LEGO Modular Buildings Overview

August 19, 2016 10 Comments A+ a-

My blood is steaming at these sets. They are awesome but their market price is heart stopping. The oldest sets are often hard to find and you will really struggle to get them cheap.
First Modular Building set was released in 2007 and since then LEGO released one such set every year. If I count correctly ... there are 10 of them up to date.

It isn't easy for me to point at the best set out of those 10 since every set is somehow interesting and unique. But if I had to choose only two of them to my collection, I would pick The Fire Brigade from the older sets because I really like the old nostalgic look of this building and the Fire Truck. Then I would pick The Detective's Office from the newer sets because I like the exterior which looks like a two buildings with different architecture and the Detective's Office room is full of small sophisticated details - such as the secret compartment that can be accessed by rotating the picture.

I have prepared for you a short overview of these sets. I also added the current market price of every set.

2007 - CAFFE CORNER (10182)
2,056 pieces and 3 minifigures
Caffe Corner 
  • Very first LEGO Modular Building set
  • Nice exterior details - HOTEL sign, red bicycle, caffe tables with umbrellas or a trash bin
  • Most bear on the inside compared to other sets. Interior is totally empty, there is no furniture in 1st and 2nd floor except stairs. Windows in the first floor are without glass.
  • Hard to find today and very expensive to buy. Often cheaper to buy piece by piece than as a complete set.
  • RRP in 2007: $139.99, Sold in May-16: $2,408

2008 - GREEN GROCER (10185)
2,352 pieces and 4 minifigures
Green Grocer
  • Green Grocery store in the ground-floor. Apartments in the upper floors (there are two levels in the last floor) and a roof terrace on the top floor.
  • At the back of the building there is a courtyard area with a fire escape and a plant that grows up the wall.
  • Female minifigure comes with cool pram.
  • At the front, there are doors with printed tiles, good looking lamp or shelves with fruits.
  • There are also some more containers with food inside, fridge area or an old school clocks on the wall.
  • Worth five times more now than when released in 2008. 
  • RRP in 2008: $149.99, Sold May-16: $1,307

2009 - FIRE BRIGADE (10197)
2,231 pieces and 4 minifigures
Fire Brigade
  • Old nostalgic fire station with a golden bell, flag or 1932 title made from bricks
  • Red Fire Truck with ladder, equipment or dog can be parked inside the ground-floor. There are big entrance doors for the truck in the back of the Fire Station.
  • Front of the station, there is a nice street post and mail box.
  • Ground-floor of the station is an operational area with stairs that lead to the roof, there is fire equipment, helmets and many more.
  • Roof is my favourite with a golden bell and a bat hanging from the bell.
  • RRP: $149.99, Sold Aug-16: $903

2010 - GRAND EMPORIUM (10211)
2,182 pieces and 7 minifigures
Grand Emporium
  • 3 storey high shop with fantastic outside but a quite plain inside. 
  • There are nice outside details - flags, tiles on the floor, shop lettering, billboard sign with lightening, ice cream, glass ceiling on the roof.
  • Minifigures are cool - guy that is cleaning windows or female with shopping bags.
  • In the back there is nothing exciting.
  • Interior is average but there are some nice details such as changing rooms or elevators. 
  • RRP: $149.99, Sold Jul-16: $1,155
2011 - PET SHOP (10218)
2,043 pieces and 4 minifigures
Pet Shop
  • There are actually two separate buildings - Pet Shop and town house and the build is pretty tough. You get tons of cool things - two parrots, cat, dog. There are 3 bones and a ball, toys for animals or feed. A lot of flowers in this set.
  • There are so much details inside too - cash register, caffe maker, telephone, sofa, a lot of great micro builds.
  • 2nd floor is being renovated - you find there very cool painter guy.
  • Very creatively designed outside. 
  • RRP: $149.99, Sold Jun-16: $277
2012 - TOWN HALL (10224)
2,766 pieces and 8 minifigures
Town Hall
  • Big set with very tall structure and many windows also in the back of the building. Quite plain facade from the sides. 
  • Cool minifigures - mayor and his secretary, groom and bride, lady photographer with huge old camera or a couple of kids.
  • Very nice design of front doors. Another interesting exterior parts are clocks, a 1891 title or a bell (it's not actually able to move like on the Fire Station).
  • There is a very tall first floor where you find an atrium, tax office with computer, elevator that works and can move or a lobby with a white sculpture.
  • In upper floors there is a desk of the secretary of the mayor of the city, mayors office with interesting chair and little frog sculpture. The top floor is one large congressional area with long table and many chairs. You find there nice details such as a globe in the corner.
  • RRP: $199.99, Sold Jul-16: $685
2013 - PALACE CINEMA (10232)
2,196 pieces and 6 minifigures
Palace Cinema
  • It's a corner 2 level house.
  • Palace sign really sticks out - is a pretty nice looking with a lot of small gold pieces and a lightening. 
  • Above front door, there is a sigh that shows you what they are playing. 
  • There are a few posters that are covering windows and a couple of search lights. Floor tiles are eye catching too with Hollywood style golden stars.
  • Roof has different colours of red, is quite plain and empty.
  • In the ground-floor there is a ticket and customer service counter, red carpet, popcorn machine. Movie room with arm chairs and projection screen is in the upper floor.
  • Very classic black car is included in the set.
  • RRP: $149.99, Sold Jun-16: $227
2,469 pieces and 5 minifigures
Parisian Restaurant
  • Very nice building with a lot of windows and doors. Name of the restaurant "Chez Albert" is printed on the brick. 
  • A lot of details from the front - tables with chairs, little bench, red scooter, printed menu, stairs that lead up to the 2nd floor outside dining area. Many outdoor lights and flowers, small bottles of wine and glasses.
  • There is an artist room in the house with paint brushes, paintings, fire place. On the ground-floor there is a very well equipped kitchen. 
  • RRP: $159.99, Sold Jun-16: $328
2015 - DETECTIVE'S OFFICE (10246)
2,262 pieces and 6 minifigures
Detective's Office
  • Looks like 2 structures each with different architecture. Front of the building looks excellent. 
  • There is a barber shop with brick built sign and scissors, pool room with a secret passageway for cookies. The toilet looks excellent too. 
  • In the Detective's Office room there is a desk, chairs, cabinet with fan on top, hat stand and secret compartment that's accessed by rotating the picture - which is one of my favourite parts.
  • RRP: $159.99, Sold Jun-16: $374
2016 - BRICK BANK (10251)
2,380 pieces and 5 minifigures
Brick Bank
  • The Brick Bank has a very detailed ancient facade and sidewalk. It features a bank, secretary's office, manager's office and laundromat.
  • It has a wide arched entrance, clocks, ornate chandelier. 
  • There are very cool details in the interior - transaction counter with hidden alarm buttons and security glass, safe deposit boxes, banker's lamp and approval stamp, coin counting machine and many more.
  • RRP: $169.99, Sold May-16: $298
Well, and that's all. I am really curious what will be another addition to this beautiful Modular building sets in 2017. Do you have any guess ? :)

