Netflix’s sci-fi-horror-adventure series Stranger Things has been riding the wave of 80s childhood nostalgia for two seasons, making it a smash hit for the streaming platform. With the third season dropping July 4, LEGO is rolling out a massive new set to kick off its licensing partnership. Just officially announced today, 75810 The Upside Down includes one of the key locations in the series, the Byers’ home. It’s got a twist, though, with the creepy “Upside-Down” alternate dimension mirrored below it. Trees serve as pillars so the house can be displayed with either world on top. The set features 2,287 pieces and will retail for US $199.99 | CAN $269.99 | UK £179.99. It is on sale beginning tomorrow for LEGO VIP members, with a full release coming June 1.
The set includes eight minifigures, the mirrored house, Chief Hopper’s Blazer, and a small display stand for some of the minifigures. The scenes in the set span seasons 1 and 2, so there may be a few very mild spoilers. Let’s dig in and see how LEGO accomplished an upside-down house in the first-ever Stranger Things set.
TVs without remote controls meant that you had to walk to the TV to change channels. And sometimes you were the voice-activated remote controls–a direct order given by Mum or Dad to ‘change the channels’. Johan Alexanderson transports us back in time with his memories of yesteryears and the unboxing of the new family TV with a nice effect of foam peanuts spilling out. While the TV has the center of attraction, there’s also the box of distraction. What’s not to love about the giant cardboard box that came with it? The box and all those foam peanuts were also a form of entertainment. Fun fact–the cardboard box was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2005, not long after LEGO was inducted in 1998. Long live LEGO, the TV and the cardboard box!
What’s not to love in this epic battle scene by Revan New? From the clone and droid figures, the archway above, or to the sunset lighting, this creation is full of action. My favorite bit is the Jedi figure flying over the gap as he readies to cut down Separatist droids. Using the grey hose part for the jumping special effect truly helped capture the intensity of the moment.
Love, Death & Robots seems to be making waves on Netflix via word-of-mouth recommendations. It’s a series of animated anthology short clips targeted at adults, and this character is featured in Episode 2, which simply titled Three Robots. It’s pretty cool to see the various LEGO elements that builder Lu Sim used for a change of expressions just like on the show.
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If you grew up in the 90s watching European television, there’s a good chance you love Pingu. The stop-motion animated adventures of the adorable little penguin ran for over 15 years starting in 1990. Builder Johan Alexanderson has made four tiny LEGO scenes of an ordinary day in the life of Pingu as he putters about his nicely furnished Antarctic igloo. The penguins are an adorable mix of minifigure elements and bricks with a little customization for the eyes. Noot noot!
Pingu has appeared on TBB a few times in the past, including a previous scene by Johan where Pingu meets a walrus. We also highlighted a cute larger-scale Pingu.
Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things may be an unlikely candidate for a LEGO model, but builder Andrea Lattanzio is making it look amazing. This secluded cabin is the perfect safehouse for Eleven, and the shack’s dilapidated homeliness comes shining through in this recreation, which features perfect architectural details like uneven shingles and board siding (in some places made of sideways masonry bricks).
Of course, it wouldn’t truly be complete without Chief Hopper and his 1980 Chevrolet Blazer. Andrea is a master of realistic LEGO vehicles, and the classic truck’s boxy style works perfectly in LEGO, and tan and dark tan give an authentic paint job for the small-town police department.
Unlikely though it may be, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Stranger Things LEGO creations. We’ve previously featured the various heroes in three different scales: minifigures, BrickHeadz, and miniland-scale characters.
In the TV show Firefly, the ASREV (Alliance Short Range Enforcement Vessel) is the preferred spacecraft of the Federal Marshals. This LEGO version by Stefan Johansson manages to beautifully capture the starfighter’s sleek lines and angles with a combination of sloped bricks, wedges, and hinged connections. The model is reminiscent of a futuristic jet fighter — the overall shape looks familiar, and its deadly purpose is immediately clear despite its sci-fi styling. The colour scheme is functional and realistic-looking, with enough variation and texture to stop the model being a big lump of grey. Nice to see a starfighter like this built at minifigure scale too — that double-cockpit up-front is class. I’d love to swoosh this thing around making engine noises and pew-pew blaster sounds.
