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Best LEGO® Modular Buildings Through the Years

Best LEGO® Modular Buildings Through the Years

Back in 2007, we welcomed the arrival of a brand-new line aimed at one of our favorite communities, the Adult Fans of LEGO® (AFOLs). We wanted to see if it was possible to take the fans’ love of the 1980s ‘modularity’ (used in LEGO Castle sets) and add it to an entirely new expandable house concept.

This, of course, was the LEGO Modular Buildings, and since its very first set, it went on to become incredibly popular, with new sets eagerly anticipated around the world.

The appeal of LEGO Modular Buildings is that you can own one set or combine different ones to create your own town.

 

This year we have released a brand-new set for fans to add to their collection: the first ever LEGO Icons Natural History Museum.

The LEGO Icons Natural History Museum is the newest addition for your brick-built world – an extra special place for science and history lovers to roam and enjoy the fascinating exhibitions.

Split across two levels, it’s our biggest LEGO Modular Buildings set yet!

To celebrate its launch, join us as we take a trip down memory lane and look back at some past sets from this much-loved franchise...

Delicious beginnings

It all started with the Café Corner in 2007. Did you know that during the design phase of this set, a LEGO fan was invited to give feedback, and this led to several changes?

This building is loosely inspired by a corner building in Denmark, as well as other countries around the world.

Adding levels!

Due to the extra space needed for the garage, the Fire Brigade was the first modular to be spread over two floors.

It was also the first modular to include a brick-built vehicle.

The tallest award goes to...

The tallest ever set was the Town Hall measuring almost 20 in. (50 cm) high, and the only one to offer an expandable elevator.

The shield decoration over the entrance was inspired by the crest of Billund (the town where the LEGO Group began).

Fun fact: The date shown on the Town Hall was not only the birth year of the LEGO Group’s founder, but also the birth year of the set’s designer when read backwards.

But what is the enduring appeal of LEGO Modular Buildings sets? We asked some AFOLs from around the world to find out.

“It evokes a certain realism that you can associate with buildings in your own town,” says Allan Rodriguez, a member of a LEGO User Group (LUG) in Costa Rica. “It’s regular people who are doing their everyday jobs.”

As with any LEGO set, creativity and play are never far away. Carlos Avila Arquin, a member of the same LUG, says “I like the chance to build your own city,” with a smile. “You can pretend that you are the mayor!”

The most LEGO pieces (until recently)...

Before the new LEGO Icons Natural History Museum, it was Assembly Square (2017) that had the highest piece count with 4,002 pieces. It was specially released for the 10th anniversary of the franchise and is the first Modular Building to be larger than a 32x32 stud base.

Assembly Square also has subtle hints to each of the ten sets that came before it.

For Tricia Halverson Lenski, an AFOL based in the US, the sets are a way for her and her husband to spend quality time together. In fact, it’s become quite the tradition.

“We do a large holiday display of LEGO Modular Buildings, and we display them for about a month. The first year we opened it up to the public, and they loved it. I think we had 1,200 people come through our little show.”

The 15-year anniversary hotel

In 2022, we released the LEGO Boutique Hotel to celebrate fifteen years of LEGO Modular Buildings. But this isn’t just any hotel. It’s one of the first modulars to feature a triangular geometry...and it also contains hidden Easter eggs that honor LEGO Modular Buildings of the past.

Can you hear the music pumping?

Say hello to the LEGO Jazz Club, the first music venue to join the collection, released in 2022. The set makes for an immersive building experience featuring multiple rooms across three floors with a stage, the band’s dressing room and even a pizzeria.

Plus, there are eight new faces in town! The minifigures include a jazz singer (the central character of the story), bass guitarist and a drummer, plus music fans in the audience!

Like the other Modular Buildings sets, there are connectors on the side that are easy to slot into other builds (which you can buy separately)... so, enjoy!

Want more? Check out the grooviest gifts for music lovers...

A new attraction

Once guests have checked in at the LEGO Boutique Hotel and booked themselves a table at the Jazz Club for the evening, their daytime consists of seeing the sights and wandering around the newest cultural hub town: the LEGO Icons Natural History Museum.

The museum is packed with an array of exhibits so you can discover more about the world’s past, present and future. The building boasts a beautiful historic exterior with brick-built dual skylights to fill the space with light.

There’s plenty to see inside, including a brachiosaurus skeleton that towers through the atrium, an area dedicated to planets and space plus much more. This set makes for the perfect gift for a history and science lover, and a welcome addition to the LEGO Modular Collection for 2023. Museums rule!

The roof of the set can be lifted off for easy access to the interior!

So, join us as we celebrate another year of LEGO Modular Buildings with our brand-new set...

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Looking for more?

Check out the Adults Welcome homepage to see our collection of adult-focused sets and articles!