makoy

[REVIEW] 75810 - The Upside Down

HOW DO YOU RATE THIS SET?   

93 members have voted

  1. 1. On a scale 1 to 5...

    • 1 – Poor
      4
    • 2 – Below Average
      0
    • 3 – Average
      6
    • 4 – Above Average
      24
    • 5 – Outstanding
      59
  2. 2. Do you want more Stranger Things set to follow?

    • Yes
      63
    • No
      30


Recommended Posts

“Blink once for yes, twice for no. Can you do that for me, sweetie?”  - Joyce Byers

Let’s do this little warm up exercise before diving deep in this LEGO set review:

  • Do you like fantasy board games or role playing?
  • Do you like 80’s pop culture references peppered with homages to classic 80’s movie classics like ET, Jaws, Star Wars, Alien, The Goonies, and more?
  • Do you like Stephen King’s novels and their adaptations?
  • Do you like characters with depth and sensible intellect?
  • Would you watch a show that remixes all these ingredients and provides a believable world set in an era that stirs-up nostalgia?

If you blinked once all the way, then you must have watched at least 1 season of Stranger Things and contributed to its widespread popularity. It’s probably the reason why you are reading this LEGO set review as well.

It’s not so strange after all that a very famous show produced by Netflix is now available as a D2C LEGO set.

Do not worry if you have not watched any episodes of Stranger Things because I will not discuss any plot in the review. There are many easter-eggs in this LEGO set but it’s not enough to give away anything spoilery. I’ll mark episode-specific details in spoiler tags for the benefit of potential non-show watchers who may want to watch the show before or after buying this set.

There’s a lot to unpack here so buckle your seat belts as I present my 22nd  RA review, LEGO 78510 The Upside Down.

47797583732_a122657f0a_b.jpg


 

Overview

Name: 75810 - The Upside Down
Theme: Stranger Things
Year: 2019 (1H)
Pieces: 2287
Minifigures: 8
Price: USD 199.99 / EUR 199.99 / GBP 179.99 

 

Introduction

This review will not be possible without the support of TLG and Eurobricks for giving me the opportunity to review this remarkable set.

Right off the bat, my immediate reaction when I saw the front box panel is a mix between confusion and amazement. Is there some Photoshop trickery in the box art? How is that even possible? Is there a literal upside-down version of Byers' house underneath? It looks like standing on stilts. Is that even stable? It looks like a MOC. Is that bad or good?

After going through this review, you’ll know all the answers to these questions.

 

Front Box Panel

46907871355_913a6ae4a7_b.jpg

There are 2 LEGO logos on the box corners so that if you flip the box upside down, the show name “Stranger Things” can be read at the left corner. Even the the front box is literally showing the potential buyer a version of the upside-down. It is so meta.

47771951382_6fbfe7a9f2_b.jpg

The back box panel shows what you can do with the set. You can flip it around and re-create the famous scenes from the show. There are a total of 6 rooms in the house, including those from the upside-down which is plenty enough to play with the 8 minifigures included in the set.

32880365147_238db8acb6_b.jpg

The side panel shows all the 8 minifigures included in the set namely Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Michael “Mike” Wheeler, Eleven, Chief Jim Hopper, Joyce Byers, Demogorgon and William “Will” Byers.

If you want to view other pictures of the box can be viewed in my Flickr Stranger Things album or you can go directly here, here and here for the other side panels.

 

What’s inside the box?
40857786753_effbc5e59b_b.jpg

Once you open the box, you will be greeted by a lot of numbered plastic bags and a separate white box that contains some other plastic bags. I know that bigger LEGO sets are packed with smaller boxes inside to protect the outer box from bulging and to make unpacking of contents easier. I think this is similar to that; however, I have never came across a mix of smaller box and loose plastic bags like the one pictured above.

Below is what you get when you unpack everything including those inside the white carton.   

47771951492_a65a28fd00_b.jpg

Noticed something about the plastic bag numberings? It goes up to number 11 which is obviously a nod to one of the  Stranger Things protagonists, Eleven. I see what you did there TLG.

 

Instruction Booklet & Stickers

46907872065_be3d9cd66e_b.jpg

Sticker sheets are provided and there are 2 of them. Usually I don’t apply stickers but a lot of the stickers are important to decorate the Byers' house, so I felt the need to apply them.

 

A closer look at the stickers
47771951572_03fb101205_z.jpg47034506794_49ceed0991.jpg

Two booklets provided so you can build in tandem

32880365357_100e6356da_z.jpg

since two instruction booklets are provided, you can build the regular Byers' house and the Upside-Down Byers' house simultaneously with a friend. The 2 booklets split the instructions in half so it is super easy, barely an inconvenience, to build both the regular Byers' house and the Upside Down Byers' house in parallel.

=47771952042_0c105b5b3b_c.jpg

The booklet is also sprinkled with  trivia about the show and inspirations used in designing the model and the minifigures.

