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An Overview of the Entire Lego Modular Buildings Series
12 Sets and Counting...
Debuting in 2007, the Lego Modular Series is one of the most popular Lego series ever. The buildings are called "modulars" because the floors lift off to reveal decorated interiors and the buildings themselves can be locked together to create streets and entire cities.
Currently, the series includes 12 modular buildings. Two sets were released in 2007 and one set has been released every year since. Hopefully, Lego will keep adding to this great series!
We have included all of the sets below for you to see with both exterior and interior photos. If you are looking to begin or add to a Lego modular series, keep in mind that some of these are already retired and others will continue to retire as time goes on. Once retired, sets are very difficult (and expensive) to acquire.
Please note that the Cafe Corner and Market Street sets do not include interior photos as these sets did not come furnished, otherwise all of the other sets have interior decorations. Lego Modular Buildings are listed below in the order of their release...
Lego Modular Outline
- 2007 - Cafe Corner - Retired
- 2007 - Market Street (Factory) - Retired
- 2008 - Green Grocer - Retired
- 2009 - Fire Brigade - Retired
- 2010 - Grand Emporium - Retired
- 2011 - Pet Shop
- 2012 - Town Hall - Retired
- 2013 - Palace Cinema
- 2014 - Parisian Restaurant
- 2015 - Detective Agency
- 2016 - Brick Bank
- 2017 - Assembly Square (10 Year Anniversary Edition - Coming in January)
Of course, in the coming years we hope Lego adds many more buildings to this modular town as it is still missing many community basics, such as a library, post office, school, church, hospital, doctor/dentist offices, museum, police station, etc!
Lego Cafe Corner - Released in 2007. Contains 2,040 pieces.
The Cafe Corner (set # 10182) has been retired for quite a while now, so sets are hard to come by and quite expensive, but still one of the best in the series. The Cafe Corner was the first released in the series and did not come furnished but it probably has the highest level of architectural detail of all of the modular buildings. With enough pieces, you can even duplicate the second floor to make the hotel as many stories high as you want! Of course, the fact that it is not furnished is really not a drawback either as you can always decorate the interior they way you want too!
Lego Market Street - Released in 2007. Contains 1,236 pieces.
The Market Steet (set # 10190) is the rarest and, currently, the most expensive of all of the modular buildings. This is due in part to the initial confusion surrounding its release. Market Street was released as a "Factory" model based on a hobby builder's concept. Most people did not think it was really a part of the modular series. By the time Lego had made it abundantly clear that it was, it was retired and already hard to procure. Like the Cafe Corner, the Market Street set does not come furnished, which like the Cafe Corner is not too much of a drawback if you are able to furnish it yourself. Yet, the Market Street set is substantially smaller than the other sets in the series; however, the two "sides" (like the Pet Shop) are separable, so you can really mix up the look and feel of your street with this one.
Lego Green Grocer - Released in 2008. Contains 2,335 pieces.
The Green Grocer (set # 10185) was the third release in the modular series and has since been retired. It was the first to be furnished and Lego did an exceptional job at that. The lower level of the shop contains a complete wall fridge in addition to produce stands, cash register, etc. which collectors have just loved. The interior details are almost as good as the exterior elements such as the bay window on the second and third floors and the striped awning over the produce stand.
Lego Fire Brigade - Released in 2009. Contains 2,216 pieces.
The Fire Brigade (set # 10197) has a furnished interior but is unusual in that it only has two floors instead of the usual three. This is due to the first floor having raised ceilings to allow for the entrance of the fire truck. The top floor is superbly decorated with a small kitchen and recreational area including a couch and ping-pong table for the firefighters! The fire truck has some wonderful vintage details and the bell and water barrel on the roof and American flag on the front really add to its overall charm.
Lego Grand Emporium - Released in 2010. Contains 2,154 pieces.
