Review of 31012 Creator Family House

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Recently I picked up the Lego Creator Family House 31012, which has hitherto been neglected by the experienced reviewing eurobrickers. So you all will need to suffer through my first attempt at making one of the set reviews that make this site so remarkable.

Name: Family House

Theme: Creator

Year: 2013

Pieces: 756

Price: $70 US, 60 Euros, 60 BP

Brickset Link

Bricklink link

Note that this is this set released in 2013, and is not the first set to bear the title "Family House." A quick review of the Brickset archives reveals the following sets that bear the name, or essentially the same name:

31012: Family House, Creator in 2013 (this set)

8403: Family Home, City in 2010, which is reviewed at this link

6754: Family Home, Creator in 2009, which is reviewed at this link

5639: Family House, Duplo in 2009

2602: Family Home, Duplo in 1997

So let's get started. Here's the box and its contents. A whopping 9 bags, unnumbered. The top flap has an inventory of the yummy pieces that lie within. The box really isn't that interesting, and this post is already really picture heavy, so I don't plan to talk much more about it. When you do pick it up, the weight is substantial. I suppose it should be for a set with an MSRP of $70, but it's more than I'm used to. If you want to see more of the box without going to the store, leave a comment to that effect and I'll write something up.


There are supposedly 756 pieces there. It's quite a heap of parts. There appeared to be parts from the first few pages of the build in multiple bags, so it seemed only appropriate to open them all at once. It's nice when you can open the bags sequentially with a build, but of course that would only work for 1 of the 3 builds, so I guess it's understandable.

The primary color is white, which is a terrific color to build with. Unless of course you are Batman and only build with black, and sometime very very dark gray.


What makes a set like this is really the parts. Oh so many nice parts! I've never gotten a very good sense of scale from seeing them heaped, so here they are in a 5 quart ice cream container. That looks to me like about 3 liters of Lego pieces.

There's even a brick separator in there. Those things are great for protecting Lego pieces from damage. I have to teach my 5 year old son, his friends, and anyone else who plays with anything Lego in my home how to use the separator, or else they will resort to using their teeth to get plates apart!


There are a LOT of windows and doors in this build. All the frames are the beige color called "brick yellow." The white ones are occasionally available on Pick a Brick walls, but the beige are not easy to come by in quantity. These are the parts that seduced me into buying 2 sets.


The roof is made entirely of these 25 degree slopes. I like seeing them all the same angle, but would have preferred they all be the same color. They are dark red in 2 and 4 wide, and reddish brown 3 wide. As best I can tell, this is the first time the 3X3 25 degree slope has been offered in reddish brown. If you are after the dark red slopes for a project, you should also look at the 31025 Mountain Hut. It has several 1X3 red and dark red slopes that would compliment these from the Family House nicely. The frames for the doors and windows even match.


There are several large plates, making for a pretty respectable amount of acreage. I'll take these full plate thickness bases over the thin base plates. Being thicker they don't flex when the model is lifted and they hold up much better.


Let's go ahead and get the Minifgure discussion out of the way so we can get on to the reason you buy Creator houses, the structures.


The figures are nice, even if they are made from common components. You get a man and a woman as the members of the family for your "Family House." While it's understood that not all families have children, it strikes me as odd for a set that has "Ages 8-12" written in some overstated type face on the front of the box to leave the target demographic out of the family. A child or 2 would seem to fit with the theme. Short legs were not enough to overcome their mature features, either.

Here you can see them with the ancillary builds. We'll discuss the car a bit more when we get to the garage.


The remote control car (or whatever it is) just looks out of place to me. I can understand including a car with a garage, a banana with a monkey, or a fire engine with a fire station, but what value does this silly little thing bring to house build? Odd as it sounds, this diminutive vehicle is featured on the box as the "actual size" piece, as if a 1X2X2/3 "motor" piece with cheese slope and 4 round tiles would give a consumer a proper sense of scale to the typical consumer.


Okay, enough petty ranting, on to the build!

The instructions come flat packed on a piece of cardboard in their own bag. This is a "3-in-1" set so they include instructions for using the same set of pieces to build the house 3 different ways. There are 2 books for the primary build and 1 book each for the other 2 builds.


