LEGO Ideas 21319 Central Perk was an absolute and unexpected smash hit, with sets flying off the shelves just as quickly as the poor LEGO Store employees could put them there. The LEGO Group is now hoping to repeat that success with another LEGO Ideas set based on a massively-popular and globally-successful 1990s sitcom, Seinfeld.
In fact, to say the show was successful is somewhat of an understatement. Seinfeld is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most-influential sitcoms of all time. Running for nine series with a total of 180 episodes, its finale drew in more than 76 million viewers and it’s so far earned over $3 billion in syndication fees.
Since Brent’s design passed the review stage back in June 2020, fans have waited patiently to get their hands on their own LEGO interpretation of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment – a central location to the series – hoping for the same mix of nostalgia and innovative building techniques that made 21319 Central Perk so popular. It’s been a long time coming, but what’s the deal with it?
— Set details —
Price: £69.99 / $79.99 / €79.99 Pieces: 1,326 Minifigures: 5
— Build —
A total of 1,326 pieces are spread across nine numbered bags and, as is the case with all recent LEGO Ideas sets, the instruction manual contains information about the long-running series and the cast of characters that appear within the set: Jerry, best friends George and Elaine, next-door neighbour Cosmo Kramer and Jerry’s arch-nemesis Newman.
There’s also interviews with fan designer Brent Waller and the LEGO team responsible for turning Brent’s idea into a reality. It’s disappointingly not as detailed as some other sets have been, and considering the cultural importance and influence the show has had on modern comedies, it feels like more could have been said. But we’re not here for a history lesson: 21328 Seinfeld is all about the build.
The majority of Seinfeld’s episodes open with Jerry performing his stand-up routine on a sparse stage, with only a small table to keep him company. Fans will no doubt appreciate that the build also begins the same way, by constructing an 8×4 recreation of the stage, complete with table and brick wall. It’s a fun little nod to the show and, similar to the couches in both 21319 Central Perk and 10292 The Friends Apartments, it serves as a nice standalone display piece for those who may have limited shelf space.
On to the apartment itself, and it begins much the same as some of the recent Ideas sets – like 21319 Central Perk (we promise we’ll stop talking about this set now) or 21324 123 Sesame Street – by constructing the floor space. It’s built here using a number of large plates, which are then covered with tiles of various sizes, save for a few exposed studs to allow for walls, furniture and minifigures to eventually be attached. These exposed studs are few and far between, and fans of the smooth, studs-not-on-top aesthetic will be very happy.
Seinfeld’s apartment has a rather unusual shape to it, with a number of odd, angled walls. Rather than building these directly on to the base, sections are built as large, hinged sub-assemblies that attach to just two small areas of the floor, swinging into position. It’s an unusual technique, but seems to work. From the front, anyway: the rear and sides look ungainly and not at all attractive. It’s not a large negative, but it does impact the overall aesthetic of the set as a complete model, as it means it can only really be displayed from the front.
Where this set shines, though, is through the intricate details spread throughout that not only offer up some creative parts usage, but are also very accurate to the source material. While regular LEGO sets can sometimes lean on the same techniques when building smaller interior details, Ideas sets always feel like the designers have been thinking outside the box.
The office chair’s black Technic cog as the legs and the desk lamp’s black skeleton leg as the base are just some early examples of the innovation that is present throughout – and the more the build progresses, the better these builds become.
The stove in the kitchen uses a small front bumper for the grill; the legs of stools are made from dark blue candle sticks; the microwave and refrigerator are both enjoyable little sub-assemblies; and the dining room chairs are a particular joy, employing 1×2 plates with bar handles as legs and 1×2 modified plates with angled bars for back rests.
It’s the units around the apartment, though – the kitchen cupboard and bookshelves – that are the most enjoyable builds. They’re intricate sub-assemblies that fit together almost like a jigsaw puzzle, crammed full of representations of books, mugs, juice and trinkets – all of which look just like the real thing in Jerry’s on-screen apartment.
As enjoyable as it is, there isn’t anything throughout the build – save for a couple of tricky angles that need a little aligning – that warrant it being an 18+ set. Obviously the subject matter will appeal more to a grown-up audience (there probably aren’t too many young fans out there wanting to recreate their favourite moments from Seinfeld), but there’s nothing in this build that would challenge a 9+ builder, and it does leave the build experience feeling just a little bit lacking at times, especially as it can be completed relatively quickly.