Perhaps a little more basic on the exterior, the Grand Emporium (set # 10211) lacks nothing on the interior. Fashioned after Harrod's in London, the Grand Emporium features a clothing shop on the first floor, connected by escalator to a home goods shop on the second floor, connected by escalator to a toy shop on the third floor. There is a large atrium rising through all three floors with a large crystal chandelier at the top and the front door features a turnstile entrance along with displays for window shopping. There are even dressing rooms on the first floor and the billboard on the roof is an iconic touch!
Lego Pet Shop - Released in 2011. Contains 2,014 pieces.
Containing three fully furnished floors, the Pet Shop (set # 10218) differs from the others in the series in that it is actually two separate buildings side-by-side. On one side you have the pet shop with apartments above and on the other side there are additional apartments. These two modular sections can be kept together or scattered throughout the rest of your modular town. When separated, the two "sides" are each half of the width of a regular modular building so the difference adds variety to an otherwise similar street. This is a great one for any pet lover out there! I especially love the wall painter they have included who is "rehabbing" one of the apartments!
Lego Town Hall - Released in 2012. Contains 2,732 pieces.
The Town Hall (set # 10224) is the largest set of all of the modular buildings. It is also the only one which includes an elevator which is a lot of fun. The inside is fully decorated with a Mayor's office, board room, town hall meeting area etc. for a lot of fun Lego role play! This one may have a bit of a "boxy" feel from the outside but the interior is fabulous. I especially love the bride and groom complete with wedding photographer!
Lego Palace Cinema - Released in 2013. Contains 2,169 pieces.
The Palace Cinema (set # 10232) is a throwback to the Fire Brigade in that it also has only two levels. The first contains a concession area and lobby while the second floor contains the large screen with projector and theater style seating. Palace Cinema even comes with a limousine and spotlights for opening night. What movie are your Lego figures going to see next? What movie stars may they run into on opening night? A lot of fun Lego imagination available with this one!
Lego Parisian Restaurant - Released in 2014. Contains 2,469 pieces.
The Parisian Restaurant (set # 10243) is absolutely fabulous. It contains three levels that are each distinct and include a lot of fun and creative details. The kitchen, for instance, includes everything a world-class chef might want and the art studio is perfect for a budding Picasso complete with easel, paints and several finished canvases - your Lego town may just need to open a gallery to showcase the work! The architecture on the exterior is top notch as well. I especially like the stone in the chimney and all of the flowers and greenery are an added touch. It truly makes me want to visit this restaurant for an afternoon snack or elegant outside evening dining. Personally, I found this one the most fun to build!
Lego Detective Agency - Released in 2015. Contains 2,262 pieces.
The Lego Detective Agency (set # 10246) comes complete with not just a Detective Agency but also an attached Barber Shop and Pool Hall. Like the others before it, this set has a lot of detail (both inside and out) and has several new features such as a hidden safe, pull flush-toilet, pool table and shop access via an open center "atrium". Personally, we are disappointed Lego went with a theme like a detective agency when there are still so many other town "essentials" missing like a school, hospital, post office, police station and library. What do you think? It's a great set but has Lego gotten a little too off track with this one? Let us know in the comments below.
Lego Brick Bank - Released in 2016. Contains 2,380 pieces.
The new Lego Brick Bank (set # 10251), which just debuted in January of 2016, is a great new addition to the Lego modular city. The bank itself has your standard bank iconography with ornate architecture, a large atrium, a transaction counter with security glass and, of course, a vault with safe deposit boxes. Upstairs is a secretary's office complete with a typewriter and espresso machine and the bank manager's office finely decorated. However, this modular is not just a bank but also includes a laundromat around the corner on the ground floor with 4 laundromat machines. Altogether, this makes for a practical and fun addition whether that means your townspeople will actually use the facilities as intended or hold them up at gunpoint so the police have to be called in. Oh, wait, there isn't a modular police station yet... yep, that does pose a few difficulties!
Lego Assembly Square - Coming January 2017. Contains 4,002 pieces!
