There is the deli which is the largest of the models, as well as 2 other odd little buildings. The box suggests ages 8 – 12 so this is definitely a good one for adults.
They’re not very exciting but mini figure is always better than no mini figure. In the first build, we have a little girl and a deli worker, because of the name tag on his shirt. The little girl comes with a sandwich – one that should take her most of the day to eat. The first floor is a food prep area as well as a cashier area.There’s also a lot of play area afforded when the structure is hinged open.
I like the use of the rust colored brick for the walls for the first floor; plus the pale blue is an interesting choice for the second floor. It provides a nice contrast without seeming too jarring. The roof has an interesting use of the grid piece, by tilting it on its side in order to put the skylight in place. There is really good detailing on the top level with the eaves and the skylight. The antennae at the top is a nice touch, complete with a very colourful (and large, considering the scale) bird perched on top.
A nice airy outdoor eating area is the last part of the build as well as the giant sandwich that serves as the marquee. The way the sandwich is built is quite clever and reminiscent of the techniques used in the modular buildings. The eating area is placed such that it fills a corner in between the hinged portion of the sets, which gives the set its name. The finished model is hinged so you can open up the set and play with the food prep and cashier sides separately (and chair and table on the top floor).
I rather like how the rust and blue colored bricks are used throughout the walls in this build. The lattice pieces are used in the same way as the main build for the skylights. While the flower shop is nice it’s a little devoid of detail. There’s enough bricks left over that some additional features could be added, or perhaps part of a second floor. This is the only version that includes a slightly larger main floor space at the cost of a second level. One wall is hinged to gain access to the first floor seating area and the second floor bedroom. The minifigs this time are a man and a little girl. This is a very small townhouse – like with the flower shop, with all the spare parts left it feels like much more could be done with this.
I do like the flowers on the window sills and the traffic light that’s included.
I can’t imagine building either of the alternative builds. They’re just too small and leave too many pieces unused. These types of sets are much easier to fit into an existing city layout. There’s always an animal built from multiple pieces.
I love turning tooth-plates and clip-plates into flocks of wingèd delights.
I posit that that’s why the buildable miniature animals have been generally restricted to birds that sit on/towards the outside of the sets, away from minifigs and other components that make their size look odd. Will build the variations and then try out making a custom model combining the sets. It finally got me off my duff to do a real attempt at something modular. Guess it is a trade off for normal (non afol) sales, and the reason for last two being single rather than dual. In fact because these sets are inexpensive, you can even buy three of each, and build each of them in three different ways simultaneously to create a whole street. The point is that these sets are really popular, and for a good reason.
All three models look great (especially the main one featured on the box), the color combination is very pleasing, and the details and accessories are excellent. All three models are pretty sweet, aren’t they?
However the sets are nice in their own right and there is no need to make them larger.
I might turn it into a comic-book shop, though. Who wouldn’t want a building with a giant sandwich on it?!
No need for a lot of bricks to make something wonderful.