32880365547_97e25c5fd8_c.jpg

 

Build

Here is a quick preview on how each bag contributes to the build.
47771952132_63b77056c4_b.jpg

Bags 1 to 5 are used to build the regular Byers' house.
32880365757_bd86b1abb6_b.jpg

 

Bags 6 to 9 are used to build the upside-down version of Byers' house while the last 2 bags, 10 & 11, are used for the stands that doubles as trees.
40857787033_5401dba31a_b.jpg


 

Bag #1 contents

40857786433_7bf5eee9a6_b.jpg

 

This bag contains a black bike and other interesting parts used for the 6-studs wide Chevy Blazer SUV.

 

Bag #1 in-progress build

Remember the hole in the middle of the chassis. It is the key in demystifying one of the hidden features of the set.  

32905736077_34ec893f18_b.jpg

As pictured above, this SUV build is using studs-not-on-top technique to make the angular window panes and tail slopes.

It seems that a pumpkin is also detained inside the chief’s car for crimes that must never be spoken. This new pumpkin mould debuts in this set and it is expected to appear in other sets slated later this year.

Spoiler

The pumpkin in Hopper’s SUV is part of season 2 storyline when he investigated Merrill's farm after a massive rot infested the farm and destroyed the pumpkins. The infestation turned out to be related to the Hawkins lab incident once more. 

47771950942_094985a8fc_b.jpg

I decided to leave the stickers out for now. Remember to scroll down below to compare how it looks like after I applied the stickers.

 

Bag #2 Contents
32880364777_0d9f79938c_b.jpg

 

Bag #2 in-progress build
46907871625_3942cf5258_b.jpg

Bag #2 provides all the parts necessary for the foundation of the Byers' house. Even at this early build stage, there are areas that are already 3-plates high. This provides the rigidity needed to hold the house together.


 

Bag #3 contents

46907871785_0c6ae4bbcc_b.jpg

 

Bag #3 in-progress build

47771951652_7f3cc250e5_b.jpg

Bag #3 decorates the house with the familiar Christmas lights on the wall. This is the part that makes the sticker application necessary and I felt this should have been a printed panel part because it is such a critical piece of the Stranger Things storyline, pun not intended.

The “Shark” tile is also a sticker. This is the equivalent of the Jaws poster found in Will’s room.
47034510504_d69b8a2a2f_b.jpg

The exterior of the house is starting to look more interesting.

 

Bag #4 contents
47034510944_cc1a6ff598_b.jpg

 

Bag #4 in-progress build40857786643_42c48c8c45_b.jpg

The furniture outside the house recreates the details seen in the actual house used in the show, including a swing and a sofa. It is not very accurate on the number of chairs seen outside the entry. Right here, I can already tell that the scale seems to be a little small for the Byers' house.
46907872725_2da2d5a39f_b.jpg

The hole on the wall is part of the storyline. At first glance, The placement from the exterior seems right. However, due to the smaller scale of the house, once you look from the inside, the hole is not located where it should be. Even the position of the alphabets on the wall is wrong because it should be on the opposite side of the living room.

47771951912_218491f16c_b.jpg

I think this is part of the trade-off in making the house a doll-house, half-open structure. The designers are forced to move the alphabet wall at the wrong side of the living room to simplify the design which also forced them to shift the wall hole at a different room. By right, the wall hole is part of the living room, not Will’s room.

An axe seems to be oddly placed near the door but it is also significant in season 1 storyline.

Spoiler

The axe is the tool used by Joyce in episode S01E04 to hack the living room wall open when she heard Will calling from the other dimension. Joyce attempted to get Will from the other side using the axe to open the wall. However, this only destroyed the wall and left a big hole on the wall that could see through the front porch. 

The bear trap is a callback to 2 characters that is not included in the set, namely Nancy and Jonathan. It's not safe to set a bear trap inside the house specially if it's placed in front of the door. 

Spoiler

Nancy bought the bear trap in S01E06 while Jonathan set it up in episode S01E08 as part of their elaborate plan to lure the demogorgon out and kill it. It is not placed in the living room, but rather in a small hallway leading to the other rooms.


40857787583_14c7fda9d5_b.jpg

 

Despite the down-sized proportions and inaccuracies, if this isn’t a licensed theme, this will likely be part of Advanced Creator set due to its superb level of detailing and very enjoyable building experience thus far.

 

Bag #5 contents

32880363177_4378877d10_b.jpg

 

Bag #5 in-progress build
47034511404_8b51048ebe_b.jpg

The 2x3 light brick comes with batteries, just like any typical set with a light brick. Once the protective battery seal is removed, you can just push the end of the light brick and it will light the wall.

There is a special part added in front of the LED to modify the light and it looks like this:
46931489595_f6a9f232d6_m.jpg

It will give the light pattern to give an impression that the lights on the wall are lighting.

46907872755_e4d51fc624_b.jpg

It’s hard to imagine anyone recreating the E.T. inspired message R-I-G-H-T-H-E-R-E using the brick light this way but at least you can imagine it. Results may vary.

