My latest acquisition – and the first of the new 2010 sets – is 10211, The Grand Emporium. I built it yesterday as I had the day off work. It was a very enjoyable build, taking about 4.5 hours to complete. The most time consuming element is locating all the correct pieces and setting out the pavement design. Once that is out of the way the rest of the build goes pretty smoothly. The Grand Emporium is another example of excellent Lego design – realistic enough to appeal to architecture buffs but also inescapable Lego in its aesthetic.
One of the cuter features of this model is the backdoor where the shop assistant’s can sneak out and have a crafty fag during the shop’s quiet periods (because of course it is now illegal to smoke on business premises).
The building features three furnished floors, each reached by an escalator which sadly doesn’t move (but that would have been an incredible feat of engineering if they’d managed it), a revolving door which does and a large skylight on the roof which allows you to look down upon all three floors of the model. You will see from the photos (click to enlarge) that the model also features a window cleaner on one of those electronic winch platforms. By coincidence I actually saw one of these for real in Leamington only yesterday. An act of undoubtedly benign synchronicity.
This last photo shows The Grand Emporium placed alongside the other Lego modular buildings that I own. It’s getting to be quite a little town. The minifigures now have somewhere to buy groceries, to dine out, to call for help should there be a fire and to buy clothes and toys. Alas what they don’t have are proper toilet facilities. I can’t see such a model being a big seller for Lego so it may have to be something that I engineer myself. In the meantime – call me sad if you must – I am getting an inordinate amount of joy from just sitting in my office and surveying my extended domain.