Review: Corner Garage

Every year in early January, the LEGO® Group releases one modular building in the Creator Expert line. I always wait until March before I buy it because that allows me to take advantage of the double VIP points that are usually offered on all sets at some point during the month. This year, I picked up the Corner Garage. As always, if you are curious about how I generate scores in this review,  you can check out my rating system by clicking here.

Corner Garage box art.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Corner Garage
SET #: 10264
THEME: Creator Expert
COST: $269.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 2569
MINIFIGURES: 6
OF INTEREST: a scooter, a dog, a parrot, a rabbit, a frog
RELEASE DATE: January 2, 2019

Corner Garage box contents.

SUMMARY REVIEW: 90%

VALUE: 97% (Per-brick value is not as good as Expert sets in the past.)

BUILD: 99% (Awesome design, only minor things to nit-pick about.)

MINIFIGURES: 64% (Generic townsfolk, and really bad brick:fig ratio.)

ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (I love this set.)

By accident we meet.

REVIEW

VALUE: 97%

The Corner Garage retails for $269.99 in Canada. With 2569 pieces, you are looking at a cost per brick of $0.11. While that is certainly not bad (my average cost per brick is currently $0.14), it is also not the best value that I have ever seen. In truth, I was a little disappointed when I did the calculation. The Creator Expert line sets tend to have hefty price tags, but that always translates into a low cost per brick, since you are essentially buying LEGO® bricks in bulk. However, $0.11/brick is a bit more than previous releases. For example, last year’s modular (the Downtown Diner, click here to read about it) clocked in at $0.09/brick. All the same, in terms of LEGO® sets in general, the Corner Garage still earns 93% in terms of per-brick value.

Entrance to the upper floors of the Corner Garage building.

The Corner Garage took me seven hours and twenty-four minutes to build (444 minutes total). So, considering that the set cost me $269.99, that means that each minute that I spent building set me back $0.61. That is an excellent build-time value, and earns 100%. Averaging this with the per-brick value gives the Corner Garage an overall value rating of 97%.

Vet office balcony.

BUILD: 99%

There is a lot to love about the Corner Garage, not just in terms of appearance, but in build techniques too. I got some really great ideas from this set in terms of how to assemble my own custom projects. Starting with the ground floor, we get the set’s namesake, a corner garage. The garage doubles as a gas station. The floor in general is just loaded with details from the squeegee at the gas pump to the tool chest inside. You also get a garage door that opens by rotating a wheel, and lift inside that allows mechanics to get under the cars. The set also includes a tow truck with a functioning winch that just looks great. There was a lot of thought put into this floor, including window and wall displays. My only complaint is the counter height. The service counter is way too tall for a Minifigure.

Ground floor of the Corner Garage.

A door off the sidewalk leads upstairs, above the garage, and into a veterinarian’s office. Right at the top of the stairs is a waiting room complete with a couch, armchair, fish tank, parrot, and potted plant. The sitting area is separated from the vet’s examination room by a wall and glass door. Inside, you will find a microscope station, examination table, an a recovery station currently occupied by a frog. The back corner of the room has an office desk. Again, lots of great details.

Second floor veterinarian’s office.

A staircase up from the vet’s waiting room is a studio apartment. It has a nice little living room with a couch and TV. There is also a bed off to one corner, and fairly complete kitchen (though there is no fridge). I am really happy that a bathroom was included in the apartment as well. It only features a toilet, and no shower, but it is an improvement over many other LEGO® apartments that require denizens to visit public bathrooms in town when the need arises. The apartment also has rooftop access via another flight of stairs, and there is a small garden and sun chair up there.

Rooftop of the Corner Garage.

In terms of build techniques, there are so many to talk about. Probably the most impressive in my mind are the design on the bay windows and the angled facade of the structure. The angle was achieved in a really clever way that I can see myself easily applying in future custom builds. The bay windows are also not the typical one-piece you see in many sets, or even the assemblage of smaller windows that we saw in the Pet Shop modular. These ones are built with windshield elements and small, clear wall elements. I like sets that make me pause while building to contemplate the ingenuity of a design.

A cleverly designed bay window in the Corner Garage.

In the end, I love most things about this set. It is:

  • cleverly designed
  • full of details
  • great looking
  • inspiring in terms of build techniques
  • Contains fun, functional features (garage door, lift, winch)

There is not much that I don’t like about this set, but if I had to pick something, I would say:

  • Minifigure scale was not full respected in all corners of the set.

I don’t really feel like my one complaint about this set really warrants a huge points deduction, so I will go ahead and rate the Corner Garage build at 99%.

Fill ‘er up.

MINIFIGURES: 64%

The Corner Garage features six characters. Sadly, one of them is an ape-child, so this set will take a bit of a hit there since I am really not a fan of the legs that don’t bend (except is very few circumstances). Only two of the characters have double-sided faces, but all of them have printed facial details. This continues in the vein of the Downtown Diner, when modular Minifigures started sporting more than just the generic, classic smiley face. All of the Minifigures also have front torso printing, and four of the six have back torso printing as well. None have any leg printing. Based on the design and printing alone, I would rate these characters at 64%. They are pretty generic townsfolk. You do get loads of accessories though. There is a rabbit, a fish, a dog, a frog, a parrot, a motor scooter, a helmet, a dolly, two wrenches, a mallet, a cleaver, a spoon, three cups, scissors, syringes, and a dozen printed tiles for decoration. Oddly enough, one of said printed tiles is a map of Heartlake City from the Friends theme (it is on the wall in the vet’s waiting room). Adding all of those accessories to the design score brings it up to 98%.

Six Minifigures in a kit containing 2569 parts translates into a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 428:1. That is not very good based on my current average of 136:1. The bad ratio is not to be unexpected though. These large sets tend to give you a great brick value, but not many Minifigures comparatively. The Corner Garage earns a ratio score of 30%. Averaging that with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 64%.

ENTERTAINMENT: 100%

There is not much to say here except that I really love the Corner Garage. I will be dropping it into my LEGO® city exactly as it is. The set looks great from an AFOL and display perspective. I also think that kids would have lots of fun playing with it as part of a city. I always dreamed of a LEGO® city as a kid, and had many hours of play with my own custom buildings. The Corner Garage earns 100% in this category.

Corner Garage tow truck.

OVERALL: 90%

The Corner Garage is a beautiful set with lots of play and display appeal. While it is not as good a value as past Creator Expert sets, you still get a fair amount for the price. The set suffers a little in the Minifigure department because we really are not getting anything super detailed, and there a relatively few Minifigures for the overall brick count. All the same, I love this set and am very pleased with the purchase. I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up, and highly recommend it.

Turning the indicated wheel opens the garage door.

Have any thoughts that you would like to share concerning the Corner Garage? Feel free to drop me a line in the comments below. Also, if you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option at the bottom of the page), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

Until next time,

-Tom

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