06 November 2023

LEGO® Icons set review: 10326 Natural History Museum

Posted by tobymac

Inquisitive minds rejoice as a new museum has opened downtown, featuring exhibitions from the past and the future. I took a look at the elements the museum is made of in Part 1, and today we’ll wander through its halls and study the artifacts on display, in this build review of LEGO® Icons 10326 Natural History Museum.

Products in this article were gifted by The LEGO Group; the author's opinions are their own.
10326 Natural History Museum
US$299.99/ £259.99/ 299.99€/ AU$449.99
4014 parts
1 December 2023, pre-order available now
Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a small commission if you purchase: Set 10326 on

The museum stands 48 modules wide; a feat seen only once before in 2017's 10255 Assembly Square. Another thing the two sets have in common is the piece count. The museum is built using 4014 parts, the most in a Modular Building to date, beating Assembly Square by just 12 parts. 
I’ve seen some strong opinions online about the choice of Olive Green, not used in these quantities for a Modular Building since 10243 Parisian Restaurant a decade ago, but the architecture of the museum suggests the Georgian style, where such a deep and bold green granite color is entirely appropriate. Furthermore, I think it looks great!


The set comes with 7 figures, not counting the 2 statues found outside. On the top left is Dr. Kilroy. He has settled down after all his travels in the 1990s, as recorded by the LEGO® Adventurers theme, and become the museum's creator. Top center are 2 clerks, and on the right is a window cleaner (who I think resembles the set’s designer Chris McVeigh). In the row below we find 3 visitors, eager to enter the museum.

Building the set

Ground floor construction


We start with the ground floor, some sections of which are raised by one brick. It looks like the museum has been built on an archaeological site, as we find bones underneath one of the floors, and also, the janitor needs to get some mousetraps. 

I really like the combination of the Tan floor with a Medium Nougat pattern. Using 1x2 tiles for Medium Nougat instead of a part-saving 2x2 brings out the pattern even better.

On the right side of the ground floor we find dinosaur fossil and skull, and a crappy display piece known as a coprolite. The whip is a clever parts usage for the fossil.

On the left side we find pottery, and a selection of rocks and crystals featuring some familiar elements:

There is also a model of a volcano and a cross-section of the earth using macaroni tiles.

According to the instruction manual, the pottery are replicas created for the museum by the artist living above 2013's 10243 Parisian Restaurant. It looks like they will need to get back to work though, as the last picture reveals that a visitor was not careful.

Time to spend some money in the gift shop, found in the center of the floor, and behind it is a small toilet, where the Technic Panel Fairing 2 x 1 x 1 in White is once again used to its full potential. Next to it is a small examination room. 

The 2 rooms are pretty small, and with their high walls, access can be tricky. The designer made the inner walls easily removable so you can remove your figure from the toilet. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

Time to build the final exhibition piece for the ground floor. They saved the best for last: this Brachiosaurus skeleton is a work of art! The designer used Light Bluish Grey for all the joint pieces, breaking up the otherwise monotone white. And it’s always great to see the banana piece getting another clever usage. The Brachiosaurus is too big for the room, so its head sticks up into the next floor!

On the facade of the museum we find some columns; the beginnings of a Georgian portico. Detail on the pedestals is achieved with a nice mix of brackets, and the columns themselves are secured against the walls. The red slopes anchor the two sections together when the floors are stacked. 

The windows are nicely done using candle elements, but don’t feel especially complicated.

At the rear we find an alley, with the only feature of the building being a back door. Nevertheless, there are some details added: I love the little flower fighting its way through the pavement; and the little dog has his best day ever with the discovery of a juicy bone in the dumpster... oh dear, who left that there?

Inside the dumpster we also find a bar with clip and an angled bar with stud, in order to create this little scene.

Visitors can get to the next floor by using the stairs, made of plates with 45 degree double slopes. With the completed staircase set at a 45 degree angle, the sloped bricks become level. With no studs to position minifigures, the banister is set at just the right height to hold on to. 

That is the ground floor complete.

Upper floor construction 

On the right side we take a trip through history, back to the time of pirates and castles. Do you recognize the 3 LEGO sets on display above? 

The other side is dedicated to the future; specifically outer space. A rocket with a map showing its flight trajectory is one one side; across from it is an orrery (top right) which I love; I hope at some day we’ll get a larger scale, working model. And I’m missing Pluto… 

A comet flies by on another display, and the final display is a rendition of a familiar looking space station. The microscale parts usage here is superb!

And that finishes the upper floor.

Roof construction 

We take another staircase up to the roof, through a trapdoor to find the curator’s little office. On his desk stand two trophies, which he won for his documentaries. One of them even played at the 10232 Palace Cinema!

The roof extends a bit towards the facade, supported by the columns. Here we find the new variation of the SNOT plate 2 x 2 x 2/3 (4304), and this is the first time I've seen the new functionality causing an issue, albeit a small one. Due to the new height of the side-studs on the Light Bluish Grey plate, the white bracket is set just a bit too high, sticking out. When another plate is placed on top, it causes stress. Luckily the stress is minimal and the gap is covered up by other bricks. 

A bigger eyesore is the use of a Tile 6x6 for the roof. 

With its matte finish it sticks out against the ‘normal’ smooth tiles around it. The technique used to get the desired angle is very interesting though.

A nice technique is used to place small statues inside an alcove. Large windows are placed directly above the atria to provide natural light inside the museum.

And with the roof finished, we’re nearly done.

The final touches are applied at the front of the model. The window washer is hoisted in a cabin which I would never dare stand in. On the ground floor we add a small bench and a beautiful blossom tree, using the new white Stem with 3 Leaves. 


The finished model is an impressive building packed with details and Easter eggs, worthy of the Modular Buildings moniker. 

