Just in time for the holidays, LEGO has unveiled a set based on the classic Christmas-time film, Home Alone. 21330 Home Alone House is the 38th entry in the Ideas theme, and will be available November 1st for US $249.99 | CAN $349.99 | UK £229.99. At a whopping 3957 pieces, it even beats out the massive 21323 Grand Piano in terms of part count, becoming the largest Ideas set to date. In addition to the titular home, the are also five exclusive minifigures and plenty of other extras. Come along as we find out just how many movie references you can cram into a single set. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lot.)
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
Unboxing the parts, instructions and sticker sheet
The first thing you’ll notice about this set is the size of it. It’s packaged in a large, tab-sealed box that towers over other seasonal offerings like this year’s Winter Village offering, 10293 Santa’s Visit. It has standard “adult theming” for the design – with a black background, large logos in the corners, and a strip along the bottom with set information. The age range, like all “adult” sets, is set at “18+”, but the building complexity would probably be fine for a much younger individual. The set’s contents are showcased well, but interestingly LEGO decided to go with a “movie timeline” approach to showing the minifigures. The front of the box has four of the five characters , all arranged as they might have been seen earlier in the film. Old man Marley wields his shovel and drags his trashcan of salt, Kevin stands outside his house, and the Wet Bandits are preparing for “work” next to their van.
The back of the box reveals the dollhouse-like functionality of this set. The front of the home is built on hinged panels allowing access to the interior. A line of inset shots along the bottom call out some of the movie moments you can recreate, as well as showcasing that the different floors are modular. The minifigures shown in the main photo complete the cast, with Kevin’s mom arriving at long last.
Inside the box, the 31 numbered parts bags cover 24 steps. The bags are split into two groups, with steps 1-11 and the instructions packaged in a separate white box. The remaining bags are packed loose, creating a suitably chaotic unboxing experience. The grouping does help to split up the large quantity of part bags included in the set, and the secondary box helps keep the instructions from getting too banged up in transit.
The instructions are packaged in their own bag, along with the two sticker sheets. There’s no cardboard backer or other reinforcing material, but it appears to be packed into the sub-box before the part bags, so it’s pretty well braced against the sides.
The Manual and Designers
The 476 page, perfect bound instruction manual is pretty standard fare for these sets. The first few pages go over the theme of the set and play features, introduce the designers, and then jumps into the building instructions. The front cover has a reproduction of Kevin’s battle plan, which also appears as a sticker.
This Ideas set was designed and submitted by fan Alex Storozhuk. Obviously a big fan of the Home Alone movie, Alex used an online blueprint for the McCallister’s house, as well as the film itself, to build the initial model in LEGO Digital Designer and Studio 2.0. He focused on keeping things as close to the original plan as possible, while also keeping things to scale. He describes the second floor as the greatest challenge.
On the LEGO side of the fence, designers Antica Bracanov and Enrique Belmonte Beixe were responsible for transforming Alex’s vision into a physical set. They were able to expand things with the basement, as well as some Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Easter eggs. (I haven’t seen that film, so feel free to call them out in the comments if you spot them!) Kirsten Bay Nielsen handled the graphic design, including probably the most unusual dual-face expression in LEGO’s history on the Marv minifigure.
The parts and stickers
This set has a wide range of elements, including some new prints and molds. I think builders will be very fond of the new quarter-circle train tracks, and a new “pet flap” variation of the standard LEGO door.
Other interesting pieces include a clear dome/astronaut helmet, stop-shafts (only the second appearance in white for this new element), and curved corner slopes and windows. Another important recolor is the introduction of masonry bricks in reddish brown.
There are also a wide array of pieces in the uncommon medium azure and sand blue shades. Some are making their first appearance here, and some are just hard to find.
The two sticker sheets are full of the single-use movie details that it didn’t make sense for LEGO to convert to printed elements. The first sheet has a plethora of family portraits, a great meta-LEGO joke (more on that in a bit), and other key details like a string of firecrackers and a bowl of mac-n-cheese. The second sheet is printed on a silver foil background. Some of the stickers don’t take advantage of the foil, but things like the refrigerator door and mirror certainly are improved by it.
