Continuing with our collection of the current LEGO Architecture sets, we picked up The Eiffel Tower (21019) recently. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world and a unique set of shapes that I thought would be difficult to replicate in LEGO. As usual, I was proven wrong by the ingenuity of the LEGO engineers who created it.
The Eiffel Tower was designed and built by French entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel to form the grand entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair held in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The tower is about 324 meters tall (1063 feet), the same as an 81-storey building, and sits on a square base 125 meters (410 feet) on a side. The Eiffel Tower is 5.2 meters (17 feet) taller than the Chrysler Building and the second highest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.
The tower’s lattice structure is made up of 18,038 wrought iron elements and held together with over 2.5 million individual rivets. The highest point accessible by tourists and visitors is 276 meters (906 feet) above the ground. In 2010, the tower welcomed it’s 250 millionth visitor and in 2011 over 6.98 million people ascended it.
As always, the first portion of the instruction book contains a lot of details about the monument that makes for a fascinating read in multiple languages.
This is a pretty small set, weighing in at only 321 pieces, but you build quite a large structure. The overall dimensions are 12″ (31cm) high and a base of 4″ (11cm) square. A lot of the pieces seemed pretty basic as everything is grey except for the black base and the green tiles around the feet of the tower.
The build was a real lesson in LEGO engineering for me, as I saw how they managed the tricky angles required to achieve the correct shape. The base starts with 4 rotating bases onto which you clamp the main legs, this gives you a 45 degree off-set. The top 3 sets of angles are build in sets of 4 matching legs which clip into a piece set at 45 degrees to “normal” again.
The most interesting pieces are probably the 4 rubber tubes that are used to get the arches at the bottom.
I’ve never been to Paris, but with such an iconic building, people the world over will recognize the shape and notice if anything isn’t right. As with most LEGO Architecture sets, I think they got everything right, given the size constraints.
The build is fairly minimal, and expensive given the number of pieces and that I spent under an hour putting it together due to the “do this 4 times” repetition. I certainly don’t regret having it in my collection, and think it will go nicely in the background of some photographs and dioramas.
- Building Experience - 6/106/10
- Parts - 7/107/10
- Playability - 8/108/10
- Value - 7/107/10
- Accuracy - 9/109/10