I mentioned in part 1 that the set is light on decorated parts, but the museum didn’t need many of those, as all the small brick-built artifacts are eye-candy enough without decoration. 

The 48 module width really works for this set. I often find Modular Buildings a bit cramped, so the additional 16 modules give the museum its needed hall space.

The Olive Green looks right for a Georgian building, but I can understand why people are put off by the rich color schemes of that era. It's also quite a fun exercise to imagine which color would look better, maybe a shade of Nougat, or go all out with Dark Red? 

10326 Natural History Museum is available to LEGO Insiders from 1 December 2023, but is available to pre-order now priced US$299.99/ £259.99/ 299.99€/ AU$449.99. If you've enjoyed our coverage please consider using our affiliate link, we may get a small commission should you purchase: 10326 Natural History Museum at

READ MORE: 2000 elements are being removed from LEGO® Pick a Brick on 17 November 2023

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  1. If it's a Georgian mansion, I guess it wasn't originally built as a museum, and the glass roof would have been a, relatively extensive, presumably Victorian, conversion.

    Obviously, as a modernised old building, anything goes, but every building I am seeing in this general style has white window frames (not dark brown) and surrounds.

    Mixing tan window surrounds and white pillars on the front is not a great look aesthetically, and the central window and door frame should also be picked out, preferably in white. At the moment, the most important part of the building, the door, vanishes into gloom.

    The building needs space around it to breathe and make sense - it's a Georgian mansion, not a town house. Ideally, it should have been built on two 32 stud baseplates so that the gardens could extend either side of the building. The building doesn't sit well with most other modulars either side directly connected.

  2. Olive green was an excellent choice for the color scheme. It works as for the Gregorian style and more importantly it works well for a museum interior. Dark Red or Dark Tan would've made the interior too dark. Tan might have worked, but it was used by the Police Station, which had some contrasting buildings to provide color to the scene. Lego would never do an all White or all Light Bluish Grey modular building for similar reasons. Olive Green is probably the best choice considering the style of the building, double-sided requirement, and Lego's design standards

    1. I think another reason they would avoid tan or white for the bulk of the walls is because some of the exhibits like the moonbase model or dinosaur fossils would have poorer contrast against them. The olive is a nice stately color that contrasts well with the various displays.

    2. The chosen colors also tie in nicely with "natural" aspect of "natural history", sort of like how "green grocer" was not only a greengrocer in a literal sense, but sits in a building with actual green walls. By comparison, a color like white, tan, or light bluish gray could be associated with any sort of large neoclassical building (like a police station, library, courthouse, bank, art museum, town hall, train station, university, war memorial, etc).

  3. Good review! I really love how majestic this set feels inside and out. I feel like it was a good choice to have it as one building across multiple bases instead of just expanding it vertically compared to other buildings like the Town Hall.

    The interior layout definitely brings back fond memories of museums I've been to in the past — so many exciting exhibits to see and learn about, from artifact collections to educational diagrams and dioramas to monumental fossil specimens! It's a good thing there is a bench over by the bathroom so you can rest your legs between long stretches of walking!

    I appreciate you pointing out how perfectly the stair railings are positioned! I hadn't really thought about this since usually for me I'm more concerned about making sure stairs are well proportioned for minifigs to hop up and down them during play than about whether they can stand there securely on display. Even so, it's cool to know that the designer did think that through in this level of detail!

    I really love how nicely the exhibits are arranged so that there is a good balance between stuff for minifigs to look at and space for them to move around. That said, there are a few noticeably empty spots that could potentially be modded a bit to add more "stuff" there.

    In particular, the area at the top of the stairs from the ground floor has a lot of open floor space. I feel like this could have maybe have been used either for another bench (making it sort of a presentation area where people could sit and listen to educational talks from scientific experts or tour guides) or an exhibit table up against the back wall by the orbital trajectory map.

    The wall on the far right of the ground floor behind the big dinosaur fossil is also unusually bare compared to all the other walls in the building. While I'm not sure more detail is strictly NEEDED there (since that exhibit already has a lot of awesome specimens of varying sizes) I feel like it could potentially be a place for modders to add another diagram, such as perhaps a timeline of some kind showing when these different species emerged. Although admittedly, compared to the more pictorial diagrams on some of the other museum walls, it that might be a little harder without printed elements to make it obvious what specific info a timeline-style diagram is meant to communicate.

    One of the most common criticisms I've seen about this set (other than highly subjective complaints about the color scheme, which I feel we tend to see plenty of with every new modular building) is that it doesn't really make exciting use of the open space on the left side of the upper floor like it does with the huge reconstructed dinosaur on the right side. In my opinion a great solution for this would be to replace one of the plates near the middle of the left-hand skylight with a modified plate of some sort so you can suspend a small space probe/satellite model from above to tie in with the other space-themed models in that wing!

    Overall, though, I feel that this is an outstanding model even as-is! Certainly it will both fit in nicely and have a lot of visual impact as part of a modular street scene. And frankly, one of the reasons I've thought so much about the set's modding potential IS that its interior floor plan is so modification-friendly. A particularly dedicated builder could potentially even design exhibits that are rotated in and out seasonally, just like real museums like this might include!

    I doubt I'll be getting this set myself, mainly because my wife and I haven't been collecting the modulars (unlike my dad and brother in the house I grew up in) and it'd be hard to make space for a modular street display in our current apartment. But I love that the Modular Buildings Collection continues to grow and expand with sets that find more and more new ways to flesh out this lively old-timey neighborhood!

  4. has it been noted that minifigure heads (the two grey ones for the statues, at least) now have two little slots cut into the inside of stud?

    1. Yes, we've mentioned it and we also always note when this variant arrives in a new colour.