Official Announcement & Review of 75810 The Upside Down

One thing we all know about LEGO is that leaks are a thing. With so much coming out, and reaching so many people, LEGO leaks are very hard to stop, which is a shame, as it can lead to blurry, low quality images coming out which hamper the impact a set can have at release. There are some leaks, however, that seem so far fetched, it’s unlikely they are true. LEGO Stranger Things was one of those leaks. Luckily for us, it was real, and here’s the official details of 75810 The Upside Down! Even better, you can buy it right now!

So it turns out that LEGO had a little stuff up on their site. 75810 The Upside Down will be available tomorrow for LEGO VIP members, with a full release for everyone on June 1.

75810 The Upside Down
75810 The Upside Down

If you’re not sure why this is true, let me tell you about Stranger Things. Premiering on Netflix back in mid 2016, it’s a science fiction horror TV series set in the rural town of Hawkins, Indiana in the early 1980s. The opening pages of the instruction booklet for the 75810 The Upside Down explain the show well:

The nearby Hawkins National Laboratory ostensibly performs scientific research for the US Department of Energy, but secretly does experiments into the paranormal and supernatural, including those that involve human test subjects. Inadvertently, they have created a portal to an alternate dimension called “The Upside Down”. The influence of the Upside Down” starts to affect the unknowing residents of Hawkins in calamitous ways. The first season begins in November 1983, when Will Byers is abducted by a creature from the Upside Down. His mother, Joyce, and the town’s police chief, Jim Hopper, search for Will. At the same time,a young psychokinetic girl named Eleven escapes from the laboratory and assists Will’s friends (Mike, Dustin and Lucas) in their own efforts to find Will.

It can be pretty scary at times, but makes for excellent TV. There’s been a second season already, with a third coming later on this year.

75810 The Upside Down

It’s horror at it’s core, so how is this going to fit in with LEGO’s values and thoughts on appropriate content and themes? Sara Skahill, a member of the LEGO Community Engagement team, had something to say about this on the LAN.

The LEGO Ideas team takes the LEGO brand values and does their best to apply them to every IP imaginable. Generally they err on the side of caution – which means sometimes the company makes a different decision on an IP. 

75810 The Upside Down

Either way, I’m pretty happy! A huge thank you to LEGO for sending me an early release copy of the set to review. I’ve built it and you can read my thoughts below. Before I get into the actual review, though, let me tell you a bit about this incredible product.

75810 The Upside Down

Weighing in at 2287 pieces and costing US $199.99 / DE €199.99 / UK £179.99 / AUD $349.99, 75810 The Upside Down depicts the Byer’s house, as well as the eponymous Upside Down, with a couple of trees, and Chief Hopper’s police cruiser. There’s also a nice minifigure stand with the show’s title on it, for displaying some minifigures.

75810 The Upside Down

The whole set is able to be flipped upside down, depending on what you want to show. There’s also a light brick, to (sort of) light up the alphabet lights in the real world house! This beauty has been designed by Justin Ramsden, who has done some ripper sets (71043 Hogwarts Castle and 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg among others), so you know you’re in for a treat.

The minifigures include Will Byers, Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Eleven, Joyce Byers, Chief Jim Hopper, and the Demogorgon.

75810 The Upside Down

Take a look at the review below for all the in depth information. There’s also some more of the official photos, and the press release.

There’s also a clever designer video with Justin Ramsden, and it looks like it’s been set in the 80s.

75810 The Upside Down
Ages 16+. 2,287 pieces
 
US $199.99 – CA $269.99 – DE €199.99 – UK £179.99 – FR €199.99 – DK 1799DKK – AUD $349.99
*Euro pricing varies by country.  Please visit shop.LEGO.com for regional pricing.
 
The ultimate LEGO® Stranger Things model to build and collect!
 
Fans of the global hit Netflix original series will appreciate the authentic details of this highly collectible LEGO® Stranger Things toy – 75810 The Upside Down. This sturdy, brick-built model can flip between the real world and The Upside Down. The design of the model’s building instructions makes it a great shared building experience with friends and family. The Byers’ house features Will’s bedroom, the living room and the dining room. The Upside Down version of the house, from an alternate dimension, features all the rooms from the real-world model but with a dark, vine-covered, dilapidated look that fans will instantly recognize from the series. With 8 Stranger Things figures, each with its own accessories, this playset makes a great gift for Stranger Things fans who will love to build and display this model to show their passion for the series.
 
