LEGO responds to calls for two new modular buildings in one year

The LEGO Group has responded to suggestions of doubling the rate at which it releases new modular buildings, moving from one to two per year.

With the exception of 2007, when both 10182 Café Corner and 10190 Market Street launched within six months, the Modular Buildings Collection has grown at the rate of one new set every year. Since 2014’s 10243 Parisian Restaurant, each new addition to the range has heralded the start of the new year – and 2023 will be no different, with 10312 Jazz Club arriving on January 1.

But what if the LEGO Group decided to break away from its current release schedule, and introduce not one, but two new modular buildings per year? After all, the evergreen nature of the LEGO Icons subtheme (10312 Jazz Club is the 18th new building, arriving 16 years after the first one) suggests there’s definitely an appetite for it.

LEGO fan media Tips & Bricks put the question to Anderson Grubb, designer of 10312 Jazz Club.

LEGO Icons 10312 Jazz Club

“That’s an interesting question,” he responded. “I’ll say that our focus with adults has been to widen [the] offering for adults. Our marketing team say there should be a set for everyone. The challenge with another modular [building] every year is that that would take the place of another set, and at the moment the opportunity to explore other areas is still very big.”

That answer aligns with the current 18+ portfolio, which is nothing if not diverse, spanning everything from giant mechs and spaceships to video game consoles and architectural landmarks. But even within its LEGO Icons range, the LEGO Group doubles up on subject matter: 2022 has seen the introduction of two different large-scale vehicles, for instance, in 10300 Back to the Future Time Machine and 10304 Chevrolet Camaro Z28.

Neither of those sets approaches the price point of a modular building, however. And they arguably cater for different audiences: one is a licensed set designed to invoke nostalgia in movie fans, while the other is a licensed set designed to invoke nostalgia in petrolheads. There’s also the question of whether the design team could maintain the quality we’ve come to expect from the Modular Buildings Collection while also increasing the quantity.

For now, it looks like we’re staying at one new modular building per year, continuing with 10312 Jazz Club on January 1, 2023. But if the marketing team suddenly decides there’s enough demand for two, well – then the conversation changes…

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

2 thoughts on “LEGO responds to calls for two new modular buildings in one year

  • 15/12/2022 at 19:09

    Both 2021 and 2022 were special years. Given the pandemic and the acquisition of Bricklink, one could argue that these 2 years had released more than 1 modular build each.

    2021 had:
    * Ninjago City Gardens (a modular, by extension)
    * Police Station (the actual Modular)
    * Daily Bugle (considered as a modular)
    * Medieval Blacksmith (counts as a modular from Ideas)

    2022, meanwhile, had:
    * Sanctum Sanctorum (a Marvel modular)
    * LEGO Modular Store (910009, since LEGO owns Bricklink, by logic, this is an official modular).
    * Retro Bowling Alley (910013, same logic above).
    * Venetian Houses (910023, same logic above)
    * Boutique Hotel (the official release from the theme).

    So given that, yeah, definitely there is an appetite for more than 1 modular release, and LEGO can definitely release more than one if they wanted to.

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