Review - 10251 Brick Bank

The Brick Bank is the 2016 Modular Building from LEGO.

2016Corner10251 Brick Bank
2015Edge10246 Detective's Office
2014Edge10243 Parisian Restaurant
2013Corner10232 Palace Cinema
2012Edge10224 Town Hall
2011Edge10218 Pet Shop
2010Corner10211 Grand Emporium
2009Edge10197 Fire Brigade
2008Edge10185 Green Grocer
2007Corner10182 Cafe Corner
2007Edge10190 Market Street

With the exception of the first year we saw these Modular Buildings (2007), there has been one building released per year. This is the fourth corner building to be released, so we only need one more normal street edge building to make a fully connected square (Ghostbuster's Firehouse is not compatible). Will next year see the last Modular Building???

Contents

The box contains:

  • Plastic wrapped Instruction Booklet, without any cardboard backing or sticker sheets
  • 3811 Tan 32 x 32 baseplate
  • 20 x plastic numbered bags of parts
  • The instructions are in a nicely bound booklet, like most large sets have been recently. It is tightly wrapped in plastic so no pages can be bent, and even though it did not have any cardboard backing it was in good shape.

    See the full inventory of 2376 parts.

    Minifigs

    There are five minifigs, all with the plain face as is customary for these modular building sets.

    Parts

    There are two new molds for 2016 appearing in this set. The 22385 Tile Special 2 x 3 Pentagonal is appearing mostly in the Nexo Knights sets. The 22885 Brick Special 1 x 2 x 1 2/3 with four studs on one side is interesting, and should be a useful addition to the SNOT family of parts.

    Parts in new colors:

    New prints:

    First Floor

    Almost straight away, we see the new pentagonal tiles in action. I'm pretty sure these tiles were created originally for the Nexo Knights line, but they also happen to make pretty patterns in floor tiles. Unfortunately, there is a fairly obvious gap where the triangular sections meet together. Because the edge is beveled, the stud underneath the edge cutout is clearly visible.

    Since the building is on a corner block all the action is in a corner of the baseplate, unlike other Modulars which keep space at the back of the building (usually wasted!).

    The vault door actually turns and latches at the back, so it can't be opened without the correct combination! FYI the combination is to turn it in any direction by any amount. This is the first indicator that this might not be the most secure vault in the world ;) Perhaps they should get some tips from this Working Combination Safe!

    The bottom of the first flight staircase is different:

    There's some nice SNOT work in the bank teller barrier, and nice use of glass doors as the windows.

    The pillars use lots of 99563 Ingot parts with their beveled edges making a nice pattern.

    The green and white glass decorations above the windows match the window prints nicely. My poor fingers though.

    The stack of washing machines are a nice touch. This modular piece of furniture is actually quite involved and has a lot of parts in it. It's also full of money, gold, jewels and anyone using machine #2 will find their clothes deposited directly into the bank vault behind it!

    Thanks LEGO for making me try to explain money laundering to my 9 year old :)

    I like the use of the 15470 Plate Round 1 x 1 Swirled Top parts here.

    Placing a Laundromat next to the Bank like this is a silly fun thing. The set is targeted at 16+ but I'm sure much younger kids will build it too, in which case the joke is most likely lost on them.

    This block of chimney-like structure is placed on top of the washing machines and for some reason has a swivel door leading directly in to the vault.

    I think I've spotted another security vulnerability:

    The completed first floor is quite full. Getting access into any of the secret compartments or trying to use the washing machines is not going to happen unless you have tiny hands. At least the block above the machines, and the machines themselves, can be easily removed as they are only attached with 2 studs each.

    Second Floor

    The second floor has two small offices, and a giant hole in the floor. The main foyer of the Bank has very high ceilings, going all the way to the roof of the building.

    The desk is nicely done... and yes I realise I used the wrong color in these photos (should be dark instead of light grey). By the time I found the mistake I wasn't going to redo them :P

    There are some nicely designed pieces of micro-furniture in the offices.

    The clock mounted on the outside of the building is held together with just the two bars on either side. Trying to remove it from the building is pretty much guaranteed to destroy the clock... or maybe that was just me.

    Roof

    The chandelier on the roof is a nice touch. The pulley on the outside is a little confusing though - I don't know why a Bank would have it as a permanent fixture. The pictures on the box seem to indicate it's used for construction.

    Above the chandelier, is the multi-paneled sky window. There's also the top-most part of the chimney.

    The railings make nice use of 30229 Minifig Zip Line Handle parts. I wonder if the designers have an image in mind and try to find a part that fits it, or just find a strange obscure part and figure out how to make use of it.

    Summary

    I'm not sure if it's just me, but I found the colouring of the building to be a bit bland and dull. I think you can't help but feel a bit bored as a result. Given this is a Bank, maybe that was the plan all along! When I look back at the Detective's Office and Parisian Restaurant they were so vibrant and colourful.

    Being a corner block, I think it has a little more space inside the building vs other modulars. However, it's still crammed inside making it hard to play around with.

    The chimney leading directly into the vault (except for the big grill that's in the way) doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. But my kids loved it and they made up their own stories to play along with it. So I guess it's perfect :)

    How are we going to break into this Bank? Oh look, a conveniently placed tunnel leading directly to the vault!

    Disclaimer: This LEGO set was provided for review by The LEGO Group. Anything said in this post is the opinion of the author and not The LEGO Group.

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