– This LEGO® Stranger Things toy includes 8 instantly recognizable Stranger Things minifigures from the hit Netflix original series: Eleven, Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Will Byers, Joyce Byers, Chief Jim Hopper and the Demogorgon.
– The Byers’ house features a front porch with furniture, living room, dining room and Will’s bedroom.
– The living room features authentic details from the series, like the alphabet wall with a light-up function, couch, coffee table, telephone, axe, ‘have you seen me?’ flyer stickered element and a bear trap to catch the Demogorgon.
– Will’s bedroom plays a central role in the series, which this model faithfully replicates, including details like Will’s boombox, bed, desk, desk lamp, drawings and movie posters.
– The dining room includes an armchair, boxes that store Christmas lights, fantasy game rule book stickered element and a potted plant.
– The attic space includes a Mind Flayer drawing stickered element and a wizard hat for ‘Will the Wise’.
– The Upside Down set captures the look and feel from the Netflix original series, including creepy vines, dark coloring and a dilapidated look.
– Chief Jim Hopper’s police truck includes a removable roof for easy access to the interior and a pumpkin element as a reminder of Season 2.
– Accessory elements include Lucas’ slingshot and flashlight, Dustin’s walkie-talkie and compass, Mike’s flashlight and walkie-talkie, Hopper’s coffee mug, Joyce’s flashlight and drawing of ‘Will the Wise’, and Eleven’s waffle.
– This Stranger Things collectible includes over 2,200 pieces and comes in 11 bags, so the real world and The Upside Down can be built at the same time for a shared building experience.
– Measures over 12” (32cm) tall, 17” (44cm) wide and 8” (21cm) deep.


Review

Theme: LEGO Stranger Things
No: 75810
Release Year: 2019
Cost: AU $349.99
Pieces: 2287 (with eight minifigures)

I’m trying out a new format for the review, as it’s a bit special. Instead of splitting out the sections and scoring them separately throughout the review, the build and appearance sections will be combined, as it flows a bit better. I’ll then add the separate scores down the bottom at the end. Let me know what you think!

First, let’s take a look at the minifigures, starting with the four boys. All of the kids in the set have medium sized legs, first seen in the Wizarding World CMFs, so it means there’s hip movement, plus new colours in the leg elements. Good news!

75810 The Upside Down

The four boys are Will Byers, Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair and Dustin Henderson. While the new legs are great, the excitement is with the rest of the elements. The torsos have some stunning printing, with new hairpieces and faces. I love Lucas’ camo bandana, but Dustin’s baseball cap and hair is the best. In addition to their slightly alarmed faces (all except for the optimistic Dustin), Will has an alternate terrified face, perfect for the Upside Down, Mike has an alternate determined face, and Dustin has an alternate concerned face. Unfortunately there’s no alternate face for Lucas, because you’d see it from the back.

75810 The Upside Down

Mike carries a walkie-talkie and a torch, Lucas a torch and a slingshot, and Dustin a walkie-talkie and a compass. An excellent start to the minifigures!

75810 The Upside Down

Eleven looks great, with her blonde wig, dress and blue jacket. She’s got an excellent determined look on her face, and carries an Eggo, which is a brilliant addition, after her fondness for them in the show.

Joyce Byers looks a little underwhelming, but is a good representation, with her striped top and khaki jacket. She carries a drawing of Will’s and a torch, and uses Hermione’s hairpiece. She’s got an alternate face that looks pretty terrified.

75810 The Upside Down

Chief Hopper is in his Hawkins Police uniform, and comes with a coffee cup and tan police helmet. His facial printing is excellent, but the masterpiece here is the Demogorgon. With stunning monster type legs that are recoloured and reprinted Faun legs, a brilliant torso and arms and that crazy head, this is one scary looking minifigure.

It’s excellent that it’s also got a head with the ‘face-petals’ closed. The front and back printing on all of the characters is intricate, with a brilliant attention to detail. The only omission that I can see (and it totally makes sense) is that Eleven is missing the blood coming from her nose after she uses her powers, but seeing as she doesn’t have a nose, it’s ok!

75810 The Upside Down

Aside from the minifigure elements, there’s so many elements in this set that stand out to me. The black bike, the large slopes and tiled plates used in both roofs, dark blue leaf elements, a brilliant wizard’s hat for Will the Wise, the light up brick, printed newspaper windows, wedge plates, half arches, dark green leaves, I could go on. Just as a parts set, this would be pretty awesome.

I’ve built a lot of sets over the years, but I have never built anything like this before. This is definitely a one of a kind set. Also, from what I could tell, the even numbered bags were all in a separate white box, while the odd numbered bags were just in the main box as normal.

The first five bags are set aside for the real world house, Chief Hopper’s car, and the minifigure stand, which is where we start off. Bags six to nine are for the Upside Down house, with bags 10 and 11 opened simultaneously for the trees. To make it easier, I’ll talk about the houses together, as aside from the aesthetics, they’re a mirror image of each other.