Here's an example page. The house and base are hinged, so the instructions show the build being performed with a small gap between the main plates. This splits the 2 halves visually, making it easier to distinguish where the pieces go. That was a nice touch, Lego.


Here's the house part way through the main build, surrounded in-work pieces. Again, there are a lot of great pieces. Note that the set includes only 1 separator tool even though an extra one slipped in for the photo op.


Here's the finished main build. Those front windows are a pretty impressive design.


As mentioned earlier, the house hinges open. You can see the arched bedroom entry at the top of the stairs.


The second stories on each half easily lift off. This makes for a nice level of playability.


You probably want to see the sides. The chimney is nice. I'm at a loss as to what the blue plate is supposed to represent. A pond, maybe? A blue tarp covering the hole where a tree will be planted soon? Feel free to speculate,'cause there are plenty of reasonable answers.



There is a catch-like part on the garage side the interlocks the living room side. This allows the model to be lifted without coming apart at the hinge.


The same feature is found on the back of the house. You can unfold the house into a facade and these mating parts also keep it from twisting apart.


Here are the sides of the house, hinged flat to be the front. Perhaps this would be nice if you are trying to line a street with houses, or if you wanted to increased playability while assembled. The big windows would then be on the side of the house, perhaps making it an ideal house for a street corner maybe?



Here's the furniture. I really like the swivel chair, which fits the architectural style of the house very well.


So, about the light brick. How does it light up the interior space? The light brick is turned on by pushing on the switch at the end of the brick.


An amber LED lights up on the opposite end of the light brick. (Batteries included)


The light brick is built into a small assembly that mounts in the living room ceiling such that the LED points down at the light fixture.


Here is the light fixture prior to installation. It's a nice enough assembly by itself.


Here it is lit up.


The light brick is switched on by pressing down on the vent pipe protruding from the roof. It works really well. That's my 5 year old son's hand, so don't get thrown off by the scale.


It fills the living room with a nice warm glow that really suits the house well.

The balcony is nice. There is a grill, complete with turkey leg. This design holds the turkey leg captive. If playability is important to you, this balcony is about as nice as it gets.


My favorite parts (aside from the big window) is probably the garage door. The effect that the 1X1 clear bricks make just works for me. It's simple, elegant, and brick built.

The car that comes with the set of course fits in the garage.


Let's compare to another smallish car, like this one from the City theme 60017 Flatbed Truck. This car is designed to ride on the back of a flatbed that is the standard City vehicle width.


While the car from the Flatbed set goes in the garage okay, it's too long for the door to close. If you find the included vehicle not to your fancy you could certainly park a 4 wheeler in there.


Here's a close up of the robin perched in the tree. It seems most of these sets have a brick-built bird.


These are the pieces I would qualify as "left over." It's not uncommon to have a fastener or 3 left over when performing a large car repair, so not all of these pieces will necessarily be in your pile after you build it.


The only other Creator series house I have to compare is 7346 Seaside House. Here it is for scale, although not with the primary build. The primary Seaside House build would bring them a little bit closer, but the Family House would still be much larger. The Family House would probably hold up to play a little bit better, and seems to be a better value than the Seaside house. You can detect that with just the heft of the box. I've not done the analysis, but it seems that the difference in weight is greater than the difference in price.


So, after daddy assembled the primary build, what do you think the 5 year old wanted to play with? The grownup Minifgures? The boxy yellow car? The house?


He spent a good long while playing with the tiny, non-functional remote control car! The one with wheels that don't actually spin.

I guess that the Lego people know what they are doing after all.

This set is a "3-in-1" so now we're going to discuss the other 2 builds. They are a lot smaller, so my son is did much of the assembly. It's right at his limit for skill and way too much for his patience to do in one sitting.

Build 2

So here's the second build we did, surrounded by leftover parts. Sorry about the lighting; I was having trouble with my flashes.


Hinged open you can see an odd looking interior feature. What this piece of furniture is supposed to be is anybody's guess.


You can see most of the interior here lit up bu the light brick.


