Set Review: 21029 Buckingham Palace
Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 8:50pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's time today for another set review! From the LEGO Architecture line, we're going to take a look at 21029 Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and her predecessors since 1837. Is this royal house a worthy addition to your collection? Or would your money be better spent on a less lordly estate? Come read and/or watch our review to find out!
BZPower kindly thanks The LEGO group for providing us with this set. The LEGO Group would like us to tell you that the opinions and comments presented in this review are those of the reviewer and BZPower and are not endorsed or backed by The LEGO Group. BZPower is a fan-site and is not a part of or paid by The LEGO Group to give a certain viewpoint on their products or company.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Like all Architecture sets, Buckingham Palace comes in a nice premium, re-sealable box showing off both the set and the actual location. The front shows the set on top of blueprints for the palace, which is a nice touch. A note referring to the instruction manual indicates that details about the palace are available in English - it's important to point out that inside the booklet you are directed to the LEGO website to get the details in other languages. For a large international company like LEGO it's good to see this attention to detail. The back of the box has some facts about the royal estate to keep you informed about what the model represents. All in all it's a quality package that will look great on a store shelf or behind the completed model on display.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
I haven't built too many Architecture sets, so for me this was a nice departure from the norm. It uses a lot of small pieces to capture all of the intricacies of the palace and a variety of techniques, especially SNOT building and jumper offsets. It's almost perfectly symmetrical, which does make some parts repetitive, especially the windows on the front and sides. You need to pay close attention to make sure you don't make any mistakes so everything fits together. I'd say it was an enjoyable process overall, with enough variety to keep it interesting throughout.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There are three parts exclusive to this set, they are:
- Black 1x8 Flat Tile with "Buckingham Palace" text
- Brick Yellow 1x1 Round Tile
- Brick Yellow 2x2 Corner Wall Element
Additionally, there's a handful of parts that are uncommon that appear in this set. The ones that stood out to me the most are:
- Warm Gold Mini Figure Trophy (available in one other set)
- Medium Stone Grey 1x1 Round Plate w/ Through Hole (available in two other sets)
- Brick Yellow 1x1x3 Brick (available in five other sets)
- Medium Stone Grey 4X4 1/4 Circle Plate (available in five other sets)
- Olive Green 1x1 Plate (available in five other sets)
- Brick Yellow 1x2x1 Wall Element (available in six other sets)
- Olive Green 1x1 Round Tile (available in seven other sets)
- Brick Yellow 1X2X2 Wall w/ Bowed Slit (available in eight other sets)
- Brick Yellow 2x4 Flat Tile (available in eight other sets)
Apart from all of these lovelies, Brick Yellow (more commonly referred to as tan) is the predominant color here, with lots of parts from tiles to plates to arches to headlight and SNOT bricks. There's quite a few dark tan and dark grey tiles as well that are used in the road, and black plates in the base. There's a decent variety, especially if making buildings is your thing or if you like tan.
Based on the reference photos, the designers did a great job of capturing the Queen's house in ABS form. While they were a bit tedious to build, the windows look great and the details like the columns and archways translate well into the small scale. They even manage to represent the varying depth of the back of the palace, which is quite impressive considering most people will never look at it. In front of the palace, the fountain looks lovely and the trophy does the best job possible of replacing the statue. I enjoy the iconic double-decker bus and car in front, adding some asymmetry and bringing it to life. My only complaint is that the flag, being just a red 1x1 tile, doesn't look very British - I think a blue tile or a white tile printed with the Union flag would have been better.
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?
Unsurprisingly, there's not much to play with in the Buckingham Palace, being an Architecture set and all. It sits there really nicely on your shelf looking pretty, but that's about it. It could be cool if LEGO made it so Architecture sets could connect together to allow the creation of little scenes, even if they're not geographically accurate.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Engaging and intricate build
- Accurately captures source material
What's not to like?
- Windows are repetitive
- Red 1x1 tile doesn't look like the Union flag
If you're a fan of famous buildings, an Anglophile, or enjoy the LEGO Architecture line, the Buckingham Palace set is definitely worth picking up. At only $49.99 USD for 780 pieces, if you want to add a bunch of Brick Yellow to your collections, this is a good choice for you too. It's a charming display piece with a fun build and a solid design.
Thank you all for reading and watching our review. And thanks to LEGO for sending Buckingham Palace to us so we can share our thoughts. We'd love to hear what you think in the Talkback, so please share your thoughts, questions, and comments. After you're dont, don't forget to keep checking back on BZPower for more LEGO set review and news!
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