"I received the Palace Cinema as a Christmas gift from my wife and daughter. This set is the 5th building from the Expert modular series that I have built (7 if you count the Simpson's Kwik E Mart and a MOC modular Irish Pub). Just like the other modulars, this set doesn't disappoint and is a great addition to our Lego town.
I had some initial reservations about the set, hence why it's taking me longer to acquire one than the others. I really liked the idea of having a cinema in our Lego town, and this has a great look to it. But compared to a lot of the more recent sets, it felt like it was lacking a bit on detail and micro builds (mainly on the interior and roof). After building the Palace Cinema, I can lay the reservations to rest. It may not have as many little details, but there is still quite a few little intricacies to the design. The set is certainly not barren by any means and the more you look at it, the more you start to see as well as appreciate some of the techniques used to pull off such a feat.
The exterior has great detail, from the movie posters, to the ticket booth, and even the double doors. The roof work is great too, although a bit time consuming. I may eventually print my own movie posters to put on the windows later down the road. The walk of fame stars and search lights are a nice touch too. I was quite amazed at the technique used to spell out "Palace".
Interior-wise, I like the red base plate acting as the floor, it's a great color that pops against the walls. The theater room has room for 6 guests plus 1 projectionist. There is room to add more details to both floors if you feel the need (an extra plant here, a trash bin there, etc.), but in its current state it works and allows room for play. My little 4 year old loves this set and finds it pretty easy to play in.
The limo I feel may be the weakest link of the set. It does the job, but compared to the exquisite building it falls a little short. There are some nice little details and techniques used, but that's about it.
The minifigures the set comes with are all great. I do feel like an extra minifigure is needed to man the cinema. With only one to represent the cashier, door man, concession stand attendee, and projectionist, I feel that is a lot of roles to fill for one minifigure. Maybe one extra to man the main floor and a second for the rest of the duties?
If I was to rate how fun the build was compared to my previous builds, I would probably say it sits towards the bottom of my modular builds. But don't take that the wrong way, it is still a lot of fun to build. It is just that many of the other newer modular buildings have raised the bar so much in terms of building fun, this one falls a little lower on the tier in that respect. And with the release of the Ghostbusters Firehouse HQ and Bank, it may drop down a few more places when it comes to building enjoyment ranked. But when it comes to ranking its playability and ease of access, it ranks towards the top of my list.
All in all, the Palace Cinema is a fun build with a great look to suit just about anyone's Lego town. If you are just starting out with the modular buildings, I might recommend starting off with this or the Pet Shop as your first build for a few reasons:
-They are some of the older modular sets currently available, so they may not be around much longer. -They give a great foundation as to what to expect and building techniques used in the modular series. -The newer sets keep stepping up the details and micro builds. If you start your first build on a set with a high level of detail and building enjoyment, anything below that may not seem as much fun and might skew your expectations even though the set is still a strong contender and holds well on its own."
"I bought two of these a few months back and saved them for a rainy day build. I liked the idea of a surprise being in the cake and enjoyed the idea of there being a jester, I've been wanting to add a jester or few to my collection of minifigures.
The build was very straight forward and easy to complete. Like with many of these smaller vignette pieces, there are some really nice pieces in the mix for those that like to repurpose them for other projects. The extra pieces to make numbers 1-99 is a nice touch too.
The only thing that does bother me about this build and keeps it from getting a top rating of 5 is the jester comes with no legs. You only get the torso, head, and jester hat. For me, that really limits his playability and usefulness. I understand the cake design prevents him from fitting in the cake with legs/pants, but it would have been nice to have included them for those that want to take him out of the cake. That was a real letdown.
If you don't mind our jester being pants-less, then this set is perfect. But if you were hoping to get a complete minifigure out of the set, then let this be a heads up to you."
"I don't usually buy the Lego City theme, I am more of a Creator Expert modular building kind of guy, but I felt it was a must have when I first laid eyes on it. I've been wanting a little something to put on a my shelf as a place holder for when I've got a new building in progress, this nailed it.
The set didn't take too long to build and is pretty sturdy once everything is put together. If anything was a challenge, it would have been the roof to the port-a-potty. The way the directions described putting it together kept causing the inverted slopes to collapse when trying to connect the pieces. Simply changing the order of what pieces go on next corrected this.
This little build has a lot of playability and works well with many different types of themes and stories. Their are a good amount of moving parts such as the doors, wheels, and crane that kids/adults like. I also appreciate the humor in having a port-a-potty and the inclusion of the boss with his expression and the employee plays well with each other.
If I have any complaints, it would be with the stickers. I am not a big fan of stickers, so there is some biased opinion here. But I do wish the sets came with two sets of stickers for those that like to reuse the pieces for other creations (thus, removing the stickers) as well as for those that don't have the steadiest of hands.
As what I expect from Lego, quality control is high and I wasn't missing any pieces (actually, there were some extras). I will say that one of my car doors has quite a noticeable indentation on the outside that I do not believe is normal (the other door has a smaller, less noticeable indentation and my older sets have none at all). But the door still opens and closes properly, and the edges sit flush with the rest of the bricks. This problem is quickly remedied by contacting Lego customer service. I have done so in the past and their customer service and speed in resolving the problem is excellent.
To summarize: Fun product. If it wasn't for the need of all the stickers and the lack of a duplicate set of stickers, it would have gotten 5 stars. I would rate it 4.5 stars, but only whole number are allowed. So I give this set a strong 4 stars!"
"I got this as a Valentine's gift from my wife and daughter. It's not typically the kind of set that I would build, but I ended up really enjoying it. There are some interesting pieces that might be useful for something else later, some great movement throughout the creature, and lots of playability (my 3 year old can confirm this).
I have yet to take apart the dragon to build one of the other creatures. My 3 year old daughter liked the dragon so much, she ended up claiming it for herself and she plays with it quite regularly. She has even designated a 'cave' for it. Because my daughter has now taken ownership of it, and I liked the build so much, I ended up buying another one just so I can build one for myself. :-)"
"Just like the Valentine's Day Dinner build (Item 40120), this was another fun little build with lots of little details. The minifigures expressions are great, a plus that each has two faces to choose from. There are some great bricks in this set too. And best of all, I now have a little chicken to add to my collection.
I look forward to see what the next seasonal set will be. Now if they would only release one like this for St. Patrick's Day..."
"My wife loves to decorate the house throughout the year according to the seasons and upcoming holidays. This little vignette build is my contribution to our Valentine's Day decorations.
Even though the build was simpler and smaller than what I am used to (I love the Creator Expert modular buildings), the build was still quite fun and interesting. I loved the little details scattered throughout the scene, even on the back side. There are some nice, unique pieces that give it a nice look. The cupcakes were a nice touch! I also really like the color of the grooved bricks used for the wall, makes me want to find more of them to build a modular building with.
I was surprised to see it came with 3 gold rings. I ended up reusing two of the golds rings by placing them on top of the lamps, giving them some trim that also gives a nice glow to them.
I look forward to seeing more of these types of sets released in the future so that I can swap them out on display throughout the year."