One of the tile with sticker is a callback to season 2 and perhaps it is intentional to put this item in one of the most obscured part of the house next to the purple wizard hat because once you place it there, you can hardly see it. 

Speaking of the purple wizard hat -- it  is an easter egg for Will The Wise cosplay in the upcoming season 3 of Stranger Things. How do I know it is for season 3? Quite simple. If you have watched both seasons of Stranger Things, Will didn’t wear any purple wizard hat in any aired episodes at the time of this writing. Even the sketch of his Dungeons and Dragon character “Will The Wise” is using a brown wizard hat. So far, based on a pre-order of another collectible product, Funko Pop #805, we know that this has to be a season 3 material. 

46907872805_ec55b18549_b.jpg

 

The dark bluish gray roof is now installed with 5 pillars supporting the hanging edge covering the front porch. At this stage you can stop and admire the “completed” Byers' house because this is already the end of the regular Byers' house. The next bags are meant for the Upside Down part of the build.

 

Bag #6 contents

46907870865_e1542c9365_b.jpg

Starting with bag #6, the colour palette shifts to black and different shades of gray and blue. This is the start of the upside down builds.What’s not taken in the picture are the remaining 8X16 plates which are not part of bag #6 but are needed to build the flooring.

A rogue teal colour managed to sneak inside this plastic bag and it is a filler element that you only use at the bottom fixtures. It seems that until now, TLG is trying their best to distribute as many teal elements they can possibly put in any set.

 

Bag #6 in-progress build

47034511814_3b025ff9b2_b.jpg

46907872895_11a65f7199_b.jpg

It’s kind of a deja vu but not really. It’s similar but different. The build not a lazy cut and paste. Because it’s a mirror copy of the regular Byers' house, the design is flipped from left to right. Therefore if you build this alone, you will not feel you are repeating the build entirely because the steps are different.

 

Bag #7 contents

40857787883_26e9329d1f_b.jpg

 

Bag #7 in-progress build

46907873105_5ac36de274_b.jpg

Bag #7 decorates the house with the ‘infested’ version of the house furniture and ornaments. While not visible in the show, the designers thought of adding the Christmas lights in the upside down version of the house. I have re-watched the show and I cannot see those Christmas lights on the wall or hanging from the ceilings. Given the creative freedom of the LEGO designers, I think it makes sense to add the Christmas lights in the upside down to mirror their existence in the normal dimension for the purpose of the LEGO set. I’m not going to split hair that this detail is inaccurate to the show.

 

32880367307_def68ed380_b.jpg


 

Bag #8 contents
46907873205_426a9b469b_b.jpg

I just love the sand blue tiles because anything with sand in the colour name makes the colour more interesting.

 

Bag #8 in-progress build
47034506644_4232f6cdf2_b.jpg

The addition of trans-black 1x1 round tiles add gooey and slimy texture to the build. I also like the use of the dark blue and dark brown leaves to represent the spreading flesh-like membranes that are widespread in the upside down. The horn parts are used as tendrils that hangs out randomly like fungi.
32880367457_3ed76b7b81_b.jpg

The Upside Down version of the house looks torn down and dilapidated. 

 

Bag #9 contents

47824166661_0a9ebcb0ab_b.jpg

 

Bag #9 in-progress build
46907873385_c2bd9ce0f9_b.jpg
 

More dark blue and dark brown leaves are added to suggest pervasive biological growth inside and outside the house.

32880367927_931fb8afc8_b.jpg

The trans-black antennae has never came out in that colour before so this is the first time we are getting an antenna part in trans-black. These add more gooeyness and creepiness to the upside down world.

The black whips spiral the pillars which suggest that anyone or anything can get entangled in the upside down. Usually we see these whips are used as hanging vines only so it’s fun to point out that I have never seen whips used like this before in any official LEGO set before. It’s made of flexible material so I don’t think it’s illegal to flex and entwine it around another element. I think it’s a very creative use of the element.

We are practically done with the build of Upside Down Byers' house. But of course, the set is not complete without the trees that hold the mirrored houses.

 

They are mirrored...

46907873655_a1fbcaf1f8_b.jpg



 

Bag #10 & 11 contents
47824167041_6972e564ee_b.jpg

The bag numbers could just stop at 10 but of course it has to be 11. 

Now here they are unpacked --

47824167261_47ee321ee9_b.jpg

 

Bag #10 & 11 in-progress build

The pictures below are not taken from the scene of Inception movie and it’s not visual effects either. These are real pictures of 2 houses being attached together-- one beneath the other.

32905765347_3728c595e4_b.jpg

 

The most important part in this building step is part #15460. Attaching the technic part with 3 ball joints or “Beam 1M With 3 Balls Ø5,9”, as TLG calls it, is a delicate process because you can knock off the pillars and walls if you are clumsy. As long as you hold the plates firmly together with your fingers and align the sockets properly, the flooring should withstand the pressure applied when you press down the balls into the sockets.

