Price: £159.99 / $199.99 / €179.99 Pieces: 2,569 Available: Now
Creator Expert modular sets are an annual delight, something special that LEGO fans look forward to each year. Yet telling LEGO fans that the next one will be a garage would not ordinarily fill them with anticipation – LEGO City is typically the place for garages and petrol stations, as the key aspect is that cars can interact with the location. But just like 10197 Fire Brigade, the team behind LEGO Creator Expert has demonstrated how a garage can be right at home on the modular street.
LEGO Creator Expert 10264 Corner Garage is another three storey building to enjoy on its own or add to the growing cityscape that the modular series is now creating. Packing in the titular garage, an animal clinic and apartment as well as a tow truck, it offers a selection of new subject matter that has not been covered before in this range. Well, unless an animal clinic is considered too close to a pet shop.
One overwhelmingly negative aspect that stands out immediately is that the minifigures once again have a variety of face prints rather than the classic smiley. That is still a shame, as the modular series was unique in providing that nod to the LEGO Group’s heritage. Thankfully, everything else about building this set will have fans smiling like that original minifigure.
Unlike previous corner buildings, 10264 Corner Garage has been set back from the street a bit, which allows space for a petrol pump and room for a car to fill up. Not only visually does it provide something new, but it allows for cars to pull up and fill up. Like 10260 Downtown Diner, the set has a distinct 1950s America feel, with the green and white stripes and signage contributing to that.
The garage itself finds an excellent balance between incorporating key details, such as tool trolleys and accessories, and providing space for vehicles. A function is built into the back wall that allows vehicles to be raised so that the minifigures can work underneath them, which is very neat and not at all obtrusive. Similarly well hidden is the dial to open the workshop door.
Complementing Jo’s Garage is the tow truck, which is designed to perfection, looking perfectly at home with the style of the building. As with the other functions in the set, the mechanism used to raise and lower the winch is complaint free.
When it comes to the modular series, it is easy to get the feeling that the LEGO design team is taking the opportunity to educate builders and demonstrate just how good they are at coming up with clever build methods. In the case of the animal clinic, the way the fish is held in place in the tank is well worth noting, as is the use of vehicle windscreen elements for the windows. The vet’s equipment is excellent, including a heat lamp for the frog and microscope for checking samples.
As for the top floor, a delightful apartment shows that the Creator Expert designers have not run out of ways to furnish a flat yet, with the old style television and kitchen both fun to build. It seems that the occupant is a train fan, with a model mounted on the wall alongside a record.
Printed pieces are used throughout 10264 Corner Garage, with not a sticker in sight – the retro Octan logo is a highlight. The best of the bunch is the window signage for the animal clinic, which sneaks in an Indiana Jones reference, reading: “Dr Jones Animal Care – No snakes!”. Each builder will have to decide for themselves whether Indy would ever trade archaeology for veterinary medicine.
As is expected in a modular building set, there are few studs showing as a mix of SNOT technique and clever piece selection makes for an authentic looking exterior. The extensive use of Dark Orange elements makes for a very attractive model, but will also delight parts fans who will be delighted to see so many different pieces in the rare hue.
Once again, the modular series has demonstrated its ability to provide the ultimate playset for adults. The interior sections are fun to fiddle with, to place minifigures in different places and shift accessories around, while the exterior looks absolutely brilliant on display, and would do were it not made from LEGO pieces. LEGO Creator Expert continues to impress with the modular street, with no real complaints aside from the minifigure face niggle – it will not be through any accident that fans find themselves putting together Jo’s Garage.
This product was provided for review by the LEGO Group.