It’s the day many AFOLs wait for each year. LEGO® revealed the modular Museum of Natural History today! A museum has been on fan wish lists for a long time, and it seems we’ll get our wish this year… with a twist. Note, I said THIS year. For the past several years, the latest addition to the Modular Collection typically arrived in January. However, similar to the recent Tiny Plants announcement, the Museum of Natural History drops in time for Christmas. It hits store shelves on December 1.
LEGO® Modular Museum Specs
- NAME: Natural History Museum
- SET #: 10326
- THEME: Icons (Modular Collection)
- COST: $389.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 4014
- MINIFIGURES: 9 (7 regular minifigs + 2 plain grey statues)
- PRE-ORDER DATE: October 30, 2023
- RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2023
- COST/BRICK: $0.097 (excellent value)
- BRICKS/FIG: 446 (Average fig count for a modular)
Let’s dive into these photos a little more. I’ve had the photos for a few days now, waiting for the embargo to lift. Consequently, I’ve had time to examine them and mull the set over. If I’m being totally honest, my first impression was not a great one. Looking at the outside of the building, it is not big enough. When I think of the Natural History Museums I have visited, they are all grand in scale and intricately ornate in exterior design. This set is neither of those. There is little exterior detailing and the building looks shorter than the Jazz Club in the box images. Put next to the other modulars, it just doesn’t have the scale I’d expect from a museum.
Sadly, this is not the grand museum I have dreamed of.
Moving inside, the first thought that comes to mind is cramped. The spaces look small and overfull. Hardly the spacious, vaulted halls of a premiere Natural History Museum. And the brachiosaurus? Not that impressive. The press release makes a big deal of the fossil and that it stretches up through the second floor. But, the hole it reaches through is not that big, and neither is the skeleton. A model matching the Jurassic Park Brachiosaurus would have been far more impressive.
With all that said, I’ve had time to reflect on the images and my initial opinion. There are things I like about this build too. The idea of it being a museum for one. While not the grand scale I dreamed of, the price is already high at almost $400 CAD. A grander museum would have upped the price too (though I might have been willing to pay more). I also like many of the interior details, like the orrery. Additionally, designers made efforts to make some of the cramped spaces more accessible for large hands. One of my complaints about the Jazz Club was that the bathroom, though present, was completely inaccessible due to the size of the space and its location. It became an idea rather than a useable space. Here, the museum features a removable wall that makes two of the smaller spaces easier to use.
Despite a lack of grandeur, there are things to like about the museum.
Another interesting tidbit arose while I was examining the set photos… A food truck. From what I can tell, that is not part of the set. Similar to last year’s Moving Truck GWP, could this food truck be an upcoming freebie? The modular series releases tend to coincide closely with an Icons-style car. Remember the Vintage Car, Vintage Taxi, and Moving Truck all followed modular releases and were themed to them. I will be interested to see if this food truck is a GWP released around the same time that the modular comes out. You’ll note in the image below that the food truck also has a tenth Minifigure not advertised on the box art for the revealed Modular Museum of Natural History.
These reveal images do not show many of the exhibits in much detail. The press kit advertises a “giant” brachiosaurus skeleton, sabretooth skull, a “fossil”, dinosaur eggs, a geology section complete with specimens, an orrery, a space station model, and a map of the planet. Despite all of this, the Natural History Museum strikes me as a small town operation and not a big city, world-class venue. Will I buy it? Probably. I have collected every modular since the Grande Emporium. Building them often reveals fun details you can’t see in the images. I may end up liking this more than I do right now. With that said, I also don’t hate it based on the images. It’s just not my favourite modular either. What do you think?
Until next time,
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