21 May 2024

LEGO® Icons review: 10332 Medieval Town Square

Posted by Ben Davies

Hear ye, hear ye! The fan-favorite LEGO® Castle System has returned once again in the form of LEGO® Icons 10332 Medieval Town Square. The set was released at the start of March, and marketed as a reimagining of 2009's 10193 Medieval Market Village, and a companion set to 10305 Lion Knights' Castle.

Considering the excellence of these previous sets, we were eager to examine 10332 Medieval Town Square to see how it compares!

Products in this article were gifted by The LEGO Group; the author's opinions are their own.
This article contains affiliate links to LEGO.com; we may get a small commission if you purchase.

10332 Medieval Town Square
US$229.99/ £199.99/ 229.99€/ AU$399.99
3304 parts
Released 1 March 2024

Set 10332 on LEGO.com

New moulds

The set introduced two new moulds, though both are already starting to appear in other sets. As such, I'll direct you to our review of set 43242 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' Cottage for coverage of Hat Gnome Pointing Backwards (Design ID 5320) in Sand Green (Element ID 6486482).


The other new mould is Door 1 x 4 x 6 with Window, Wood Structure (5466). While the set contains only a single instance of this element in Reddish Brown (6471122), it also appears in April's 21348 Dungeons & Dragons: Red's Dragon Tale.


The door is compatible with the existing Door Frame 1 x 4 x 6 (40289), giving builders a new alternative to elements like Door 1 x 4 x 6 with 4 Panes and Stud Handle (60623) or Door 1 x 4 x 6 Smooth with Handle Plinth (35291).


One particularly exciting feature of this new door is the ability to accept any element designed to fit within Window 1 x 2 x 2 (79128). I'm hopeful we'll see more doors designed with this functionality in the future. 

Recolours


Several recolored elements appear within this set.
  • 49x Plate Special 2 x 3 with Rocks in Brick Yellow (6480280 | 27261)
  • 8x Window 1 x 2 x 3 Pane Latticed with Thick Corner Tabs in Brick Yellow (6488771 | 60607)
  • 1x Hips and Legs Under Dress/Robe in New Dark Red (6417955 | 36036)
  • 17x Brick Special 1 x 1 x 1 2/3 with Studs on 1 Side in Olive Green (6469109 | 32952)

Of course, we have to give a some special attention to a recolour of one of the most storied elements of all time. I am, of course, referring to the LEGO goat.

(White Goat not included)
  • Animal, Goat with Brick Yellow Horns print in Dark Stone Grey (6490240 | 109167).
Following a lengthy absence, a new goat mould was created for 71045 LEGO Minifigures Series 25 earlier this year. After debuting with White fur and Sand Yellow horns, it now appears here with Dark Stone Grey fur and Brick Yellow horns.

Decorations

Eight differently decorated elements have been introduced specifically for the set. Six of these are new minifigure torsos, including:
    • 1x Torso, Tunic, Nougat Laces, Reddish Brown Rope for Belt print, Dark Orange Arms, Yellow Hands in Brick Yellow (6489705 | 76382)
    • 1x Torso, Coat, Black Collar, Reddish Brown Belt, Gold Trim, Buttons print, Black Arms, Dark Tan Hands in Medium Lilac (6489713 | 76382)
    • 1x Torso, Vest, White Top, Dark Tan Belt, Dark Brown Pouch print, White Arms, Yellow Hands in New Dark Red (6490036 | 76382)
    • 1x Torso, Vest, White Top, Reddish Brown Belt, Laces print, White Arms, Yellow Hands in Olive Green (6490485 | 76382)
    • 1x Torso, Silver Wolf on Black Shiels, Red Border print (Wolfpack), Black Arms, Yellow Hands in Reddish Brown (6490318 | 76382)
    • 1x Torso, Tunic, Tan laces, Reddish Brown Belt, Dark Brown Pouch print, Dark Orange Arms, Yellow Hands in Sand Blue (6489480 | 76382)

    In addition to the minifigure torsos, two other new decorated elements have been introduced:

