For the second year running, I am super excited that the LEGO® Group sent me the annual modular as a pre-release review. Last year, we looked at the Boutique Hotel. This year, we get a sneak peek at the Jazz Club (10312). Unlike the corner setup of the Boutique Hotel, the Jazz Club is an inline display piece. It features two buildings with three businesses. The namesake Jazz Club occupies the majority of the build. However, the smaller side-building also has a pizzeria and a tailor. Arguably, the pizzeria is part of the Jazz Club though. An open archway inside the build implies that the pizzeria doubles as the Jazz Club kitchen. Let’s take a closer look!
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).
Jazz Club Summary
- NAME: Jazz Club
- SET #: 10312
- THEME: Icons (Modular Buildings Collection)
- COST: $299.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 2899
- MINIFIGURES: 8
- RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2023
Quick Jazz Club Review
- VALUE: 81% (Average value, but not as good as past modular buildings.)
- BUILD: 85% (Nice detailing and clever piece use, what you’d expect from a modular.)
- MINIFIGURES: 77% (Some nice new prints, but overall lacking detail and not enough of them.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 90% (I’m not disappointed, but I’m not blown away either.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 83% (Good set.)
Full Jazz Club Review
The Jazz Club contains 167 fewer bricks than its predecessor, the Boutique Hotel. However, it costs $10 more. This should not come as a surprise given the price hike the LEGO® Group instituted in August. But it means the cost/brick for the Jazz Club is not quite as good this year. At $299.99 in Canada, and with 2899 bricks, this set clocks in at $0.103/brick. This is comparable to the Corner Garage from 2019. However, past modular buildings averaged around $0.088/brick. So, the value is definitely not as good. With that said, the cost/brick remains much better than the average LEGO® set across all themes ($0.137/brick presently). Considering both these comparisons, I rate the cost/brick at 88%.
I spent an even six hours assembling the Jazz Club. That is about the same amount of time I spent on the Boutique Hotel. Truthfully, that felt short, but not in a bad way. This was my first set after the monumental Eiffel Tower. It was refreshing and far less daunting to start and continue this project. With that said, the Jazz Club’s cost/minute of build time works out to $0.83. For the Icons theme, that is expensive. On average, Icons sets cost me around $0.72/minute. The Jazz Club provides a build time value closer to the general average for all LEGO® sets across all themes. Considering both these comparisons, I rate the build time value at 73%. You get a satisfactory amount of build time here. Averaging this with the cost/brick gives an overall value grade of 81%.
Again, this was my first set following the Eiffel Tower. The build was so refreshing after that monotony and sea of grey. The Jazz Club contains bright colors and loads of interesting detail and build techniques. Modulars never disappoint in that regard. Additionally, the set contains no stickers. All the signage consists of printed bricks. The Jazz Club building itself harkens back to older modulars in terms of color. I think this pulls the collection together a little. While it is nice to get variety from year to year, the collection also needs some consistency. Otherwise, modular towns will look like a random assortment of mismatched buildings.
There are some aspects of the Jazz Club I am less keen on though. However, they are very minor. Firstly, the pizzeria dining table in the middle of the sidewalk was a poor choice. Modular buildings all feature the same sidewalk for consistency. Apart from little details like the usual lamp post, or small builds like mailboxes and fire hydrants, the sidewalk needs to remain clear. This stupid picnic table sits right in the middle of the walkway. When I display this set, I am removing that feature. The pizzeria building insets a little compared to the Jazz Club, I don’t see why designers did not establish a smaller sitting area there.
My other issue with the Jazz Club is the cramped interior. The set looks amazing from the outside. Truthfully, it looks amazing from the inside too. I love all the details. The LEGO® Group also included a bathroom under the stairs in the club. However, in an effort to create two buildings on one baseplate, the interior spaces become small. My hands have a lot of trouble placing Minifigures inside. In fact, every time I try, something breaks off. Be it a chair, a lamp, or the entire stage curtain build. I also cannot access that wonderful little bathroom under the stairs either. I just know its there because I built it. One building focusing on the Jazz Club would have allowed for more interior space for big hands to set up their displays. Afterall, this is an 18+ set, it’s not meant for small hands.
In terms of build techniques, you learn some interesting angles. You assemble the stage into a corner, which is neat. However, the entry to Jazz Club is the most intriguing angle. I did not note too many pieces I had not seen before other than Minifigure prints. However, the plants in the greenhouse feature an interesting piece new to my collection. Otherwise, the build experience is what you would expect from a modular: clever piece use and intricate detailing. However, it doesn’t really take you beyond what you’d expect. I rate the build experience at 85%.
Of the eight Minifigures, only one has a double-sided face. However, the set also includes the first male face with a hearing aid, so that earns some points. All of the characters feature front and back torso printing, but none have leg printing. The jazz singer comes with a dress piece instead of legs, and that is thankfully printed. I’m happy to see a few new prints here. However, the lack of double-sided faces and leg printing is a little disappointing.
In terms of accessories, you get two microphones, a new cello piece, a bunny, a squirrel, a moped, a top hat, a carrot, a brush, a saxophone, two glasses, a bottle, a helmet, and a boat oar. Additionally, the kit contains printed tiles representing a pizza box, music sheet, record, ticket, pizza slices, and nice pieces of signage. Counting the nice signage as accessories, the score I would actually give these goes up a bit. I rate the character designs at 90%. I would give the characters 80% without all the printed bricks.
The number of Minifigures you get in this set is also low. However, that is not unexpected for a modular building. You get 362 bricks/minifig in the Jazz Club set. Comparatively, LEGO® sets in general average around 172 bricks/fig in my experience. To be fair, Icons sets are always low in their Minifigure counts. To give you an idea, of all the Icons sets that include minifigs reviewed at True North Bricks, the average is 395 bricks/fig. Considering both these comparisons, I rate the minifigure count at 63%. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 77%.
As a modular collector, I had to have this set. I would have bought it even if the LEGO® Group had not sent it to me early. I will keep this set built and on display. The Jazz Club is a beautiful looking set with loads of fun details and display potential. City builders will certainly enjoy adding this to their downtown cores. I am moving my modular buildings into Ikea Kallax shelving, and the Jazz Club will look great there too. Is it my favorite modular? No. Is it my least favorite modular? Also, no. As mentioned in the build section of this review, the Jazz Club is what you would expect from a modular. It does not disappoint, but it does not excel either. I liked last year’s Boutique Hotel a little more in that regard. I rate the entertainment value for this set 90%.
OVERALL SCORE: 83%
The Jazz Club (10312) is a beautiful build that modular collectors will certainly enjoy. However, it comes at a poorer value than most of its predecessors, and the Minifigures left me wanting more. Don’t get me wrong, some of the new character prints are wonderful. But as a Minifigure collector, I want more characters in a set this big. I also want lots of details I can’t get elsewhere. No leg printing simply doesn’t cut it. I am thrilled to see the first male character with a hearing aid though.
In the end, I like this build a lot. However, it did not wow me. I certainly would buy it, but it is exactly what you would expect from a modular building and nothing more. Granted, as the LEGO® Group continues to churn out these annual, ultra detailed sets, it gets harder to come up with fresh ideas, styles, and builds. As I said earlier, I am not at all disappointed with the Jazz Club. It is a standard addition to the modular buildings collection. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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