By Antonio Malara
In February 2022 I assembled the Lego Statue of Liberty, my first lego from the "Architecture" series. I must say that I immediately liked assembling that type of lego because it really gave the impression of building a real statue rather than a toy. I thought that the assembly of the statue probably followed the logic of the real construction, at least the part that reproduced the wall that supported the statue. After that exciting experience I noticed the lego Empire State Building and put it in my wishlist. Both the Statue of Liberty and the Empire had the characteristic of developing in height so they took up less space than other lego buildings. Unfortunately the Empire went sold out and since then I haven't found any buildings of a reasonable size, in fact one of the few that I liked, the White House, developed just the opposite, in width. With the desire to build something of architecture, I decided to buy these little legos that reproduce in miniature the major buildings of some cities in the world. As a tribute to the Empire that I could not get, I decided to buy "New York" which becomes the second "Architecture" lego I own.
I must say that I had already seen this type of lego many years ago and they hadn't made a particular impression on me, however in a sense of nostalgia for two cities of which I have wonderful memories (I also bought Paris) I decided to buy them anyway. Sure I enjoyed the build, I wasn't so sure about the final result. Mostly I was not sure about the reproduction of the smallest details. As for New York, the lego provided for the construction of the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Flatiron Building and One World Trade Center.
Assembly Process and Gallery
When I opened the box I had an unexpected surprise, something new for a lego. Inside were six envelopes but they weren't numbered! At first I thought it was a mistake, maybe my unit came out like this without numbering. I checked the Paris lego and in that the envelopes were numbered. At that point I got even more curious and went online to the lego website to look up instructions relating to New York. Well, even there the assembly phase did not have the traditional scheme where the final result was shown for each numbered envelope. In other words, it seemed that in relation to the New York lego , the envelopes were not numbered. It was necessary to open all the envelopes and proceed with the assembly without knowing how long this could be. To try to understand, I looked at which passage number was the last one; when I saw that it was number 73, I calculated that it could be assembled in just over an hour. I decided to open all the envelopes and place all the bricks in the belief that I could assemble it in one session, to do this it took me eighteen minutes and there I became suspicious. When I started assembling, I found that the numbering of the steps was divided for the different structures; for example from step 1 to 24 was the assembly of the base and the numbering continued until the statue of liberty was assembled, then it was reset to zero again. I understood there that the process would be longer. Starting over from a new numbering, from step 1 to 48 I mounted the Empire State Building while from 49 to 66 the Chrysler Building. The next building was the Flatiron which featured only three steps. Basically the lego was almost all assembled except for the last skyscraper however the effect of the lego New York could be perceived. I stopped there for the first day because I calculated that it would take about an hour to assemble the last building and I didn't have that time available. Later as I was laying the remaining bricks, I noticed that I built the Flatiron with a floor less, adding it was easy enough. Although the last building was missing, I already had a clear idea about the buildings; there was no doubt that the Empire was the most beautiful but I will describe them in detail later.
I assembled the One World Trade Center on a different day and there were 73 steps involved. I assembled the central block of the tower quite repetitively always with the same type of bricks in about 22 steps. For the final block instead, in addition to the regular bricks, there were 32 others of the same type, however applying them was a fairly simple and fast process. Instead, what made me waste time was the installation of the last part of the tower which was assembled separately. At the time of fixing it there was something that didn't make it adhere correctly but I couldn't figure out what. If there was one certainty I had it was that the lego instructions were never wrong so I disassembled the final block of the tower and reassembled it. Before I even finished I realized that I had assembled a simple circular brick upside down! I had made a stupid mistake but the worst thing was that I could not figure it out logically but only had to find out after taking it apart. It was a lesson that made me understand that with legos, even simple ones, you should never take anything for granted. I assembled the One World Trade Center in about 40 minutes but without the error, would have been enough 30.
The final product was below expectations as I thought. I appreciate the design of the Empire State Building as it was reproduced and I love the skyscraper as a structure in general (the real one I mean). The Statue of Liberty is decidedly poor and basic while I don't understand the Chrysler Building at all. It has been reproduced with white colored bricks and although it is nice as a structure itself, it does not look anything like the original in the sense that it does not even seem inspired by it. It doesn't look like it in chrome or style. The Flatiron is simple and tiny, has its charm but it is always a sufficient reproduction. The One World Trade Center is reproduced quite well but personally I don't have a good feeling with the original structure so I can't appreciate its lego version at its best. In general, building the lego New York confirmed my low expectations, however it aroused my curiosity about Paris. At this point, as in a competition, I want to see which of the two cities is more faithfully reproduced. However, the next lego that I will assemble will not be Paris, because I want to enjoy this curiosity, in the end the pleasure of lego is especially that.
Pictures: Antonio Malara