It’s standard practice for LEGO to often include an extra copy of pieces that are likely to go missing during construction. Thanks to the wide array of elements in this set, you’ll be treated to a pretty big pile of swag this time around. (The 1×2 Technic brick shown here isn’t an extra; it snuck into the wrong pile during photography.) It’s a nice little perk, as these parts are great for custom building.
The construction is broken up into several major components. You start off with the OH-KAY van, then build the house floor-by-floor, finishing up with the treehouse. We’ll take a close look at each stage then delve into additional play features.
OH-KAY Plumbing and Heating Van
First up is a quick vehicle build. The OH-KAY Plumbing & Heating truck is a reasonably faithful reproduction of the movie van, although it lacks any doors on the sides. The logos are sticker-based, which, as you can see, I can never quite align perfectly. The van has a removable roof rack with pipes, an opening rear door, and a bench-seat built for two. There’s also a removable box of golden loot (a trophy and a kitchen faucet) to add a bit of story value.
The license plate is our first Easter egg – “AKE37” presumably means something to set designer Alex Storozhuk. (The license plate in the film reads “4565 AK”)
The van is well designed, but that crate of loot is a little hard to get in and out of the back. It can be done, but it can end up a little more dramatic than probably intended.
The van, coupled with the great Harry and Marv minifigures, would have probably done well as a small set on their own. Although the set’s primary focus is on the McCallister home, the addition of the van helps fill out the movie world in a welcome way.
The first floor
Construction starts on the McCallister home with a solid foundation that contains some simple Technic gearing. A long rod runs the length of the base, with two 90 degree splits to provide rotation for the “Christmas Party” play feature later on.
Overall the base is a very solid bit of construction. The Technic gears are solid and didn’t seem prone to jamming while I was testing things. The front edge of the house has the windows to the basement, a bit of Hollywood magic, as we’ll see that the “actual” basement is build separately.
The interior spaces of the house end up suffering from a common lament for larger LEGO structures – they’re pretty dimly lit. The designers tried to offset this by a liberal use of window elements. It does help a bit, and helps match some of the locations seen in the film. The central staircase twists up to the second floor, with a plunger element built into the back wall. We’ll see what that’s for a bit later on.
The dining area on the right side of the first floor has a short set of stairs in front of an oddly open gap instead of windows. This is where the kitchen/basement sub-building will connect much later on.
Once the walls are up, the interior details get built. The fireplace has some nice part usage, including astromech droid legs to add some texture. I’m not sure what the gold frog is supposed to be – maybe it’s either a call-forward to Home Alone 2 or another designer Easter Egg. The train with the basketball player “cardboard cut-out” is kind of cute, but the cars having only a half-set of wheels feels a little off. The jersey on the player reads “BRICKS 23” – a change from Michael Jordan’s “BULLS 23” seen in the film. Clever in-joke or a way to save a bit on licensing costs? You be the judge!
The stand in this corner will soon hold a tree, but the ground clutter goes in first. Next to the stairs are a couple of roller-skates representing the Micro-Machine trap Kevin sets up in the final act, as well as a couple of 1×1 round plates for the glass ornaments used as caltrops under the window. There’s also my favorite Meta-LEGO in-joke of all time: Next to the wrapped present is a tiny copy of LEGO Ideas 20330: Home Alone House (Available November 1st for US $249.99 | CAN $349.99 | UK £229.99.) I wonder if you look really, really closely if there’s an even tinier copy of 20330 inside. And an even tinier version in that one…
The complete family room setup has plenty to look at. The tree design is compact, yet still interesting. The unprinted bird ornaments feel like they could have good re-use potential, too.
Other bits of décor include the front door, “feather trap” fan, grandfather clock, and dining room table and chairs. The fan design is pretty sharp, as are the chairs. The clock feels like it could be re-homed into almost any LEGO family setting. Note the uneaten plate of “highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese” on the table, too.
The completed dining room is somewhat cramped with the references to three memorable moments from the film. The fan, the “holiday party dummy”, and the mac-n-cheese combine to form a room that’s somewhat lost in time.
The next steps involve building the front windows for the house. The interior wall has a foil-sticker of the Empire State building, a reference to Home Alone 2: Lost in New York that even I couldn’t help but spot.
The wall is hinged on the outer corner, and locks in place with the clip in the teal recliner. The panel stays shut very well, but can take a small amount of force to get open. You’ll be tempted to brace against the shutters on the exterior for leverage, but be aware they can pop off before that click connection gives way.
