Review: 21028 New York City

LEGO’s Architecture series is at a completely different scale to the modular buildings that I normally focus on, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that New York City (21028) is my first ever first LEGO Architecture set.  Let’s take a closer look.

First of all a big thank you to the AFOL Relations & Programs team (AR&P) of The LEGO Group for providing me with a copy of the set.
Opinions provided in this review solely reflect my views.  Similarly, the images presented are mine and were not directed by TLG in any fashion.

New York City is one of three LEGO Architecture sets focusing on iconic city skylines.  The other two are Venice (21026) and Berlin (21027).  More on those at a later date.

The set is beautifully presented in a glossy black box.  Unfortunately, mine got a little damaged in transit.

The back of the box lets us know what buildings comprise the New York City skyline.

One of the differences from other set boxes I’ve seen is that the Architecture box provides descriptions (and not just warnings) in multiple languages.  The box is also a flip top.


Inside, there is an instructions booklet, six parts bags and a brick separator (because you can never have enough).

The instructions booklet is beautifully presented, with a glossy cover and thick glossy pages.

Reminds me a little of a coffee book table and you could actually use it as one given how beautiful it looks.  It also contains some interesting information about New York City and the buildings featured in the set. Here’s just a small sample:

The instructions pages are black, but easy enough to follow.

There’s also little tidbits of information about New York City scattered throughout the instruction booklet.  Did you know that the entire crown of the Chrysler Building is clad in stainless steel?  I definitely didn’t.

I had to use something to hold down the back cover in order to take a shot of the parts list on the inside back cover.  The reason why is the thickness of the booklet and the way it is bound makes it hard to lay open.

This actually became quite frustrating when I was building, because I was holding the booklet open with one hand while building with the other.  I’m not a good one-handed builder.

There is a large parts count (of just under 600) for its size, due to the number of small parts.  Let’s have a closer look at them:

The parts that caught my eye where the Sand Blue ones, especially the 1×3 plates and slope plates.  There is also a couple of statuettes in Sand Green.  These, and the nameplate tile, are the only parts that are unique to this set.  The Sand Blue 1×3 plates are new in that colour in 2016, but not unique to this set. The last time a 1×1 Sand Blue tile was released was 2003, in the Tie-Fighter polybag (3219).


The base for the New York City skyline is 32 studs long, which was somewhat longer than I thought it would be.

The first “building” is the Statue of Liberty, which is a relatively simple build:

Next up is the Empire State Building, which has a SNOT facade that uses all those Tan 1×2 tiles with grill:

Then the Chrysler Building, which I must admit became a little repetitive to build:

I’m inclined to leave this as is on my desk just to avoid having to try and undo this building.  Maybe I should create an 8×8 base for it?

The Flatiron Building comprises a series of wedge plates, and looks quite neat despite my error (which will become obvious shortly):

Last, but definitely not least, is the One World Trade Centre.  While not the most striking of the buildings included in the New York City set, this was the most interesting build.

So this is what it looks like overall:

And this is what I had left over:

Yep, the Tan wedge plate is meant to go in the Flatiron Building – between the base and the part that I did build.  In case you’re wondering why I didn’t go back and fix it, the simple reason is that I couldn’t find it at first.  I was going to write up this review assuming that there was a spare Tan wedge plate, but decided to check again at the last minute (literally while typing up this review).

As I mentioned earlier, this is one of three skyline sets that LEGO has released.  I started with New York City because I’ve been there before and had a great time there.  I haven’t been to either Berlin or Venice.  I’m curious, would you buy this if New York City held no special meaning to you?  Maybe it is enough that it is a beautiful piece to be admired.