10278 Police Station Review

Theme: 18+
No: 10278
Release Year: 2021
Cost: AU $299.99
Pieces: 2923 (with 5 minifigures)

Modular buildings – arguably the most anticipated sets every year. They’re big, chock full of awesome build techniques, and usually a pretty well guarded secret. We’re up to modular number 16 now and it’s been designed by the super popular Chris McVeigh.

The building is quite large in comparison to other modulars. It’s almost as tall as the peak of the Palace Cinema from 2013. There’s the main Police Station in the centre at three storeys, in between a little two storey donut shop, and a two storey smaller green building, which is actually just the Police Station as well. Out the front is a separate newspaper stand.

This is also the first modular to feature the black 18+ box. Inside the box you can expect to find 25 bags across 14 steps, a dark bluish grey 32×32 baseplate, one instruction manual, two 8×16 dark tan plates and a 16×16 dark bluish grey plate.

I invited a mate around to build the set with me, and it was a blast. We ended up building two pages at once which often ended up in some missing parts, but we found them and had a lot of fun and laughs. We ended up finishing around 1am! It’s also nice to see that the building takes up a lot of the baseplate. The previous modular – the Corner Garage – ended up being around half the baseplate of building. This is a good start! The interiors are also very nicely detailed and fleshed out.

The five minifigures include three police officers, the donut shop owner and the newspaper stand owner. The instructions also offer up a bit of an insight into these characters. I also may have forgotten to take photos of the minifigures by themselves! It was late at night, sorry. The police chief (seated) “knows every brick of the police station and wants to take a bite out of crime” and maybe a donut too. The donut shop owner is a “good natured shop owner”. She has a nice striped torso. Next up is the wizened veteran cop, ”ready to solve any crime that comes his way”, and the new constable, “a recent graduate from the academy”. I like the story that’s added! This is great.

Lastly, there’s the sketchy looking newspaper stand owner, “full of big ideas and tall tales”. He’s got a satchel on too.

Let’s take this floor by floor.

Ground Floor

The ground floor contains the main lobby of the police station, the donut shop and the newspaper stand. I love the fact that the floor of the police station is lifted.

It certainly helps in increasing the overall height of the build, and thanks to the beautiful stairs leading up to the front door, it’s not hugely noticeable. I also like the front façade of the station. The corners of the building are actually built separately with SNOT, and then added in. It’s quite an effective look, although the building of them can be a bit tedious.

The stairs inside (and on the first floor as well) are beautifully done, and so much easier than the fiddly step by step versions we’ve seen in previous modular buildings. The only issue I can think with them is that there’s no studs to clip minifigures onto. They do look pretty. The water cooler on the side of the room is also quite well done.

Inside the sand green building is a jail cell. There’s a bench and toilet, and a hidden feature. Lit the bench up and the whole door can be removed. Hidden underneath the floor is a tunnel and a spoon. The jail inhabitants have slowly been digging their way to freedom. Turn the whole set around and you’ll see a crack at the back of the building.

The donut shop is rather small, but first perfectly into the set. I love the cheap shot at the old classic joke of police and donuts. We also get some great donut prints. The shelves are really well done, although they were a little fiddly to get in place, as the studs with angled bars needed to be just right. The highlight for me in the donut shop is the little coffee jug. It’s just perfect. I can’t remember seeing it before, but I’ll definitely be using it in future builds.

I really like the awning over the donut shop. It’s simple but just so spot on. The two printed donuts are brand new and such a good inclusion. I’m looking forward to seeing these pop up in other sets in the future.

The newspaper stand looks great, and I’ve definitely seen a few of these walking the streets of New York City. It’s really well done. The inside is empty, but that’s forgiven as it’s not a highlight of the set.

Along the path is a park bench and some bushes using the new splat gears in green. These look just like perfectly manicured bushes, and I really like them. The best feature overall for me though, has to be the vine creeping up the side of the building. It’s super organic. We did find the instructions a little hard, although that might be because we were building late at night. We found that it was hard to differentiate between the two colours of green.

First Floor

The first floor contains an office space (would this be the detective’s office?) with two desks and a mugshot area. The desks contain a typewriter and phone, both with new printed elements. There’s also a highlight of the whole set here, in the crime board and red elastic band to mimic string. Plus, more stairs!

There’s also a small apartment above the donut shop, surprisingly for the newspaper stand owner. Here’s where we find the story for the set. The newspaper stand owner is smuggling donuts out of the shop after hours. Under the bed is a hole – lift the bed up and there it is.

The newspaper stand owner uses a pole with a rope on it to bring the donuts up. The police station are apparently investigating the donut thief, who’s making more news with the donut thief story, so his newspaper stand is busier. It’s a bit loose, but also a bit of fun. The vine continues up the building at this level, and we get a good look at the lavender bricks, used for the first time in a modular. The façade is a repeat of the rest, so not a lot more to talk about that, aside from the dark blue awnings over the windows.

Around the back is a fire escape. It’s simple but works well.

Second Floor

The floorspace reduces in size on the second floor as the donut shop is capped off with a very stylish roof. The greebling here is simple but stunning, as is the water tower. The vine also splits off and starts to wrap itself around the building. The front façade includes a shelf for the air conditioning unit (a great little detail), and a bluebird with a donut!

Around the other side is a large printed billboard made up of two 6×6 tiles for Soap ‘n’ Suds – the laundromat from the Brick Bank back in 2016. I love the little tie-in to other sets, and the subtle nod to that storyline with the slogan “Cleans it all”. The laundromat owner was laundering money through the business. I can’t help but think that the cheeky wink of the girl in the billboard is a nod to that.

Inside the second floor is a hallway, interview room and bathroom, as well as evidence room, hidden in the small roof. It’s full of evidence of crimes. While it’s simple, it’s still a nice use of the small space left. The roof is able to come off to check out inside, which is great. The other two rooms are simple, but work well to fill the space. What I’m not sure about, is the layout. Why is the air conditioning unit in the toilet? You’d think that it’d be for the interview room.

The roof is capped off and a radio arial unit is added. The greebling at the front uses upside down Minecraft wolf heads as detail, and it works really well. I also like the stereotypical air conditioning vent on the roof.

One of the new features in this modular is that the internal walls are reduced in height by two bricks. I’m not sure whether this was to make the set slightly cheaper, or for ease of access to the smaller rooms inside, but it did mean we get a brand new part in the 1×3 reverse bowed brick. It’s a nice addition.

This is a really strong modular building. I’m a huge fan. I’m a huge fan of Chris McVeigh, so knowing he was doing a modular was really exciting. There’s a ton of colour and interesting features, a beautiful looking build and loads of detail. I like having a back story to these sets. It makes them so much more interesting and ‘alive’. It’s big, uses some interesting new techniques – the vine, stairs, and water cooler, and is a lot of fun to build.

If you’re wanting a copy of this set yourself, I’m giving one away! Let me know what your top 5 sets of 2020 were, and you’ll go into the running to win a copy.

10278 Police Station will be available from January 1, 2021.

ELEMENTS & MINIFIGURES: 18/20
SWOOSHABILITY: 16/20
BUILD: 19/20
DESIGN / APPEARANCE: 19/20
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10
COLLECTIBILITY: 10/10

OVERALL: 90/100

A special thank you to LEGO for sending me a copy to review. All thoughts on this set are my own and are not influenced in any way, shape or form. The provision of sets for review does not guarantee a favourable review.

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