Parisienne Café 10243

The Canberra Lego User Group is privileged to be able to provide a review of the new Modular building Parisienne Café 10243.

As a user group, we decided to build the model as a group exercise one rainy Sunday afternoon and to take comparative notes from the group to determine the sets strengths and weaknesses.

There are a lot of fans of the Modular Series of LEGO buildings around here, so when presented with an opportunity to get our hands on a pre-release version of the Parisian Restaurant (10243) there was much excitement. Of particular interest to us is the way in which the Modular sets have grown over the years to include interesting and amusing interiors and characters. The discussion around the table was that many of us had all populated our original Café Corner with tables, chairs, people and furniture and we all couldn't wait to see an official LEGO designed internal and external modular.

None of the excitement was abated when viewing the box from the outside. The box art displays some fun interpretations of the minifigs enjoying the bistro and posing for portraits with the artist's studio. There are also close up teasing shots of the over window treatments and the interiors.



There is always a thrill of excitement when unpacking a new set, and this rings particularly true when the new set includes some rare or cool colours and even more excitingly new and unusual parts.

The card backed instructions packs gets a rowdy supporting cheer in the group as it guarantees the instructions are not scrunched up. It’s amazing how a smallish sheet of card has made so many AFOLS happy!

The set contains (apart from the obvious parts):

  • Five minifigures, including a chef and restaurant customers;
  • The new red scooter.

New Parts:

  • The dark red flower pot/table lamp shade.


Group Build

There was a slight issue with coordinating the build across a group. With three sets of numbered bags, it seemed logical to break into three groups, however it didn't quite work out this way. There are four booklets in this set and some of bags don't align with the instructions (eg. booklet four is for bags numbered three) it took us a little while to sort everything out. This is hardly a criticism as it only applied due to the group way in which we decided to build the set, but it was a little odd for a company with such attention to detail to not match bag numbers to booklets numbers. Nonetheless the build went ahead with each of the team building one floor of the model.

What was interesting was how competitive everyone got. We were also surprised that it also took some time to build. Most of the builders are accustomed to whipping through a Modular build in only a few hours, but the level of detail in each floor/storey seems to stretch out the building experience. No one was disappointed by this and it did add something to the value for money equation for the set.

Team 1 (Ground floor) took their time and focussed on the tile mosaic type flooring, while still keeping an eye on teams 2 and 3. The ground floor is quite complex with a lot of activity. Such as the sabre opening of champagne (known as Sabrage to some).

Team 2 (Second floor) enjoyed building both the outdoor dining terrace as well as the 1st floor apartment. Highlights were getting to use the new dark red domes as flower pots for the hanging flower pots as well as using the same part as a lamp shade for a standing lamp. Great detail was also used in the fire place and the foldaway murphy style bed.

Team 3 (The third floor and roof) Clearly there is a lot of creativity in the roof level. Of particular note is the clever use of white parts to make up the scrolling window treatment. People also loved the use of the dark blue curved slopes to tile the roof.



The most interesting thing about this set seems to be the level of detail now included with Modular builds. The detail of a restaurant full of furniture over two floors and a small al fresco eating area, a small apartment with a foldaway bed and a little artist's garret with what looks like a collection of cubist art (but what else would a minifigure painter be?).

Value for money is always an interesting question in Australia. For whatever ill-conceived idea, the cost per part in Australia is somewhat higher than elsewhere, this makes the value questions interesting. From an attractiveness and build experience point of view the set was very popular and deemed to be fun all around.

General consensus was that at the US$ price - the set represented great value for money as either a collector or as a play set and was declared a "must have". When factoring in the likely AUD$ price, the value equation dropped slightly to a "would love to have if it comes on sale".

What we liked:

  • Details, details, details, from the kitchen tools to the artists' works on easels;
  • The printed tiles for menu, restaurant sign etc., are very popular;
  • The new scooter bike;
  • The design of the roof (and the inbuilt playability) in opening it up to reveal the artist's garret. The constructed pediment for over the dormer windows.

What we didn't like:

  • While it seems churlish, the disconnect between bag numbers and instruction book numbers seems odd.