Speaking of the light brick, you can see it from the outside here. The switch is not camouflaged in this model.

Also not how small the balcony is. The stairway doesn't quite work accessing it, either.


This is the side with a garage door. The inside of the house is either house or garage, not both. I kind of imagine it being a bachelor pad of some kind, since very few women I know would share their living space with a car. A "family house" this model is not.


If you do want to live in your house without sleeping in your car, you can park it on those grey tracks. I guess this vehicle is some kind of truck or SUV with a side-opening back gate?


Whatever it is supposed to be, the vehicle in this second build just doesn't do it for me.


The side with the hinges, and not much else. It does show the security camera.


This is the other side. The wall has a window A/C unit with controls that your neighbors can change?


The tracks on this side of the house are too short for the vehicle in this build.


This second build doesn't fit the Minifigure scale in most respects. If you assume all the small windows are a second story above a large garage, maybe it could work if you completely ignore the awkward interior. Maybe.

A business owner with a flat above the shop perhaps?

This model did not stay together long and I was happy to be taking it apart.

Update: as you will see i the comments below, this build was apparently supposed to be a factory. Thank you Moderator Rick.

Build 3

Here is the 3rd build, surrounded by the leftover pieces, and the leftovers in a large PaB cup.



Closeups of the side. That outdoor fireplace lights up with the light brick.


You have to open the model to activate the light brick, which in not camouflaged.


View of the other side and back. This model doesn't have the latch on the back, but at least there are some windows. That odd bley brick holds up the stairs.

Note also how some of the top row of bricks stick out past the wall and terminate with cheese slopes. I'm not sure why the designers would do that.


The model hinges open, and the roof comes off. There is a catch mechanism to hold it together as a closed unit, just not a a facade.


The interior elements consist of this bed and light fixture that look a lot like those from the primary build.



Installed. The light brick is tied up in the outdoor fireplace, and does not light up the interior this time.


There are no cars, but instead you build a lawn mower. The handle is terribly awkward for a minifgure to hold, but it's a reasonable use of parts for a set a like this.


And the lawn chair with brick-built tree.


This model works. The scale is a bit on the small side, but it works. I guess this is supposed to be a Mediterranean Villa. Perhaps someone more familiar with architecture of that part of the world would want to weigh in, please do.

My son wants to leave this one together for a while.

Super Subjective Summary:

Playability: 9/10. This is wonderful doll house to help play with your dolls Minifigures. If the Minifigures were better suited for age range and theme, I might have given it a 10. If you have a bucket of others to use, you won't do much better for playing in the Lego system. Unless of course you're into spaceships.

Design: 10/10. This is the most believable Lego house I've seen that wasn't a Modular. It's lovely.

Build: 5/10. I didn't discuss it much because it's pretty straight forward stuff. The box says it's for ages 8-12. If you are a multiple of 12 years of age (like I am), there isn't a lot to get excited about.

Price: 9/10. There are a lot of nice pieces, but it's also a lot of money.

Overall: 9/10. If you dig houses, you gotta get this one.

Edited by wlderdude

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Good review. The furniture is nicely done. I hadn't come across those Lamp Shade elements in the light fixture before, though it seems they are pretty rare - Brickset says this they are available in clear in only five sets.

Edited by GregoryBrick

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I've come thisclose to buying this house on several occasions now. Something keeps me from pulling the trigger though.

Fanastic review though! I'll probably give in one of these days. It really is a nice house. :D

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I've moved this to the Town forum. We decided to move discussion and reviews of the CREATOR Houses line. Since the inclusion of minifigures in these sets, they seem to be replacing residential City buildings more and more.

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nice review, recently got the set as well and wasn't disappointed (although should have maybe saved money for another modular ^^). I think the blue plate represents a pond, an extension of the one from 31010 Treehouse as many people have said the sets go together (meaning the kid of the family is the one in the tree house)

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Nice review.

I saw several of these in a line at the recent exhibition at Sandown Park (UK). Looked every inch the 'modern estate', so much so that I tried to buy a set the next day, but my local store didn't have them in stock. Ah well, there's always next month!

