Unsurprisingly, Lego’s newest modular is the most effective set of 2023

On this job, you spend quite a lot of the time on the finish of the 12 months in a retrospective way of thinking, reconsidering every little thing that’s crossed your desk. What are the highlights, the lowlights, and the memorable moments? We’ve lined quite a lot of that in our Alternate Sport Awards and in our extra severe GOTY write-ups – however clearly, my life isn’t simply video video games.

Common VG247 readers will know that I’m a giant outdated Lego nerd, and I’ve handled the events when Lego has crossed over with video video games with glee – it’s two of my loves colliding in methods which can be typically thrilling, or simply merely enjoyable. This has been a great 12 months for that, too, with Lego Sonic making a barnstorming debut, Mario units persevering with, and a wonderful Pac-Man Arcade which I am keen on. There was additionally an ideal Lego online game within the type of Lego 2K Drive. So: all-in-all, a stable 12 months.

It’s been a great 12 months for Lego typically. I’ve loved a large number of non-gaming units this 12 months – together with an ideal Indiana Jones diorama, an exquisite house tribute from fan-designed vary Lego Concepts, and the fabulous Viking Settlement that basically scratched an itch of mine that was established by way of beloved citadel and pirates units in my childhood.

One set does stand above all others for me this 12 months, although – and quelle shock, it’s Lego’s newest modular constructing, set 10326, the Pure Historical past Museum.

The humorous factor about this being the most effective set of the 12 months is that we’re solely meant to get one modular constructing a 12 months. However in 2023, we obtained two, as Lego moved the schedule up – these units that beforehand used to reach in January will now arrive each December. That is the second modular of the 12 months after the Jazz membership, then – however by way of high quality and worth, it’s completely primary.

In addition to the beautiful exterior, every modular options fully-decorated interiors throughout a number of flooring.

In the event you’re unfamiliar with the vary, what I seek advice from as ‘modulars’ are principally an off-the-cuff title for Lego Metropolis buildings for grown-ups. Now categorized as a part of Lego’s black-boxed “Adults Welcome” vary, Lego has launched modular buildings yearly since 2007. The buildings dwell as much as the modular moniker in two methods: to begin with, every set is made up of various ‘modules’ which compromise completely different flooring or sections of a street-facing constructing, full with interiors and cute storytelling particulars. Second, and most vital, the buildings kind a versatile metropolis road, with connections in-built to connect them collectively to create road or block formations. The buildings might be organized in any order you want, making a {custom} road scene.

By releasing one set a 12 months (and retiring older ones at an analogous fee), Lego all the time retains a small road’s value of modular buildings in manufacturing at anybody time. It’s created a variety of high-end, high-price, large-scale units that really have a very collectible ingredient. Full disclosure – I’ve been a goblin for these fashions for some time, and I can see 12 of them, together with just a few custom-designed ones, from the very desk the place I write this text.

Anyway, with that rationalization and disclosure in thoughts, let me simply briefly heap reward on the 2023/4 modular, the Pure Historical past Museum. Lengthy story quick: it’s fantastic.

An instance of the Museum inserted right into a modular road scene, flanked byu the Grand Resort and Jazz Membership buildings.

That includes a wider footprint that has solely been utilized in just a few units earlier than this, you’ve obtained a stunning constructing with a historic air to it – a museum unfold throughout two flooring with nice large vaulted ceilings. From a design perspective, you’ll be able to see shades of Britain’s Pure Historical past Museum and different world-famous establishments. Inside you’ll discover a vary of displays, plus a tiny rooftop workplace the place the museum’s curator is supposed to be endeavor his analysis.

The centerpiece of the museum is a beautiful brick-built dinosaur skeleton, which stretches throughout each flooring as a most important attraction. Elsewhere, there’s fantastic easter eggs – like historical past exhibitions that nod to the citadel and pirate units of outdated, and slightly room that appears to the celebrities, with mini mannequin rockets and a superb however tiny mannequin of the photo voltaic system.

As is par for the course with this vary the set is full of tiny particulars that delight, plus fascinating components utilization and constructing strategies that make it a Lego nerd’s dream. Lego solely retains a restricted variety of bricks and items in manufacturing at any given time, and every in a restricted vary of colours – so designers each fan and official must make intelligent use of accessible components to craft their worlds. On this set, a favourite contact of mine is the curled-up whip, normally present in Indiana Jones units, which right here types a part of the form of an ammonite fossil. It’s simply bloody intelligent.

The Indy whip used to make the form of this fossil is an ideal instance of genius components utilization.

For me, the modular buildings typically signify a cross-section of the most effective of ‘grown-up’ Lego. That’s to say, they’re beautiful-looking sufficient that an grownup can have them on a shelf of their examine with none main diploma of embarrassment – but in addition, they’re thoughtfully constructed and introduced. Constructing strategies will go away you slack-jawed, or higher nonetheless go away your mind abuzz with concepts on your personal {custom} builds.

With that mentioned, the modulars hardly ever are prime of my best-of-the-year lists for Lego, just because they’re a recognized amount. Normally some shock finally ends up taking all of the marbles. 2022’s modular got here behind issues like an astonishing Lighthouse, a large Bowser, and an unimaginable Citadel throwback. 2023 had simply as many pretty surprises – however the Pure Historical past Museum nonetheless stands above all of them.

And now, the wait begins for 2024’s modular constructing. May or not it’s a hospital eventually? Pop that on my 2024 most anticipated listing, proper subsequent to Dragon’s Dogma 2 and FF7 Rebirth…

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