46933416625_2f976f448b_b.jpg

The trees are very strong because they are essentially technic bricks covered by brown system bricks in beautiful SNOT. The left and right trees are completely identical except the sticker applied on one of the trees. It’s a poster of a missing person called Barbara Holland.

If you have watched Stranger Things season 1 and 2, what eventually happened to Barb is revealed. However, we don’t know if there could ever truly be justice for Barb. #justiceforbarb
47824168161_80418f9260_b.jpg

Now, the full model is complete. You can now flip it from one dimension to another.

33972381088_673e26c1f7_b.jpg

It looks flimsy in some angles but the support has a spread of 7 x 10 studs on each tree top. In total, there are 18 studs touching the surface because there are three (3) 1x3 tile on each tree top. Essentially, the entire weight of the model is at the mercy of just six (6) 1x3 tiles as they are the very elements touching the surface for either dimensions. It may sound very little but due to the spread of 7 x 10 on both trees, the support is sufficient when I did several shake tests. I also did a toddler test to see if a very young builder can accidentally topple the model with a modest nudge and pull. Fortunately, in all days my kids touched and played with the set, it had never fallen down.

Due to the nature of the source material and the advanced building methods, this is one of the model with age suggestion that I kind of agree. This set is really meant for builders aged 16+. Of course, if you allow very young kids to play with this kind of set, always supervise them as they may swallow small parts or elements.

46907874625_887d7503bf_b.jpg

32903786477_ddc8187162_b.jpg

If there is an award for the most unnecessary sticker in the set, I think it has to go to the stickers placed at the sides of the house. The colour consistency is awful and I think the 2x3 tiles look fine even without them.

Now let’s step back and return to the police car because this time I applied the stickers already.
46907870685_a2b436318c_b.jpg

It’s almost required to apply the sticker on the white slope so that the slanted window pane can be realised at this small scale. I think this is a respectable amount of sticker needed to capture notable features of the SUV. Perhaps if there less stickers in the Speed Champions theme like this 1980 Chevrolet K5 Blazer, I will be more interested in that theme as well.

 

Here’s a look of the 1980 Chevrolet K5 Blazer in different angles
46933416845_54d28e12ce_b.jpg

 

Mornings are for coffee and contemplation.
47034516514_29e9c9e019_b.jpg


 

 

Completed Build
47824169821_f33245da4e_b.jpg

Remember the hole at the bottom of Hopper’s car? The protruding pin at the lawn is meant to hold the car in place so that it can be displayed in front of Byers' house as well.

If you are concerned about the stability, don’t worry. Even if you add the minifigures and the car, they are light enough that they don’t really affect the set’s centre of gravity too much. You can display the set this way if you wish.  

46907875945_945a8091c6_b.jpg

What’s more interesting is that the pin can also hold the police car quite well even if you flip it upside down. Again the picture above is not Photoshopped. It’s not rotated 180 degrees. It’s really upside down.

Below are more pictures of the entire build for your viewing pleasure...

 

Hello? Will?
47034506474_d09ee9c5e1_b.jpg

 

Will? Where are you?
32880363827_90f0f91003_b.jpg

 

 

Mom! I'm right here!
47034516684_4e594d6d26_b.jpg

 

 


 

Parts

When I did the earlier draft of this review, I underestimated the number of new colours and new moulds introduced in this set. For the sanity of normal people reading this review, I won’t go deep in each element but I will highlight some of the things that piqued my interest.

 

Something new...
32903786287_c015dccd0f_b.jpg
You can ignore the tiles with stickers (Mind Flayer, Have You Seen Me, Rules and Shark) as the only printed tile in the picture above is the sketch of Will the Wise, the wizard character of Will in Dungeons & Dragons. How I wish those tiles with stickers are actually printed. The 2 tan elements with stickers are new colours of existing elements and it’s sad that I have to apply stickers on them. I prepared the list of items here that I believe are new parts/recolour because I could not find them existing in other sets.

 

New part/recolour list:

2417 - Plant Leaves 6 x 5, dark blue (earth blue)
2423 - Plant Leaves 4 x 3, dark brown
2436b - Bracket 1 x 3 - 1 x 4 with round corners, medium nougat (medium dark flesh)
4719 - Bicycle Frame (bigger chainstay gap), black
6106 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 6 Cut Corner, olive
6179 - Tile, Modified 4 x 4 with Studs on Edge, dark blue (earth blue)
6881 - Tile 6 x 6, tan (sand/brick yellow)
30093 - Plant Sea Grass, black
33183 - Carrot top/twig, black
35391 - Panel 1 x 2 x 1 with Rounded Corners and 2 Sides, dark bluish gray
35391 - Panel 1 x 2 x 1 with Rounded Corners and 2 Sides, dark tan
48205 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 4 Right, dark bluish gray
48205 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 4 Right, olive green
48208 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 4 Left, dark bluish gray
48208 - Wedge, Plate 6 x 4 Left, olive green
49307 - Brick, Modified 1 x 1 x 2/3 No Studs, Curved Top, black
49311- Brick 1 x 4 x 3, tan (sand/brick yellow)
60479 - Plate 1 x 12, dark tan
60616 - Door 1 x 4 x 6 with stud handle, dark brown
63864 -  Tile 1 x 3, sand blue
92438 - Plate 8 x 16, medium nougat (medium dark flesh)
92438 - Plate 8 x 16, olive green

