There is not a more famous ship in all of history. The ill-fated Titanic has captured our attention through historical accounts, films, TV series, fiction, and video games. Even before James Cameron’s tale of requited love across classes on the doomed ocean liner, Titanic fascinated me. I remember looking at pictures of the ship on the ocean floor in the library when I was in elementary school. That was probably just a few years after researchers found the wreck. Consequently, the LEGO® Group’s announcement of a Titanic (10294) model got me excited. Part of me thinks it is an odd set to make. The events were so tragic. However, my fascination with the topic quickly pushed that notion aside. Additionally, the LEGO® Group sent True North Bricks a pre-release copy. With the set going up for pre-order this week, we will now give you our thoughts on the epic build.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. True North Bricks’ usual rating system applies (click here for more information).
On a side note, before delving into the review, we usually provide box images in the reviews at True North Bricks. However, this time around, the courier who delivered the set from the LEGO® Group really trashed the box. It arrived on my doorstep in heavily taped up and water damaged packaging. At some point on its journey, they left this box in water or rain. Unfortunately, that does not make for nice pictures. You can see the box in the image below. For cleaner, official shots, check out the set reveal article we made earlier on.
TITANIC (10294) SUMMARY
- NAME: LEGO® Titanic
- SET #: 10294
- THEME: Creator Expert (18+)
- COST: $799.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 9090
- MINIFIGURES: None
- RELEASE DATE: November 8, 2021
TITANIC (10294) QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 93% (Excellent cost-per-brick, and a very good amount of build time.)
- BUILD: 95% (Loads of interesting techniques used in this design.)
- MINIFIGURES: N/A
- ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Great display piece with loads of team-build potential.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 96% (Excellent set.)
TITANIC (10294) REVIEW
The Titanic is not an inexpensive set. It costs $799.99 in Canada. However, it also contains 9090 bricks, making it the third largest LEGO® set ever produced (behind the World Map and Colosseum). It goes without saying that a set of such proportions is going to cost you. With that said, the value of the set is actually very good. In buying this set, you will pay $0.088/brick. Comparatively, the True North Bricks average for 18+ sets is currently $0.104/brick, while for LEGO® sets in general it is $0.139/brick. No matter how you slice it, you get a lot of bricks for your buck with Titanic. The cost-per-brick earns 97% in this case.
In addition to a great cost-per-brick, Titanic provides a huge amount of build time. I assembled the kit a little section at a time over a period of 10 days. In total, the process took me 21 hours and 35 minutes. As a result, each minute of build time costs $0.62. By comparison, the True North Bricks average for Creator Expert sets is currently $0.65/minute, while LEGO® sets in general sit at $0.85/minute. So, you get a good build time for a Creator Expert set, and an excellent amount when compared to all LEGO® themes. I rate the build time at 88%. Averaging this score with the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value rating of 93%.
Upon opening the Titanic box, you find three more boxes inside. Partly because my box was water damaged, I started by spreading out all of the contents to ensure there was no more damage inside the box. Luckily, the instruction manuals and brick bags were all there and okay. I took the opportunity to also arrange all the brick bags in numerical order. Additionally, I divided them up by instruction manual. Incidentally, the set comes with three thick manuals. I used the internal boxes to cluster all the bags for each manual in order. This made the whole build process much more fluid and manageable. All I had to do was reach into the box I was working through for the next bag I needed. In total, you work through 792 pages of manuals (258, 215, and 319 pages respectively).
Titanic comes together in six segments. With the first manual, you build the two forward sections of the ship. This is where the ship tapers out from the pointed bow to the full width of the ship. Each third of the ship opens up to reveal a cross section of the Titanic’s interior. In this case, we see a boiler room on the lowest level, the swimming pool, Third Class/crew quarters, First-Class cabins, and the First-Class lounge. The famed Grand Staircase rises through the middle of the display as well. All you see of the bridge is the exterior, there are no interior details there. However, you do get many nice details on the deck such as miniature staircases, lifeboats, and the anchors.
Titanic (10294) features two cross sectional areas featuring interior details.
The second manual guides you through the construction of the two amidships sections. Here, you get two cross sections, one on either end. Of course, the forward facing one is the other half of aforementioned section containing the Grand Staircase. In this case, you see coal bunkers on the lower level. However, much of the rest remains the same. I will say that while I find the cross sections a fun idea, LEGO® designers did take some creative freedoms with the placement of rooms. For example, the swimming pool would not appear in this particular cross section of the ship based on what I can tell from actual diagrams of the Titanic.
