Review: 75810 The Upside Down

When rumours first started surfacing of a Stranger Things LEGO set I immediately dismissed them as absurd. Stranger Things is a show with death and monsters. It’s not the sort of family friendly fair that LEGO will usually make a set of.

Imagine my surprise when I got an email from LEGO asking if I’d like to review this set.

Flip it

I don’t usually start a review with a look at the end result – but look at this!

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The not Upside Down bits…

The build begins with the creation of Hopper’s police truck. It’s a fairly straight forward car build with nothing that is going to blow your mind. The most interesting part of the car may be that it’s designed so that when you flip the model over it can stay in place.

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From there the build moves on to the construction of the Byers’ house. A solid base of plates are laid out to create an interesting footprint. I like that they didn’t just make the base completely square.

The interior features three rooms.

Will’s Bedroom

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While I like the details that are included in Will’s room I will say that this is perhaps a little too compact. The bed, desk and lamps are all wonderfully rendered but when you put them all in the small room it becomes a little too much.

I really love the Shark movie poster. Stranger Things is packed with 80s pop culture references and I’m so glad that LEGO have acknowledged that. There are also some great stickers with Will’s D&D inspired drawings.

Living Room

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The Christmas light letter wall has become an iconic visual from the first season of the show, and it’s really the star of this area of the build. In a genius move there is a clear sticker positioned in front of the light brick that blocks and splits the light. It doesn’t exactly match up to reveal a hidden message but it does approximate the separate lights illuminating. The string of Christmas lights across the room are simple but effective.

I really just wish the letter wall was done with printing, rather than a sticker. I was really nervous putting that sticker on because it’s such an important visual part.

The built elements of the living room are great. The yellow and white lounge suite is nicely done as is the coffee table and rug.

Dining room

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I found the design of the arm chair in this room to be really interesting. It’s built up around a single seat element. It feels like a bit of a strange choice. It looks alright but I can’t help but wonder if it would look better done a different way.

This area of the house is not as detail rich as the other areas but it still has some nice stickered elements.

Outside

The exterior is also full of authentic details such as chairs and a porch swing.

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As much as I enjoy building something outlandish there’s a certain something about making a realistic house with scaled down versions of everyday items. The designers here have done a fantastic job of making the “real” world out of LEGO. This is perhaps most obvious in the colour palate you’ll find in this part of the build. It’s all very subdued, like your olive greens and dark tans.

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Now do it all again, but darker

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This is a really interesting build in that the goal is for the set to be mirrored. That means everything you just built you get to build again in a different colour palate and most importantly – mirrored.

It’s the mirroring that really stops the upside down part of the build being a boring repeat. The way that everything is reversed means you can’t build this consecutively with the normal build.

While the structure is the same there are lots of little differences. There’s lots of the organic material (think vines and stuff) spread throughout the build as well as all of the stickers being darker and torn up.

It’s really interesting to have the normal version nearby when you build the upside down, so you can compare all the little details.

One of the strangest building experiences I have had in a while would have to be putting the two sides of this set together. You’ve just got to kind of awkwardly position them until the ball joint elements are put in place to hold it together. It doesn’t really become secure until the trees are in place.

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Those two trees are an area where I suggest doing both at once. They are identical and I know for me it’d just be a pain finishing one then turning the instructions back and doing the same steps again.

The Minifigures

The minifigures are exceptional. All of them are pretty perfect in my opinion. The standout would have to be Dustin. The demogorgon is also pretty amazing.

I love the inclusion of the display stand, but it raises an interesting question – do you display it with Will or Eleven?

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As a fan of the show I’d have loved to also see Steve, Jonathan and Nancy – but maybe there will be another set and we will get them then.

Final Verdict

I would love to have been in the meeting where it was decided that this set was going to feature the Upside Down, by actually making the set mirrored. It’s an ambitious goal. I’m pleased to say that they absolutely nail it though. As a display piece this is weird and great and I love it. I can’t find fault with any of it.

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The price may be a bit steep, especially considering that your only option is RRP at the moment. It may come down to how big a fan of the show you are. If you’re somebody that binge watched each season in a single session then that cost may be more palatable to you as a superfan.

75810 The Upside Down can be purchased for $349.99 from LEGO online. You may also be able to find it at the Dreamworld LEGO Store, Bondi LEGO store and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne.

This set was provided to me by the LEGO Community Engagement team. Opinions expressed above are my own.

4 Responses to Review: 75810 The Upside Down

  1. Kcy says:

    Great review, Michael. I didn’t intend to buy one as I haven’t watched the show but now I will be getting it after reading your review.

  2. kayno says:

    Thanks for the review. When can we expect to see The Upside Down on the shelves of retailers??

  3. K says:

    kayno > It’s already on shelves, saw it in stock a few days ago at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne

  4. Rebecca Butterworth says:

    Yes, the process of joining it all together was a bit painful! Mine seems to have a saggy verandah roof when upside down but other than that it looks great. So different from usual display sets!

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