Set Review: 21031 Burj Khalifa
Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 at 9:06pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
As soon as we get our hands on the summer Bionicle sets you can bet BZPower will be reviewing them. For now though, you'll have to settle for 21031 Burj Khalifa from the LEGO Architecture line. Forum Assistant Zatth takes a look at this model of the world's tallest skyscraper - will it take you to new heights or is this set doomed to topple? Check out our video and text reviews to find out for yourself!
The tallest skyscraper represented as the tallest Architecture set. But does it tower above the competition or is it just for show? I know, quite the tall tale, but trust that this review will let you find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
As with other Architecture sets, the box and instruction booklet are gorgeously designed; display them proudly and stay on your high horse as a seasoned LEGO fan in the eyes of others. The box is a fancy black with photos of the actual building and the comparison with the set.
The instruction booklet is nicely bound, with pages explaining the history and architecture of the building. Especially nice to see was the message upon opening the box, providing good wishes in English and in Arabic (as is also the case with the informational pages in the instruction booklet) Alhamdulillah!
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The beginning of the set is quite fun. Combining SNOT building, Technic, and some clever visual trickery, the base comes together as an enjoyable puzzle where you mix various building techniques and create a base almost identical to how the real one looks.
Sadly, that's about as fun as it gets for a while (yes, it's a low blow). The brunt of the set is building upwards, which is fun when placing together some Technic or SNOT pieces, but doesn't go beyond that. Much like the Flatiron Building tiles, the appearance of diversity in building each facade quickly goes away.
Only when getting to the spire do things pick up again, mainly because of the small scale of variety in placing different tiles.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Piece-wise, Burj Khalifa has its highs and lows. You have your usual bricks, tiles, plates, Technic elements; from all these, the highlight is the plethora of tan tiles and the one L-shaped tile.
The other pieces, however, do make up for it. A variety of SNOT-pieces, cheese slopes a-plenty, and some sloped circular elements. If there is a reason to cannibalize the set, here it is.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
Obviously you can't play much with an Architecture set, unless you want to have an alternate universe Godzilla parading around Abu Dhabi. Instead, here we'll consider "Get-ability", as in who should get the set. (Is that too much high-brow humor? Because I thought it merely a small jest). If you are only beginning to build with SNOT when making more ornate creations, or if you haven't yet refined the combining of Technic bricks and jumper plates, this set is for you. It introduces ways to do all this, and will give you ideas on where to go with your own creations. If, however, you are more seasoned in building techniques, if surface-level variety doesn't do it for you, this isn't the set to go for. Like the Flatiron Building, Burj Khalifa's main building section is dull with only an appearance of change in building. Only the base and the spire approximate more to the Trevi Fountain, with a synergy of building styles in a way that fulfills a structural and aesthetic job. Yes, maybe all of those thoughts are quite a reach, but I'm trying my best not to sell this set short.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Nice assortment of SNOT and cheese slope pieces
- Awesome building style of base and spire
- Gorgeous box and instruction booklet
What's not to like?
- Dull building the remainder 80% of the set
- Not as many specialized pieces or unique colors
- Shortage of height-related puns in the review
I'd most likely pass on the Burj Khalifa for another set like the Imperial Palace or the Trevi Fountain. Nonetheless, the set does have those two awesome building moments, and some nice pieces to use later on.
Thanks everyone for reading and watching, and thanks to Zatth for putting it all together. Let us know what you think in the Talkback - is this a set you're thinking about picking up? And of course, stay tuned to BZPower for more LEGO set reviews and news!
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