With the third manual, you build the aft section of the ship. The cross section between the aft and amidships sections show you the First-Class Smoking Lounge, the À La Carte Restaurant, and some second- and third-class cabins. The lowest deck houses two massive engines. Those were one of the highlights of the build because they actually work. Turning the port or starboard propeller causes the pistons of the associated engine to rise and fall.
Titanic’s engine pistons actually rise and fall as the propellers turn.
Despite having interesting interiors, it is really the exterior of the Titanic that makes this set. The build looks stunning and accurate. Designers employed many interesting SNOT (studs-not-on-top) techniques in order to achieve the ship’s details and streamlining. As you build, you strategically place hinge plates and plates with clips in order to achieve the angles of the bow and stern. I also found the use of coupling plates down the center of the cross sections interesting. While building, I did not think they served any structural purpose. However, when you link sections together, a long rod inserts through the aligned holes in the coupling plates. This is what largely holds the model together when you display or lift it up, though a few Technic pins help too.
Perhaps my favorite build techniques were the aforementioned engines, and the tiny benches on the decks. Though a small detail, the little benches are a clever design. They come together in perpendicular fashion to the rest of the deck. Each one uses a plate-with-clip that latches to a plate-with-bar-handle hidden under the deck. I also like the attachment for the masts. They use Technic axles and connections to link to the model on the underside. On top, they hold in place with regular System connections. It is a great idea with a lot of MOC potential. All the windows and portholes look wonderful too. However, if I was to pick one issue, assembly of all those windows would be it. They look amazing and employ minifig back plates, 1×2 plates, and roof tiles to great effect. But, building them gets very repetitive.
You assemble a lot of portholes on the Titanic… A LOT.
I do not have much negative to say about this build. There are a lot of interesting techniques, and I only highlighted my personal standouts. There is a little repetition throughout the assembly process, mainly with all the windows. It is also a long process, so do not plan to hammer this out in one day. The minor inconsistencies between the layout of this model and the real ship might bother history buffs too. I did not notice them until I started looking at diagrams of the Titanic while trying to figure out which room was which for this review. Overall, I rate this build at 95%.
Titanic (10294) does not include any Minifigures, but if it did…
We have already established that the Titanic looks amazing. Consequently, it makes a stunning display piece. However, you need a lot of space to display it. The model measures about 135 cm in length and 44 cm in height from tabletop to the highest point on the mast. You can shave four centimeters off the height by not using the display stands that come with the ship. You can cut a centimeter or two more by not placing the flagpoles atop the masts. But, regardless, you need a large shelf, table, or mantle for this. I have a large IKEA KALLAX shelf in my LEGO® room (the largest one available). Titanic fits nicely on top of that with room to spare.
You can place Titanic (10294) on a display stand.
Titanic has great potential as a family build too. While not a playset, the three instruction manuals make it easy for more than one person to build at the same time. Given that there are six sections of the ship, if you download additional copies of the instructions to your devices, six people can potentially work on different sections of the ship at one time.
Finally, this is certainly one of those sets that got me thinking. Like the Saturn V and Discovery sets, I marveled at the scale of Titanic. This model really helped me imagine how big the ship actually was. Additionally, I spent a lot of time wondering about the people who sailed on the ship and all the emotions they must have gone through from boarding to sinking, and for very few, rescue. The little tidbits of information sprinkled through the instruction manuals gave me interesting things to think about as well. I found myself wishing this set came with a soundtrack like the Art sets. I enjoyed this process. Just be warned, you need a lot of space to show this set off (though that is not necessarily bad). I rate the entertainment score at 100%.
OVERALL SCORE: 96%
Titanic (10294) comes at a price that will cause many to turn away. $800 is no small price to pay for a LEGO® set. However, despite the price, the set is a very good value in terms of build time and cost-per-brick. Additionally, it will add to your repertoire of interesting build techniques. For me, the set stands out as an amazing display piece. It also caused me to reflect quite a bit on the story of the doomed ocean liner. Keep in mind though, if you undertake this build, it will take you away from your other LEGO® projects for some time, and you need A LOT of space to display it. How do you feel about the LEGO® Titanic? Does it make your wish list? Comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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