The list is actually longer than I expected. You are also not mistaken that I included the bike frame in the picture and list above. There is a slight variation in the bike frame mould included in set 75810. Simply put, the bicycle frame has a new element ID and as far as I can tell, the gap between the chainstays are bigger than the previous bike mould. The part ID stays the same as 4719 but the new mould shaved a few grams of plastic.

 

Older variant (red) vs new variant (black) -- mind the gaps at the back wheel

46931489875_18991c6ddc_c.jpg

 

There are a number of new minifigure-related elements and accessories, too. For the accessory alone, my favourite has to be the waffle 1x1 printed tile. Yes, there is no brand name associated with this waffle but it has to be Eggo waffles because that’s the only waffle Eleven eats in the show. Lucas’ slingshot and Dustin’s compass is also a great accessory to have.
40880976943_c5b16abd15_b.jpg

 

Let’s proceed to the next section so that we can talk more about the rest of the new minifigure parts.

 

To Mirkwood...
32905726247_7236628aab_b.jpg

 

Minifigures

Let me break the bad news first. There are no side printings in all these minifigures. That's unfortunate because some of these minifigures could really use a good side printing. 

Now that it's out of the way, let's focus on what's good. There's a lot them. First, all the kids in this playset use the new medium legs. So, medium legs fans rejoice! There are 4 new colours of this part - tan (sand/brick yellow), bright light blue (light royal blue), white and dark green (earth green).

 

Kids, front view
46907875015_b5a2ac9940_b.jpg

 

Dustin, Eleven and Mike are wearing their outfit during the stroll at the train tracks on episode S01E05. Lucas on the other hand is wearing his outfit during his lone mission to find “the gate” on episode S01E06.

I am glad that the design team chose the outfit of Elle with the jacket on top of the pink dress. Reason being, if you have not noticed yet, all the kids in this show wear jackets.

All the face prints are excellent. I like to think that all the default faces are neutral, except Lucas because he always has this anxious or rattled look.

More importantly, the most outstanding element in the minifigure design is none other than Dustin’s cap and Will’s bowl haircut. Dustin’s cap is a blue and reddish brown dual moulded hairpiece and cap combo with red paint applied on top and bottom of the visor. On the other hand, Will’s bowl haircut is just the perfect translation from screen to LEGO hairstyle. It is very spot on!

 

Kids, back view
47824168811_457bbc5c89_b.jpg

Looking at the back,  all the back prints are excellent as well. As mentioned above, Dustin’s cap is dual moulded so the border between blue and reddish brown colour is so crisp, it is very pleasing to look at. In contrast, Lucas’ camouflage bandana print wraps around the head and has duller print. It is using the same piece as the Scalawag Pirate headpiece that was first seen in CMF series 16, circa 2016. It is now in black colour with a different print. 


Kids, back view without hairpieces
46907875115_6db59a2c16_b.jpg

Dustin, Will and Mike has excellent secondary face print. Mike has an angry face. I think it’s really appropriate because Mike is rarely scared in the show. Will’s secondary face is the most scared of them all because he has to be. If I am trapped in the Upside Down, I know I will be, too. Dustin’s amused face with toothless mouth is cute and also important because it is accurate to the real effect of teeth and bone condition called cleidocranial dysplasia. It was briefly mentioned in the show and its depiction in minifigure also helps spread awareness about the condition.

You would think that Elle will have dual face print as well but it’s unfortunate that she only has a single face print. Lucas also has a single face print but I think this is a side effect of the choices made by LEGO designers on adding the bandana. My problem is that Lucas has more hair at the back of his head and the bandana is not suppose to replace his hair. The designers should at least added some prints like how in some minifigures like Zane of NINJAGO. Apart from this small oversight, I think that all the minifigures are very well designed.

 

Kids, front view without hairpieces
46907875155_d71ee349a8_b.jpg

Earlier in the build, there is a minifigure stand for 4 minifigures. Why just 4 minifigures, you ask?

32903785547_915f8d6d42_b.jpg

I call this the search and rescue party stand because this is meant to hold the kids who searched for Will during season 1. Yes, forget about the adults. 

The stand is a good addition but I don’t think  it is absolutely necessary even if this set evokes the same vibe similar to Star Wars UCS model. Frankly speaking, I don’t see the point of this stand as there are plenty of space to put the minifigures on either the regular Byers' house or the Upside Down Byers' house. Besides, I detest having to apply that gigantic sticker on the stand. I’m sure many can relate.
 

