From lego toys and sets in Dubai themed around Batman and Frozen to Star Wars, the International Space Station and Powerpuff Girls, Legos span age groups — and price points.
Like many toys these days, Legos are not only found in boxes but on big and small screens alike
As we continue to work remotely or take online classes due to coronavirus, we may be looking for new and fun ways to spend time with our families. Maybe you're enjoying the last bit of summer sun by going on a socially-distant picnic or to the pool. Or perhaps you're streaming old movies on Netflix or playing traditional board games or more complex video games.
Another thing you may want to consider is the decades-old Lego brand which has become increasingly popular in rather recent headlines. Whether for its blockbuster Lego movies or attempting to make Lego products entirely sustainable by 2030, the plant-based bricks in the Ideas' Tree House exemplifying that effort, Lego bricks are like beach sand. Once you get a little in the house, it’s never leaving.
And with the holidays coming up, Legos offer an inclusive gift for the whole family to enjoy. However, the sheer volume of sets and options — from cute Brickheadz and Frozen 2-themed options to the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars and, of course, Lego Batman — might be a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, adult fans of Legos (AFOLs) have spent years thinking about Lego purchases and could help guide you through the toy aisle. I'm an AFOL myself: I wrote "LEGO: A Love Story" some years back, researching and profiling the AFOL community. Since then, I’ve become a dad of two children who are currently eight and 10 years old — naturally, our living room doubles as a Lego room.
And we're frequently looking for new additions to the family collection. We recently brought home a little bit of Star Wars with Anakin’s Jedi Starfighter and my wife surprised me for Hannukah with the Lego Ideas Voltron, inspired by a cartoon I loved as a kid and which Lego brought to life as a set I’m now building with my own children. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout writing my book and raising my kids, it’s that you only need to think about two things when it comes to buying LEGO bricks for kids: what do they like and how old they are.
LEGO Architecture 21052 Dubai review
LEGO Architecture sets rarely have cause to include LEGO minifigures, and 21052 Dubai is no exception.
21052 Dubai is a fine addition to the LEGO Architecture skyline series. A city packed with the newest, most eye-catching and interesting creations in world architecture is a natural place of interest for fans of building design, and a most apt location for LEGO Architecture to visit in the skyline format.
Great design is complemented by great model selection too. Any number of buildings from the city could have made the cut to be included in 21052, but the four that are feel most relevant, for the variety in design and innovation that they offer and for the particular moments they mark in Dubai’s rapid development over the past two decades.
As a city fascinated with pushing the boundaries of architectural design, Dubai translates perfectly into LEGO form, particularly when put through the increasingly innovative design approach from LEGO Architecture. There’s perhaps never been a more apposite pairing of source material and LEGO theme before than that captured in 21052 Dubai.
21052 Dubai is just like the other skyline sets to have come out of LEGO Architecture – truly impressive in design, detail and display.
Embracing the immersive depth of building that the theme has become known for, whilst also offering a variety of buildings and landmarks that the cities featured are famous for, the skyline series of builds within LEGO Architecture has forged a quite unique path. At once encapsulating the far more detailed build experience of the larger single landmarks within LEGO Architecture, the skyline sets offer a more diverse and budget-friendly entry-point into what continues to be a fascinating LEGO theme.
The most recent skylines are January’s 21051 Tokyo and 21052 Dubai, the 11th and 12th Architecture skylines released already, since the first ones appeared back in 2016 (curiously early releases 21028 New York City and 21034 London are still available). A quick glance through the four years shows how even over a relatively short period of time the skylines have evolved into even more comprehensive and complex creations that capture even more of the detail and identity of each city. 21051 Tokyo is reflective of where 2020 standards sit, and 21052 Dubai is equally as impressive.
LEGO Architecture couldn’t go wrong picking Dubai for one of its skyline sets, given how spoiled for choice the design team will have been for what landmarks to include – Dubai is a city that for decades wanted to be known for its unique and record-breaking buildings, and in many ways has successfully achieved that.
Importantly in choosing which buildings to include, the LEGO Group has come up with a selection that not only offers variety in construction and appearance, but that also offers a walkthrough of Dubai’s recent architectural history, with each structure marking different moments and firsts in world-wide architecture.
Specifically, 21052 Dubai includes replicas of the Emirates Towers, the Dubai Frame, the Burj Khalifa, and the Burj Al Arab, with small nods to the Emirates Towers Dubai Metro Station and the Dubai Fountain.
The Emirates Towers
These two twin-style buildings were highly anticipated in Dubai when construction began in 1996. Upon completion in 2000, the Emirates Tower Office building (the taller of the two towers) ranked the 22nd tallest in the world, and was the highest in Dubai until it was overtaken by the Almas Tower, another office building, in 2008.
The smaller of the two buildings is known as the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel. Both buildings in real life are connected with a retail park in between them, which in the set is represented with the ground level grey bricks on their side.
The LEGO set encompasses all that is iconic about these two buildings. The angles of the building, their unique prism shape and their asymmetrical placement to each other are all importantly and effectively recreated in brick form. Their inclusion within 21052 is also relevant for how, alongside the Burj Al Arab (at the other end of the skyline), they mark the starting point of Dubai’s era of great architecture. The twin buildings sit as one of the first large-scale, eye-catching designs to appear on the famous Sheik Zayed Road, which has since become littered with similarly unique creations.
The Burj Khalifa is the most iconic building in Dubai, not only for being the tallest in the city (and world) at a towering 829.8m, but also for its status as one of, if not the grandest buildings in the world. This is one of Dubai’s greatest feats, has caught the attention of the world and has set the UAE city as a front-runner in the world for innovative and grand scale design.
It went up in 2009 as Burj Dubai before being renamed Burj Khalifa in 2010, in honour of Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, head of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. That came after the capital city rescued Dubai from unspecified debt incurred during the £1.15bn construction project.
The Burj Khalifa in 21052 Dubai is already the second version of the building in brick form, following 2016’s 21031 Burj Khalifa that reappeared in 2019 as 21055 Burj Khalifa, and interestingly takes a completely different tact to recreating the skyscraper. Constructed primarily out of grey and trans light blue plates, the skyline version focuses on the window and light effect of the building, as opposed to the larger set’s flatter, less particular approach to the exterior that instead prioritises the building’s overall shape.
The skyline version works well to differentiate the levels and floors of the skyscraper, making it look less like the solid concrete-esque structure that its bigger LEGO brother resembles, and even where it has to compromise in design it still does well to capture many aspects and shapes of the source material structure.
Skyline sets are where scale is certainly played around with the most in LEGO Architecture, and such differences between the various buildings in 21052 are perhaps most felt with the Burj Khalifa. If all the buildings were built side-by-side to a single scale, it would tower over the others even more so than it does in the LEGO model.