Singapore (21057) Review

Singapore is a bustling city-state located on the southern end of the Malay peninsula in southeast Asia. It’s a wealthy, vibrant metropolis and a logical choice for a LEGO® Architecture skyline. In fact, this is the first Architecture skyline in 2 years. I for one am very happy to see the sets coming back to shelves. Hopefully this is the first of many new sets for 2022. Singapore (21057) is a great return to form for the theme and captures the locations quite beautifully. There’s also some great parts usage and building techniques to enjoy. You can read the reveal article here. And click here for the unboxing video.

NOTE: This set was provided by The LEGO® Group to True North Bricks for review. This does not guarantee a favourable review and all opinions are my own. For a breakdown of the rating system, please click here.

SET SUMMARY

  • NAME: Singapore
  • SET #: 21057
  • THEME: Architecture
  • COST: $79.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 827
  • MINIFIGURES: None
  • OF INTEREST: First new skyline in 2 years
  • RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2022

QUICK REVIEW

  • VALUE: 87% (excellent cost-per-brick value with an OK build time for the size)
  • BUILD: 90% (fun build with creative techniques, great microscale design)
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 75% (lovely display piece for AFOLs, no play value though)
  • OVERALL SCORE: 84% (great addition to the skyline series)

VALUE: 87%

Singapore (21057) is priced at $79.99 in Canada and comes with 827 pieces – the largest skyline set to date. Since this is the first architecture set reviewed on the site, I’ll be judging it based on our overall stats and not by theme. With that in mind, we get a great cost-per-brick price of $0.10 and a value of 94%. The current cost-per-brick average is $0.13 for a value of 80%. For comparison’s sake, let’s look at the last few skylines in terms of stats:

SET SET #RELEASEDPRICEPIECE COUNTCOST/BRICK
Dubai 21052 2020 $79.99 740 $0.11
Tokyo210512020$79.99547$0.15
Paris210442019$69.99649$0.10
San Francsisco210432019$69.99565$0.12
Las Vegas210472018$49.99501$0.10
Shanghai210392018$79.99597$0.13

As you can see from the chart, the value is within the usual range of $0.10 to $0.15 per piece. And you can also see it’s wildly inconsistent. Looking at the numbers happily reinforces that this year’s set is definitely a great value.

Singapore next to the San Francisco skyline

Skyline sets aren’t typically long builds. Even with a higher piece count, the microscale designs don’t often lend to complicated or time-consuming experiences. I spent about an hour and a half (92 minutes) building the model. This translates to a cost-per-minute of $0.87 and a value of 79%. I expect this to be pretty standard numbers for a skyline build. The piece counts have been increasing over time, but the overall footprints are approximately the same. All together, Singapore gets a very healthy score of 87%.

BUILD: 90%

BEGIN EDITORIAL: Singapore (21057) comes packaged in the now standard 18+ box with black background and greebling border. Although I am totally fine with the 18+ boxes, I do admit that I’m a little disappointed that the traditional Architecture packaging is gone. The set boxes were sturdy, thicker card stock that had some weight to them. They also had flip top lids with tabs. These details really made the theme feel much more adult and somewhat boutique if that’s the right word. While the new packaging does conform to the ‘LEGO® for Adults’ mandate, it does come across very generic. The push tabs on the box don’t help much either. Overall it’s a mild bummer, but I’ll manage. And if that helps with lowering costs, then please proceed. END EDITORIAL.

Older Architecture theme boxes. How will I “Enjoy Your Building Experience” now? Sigh.

The set is spread across 5 numbered bags and comes with a 103 page instruction book. Photos and text give some details about each of the locations to be built. As with all skyline sets, you will begin by building the base: 36 studs long, 4 and 12 studs deep at the narrowest and widest points respectively. Being a coastal city, the Singapore river (shown as trans blue tiles) stretches nearly the entire length of the base. Skyline bases are always a fun build. The mix of tiles, plates and various anchor points are typically well done. And in this case, there’s some nice vibrant colours.

Great Techniques and Parts

As with all cities, now that you have a foundation, it’s time to build upwards. Singapore builds from right-to-left. The Boat Quay is a simple series of stacked 1×1 tiles. Throw in some small ‘palm trees’ and you have a lovely shopping district. A 1×2 brick with a printed ‘window’ pattern builds a generic tower and is also used on the Fullerton Hotel. I love this piece! It first appears in the San Francisco (21043) skyline representing another generic tower and the buildings of Alcatraz prison. It’s a nice reuse here and makes sense for this scale.

The two office towers each employ SNOT build techniques. The beige OCBC Centre is a spot-on recreation judging by the real-world photo. The new 2×3 printed plate is another perfect piece for any microscale architecture and makes for easy texture/windows. One Raffles Place is done very well – particularly the angled walls and stacked trans clear tiles. I love the open volume at the base as well. Both towers also use some clever anchoring techniques to attach to the base. Like prior skyscrapers in skyline, pins and clips are the preferred method. MOC makers should always take note of these sets for inspiration.

Iconic Architecture

The Marina Bay Sands is the largest and most visible location in the set. The glass towers with massive podium atop are instantly recognizable. As is the famous infinity pool high up in the sky. Like the office towers, it connects and anchors to the base in a clever way. The right-most tower is secured and the other two angle downward, built around small caps on the base. The Gardens by the Bay are another iconic spot and well represented here. The massive trees are made up green cones and, most clever of all, recoloured hubcaps for the canopies! The hot magenta is a nice pop of colour and captures the structures just right.

Singapore (21057) is a fun build with lots of great creative techniques. It’s a familiar build for any skyline collector, and a welcome one given the long hiatus. But anyone new to the series will still get a kick out of the experience. It is a quick build however and doesn’t present too rigorous a challenge – but not all sets should. Like all skylines, the view from the back is less detailed. But you’re meant to only look at it head on, so it’s fairly moot. The Marina Bay Sands is a bit repetitive, but certainly not a downer given the small scale. Overall I give the build experience a solid 90% score.

ENTERTAINMENT: 75%

Skylines are display pieces. It’s difficult to really judge them on any merits of play or entertainment. The build is fun, but it pretty much ends there. As a memento of home or a vacation spot, it’s perfect. I have 6 other skylines to remember my travels – 4 of them bought in those cities. Kid builders who enjoy architecture would appreciate this, but it’s certainly not for the younger set given all those tiny pieces. These same tiny pieces are great for anyone looking to get unique parts and MOC their hearts out. Architecture sets traditionally target AFOLs and this is no different, particularly now with the 18+ branding. But it will definitely attract the target market and I give it a score of 75%.

OVERALL: 85%

If you’re a fan of the Architecture theme, you will appreciate Singapore (21057). But if you’re only into the skyline series, this is still a great addition to your collection. With each new skyline, the details and size show decent improvement. Skyline sets are also excellent for stockpiling some great pieces – especially if you build in microscale. Sadly skylines just look great on the shelf and don’t lend much in the ways of play. But if you’re feeling wacky you can always throw in a Godzilla or other kaiju for fun! Overall the set is excellent for the target audience and makes a fun, quick(ish) build.

What do you folks think? Are you keen on more skyline sets in the future? Here’s hoping for a Canadian city to make the cut at some point in the future. Or maybe a super skyline of all of Canada – let’s go big with it 😅. Please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. And as always, keep on brickin.’ 🧱

-Frank

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