Adults and monster, front view
46907875215_6defb5ea61_b.jpg

This is the first time we are getting Winona Ryder minifigure. Her character in show, Joyce, is a hot mess in season 1 so the slight smirk or forced smile is very accurate to the character. The hairpiece used is the newer Hermione hairpiece that first appeared in 2018. She is wearing the outfit from S01E04 where we most meme of her talking to christmas light came from. It is very iconic scene from season 1 that I will be disappointed if they have chosen a different one

Meanwhile, Chief Hopper is sporting the boring Hawkins police officer uniform inspired by Jaws Amity police department. It is well-known easter egg that even Hopper’s police car is copied inspired from that shark movie.

With regards to the Demogorgon, the striking petal-shaped headgear mould printed with serrated set of teeth captures the otherworldly monster very well. It is using the Faun legs but in new dark tan colour and print. Wolverine claws in new dark tan colour are also attached to represent the elongated and pointy fingers of the creature.

 

Adults and monster, back view
47034515604_58a1907404_b.jpg

 

The back printing is standard quality.

 

Adults and monster without hairpiece/headgears, back view
46907875425_cd6fca5b2d_b.jpg

 

As for the dual face print - only Joyce has an alternate face print. This time, she has the  shocked-in-disbelief or anxious look.

 

Adults and monster without hairpiece/headgears, front view view
46907875445_2d9ac3d55c_b.jpg

Pikaboo, I see you! What surprised me is the existence of a face print beneath the open-petal headgear. It could have been just a head mould but instead, we get a headgear and a standard minifigure head with a face print. Thanks to the conviction of the designers, we also get a closed-petal face for the Demogorgon.

 

Take a closer look


47771950782_7784819e84_n.jpg47034515914_5d0fd454f9_n.jpg


 

 

Conclusion

It is an exciting time to be an AFOL. Who would have thought that a theme out of a Netflix horror fiction show will be an actual LEGO set?

The Upside Down playset is quite daring. It is an insane looking model that can be flipped to depict the 2 dimensions as seen in the show. Striking and different to say the least.

If you are a fan of the show and building blocks, there are many things to like about the set:

  • The minifigure selection is excellent.
  • The design and building techniques are very enjoyable.
  • It looks like a MOC which is highly inspiring if you build your own creations 
  • The mirrored world of the upside down is highly detailed.
  • New parts and moulds are abundant.
  • The price to parts ratio is also excellent.

The list goes on. Nonetheless, there is no perfect set so what I am listing below may appear to be nitpicking but I just need to round these up so everyone knows the less desirable aspect of the set.

Alterations and/or inaccuracies to the show:

  • The wall hole should be part of the living room, not Will’s bedroom
  • The Christmas lights on the wall are on the wrong side… but there is no other side in the build because of the doll-house half-open design
  • The Christmas lights in the Upside Down were never there in the show but it is there in the model 
  • The phone should be on the right side next to the storage room, not Will’s room.

Omissions and/or exclusions: 

  • No shed. 
  • No dog (Chester). 
  • No Jonathan Byers even if the set is the Byers' house. 
  • No Steve. No Steve! Why no Steve with a nailed bat??

The house scale is on the tiny side as well so I feel that if the parts used for the trees and minifigure stand are used on detailing the house instead, we could get a better looking interior. Sadly we cannot have the flipping feature and the very awesome interior at the same time. Compromise need to happen somehow. 

Additionally, we can all agree that the trees that hold and support the weight of the whole model is very awesome. However, it can never match the stability of a regular house model with a wider base. I disassembled the attachment of the 2 houses once and I just prefer the 2 houses to be detached from one another simply because they are easier to work with. There is no risk of toppling down. You can argue that the greater the risk, the greater the reward is -- Perhaps it’s true and it may not even matter if you will just enclose the playset in an acrylic case. 

In summary, the positives still outweighs the negatives by a large margin. Looking at the value and creative inspiration that this set brings, it’s definitely in my top 10 sets to buy in 2019.  The set tries to capture 2 seasons worth of materials with a bonus season 3 easter egg so fans will appreciate all the details included in the set. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely worth checking out.

I wish this is not a one-off theme. I could be dreaming. Maybe it is just one and done. Who knows? 
 

Review summary

Playability: 8/10 - The set is very playable but its notable flipping feature also makes it more delicate to handle. Frankly, it looks safer and better on display.  
Design / Building Experience: 9/10 - I applaud the designer, Justin Ramsden, in making one of the most trippy LEGO set to date. We need brave new ideas like this to make interesting playsets. The only reason why I am not giving this a perfect score is due to the inaccuracy of the house layout and compromises that made the house smaller than what it should have been.
Minifigures:  9/10 - I wanted to give this set a 10 but there is no Steve Harrington! There has to be a Steve minifigure to make this minifigure line-up perfect.
Price / Value for money: 9/10 - The price to part ratio is very reasonable and it has a great collection of parts in versatile colours that are great for MOCs.
Overall: 8.75/10 - Just like Jonathan Byers once said, “You shouldn't like things because people tell you you're supposed to.” However, there is a pretty good chance you’ll like this set because it is bizarrely enjoyable and different.

