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I know I’m not alone in continuing my love of LEGO into adulthood. Those who think it’s time to get rid of LEGO when you get to be an adult confuse me. I’ve merely honed my LEGO preferences, settling into anything related to houses, buildings, and architecture, and also classic vehicles. Though I continue to covet LEGO’s Modular Building sets (especially LEGO’s latest, Assembly Square), the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 building sets are more compatible with my budget. Instead of the $150+ price tag, this lesser-known series of LEGO house kits run around $30-70 each.
My latest find in this series is the LEGO Park Street Townhouse (31065). As with all of these builds, there are three sets of included instructions to build variations on a theme. This one builds a standard three-story city townhouse, a small two-story home with front patio and attached greenhouse, and a drive-through cafe with kitchen and rooftop greenhouse deck. I’ve built all three variations now, and here are my thoughts.
If you’re looking for some classy, city living residential builds, the LEGO Park Street Townhouse set is a solid choice. At 566 pieces and a retail price of $49.99, it still passes the “less than ten cents per brick” average that I try to beat. There are a few interesting piece types that I haven’t seen in my other sets, including the bay windows/greenhouse roof pieces and the spiral fern plants. There are also some “ball on a stick” type pieces that are used in clever ways, including as architectural features and as a coat rack. I’m a huge fan of the clear globe light piece too, which, in this set, is used as a front porch light, a street light, and a lamp. Two minifigs are included as well (a man and a woman), along with a cute red scooter, and pieces to build a dog and a bird. A couple of different kinds of hinges are used liberally for both making the townhouse open up like a dollhouse, and for opening up the greenhouse roof and other elements.
The set also comes with the now-ubiquitous piece separator (where was this when I was a kid?), along with a few extra pieces of some of the smaller, easier to lose pieces. Depending on which of the three builds you do, there are either just a few pieces left after you build the set, or enough left to build a small bonus structure of some kind.
All three builds were pretty easy to put together when compared with some sets I’ve built. With the wide variety of colors in this set, it was much easier than usual to find the piece(s) I was looking for to complete any given step. I spent much less time hunting, even though I divided up the pieces into about 10 different bowls. Each of the steps was pretty simple, with only a few pieces, so there was little question about where they were to go on the in-process build. I’m an especially big fan of the light blue, dark blue, and moss green colored pieces included in this set. I also loved how the same pieces were used in such different ways among the builds (what is a bedspread in one build is an awning in another, for example). If only LEGO made full-size, real life modular pieces to decorate our regular houses.
As with all of these types of sets, LEGO‘s attention to detail is obvious. The exteriors of the three completed buildings feature window treatments, landscaping, brick work, window boxes, a fire hydrant, a fire escape, a satellite dish, benches, a water feature, and a tree. Also, though you can’t see inside the builds very well when they are on your shelf, LEGO hasn’t skipped the attention to detail there, either. The insides include such features as a striped bedspread, a fireplace, a big screen TV, and kitchen appliances.
Since this set is smaller than the more expensive Modular Building sets, it doesn’t quite have the room for the very detailed interior features of the Assembly Square set, for example (such as a piano, a dentist chair, wall art, ice cream cones, a baby minifig, a stroller, slices of pie, musical instruments, and even a very meta LEGO piece that is the Assembly Square kit box itself), but LEGO fits as much as it possibly can into a small footprint and affordable price tag. As I’ve been doing for years, I’ll continue to make a point to pick up any LEGO Creator 3-in-1 house builds that come out in the future.
I didn’t time how long it took me to build each of the three set options, but it was multiple hours (of bliss) for each one. I’m not terribly creative building with freeform LEGO, but I truly enjoy following LEGO instructions, seeking out specific pieces for each step, finding where, on the partially built set, the new pieces go, and seeing it come into being, bit by bit, layer by layer. It’s fun to see what the LEGO Master Builders come up with, inventing new, ingenious ways to use traditional or new types of pieces. It’s also fun to see the pattern unfold as you put your faith in the designer, knowing that their sometimes seemingly counter intuitive or nonsensical piece placement will have a purpose. It always does. It’s extra fun if you don’t study photos of the completed set too closely ahead of time.
Note: I received a sample for review purposes.