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13 October 2019

REVIEW: LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down'

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

On the flip side

Fans of Netflix's Stranger Things rejoice - here's a bit of mechanise that captures the show perfectly. Also, fans of LEGO rejoice - here's a set to get your teeth into with impressive display grace once completed. We check out the LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' set (#75810).



If Stranger Things is a an alien concept to you, we urge you go watch all three current seasons right now on Netflix. From '80s nostalgia, to actual horrifying scenes, it's been a highlight of streaming TV from the past few years. And LEGO really have done the show justice in this innovative 2287 piece set.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

As you can see, this thing 'got presence'. The Upside Down completed set stands at 12 inches tall and 17 inches wide, coming with eight exclusive minifigures. Here they are...


Taking their spot on the included figure display base (with a huge Strange Things sticker - mind how you place that thing), we have Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Eleven. They each come with appropriate accessories (the boys with tools they used to search for their missing friend Will, while Eleven carries an Eggo waffle) and look great standing on the dedicated base. But there's more.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

We also get Joyce, Hopper, Will himself, and an awesome demogorgon figure, with unique spayed head part. These figures are also equally well detailed and exclusive, but we have jealously for Hopper who comes with his own...

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

...police cruiser. This fun sub-build can be incorporated into the main build, as seen above, or be used independently. It even opens up...

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

...accommodating a driver and a prisoner in the back (in this case a pumpkin - reference to season two. Have you gone and watched it yet?).

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

Back on the main build, as you can see this is essentially two mirror versions of the same house - the Byers residence - one existing in our world, and the other in the eerie 'Upside Down'. This means that 50% of the LEGO in the set is hanging from the other, and LEGO have been very clever here to make sure it doesn't sag or come apart under the pull of gravity.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

Staying in our world, the 'normal' house is a detailed build with lots going on. The main construction features multi-studded bricks to allow you to place those grey plank parts, while texture is added by wonky stones on the ground and the layered roof.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

The colours used in this half of the set are predominately light greys and white. These work well next to the browns of the trees - the tough structures that keep the whole set up. We'll come back to these bad boys.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

Turn the model around and you'll see the interior detail. The house featured in the show is represented well here, including Will's bedroom to the left and the living room on the right. There are lots of well placed in-jokes.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

There are lamps galore in Will's room, as well as a great 'Shark' movie poster. We also really love the unmade bed.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

This part of the living room features the iconic alphabet with fairy lights, used to important affect in season one. Look up and you'll notice a light brick. Press it and a speckled transparent part casts dots of light onto the letters, giving the impression of individual fairy lights springing to life. Note also the bear trap on the floor. Nice.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

Completing the living room is a built-up chair, plant, and a Dungeons and Dragons rule book - again, very important to the narrative of the show.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

Behold the gimmick of the LEGO Upside Down set - you can turn it upside down! Holding it carefully, you can flip the entire thing over and, magically, it doesn't fall to bits. Amazing!

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

The 'other' house is a perfect mirror image of the actual house - and here's our one negative about the set. As you can imagine, apart from the colour of the bricks and some smaller details, you essentially build everything twice - including the huge trees which are identical on both sides. Because of this there were times when the building process was slightly monotonous. Still, the finished product is more than worth it. Check out those 'upside down' details on the front porch.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

The eerie texture continues on the inside, with blue and brown plant parts representing the gross growths that stretch out throughout the Upside Down. No light brick in this world, but every other internal detail is mirrored and perverted.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

The colour shift is used effectively to subdue the appearance of this alternate world, making it darker and creepier. It's really well done throughout.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

As promised, a mention of those trees. Although two identical builds, the structures are very strong and well balanced. Completed once you build both versions of the house, you lock them onto the sides of both, allowing the whole thing to stand up - both right way and 'wrong' way. Note the spayed branches at top and bottom - they become the sturdy feet on which the structure stands.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

With plenty of real estate both inside and out, the LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' set makes for great play. Of course, at this price and complexity, and because it comes from an adult theme, most buyers might not be playing with it.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

Still, when it comes to setting up an awesome display scene, you can't beat this. As LEGO sets go, it's creative, challenging and innovative, but as representational as something as abstract as a whole TV show's aesthetic, it nails it on the head.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

This is amazing shelf fodder. So... fans of Stranger Things who also love LEGO (we assume the two crossover quite a lot) buy this damn set. It ain't cheap, but you get a lot of 'stuff' and it really pulls off what it sets out to achieve.

LEGO Stranger Things 'The Upside Down' review

£179.99

Available from www.amazon.co.uk




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