- Set: 21017 Imperial Hotel
- Theme: Architecture
- Pieces: 1188
- Minifigures: 0
- Price: $129.99 USD
- Brickipedia / Brickset
Like all other Architecture sets I've seen, this set's box is high quality, sturdy, and easily reusable. It opens from the top, which makes it easy to use as a parts bin while building, and as storage later on.
I was surprised to see that the bags in this set weren't numbered, although I don't remember if they Robie House's bags were either. Once building though, it wasn't particularly necessary, as long as I managed to keep the small pieces away from the big pieces.
The instructions in LEGO Architecture sets are not only durable, but fun to read. At the beginning, there's lots of information about the history of the building, which is fun to read, and at the end, it has some history of LEGO Architecture (not just the theme, but past themes that were similar) and about the author of the instructions. Even throughout the pages, there are tidbits of information about the building, which are fun to take a break from building and read.
This is possibly one of the most advanced LEGO builds I've done in a long time, but that's not to say it wasn't thrilling. After I got back from the LEGO store with several sets to choose from, I decided to build this one right away, and that was certainly a good choice. The amount of details put into this set is incredible. The most tedious part was probably the different windows across the building, but it was not too difficult, just long. Overall, the build in this set is excellent.
The finished model is absolutely beautiful. As I said before, the amount of detail put into this set is incredible. The set is smaller than the Robie House, which is still the largest Architecture set I have, but the amount of detail in the Imperial Hotel is much greater than that of any of the other Architecture sets I've bought. It's definitely a set I'll be keeping on display for a long time.
This is definitely one of my favorite Architecture sets after building it, and I'm certain others could say the same. If you are getting this for a child, and its their first set of this caliber, I would recommend a different set besides this one, for example Brandenburg Gate or the Robie House. If you or the person you are getting the set for has experience building more complex models, this would be a great set to get. Personally, I'd recommend this as an excellent gift, even for a non-LEGO fan. Although I knew little about the Imperial Hotel compared to the other landmarks the Architecture series has covered, I did research and looked at photos, and this was done at a very high standard, and is something I might even expect to see in a museum gift shop. It's that high quality.
Here's how I'd rate it:
5 / 5
3 / 5
5 / 5
4 / 5
4½ / 5
Build: The build is one of the most advanced, yet fun LEGO set builds I've done in a while. It was quite a good experience to put this set together, and the final outcome is beautiful. This is certainly the type of set I'd show off to friends who think LEGO is "too kiddy" and whatnot.
Playability: This rating does not quite apply, since this is a display model in all senses of the word. Sure, if you want to, you can replicate World War II and drop bricks from LEGO airplanes and it could be fun, but this set is best for display.
Parts: While the parts in all Architecture sets are generally pretty basic, this set has some very good parts. It has quite a few Transparent Brown 1x2 and 1x1 plates, several good pieces in tan (and in bulk quantities), and some great 2x4 Medium Stone Grey and Dark Stone Grey tiles. I'd never take this apart to use pieces from it though. Mine is staying safe and sound on a nice, visible shelf.
Price: Yes, this is a very expensive set, though you certainly get your money's worth. Not only are there great parts in this, but the building experience this set offers is outstanding.
Overall: To finish up, let me say that this is definitely a good set an AFOL would enjoy building, but some younger kids may need occasional help building it (the windows can be a tedious part to build). I wouldn't say to let the opportunity for kids to build this set be ignored though, so I recommend this set for all ages.
And that's it for today's review. Thank you for reading!