO 10312 Jazz Club has plenty going on – but did it bite off more than it can chew?
LEGO Icons 10312 Jazz Club has two buildings and plenty of dynamic details on its 32×32 plate – but is that too much for it to handle?
The latest LEGO Modular Building has been applauded and criticised for many of the same things; colour scheme, size, and minifigure variety have all been seen as positive, negative, and everything in between. As with any other Modulars, it’s packed full of details for you to tell a number of stories in your build.
For anyone who collects Modular Buildings for an urban LEGO display, it mixes things up with a fresh colour scheme and mixed heights of the buildings, keeping it varied on your brick-built street. As LEGO reviewers start sharing what they think of the set after receiving it earlier, we’ve summed up some of their thoughts for you here ahead of the set’s release in the new year.
– Set details –
Theme: LEGO Icons Set name: 10312 Jazz Club Release: January 1, 2022 for VIPS; January 4, 2022 for general release
Price: £199.99 / $229.99 / €229.99 Pieces: 2,899 Minifigures: 8
LEGO: January 1, 2022
The splash of colours makes a charming first impression
The most notable characteristic of 10312 Jazz Club is the vibrant colour scheme, with bright blue on the lower floor of the colour shifting to a dark red on the second. The sign itself also stands out, with such bright shades as to almost appear neon.
Even the smaller details contain pops of colour, as Brickset points out: “Hanging baskets add colour and interest to the first floor of it, while the colours of the Italian flag on the awnings above the windows of the ground floor provide a clue as to what’s sold inside. Stained-glass windows add interest and colour to the solid-looking jazz club building.”
However, one reviewer was less excited about one aspect of the colouring, with Brick Architect writing: “Speaking of the tiling, I am not super excited about the color choices for the floor of the Pizzeria – there is very little contrast between the Dark Stone Grey and Sand Yellow tiles, creating a pattern that looks a bit dirty and muted. On the other hand, the Black and White tile in the kitchen is a classic combination which looks clean and stands out.”
He added: “While I was cautiously optimistic about the colour scheme at first, I do find it a bit distracting from the rest of my street scene.”
Clever building techniques make for a dynamic design
Bricksie points out that there are a number of unusual building techniques in 10312 Jazz Club, such as SNOT to create inlaid window frames and smooth pillars on the exterior of the pizzeria.
“I love the way that the entrance [of the jazz club] was clipped into place after we actually built the structure,” they added. “It’s at a very interesting angle and it serves as an entrance and also the ticket booth.”
However, although the smart build means that there are two buildings in one, Brickset points out that this leaves the building lacking inside.
“Splitting the model into two smaller buildings has certainly made it more visually appealing than a monolithic structure,” they write. “But it has meant compromises have had to be made inside, particularly in the club area, which is minuscule and unlikely to be sustainable with a 1:2 ratio between performers who can fit on the stage and the number of paying customers it can seat!”
The minifigures, although fitting, are disappointing
With the number of jazz club attendees in mind, all three reviewers commented on the fact that there are no passersby among the eight minifigures, although applauded the fact that there are eight included, more than usual in a LEGO Modular Building.
“The minifigures in this set are not inspired, but people buying the set will be pleased to see that we get 8 minifigs this year,” reasoned Brick Architect. “That’s three more than in 2020/2021.”
However, Brickset was quick to point out that a large number of minifigures doesn’t hide a glaring omission.
“Eight minifigures are provided, which is more than most modulars, but a couple more would have been welcome because they all depict professional roles associated with the building: there are no customers, bystanders or passers-by.” writes Brickset.
The facade is arguably the most important part of a Modular Building – and it doesn’t disappoint
With any Modular Building, it’s designed to be viewed from the outside, although the interior details are also important. In this, the critics agree that 10312 Jazz Club does itself proud.
“This roof is awesome,” comments Bricksie. “I really enjoyed the build of it. It uses some really interesting parts and had some really nice detail.”
“The front facade is by far the most important aspect of any modular building,” agrees Brickset. “This one is well-designed and incorporates several new building techniques and parts usage. I think the overall colour balance works well with the bright paintwork around the ground floor of the club and [the] yellow finish of the right-hand-side contrasting pleasingly with the dark brick-built facade of the old building.”
The details are delightful – but it falls down in the bigger picture
While there’s plenty to love in this set, all three reviewers seemed underwhelmed overall.
“I…feel that it’s lacking something,” writes Brickset. “It doesn’t have a ‘wow-factor’, a certain je ne sais quoi, that some of the others have. Last year’s Boutique Hotel has unusual geometry and was dominated by a rare and sought after colour, so looked spectacular on first sight. I don’t think that this one does the same.”
Similarly, when compared with post Modular Buildings, as is inevitable, 10312 Jazz Club leaves something to be desired.
“It can’t compete with something as dynamic as last year’s Boutique Hotel, but it is a nice model with a primary form on the left and a supporting structure which is recessed and on the right,” states Brick Architect.
– Summary –
Ultimately, the reviewers all had plenty of good things to say about 10312 Jazz Club, but also several points to critique. A lot of the negatives come down to the practicalities of working in a confined space, something that was a necessity when splitting a 32×32 plate into two buildings. While it’s fun to have multiple structures in one set and all the details that come with it, perhaps it could have been better executed if the designers had stuck to just one main building.
You can make your own mind up about LEGO Icons 10312 Jazz Club when it releases on January 1, 2023, for LEGO VIPs or on January 4 widely, at a price of £199.99 / $229.99 / €229.99.
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