With the immense popularity of the Stargate franchise in its golden age, one would imagine it penetrating deeper into the popular culture and consequently the LEGO fan community. However, it is very rare we see a creation like Rat Dude‘s Stargate SG 1 F304 Daedalus. The spaceship is a product of the later seasons of the Stargate: SG1, when the show matured into a classic sci-fi series instead of the earlier “soldiers versus aliens” approach.
There is a wonderfully military aesthetic to the Daedalus’ design, which Rat Dude has captured perfectly. All sorts of angles still come together in a boxy utilitarian design, captured in LEGO with slopes and wedge plates. Even the numerous studs do not look out of place, adding a texture where most builders would try to hide them. My favourite part is the stripe down the middle-back segment, made out of inverted 1×1 bricks, creating a unique texture.
This neat microscale creation by Lennart C absolutely nails its subject, literally reducing Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble to bricks and studs. Building at this scale requires that rare ability to see the archetypical aspects of its theme in individual elements, and who would have thought a 1×1 orange and a 1×1 brown brick would represent these Stone Age buddies so well. The foot-powered car similarly convinces in its use of cylinders for rock wheels. Here at TBB we are dazzled by so many amazing piece uses in the models we see, so it’s always good to be reminded that sometimes the base elements of the LEGO system are all that’s needed to have a yabba-dabba-doo time!
LEGO’s Voltron-themed Ideas set has generated a lot of excitement amongst LEGO and Voltron fans alike (check out our full review of 21311 Voltron). But as a fan of the show myself, I found the set something of a disappointment. LEGO decided to only focus on the show’s ships, not its characters (there aren’t even any minifigs in the set). It is also based on the original 80’s version rather than the wildly popular new Netflix reboot. To address this glaring oversight, I decided to craft my own LEGO tribute to the show that explores different kinds of ships …relationships!
While one segment of the Voltron fan base enjoys its large mecha and explosive battle sequences, another group prefer to engage in shipping. For the uneducated, shipping is the act of expressing, arguing or obsessing — often via fan art — over which characters you would like to see become romantically involved. Each “ship” even comes with its own Hollywood celebrity couple style name, for example, Lotor + Allura = Lotura.
Zhu Bajie is one of the Monkey God’s fellow travellers in the classic tale Journey To The West. Western TV viewers might know him better as ‘Pigsy’ from the late-70s adaptation. However, familiarity with the source material isn’t required to appreciate this amazing LEGO version of the porcine hero by Kingmarshy. Wonderfully sculpted from a mix of Technic, Bionicle, and regular system bricks, this is a masterpiece of character building. The face is excellent, as is the headdress, but it’s the lines of the robe, with its white trim gaping around the bulging stomach, which really caught my eye. It’s also nice to see this sort of character engaged in a peaceful activity like feasting rather than set up in a more martial pose. The accompanying furniture is perfect — helping create the period feel, but not distracting attention from the main character himself.
The TV show Breaking Bad showed us chemistry-teacher-turned-drug-kingpin Walter White’s descent from sympathetic protagonist to monstrous antagonist over its run, and the ever-talented LEGO 7 has rendered the self-styled Heisenberg in brick form here at the peak of his meth-cooking days. Like the famously blue 99.1% chemically pure meth, this model has all the right ingredients to be a hit.
I absolutely love the use of the trans-clear Bionicle tooth for the chemical pouring into the pot, although I think the standout parts usage here is the trans-black windscreen 3x4x3 which expertly replicates the protective face mask of Walt’s meth-cookin’ outfit. Enjoy a bonus shot of this brilliant model with the facemask up to appreciate the work recreating Walt’s distinct glasses, goatee, and shaved head.