I have owned the Parisian Restaurant (10243) for many years. I bought it when it was still a new set on the market. Interestingly, I purchased it at the Rockefeller Center on a trip to New York City. That was back when the exchange rate was good, but I digress. I never posted a review of the set on True North Bricks because this blog did not exist back then. A couple of years ago, I disassembled the Parisian Restaurant when I moved. The set only emerged from the moving box it was in recently. Sadly, for many collectors, the set is now retired. However, we finally take a closer look in this week’s set review.
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PARISIAN RESTAURANT SUMMARY
- NAME: Parisian Restaurant
- SET #: 10243
- THEME: Creator Expert
- COST: $189.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 2469
- MINIFIGURES: 5
- RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2014
PARISIAN RESTAURANT QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 100% (At original market price, this set offers a great brick count and build time.)
- BUILD: 99% (Amazing, detailed build featuring lovely brick usage.)
- MINIFIGURES: 85% (Loads of accessories, but few characters even for a modular building.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Great set for display or play.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 96%
PARISIAN RESTAURANT (10243) REVIEW
Though the Parisian Restaurant retired in 2019, it cost $189.99 in Canada. As far as the modular buildings go, it was one of the cheaper ones. Additionally, the kits consists of 2469 bricks. As such, the cost-per-brick for this set was $0.077. Simply put, that is an amazing value. Comparatively, my average cost-per-brick across all themes is $0.14. Parisian Restaurant earns a solid 100%. This set is amazing even in a straight comparison to other 18+ (Creator Expert) sets. My average for those is $0.099/brick. Again, it earns 100%.
The Parisian Restaurant took me eight hours and 20 minutes to build (500 minutes total). At full price, each minute of build time costs $0.38. Comparatively, my average cost-per-minute is $0.84. Consequently, this set gives you a huge amount of build time for the price. That goes in a direct comparison to other expert level sets as well. My average cost-per-minute for those is $0.52. Either way you look at it, Parisian Restaurant earns 100% again.
Parisian Restaurant consists of three superbly detailed floors. I feel like this set was a turning point for the modular buildings. Prior to the Parisian Restaurant, the modulars featured highly detailed exteriors. The earliest ones had empty interiors. As the years progressed, the interiors became more and more detailed. However, even the Palace Cinema from the year before was not super detailed inside. It had a lot of fun add-ons for sure. However, the spaces still come off a little empty. Not so in the Parisian Restaurant.
The ground level houses the restaurant. It features a fully stocked kitchen, decorated dining room, and there are two terraces. One of the outdoor seating areas is at street level, the other is up a flight of stairs outside of the second-floor apartment. This level has so much detail to appreciate. From the vined terrace canopy, to the dining room wine cabinet, to the full refrigerator, to the dumpster out back. Every corner has something fun to look at. If I nitpick, and I mean REALLY nitpick, there is no bathroom.
The Parisian Restaurant (10243) has one of the best LEGO® kitchens I have seen.
The second floor has a studio apartment. It houses a small kitchenette and living area. However, the highlight is the Murphy bed that folds down from the wall. The apartment has lots of windows, as well as a balcony door that opens to overlook the street below. The space is small but looks nice. Based on the kitchenette, I assume whoever lives here eats out in the restaurant below a lot. They do not even have a fridge. Additionally, there is no bathroom again.
Up a flight of stairs from the apartment is an artist’s studio in the building’s attic. It is a neat little space with a fireplace to keep warm. Additionally, the room has an easel and painting supplies. I love the technique used to build the roof outside. The rear half also flips down to allow interior access.
Ultimately, there is nothing that I do not like about the Parisian Restaurant. The techniques used to detail all aspects of the building are great. You get good MOC inspiration from this set. However, I would like to see a bathroom somewhere in the build though. I like realistic touches like that. I rate the build at 99% in this case.
As an older modular set, Parisian Restaurant only has generic, classic smiley faced Minifigures. Each comes complete with all the standard parts though. Additionally, all have front torso printing, while three have back torso printing as well. However, the set contains no double-sided faces or leg printing. The LEGO® Group intended the early modular buildings to come with classic characters. However, I was never a fan of that decision. I did not hate it, but I appreciated when facial expressions arrived with the Downtown Diner in 2018.
On the plus side, you get several accessories. Printed bricks include a clock, a sign reading “Chez Albert Restaurant”, a painting of a ship, and a menu. Other accessories in the set are two bones, five croissants (most decorative), two shells, two sausages, a moped, a mug, a pot, a pan, a garbage can, a full turkey, four glasses, five bottles, a milk carton brick, two cherries, a paint brush, a paint palette, a rat, four knives, two rings, a server’s tray, and a pie. The sheer number of accessories more than makes up for the lack of detail in the Minifigures. Considering the Minifigures and the accessories together, I rate the character design at 100%.
The Parisian Restaurant (10243) has loads of accessories, but the characters are generic.
As with other large modular buildings, the brick-to-fig ratio for this set is not good. The set contains 2469 pieces and five Minifigures. Consequently, the ratio is 494:1. By comparison, my average ratio across all themes is currently 142:1. Parisian Restaurant comes no where near passing in that light. However, it fares better in a comparison to only other Creator Expert sets. These kits tend to come with a small number of Minifigures compared to the brick count. For the theme, my average ratio is 416:1. In that respect, Parisian Restaurant includes a satisfactory number of characters and earns 70%. However, it is still on the low side in terms of Minifigure count. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 85%.
The Parisian Restaurant is a beautiful set. Since the day I first assembled it, the building remained on display in my LEGO® city until I moved. It took me a while to find the time to rebuild it. However, now that I have, the set will again go on display. Of all the modular buildings, the Parisian Restaurant is one of my favorites. Consequently, I give it an AFOL score of 100%. Given that I cannot see any reason that kids would not want to play with this, it also earns 100% as a KFOL score. The set adds value to any city, whether for adult display or children’s play.
OVERALL SCORE: 96%
There is not much to dislike about the Parisian Restaurant (10243). The set is beautiful both inside and out. Additionally, if you were lucky enough to pick one up before it retired, the set was a great value. The only real negative about it is the lack of Minifigures. Modular buildings never come with a lot of Minifigures compared to the brick count. However, even for such a set, Parisian Restaurant is on the low side. Arguably, this is not a set you buy for the Minifigures though. Ultimately, Parisian Restaurant remains one of my favorite modular buildings so far. What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below or reach out social media.
Until next time,
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