Tuesday, March 3, 2015

LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 Overview

What do you get when you take the details of the LEGO® Parisian Restaurant 10243, architectural features of the Pet Shop 10218, throw in a myriad of hidden secrets, add a New York Private Investigator twist and mix it up?

Late 2014 LEGO® modular fans were given a nice update on what's in store for 2015's annual Creator Expert Modular and since January they have begun hitting the shelves. We couldn't resist on getting our hands on one so here's our take on the latest LEGO® Detective's Office 10246.


Every year LEGO® rewards kids and it's fan with one modular and if you look at the timeline of modular releases you'll find that the Detective's Office 10246 takes the place of the Parisian Restaurant as being the current release and the Pet Shop sits as the last officially available modular from LEGO® stores.


This years modular comes to fans with a theme focused on a fair amount of playability in mind, along with multiple colours at every level and nice textures with masonry bricks gave this years offering and really rich experience.

Designed around the theme of Mystery and Detective Fiction the set includes two and half levels of mixed commercial and office space that resembles New York architecture from the 1970's.

If you haven't already read the details from LEGO® you'll find a Pool Hall and Barber Shop at street level, a Private Investigators office on the first floor along with common access bathroom and stairways leading to the top floor small kitchenette with rooftop access.

The colourful and rich exterior of LEGO® Detective's Office 10246


There's no doubt that the LEGO® Modular Design Team set some benchmarks on packing detail with their last Parisian Restaurant 10243, in an earlier post covering the Grand Emporium 10211, Pet Shop 10218 and Parisian Restaurant 10243 I mentioned how I favoured the Parisian Restaurant due to it's high amount of details and theme playability and in my view the latest Detective's Office seems to have followed through with that and then some.

Some of the many details and bits included in LEGO® Detective's Office 10246

In addition to the a variety of coloured bricks for this set you'll get an abundance of bits and mini-builds within the set.

The cast and crew of the 2015 LEGO® Detective's Office 10246

Here's a snapshot of the piece count and number of minifigures you get with this latest set.

Detective's Office (10246)
Parisian Restaurant (10243)
Pet Shop (10218)

So you'll get less pieces compared to the last Parisian Restaurant 10243 and if you want to nit-pick it'll be 207 pieces less but honestly when it comes to modulars I'm not really focused on number of pieces but rather the design, architecture and theme. For those concerned about price-per-piece at least LEGO® is again throwing in an extra minifigure and a cat for good measure (hence the +0.5).

Front view of LEGO® Detective's Office 10246


So let's get to the building, as mentioned earlier I referenced the Pet Shop 10218, and the reason is because like the Pet Shop you technically get two different structures per say, only difference is they are not detachable.

Top view of LEGO® Detective's Office 10246

Instead the two structures are joined by narrow walk way towards the back giving the building an overall U-shaped floorplan when looked from above, this gave opportunity for the building to have a nice alley way in the middle with an air well reaching all the way to the top at the front of the building, an architectural feature that is unique across all the other modulars.

The clean back view of LEGO® Detective's Office 10246

The back is nice and neat and this is where you can clearly see the proportions of the structure which shows how narrow the blue building is from the outside.

The hidden passage and compartment for smuggling barrel
One of the key highlights about the Detective's Office is the whole ala-prohibition era play of smuggling contraband. One can channel a barrel through a passageway from the back of the blue structure, store a barrel under the floor board in the middle and via another passageway into the pool hall, all in the name of cookies and biscuits.

Side views of the Detective's Office 10246
The sides features the standard connectors for modulars, not the prettiest but they get covered once placed with other modulars so no biggie.

Above is a shot of the air well as mentioned, though rather narrow I do like it as an architectural feature, it gives the building some dimension and depth.

Fire escape of the LEGO® Detective's Office 10246
Even with this narrow area the Design Team managed to fit a nice little play of a fire escape with a retractable ladder. Not much else to do apart from the ladder but for a kid it's always nice to have hidden surprises.

Straight to the top you'll get another unique architectural feature; the roof line, so while you don't get a full set of three floors with walls you'll get a nice split level roof line. On the rooftop portion you get a water tower which has a really interesting build technique, you can catch a video of the build below. The roof line facade was another fun and interesting build to say the least.

LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 cool roofline

So while these architectural features are unique it still doesn't change the fact that the entire modular is essentially two different structures joined together with an alley and narrow walk way. This obviously led to one of the structures having to compromise on space, and that compromise was placed on the blue structure.

For those that read my earlier post on the Pet Shop 10218 I noted that one of the issues with the 10218 buildings were that there just wasn't much space for even little hands to really get in, and one will probably have the same if not a more pronounced issue with the Detective's Office blue structure and it's occupances.



On the ground there's The Highlander Pool Hall and Al's Barber Shop, both filled with lots of details. Here you'll begin to see the limited space of the Barber Shop as compared to the Highlander, that being said the Barber Shop is still packed with many details.

LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 street level interior

The Highlander

Before getting into the Highlander you'll be greeted with a cool little exterior detail which is the red newspaper vending machine, this was one of the things that caught my eye when the official images for the set were released. I've featured a build video of this cool detail below.

