Bookshop (10270) Review

Last December we published the announcement concerning the 2020 Creator Expert modular (click here to read it). This initial press release excited me. I have long wanted a bookstore for my LEGO® city. Additionally, more residences that I don’t have to customize much are great for filling out my neighborhoods. My initial plan was to get this set quickly. However, it was on backorder for a while in Canada. I finally got my hands on it in March, and recently built it in my COVID-19 isolation. Did it live up to my expectations? Continue reading the Bookshop (10270) review to find out!

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.

Bookshop (10270) box art.
Bookshop front box art.

BOOKSHOP (10270) SUMMARY

  • NAME: Bookshop
  • SET #: 10270
  • THEME: Creator Expert
  • COST: $199.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 2504
  • MINIFIGURES: 5
  • RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2020
Bookshop (10270) rear box art.
Bookshop rear box art.

BOOKSHOP (10270) QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 100% (Excellent value-per-brick and value-per-minute of build-time.)
  • BUILD: 85% (It didn’t meet the same level of detail as its predecessors.)
  • MINIFIGURES: 60% (A kit this size should have a lot more Minifigures.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 93% (Great city filler set, might be hard for young builders though.)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 85%
Bookshop (10270) box contents.
Bookshop (10270) box contents.

BOOKSHOP (10270) REVIEW

VALUE: 100%

The Bookshop costs $199.99 in Canada. Additionally, the set contains 2504 bricks. This means that the cost-per-brick works out to $0.08. That is excellent. What makes it even better is that it marks a drop in price over the Downtown Diner (2018) and the Corner Garage (2019). The cost-per-brick has not been this good on a Creator Expert modular since Assembly Square in 2017. I rate the value-per-brick at 100%.

Birch Books signage.
Birch Books signage.

The Bookshop took me eight hours and five minutes (485 minutes) to build from start to finish. At full price, that means each minute of build-time costs $0.41. Again, that is an excellent value that earns 100%. Despite a seemingly high price tag, you get a lot of bricks and a lot of build time for your buck here. Averaging the value-per-brick and value-per-minute scores gives an overall value grade of 100%.

Rear view of the Bookshop set.
Rear view of the Bookshop set.

BUILD: 85%

The Bookstore stands on two separate 16×32 stud baseplates. I am a big fan of this design because it allows you to display the buildings together or separately. While I do not want all Creator Expert modular buildings to come in this format, getting one every couple of years is great. The two buildings in this case are the bookshop namesake and a townhouse. Both buildings look nice from the front and are wonderfully detailed. I especially like the birch trees. However, the backs of the buildings did not get the same amount of consideration. By comparison, the backs of the buildings are bland.

Looking at the bookshop first, the actual shop occupies the ground floor with a split-level design. The cash register and two shelves are on the floor. Up a flight of stairs, there is another bookshelf on a landing. Beyond that, the upper floors are an apartment. Personally, I found this disappointing. The second floor is a living room, while the top is a bedroom. However, there is no kitchen and no bathroom. I plan to modify this building. I want to see a café and more bookshelves. A manager’s office and perhaps some overstock boxes suit the top floor more in my mind. I guess I really want this building to solely be a bookstore, especially since the apartment is so incomplete. Following the great apartment in last year’s Corner Garage, this one really fell short for me.

The Bookshop is detailed, but not at the same time…

The townhouse is fun, but again, the interior also did not fully meet my expectations. The crawlspace under the house uses space more efficiently than its predecessor from the 2011 Pet Shop modular. That one had a crawlspace too, but you could not really access it fully. The main floor in this year’s building features a dining room. The room has nice details, including a dinner table, hutch, and fireplace. Additionally, I like the coat hooks with the Minifigure microphones used as pegs. Upstairs houses a little bedroom with balcony access. Again, what you get is nicely detailed, but the house is incomplete. No kitchen, no bathroom. At least the Pet Shop townhouse included a small bathroom. I built my own kitchen in that set on one of the empty floors. Sadly, the townhouse in Bookshop does not have an extra floor for that.

Strolling past the Bookshop (10270).
Strolling past the bookshop.

