Review: Downtown Diner 
Back in January, I picked my top 5 must have sets from the January 2018 LEGO catalogue (click here to read the article). The third set on my list was the Creator Downtown Diner. Each year in March, when double VIP points rolls around at the LEGO Store, I buy myself the latest Creator modular building. So, since it was on my top 5 list, and it scored me $20 in VIP points, I picked up the Downtown Diner. The Creator modular buildings have yet to disappoint me, and this one was no exception.
NAME: Downtown Diner
SET #: 10260
COST: $219.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 2480
RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2018
SUMMARY REVIEW: 88%
VALUE: 100% (Excellent value per brick, even at full price.)
BUILD: 95% (Amazing build, but scale is a little off in places.)
MINIFIGURES: 56% (Nice Minifigures, but bad brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (I love this set, and it gives you hours of build time.)
As with all Creator modular buildings, you can be sure that you will be dishing out a large sum of money to get the Downtown Diner. As I always say, this is one of those sets you should really wait to buy until there is a double VIP points event at the LEGO Store. Waiting earned me $20 in VIP points. With the points I already had, I now have $25 to spend at the LEGO Store, which is equivalent to a free set in the 200 piece range. These large Creator sets pretty much never go on sale, so racking up VIP points is your best option for a deal. At $219.99 in Canada, and 2480 pieces, each brick in this set will cost you $0.09. While that is already an excellent value, you might as well get the points too. I give the Downtown Diner a full 5/5 for value (even without the double VIP points).
The Downtown Diner has a great 1950s feel to it. You get an Elvis-like rock star, a pink Cadillac, a red jukebox, and the building itself is very mid-century modern. The curves throughout the build are aesthetically pleasing, and expertly designed. The ground floor features the set’s namesake, a diner that seems to specialize in breakfast food. The cook is busy frying up pancakes and bacon. I love the coffee pot in the corner, but you also get a soda fountain, a waitress serving milkshakes on roller skates, and a gumball machine. My one point of contention with the diner is that all the counter and cook tops are just a tile or two too high for Minifigure scale. The characters arms can barely reach over the counters if they are standing on the floor. But otherwise, everything looks excellent.
The second floor is a gym. I am thrilled with this addition to my LEGO city, as I am an avid gym-goer myself. This gym is set up mostly to train for boxing, but there is a rack of dumbbells and a bench press station set up as well. I am a big fan of the punching bag, which actually swings when hit. I have no complaints about this design, it is amazing right down to the water cooler.
The third floor of the Downtown Diner building is a recording studio. Again, I am loving this build. There is a little recreational area, as well as the sound booth and the recording room. There is also a hit album on the wall, a golden record, and a minibar. Outside, a spiral, “metal” staircase takes you up from the second to the third level, and it has a really nice design that used bricks in a way I had not considered before. Overall, the build for this set is amazing. I give it 9.5/10, taking off just a little for the disproportionate counter heights in the diner.
You get six Minifigures with the Downtown Diner. On my rating scale, that means the characters in this kit can earn a cumulative total of 90 points. Since there are no stumpy children in this set (thankfully), they already start off with the full 36 points for all the basic, moveable parts. Different from past Creator modulars, these Minifigures actually have more than just the generic, classic smiley face. I know some people might not like this change, but I for one love it. It also gives these Minifigs an additional six points, plus three more since three of them have double sided faces. All of them also have front torso printing, and only one does not have rear torso printing (11 more points). Only the boxer has any form of leg printing, as he has two tone legs to represent shorts. The shorts do go all the way around his legs though, affording him another two points. Each one of them also comes with a hair piece (6 more points). In terms of accessories, you get a guitar, roller skates, a bottle, four clear mugs, a camera, and a milkshake glass (9 more points). That gives these Minifigures a design score of 73/90 (81%).
With 2480 bricks, and six Minifigures, you are looking at a brick-to-fig ratio of 413:1. That is quite low, but it remains consistent with other modular sets in this theme. Sadly, that earns a low ratio score of 1.5/5 (30%). Averaging out the design and ratio scores gives an overall Minifigure rating of 56%.
This set took me six hours and 46 minutes to build (406 minutes). At $219.99 in Canada, each minute of build time cost me $0.54. That is excellent, and earns a full 5/5 for build-time value. Likewise, as I have mentioned before, I love this set. I will not be changing anything about it as I incorporate it into my LEGO city. So, it also earns a full 5/5 for enjoyment. These two scores combined give the Downtown Diner 100% for it entertainment score.
While an initial look at the price tag will often make people scoff, these large LEGO sets really do give you the most bang for your buck. They are also full of amazing details and fun features. I always learn new building techniques as I make my way through the manuals. Where this set (and, in fact, all Creator modulars) tend to lose massive points is in the Minifigure department. In the past, the characters have all been very generic. In the Downtown Diner, the Minifigs have a bit more personality, but it still suffers from the same low brick-to-fig ratio as its predecessors. Regardless, I love this set, and I highly recommend it.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the Downtown Diner in the comments below!
Until next time,