    • 1x Hips and Sand Blue Legs with Dark Purple Coat Tails, Gold Trim, Reddish Brown Belt print in Sand Blue (6481576 | 107733)
    • 1x Minifig Shield Ovoid with Gold Lion On Red/Blue Field print in White (6490660 | 109194)

    Rare elements

    Making their second appearance are:

    • 1x Hair Tail High, Curly in Brick Yellow  (6454364 | 69857)
    • 1x Torso Armor, Gold Lion on Blue Field Crest, Chainmail print, Blue Arms, Yellow Hands in Bright Red (6406251 | 76382)
    • 1x Hips and Blue Legs with Red Surcoat, Silver Chainmail, Reddish Brown Belt Print in Bright Red (6351814 | 79262)
    • 1x Hinge Plate 1 x 4 Swivel Top / Base - Hollow Clip in Dark Green (6416506 | 1927) (Excluding an appearance in the Inside Tour-exclusive 4000040 LEGO Fire Engine)
    • 1x Brick Special 1 x 2 with 1 Center Stud on 1 Side in Dark Stone Grey (6473748 | 86876)
    • 10x Plant, Flower, Plate Round 1 x 1 with 5 Petals in Earth Green (6446790 | 24866)
    • 5x Brick Curved 2 x 2 x 2/3 Corner Double Curved Top No Studs in Medium Stone Grey (6403579 | 79757)
    • 1x Plant, Flower, Plate Round 1 x 1 with 5 Petals in New Dark Red (6458394 | 24866)
    • 1x Tile 2 x 2 with Groove, Black Checks Print in Reddish Brown (6430841 | 102480)
    • 1x Door 1 x 5 x 3 with 3 Studs and Handle in Reddish Brown (6438484 | 93096)
    • 3x Animal Body Part, Horn Stacked 45 deg. with Axle Connectors in Reddish Brown (6469998 | 2142)
    • 1x Torso Tunic, Laces, Black Belt, Money Pouch print, Blue Arms, Yellow Hands in Sand Green (6406106 | 76382)
    • 1x Equipment Cutlery - Fork in White (6395857 | 79741)
    • 1x Bracket 1 x 2 with 1 x 2 Vertical Studs in White (6465322 | 4585)

    Third appearance:

    • 6x Equipment Candlestick in Brick Yellow (6454936 | 37762)
    • 1x Flag 2 x 2 Square, Flared Clip Edge [Thick Clips] in Bright Blue (6365486 | 80326)
    • 1x Minifig Head Wylde, Dark Tan Eyebrows and Beard, Open Eyes Smile / Closed Eyes Smile Print in Bright Yellow (6384570 | 98832)
    • 2x Plate Special 1 x 1 with Clip Horizontal [Thick Open O Clip] in Dark Brown (6460688 | 52738)
    • 1x Brick Curved 1 x 1 x 2/3 Double Curved Top, No Studs in Dark Orange (6439726 | 49307)
    • 1x Brick Special 1 x 2 with Groove in Medium Nougat (6325913 | 4216)
    • 1x Minifig Shield Triangular in Reddish Brown (6353186 | 3846)

    Stickers

    It's also worth highlighting the sticker sheet that has been created for the set, given the myriad of references it includes. 
    To briefly highlight:
    • Sticker 1 is a reference the original goat, which commanded high prices on the secondary market.
    • Sticker 3 features the emblem of the Dragon Knights / Black Knights.
    • Sticker 4 features the emblem of the Lion Knights.
    • Sticker 5 features the emblem of the Black Falcons.
    • Sticker 6 is based on set 6008 Royal King.
    • Sticker 8 references the Wolfpack faction, which returns in this set.
    • Sticker 13 is based on sets 375 Castle and 383 Knight's Joust.
    • Sticker 15 references the Fright Knights, and depicts the Vampire Knight collectable minifigure (aka Basil the Bat Lord) riding a classic LEGO dragon.

    Minifigures


    The set includes eight different medieval minifigures to populate the village. The most exciting of these are the fancily dressed tax collector; a role not depicted previously in castle, and an updated version of the Wolfpack solider; a faction not seen since 1993. 

