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LEGO Creator Expert Detective's Office 10246 review

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There’s just so much anticipation each time a brand new modular building gets released. On New Year’s Day in 2015, Lego officially launched the Lego 10246 Detective’s Office build – Exactly one year after their Parisian Restaurant build came about.

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There have been persistent rumors that the next modular in this series would be a detective’s office, with some even speculating that the look of the new build was patterned after Sherlock Holmes’ home address – 221B Baker Street. However, when images of the 10246 were leaked to the public, it was pretty obvious that this wasn’t the case.

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After the press release was published, more information was given alongside a designer video featuring Jamie Berard. Berard’s designs are worth looking at, in case you haven’t done that already – Since a couple of the building’s features are given a thorough explanation.

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Photographs of the 10246 were confirmed to be the very first images of the set seen back in November 2014. However, it’s still worth reminding people how the set was packaged. The box was a tad bit smaller as compared to the other modular, including the Town Hall build, the Pet Shop build, and the Cinema build. A new ‘Expert’ logo can be seen in one corner of the box.

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The bricks used for the build are all encased in plastic bags, labelled 1 to 4. There’s a 174-page instruction manual with the build, but it doesn’t come with a protective piece of card. Lately, Lego has been releasing their manuals in one thick book, instead of several thinner books – Most likely due to cost cutting.

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This is probably the first time that a 32 x 32 baseplate has shown up in a brown hue – The color is lovely, but several people have suggested that they use darker gray shades instead.

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Bag number 1 is strictly meant for the pool room. There are a couple of important parts included here, which, in hindsight, would’ve been so much better when laid down on a darker background instead of a lighter one. Some owners might be relieved to know that the 10246 does not come with a sticker sheet. All of the build’s windows and tiles are printed, along with the dart board. There are also a bunch of uncommon tiles appearing in the set.

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There are a handful of brand new parts found in the 10246 – Even though some of these are old parts disguised in brand new colors. One of them is a 2 x 2 rounded tile with a white stud located in the middle. This will surely come in handy if you have other builds, like the 2 x 2 rounded tile with a hole that was introduced in a 2013 set. The domes, which measure 4 x 4, aren’t exactly new – But are still fairly uncommon and have a dark green hue.

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Since this is pretty much considered tradition when it comes to Lego’s recent modular-themed buildings, the ground floor of the building now contains a tiled floor. For the pool room, it’s in the form of a tan, blue, and green carpet. The pool table doesn’t really look that convincing – Especially when it comes to the pockets. However, it’s still a good effort.

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The ceiling fans and the lights, which utilizes the minifigure snow shoes for its fans, is a wonderful feature that comes with the room. You can take it out to be able to gain access to the floors found below. The new round tile, measuring 2 x 2, is meant to be for the table top located in the corners of the build.

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Here’s another part of the room that showed off the trophy cabinet, as well as the dart board. It’s a bit of a challenge for these minifigures to begin playing a game of pool, thanks to the clearance found in between the walls and the table.

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The front side of the build looks amazing – The pillars have been built from Technic axle joiners, attached with ball joints located at both ends. This brings plenty of interest to the design.

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The second bag of bricks includes the parts for Al’s hair salon. There are a whole new set of accessories here, including pairs of scissors and cupcakes. The build will begin to take shape after you have finished attaching the sink and the chairs for the barber shop.

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There’s another interesting aspect to the build that only a handful of people have noticed – And that is the mirror. It’s not really that noticeable at first since it’s got a protective layer of paper on top of it. The mirror is revealed once you peel it off. It comes in the same size as the panes that fit the window frames, which are found on the front side of the salon. These measure 1 x 4 x 6, and are held into place with the help of plates found with the rail top and the bottom. There’s also 1 x 1 with vertical handles located on the sides. The stairs can also be hinged so you can gain access to the salon located right below.

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The work created especially for Al’s barber shop sign is nicely made. The wigs on display at the store look quite awesome as well. One of the things that people have noticed about the ground floor is that there’s actually a secret passageway that is utilized to bring in cookies right into the pool room. Berard has given an explanation as to why this secret passageway exists.

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The third bag of bricks are the parts meant for building up the first floor. This holds the detective’s office, and a bathroom. So many people really liked the appearance of paint roller handles in black.

The bathroom is first built using lighter shades of blue. We think it looks wonderful. The paint rollers are also utilized for outside lights. The bathroom is too small for one minifigure to fit in, thanks to the sink, the toilet, and the wall-mounted cistern.

The next thing to add here is the central corridor system, before we move on over to the left-side of the first floor, also known as the detective’s office. Since the front side of the wall has yet to be thrown in, you can completely appreciate the details of the room before it’s all covered up. This includes two chairs, a filing cabinet with a fan on top, a desk, a safe, a hat stand, and a tiny hidden compartment that you can access by turning the picture around. It’s unfortunate that the floor isn’t tiled, and, given the tiny amount of surface area here, Lego wouldn’t even think twice about increasing the piece count and pushing up its price by a lot.

The first floor of the build is nicely positioned on top of the ground floor, as expected in the build. Your minifigures wouldn’t be able to gain access to the balcony area, unless they enter through the window. This is probably meant to be like a fire escape of some sort, instead of a balcony, since it doesn’t contain a proper flooring, and the ladder located on the left side of the space can be dropped downwards.

The back view of the building also has an equally impressive amount of detail, as compared to its frontal side.

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The fourth bag includes portions made for the rooftops, and the second floor of the office. There are several interesting parts included here: Such as the red inverted 2 x 2 dome, black plates with holes that measure 1 x 1, and dark grey unikitty tails. It’s nice to see that the parts here have been proliferated in a good way – Especially since there’s been persistent rumors that they weren’t allowed to be used up in Lego game sets, since it doesn’t even contain the Lego logo. It’s good that common sense has prevailed ever since.

The construction starts on the right portion of the building, which houses the kitchen area. There are plenty of details to be found inside the office kitchen. It is assumed that the brown thing on its walls is a huge rolling pin for baking, while the red dome is meant to be a mixing bowl. There’s one more rounded tile measuring 2 x 2, while one stud is used for the table tops. The last part is the wall cupboard, as well as the corridor section – Which looks the same as the one in the first floor, and finishes off the enclosed amount of space in the second floor.

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There are loads of half-stud offset techniques used here, and this just adds more interest to the build’s general design. The roofing area is also nicely built, and even incorporates Hero Factory fists to give loads of excellent detail to the eaves. Another part that people like is the water tank, but the construction is a complete surprise for its builders.

After the main structure is done, additional details are added such as the ‘pool’ sign, which utilizes tiles that measure 2 x 2 with the hole, and more tiles that measure 2 x 2.

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