Can you believe that Lego Modulars has been around for 10 years now? They have! The Corner Cafe was first released in 2007 and now Lego has just announced their new model for 2017, Assembly Square (set # 10255), which marks 10 years of modular Lego building! For this auspicious occasion, Lego has gone all out in creating one of the most elaborate modulars yet - a fact which the piece count of 4,002 pieces attests to! That's almost twice as many pieces as the original Cafe Corner! Unfortunately, the higher price puts this one out of my budget but if you can get your hands on one you will be in for a treat - as the above photos show! Not only is there a ground floor bakery, florist’s shop and café, but a middle-level music store, photo studio and dental office, AND an upper-level dance studio and apartment with a rooftop terrace for barbecuing. The details are absolutely stunning! I was one of the original Cafe Corner builders who called Lego to let them know that while I really appreciated the exterior details, I felt that the interior needed to be decorated as well. Lego obviously took my advice (and that of others) for each set has continued to improve in that department - Assembly Square, in my humble opinion, being the best design yet!
Vote for YOUR favorite!
If you could build a modular building right now, which would it be?
This Video Shows a Really Fun Lego Idea!
Ok, so let’s say you just found out about the Lego modular buildings and want to create a really large, super cool Lego town, but the retired Lego modulars are out of your budget - what do you do? Combine multiple sets to create even bigger buildings! The first time I saw this idea was when someone built a second "middle floor" for the Café Corner to make it taller. I thought it was such a cool idea that I bought my own pieces and made an extra floor for my own Café Corner! However, the video below showing a Lego builder combining two identical sets into a single larger building is ever cooler! Plus, buying two retail sets today is still a lot cheaper than buying one retired set. So, what do you think of the idea?
Own Your Own Modular...
For more great pictures and reviews of these wonderful sets, please follow the link at right. I have personally built all of the Lego modular buildings, except for Assembly Square, and the was my favorite build followed closely by the Cafe Corner. Which Lego modular do you think would be the most fun to build? Parisian Restaurant
Unfortunately, many of these are now retired so they are quite expensive to purchase and will only keep going up in price as the years go on. Even so, the Cafe Corner (the very first set) can still be found on sites like Amazon although you will be paying a pretty penny for it. However, sets that have just retired or are net yet retired (like the Parisian Restaurant or Pet Shop) are still very affordable. If you were to purchase these un-retired sets now and keep adding to the collection as new sets are released each year, you could eventually build quite an impressive city for just pennies a piece!
While most people think of Lego as being a toy for kids, the Lego modular series is more an adult line due to its size and complexity. Since the inception of the modular series, AFOL's (adult fan of Lego) from around the world have been busy building their own variations on the modular theme.
A quick Google search for "Lego Modulars" or "Custom Lego Modulars" will reveal hundreds of these custom modular buildings ranging from museums to schools; however, here are shown a couple of our favorite (we have done our best to give credit to the original designer when possible).
So, what do you think - ready to design and build your own Lego modular? Assuming you have enough pieces, it is not as hard as it looks - at least to build the exterior of a building. Simply begin with a board and create the bottom shape (you can copy from another modular if you like) then keep building up adding doors, windows, etc. The real challenge comes when you start designing the interior - all of those little details and making them fit together can be overwhelming.
Even if these ideas here don't inspire you to begin your own Lego modular creation, they are cool to look at, aren't they! And hopefully, Lego will continue introducing a new modular building every year so we can all keep building the kits and adding to our fun and realistic looking Lego towns. Enjoy!
What building/theme do you hope is added to "Modular City" next?
What building/theme do you hope is added to
Thank you for visiting our Lego Modular Series page. We hope you enjoyed these as much as we do! Be sure to let us know in the comments section below how your Lego modular town is coming along and happy building!
Content curtesy of 20+ years of my own Lego experience with historical details and specific data researched from Lego books, sites, etc. Many of the photos are of my own collection while the rest were sourced from Amazon (our affiliate status gives us access to these) as well as public domain images from other sources/Lego friends around the world. Any "artwork" created by individual Lego artists is specifically identified.