Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Set Review: 21006 White House

Name of Model: White House
Created by: Adam Reed Tucker for the LEGO Architecture line
Found at: My photos: To purchase: LEGO Shop @ Home
Details: Recently, LEGO released a new kit - 21006 White House. Coming in at $49.99 for 560 pieces, this is the best value yet in the LEGO Architecture series (and since this is the first one under the almighty 10-cents-per-piece line, it's also the first one I've actually bought). A decent model of the life-size White House in Washington DC, this captures the general look in microscale on a snazzy base featuring dark green shrubbery, black tiles on the edges, and even a printed tile with "The White House" on it. The build was relatively challenging, with most of the pieces being very small and needing to be lined up just right. There was only one technique that I think an experienced builder (which I'm assuming anyone building this kit - recommended for people age 12 and up - would be) would find surprising, but there were some great offset effects achieved using jumper plates (which this has 64 of) as well. If you're interested in some "spoilers", have a look at my photos of the set, which include build photos, unboxing, and the set inventory. I've also added comments to each photo on that photo's flickr page.

One way I like to judge LEGO kits of landmarks is to compare the official version to hobbyist-designed versions. I'm having trouble finding a fair comparison to this one, though, in terms of scale. Neither of the two I've previously featured are at a similar scale, and Arthur Gugick's other model of the White House is much larger. While the columns here look a bit spindly (they're the lightsaber blade element in white), it's hard to critique fairly without knowing if something better can be achieved at a similar scale.

This set was designed by Adam Reed Tucker, who has been creating model versions of landmarks since long before his LEGO Architecture line came into being. Some of his other LEGO works are now on display in the National Building Museum's LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition exhibtion. That display goes from July 3rd, 2010 to September 5th, 2011 - so if you're planning on making the trip to BrickFair in 2010 or 2011, you can make this part of the same trip to the DC area.

Since we usually try to share a little bit of interesting background information here when covering landmarks, here's the official background on the kit:
There are few structures in the United States with the history and reverence of The White House, designed by James Hoban. On July 16, 1792, President George Washington chose this James Hoban design from six competing designs from renowned architects. This six-story Sandstone structure was meant to command respect for the nation from citizens and foreign visitors. Construction took place from 1792 - 1800 and it was rebuilt by Hoban following the fire of 1814. The assembled White House model stands 9" (22 cm) wide on a base with printed name label and includes a booklet with facts about the building, its construction and its history.

Disclosure: I received a free awesome little Spaceman magnet when I bought this, and you can too buy spending $75 at LEGO Brand Retail this July, while supplies last.

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