On the opposing wall is a foil-sticker picture of the Eiffel Tower, with an anchor point that connects to the base of the record player. The area in front of the house will get some shrubs and lights in the final steps, but otherwise this pretty much completes the first floor’s build.
From the back there are a few necessary concessions – the big hole in the dining room wall that we mentioned earlier, some Technic connection points around that gap, and the plunger knob at the top of the stairs. The texture on the wall is well done, making use of those new reddish-brown masonry bricks.
The second floor
The second floor is built on a much more modest bed of overlapping plate. The landing at the top of the stairs is built next to the stairwell that will lead to the attic. The rear has a variety of windows, and another play feature plunger-knob.
That knob activates the collapsing shelves in Buzz’s bedroom. Pulling on it removes a supporting rod under the hinged shelves, letting them fall forward. When locked in place there’s a bit of droop to the top shelf, but it’s not super-noticeable.
Kevin’s parent’s bedroom has more fun furniture builds. There’s a four-poster bed, a nightstand with a (stickered) digital alarm clock, and a printed 1×1 popcorn box brick. The lamp is also a fun design, with a 2×2 flower as part of the shade. There’s also a fireplace in the corner that I don’t recall seeing in the first film.
Buzz’s bedroom is also awash in what I assume are Home Alone 2 Easter eggs, including a heart-in-a-safe and a stickered toy catalog for Duncan’s Toy Chest. There’s also a super-hero poster on the door For Oleksii Storozhuk no.1 – that’s got to mean something, too, right? Also in the room are Buzz’s BB-gun and a framed picture of his girlfriend, a joke that really hasn’t aged well.
The set dressing also includes some more movie-tie-ins on Buzz’s shelves. There’s a string of firecrackers, some money, and a terrarium for his spider. A blue helmet adds a bit of color, too.
The exterior of Buzz’s door has a “keep out sticker.” You can also see another movie reference in Buzz’s spider hanging out in the stairwell. On the opposite side of the level, the bathroom set is coming together. The callbacks here are a wrapped toothbrush, silver-foil stickered mirror, and a bottle of shaving balm.
The exterior walls go together pretty much the same as they did on the first floor. The attachment points are hidden in the base of the small table at the top of the stairs.
Putting the two levels together already makes for a good looking building. The modular design means customizers could easily duplicate the build to add even more floors, or change out the roof for a more urban feel.
From the rear things look a little more solid, as there’s isn’t as much overlap with the other sub-models. The control knobs are just subtle enough to be easy to spot for play, but not so obvious they wreck the look of the walls.
The attic space is again built on a base of overlapping plate. The interior spaces here are a lot more constricted as most of the horizontal space gets eaten away by the slope of the roof.
Some key elements from the film are again represented. the main one is Kevin’s battle plan. It’s printed on a foil sticker, but none of the silver shows through. The desk lamp is a fun build with a black hot dog element serving for the neck. There’s also a gumball machine that I spotted in the background of the movie set, and a fold-out bed. In the film this had a more tacky 70’s plaid pattern, but I don’t object to the upgrade to a more glorious teal coloration. It’s fun to note that while all three bed builds all feature pulled back covers, each has a slightly different building style.
The completed roof has a swing-up center to allow access to the play space. It’s a bit of a challenge to get my old-man hands into the corners, but the main areas of the bed and desk are easy to access.
With the roof in place, the front is pretty much complete. The seams for the opening walls are all very well hidden, making for a great display piece.
Opened up, you can see the incredible amount of stuff the designers managed to pack into this set. This already has the look and feel of a high end dollhouse, conveniently at minifigure scale. And there’s still more to to come!
The kitchen and basement
If you’ve been keeping a running total of all the key locations and events from the Home Alone film, you’ve probably noticed a couple of key spots missing from the house. In particular, the basement and kitchen. The locations are present – but pulled out into their own sub-building. There are some necessary liberties taken with the house’s layout – the steps down to the basement are gone, with the door now being at “ground level”. Conversely, the kitchen is now up a flight of stairs. It’s an acceptable compromise – you can’t really raise the rest of the house up just for this room, and putting the basement on top of the kitchen set would be one step beyond most people’s willingness to suspend disbelief.
