LEGO Stranger Things Review: The Upside Down flawlessly brings the Netflix series to brick-built form

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LEGO Stranger Things

This year LEGO is showing that it knows how to mix up its catalog not just with new creations, but also fresh lines of sets. There’s no better embodiment of that than the new Upside Down 75810 kit. Today we’ll be diving into a full review on the recently-released 2,200-piece LEGO Stranger Things set, taking a look at its exclusive new minifigures and more. Head below for a closer look at one of the most unique builds to date.

For one of its first collaborations with Netflix, LEGO has gone full 1980s science-fiction for its latest release. Just about every aspect of The Upside Down set is stocked with the kind of Stranger Things theming you’d expect. The box art features remixed LEGO logos and the instruction booklets are styled like classified documents to fit in with the series.

Assembling LEGO’s The Upside Down

LEGO’s Stranger Things set focuses on assembling the Byers’ house, which is central to the series’ plot. In what is effectively a mirror image of itself, you’ll build the two different versions of the home. The front side features a full facade of the building, while around back there’s a cutaway to show off several rooms which are highlighted in the show. Another great feature is that there’s no right side up for The Upside Down kit, as it can can be displayed in either orientation.

Even though you’re essentially assembling the same build twice, it doesn’t feel repetitive or tedious. After completing the normal version of the Byers’ home, you’ll begin work on the Upside Down variant. Each side offers a fresh take on the creation you already built, adding vines, dilapidated furnishings and more to mix it up. It’s interesting to see how the set designers opt to change things around in the dark version of the home, which keeps you on your toes through the building process.

A lot of techniques from LEGO’s line of Creator Expert City kits have been borrowed to recreate the Byer’s home. The house’s siding is wonderfully constructed and the two trees which flank the build are well-designed too. As for holding the two halves of the creation together, LEGO took advantage of some interesting ball joint elements to keep everyone in place.

The various parts usage and techniques culminate in a model that’s sturdy while still overflowing with detail. Few kits have the same display worthiness as The Upside Down, which makes this a fantastic build for collectors. In terms of playability, features like a light-up brick and a near-full interior make this great for fans looking to recreate their favorite scenes from the show.

A lot of diverse elements go in to assembling the LEGO’s Stranger Things set. Plenty of The Upside Down’s parts are out of the ordinary, with various shades of blue and tan being some of the more eye-catching inclusions. There’s also vine elements in rare colors.

New printed pieces hark back to 1980’s LEGO kits

This year hasn’t been the best for printed LEGO bricks thus far, but the brand has pulled out all the stops here. From various Will Byers drawings, to window panes covered in ‘missing fliers’ and more, this set includes some notable, entirely new bricks. In fact it really feels like we’ve entered the actual Upside Down for LEGO to treat builders to all of the new elements.

To continue fitting the ’80s aesthetic, two sheets of stickers round out the build’s visuals. These add everything from classic movie posters in Will’s room to vinyl record sleeves, exterior brickwork and more. Overall the design of the graphics are very on point; so I can easily overlook the use of stickers in this particular kit. 

Minifigures straight out of the 1980s

With this being the very first Stranger Things set, it is also the first time we’ve officially seen the series’ characters in brick-built form. This kit includes eight entirely new minifigures for each of the show’s leading protagonists, as well as the fearsome demon they must defeat. There’s Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson and Will Byers alongside Eleven, Police Chief Jim Hopper as well as Joyce Byers and the Demogorgon.

All eight of the included minifigures feature exception printing and excellently embody their real-world counterparts. It’s not uncommon for live action characters to get lost in translation when becoming minifigs. That’s nowhere near the case here, as all of them are as true to the source material as you could realistically ask for from LEGO.

Thoughts on The Upside Down

LEGO partnering with Netflix to release The Upside Down kit in itself was an exciting endeavor for the two companies to pull off. In the weeks leading up to its debut, LEGO teased the build, growing expectations along the way. The final model went above and beyond what I thought we’d see from the collaboration; with an execution that couldn’t be more spot on from the two companies.

There isn’t just one exciting aspect of the build. Everything from the exterior design to furnished interior brings to life the Stranger Things aesthetic. Regardless of if you’re more interested in the model itself or the exclusive minifigures, this set delivers in droves.

The Upside Down Price Breakdown

Outside of its unique design and other appealing aspects we’ve covered in the review, LEGO’s very first Stranger Things set also enters with as a notable bargain. At $199.99, you’ll be bringing home 2,287 pieces. That’s just just over $0.08 per brick, well below the ten cent gold standard. By itself, that’s a pretty notable part per dollar ratio. But when considering it’s a licensed set that includes several exclusive minifigures, The Upside Down’s value is even more noteworthy.

LEGO Stranger Things Review Verdict 

As one of the most unique LEGO sets released this year, or even of all-time, it’s hard to find a reason not to recommend The Upside Down. Coming off of its last several-thousand piece set, it’s like night and day. First and foremost, Stranger Things fans will find this to be a faithful brick-built recreation of the series; which of course makes it a must-have piece of memorabilia. Then on the other hand, LEGO builders will certainly appreciate this creation; as it’s hard to beat a wide range of building techniques, new minifigures and the batch of less-common elements.

Really the only thing that could turn off potential buyers is the steeper $200 price tag. And even then, the Stranger Things set has a more compelling value than more other LEGO kits we’ve reviewed. So all things considered, this set is a must-buy. It’ll likely go down as my favorite build of the year; that is unless LEGO really steps up its game for the second half of 2019. 

LEGO VIP members are currently able to pick up The Upside Down kit for $199.99. For everyone else, it’ll go on sale this upcoming Saturday, June 1st.

Buy LEGO Stranger Things The Upside Down now for $199.99

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