LEGO Disney 43217 ‘Up’ House – Adventure awaits! [Review]

There is no denying that one of the most beloved Disney Pixar movies of all time is ‘Up’ – and with good reason. The sweet story about a grumpy old man fulfilling a promise to his late wife and instead finding himself in his own adventure with new friends tugs on your heartstring. It reminds us that life doesn’t always go according to plan, but wonderful things can still come of it. Because of all this, it couldn’t be a better candidate for LEGO to celebrate on Disney’s 100th anniversary. So come along  for the ride as we tour inside LEGO Disney 43217 ‘Up’ House. This 598 piece set will be available April 1st, retailing for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £49.99.

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 box is in the atypical vertical orientation, like some of the Botanical sets, and sports the new 100th anniversary decals. While the decoration is not necessarily flamboyant or even particularly noteworthy, it’s something that will only adorn boxes released as part of the celebration this year. Therefore, it might be highly sought after by collectors. The house itself sits in front of the busy city construction featured at the beginning of the movie.

Inside the box are four colorful polybags numbered 1-4.

The sticker sheet includes 12 stickers, which primarily depict some of the art seen throughout the home in the movie. They are actually very tastefully selected and true to the source material. The doors even include the plethora of locks that Carl has installed.

The build

This is a fast build! Bag one sees us through the front porch and living room. It includes the iconic picture of Paradise Falls that sits above the fireplace, which also features the red bird statue that is prominent in the film.

Another item in the living room is the old phonograph, which uses a great technique: a miner’s hat for the horn.

There are only a couple printed elements in this set apart from the minifigures. One is a trans-clear minifig head made to look like the coin bank featured in the movie. Carl and Ellie keep attempting to save money to move to Paradise Falls, but continually have to break the jar to pay for other things life throws at them.

The bay window is comprised of three clipped-together sections that utilize 1×2 cheese slopes to affix them at the appropriate angle. More pictures of Carl and Ellie adorn the walls.

This sub-assembly rests on some previously-placed tiles, and fits just perfectly alongside the porch. There is even a spot where the top of the porch narrowly misses a collision with the bay.

Upstairs we have the “bedroom” and an odd attic-like space. The bedroom only has a bed in it, but the color blocking of the comforter is nice. In the movie, many of the pictures lined the staircase, which isn’t included in this set. Instead, the pictures are dispersed throughout the house in random locations (aside from the one above the mantle). Also, the attic-like space isn’t seen in the movie, and the TV and Ellie’s photo book are actually found in the living room.

Of all these differences, perhaps the most notable is the fact that, while Carl’s chair is included, Ellie’s is not. Fans of the movie will know that the pair are a prominent part of the storyline, and it’s really sad that that’s not honored here. Obviously the designers had a limited amount of space to work with, but it’s still a shame.

To go back to the items from the attic for a second, the TV makes great use of a few small parts. The sticker on the front is a nod to the theater reel about the great explorer, Charles Muntz, who is the Fredricksen’s childhood hero.

One of the most important inclusions in the set is, of course, Ellie’s Adventure Book. But inside, the designers paid homage to Disney’s anniversary, with a printed tile that says, “Once upon a time…”

Prior to putting on the balloons, the house is topped off with a carefully fitted roof. It was a little hard to snap the hinges into their homes without popping them off, but the final product looks nice. It’s about as close as LEGO could get to the shape and color of the real house.

As an aside, one fun feature of the instructions is that Russell helps track progress along the way.

On the roof we add a nice little alcove window, and the blue chicken weather vane. It plays a role in the film as the steering mechanism. The chimney runs the length of the house and is strong and sturdy – this is to support the weight of the balloons. (That’s an oxymoron!) It also pins into the house in two places, locking things together.

Speaking of balloons, these come with some mixed emotions. Anyone who has seem the movie, or even a picture, knows that the real house has hundreds of balloons attached to it. The bundle is massive! So when you look at the box of this set, you immediately notice that the quantity here is a little sad in comparison. That said, there are still a lot of them. And by the time you finish building and adding balloons, you’ll probably be more than satisfied with the number.

Finally, we make a little mailbox area, complete with a squirrel (“Squirrel!!!”) and balloon filling station. The mailbox leaves a little something to be desired seeing as it plays a special role in the film, but it’s a lot to ask for. It would’ve been very difficult to put any sort of printing or sticker on it.

The completed model

When all is said and done we have a very colorful, cute, and quaint little house. While my child heart longs for another layer of balloons, these still do a reasonable job.

Overall, it would’ve been very cool to see the house as a modular-sized build, complete with more extensive and accurate details. However, this model is pretty good at covering the bases.

The minifigures

And now, perhaps the moment you’ve been waiting for! The figs included in this set are Russell, Dug the dog, and Carl Fredricksen. Unfortunately, no Kevin, but the ones we have are pretty nice! Starting with Dug, the pup has a notable heft to him due to his dual molding. He’s darn near as heavy as the other figures (minus accessories)!

Carl sports short posable legs, an accurate printed torso complete with Ellie’s grape soda cap button, and a dual-printed face. On one side he has his customary scowl, and on the other a pleasant smile. A tap element connected to a roller skate comprise his cane.

Russell is arguable the best of the bunch. Apart from his exceptionally well-printed Jr. Wilderness Explorer uniform, he has short dual molded legs. He also has a brand new hat/hair element with a tipped back cap that I’m in love with! His head is two-sided, and true to character, one is smiling and the other one is smiling even bigger. The designers did not disappoint with his backpack, which includes quite a few elements featured in the movie (a cup, a fork, a pan, binoculars, and a trumpet).

Conclusions and recommendations

I was really excited when I heard that LEGO would be creating the iconic house from ‘Up’. Admittedly, I expected it to be a bit bigger, but this is scale accurate and there’s not a whole lot more you can do with the space unless it was the whole house. But I guess that’s what I was hoping for: the whole house with a hinge to open it like a book. Regardless, it was still quite enjoyable to build and I’ll be happy to display it. The minifigs especially are a triumph.

While I’m saddened by the fact that they didn’t include Ellie’s chair or a recreation of Kevin, I can forgive those things in favor of it simply being a sweet little build. It was fast and easy, and I could imagine sharing the experience with a favorite kiddo in your life while watching the movie. Whether you’re a Disney collector or a parent, you’ll have fun with this one.

Thanks for reading this review! While you’re here, check out some other articles about Disney LEGO sets and custom builds.

LEGO Disney 43217 ‘Up’ House is currently available from LEGO for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £49.99. It may also be available from third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

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.

2 comments on “LEGO Disney 43217 ‘Up’ House – Adventure awaits! [Review]

  1. Johnny Johnson

    I can’t help but feel like it would’ve been more cost- and weight-effective to use balloon minifigure accessories (The ones that came with the collectible series with a birthday boy and a birthday girl) instead of four-piece brick-built balloons. But when they’re only making a storefront of a house like this, I guess it doesn’t matter either way. I would’ve loved a whole (Hinged) house with a hundred balloons, but what they’ve done is alright.

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