Price: £39.99 / $39.99 / €49.99 Pieces: 554 Available: Now
What makes a modular building LEGO set such a special experience? It is both building a satisfying model packed with detail, but also enjoying the fun of seeing interesting build techniques demonstrated along the way. In the case of 31105 Townhouse Toy Store, the set manages to distill that experience into a 554 piece set.
Focusing on the main model, the appealing one that dominates the box, 31105 Townhouse Toy Store is a mini version of a corner modular like 10264 Corner Garage (review). It features a toy store on the ground floor, an apartment on the first floor and a spaceship ride.
The colour scheme is excellent, making for a bright, vibrant looking building. Some great little touches add to the colourful model, including the windowpots, the candy machine and the bird sat on the roof. Building the windows on the first floor, that jut out from the structure, is an excellent illustration of how to mix SNOT (studs not on top) technique and nice parts usage.
Inside the building, the toy shop includes enough decoration for it to have detail, but not so much that the minifigures won’t fit in there. A cash register is a neat little build, as are the two brick-built toys. Printed tile LEGO sets are a nice treat to finished it off, including the uncommon 10182 Cafe Corner element.
As for upstairs, the bedroom is great fun. Both the bed and the lamp are simple builds, with the latter being impressive in its simplicity. The theme of plants continues from the outdoors, again providing lots of colour. A little terrace allows for more display options.
A nice little touch on the set’s exterior is a little red-suited soldier with an usually tall hat. It is almost certainly intended as a homage to the mascot of BR, the long standing chain of Danish toy shops.
The space ride makes for a neat model, reminiscent of the coin operated rides that are often found at toy shops. It feels a touch too big though, which is a shame given that everything else in the build is so well proportioned.
One of the set’s alternative builds is as a flower shop. This underwhelming, one room, one storey building includes a few nice demonstrations of how to reuse elements and does look good on the outside – but is not anywhere near up the standard of the ‘a’ model.
The third model is a bakery, which is better than the flower shop but still not as impressive as the toy shop. Inside the building are a set of scales and a refrigerator for the cakes, both of which are very effective. A room next door is a LEGO room, a nice nod to fans of the brand. It is finished off by a little outdoor seating area so minifigures can enjoy some of the baked delights.
Thankfully, the main model in LEGO Creator 31105 Townhouse Toy Store is entirely worth the asking price. Anyone looking for a quick fix to tide them over until the next Creator Expert modular building is released should pick this set up and build a delightful little toy shop.