The icy spot in front of the door has been recreated with transparent blue tile with a satin finish. The stair to the kitchen also have an icy spot – not quite movie-accurate as this was actually done to the front steps in the film.
Inside the basement is the washing machine, tool box, and a sticker of Marv’s sock stuck to the floor with tar.
Kevin’s imaginary foe of the basement furnace gets a lot of love, too. The build here is suitably menacing, with a light-brick providing a hellish glow when the top grate/mouth is pushed down.
The furnace assembly is removable for play, or can lurk in the corner.
The door to the kitchen has this great pet-flap feature. This is a new door element for LEGO, and one that I suspect we’ll see pop up in a lot of future sets.
The kitchen set is compressed a bit, but still contains all they key elements, plus a few. The blowtorch trap by the door is present, as is the TV/VCR combo playing “Angels With Filthy Souls”. There’s also a delivery of Little Nero’s Pizza on the counter.
The refrigerator door is covered with a foil sticker, with some fridge-magnets holding up things like picture of a dog (gotta be another Easter egg, right?), and a travel guide for New York. Inside the fridge are two boxes of Mac-n-cheese, perched very precariously on a couple of shelves. I had a lot of trouble getting them to stay in place when the door opened. Maybe that’s a design choice?
A simple removable roof completes this building add-on. The large white Technic connector on the kitchen level is part of a play feature we’ll cover in a bit.
The trash can here serves double duty. As shown on the box, it’s meant to be the can of salt that old man Marley drags around. But it also holds another movie-moment, with Kevin’s lost ticket in the trash. The sticker here has the carrier as “Adwind Airlines” – a change from the movies American Airlines product placement. (A fun article I found while writing this article suggests that the full set of tickets for this trip would have cost the McCallister clan around $35,320. Yikes.)
The add-on slots into the back of the main house build. The controls for the play feature required the big gap in the rear wall, as well as providing a visual join between the kitchen and dining areas. The need for a full-height basement means that there’s stairs leading up to the kitchen to manage the change in height between the rooms – a reasonable solution, since there’s no way you’re going to be able to reach past all the stuff in the dining room to move figures between the zones anyway.
As noted earlier, the extra rooms aren’t really movie-accurate in positioning, but they don’t feel out of place. Having them as a removable sub-building also means you can display your set in a shallower area, if you store this bit somewhere else.
The finishing touches on the house are adding some snow-covered greenery and Christmas lights to the front yard. Also included is a microfigure trophy to stand in for the problematic “Lawn Jockey” statue that keeps getting hit by the Little Nero’s Pizza delivery guy in the movie.
The final look of the house is just amazing. Kudos to everyone involved in bringing this set to life.
The last free-standing structure in the set is Kevin’s treehouse. It’s a quick build without too much complexity, but once again it a solidly-designed model with some fun techniques. The ladder build is nice, and the treehouse itself is roomy while still maintaining a tiny footprint.
On the roof is a brick-built red airplane. This is another spot where I’m not quite sure what’s being referenced. But it sure seems elaborate for a “just because” inclusion.
The treehouse can be connected to the main house with a long bit of string, locked in place with sloped 1×2 tile. You do need a bit of room to pull that string taut, so plan accordingly.
Famous Scenes and Play Features
In this next section we’ll walk through the film’s timeline and see what play options are in place. We’ll start off with early in the film as the Wet Bandits are stowing the loot from one of their recent burglaries.
Meanwhile, Kevin has been left home alone, and has managed to wreck Buzz’s room in search of all the forbidden loot a sibling is sure to have stashed around.
Later, Kevin drags his sled indoors for a bit of downhill action.
The plunger at the top of the stairs can send Kevin and his sled flying out of the house. I captured the moment earlier in the build so you could see it more clearly.
The memorable moment of Kevin reacting to aftershave is captured thanks to the mirror in the bathroom. Sure, it looks like a horror film as Kevin’s demonic visage is warped by the sticker, but at least LEGO didn’t make me deal with a mostly naked Kevin minifigure made just for this scene, too.
Later on, Kevin has mocked up a holiday party to confuse the Wet Bandits. The knob on the exterior turns both the train set and the record player at the same time. The motion is pretty smooth, and the Technic connection means you can hook this up to a motor if you really want a bit of way-too-comical speed.
