Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) Review

I bought Modular Sweet Surprises quite a while ago. It has been sitting un-built since last July. The set was on sale, and I thought the store front would look good on the shopping promenade I am planning for my LEGO® city. The box images for this set look okay, but honestly, my expectations were not high. Previously, I reviewed the Modular Modern Home, and I did not like it much. Therefore, I questioned the modular nature of this set. Let’s see how the set fares in this week’s review.

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Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) front box art.

Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) Summary

  • NAME: Modular Sweet Surprises
  • SET #: 31077
  • THEME: Creator 3-in-1
  • COST: $49.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 396
  • MINIFIGURES: 3
  • RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2018
Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) rear box art.

Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) Quick Review

  • VALUE: 77% (At full price, it is a good cost-per-brick, but mediocre build time value.)
  • BUILD: 70% (Really flimsy build with areas that feel unfinished.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 82% (Annoying stumpy kid figs, but good accessory count, and good brick:fig.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 70% (Not a great set for adults, probably will not last rough play either.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 75%
Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) box contents.

Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) Review

VALUE: 77%

At full price, Modular Sweet Surprises costs $49.99 in Canada. Coming with 396 pieces, the cost-per-brick of this set is $0.13. Comparatively, my average cost-per-brick currently is $0.14. Therefore, this set is not a bad deal. In fact, I rate it with a good score of 83%. As I write this, the set is out of stock at the LEGO® Store and on Amazon proper. However, it might still be available at other retailers on liquidation if you are lucky. I bought it for 22% off. At that price, the cost-per-brick was $0.098, which earns 94%.

Cupcake window display.

Modular Sweet Surprises took me 50 minutes to assemble. Consequently, at full price each minute of build time costs $1.00. By comparison, my current average is $0.82/minute. While not horrible, I would not consider that build-time value to be particularly good either. As a result, it earns a score of 71%. At the price I actually paid, the cost-per-minute was $0.78. That earns 82%. Averaging the value scores in this section gives Modular Sweet Surprises a full value rating of 77%, and a discounted rating of 88%.

Front door.

BUILD: 70%

When I reviewed the Modular Modern Home, I was not a fan of the pop-in-and-out wall elements. Essentially, you build one base structure. You assemble all windows, doors, and other add-ons afterwards and pop them into place. Elements pop out equally easily and are interchangeable. My feeling in that last review was that this design cheapened the build experience. The interchangeable elements also detach too easily for my liking. I still feel the same way upon building Modular Sweet Surprises. In fact, just now I picked the building up one handed to bring it closer for better inspection. The whole thing fell to pieces. I may have let out a few choice words. Thankfully, I have already taken pictures of it.

Click here to read about Modular Modern Home.

Cash register

Sadly, this set has a weak structure.

In terms of other dislikes, I am not fond of the roof. There is a table and stools up there, as well as the shop sign. Additionally, a small awning provides shade for the table area. However, there is no substance to the awning structure. It feels like there should be a door or window with another room there. Perhaps the stairs should join onto the build there. It seems unfinished to me.

Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) roof set-up.

Beyond those flaws, I enjoyed this set more than I thought I would. Apart from falling apart when you pick it up, it has more substance than Modular Modern Home did. The interior has a nice rotating cupcake display in the window. There is also an ice cream freezer, an oven in the wall, a cash register, and a takeout window. Outside, you find an ATM which is okay. After the working ATM in Ninjago City, I will never view LEGO® cash dispensers the same way. However, what I really enjoyed was the candy machine. It is a very simple design, but I will certainly incorporate it somewhere in my own builds.

Candy machine

Overall, I like Modular Sweet Surprises more than my last foray into the 3-in-1 “modular” buildings. When considering this purchase, it is important to remember that it is not modular in the same sense as the Creator Expert buildings. The interior feels fuller than Modern Home did, and there are some nice mini builds. Additionally, the lower store level is a nice design. However, the overall structure is flimsy, and the roof area feels unfinished. Whereas I failed the Modern Home in this category, I award Sweet Surprises 7/10 (70%).

Ice cream freezer.

MINIFIGURES: 82%

There are three characters included with Modular Sweet Surprises. Sadly, two of them are ape children. For True North Bricks regulars, you know my beef with Minifigure children. I hate the non-bending stump legs that make the arms disproportionately long and ape-like. This Minifigure selection loses several points right away there.  However, all three characters come with front and back torso printing. Additionally, both ape kids have double-sided faces. Finally, the set includes several accessories such as two popsicles, two croissants, a pie, two printed register bricks, and a cup. Overall, I rate these Minifigure designs at 36/45 (80%).

Front view of Minifigures in Modular Sweet Surprises (31077).

Three Minifigures in a kit containing 396 bricks equates to a brick-to-fig ratio of 132-to-1. Comparatively, my average is currently 151-to-1. Therefore, you get a good number of Minifigures for a kit of this size. I rate that ratio at 84%. Averaging the ratio and design scores gives an overall Minifigure rating of 82%.

Rear view of Minifigures in Modular Sweet Surprises.

ENTERTAINMENT: 70%

As an adult collector, I like this set more than I originally thought that I would. However, I do not see myself keeping this build. The bottom storefront may be adapted into a MOC project. But even that will need a considerable structural redesign. It is too fragile as is. I rate the AFOL score at 3/5 (60%).

Overhead view of Modular Sweet Surprises (31077).

From a kid’s perspective, the set might be fun in a cityscape. However, the structural instability will not withstand heavy play. This set falls apart easily. You need to pick it up gingerly with two hands or it will be all over the floor. I did not build the two alternate versions of this set, but those add build-time. So, perhaps for kids this set might achieve 4/5 (80%). Averaging the AFOL and KFOL scores gives an overall entertainment rating of 70%.

Overhead rear view of Modular Sweet Surprises (31077).

OVERALL SCORE: 75%

When compared to the Modular Modern Home, Modular Sweet Surprises is an improvement. It has an okay value, and the Minifigures are decent (despite two being ape children). The build suffers from the same structural flaws as Modern Home though, and I do not like this “modular” style. The structure is too weak. I may adapt part of it as a store front in my city, but I would not recommend this set at full price. There have been, are, and will be nicer 3-in-1 sets. What do you think? Feel free to comment below or shout out on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

Takeout window.

Want to know what others think?

Brick Insights is an awesome site that aggregates LEGO® set review scores from around the web. Based on their statistics, you can see what other reviewers think of  Modular Sweet Surprises (31077) below.

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