LEGO Creator Expert 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium review

10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium continues the LEGO Creator Expert football stadium range in expensive but iconic style.

The Creator Expert line of football stadiums is costly but fast-growing, with 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium already the third entry into the collection in just two years. With that in mind, and with consideration to how these large, microscale models are all naturally going to be designed quite similarly, 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium arrives to breathe new life and focus into the football stadium line-up.

— Set details —

Theme: LEGO Creator Expert Set name: 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Release: March 1, 2022

Price: £309.99 / $349.99 / €349.99 Pieces: 5,876 Minifigures: 0

LEGO: Available March 1, 2022

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— Build —

Hot on the heels of fierce rival Barcelona’s LEGO stadium set, 10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona (and that won’t have been by coincidence), 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium offers novelty and intrigue for a series of LEGO models that could otherwise risk falling into a formulaic pattern.

As with the previous subjects of large LEGO sets in this expensive collection – Manchester United’s Old Trafford and Barcelona’s Camp Nou – Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu is a stadium packed with history and heritage spanning decades. It has been home to Los Blancos since 1947; hosted the European Cup Final on four occasions and the second leg of the 2018 Copa Libertadores Finals; hosted the European Championship Final of 1964 (won by Spain) and the World Cup Final of 1982; and is classified as one of UEFA’s ‘elite stadiums’.

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Located in the Chamartín right in the heart of Madrid, the Bernabéu has witnessed some of the greatest teams in European football history, from the attacking Madrid team of the 1950s that won five consecutive European Cups and the all-Spanish side to win it again in 1966, to the teams through those decades and well into the 1970s that absolutely dominated the Spanish League, then the 1980s team of home-grown talent that returned the club to the top, and right through to the two Galacticos teams, the second of which most recently won four Champions Leagues in five seasons.

Domestically, Real Madrid have won a record 34 La Liga titles and in European and worldwide football the club has won the most number of trophies, including a record 13 European Cups/Champions Leagues.

Some of the game’s greatest players and biggest stars have also been able to call the Bernabéu their home, including Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás, Hugo Sánchez, Emiliano Butragueño, Raúl, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and, of course, the great Santiago Bernabéu.

Bernabéu captained Real Madrid in the 1920s before a brief stint as manager, and then his most important role as club president for 35 years, which he held until his death in 1978. Bernabéu is heralded as one of Madrid’s most influential people in the club’s history, overseeing its restructure with methods that would inform and influence modern club football across the game – and that included construction of the stadium that is named after him.

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Beyond those to have made their name at the stadium, its architecture is one typical of a modern football stadium, developed and redeveloped as the decades went by, with each stage of work adding a new chapter to the building’s appearance, functionality and character.

Built during the 1940s, the stadium was initially an uncovered, two-tier design and was coined the Nuevo Estadio Chamartín when inaugurated in 1947, as it replaced the club’s previous Chamartín Stadium that had suffered damage during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Within five years of opening, President Bernabéu began work to increase the 75,000 capacity to 125,000 by adding a third tier to one of the side terraces, and to further modernise the stadium – this was completed in 1954 and a year later the ground was renamed in honour of Bernabéu.

The 1982 World Cup brought about renovations that included the addition of a roof over the three two-tier terraces and dropped capacity to just under 100,000, before further changes in UEFA rules required this to fall further to around the 75,000 mark to ensure the stadium was all-seater. Various works since brought capacity back up to where it sat circa 2019, at 81,044 – Europe’s third-largest stadium, before the latest renovation project began in 2019 to further modernise the ground and add an all-new exterior and a full, retractable roof.

Interestingly then, 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium has been designed around how the ground looked prior to this €800m investment, meaning that when the real stadium re-opens around the end of 2022, the LEGO set won’t look anything like it.

This isn’t a bad thing, primarily for how the LEGO model so wonderfully captures the first 72 years of the Bernabéu’s history and architecture. Every renovation through the years has added a feature to the ground and contributed to the story that’s shaped it as a venue. That includes aspects such as the unique façade that runs along the front exterior, the now four-tier capacity, the four large distinct concrete columns at each corner, and many other details.

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This is a stadium that is unique in appearance, design and features and importantly, 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium includes enough of the details that make the Bernabéu so recognisable and distinct that the final model also captures the very essence and iconography of this behemoth of a football home.

Building it is very much in-keeping with construction of 10272 Old Trafford – Manchester United and 10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona before it, in sections that slot into place around the pitch. This is from the very, very many numbered bags that confront you at the start of the entire process, all the way through to slowly building a quarter of the stadium from the foundations up.

The first time doing this is a time-consuming but fascinating process and one that is as fun as it is demanding of your focus, as you pick up little details built into the model that reflect the real-world architecture of the subject matter. Very early into the build you start to then add the colour of the seating, and after just a few bags, elements of the entire structure take shape in such an engaging way.

The second time you do this sort of build, or the third – if you are lucky enough to have also built one or both of 10272 Old Trafford – Manchester United and 10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona – the entire process is all the more familiar and for that a little more tedious, but still, amazingly, fascinating.

