If you thought the Death Star was the biggest LEGO set in existence, then you’re still living in the 2010s, my friend. As of November 2020, the award for the biggest, baddest set in the Denmark-based toy company’s arsenal goes to the new 9,036-piece Roman Colosseum.
Just ask LEGO designer Rok Kobe, who talks about the set’s many details in a recent video on the LEGO YouTube channel:
According to Kobe, he never intended for the Roman Colosseum to be the largest LEGO set currently in existence; this was actually just a byproduct of him adding more detail to the build.
Since the actual Roman Colosseum is a marvel of architecture, he wanted to capture the various styles which were represented at the time of its completion. For example, Doric columns line the bottom of the colosseum, Ionic is in the middle, and finally, Corinthian columns crown the top row of the mammoth structure. Kobe designed the LEGO set in three distinct layers. He did this so that each could reflect the character and architectural style that was en vogue at each phase of construction. The resulting details though simplified, bear a striking resemblance to the real thing.
Despite his desire to accurately portray the Colosseum, there are practically no new LEGO pieces made for this set. He efficiently and artfully selected from existing LEGO pieces. For instance, the columns are made using upturned Minifigure candle pieces. A closer look at the second level columns reveals that Minifigure roller skates were used to mimic the Ionic style volutes. Pretty ingenious!
With a set this large, the hardest part is getting it to stand up. To do this, Kobe made the base very sturdy but kept the segments of the Colosseum connected at only a few points. This prevents the set from wobbling when picked up but more importantly, it allows you to detach and make adjustments to the different sections.
The entire video is definitely worth a watch, as it delves into Rok Kobe’s design process when building this gigantic LEGO set.
If you want to take a look at the specs for the LEGO Roman Colosseum, you can find them over on the official LEGO webpage. The set will be made available this coming November 27, 2020 for $549.99, which is pretty expensive but still cheaper than a trip to Rome.