“LEGO Group Releases Model Colosseum”

Figure 1 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276) is for builders eighteen-and-over.

For years, The LEGO® Group teased fans with a Roman Empire theme (product line) that did not exist with the release of five Collectible Minifigures™ seemingly inspired by films set in ancient Rome.  Now, on November 27, A.D. 2020, The LEGO Group has released the LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276).  The largest kit The LEGO Group has ever released in terms of both the size of the model and the number of pieces, the structure measures over ten-and-half inches high, twenty-and-a-half inches wide, and twenty-three-and-a-half inches deep, and it is comprised of 9,036 pieces.  This is clearly marketed toward A.F.O.L.s (adult fans of LEGO®) rather than children because on the box it states the set is for builders eighteen-and-over.  Understandably, the Colosseum is microscale because for the model to be at an appropriate scale for Minifigures™ it would cost thousands of dollars and be larger than a dining room table could accommodate.  Nevertheless, it would be appropriate for an adult or teen who builds the model Colosseum and already had some or all of the aforementioned Roman Collectible Minifigures® or later acquires them to display them on the same table as the model Colosseum. These Minifigures™ were the Gladiator that was part of Collectible Minifigures Series 5 (Set #8808), released in August of 2011; the Roman Soldier that was part of Collectible Minifigure™ Series 6 (Set # 8827), released in January of 2012; the Roman Emperor that was part of Collectible Minifigure™ Series 9 (Set #71000), released in January of 2013; the Roman Commander that was part of Collectible Minifigure™ Series 10 (Set #71001), released in May of 2013; and the Roman Gladiator that was part of Collectible Minifigure™ Series 17 (Set #71018), released in 2017.  The list price of the LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276) is $549.99 in the U.S.A. or £549.99 in the U.K. It has 1,495 more pieces than the Millennium Falcon (Set #75192) released in 2017, yet it is $250 cheaper, presumably at least in part because there is no licensing fee for The LEGO® Group to pay.

Emperor Vespasian (lived 9-79 A.D., reigned 69-79 A.D.), the founder of the Flavian Dynasty, began construction of the Colosseum in 70 A.D. in honor of his son, Titus.  It was Emperor Titus (lived 39-81 A.D., reigned 79-81 A.D.) who completed the Colosseum in 80 A.D.  The largest amphitheater to ever be built, it was a gift to the Roman people.  They gathered there to watch gladiatorial games, wild animal shows, and battle re-enactments.  When he dedicated the Colosseum, Titus killed 5,000 animals and the games lasted for 100 days.

The building could accommodate between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, and yet they could quickly depart thanks to eighty entrance/exit arches, corridors, and staircases.  It is sometimes called the Flavian Amphitheatre.  Today, it is the center of the Colosseum Archeological Park.

On Black Friday 2020,[1] which is to say Friday, November 27, A.D. 2020, The Lego Group gave away the Roman Chariot (Set #6346109) with the LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276).  The Roman Chariot is a horse-drawn chariot with a Minifigure™.  The two horses that pull the chariot are brick-built.  They are white aside from black bricks to represent eyes and manes and red bricks to represent harnesses.  The driver wears an open-grill type helmet that The LEGO® Group used for many LEGO® Castle sets in the 1980s and early ‘90s.  Some customers who received the Roman Chariot (Set #6346109) for free are now selling them for $89 on eBay.

Figure 2 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276) is the largest kit ever released by The LEGO® Group.

Figure 3 Credit: the LEGO® Group Caption: Understandably, the Colosseum model is microscale.  It would be cost prohibitive to have a Colosseum model that was at a scale appropriate for LEGO® Minifigures™.

Figure 4 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276) has a list price of $549.99 in the U.S.A. or £549.99 in the U.K.

Figure 5 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The Colosseum model makes for the largest LEGO® build yet.

Figure 6 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The Colosseum model measures over 10.5” (27 centimeters) high, 20.5” (52 centimeters) wide, and 23.5” (59 centimeters) deep.

Figure 7 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276) is comprised of 9,036 pieces. 

Figure 8 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The real Colosseum covers about five acres, is 612 feet long, and 515 feet wide.  On the outside, it is 160 feet high.