    Building process

    The set is built from 25 numbered bags of elements. The first 12 bags are used for construction of the woodworking shop, farmhouse, cheese factory, and tree, while the remaining 13 bags are used for inn, shieldsmith's workshop, and watchtower.


    The first bag is devoted to furniture and accessories for the woodworking shop and cheese factory. The cheese factory gets a stall selling various types of cheeses and pastries, while the woodworking shop receives a table with a broken leg, storage for tools, a chair, and a lathe creating a new leg for the aforementioned table.



    The next three bags are used for constructing the woodworking shop, which is housed inside a small stone barn. The floor of the building has exposed tiles with studs for attaching the previously assembled furniture. The second level features a small storage area and crane for lifting and lowering objects.



    Bags 5 though 7 are devoted to construction of the the farmhouse. The farmhouse includes spools of yarn and a loom, producing a tapestry depicting the classic LEGO sets 375 Castle and 383 Knight's Joust. 

    Once complete, the farmhouse is attached to the assembled woodworking shop.



    The cheese factory is assembled next, using elements from bags 8 through 11. The back wall of the structure is aligned with an oven and tables covered with cheese. A chair is also included, with a structure similar to those associated with the woodworking shop.



    Breaking up the assembly of buildings, the twelfth bag of parts is used for creating a gnarled tree with a small pond, and a support for chopping wood.



    It is at this point that construction shifts to focus on the second building in the set, with the next two bags of elements used to build the ground level of the Broken Axes Inn, which features a small tavern. 

    The tavern interior features a sitting area with a table and chessboard, lute, and cask with faucet.



    The kitchen area above the tavern is assembled next, and features numerous details including a log stove, table for preparing food, hanging turkey, and a variety of cooking accessories.



    Bags 17 and 18 are used to assemble the shieldsmith's workshop next to the tavern. This area includes an anvil and hammer, painting bench, and small stove.



    Next, a small room with a bed and desk is assembled above the workshop. The lower level of the watchtower is assembled at the same time.



    Turning back to the inn, the next bag of elements is used for assembling a section of thatched roof above the kitchen.



    Continuing the focus on roofing, another section of thatch is constructed above the room and workshop.



    A smaller third storey is added above the kitchen. 

    Despite the compact size of the room, it manages to include a bed and desk. It also features a hidden drawer containing several coins, which can be accessed by pulling on the sword mounted to the wall.



    The watchtower is completed next, with the addition of a second level and a roof turret. The tower lifts many design motifs from the Lion Knights' Castle, including construction of the windows and rounded battlements.



    Finally, a roof is added to the third level of the inn. 

    At the same time, greenery is added to the outside of the buildings, including patches of ivy, a small pine tree, and a tree with bird's nest. An easel for the shieldsmith's workshop is also constructed.

    Completed model

    When examining the completed model, it makes sense to look at the individual buildings.


    The first structure consists of the woodshop, cheese factory, and farmhouse. Two sets of hinges allow access to either side of the structure adjoining the main barn. The building is skirted by landscaping, including a garden and fenced area for the goat.



    Inside the building, each of the three main areas features elaborate detailing. The woodshop can comfortably accommodate the broken table, holder for tools, and lathe with room to spare. As one might expect the cheese factory includes a great variety of cheeses scattered on a table, as well as a chair, large stove, and cat. Completing the trifecta, the farmhouse is centered on a loom and spools of yarn, with a small stove.



    Like the previous structure, this building also features a heavily detailed interior. The ground floor consists of a sitting area for the Broken Axes Inn on one side, and a shieldsmith's workshop on the other. The second floor features a fully-stocked kitchen, as well as a large bedroom with bed and table. The third level features a second, smaller bedroom. This building also includes an adjoining watchtower and staircase.