Saying that, these types of sets are really about the fan service that is on offer, and in that respect 21328 Seinfeld definitely does not disappoint. It’s packed full of over 30 references to find, including Jerry and the gang’s favourite hang-out (a Monk’s café sticker can be found on the fridge), catchphrases (Kramer’s ‘Giddy Up’ appears as another sticker), memorable moments from classic episodes (seeing George Costanza’s iconic semi-naked photo transformed into LEGO is a highlight), past characters (a portrait of Uncle Leo is hanging up on one of the walls) and even a nod to co-creator Larry David are hidden waiting to be found by eagle-eyed fans.
It’s these references that lift this set beyond just a normal building experience. Memories of favourite episodes, moments and scenes come flooding back at almost every stage. We highly recommend having a couple of episodes playing in the background during the build experience to really ramp up the nostalgia gauge.
As with previous models based on sitcoms, Jerry’s apartment is designed to represent the television set the show is filmed on rather than a real-life apartment. Four brick built studio lights hang down from the walls, but rather than enhancing the look they really just detract from it. While they are actually quite accurate to those used on the real set, they look a little too bulky and the exposed studs really stick out, especially when pretty much every other surface has been covered with tiles.
That aside, the finished model is incredibly accurate, even down to the offset angle of the kitchen counter and apartment walls. It really is quite impressive, especially when comparing the finished model to the real-life set. Everything from the colour of the kitchen counters to the style of desk chair, the paraphernalia that’s on the shelf, the colours of the walls and furniture, and even the design of the doors are all absolutely spot on.
— Characters —
Five minifigures are included in 21328 Seinfeld: Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Elaine Benes, fan-favourite Cosmo Kramer and perpetual thorn in Jerry’s side, Newman. While their outfits don’t reference a particular episode or moment from the series, they are still dressed in appropriate attire.
Jerry sports a familiar blue shirt (seen in multiple episodes across the series) and comes armed with a microphone, ready to fire off a cutting comedic put-down at a second’s notice. Jerry is the only minifigure to have a new element made especially for him, his hairpiece recreating Seinfeld’s mullet, and from the back it looks absolutely on point.
Elaine and George are dressed in familiar attire, with Elaine in a ’90s-style power suit and George in his trademark red jacket. Elaine has an alternative face print, while George has just the one, a highly-appropriate moody/stressed look. George is carrying a loaf of bread and fishing pole, referencing the Season 7 episode titled ‘The Rye’ while Elaine is carrying a goldfish (the same piece used for Elmo’s pet goldfish Dorothy in 21324 123 Sesame Street), which is a direct reference to Season 3’s ‘The Parking Garage’.
Kramer has a fantastic hair piece and a brilliant lobster-print shirt and brown jacket. He carries his ingenious coffee-table book about coffee tables, as seen in Season 5’s ‘The Opposite’, as well as a pretzel, which is presumably ‘making him thirsty’ as it did in Season 3’s classic episode ‘The Alternative Side’. Finally, Seinfeld’s arch-nemesis and main protagonist of the show Newman wears his trademark postal uniform and carries a printed 1×2 tile with a letter design.
— Price —
There isn’t much in 21328 Seinfeld in the way of new parts, bar a couple of re-coloured elements and Jerry’s hair piece, but even that’s not enough of a negative to have any problem with the pricing of the set. £69.99 / $79.99 / €79.99 seems very reasonable for a set of this size, coupled with an enjoyable build experience and five exclusive minifigures.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
Like many LEGO Ideas sets, 21328 Seinfeld knocks it out of the park for fans of the source material, with some interesting techniques on offer and a host of really engaging and fun sub-assemblies to construct. The final model looks incredibly accurate to the source material and is absolutely jam-packed full of references. The five characters included are also excellent renditions of the show’s main cast.
Whether this is a set worthy to add to the collection really comes down to how much of a Seinfeld fan you are. Those who are unfamiliar with the show may find the build a little on the simple side at times, even if it is still fun – but for those who fell in love with Seinfeld back in the ’90s, this will be an utter joy to construct and display.
— FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO Ideas 21328 Seinfeld?
Even though there are over 1,000 pieces included in 21328 Seinfeld, it comes together incredibly quickly. Experienced builders could finish this set within around two-and-a-half to three hours at a push, but realistically expect to put in about four hours to finish the apartment.
How many pieces are in LEGO Ideas 21328 Seinfeld?
How big is LEGO Ideas 21328 Seinfeld?
21328 Seinfeld measures 33cm wide, 14cm tall and 18cm deep. If that’s too big for your shelf, then the included stage measures only 4×8 studs – a much more compact display option!
How much does LEGO Ideas 21328 Seinfeld cost?
Releasing on August 1, 2021 (VIPs can purchase it now!), 21328 Seinfeld retails for £69.99 in the UK, $79.99 in the US and from €79.99 in Europe.