 

Hello, I need to order The Upside Down, right now!

47771951252_0497149490_c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review, @makoy! I was just browsing instagram 30 mins ago and saw a pic of this set. Seems like a really decent model. Never seen the show itself so I don't get the context etc. but I am most excited at using the ball joints to join the two houses back to back!

Oh and the monster's head is cool - a very nice design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, jimmynick said:

Thanks for the review, @makoy! I was just browsing instagram 30 mins ago and saw a pic of this set. Seems like a really decent model. Never seen the show itself so I don't get the context etc. but I am most excited at using the ball joints to join the two houses back to back!

Oh and the monster's head is cool - a very nice design.

It is a very nice playset. I had lots of fun building it and playing with it as well. I ball joints does a great job holding the houses together.  It acts like a clamp at the edges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As always, great review. Thanks for all the details and especially the pictures.
What about Nancy? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, ultiminutes said:

As always, great review. Thanks for all the details and especially the pictures.
What about Nancy? ;)

Thanks. Either she comes in a supporting character battle pack or a girlfriend sidekick for Steve. Either way is fine as long as we get Steve also. :grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m one of those who has not seen the show, so I have no idea what’s supposed to be happening here, but my goodness is the set great. The minifigs are amazing...that bowl cut! The waffle tiles are awesome. I just may have to get this....but that would mean cutting into my HP fund...decisions, decisions...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This set looks awesome! Thanks for a great review. Maybe we can dream that there will be a future set with Steve or perhaps he and other characters will appear in future collectible minifigs series. Probably a long shot, but its fun to dream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Vindicare said:

I’m one of those who has not seen the show, so I have no idea what’s supposed to be happening here, but my goodness is the set great. The minifigs are amazing...that bowl cut! The waffle tiles are awesome. I just may have to get this....but that would mean cutting into my HP fund...decisions, decisions...

I understand the dilemma. Consider that this is one bizarre set that may never be matched by another weirder set. I hope it does stay longer on shelf and doesn't disappear quickly.

Also, how many times we are going to get a Winona Ryder minifigure. Probably this time only? :tongue:

9 minutes ago, Pizzatogo said:

This set looks awesome! Thanks for a great review. Maybe we can dream that there will be a future set with Steve or perhaps he and other characters will appear in future collectible minifigs series. Probably a long shot, but its fun to dream.

Yes, I hope so. The Stranger Things fandom is still growing so I hope Netflix and TLG continue to work together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for a spectacular review of a spectacular set.  It's almost perfect for a one-off D2C; I just wish it included Jonathan, Nancy, and Steve too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

An extremely thorough and excellent review for one of this year's most extraordinarily surprising sets @makoy:thumbup: :smug: 

P.S. Do you happen to have Series 17's Roman Gladiator CMF? If so, would you mind trying that figure's hairpiece on Eleven? :shrug_oh_well:

9 minutes ago, icm said:

It's almost perfect for a one-off D2C; I just wish it included Jonathan, Nancy, and Steve too.

Agreed, as I'd be contented if I were to learn this was the only set/product we'd see from Lego based upon the show, even at the expense of those three. *

* Had they been included though, this set would had a more fitting figure count of ELEVEN rather than just eight. :wink:

Edited by Digger of Bricks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review, great photos, great write ups. More scene photos hiding in your flickr album I see. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review! It is not even my favorite show, but i really like the set. The 80ies feel of the show is also greatly captured by lego. This set will definitely find its way to my house in the near future. 

Why did they change the bikes by the way? Just for new-pieces-junkies? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outstanding review. Do you know this set is inspiring me to go watch Stranger Things on my Netflix account? Got to admit that seeing an original Netflix series in official LEGO is mindblowing. The sheer design is another mastery level which is not an eye trick. Glad to know is strong and sturdy.

Thanks Makoy for taking your time to do this top grade review for our EB community. :wub:  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, icm said:

Thanks for a spectacular review of a spectacular set.  It's almost perfect for a one-off D2C; I just wish it included Jonathan, Nancy, and Steve too.

I really wish also... now we need to convince Netflix and TLG that this should not be a one-off theme.

7 hours ago, Digger of Bricks said:

An extremely thorough and excellent review for one of this year's most extraordinarily surprising sets @makoy:thumbup: :smug: 

P.S. Do you happen to have Series 17's Roman Gladiator CMF? If so, would you mind trying that figure's hairpiece on Eleven? :shrug_oh_well:

Agreed, as I'd be contented if I were to learn this was the only set/product we'd see from Lego based upon the show, even at the expense of those three. *

* Had they been included though, this set would had a more fitting figure count of ELEVEN rather than just eight. :wink:

I am keeping the door open for your curiosity voyage. Here the hairpiece from Roman Gladiator. And since I also have Lando, I use that to try on Lucas. 

