I’ve always loved Lego and then a few years ago I found out about Nanoblocks and wanted to give them a go. I really like miniature things so combining this with the Lego idea just really appealed to me. I did find that a lot of the ones that I liked are quite expensive to get in the UK so I have spent some time searching on eBay and losing a lot of auctions before I got the Pisa set. I may also have a few that are probably unofficial ones of Pokemon and other game characters that I want to get, probably there will be a big haul of just them at some point.
This Nanoblocks set is number NBH_030, I think anyway, and is the Torre di Pisa which I think is part of a world monuments style series as there are a few others in the same series that are of famous tourist destinations. I don’t know the number of pieces but it’s within the 200-550 pieces range which are meant to take 20-60 minutes.
There were two main things that drew me to the set, the first being the fact that I had actually visited the Tower of Pisa years ago and the second was the way the tower actually leans, I really wanted to see how they did that. I like the way they created people around the base, obviously not very detailed but enough for you get the impression of a crowd and some idea of the scale as well.
I really like the way the set looks when it’s finished but I would say it gets a bit repetitive when it comes to making the tower, the layers are very similar and there are two or different types of level that you have to build up. It is designed for ages 12 and up and I would definitely agree with this, if nothing else then the size of the pieces makes it a bit fiddly and can become frustrating when it comes to the smaller round pieces that seem to roll off and the clear pieces that go at the top disappear easily.
The size of these is even smaller than I realised, each of the dimensions is half that of a Lego piece so they end up looking 1/4 of the scale as you can see with the 1×1 Lego piece next to the 2×4 Nanoblock piece. Unfortunately they don’t mix with the Lego, unlike with Lego and Duplo where the two sizes fit together the Lego pieces have too thick a border underneath for the Nanoblock to fit within it even with the same size pieces.
The instructions do take a bit of getting used to, at least for me, as it shows the layers building up and the layer beneath is greyed out so with this colour scheme it didn’t stand out that much. Also the number of repetitive layers meant that when I left it to sort something out and returned I wasn’t really sure what point I was at as you don’t see the entire design like you do with Lego to count how many layers up you are.
As far as the 20-60 minutes building time I think that this one took me at the longer end of this scale, I did end up having a break in the middle as it got a bit much concentration but it is probably one of the larger sets within the ‘Site to See’ collection. Although some of the others appear more detailed.
In the end I do really like this model, mainly as a model itself as the design for this was a bit repetitive for me. I have done a Christmas themed one which was a lot easier and more fun to actually build because it built up with very different layers and more colours. I love the way it turned out with the lean but this is definitely one for someone who wants it as a model at the end, or who like to build detailed models and will enjoy the process more. I am definitely going to be buying more of these if they are within a reasonable price range.
I think if you like Lego it’s possibly a more grown up version of that with all the detail and the more fiddly pieces but you do need more patience for it. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for children unless you know they really like these kinds of things and don’t need the playability that things like Lego have at the end of the building process. It would make a nice gift for someone who likes travel and building things or some of the smaller sets like the animal or musical instrument ones, which are cheaper, would be nice stocking filler type gifts within a budget for people who like whatever the theme is.