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The Lego Eiffel Tower
Bring Paris to your playroom with this incredible Lego model
Stumbling groggily toward the thermostat one icy morning, I almost stepped on the Eiffel Tower. The damage, luckily, was minimal. And no, I'm not King Kong :] Just mom to 3 Lego fanatics, including an 11-year-old who saved for two years to buy himself the Lego Eiffel Tower model. We now have a beautiful finished tower in the living room (still trying to decide where it will live permanently!) -- and one very proud young builder.
We got the Eiffel Tower model on Amazon in '09 for a good price. But as of 2011, the options appear more limited. Check and see, though; you might luck out:
Or on ebay...
What's magnifique about the Lego Eiffel Tower?
Five reasons to grab it now...
it's the real deal
This is a real, beautifully rendered 1:300 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, created using the original blueprints for the building. The proportions are right, the construction--everything is spot on. When Lego engineers set their mind to something, they don't mess around.
Judging from the Amazon reviews, my husband and son aren't the only one who are impressed. Here's what other builders have to say about this masterpiece of Lego bricks:
~~"It is exceptionally well designed and the precision fit of the blocks for such a large model is marvelous."
~~"Very high in detail, and exceptional structural design."
~~"I haven't been this impressed with a lego set in many years."
~~"I secretly wish I could live in Paris, and now I can when I see this! ... Well worth the money."
building it is a fun, potentially
Like a good puzzle, the Lego Eiffel Tower blends challenge with fun. It's recommended for ages 16 and up but, as far as I can tell, is within the capabilities of many younger Legomaniacs. Our 11-year-old is relying on his dad as a consultant and partner on the project but is able to handle chunks of it independently on his own timeframe. (And shhh....I've heard Lego building is actually good for you. Something about math, problem solving, fine motor coordination....don't know all the details, but quiet fun without electronics? What parent doesn't love that?)
After reading the reviews, I'm also convinced that building this model is a legitimate substitute for child, family, adolescent, or partners counseling. Much cheaper, too :)
~~"My 10-year-old son got the Lego Eiffel Tower for Christmas and he worked diligently on it for the next three days. He completed it by himself, working approximately 20 hours on it. It is a great-looking finished product."
~~"A wonderful experience for my 11 year old and his older brother. They worked on it together, which was a rare thing to witness!"
~~"My son (age 12) and I assembled this item together during the Christmas [break]. It was a challenge but fun. We helped each other to find the pieces and read the instructions."
~~"It took me and my girlfriend about 10 hours to complete....Amazingly there was not one point in the instructions that was in any way confusing. Only difficult part of building it is digging through the 3400+ pieces to find the one you need."
~~"I have no idea WHY purchasing this seemed like the 'ideal solution' for dealing with a cantankerous adolescent but...amazingly, it worked! Instead of the 'parent,' I was assigned the role of 'occasionally helpful assistant.' I was wowed by my offspring's persistence, guidance and skill in putting this together. Meanwhile, there was some chat here and there, all appreciated (by me, at least)."
~~"It was great fun to build it :-) Needed about 5 hours in a team of two adults and three kids (7,7,4)."
~~"My name is Peter and I am 7 years old. My parents didn't think I could do this myself, but I got it for Christmas and after a few weeks, I did it. My dad helped a little, especially sorting out all of the pieces. It was hard but I had fun!" [Note to Peter: Wow, age 7? To paraphrase Napoleon Dynamite, you got skills!]
What's in a review?
Online customer comments often exceed the buy/don't buy parameters to include valuable info on using a product. This is certainly true for the Lego Eiffel Tower. From sorting pieces to transporting the finished model, you'll find a goldmine of advice in the Amazon reviews.
it's a guy thing...
AND a girl thing
Not to be sexist, but I'm not sure there's a huge female market for the Lego Death Star. Pirates, trains, racecars--none of these Lego themes are female-unfriendly, but let's face it: They mostly attract boys. Like other toymakers, Lego has added girlier themes in recent years (step into a Lego store and you'll see what I mean...plenty of pink and purple there now), but the nice thing about the Eiffel Tower is that it transcends gender. It's got intricate construction--but also a whiff of romance! Okay, I'm going overboard--but you get the idea.
it's impressive as heck
My young tower-builder is kind of shy, and this work-in-progress has been a fabulous icebreaker when kids come over. Little kids, big kids, adults--everyone wants to know where he got it, how hard it is to build, etc. Mainly they just say wow. And that's a nice little boost for the self-esteem.
Need the instructions?
If you already own the model but misplaced the how-tos (it happens!), here are the Lego Eiffel Tower instructions.
it's not that painful
to step on ;)
As a mom with years of experience stepping on Lego models, I'd give this one about a 4 on the pain scale, whereas, say, the Venator Class Republic Attack Cruiser is a 6 or 7...and much more likely to break. (As one reviewer put it, the Lego Eiffel Tower "won't fall apart as long as you don't do anything crazy to it.")
I wouldn't want to step on the pointy top of the tower, of course, but since it'll be 42 inches tall when completed, not much chance of that.
Where to store said 42-inch model, you ask? Not entirely sure. But at least the base is a semi-reasonable 20 square inches, so the tower will probably fit nicely in a corner of my twins' bedroom. And how cool will that look?
Lego Eiffel Tower Knockoffs?
So you can't cough up $1000+ for the real thing? Seems it has, uh, "inspired" a couple of other manufacturers...
Or are you one yourself? How would the Lego Eiffel Tower fit under your tree this year?