Figure 9 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Obviously, if you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or godchildren below eight years of age, you should not display LEGO® models the way this one is in this photo where anyone can touch it at will or they will disassemble parts of it in the course of play, which they cannot resist doing.  

Figure 10 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The real Colosseum has three rows of columns with pilasters on the façade.  On the LEGO® model of the Colosseum, the pilasters are a shade of tan, so they stand out in comparison to the off-white columns and arches.

Figure 11 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The gladiatorial games and other shows at the Colosseum were privately sponsored by wealthy individuals.  The shows were collectively called munera. The singular form of the word is munus.

Figure 12 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a lifestyle photo that depicts the construction of the LEGO® Colosseum model under construction on a desk. The desk is well set up This might make for a good setup for the construction of a complex LEGO® model because of the desk lamp.

Figure 13 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The word Colosseum is derived from the colossal statue of Emperor Nero that stood nearby.  Nero erected the bronze statue in honor of himself in the vestibule of his Domus Aurea palace complex, which he built in the heart of Rome after the Great Fire of Rome in 64 A.D. Emperor Hadrian (lived 76-138 A.D., reigned 117-138 A.D.) moved the statue, which had been remodeled into an idol depicting the Roman god Sol, outside the amphitheater in or about 128 A.D.

Figure 14 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a “mashup” photo that places the LEGO® Colosseum model in place of the real Colosseum.

Figure 15 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is another “mashup” photo, but it shows the LEGO® Colosseum model and the real Colosseum.

Figure 16 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The real Colosseum is both the largest Roman amphitheater and its ruins are the best preserved.

Figure 17 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The “SPQR” on the box stands for Senatus Populuesque Romanus (“Senate and People of Rome”).

Figure 18 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The LEGO® Group’s Creator Expert is a subtheme of the LEGO® Creator theme and is aimed at adults.

Figure 19 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The Creator theme also includes the Modular Buildings collection, which is comprised of detailed buildings.  Those sets are also aimed at teenagers and adults sixteen-and-over.  The buildings in that collection are compatible with the LEGO® City theme.  However, Modular Buildings are more complex than LEGO® City buildings, which are aimed are meant for children and younger teens, and the sets in the Modular Buildings collection are correspondingly more expensive than the vast majority of LEGO® City sets.

Figure 20 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Owners of the LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276) and other people who would like to own it but cannot afford to get or do not have affluent relatives who can give it to them (or in the case of YouTube vloggers, ad revenue and supporters on Patreon) may also like the LEGO® Architecture theme, which The LEGO® Group developed with the help of the professional architect and LEGO® Certified Professional Adam Reed Tucker.

Figure 21 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: When plays were staged in the real Colosseum, the audience sat in a semi-circle around the stage.

Figure 22 Credit: J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Caption: Compare the LEGO® Creator Expert Colosseum (Set #10276) with this model of the Roman Colosseum LEGO® Certified Professional Adam Reed Tucker made for the temporary exhibit Brick by Brick, which the Museum of Science and Industry displayed from 2016 to 2018.  Tucker’s model of the Roman Colosseum is or was over 6’ feet long, took 120 hours to design, took 75 hours to build, and is or was comprised of 22,500 bricks. 

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ENDNOTES


[1] “Black Friday” is what Americans call the second day of Thanksgiving.  Americans treat it as the first day of the Christmas gift-shopping season and retailers have traditionally opened hours earlier than normal and offered special sales and giveaways to make customers more excited. 

[2] To the casual eye of a modern person watching Roman legionary reenactors or actors in films or on the H.B.O./B.B.C. series Rome (2005-2007), it would appear Roman legionaries wore sandals.  In reality, they wore caligae, leather openwork boots that had thick, hobnailed soles.

[3] Note this is not supposed to be a pilum or about the top third would be gray instead of just the spearhead.

[4] According to the Greco-Roman historian Appian of Alexandria, in 47 B.C., Julius Caesar opened a letter to the Roman Senate with this phrase, which means “I came, I saw, I conquered” after he defeated King Pharnaces II of Pontus.

[5] The wolf’s head on his cuirass is almost certainly a reference to the she-wolf that according to Roman mythology raised the first kings of Rome, twin brothers Romulus and Remus

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