After 17 hours of building spread over six days, I needed a little break from the LEGO® Eiffel Tower (10307). The build was long, it was repetitive, and I needed time away from the set after finishing. There are not many sets that make me feel that way. As fate would have it, I had to go away on a business trip for my actual job. That provided some respite from LEGO® building and the tower itself. Additionally, it gave me some distance to let it all mellow and process. Now, I’m ready to take a closer look at the product of my labours with fresher eyes. So, today we delve into the LEGO® Eiffel Tower (10307) once again.
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).
EIFFEL TOWER (10307) SUMMARY
- NAME: Eiffel Tower
- SET #: 10307
- THEME: Icons
- COST: $799.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 10,001
- MINIFIGURES: None
- RELEASE DATE: November 25, 2022
EIFFEL TOWER QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 93% (Excellent cost/brick and a good amount of build time.)
- BUILD: 70% (This was one of the most repetitive builds I have ever experienced.)
- MINIFIGURES: N/A
- ENTERTAINMENT: 80% (Beautiful, but it’s simply too big.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 81% (Good set.)
EIFFEL TOWER (10307) REVIEW
The Eiffel Tower is not cheap. It sets you back $800 in Canada. However, with 10,001 pieces, the resulting cost/brick works out to $0.08. That is an excellent value no matter how you look at it. It stacks up well next to LEGO® sets in general, but also in a direct comparison to other Icons sets. Like many large sets, buying the Eiffel Tower is like buying LEGO® bricks in bulk. I rate the cost/brick at 100%.
In terms of build time, I assembled this kit in an even 17 hours (1020 minutes). At full price, each minute of build time works out to $0.78. Compared to LEGO® sets in general, that is once again an excellent value. However, Icons sets tend to provide much better than average build times due to the complexity of the models. As such, in a direct comparison to other Icons kits, the Eiffel Tower actually offers a below average build time. While still satisfactory for the theme, it pulls down the score in this category. I rate the build time value at 85%. Averaging this with the cost/brick score gives an overall value grade of 93%.
I covered a lot of my thoughts on the Eiffel Tower build in my seven-part build journal series. The links are below if you’re interested in more detail or watching the speed build videos. Here, I will provide the Coles Notes version. There is no nice way to say this. Building the Eiffel Tower was boring. It was one of the least pleasant build experiences I have had with a LEGO® set. Building all those little cross-supports was mind-numbingly repetitive. Repetition in a build usually does not bother me too much. However, in this set, it did and I needed to take long breaks between sessions. I also needed to force myself to start new build sessions a couple of times just to get this set done. I disliked building those support struts so much that it made starting a build session daunting at times.
Build Journal Entries:
On top of that, the Eiffel Tower set consists almost entirely of dark grey bricks. In and of itself, that is not a problem for me. However, in terms of the build process, it worsens an already tiring experience. That sea of grey pieces creates a snow-blinding effect. I often could not see the brick I was looking for right under my nose in all that grey. Even building bag by bag, it was not always easy.
To lessen the snow-blind effect, really pay close attention to the build instructions. If they tell you that you will build two similar structures, build them both simultaneously. I made that mistake with the first two support struts. Normally, I build one object, then go back and start another if I have to replicate. With the Eiffel Tower, you start building duplicate items in one bag, but continue the process through several subsequent bags. If you are not building duplicates at the same time, the sea of grey pieces builds up quickly and building your duplicate structure gets harder.
Multiple little details around the tower pop off at a touch.
I am also not a huge fan of all the cross-supports. Many of them do not adequately fill the entire space between the main struts. Another contentious issue I have arises from the arches between the bottom four support struts. Every time I touch them, they break. In fact, there are multiple little details around the tower that shift or pop off when you touch them. I hate piddly bits on LEGO® sets that don’t stay in place. This may be an unpopular sentiment, but since reviewing the UCS Millennium Falcon, my view of the set has deteriorated significantly for that reason. Every time I touch it, something falls off. I hate that. Especially since I often can’t figure out where the piece came from or how to put it back. I fear the Eiffel Tower will be similar.
So, was there anything that I enjoyed about building the Eiffel Tower? Yes, there was. I liked building the platforms. They broke the monotony of the experience, though not for long enough. My favorite was the platform above the lowest four struts. I like the industrial look and detailing of it. Additionally, it inspired me to uses a similar structure in a future MOC. I also quite liked building the tower topper. Finally, while I hated building the cross supports by the end, I did initially find the technique interesting and useful for building fence-like structures.
Building the platforms was an enjoyable break from cross-supports.
Sadly, the sections I disliked outweighed the sections I enjoyed significantly. I cannot give this set a high build score because the repetition really killed the experience for me. However, I think it deserves to pass because it had interesting sections and techniques. Perhaps if I was not under the self-imposed pressure of building this set and reviewing it as quickly as possible, I might have enjoyed the process through more frequent breaks. I’m taking off 10% for the mind-numbing repetition, 10% for the snow-blinding build, and a further 10% for all the parts that just don’t stay in place. Consequently, I rate the build experience at 70%.
While the build left something to be desired, the final look does not. I am impressed with the sheer size and detail of this model. The LEGO® Eiffel Tower looks amazing, there is no denying that. In fact, the finished set is so impressive that I forget about the little details that I dislike on it. I also left some time between building this set and writing the review. Consequently, the Eiffel Tower grew on me a little more once I got past the monotony of the build. However, I have no idea what I will do with the set now. It is huge and I have nowhere to display it. I find myself wanting to show it off, but you really need a dedicated corner of your house for this model. I just don’t have the space. Sadly, I have to recycle the Eiffel Tower for pieces.
Interestingly, the set looks great with Minifigures. It is not a Minifigure scale set, mind you. However, if you modify the park underneath the tower, you have quite the monument for your LEGO® city… if you are building Paris… or maybe Las Vegas. But how many of us are doing that? In any case, the Minifigure compatibility might add incentive for some collectors who are on the fence. I think the Eiffel Tower is a beautiful display and conversation piece. However, it is just too big for me, and I have no use for a set so large. I rate the entertainment value at 80%.
OVERALL SCORE: 81%
If you like huge, intricate sets, then the Eiffel Tower is for you. However, mentally prepare yourself for one of the most boring builds ever. I suggest small spurts of building with ample break time. Alternatively, divide the build and assemble it with a friend or family member. The value of the set is a major plus. But almost all the pieces are dark grey and you might not have a huge amount of use for all those little rods. With that said, if you ever dreamed of a nearly five-foot-high Eiffel Tower model to occupy a corner in your house, here’s your chance. I think the LEGO® Eiffel Tower is stunning when fully built. However, the average collector has no use for a set this big and of such a specific monument. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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