They look awesome.

47065366754_412b89cb87_z.jpg

7 hours ago, kaelthas said:

Great review, great photos, great write ups. More scene photos hiding in your flickr album I see. 

It's a reward for those curious. Keep being curious.

2 hours ago, Borex said:

Thanks for the review! It is not even my favorite show, but i really like the set. The 80ies feel of the show is also greatly captured by lego. This set will definitely find its way to my house in the near future. 

Why did they change the bikes by the way? Just for new-pieces-junkies? 

Welcome and to be frank, it's not my favourite show either. It's just fun to watch with a lot of inspiration from the 80s. There are a lot of things that this set got right and I already mentioned those things that it didn't -- but it's definitely worthy of your hard-earned bucks.

As for the bike --- I think that TLG will continue to optimise or retool those moulds so that they can save money without sacrificing quality. We have seen that happen with several iterations of the other parts.

I don't think many reviewers spotted as I also struggled to find what's the difference at first.

1 hour ago, WhiteFang said:

Outstanding review. Do you know this set is inspiring me to go watch Stranger Things on my Netflix account? Got to admit that seeing an original Netflix series in official LEGO is mindblowing. The sheer design is another mastery level which is not an eye trick. Glad to know is strong and sturdy.

Thanks Makoy for taking your time to do this top grade review for our EB community. :wub:  

Go watch it! The cast is adoring. The hype train is real.

Always the pleasure is mine when I write this reviews. Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Vindicare said:

I’m one of those who has not seen the show, so I have no idea what’s supposed to be happening here, but my goodness is the set great. The minifigs are amazing...that bowl cut! The waffle tiles are awesome. I just may have to get this....but that would mean cutting into my HP fund...decisions, decisions...

I could've written this exact post *oh2* I've never seen the show, nor do I care to watch it, but the set is so good on so many levels... if only LEGO hadn't revived Harry Potter and had such a great second wave coming.

It's true that a set like this isn't going to happen again, and it is simply mind-blowing in design concept and execution, not to mention the fantastic parts and recolours and amazing minifigures. And yet, and yet... budget for me is far from unlimited, and I have to think about what I'd regret missing more in five or ten years time: this or some of the new HP content. Ultimately, HP wins out.

Thank you so much for this beautiful review @makoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, makoy said:

I am keeping the door open for your curiosity voyage. Here the hairpiece from Roman Gladiator. And since I also have Lando, I use that to try on Lucas. 

They look awesome.

PERFECT! :thumbup: I don't think there's a better preexisting option out there for her, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't get any better than that! :sweet:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review! A fantastically unique set, a definite purchase for me at some point, I want to support this magnificent idea.

 

I agree with others though, Jonathan, Nancy and Steve being MIA is quite disappointing. It's doubtful we will see much more from Stranger Things, so I'm not sure how else we will get them in an official capacity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, VBBN said:

Thanks for the great review! A fantastically unique set, a definite purchase for me at some point, I want to support this magnificent idea.

Idd, I completely agree. It's a great set, I like the colours and the parts used, but especially how they gave with this set a new dimension to a build.

Some friends (which are not into Lego) already contacted me to express how much they like this set.

So I guess that's also another reason why they did this: a great way to get new people into the brand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, VBBN said:

Thanks for the great review! A fantastically unique set, a definite purchase for me at some point, I want to support this magnificent idea.

 

I agree with others though, Jonathan, Nancy and Steve being MIA is quite disappointing. It's doubtful we will see much more from Stranger Things, so I'm not sure how else we will get them in an official capacity.

Maybe they can give us these with a bricktober pack, or these new figure packs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Id like to see a size comparison of it next to a modular to get an idea of how good its value in terms of volume is 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A fantastic set, due to the setting and uniqueness. Not the prettiest displayset I've ever seen them do -  but it's uniqueness adds to the display value.

It's an expensive set, but I'm strongly considering getting it. Looks like so much fun. And some interesting pieces here and there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, chezzymann said:

Id like to see a size comparison of it next to a modular to get an idea of how good its value in terms of volume is 

It seems to have about as many parts as an average modular, but with arguably better figures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Clone OPatra said:

I could've written this exact post *oh2* I've never seen the show, nor do I care to watch it, but the set is so good on so many levels... if only LEGO hadn't revived Harry Potter and had such a great second wave coming.

It's true that a set like this isn't going to happen again, and it is simply mind-blowing in design concept and execution, not to mention the fantastic parts and recolours and amazing minifigures. And yet, and yet... budget for me is far from unlimited, and I have to think about what I'd regret missing more in five or ten years time: this or some of the new HP content. Ultimately, HP wins out.

Thank you so much for this beautiful review @makoy!

That’s exactly my reasoning as well. While this set is fantastic in every way, I’d rather miss this than any of the HP sets. 

Later on down the road, when it’s 2x points & if I have the money, I’ll likely get it. But I won’t really feel bad about missing it either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.