18 August 2019

LEGO® Ideas review: 21319 Central Perk

Well, it might not have been your day, your week, your month, or even your year but we are here for you with our review of the new LEGO® Ideas 21319 Central Perk set. Could you BE any more excited? Well it might depend on whether you actually ever watched the television series Friends back in the 1990s.


LEGO Ideas 21319 Central Perk is rated for ages 16+ and contains 1070 elements, seven minifigures and a small sticker sheet. It is due for release on 1 September 2019. Let's go and have a coffee with some friends now.
The original idea was submitted by Aymeric Fievet back in October 2016 and his model has been turned into an official set by LEGO designer Milan Madge, with the graphics designed by Crystal Marie Fontan. I have to admit that I was a fan of the show so if you have never watched Friends, some of the references in this review may pass over your head. 21319 Central Perk is best described as a minifigure-scale coffee shop interior.

The One with the New Colours

Since there are no new moulds in this set, let's start with the new colours.

I was greatly excited to see Lamppost in Earth Green/ Dark Green (6289117|11062). There have only been Black, White and Dark Stone Grey/Dark Bluish Gray lampposts using this particular 'four flute' mould before.

For the first time we get Plate 2X2X2/3 with 2 side studs in Bright Orange/ Orange (6289113|99206). Given that this element first appeared over seven years ago, it has taken a while for Orange to be added to the available colours.


Technic Disc 3x3 in Reddish Brown (6288632|2958) is also new in this colour and there are supposed to be three in the set but sadly my review set only contained two.

There is a single 2x2 Triangular Tile in Dark Red (6288635|35787) in the set and it is used with a new printed Tile 1x4 in Dark Red printed with "SERVICE" (6288639).  Together they form the arrow sign inside the coffee shop.

The One with the New Printed Elements

There are four new printed elements in the set, and one of each is supplied.

  • Wall Element 1x3x4 with Central Perk menu in Black (6286146)
  • Glass 4x6 with Central Perk logo in Trans Clear (6286161)
  • Tile 1x4 with SERVICE in Dark Red (6288639)
  • Tile 1x4 with Piano Keys in White (6284099)

The One with the Other Parts of Interest


The windows and door frames of Central Perk are dark green which means that the 1x2x3 window frame returns in Earth Green (6288626|60593), albeit with a new Element ID, having last been seen in 2013. As for Door Frame 1x4x6 in Earth Green (6262972|60596), it has only ever been in four sets, most recently this years 10264 Corner Garage.


Plate 1X1X2/3, Outside Bow has appeared in Bright Orange earlier this year in a single LEGO Friends set - 41379 Heartlake City Restaurant. I thought it was worth highlighting as there are 14 in this set and this is only the second appearance. The same goes for the single Medium Stone Grey/Light Bluish Gray one, which has only appeared in one other set: LEGO Harry Potter 75965 The Rise of Voldemort, released earlier this month.

The One with the New Minifigures

Obviously the six main Friends characters are included in the set with a 'bonus' minifigure, namely Gunther who was the waiter who also worked at Central Perk and was infatuated with Rachel. So we have from left to right: Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Monica, Chandler and finally Gunther.

Each minifigure has a double sided head with alternative expression with detailed front and back torso printing.  Only Rachel's minifigure has leg printing to show her apron which she wears when working as a waitress at Central Perk.


The designs of the central characters are mainly based on their appearances in the early seasons of the television series. Ross' gormless expression, Joey's How You Doin'? face and Phoebe's singing are spot on. The hair for Phoebe and Rachel is actually more accurate for later seasons in contrast to their Season 1 clothing.  I think a compromise had to be reached between fans' memories of how the characters looked and what they wore over the entire 10 seasons. I would consider the minifigures 'greatest hit' compilation their iconic features throughout the seasons.

Let's not forget Gunther of course but giving a LEGO minifigure a platinum blonde cropped, receding hair cut is clearly not easy.

The One with the Stickers

There is a small sticker sheet containing five stickers to complete the model. Once placed you can see the patterns are used for the seat backs, the RESERVED sign is on the coffee table on a 1x2 Panel in Transparent and the two posters are placed onto 2x3 tiles.


(Please excuse the SERVICE sign, this is a printed element that seems to have jumped into the image).

There are lots of little nods to the television series throughout the build; note here the cat from the song 'Smelly Cat' on the Phoebe Buffay promo poster, and Joey's Japanese commercial advertising  blue lipstick for men.

The One with the Angled Build


The base structure of Central Perk is cleverly designed as there are some lovely angles to give it the appearance of a 'set' where you can reenact scenes from the show with your minifigures. This is initially accomplished with the use of wedge plates and 1x2 Hinge Plates (19954) to achieve the angle.


