21347 Red London Telephone Box Review

Review by Luke Comins (SAFOLs Members)

Ring, Ring! It’s London Calling

I’m really chuffed to have this set in my collection ‘cos, as well as being British in origin, I have always been fond of a good ol’ British post box, Wall’s Ice Cream, the red London Double Decker Bus (tick) and black taxicab, the phone box… that particular blue police phone box… or is it a kiosk, booth… I digress.

The LEGO® Group seem rather fond of London too as over past years there have been over 15 sets directly inspired by the UK’s capital city. This latest London-themed build comes from LEGO Ideas and Leicester UK fan builder John Cramp. This bloke has submitted numerous builds to the LEGO Ideas platform and after his fourth submission to reach the 10,000 votes threshold on LEGO Ideas, finally one of his designs was chosen to become the 55th LEGO Ideas release.

The famous K2 telephone booth was designed in 1924, exactly 100 years ago, so the release of this set commemorates this as well. Its red colour and characteristic shape are immediately identifiable and the proportions of this LEGO® version look good overall.

The set was released 1 February 2024. There are 1460 pieces in 11 bags and includes the usual instructions manual with a sheet of stickers. More about that later.
When complete the set measures 31cm tall, and 19.5cm wide so it makes for a decent-sized display model.

The build begins with the black and white tiled base for the phone booth (which freaked my half OCD out a bit trying to get 64 1×1 tiles to line up straight with each other!). This is a reasonable recreation of the original pattern considering the scale.

Then the phone booth itself which uses a lot of similar techniques as you build the two sides of the phone booth along with the door, are all lined with transparent windowpanes.
These were a bit repetitive but not a big deal as this is a rather small build, unlike the Marvel Avengers Tower! These windowpanes have been changed from the fan design and are much narrower. I personally preferred the wider panes of the original design by John Cramp as these closer match the appearance of the actual phone booth.

The door is connected to the frame using several Technic pins and includes a functional door handle, so it can be opened easily – and I love that crunchy sound when it does.

The back of the phone booth is rather plain although this side is obviously not intended for display.

Once the phone booth is complete, you have the option to create two different interiors. One is based on the traditional rotary phone installed in the 1924 K2 booth, and the other is the modern-day phone system introduced in the 1990’s. Parts are supplied to build two telephones however both options use some of the same pieces so you can’t swap them out without a little rebuilding. A total of sixteen stickers are included and all but the road signs are applied inside. There are plenty of fun Easter Eggs and references. The adverts in the booth are a lot more family-friendly than the flyers you found in most of these actual booths!

Two shelves remain on both interiors so there is still space for a printed coin and the Yellow Pages phone directory beside the telephone which is a cool addition – as was the ticket, ‘paper, brolly and gum inside the 10258 London Bus.

A light brick is very cleverly placed inside the roof to illuminate the phone booth. The whole assembly is attached upside down, taking full advantage of the roof’s depth for maximum detail. The warm glow looks terrific and demonstrates how few gaps there are in the model and the light only passes through the windows and a couple of tiny slits around the door hinge. The ‘telephone’ signs are not illuminated, sadly, as that would have been brilliant.

The button to activate the light brick blends perfectly into the roof and the entire telephone box is equally smooth.

The base has undergone the most change from John Cramp’s design. It may have sadly lost the red postbox (maybe LEGO® are keeping that idea for a future standalone set) from the original design, but it has been expanded. The larger base is designed to imitate a cobbled London Street and the texture really enhances the overall design and dark tan accents are particularly effective. The base is decorated with a simple but effective old-style streetlamp, iron railings on a low brick wall, and a bright blue planter with flowers inside that provides a dash of vibrancy, with layered leaves, so these plants appear natural.

Matching bright blue planters hang from the lamp post but a lighter shade of blue for these may have been better IMHO. Otherwise, the lamp post closely resembles those seen along the streets of London, albeit a bit simple. It’s kind of funny that the inside of the phone box lights up while the streetlight doesn’t.

Matching bright blue planters hang from the lamp post but a lighter shade of blue for these may have been better IMHO. Otherwise, the lamp post closely resembles those seen along the streets of London, albeit a bit simple. It’s kind of funny that the inside of the phone box lights up while the streetlight doesn’t.

Two black bollards are positioned between the lamp post and the railing, which is an odd location for them. These are intended to serve as a makeshift mobile phone stand and feels like an afterthought to me, especially because the phone is harder to reach than it probably should be, tucked behind the lamp post and planter.
I like the small, arched drain, which adds an extra feature of interest along the wall. I think the intention here is so one can thread a charging cable through and connect to a mobile phone, but this would again be needlessly awkward and perhaps damage the bent charger cable. Also, as a mobile phone stand, one of the model’s most appealing features is then hidden, the stickered street sign which is inspired by the enamel street signs synonymous with central London.

The ornate railing is really smart, topped with golden ‘finials’ and accurately depicts Georgian or Edwardian railings, which are a common sight across the UK. 

The LEGO 21347 Red London Telephone Box is a splendid nod to the bygone era of public phone boxes/kiosks/booths, whichever they are. It’s the perfect set for those who enjoy a bit of British flair and don’t mind spending a bit of quid for quality. Just be prepared for a bit of a repetitive build – it’s a telephone box, not a TARDIS, so don’t expect any time-traveling surprises.
 I am very pleased with the telephone box’s execution, and it looks lovely from all angles.

Thanks for making a good call on this one LEGO®.