Red Newspaper Rack of the LEGO® Detective's Office 10246

The Highlander includes custom window pieces for the pool hall frontage, no stickers just quality printed pieces so you get a nice view of the inside.

Welcome to The Highlander

The Highlander features a Pool Table, a Trophy Shelf, a Cue Rack and a Dart Board and the most interesting detail is the ceiling fan which can be swung aside to allow better access to the hall. Under the Trophy shelf you'll find one of the three hidden passageways to smuggle in contraband.

Accessing The Highlanders Pool Hall

Al's Barber Shop

To the right of the Highlander and across the alley way you'll get Al's Barber Shop which is rather narrow as mentioned, like the Highlander it features a neat exterior bench out front. Due to the small size of the barber shop the entrance is place on the side where customers will have to access via the alley way. The signage features the new Scissor pieces which you get 3 in the set, one for the signage, one for Al' use and another for spares. (My son loved the new scissors)

Fancy a trim at Al's, maybe looking for a new hair piece.

Again with lots of details Al's Barber Shop includes unique items like a reflective mirror piece, a barber chair, a sink, hair piece mannequin heads and a cupboard that can be swiveled to reveal a passageway to the back, a third hidden passageway to the hidden compartment under the middle floorboard can be found under the stairs as well.

Closer shot of LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 street level interior

Unfortunately due to the rather tight breathing space of Al's Barber Shop closeup pictures were hard to capture but I guess I have to leave some surprises for those that are planning to get this set.

Better access to LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 Al's Barber Shop
To help with the confined space of Al's Barber Shop the back stairs are pivotable so that one can move them out of the way for easier access to the shop, still rather tight though.

Al's signage, a similiar build to the Pet Shop Signage
Care for a game of 8 Ball?


Up the stairs you get the set name main attraction, Private Detective Ace Brickman's Office, windows for Ace's Office includes a printed window piece and just outside his window features the Pool sign for the Highlander. Nicely done.

Ace Brickman's Office window with the Pool Hall signage

As per the two floor spaces below there's a great amount of details again! An office desk with a printed city map tile, a table lamp, a fan, a hatstand with Ace's Hat, a safe with cash plus briefcase, a cabinet with printed letter 2x1 tiles, a wanted poster and a wall painting with a hidden compartment housing another printed letter tile.

Ace Brickman P.I Office with hidden compartments

The stair way area above the Barber Shop includes a toilet and even a nice plant just by Ace's Door.

The mysterious lady in red



Finally right at the top you get a room with a kitchenette, this room gives minifigures rooftop access with a cool skylight and large water tower. You may catch the preview build of the water tower below.

Top Floor of the LEGO® Detective's Office 10246

The top floor kitchenette with more stuff!

Honestly the details just kept coming with this set, the Kitchenette includes a clock, rolling pin, wall cabinet, a stove, a mixing bowl, a table and various cookies and biscuits, not to mention a hungry cat.

The LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 rooftop with Water Tower and Skylight

The skylight is really appreciated as it brings light into Ace's Office, it's one of the reason why I built a skylight into our Fire Station, so any opportunity to brighten the interior and give kids a chance to peek in is always welcomed.

A little mod with some extra mesh grills

I noticed on this floors exterior were the arc windows to the front that were similar to the top apartment of the Pet Shop building. I always felt that these windows needed to have something, just like the top two arc windows of the Parisian Restaurant which included black mesh grills. 

I had a couple of the gold mesh grill pieces so I decided to try them on, they seemed to work nicely so the inclusion of a couple of white mesh grill pieces could have been nice touch to finish these windows off.

LEGO® Detective's Office 10246


Overall we like the latest LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 and there's no doubt this 2015 set takes the cake in having the most details out of all the modulars we own and while I feel it has some space issues primarily with the right side structure and Barber Shop it still carries it's own weight with it's vibrant exterior and distinctively detailed theme.

LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 between our custom built Fire Station and Pet Shop 10218

If this is your first modular ever then the Pet Shop 10218 is something worth considering before it gets retired next as this latest set will still have a lot of time on shelves but if you want a taste of the latest with a ton of details then the Detective's Office 10246 is gonna be it. I mean you get four rooms with a full set of unique details! 

So my only warning is that if one does get the Detective's Office before something like the Pet Shop, one may be disappointed with the detailing experience of the Pet Shop compared to this latest set.

Naturally the Detective's Office 10246 design and architecture fits well with other official LEGO® modulars and classic style buildings if you intend to build your own modulars.

My son getting straight back to the play

In my opinion the LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 is quite a well thought out set that's full of character and imaginative play targeted at kids, and there is no doubt that the LEGO Modular Design Team is delivering on more detailing year after year.

Furthermore looking at the the release timeline again we could potentially see a corner modular coming our way in 2016 so that might be another good cause for anticipation.

When it came to this years set my son was really intrigued with the whole Barber Shop and Pool Hall and could not wait for me to finish our build and shoot for this overview.

For myself I really appreciate these highly detailed buildings and I do enjoy building them (and shooting them).

Finally, for other fans of LEGO® Modulars you're probably gonna get this set no matter what I say anyway.

LEGO® Detective's Office 10246 between our Fire Station MOC and Pet Shop


Here's a compilation of some of the nice builds I enjoyed from this set.


LEGO® Detective's Office 10246

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