Building any of these stadiums is akin in depth and detail, accuracy and authenticity to an Architecture set, and while they all sit within a similar style of design, the details between each set shape and create unique experiences to each. To that end, 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is the third stadium we are building and it is as interesting to do so as 10272 Old Trafford – Manchester United was, and more so than the quite repetitive-by-nature 10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona.

Indeed, beyond what is a general footprint shared between the three stadiums, the Creator Expert design team has embraced the architectural idiosyncrasies of the Santiago Bernabéu – like many other stadiums borne from a history of renovation upon renovation – to really explore a host of creative and new build techniques. Such is the way you are required to put together 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium that even if you see detail in the photos and box art, you’ll definitely look at the finished model differently, knowing all the odd and intricate ways particular details came together.

It’s satisfying to say, three stadiums into this collection, that the way you think building 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will go is probably not the way it will actually go. It’s these unusual and unexpected ways of putting together the stadium that also have a way of drawing you in further to understand exactly what detail you’ve just added – because of the risk of an otherwise formulaic, cookie-cutter build experience, 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is smart in ways other LEGO sets don’t have to be, and it’s all the better for it.

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The way in which you build 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is going to stay with you as much as the final model will hold your focus when you look at it. There’s so much to appreciate and understand in this fully-authentic LEGO recreation.

The sizeable piece count is fully embraced in recreating so many of the football ground’s features, in a way that even in this scale, the sheer enormity of the real-life venue and the awe that it inspires is wonderfully captured. From any angle, there are details that will catch your eye and ultimately remind you of what one of football’s most iconic stadiums looked like, when by the end of 2022 the real thing will look very different.

Beyond clearly differentiating itself from 10272 Old Trafford – Manchester United and 10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona in build experience, 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is also a demonstration of the design team learning. Both the Old Trafford and Camp Nou sets were a pain to move due to their slot-based design, where they’d pull apart into quarters at the slightest budge. 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is also slot-based, but in two halves, which manages to give the model a far greater level of stability and manoeuvrability.

— Price —

10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is an experience to put together and a piece of art to behold once built, but there’s no getting away from a second consecutive increase in price.

10272 Old Trafford – Manchester United, released two years ago, costs £249.99 / $299.99 / €269.99 for 3,898 pieces, while last September’s 10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona offers 5,509 pieces at £299.99 / $349.99 / €329.99.

That 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium comes in at £309.99 / $349.99 / €349.99 for 5,876 pieces is eye-watering. Ratio of price-per-part to one side (number of pieces may be a quantifiable measure but it is rarely a qualitative statistic), on face value each of these stadiums offers the same in-depth, authentic LEGO experience, each based around one of football’s biggest and most iconic stadiums. Yet, one is £250, one is £300 and one is £310.

There is no getting around that 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium feels overpriced, particularly in comparison to two equally-as-good stadiums that it will now sit next to on shelves. It delivers in every way you could hope such a LEGO set could, and there’s nothing to find fault in, even in the LEGO Group and Real Madrid’s decision to base the design on how the stadium last looked in 2019 and how it won’t look from the end of 2022 onwards.

It is so good for what it is as a LEGO set that by itself value could almost be justified for pricing 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium at £309.99 / $349.99 / €349.99. That the other two, cheaper stadiums exist and are out on shelves too, though, is where that becomes a lot harder to do.

— Pictures —

— Summary —

The Santiago Bernabéu is a stadium that for its enormity in both architectural design and footballing history is held in awe, by fans and players the world over. It’s a longstanding home of legends and stars and a venue that has played host to some of the most spectacular teams the game has seen.

10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a loving, authentic recreation that dives deep into the details of the stadium and captures not only every aspect of architecture that makes it such a unique home, but also a sense of that history and wonder too.

It’s an ultimate LEGO experience spread across 5,876 pieces and 40 numbered bags. It demands your attention in building and will just as equally hold your focus when finished and sat on display. That it is the most expensive stadium yet, though, is where the sell becomes a little tougher, particularly alongside equally-as-good LEGO stadiums for Manchester United and Barcelona. Yet, being the most expensive is probably the only way Real Madrid would have it…

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This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO stadiums through one of our affiliate links.

— FAQs —

How long does it take to build 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium?

10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium will take at least 12 hours of time to put together, thanks to an immersive build experience stretched across 40 numbered bags.

How many pieces are in 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium?

There are 5,876 pieces included in 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, which come together to create two halves of the stadium that slot into place for the final model. This is the largest piece count for a LEGO stadium so far.

How big is 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium?

10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium measures 14.5cm tall, including its base, which comes in at 45cm wide and 39cm deep.

How much does 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium cost?

10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is the most expensive LEGO Creator Expert football stadium so far, priced at £309.99 / $349.99 / €349.99. That’s £50 more than 10272 Old Trafford – Manchester United and £10 more than 10284 Camp Nou – FC Barcelona.

Rob Paton

As one half of Tiro Media Ltd, I mix a passion for print and digital media production with a deep love of LEGO and can often be found on these pages eulogising about LEGO Batman, digging deeper into the LEGO Group’s inner workings, or just complaining about the price of the latest LEGO Star Wars set. Make a great impression when you meet me in person by praising EXO-FORCE as the greatest LEGO theme of all time. Follow me on Twitter @RobPaton or drop me an email at [email protected]

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