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My sons favourite thing to play with when it comes to toys is without a shadow of a doubt Lego. Whilst we are moving in to an age where children have technology type items to play with as well Lego has always stayed something that my son will turn to time and time again. For his birthday this year my Mum asked him what he would like and each time he told her that he wanted the Lego Architecture set number 21006 which is The White House. She decided to go down this route and buy it for him and this is my review of it.
==What is it?==
Lego Architecture is certainly one of the more advanced range of Lego products and they are aimed at established builders. They offer a range of sets which allow you to build a replica of various land marks from around the world including things like Big Ben, Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building and of course The White House which my son has.
The Lego Architecture range comes in a classy looking black box which makes it look somewhat more grown up than other Lego products in my opinion. On the front of this box we have the Lego Architecture name as well as a picture of the set assembled so you can get a look at what you are likely to be building before you purchase it which is always a good idea in my opinion. We are told that this kit is suited to those aged 12 and above and given that my son was turning eight when he received this as a gift I did wonder how he would get on with it.
As this was the gift my son had been asking for over and over again it was natural that he wanted to get straight down to building and before I knew it he had opened the box and the Lego bag as well. I sat down with him and helped to sort the many pieces in the set because I do think it is a good idea to sort your pieces in to like colours, shape or size just because it makes it easier to find them when you need them. He often doesn't do this anymore because he says it takes too long but I insisted we did this with this set.
My son didn't want my help in building this set and he wanted to do it on his own as he is a good Lego builder and can do most sets on his own. Unfortunately he got around half way through after spending well over half an hour on it and realised he had gone wrong somewhere and wasn't sure why so we had to take the whole thing apart and decided that we would do it together. This was quite a knock to my sons confidence but he listened to me as I explained that the set was meant for people a good four years older than him as a minimum and he had done well to get as far as he did with the set. I didn't want to take over though and spoil the experience with him so I decided to sit with him as it was built and just hand the pieces over, check from the side lines that they were in the right place and help when he asked me to. This worked well for us and allowed his battered ego to feel proud he could do it afterall.
The instruction manual was a reasonable size and mainly black in colour to fit in with the general classy look to the Architecture range. What is quite nice in this manual is the fact that they include some information about the orginal architect who designed The White House and how he came to have the job. There are a few facts about The White House included as well as some information such as the address it carries, size and the date the first brick was laid which is all interesting to read I feel. The back of the manual contains information about the designer of the set as well which my son claims is a job he would LOVE to have! As ever the Lego instuction manual was excellent quality with thick pages and clear instructions which weren't too busy so that you were struggling to work out what goes where. As you go through the instruction manual as well there are small snippets of information about when parts of the build were added to the real White House which was really good I thought as it is referring you back to thinking about the process the architects would have gone through I think.
In terms of how this set is to build in terms of other Lego sets we have had I have to say it IS much more complex than others. The instructions are good and clear but there is so much to do within the complex build that it was really easy to see how my son had gone wrong along the way and so we did make sure we spent a lot of time just making sure the steps were right before we moved along to another part. This build probably took a good couple of hours from us starting again to finishing it but frankly I liked the fact that it took a long time to build because many Lego sets can cost a lot and be built relatively quickly and so I liked that this was challenging for both my son and I if I am honest. My son didn't ask for much help other than for me to check things were looking right until it came to adding the pillars around the front entrance which were fiddly and kept falling off as we added more pieces! It was frustrating for me as an adult but my son was much calmer than me with it all! We think it was around this part that my son got a little lost with the build as the roof section just wouldn't sit right but thankfully after some careful examining of the instructions we did manage to get it on and he was able to crack on with finishing the build.
I was so impressed with the quality and level of detail in this Lego set I have to say. It has a really good likeness to The White House considering that it is made out of Lego and I love how things like the light under the main entrance were included as well as the fact you made small trees for around the grounds. It would have been very easy for the model to just look like a white box given the shape and design of the building but the creator worked hard to add details such as windows which are just set back a little and fences with detail around the top part of the building. Once built the model is certainly really impressive though I do think it is one that you would display as opposed to one that a child would play with but this was actually my sons intention from the off anyway and he was more than happy with this. The model feels solid and well made and features a small plaque to the front of the model stating The White House and it does look excellent on display on top of my sons toy box in our lounge.
I think this is the kind of set that would be well received by Lego loving adults too if I am honest as there is plenty of work to be done in building the model and it is nice to display as I mentioned. This isn't the kind of set to give to a Lego novice as I think they would feel a bit phased by the complexity of it if I am honest. My son has said he would like more in the Lego Architecture range but as of yet he hasn't said what as he has gone back to preferring to play with the models he makes but I know in subsequent years this is the kind of set we will be buying.
I do totally recommend this Lego set but bear in mind if you buy it for a child younger than twelve you may need to get involved if only to check they are following the masses of instructions properly without losing their way a little. You can buy this set on amazon for £37.99 and so it is in no means a cheap set but I do think you get a brilliant, good sized model for your money. I think it would be appreciated by a Lego expert or perhaps a collector in particular.
Thank you for reading my review!