In 2019, The LEGO® Group released an Ideas set based on the hit television series FRIENDS. The set, Central Perk, was a hit. Consequently, the LEGO® Group recently announced a sequel set for release in Summer 2021. Additionally, they offered me a copy for pre-release review. As such, I can now share my FRIENDS Apartments (10292) review. Interestingly, the set is much larger than its predecessor. As its name suggests, you get both of the iconic apartments seen in the TV series. The set also comes with new looks for the Minifigures.
Note: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here for more information) and provide my honest opinion.
FRIENDS APARTMENTS SUMMARY
- NAME: F.R.I.E.N.D.S. The Apartments
- SET #: 10292
- THEME: Creator Expert (18+)
- COST: $199.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 2048
- MINIFIGURES: 7
- RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2021
FRIENDS APARTMENTS QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 71% (Good cost-per-brick, but it is a fast build for the price.)
- BUILD: 85% (Simple but good overall design with minor structural issues.)
- MINIFIGURES: 88% (Nice characters, loads of accessories, but I would like more minifigs.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 85% (Niche market set, but it has MOC potential beyond FRIENDS fans too.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 82%
FRIENDS APARTMENTS (10292) REVIEW
The FRIENDS Apartments set costs $199.99 in Canada. Additionally, it features 2048 bricks. The resulting cost-per-brick is $0.098. Compared to LEGO® sets in general, that is a great value. My average cost-per-brick across all themes is currently $0.14. However, the Apartments value is average compared to other Creator Expert/18+ sets. For adult oriented sets, my average cost-per-brick is exactly $0.098 at the moment. Ultimately, I rate the value-per-brick at 87%.
It took me three hours and 44 minutes to build The Apartments (224 minutes total). At full price, the cost-per-minute works out to $0.89. Comparatively, my average cost-per-minute across all themes is $0.83. For the 18+ line, my average is $0.58. Consequently, you get a build time is satisfactory compared to LEGO® sets in general. However, for a Creator Expert set, the build time is expensive. In fact, it is the most expensive cost-per-minute I have seen for this theme in five years of reviews. 18+ sets typically give you more assembly time for the price. I rate the build-time value at 55%. Averaging this with the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value rating of 71%.
We have already established that The Apartments is a fast build. I think a large part of that results from the uncomplicated nature of the design. I did not encounter any new techniques or bricks during the build. That is not a major complaint, more of an observation. For adults just getting into the hobby, or those leaving their dark ages, this is a good “starter” set. This was my first build following the UCS Millennium Falcon, and the two sets are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of difficulty.
Much like Central Perk, The Apartments feature stage-like designs. While there are no cameras or crew included in the set, each apartment features stage lighting builds. Consequently, the open-backed nature of the design does not bother me in this case. I usually prefer my LEGO® sets as modulars. However, this design makes sense as is since it represents a film set and remains true to the look and feel of the apartments from the show.
Easter eggs abound in the FRIENDS Apartments (10292) set.
The first few bags develop Chandler’s and Joey’s apartment. Similar to Central Perk, there is a section of the floor that lifts out as a separate, smaller display. The floor section features the boys’ reclining chairs. Incidentally, the chairs actually recline. Additionally, they work in unison to simulate the scene from the show when Chandler and Joey first get the chairs. There are several other Easter eggs throughout the build, and the instruction manual features little blurbs pointing them out as you build. I will not ruin them all for you here. 😉 Overall, the build does a good job of portraying the living areas seen in the show.
A small section of hallway separates the two boys’ apartment from the girls’. The three sections of this set do not actually lock together though. Each features a small brick-build tab that slides under an adjoining section. However, the joint formed is rather loose. Slightly jostling the arrangement causes the sections to separate. Technic pins would easily remedy the situation with a slight redesign. Additionally, they still allow the freedom of separating the sections if needed for display.
The finished set is sprawling build.
The ladies pad also features a removable section of flooring in the living room area. Much like the other apartment, this one is true to the show in terms of colors and layout. Additionally, the apartment includes the balcony outside. However, despite looking great, there are a few structural flaws that bother me. The kitchen has a corner layout, but the corner wall does not attach to the adjoining walls. The set would benefit from hinged plates to lock the wall down. Similarly, the slanted rear window needs something to lock it in place, and the beam crossing the room is weakly anchored.
All things considered, I like the build. It is a simple build, but it features a lot of Easter eggs for fans. The product is a bit sprawling though, and hard to display as a result. I also wish the three sections properly locked together. Additionally, a couple of sections of the ladies’ apartment need additional structural stability. None of these are major issues warranting a full mark deduction though. Taking off half a mark each, I rate the FRIENDS Apartments build at 85%.
The Apartments come with seven Minifigures. All of them come complete with the standard parts. Additionally, each one has a double sided face, as well as front and back torso printing. On top of that, three have leg printing. The characters look great and are easily recognizable. In terms of accessories, you get too many to list here. There is a lot of good stuff in this set. The great character designs and plethora of accessories land this set an easy 100% design score.
While the characters in the set are amazing, there are not very many of them for a set this big. Seven Minifigures in a kit containing 2048 pieces equate to a brick-to-fig ratio of 293:1. Comparatively, my average is 169:1 across all LEGO® themes at the moment. However, Creator Expert sets almost always have low Minifigure counts compared to brick counts. Consequently, in a direct theme comparison, The Apartments fare better. My average ratio for 18+ sets is currently 406:1. Taking both comparisons into account, I rate the ratio score at 75%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 88%.
As an 18+ set, I will not rate The Apartments with a KFOL score. FRIENDS fans will enjoy this set. As mentioned earlier, I find it hard to display though. The set is not linear. One apartment sits a little ahead of the other, and the hallway segment sits a little awkwardly in the middle. It is also 63 cm long and 30 cm wide. You need a big shelf to display the whole thing at once. With that said, the set has MOC potential. It might be fun to incorporate this into a custom apartment building, especially with Central Perk on the ground floor. Because of that, I think the set has a little wider appeal than just the FRIENDS fan base. It loses a point for display difficulty, and half for niche appeal. I rate the entertainment score at 8.5/10 (85%).
OVERALL SCORE: 82%
FRIENDS Apartments (10292) is a fun, albeit short build. One usually gets more build time from a set this large. The simple design and build techniques make for a great beginner set for adults getting back into the hobby. However, the trade-off is a shorter build-time for the more experienced. FRIENDS fans get a great set full of nostalgia though. AFOLs in general gain a potential customization project. If you aim to design an apartment building, here are two living spaces ready to expand on. The Minifigures and accessories are great too, though I would like one or two more. Ultimately, this is a solid set. It is not among my all-time favorites, but its worth having for the aforementioned reasons.
How does it compare to Central Perk? It is bigger but comes with the same number of Minifigures. The Apartments have 978 bricks more to be precise. If you place the sets side-by-side, Central Perk has more detail crammed into a space similar in size to one of the apartments. However, both sets remain true to the show. As such, I do not think the sparser set-up of the apartments is at all a bad thing. In terms of the Minifigures, both have an excellent selection. However, I like the Central Perk characters more. They are slightly more recognizable to me. Central Perk is also much easier to display on a shelf. Both sets are a lot of fun though, especially if you are a fan of the series. What are your thoughts on the FRIENDS Apartments (10292)? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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