Once the covering wedge plates and a selection of tiles are added, the base really takes shape giving the angled set appearance.


The back wall of Central Perk is the coffee machine and serving area, and you can see the printed menu in situ. I love the detailed coffee machine, and what's better than the 'expresso filter' element (Plate 1X1 Round W/ Horizontal 3.2 Shaft – 6196548|32828) actually being used as a portafilter for the machine.


The front counter of the serving area is also nicely constructed with angles using hinge plates and wedge plates to give the curved shape.


The final angle I want to mention is the wall that pivots, to angle the wall smoothly across the tiled floor. Once the entire wall is constructed, it really opens out the space available to play, move the characters and take photographs. I still feel the far right corner is a little cluttered though as you can't really see the golden candlestick behind the flowers.

The One with the Clips and Slips into Place


Milan Madge has used a variety of clip and bar elements to fix parts of the build into place; for example, the striped curtain clips into place by attaching the plate with clip to the Brick 1X1 W. Handle in Brick Yellow/ Tan (6170568|2921).


A similar technique is used for the performance area (where Phoebe sings and Ross infamously played his piano recital) just below the Central Perk window. Brick 1x1 w. Vertical Clip in Black is built into the flooring and attached to the bars on the base to achieve the patterned flooring.

There are two further areas on the base with space for brick build patterned flooring to be slipped into place; the smaller area in front of the counter and the key larger area at the front where the Friends characters all sit.


Once the furniture is built and in position, you can see the similarities to the Friends set.  The table looks a little less battered and the couches and seat a bit firmer but these are pristine LEGO versions, and look great. The RESERVED sign is in place, thus solving the mystery of why the characters were always able to get prime position on their favourite couches in a busy coffee shop.

The One with the Furniture


I have to mention the furniture in this set as there are some lovely little builds to enjoy. The tables using the newly recoloured Technic Disc 3x3 are great solution to get a suitable circular table top of that size but I have to mention again that only two came in my set so I'm a table short in my final images.



The main couch is a real winner as the new Orange elements are put to good use.


The second couch is also a cute little build and is a clever little solution to having the red internal cushioning with the external wood portion.


The printed piano keys really make the keyboard work at this scale as it had to be small enough to fit into the scene.  I'm sure Minifigure Ross will play just as badly as the real Ross Geller managed in Season 4 and still be unappreciated in his time.

Conclusion


The final build is a great looking minifigure-scale coffee shop. Aesthetically, the colours are wonderful with Earth Green, Medium Nougat/ Medium Dark Flesh, Brick Yellow, Dark Red and Reddish Brown all complimenting each other. 


The angled base is clever and allows lots of play space for hands, photographs and enjoying the display element. It doesn't look the best from every angle but is designed for front-on viewing with all the action on the inside.


So it is 1070 elements and seven minifigures for £64.99/  US$59.99/ CA$89.99/ DE€69.99/ FR€59.99/ 649DKK/ AU$89.99... are you a Friends fan?

No.  


Don't worry, this set is a great looking coffee shop. Simply buy the set and ditch the minifigures, sell them for half the cost of the set on the secondary market and keep the set for an awesome price!  It's a great build plus those who only build MOCs will like the parts.

Yes.  

You'll love the minifigures of the six friends and Gunther.  You'll be able to enjoy the build and then you can take all sorts of fun photographs or stop-motion movies to re-enact some of the greatest scenes that took place in Central Perk. I expect this will be popular with Friends fans who have perhaps not particularly thought of buying LEGO before.


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Products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not the LEGO Group. All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.

15 comments:

  1. The printed piano tile is from 70848 Systar Party Crew, so this is the second appearance of that part.

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  2. I’m buying two. Or maybe three :/

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  3. The printed piano tile could be a novelty tie for a very 80s Brickhead...

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    Replies
    1. 4x1 might be a little long for a tie on a fairly stumpy BrickHeadz body...

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  4. Is this the first time the "coffee filter" piece has actually been used for a coffee machine?

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    Replies
    1. Oh wait, it was used in a coffee machine in the 2018 Mountain Police Headquarters.

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    2. I believe the first usage of it as such was in 10259
      Winter Village Station which was only the second (or third, not sure if it came before 21312 Women of NASA) set to include the part.

      Delete
  5. Shouldn't the window pane with Central Perk written on it be the other way around? So the name reads correctly from outside the shop?

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    Replies
    1. But then it would be backwards in my photo 😉

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  6. I only need a picture of the printed Newpaper

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    Replies
    1. Looking up promo images on BrickSet, the Printed Newspaper part seems to be this 30¢ Bricklink part...

      https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=3068bpb1105#T=P&C=1

      Delete
  7. Could use that piano part in a few applications. To bricklink I will be hunting!

    ReplyDelete