Townhouse Toy Store (31105) Review

Creator 3-in-1 often puts out fun looking buildings. Not too long ago, we got the Townhouse Pet Shop and Café (click here to read about it). Just a few short months later, the Townhouse Toy Store (31105) hit retail shelves. Combined with older 3-in-1 sets, this theme has started developing quite the little shop-lined street. I acquired the Pet Shop and Café as well as this Toy Store simultaneously. So far, both have impressed me and look great together. Read on for more details!

NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of sets does not guarantee a favorable assessment. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more) and provide my honest opinion.

Townhouse Toy Store (31105) front box art.
Townhouse Toy Store (31105) front box art.

TOWNHOUSE TOY STORE (31105) SUMMARY

  • NAME: Townhouse Toy Store
  • SET #: 31105
  • THEME: Creator 3-in-1
  • COST: $49.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 554
  • MINIFIGURES: 2
  • RELEASE DATE: January 2, 2020
Townhouse Toy Store rear box art.
Townhouse Toy Store (31105) rear box art.

TOWNHOUSE TOY STORE (31105) QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 99% (Excellent brick and build-time values.)
  • BUILD: 85% (Nice overall, but needs more detailed and varied mini builds.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 64% (Satisfactory characters, but few accessories and bad brick: fig.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 95% (A good custom city building set for all ages.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 86%
Box contents.
Townhouse Toy Store box contents.

TOWNHOUSE TOY STORE (31105) REVIEW

VALUE: 99%

Townhouse Toy Store costs $49.99 in Canada. With 554 pieces, the cost-per-brick is $0.09. By comparison, my current average is $0.14/brick. Therefore, this set is an excellent value, even at full price. I rate the value-per-brick at 97%.

Gumball machine outside the Townhouse Toy Store (31105).
Gumball machine outside the toy store.

Townhouse Toy Store took me an hour and 50 minutes to build. Incidentally, this is a Creator 3-in-1 set and I only built one of the three variations. With that in mind, each minute of build time cost $0.45. Comparatively, my average cost-per-minute is $0.83. Consequently, the build-time-value for this set is also excellent. For this category, I award the full 100%. Averaging this score with the value-per-brick score gives an overall value grade of 99%.

Corner toy store.
Corner toy store.

BUILD: 85%

This set contains two builds. The first is a small, “coin operated” rocket ride. I do not see many of these in stores and malls anymore. However, when I was little, they were all over the place. This piece is an interesting design with a play feature. A cam and follower set-up inside the base results in the rocking motion of the ride. The concept is fun, but the overall design of the ride is a little bland. However, it is a side build, so that is not a major issue.

Rocket ride in the Townhouse Toy Store set.
Rocket ride.

The brunt of the set is the main building. Much like the Townhouse Pet Shop and Café, this set is modular with an open back. While I prefer buildings sealed on all sides, I do appreciate the modular aspect of these constructs. It makes the customization process easier. Additionally, the building exterior looks great. It achieves a detailed look using basic bricks.

Toy store interior.
Interior of the toy store.

The Creator Expert Cafe Corner tile resurfaces!

Inside on the bottom floor is a toy shop. There is more effort to make this shop complete than in the Townhouse Pet Shop and Café. The store contains two brick-built window displays that are reminiscent of something you would see in a City Advent Calendar. Additionally, the store has a counter with a cash register. Finally, a shelf on the wall holds some LEGO® sets for sale. This is an interesting detail because one of the “sets” is a printed tile of the retired Creator Expert Café Corner. Previously, this piece was only available in the Assembly Square set.

Click here to read more about Assembly Square.

LEGO® sets for sale.
LEGO® sets for sale in the toy store.

The second floor of the build is an apartment, not really a townhouse. It features only one bedroom with no kitchen, bathroom, or living space. For a set in this price range, you can’t really expect a whole lot more than one room. However, the room contains two side tables, each with a vase and flower. A more varied selection of furniture would have made this room better. A chair, or a TV and stand perhaps. Overall, it is a nice little build without any major design issues. I rate it at 8.5/10 (85%).

Apartment on the second floor.
Apartment above the toy store.

MINIFIGURES: 64%

Townhouse Toy Store comes with two Minifigures. Sadly, one of them is a stubby child. I admit, I am disappointed that the shorter, poseable legs from the Harry Potter theme did not stick. The other character is a LEGO® Store employee. Therefore, arguing that this toy store is in fact a LEGO® Store has merit. It is easy to imagine the window displays as LEGO® sets, but I digress. In terms of design, both Minifigures have front and back torso printing. However, neither of them has leg printing, and only one has a double-sided face. Additionally, accessories are scant. The set contains a typical money piece as well as two printed tile City set “boxes”, and one Creator Expert printed tile “box”. Based on these specs, I rate the Minifigure design for this kit at 22/30 (73%).

Front view of Minifigures.
Front view of Minifigures.

Two Minifigures in a 554-piece kit yields a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 277-to-1. Comparatively, my average ratio is currently 149-to-1. Therefore, you do not get very many Minifigures considering the size of the set. While it has a better ratio than the Townhouse Pet Shop and Café, this set still does not achieve passing score in this category. A small number of Minifigures is common with Creator sets though. In this case, it earns 54%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure grade of 64%.

Rear view of Minifigures.
Rear view of Minifigures.

ENTERTAINMENT: 95%

As an adult collector, I like this set. While not at the same calibre as a Creator Expert set, the exterior of the build is still aesthetically pleasing. It is not a shoo-in for my city and will need some modification. However, I want to preserve the exterior look as much as possible in my modification process. I rate the AFOL score at 90%.

Alternate face for the child Minifigure.
Alternate face for the child Minifigure.

For kids who want to build up their own city, this set fits the bill. It is not a complicated build. Additionally, the set looks great next to the Townhouse Pet Shop and Café. You can get a nice street front going if you have a few of these 3-in-1 buildings already. The open back also allows easy access for play if you are simply lining a single street with buildings. The alternate builds also increase the amount of build-time kids will get, and the variety of buildings they can have on their street. I rate the KFOL score at 100%. Averaging this with the AFOL score gives an overall entertainment rating of 95%.

Upper walkway.
There is an upper walkway on the side of the building that I like.

OVERALL SCORE: 86%

Townhouse Toy Store is a nice set. It comes at an excellent value, and the only major drawback is the limited Minifigure selection. Both adults and kids hoping to build up a LEGO® city will find a use for this building. I like it marginally less than the Townhouse Pet Shop and Café, which is concurrently available in stores. However, this one comes at a lower price point, which also means less detail. Overall, it is a worthwhile purchase even at full price.

Until next time,

-Tom

Townhouse Pet Shop and Cafe next to Townhouse Toy Store.
Townhouse Pet Shop and Cafe next to Townhouse Toy Store.

What do 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  the Townhouse Toy Store (31105) below.

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