75810 The Upside Down

The car is simple but looks great – it’s definitely the same car, and the colour scheme and design is spot on to the 1980 Chevrolet K5 Blazer used in the show. It’s a simple build, and incorporates the use of a Technic hole that will be used later in the build. It’s a strange design, but very clever, using 1×1 ‘pizza slice’ tiles to not hamper the pin clip.

75810 The Upside Down

I also love the pumpkin in the back, that references the start of the Upside Down creeping into Hawkins. Once the satellite builds are done, it’s time for the serious work to start.

There’s no baseplates for this build, so the bases are both made from a series of plates and wedge plates, forming a bit of a patchwork landscape. It looks stunning, and so organic and natural. There’s even some tiles added on at angles, for the stepping stones. Before long, we’re into the building of the house, starting with Will’s room.

75810 The Upside Down

There’s a heap of SNOT work involved with the walls, as there’s cladding on it. It’s excellent to see this simple technique return after seeing it in 21310 Old Fishing Store. It works really well. Details are added quickly to the interior, such as a simple desk, a more intricate bed, and some very basic curtains. The bed in particular looks great, with the messy look to it and pillow slightly askew. It’s easily the best looking minifigure bed I’ve seen to date. The room is chock full, so there’s not a lot of room for Will to move around, but given the size of the house, it’s executed rather well.

A roof that acts as a bit of an attic is connected, before it progresses across the room to the living room and the well known alphabet light wall, where Joyce communicates with Will in the Upside Down. I love that in the version in the Upside Down, the lit letters spell LEGO! Well played Justin Ramsden, well played. It’s a pity that it’s covered a little by the leaves, but they can be moved aside.

75810 The Upside Down

Inside the living room are some excellent little details – a missing poster for Will, a bear trap, and an axe. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll appreciate these. No I’m not going to spoil it for you. I also love the cardboard boxes. It’s such a simple technique, but it’s one I always go back to. Add the string of fairy lights and a light brick and the interior is done.

75810 The Upside Down

The verandah and roof of the house is perfect. It looks so smart, with the details at the front, as well as the angle of the roof. There’s also a Technic pin in the ground at the front, ready for Chief Hopper’s car. This is excellent, as it can be connected to the build, so even when the whole thing is Upside Down, the car stays connected. It’s a small detail, but so great to see.

75810 The Upside Down

The Upside Down house is the same layout, but much darker. The photos just don’t do it justice. With a muted colour palette, ‘damage’ to the stickered elements and dark blue leaves dotted around the interior, it looks great. I would have liked to see a much more black colour tone to be truer to the series, instead of dark blue, but I’m happy with the elements we got. There’s definitely an evil look to it. What I love is that it’s a perfect mirror image to the other house, so when they’re connected, they just look spot on. Making the mirror image would have been a feat in itself – the design of this build is phenomenal.

75810 The Upside Down

The best thing about this build would be the trees. I thought it would be a similar situation to the houses – you build one side, then the other side and clip them together, but it’s not the case. To keep it strong, the trees are built as one build, with the Upside Down trees actually built upside down. To make this happen, bottom curved arches and the new Unikitty neck pieces are used, so there’s a tile base on the bottom, to mirror the tiles at the top of the green tree. They’re also built together, so both bags 10 and 11 need to be opened, which I didn’t realise at the start.

75810 The Upside Down

Once the trees are complete, the houses are connected using ball joint clips situated around the base. They’re strong, and combined with the four at the centre of the trees, this isn’t coming apart any time soon. It’s very satisfying to clip everything together, and a lot of fun to position the minifigures on both sides of the set.

75810 The Upside Down

There is so much to like about this set. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen or built before, and is from a subject matter that is, in my mind, very far removed from LEGO’s typical subject matter. I’d love to know more about the conversations that led to this being greenlit. I know I’m not alone in saying that I’m extremely glad it happened, as this set is simply stunning. It’s easily up there with my all time favourites. The price is not cheap, but I think it’s excusable. The parts included are superb, and there’s enough to build a very decent house for a street, even if you don’t use the parts for the Upside Down half. This set is sure to sell like hotcakes, and will fetch a great price on the secondary markets when it retires in the future.

SCORES

Elements & Minifigures – 19/20
Swooshability – 13/20
Build – 20/20
Design/Appearance – 20/20
Value for Money – 9/10
Collectibility – 10/10

OVERALL: 91/100

A special thank you to LEGO for sending me an early copy to review. All thoughts on this set are my own and are not influenced in any way, shape or form. The provision of sets for review does not guarantee a favourable review.

1 thought on “Official Announcement & Review of 75810 The Upside Down

  1. Russell Burder Reply

    Agree – glad LEGO decided to build a set around what is clearly an Adult horror theme and would love to have been a fly on a wall when it was agreed

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