I first saw this image of the newest LEGO Modular Building over at Brickset and thought I'd offer up my initial reactions here.
I have five* of the modular buildings in my collection currently (Palace Cinema, Town Hall, Pet Shop, Fire Brigade, and the Grand Emporium).
*As I write this post, I realize that I still haven't written reviews for two of the Modular Buildings - shame on me!
Based on the five modular buildings that I own, I would say that the Detective's Office seems, at first glance, to be most similar to the Pet Shop in that you actually get two different buildings. However, looking at the side image where it shows you that you can lift off each floor to see the inside of the building, you'll notice that the two buildings are actually one large brick structure. As such, I think the Detective's Office actually fits in with the Palace Cinema better than any of the other Modulars! Both the Cinema and this set have a certain old time feel to them - something that the Fire Brigade also attempted but didn't quite pull off in the same way.
As for the building(s) in the set, I like them both! The Barber Shop is a nice surprise - and it's great to get some more small shops for you LEGO Modular street. I'm also happy that the LEGO Company decided to keep including the same light poles - something that the company didn't do with this year's Winter Village set. The scissor pieces are new (at least to me) and I like that you get two - one for the barber and one for the sign. I also like the bench out in front of the barber shop, it will certainly help to make the street scene feel that much more "alive."
The Detective building seems to also house a pool hall. The photo from Brickset isn't clear enough for me to be able to read what is on the downstairs windows (but no matter what it says I'm hoping that it isn't a sticker)! I do like the newspaper stand out front, but other than that I will have to wait and reserve judgment on the Detective building until I see better images. Given that the Detective building is the set's namesake, I'm hoping for a highly decorated interior with lots of cool things!
All told, I think this is another great looking set - and one that I'll definitely be adding to my list for purchase next year. I can't tell yet where the set will rank as compared to the other Modular sets that I own - but I will say I'm happy that there aren't any more cars in the set...the fire truck (Fire Brigade) and limo (Palace Cinema) are actually more annoying than useful when it comes to displaying the sets. At least the fire truck can be parked inside the Fire Brigade...
If I had to guess, I would say this set will be released in January - at least that is what the LEGO Company did with this year's Parisian Restaurant Modular set. I don't get the January release date though since most people are probably tapped out of cash thanks to all the holidays that happen around the month of December!
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