Which set will be the most worthy one in 10 years ? Do you think it will forever be the first in row set  - The Caffe Corner ?

I will be very happy if you comment below.

10 komentářů

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20 August 2016 at 02:20 delete This comment has been removed by the author.
20 August 2016 at 02:24 delete

Modulars are my favorite LEGO theme. The very best of LEGO, in my opinion. I have half of them. I love them all, especially Green Grocer and Fire Brigade (which I don’t have), but if I could only pick one, it would probably be Town Hall (which I also don’t have.)

Lego Girl
22 August 2016 at 09:52 delete

You´re very lucky that you own half of them ! It must look so good when sticked together like a street. Did you buy them when released or retired ?
I bought my first Modular Building this month - The Detective´s Office. I have just finished the underground part (a pool room) and it´s incredibly playful. I think that this is not certainly the last Modular Building set I bought...:) Brick Bank looks also very nice.

22 August 2016 at 22:55 delete

I'm pretty sure the ones we have are all still available at retail price, which is why we were able to get them. They do look nice together. We have about a block, with Modular Buildings on each side of the street.
I love the Detective's Office. It was the first Modular we got. I don't know if it's my favorite still, but it's very cool. I wouldn't mind getting a second one, at some point, and building it backwards. Brick Bank is very cool, too. There are some really cool features in the Brick Bank, but I think the Detectives Office is still a better set. Initially, I had NO interest in the Parisian Restaurant, but that might be my favorite (of the ones we own.)

Lego Girl
23 August 2016 at 14:36 delete

Yes, there are still at least 4 Modular Building sets available for sale in the LEGO eshop. Parisian Restaurant is one of them. Once I finish The Detective's Office, I guess by the end of this week because it's very addictive :), I will start thinking about another set that would fit nicely to my small Modular Building collection. Thank you for your tip ! Parisian Restaurant looks very nice.

26 August 2016 at 19:37 delete

Unfortunately, Lepin has stolen LEGO's designs and is recreating Modular Building sets (and many more) at a fraction of the cost. It's a shame.

Lego Girl
27 August 2016 at 08:11 delete

Thanks for pointing out. I didn't have a clue that something like Lepin exist. :( I will have to find out more about these clone LEGO brands. But I will definitely stay with LEGO ! Not a fan of fake LEGO brands.

9 January 2017 at 21:23 delete

Hi, how have you maybe monitored at what prices are these sets actually sold? I've tried following aucions but it was painfully time consuming. Great job btw.

Lego Girl
12 January 2017 at 07:56 delete

Hi ! That's a very good question. And I agree, it's not an easy job. I've filtered sold listings for a given set on Ebay and set the price as an average of a few sold listings. I know that the shipping costs are the issue on Ebay. One option is to exclude them from the price but you have to bare in mind that some sellers use the shipping costs to manipulate / play with the total price of the listing. So the analysis will never be perfect as you would probably wish because of this issue. However, it still gives you a range within which the secondary market price of a set probably oscillate. And that's cool. :-)

26 June 2017 at 17:51 delete

You're technically missing one. Set 10190, released under the Lego Factory theme, is a fan-designed modular building which was released shortly after the Café Corner but before the Green Grocer. It is officially part of the modular "theme" as Lego produced a smaller version for inclusion in their mini-modular set as well.