    One of the bigger issues with the set is the choice of color schemes and lack of building coherency, and this becomes painfully apparent when looking at the exterior of the second building. While the wildly different palettes and architectural features can be overlooked to a degree when the building is open, they inevitably clash when the building is swung closed:


    Half of the building is building is Bright Red and Black; the other half is an inexplicable muddy mix of Sand Yellow and Olive Green, with an abrupt line where the two halves of the structure meet.

    Furthermore, when closed, the interior of the kitchen is exposed via a gap along the watchtower walkway. I could forgive this were it clearly designed as an entryway to the kitchen, but a pile of logs blocking the way suggests this was not the case.

    Final Thoughts

    While it is always a pleasure to see attention given to the LEGO Castle System, this set unfortunately fails to live up to the high standard of 2022's 10305 Lion Knights' Castle or 2009's 10109 Medieval Market Village, the latter which it cites as inspiration.


    In its attempt to act as both a display piece and playset, Medieval Town Square doesn't fully succeed at either. The decision to combine several different locations into a single building ultimately leads to a lack of visual cohesion, with the set uncertain whether it is attempting to lean more towards medieval fantasy or realism.

    READ MORE: Dinosaur alert! Three of the June LEGO® Jurassic World Chaos Theory sets reviewed

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    4 comments:

    1. Hmm, could the knight on Sticker 7 be the yellow plumed Black Knight from 6086?There aren't many knights having both pointed visors and horse bardings. (The references would still be somewhat unclear, though...)

      ReplyDelete
    2. Good review, for the most part. However, I think I came away from this set with a much more positive impression after building it than you did!

      In particular, the contrasting colors of the buildings honestly didn't bother me at all — if anything they make the finished appearance a lot more interesting to me than that of Medieval Market Village, since it gives the impression of a bustling neighborhood of varied homes and businesses, rather than just a pair of stand-alone structures of roughly equal size. It's the same sort of appeal I get from Modular Buildings Collection sets like Detective's Office, Assembly Square, and Jazz Club that feature multiple buildings of different sizes, shapes, and colors on a single baseplate (though I know that many other AFOLs prefer each building to have its own baseplate and stick to one color scheme and architectural style throughout).

      I'm also not sure where you're seeing the conflict between fantasy and realism that you describe in your conclusion. There's nothing fantastical about medieval buildings being painted in bright, contrasting colors. And while the set does take some anachronistic creative liberties with some of its details like the cast-iron stove in the inn's kitchen or the pumpkin (a New World vegetable) in the garden, you didn't really bring those up in your review, so I can't imagine you're talking about those.

      Are you just referring to the impracticalities of the interior floor plan that you mentioned earlier? Because while I can understand your frustration there, I can't say I find that any more "fantastical" than compromises like the lack of a ladder to the roof of the watchtower in this set, the lack of ladders to the gatehouse and bell tower in the Lion Knights' Castle, the lack of a second set of escalators in the Grand Emporium, or the need for the AFOL resident of Assembly Square to pass through two private businesses to enter or exit her apartment.

      In any case, I was thrilled to pick this set up as a companion piece to the Lion Knights' Castle, but I also found it a very impressive display piece even on its own (it sat proudly on my apartment's coffee table for around a month before I finally took the time to make space for it next to the castle on top of one of our bookshelves). Even as somebody who largely skipped over most castle sets that came out in my teens and 20s, I would be thrilled to see more sets in this "collection" going forward! Perhaps a medieval harbor, farmstead, or a darker-colored castle inspired by the Black Knights or Dragon Masters.

      ReplyDelete
    3. I don't believe that the buildings were really intended on being displayed closed, rather just a way to keep the whinging AFOLs quiet when they complain about the open buildings. That said, the bright red building clashes with the rest of the lineup.
      Waaay too reliant on the rock piece (27261) to do the texturing heavy lifting. A bit more variety in the rooves would've been nice.

      ReplyDelete
    4. Blessed are the cheese makers!

      I was very excited for this set (and not just for the goats!), but I'm very disappointed to see the cohesiveness, and how the walkways don't line up when closed. Shame, because the careful alignment when both open and closed was what I enjoyed most about the Lion Knight's castle.

      ReplyDelete