The ever-expanding city block that is the LEGO Creator Expert line of building sets gets a welcome splash of neon pink and green with the January 1 release of the Downtown Diner. It's 2480 plastic pieces that combine to form three floors of 1950s-style entertainment.
I've been running out of room for built LEGO sets in my tiny home, but my Creator building series stays. So far I've only managed to grab the spectacular Palace Cinema and cleverly-designed Detective's Office, but I'm sure I can make room for one more tri-level building. Especially when that building has a pink convertible parked in front of it.
The $249.99 Downtown Diner packs a whole lot of stuff into a 25cm-by-25cm square. It all starts on the ground floor, home of the titular eating establishment.
It's the perfect place for minifigs to kick back, eat some grilled meat, and listen to tunes on the jukebox. A short-order cook with sideburns so bushy they would require a hair net by today's health standards mans the grill, serving up piping hot tan circles. Are they pancakes? Are they waffles? Maybe don't eat those.
Is that a shake machine I spy? And a mechanism for jerking soda? They called them soda jerks, so jerking soda seems like the sort of thing they'd do. Wandering about a toy city sporting pompadours and neckerchiefs is thirsty work.
Head up the stairs around back and you're on the second floor, a training area for old-timey boxers. You can almost smell the sweat.
It's here we find Kotaku's own Nathan Grayson, sporting a fanciful moustache as he goes a few rounds with the old punching sack. Go get 'em, Nathan!
Another trip up the stairs brings us to a vintage recording studio, where '50s crooners etch their legendary tunes onto wax cylinders. Or reel-to-reel tape. I guess they had tape in the '50s.
I'm particularly fond of the use of LEGO elements to make soundproofing for the recording studio walls.
The decorated records are a nice touch as well.
I like that old-time rock & roll.
It all snaps together into a single 34cm tall tower of 1950s LEGO power, where art deco clashes with traditional masonry to create a building you would not want to see erected on the street opposite your house.
That is, unless you're the type to drive one of these babies.
Check out the slideshow below for a closer look at the six minifigures included in the set, as well as some snazzy interior shots.
The LEGO Creator Expert Downtown Diner goes on sale January 1 for $249.99. I'll be off that week. I now have a pretty good idea on how I'm going to spend some of that downtime.