Overall, I really like this set. However, after all the detail of Assembly Square, Downtown Diner, and Corner Garage, I feel Bookshop falls a little bit flat. It looks great from the outside. I also like the new modular design of the top floors where only a portion of the level comes off to reveal the inside. Additionally, the spaces that you get are nicely detailed. However, none of the living spaces feel complete. Making the bookshop just a bookshop would have made this build better. Also, after the realistic details of other recent modular buildings, I expected the same level here. Overall, I rate the build for the Bookshop at 8.5/10 (85%), taking off half a mark for the bland backside, and a full mark for the lack of amenities in the living spaces.

Bird nest in the Bookshop (10270) birch tree.
Bird nest in the birch tree.

MINIFIGURES: 60%

The Bookshop set comes with five Minifigures. One of them is a stumpy child character that automatically loses points in my book. I don’t like the unbending legs that make the torso and arms seem disproportionately large. Otherwise, all of them have the standard parts, as well as front and back torso printing. All but one have double-sided faces, however none have any leg printing.  Additionally, the set contains 19 accessories. These include printed tiles for a clock, two paintings, and books, as well as scissors, a chameleon, a scarf, a bird, a bird nest, a pumpkin, two coffee cups, two tea cups, a tea pot, an umbrella, an extra hat, and a sac. Overall, I rate the Minifigure design and accessories at 71/75 (95%).

Front view of Bookshop (10270).
Front view of Minifigures.

Nice Minifigures, but not very many of them.

As with many other Creator sets, the Bookshop does not contain many Minifigures compared to the set’s brick count. The ratio is 501 bricks to one Minifigure. Comparatively, my average is currently 152-to-1. Therefore, this set suffers from a serious lack of Minifigures. In fact, the ratio is so poor that I rate it at 10%. Unfortunately, that destroys the great design score this set has. Averaging the two scores gives a Minifigure grade of 53%. With that said, one of the accessories is an amazing “Moby Brick” book. Additionally, the scarf finally comes in a color other than orange, the chameleon is a new shade of blue, and there is a black repaint of the bushy hairpiece first seen with the dance instructor from collectible Minifigure series 17. The child character’s banana t-shirt under a plaid blue sweater is also new for my collection. Therefore, based on the novel pieces included in this kit, I will bump the overall Minifigure score up to 60%.

Rear view of Bookshop (10270) Minifigures.
Rear view of Minifigures.

ENTERTAINMENT: 93%

As an adult collector, I do like this set a lot. The exterior details and design allow me to just drop it into my city as is, which is a huge plus. However, based on the last few years of modular buildings, my expectations for this set were very high. Sadly, despite liking it, the Bookshop did not meet the high bar set by its predecessors. Ultimately, I did not feel the wow-factor of other sets, for example Pirates of Barracuda Bay. I rate the AFOL score for the Bookshop at 90%.

Alternate faces of Minifigures in the Bookshop (10270) set.
Minifigure alternate faces.

Nice set, but was it as nice as its predecessors?

The LEGO® Group targets this set for adults with a 16+ rating. The build techniques are advanced too, therefore younger builders will probably need help assembling this set. However, that does not mean that kids will not enjoy playing with the Bookshop set. I would not recommend it for builders just getting into LEGO®. But if your kid is an avid builder used to more complex sets, this is a good one. What kid doesn’t dream of their own LEGO® city? From a play perspective, this is great. However, since the build experience might frustrate and upset inexperienced builders, I rate the KFOL score at 95%. Averaging the AFOL and KFOL scores yields an overall entertainment rating of 93%.

Moby Brick in the Bookshop (10270) window.
Just released: Moby Brick.

OVERALL SCORE: 85%

As far as the Creator Expert modular buildings go, I like the Bookshop but it is not my favorite. After the completeness of previous sets, this new kit did not meet my expectations. It looks great from the outside. Additionally, the interiors are nice. But there are key features I feel are missing. Also, the set only comes with five Minifigures. For a set this size, I expect more. In the end, you get two nice buildings at a great overall value. I still recommend the Bookshop. However, if you are down to a choice between this set and any of the others from the last three years, I would choose one of the earlier installments. What do you think of the Creator Expert Bookshop? Please share your comments below or drop me a note on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

Coffee on the Bookshop (10270) balcony.
Coffee on the Bookshop (10270) balcony.

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 Bookshop (10270) below.

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