Modular Mayhem – the appeal of LEGO buildings in the BrickLink Designer Program

Why are the modular buildings some of the most popular submissions in the BrickLink Designer Program? Here’s why the LEGO Modular Buildings Collection has inspired so much attenion in the BrickLink Designer Program.

As a follow-up to the AFOL Designer Program in 2019, the 2021 BrickLink Designer Program has brought us several exciting submissions, as well as 15 spectacular sets. For those who aren’t with the program; the LEGO Group’s BrickLink subsidiary is producing fan-created sets, voted on by fans out of hundreds of submissions, which are then sold as pre-orders in limited quantities. From the massive 910002 Studgate Train Station to the kinetic 910028 Pursuit of Flight, there’s truly something for every adult collector.

Of course, what would these builds be without the fan designers behind them? If there’s one category that has proven continually popular, it’s the fan-created modular buildings. Why is that? From ‘The Modular Grocery Store’ by Sp-PirateKnight to the Modular Modern Office Building’ by brick_engineer, the newest line-up in the Bricklink Designer Program, Series 1, had a notable number of exciting Modular submissions that fans could vote for to become official sets.

Two Modular Buildings have successfully been produced – 910009 Modular LEGO Store and the 910008 Modular Construction Site. While the picks for Series 1 contained no Modular Buildings, it’s clear that there’s already a massive following for these builds. What makes them so appealing – even beyond being a part of the famed Modular Buildings line?

Subject matter the LEGO Group has yet to use

These builds cover subject matter not available in the LEGO Group’s own Modular Buildings Collection. For example, the produced Modular Construction Site contains an amazing functional city construction crane – something we haven’t seen from the LEGO Group since 2006’s fantastic 7605 Building Crane set. Aside from the various LEGO City sets aimed at younger children, the LEGO Group has almost always focused on finished buildings. Presumably, buildings under construction are less appealing than other models.

Of course, we’ve seen countless cooks and bakers, a hairstylist, mechanics, and other skilled trades professionals portrayed in their Modular Buildings Collection, but little in the way of construction workers. There’s never been an official LEGO store in the modular buildings line, either, let alone a healthcare centre like the ‘Modular Brickview General Hospital’ from Exoboy555.

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Unique features you won’t see in official LEGO sets   

The Modular LEGO Store, Modular Construction Site, and some of the modular entries in the BrickLink Designer Program – Series 1 comes with unique features you wouldn’t see in the LEGO Group’s own modular building sets. The Modular LEGO Store features an opening stocking room with boxes upon boxes of LEGO sets located at the rear of the building. It also stands as a singular building, unlike the LEGO Group’s own current models such as 10278 Police Station and 10312 Jazz Club.

The Modular Construction Site sits on two baseplates (much like the revered 10255 Assembly Square), and its ‘coming soon’ building and working crane are far larger than the LEGO Group’s own modular buildings. From fans, the ‘Modular New-York Apartment Building’ by made.of.brix features three levels of detailed housing for minifigures, something sorely missing from the LEGO Group’s official line-up.

They’re collectors’ items created by fans who love the brick

Like the LEGO Group’s own modular buildings line, these are fantastic additions to cities large and small. However, they’re also rare collector’s items with limited availability. Artificial scarcity is not a good trend for LEGO fans, keeping in mind the allotment issue with the first round of the BrickLink Designer Program, with 910001 Castle in the Forest selling out within 30 minutes. However, for long-time collectors, there’s an undeniable allure to having something exceptional sitting in their LEGO cities and on their shelves.

Another part of the excitement is that these are fantastic models conceptualised and designed by fans. The Modular LEGO Store and Modular Construction Site are intermediate builds designed by devout LEGO fans, containing details and building techniques they know will appeal to other hobbyists – and it shows! Check out the ‘Modular School’ by ThePro, featuring Harry Potter wands for stonework and an exciting front gate. It’s a place you may never want to leave from a line-up of sets you won’t want to miss.

The BrickLink Designer Program – Series 2 is heating up. While still in the submission stage at this time, fans will be able to vote for their favourite fan designs soon. You can view the winners of Series 1 and read the timeline for Series 2 here.

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