The record player turntable works well, although it’s spaced a bit too far back from the windows to really be seen when the outer walls are closed.
You can, however, see the basketball player rotate by if you shine a light directly at the window. The windows at the rear and side of this room are too obscured by the room’s contents to provide much of any illumination.
Oh, yeah. And Kevin and old man Marley are becoming friends. This is my “What If…?” take on an alternate reality where Marley is indeed a serial killer and Kevin has a much rougher couple of days.
And speaking of severe violence, the infamous “iron trap” is ready and waiting in the kitchen/basement play area. A turn of the knob drops a brick-built iron onto the unsuspecting, but deserving, Marv minifigure.
It still seems amazing that LEGO decided to go with an alternate expression Marv that showcases his post-ironing state. I am really curious if a creative builder somewhere will be able to repurpose this face for anything but a Home Alone parody/tribute.
The last in-home trap I wanted to mention is the swinging paint can. This is probably the least successful of the recreations, but at least we get a purple 2×2 round brick out of the deal. I love purple bricks.
Due to the cramped quarters and level-spanning staircase, the best you can really do is just drop the paint can into the stairwell. Not quite the movie-ending “thwack” it could have been, but you know the designers had to include this key moment in the set somehow. Having the play feature of the sled-slide is a lot more kid friendly, so it makes sense that it got priority over reenacting even more bodily harm for the robbers.
But all good things must come to an end, and it’s time for Kevin to take a zip-line to freedom. He can’t really hold on well to the handlebars here, but his frightened face does work very well to capture the moment.
The treehouse comes equipped with a pair of scissors, to curtail the Bandit’s attempts to follow.
And, eventually, Kevin is reunited with his family, represented here by his mom, Kate. Way to go Kevin! Get ready for years of therapy!
All five minifigures are, unsurprisingly, exclusive to this set. You get old man Marley, Wet Bandits Harry and Marv, Kevin, and Kate McCallister.
Kevin’s dual sided torso and head are both new prints. His hair and mid-sized dark tan legs have both made previous appearances, however. Kevin also comes with a scarf and hat for a second outdoorsy look.
Kevin’s mom Kate also sports a new dual sided head and torso. Her dark orange hair was previously exclusive to Harry Potter sets.
Old man Marley is slightly more common, perhaps because he’s been around so long. His dual-sided torso is new, and his light grey beard was previously only spotted in the Hidden Side theme.
Sadly, Marley’s “un-bearded” face is not a new print. It would have been nice to see a printed beard here, as the bushy beard accessory is a bit too hairy to match his movie appearance.
The Wet Bandits, Harry and Marv, are also standout minifigures. both have new dual-sided torso prints, and unique faces.
Harry comes with two hats – his knit cap and a policeman’s cap, a callback to his disguise at the beginning of the film. A full police outfit for him would probably have been overkill, so this is a good nod to those scenes without adding the cost of another outfit for a secondary character.
Marv, as we’ve noted already, has probably the wildest dual-expression head LEGO has ever produced. The “smushed by an iron” look is so iconic, though, that I suspect graphic designer Kirsten Bay Nielsen probably didn’t have too much trouble getting it past management.
Conclusion and recommendation
Home Alone is a 30-year old holiday classic, and that LEGO decided to tap into that nostalgia isn’t too shocking. It’s even less shocking when you think about the “Home Sweet Home Alone” reboot version that will be released in theaters just days after this set’s street date. But enough about marketing. Is this a good kit? I think the answer to that is a pretty solid “you betcha.”
The build is fun and engaging, with plenty of play features all too often bypassed by other “adult” LEGO offerings lately. Every nook and cranny of the set is crammed with movie references and Easter eggs, and the selection of five exclusive minifigures is spot-on. At $250 US for 3957 pieces, the cost-per-part ratio is a shockingly low 6 cents, almost unheard of for a licensed property. The unusual colors, broad range of shapes, and unique prints make this an excellent parts pack for those who aren’t into
ultra-violent slapstick Christmas movies. This set is sure to be a popular pick for LEGO fans this holiday season, so if you’re temped you might want to grab one sooner rather than later. Or maybe tap into a parent or guardian who owes you big time.
LEGO Ideas 21330 Home Alone House will be available starting November 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $249.99 | CAN $349.99 | UK £229.99. It may also available via third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
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