Last year, LEGO released their longest-ever set, the HMS Titanic. So this year, they have decided to go breaking records on the vertical plane, announcing an Eiffel Tower set that is comically tall.
While the Titanic was made up of 9,090 pieces and was 135cm (54") long, the Eiffel Tower is even bigger, standing 149cm (58.5") tall, and being made of 10,001 pieces. That’s enough to make it the largest LEGO set ever made, though technically—by LEGO’s own standards at least—not the biggest—they count a set’s size by the number of bricks used, not its physical dimensions.
By those metrics, the “biggest” set in the world remains the LEGO Art World Map, which is made up of 11,695 pieces. But that’s a bullshit technicality, since they’re all tiny dots, so let’s ignore that one and just focus on the immense size of this big French tower instead.
Actually, you know what, let’s focus on two things. One being the tower, the other being the guy starring in all of LEGO’s promo shots, who I’m going to call Francois. I’m assuming he’s French since he’s a) the world’s biggest Eiffel fan, judging by all those posters, and b) wearing a cravat.
Look how into it he is! He’s absolutely loving it. “Finally,” he says aloud to himself, “I know what it feels like to be Gustave Eiffel, seeing my grand vision come to life.”
The construction of the (LEGO) tower is actually the culmination of a decades-long dream of Francois’. A huge Eiffel Tower nerd since he was a small child, Francois dreamed of being able to recreate his favourite structure out of LEGO, and every year would ask his parents for a LEGO Eiffel Tower. This being the 1990s, however, Francois’ parents had no internet and thus no idea if this was a real thing or not, and so every year they would go through the same tragic routine on Christmas morning.
“Is it here, papa? Did you get me zee Tower?”
“No, my son. Not this year. I am sorry.”
Ah, but this year, finally, fulfilment. And it’s everything he could have dreamed of! The “arches, supports, cross bracing and railings” are all faithful to the original, a detail extended right down to the way you build the Tower, which is done in sections and mimics the construction of the real thing back in 1887. There’s even a recreation of the parkland underneath, and a wee French flag to sit up top.
Look how happy he is to put the finishing touches on it. It’s the culmination of a lifetime’s ambition. For Francois, this is it. The books, the documentaries, an apartment covered in Eiffel Tower prints (even one on an easel), a string of broken relationships (“It’s always about the fucking tower with you, Francois!”); it was all leading to this moment. Now that it’s done, he can hop on his vintage bicycle, return to his studio, and get back to work designing bathrooms for Parisians who want their sinks to look “Baroque.” He’ll be happy, but deep down, he also knows that the rest of his life is all downhill from here.
The Eiffel Tower will be released on November 25, and will cost $630.