Looking forward to reading your assessment of the alternative builds.

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I like the design of this set, but my biggest complaint is the layout of the house. There's the one tiny bedroom and the double height living room area, with the remainder being garage. No kitchen, no bathroom, nothing. I'm looking at my own set trying to work out how to modify it without losing the original design language.

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I've got one built up and another one that's been in the unopened box for a year or so. My aim is to build the second one as a mirrored image and then attach the two, making a garage long enough to fit that example car of yours in and a double-size living room with a kitchenette in the corner.

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I've got one built up and another one that's been in the unopened box for a year or so. My aim is to build the second one as a mirrored image and then attach the two, making a garage long enough to fit that example car of yours in and a double-size living room with a kitchenette in the corner.

Be sure to share how that works out.

I intend to build it a bit stronger without the hinge joint and probably extend the garage a bit.

Oh, and thank you Rick for moving the thread.

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Great review, thanks for posting.

I love this set, one of my favourite Creator houses of all time. I didn't bother building the car, which for me is the weakest part of the set, but the remainder of the set and the inclusion of the light brick feature are fantastic. As cei says, the layout of the house is a bit lacking, but easily resolved with a few extra bricks!

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I like this set, nice review. I built all the 3 versions, and then rebuilt the main house version, its still in my City layout. I think there are no children minifigs because there is only one bedroom, and it is SMALL...haha.

I think the best feature is the light brick and the way it makes the chandelier look like the light is coming from it.

The car, is a bit pitiful to me. My 11 yo niece always comments on how bad the car looks...LOL oh well... I keep it in the garage, and the door closed ;-)

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Good review! As for the house - I had seen it on the shelves of my local big box store, but had always passed it by. You've shown the details and now I'm tempted.

Thanks for doing the review.

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I just added the second build to the review.

I think the second build is supposed to be a furniture factory.

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I think the second build is supposed to be a furniture factory.

That would explain a lot. Is that something you heard or read somewhere?

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That would explain a lot. Is that something you heard or read somewhere?

No, I didn't read it anywhere. It was a combination of the roof, the small delivery van and the stored furniture inside that got me thinking. However, I just check the S@H info for this set and they confirm it's supposed to be a factory.

Build a 3-in-1 Family House and live in sleek LEGO® style!

Settle into sleek and modern LEGO® style in the 3-in-1 Family House! Fire up the grill for a backyard barbeque by the pond and play with the toy car. Open the garage door to take the car out for a spin! When the sun goes down, head indoors to switch on the functioning light and curl up by the fireplace in the cozy living room. Rebuild into an industrial factory with delivery van and a surveillance camera or a slick Mediterranean villa with swimming pool and double patio doors using the supplied alternate building instructions. Includes a male and a female minifigure.

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This house was a great build and this is one of the few sets that is still built and has not been recycled back into my collection of parts. I will have to admit that the only reason that I pulled the trigger and bought this set was I got it at $50.00 US which I thought was much more reasonable for collection of parts.

Now that I see the abundance of tan window frames that I need more than I would like to admit, it might be time to recycle this set into my parts collection.

Very good review.

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Thanks for the helpful review!

love this set so much that I bought one to build and then two more last year when Barnes and Noble had a buy one, get half off on the second set, which was a good deal with the 10 per cent discount members get. So the other two are not built and probably will be used for parts. The part assortment of this set is wonderful with so many windows, roof tiles, etc.

My built model is lovely. The only problem is that it lacks certain rooms as noted above, most likely due to trying to keep it relatively small and affordable. It should be easy to extend the house by half and add a bedroom and bath without buying another set. Combining two sets definitely will create a nice mansion. It is great that LEGO sells a Creator set with such a wonderful exterior design. I like most of the other Creator houses as well.

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Great review, I like how you have only given us the good parts version of a review, and also mentioned how your child did with the set.

While I like the model of the house, I would consider buying this just as a parts pack.

That being said, I haven't bought it yet...almost, a few times, but I've never been able to convince myself. That $70 price tag always makes me wonder if I wouldn't be better off just making a smaller Bricklink order instead.

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