Review: 75810 The Upside Down, part 1

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When rumours suggesting that LEGO was making a Stranger Things set started circulating I don't think anyone could quite believe them. Given the nature of the Netflix TV series, it just didn't seem like a natural fit for the brand.

Then when it seemed that there could be some truth in them it was difficult to envisage what the set could possibly be given the locations and vehicles in it are largely unremarkable. There was also the question of minifigures: the set would need a lot if it was not to leave fans disappointed

The rumours turned out to be true, but will fans of the show be satisfied?


The show

Stranger Things is a Netflix 'science-fiction horror' series that was first broadcast in 2016. There have been two seasons so far, with the third due to be released in July this year. In the US it's rated PG-13 and in the UK some episodes are rated 15.

It therefore doesn't seem like a natural choice of IP for LEGO to licence but I suspect the company is hoping that the set will appeal to an older demographic that might otherwise have grown out of the toy.

The series follows events in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, when experiments in a laboratory nearby inadvertently open a portal to an alternate dimension called 'the upside down': a spookier, darker, scarier version of reality.

Part of its success is due to much of the story and events revolving around a group of four boys, one of whom disappears. I've only recently watched it and enjoyed it very much.

I have tried to keep the review spoiler-free although I may mention certain plot points or scenes.


The box

When you first see the picture on the front of the box it's clear that it's unlike anything LEGO has produced before. Half the model is upside down and it's not immediately obvious how it holds together and stands upright.

View image at flickr

There's a LEGO logo in the bottom right corner so when you turn the box over you get a completely different perspective on the model.

View image at flickr

The rear of the box shows the back of the model and close-ups of some of the details.

View image at flickr

I don't often get the urge to break the seals and get building straight away but the box image left me very curious as to how it was built, how it the two halves fitted together, and how it was made to not topple over. Let's get the tapes cut and find out...


The contents

Inside, there are around 18 bags numbered 1 to 11, plus a bag of 8x16 baseplates in earthy hues.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

There are two instruction manuals, neither of which has a picture of the set on it but instead purporting to be classified documents from the Hawkins laboratory. The first provides instructions for the 'right way up' version of the house, the second the upside down section, and joining them together. There's also information about the series, the cast that have been represented in minifig form, the designer (Justin Ramsden) and the design process.

View image at flickr

Two sticker sheets are provided. The smaller one contains monochrome versions of those on the larger sheet which will be used in the upside down.

View image at flickr


Minifigures

There are quite a few key characters in Stranger Things that just had to be in the set if fans were not to be left wanting. Thankfully, everyone who should be present is, and there's even one that was not expected.

The figures are distributed throughout the build but for convenience I will discuss them them all at once.

Will Byers

Will is the one of the four friends that goes missing. His distinctive 'basin cut' hairstyle required a new hairpiece so as a result it looks fabulous.

All of the child characters in the set utilise the new shorter articulated leg element. This is the first time it's been produced in light royal blue.

View image at flickr

Will's torso is printed front and back with details of his sleeveless jacket.

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His head carries an alternate expression, appropriately one of fear.

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The figure bears a very good likeness to the on-screen character and there's not really any room for improvement.

Mike Wheeler

Mike is equipped with a torch and walkie-talkie. He's often seen wearing a striped shirt and beige jacket which have been very well reproduced here.

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A stock hair piece has been utlilised so consequently the figure is not a perfect resemblance of the on-screen Mike.

View image at flickr

His head has an alternate angry expression.

View image at flickr

Lucas Sinclair

Lucas is the third of the group of friends. He carries a torch and a catapult, which I believe is a new element. It's an excellent minifig accessory, and even better, there's a spare one in the set.

View image at flickr

He wears a camouflaged bandana around his head and I believe a Ninjago element has been reused here, albeit redecorated. Consequently the top, which has no texture and is far too reflective, looks nothing like his afro hair.

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He has no alternate expression (it would be visible under the bandana) but the back of the torso is finely printed with details of his faux-fur collared jacket.

View image at flickr

Dustin Henderson

The designers have captured Dustin's distinctive appearance perfectly. His prominent lips and toothless smile, long curly hair and baseball cap really are spot-on!

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He's equipped with a walkie-talkie and a compass printed on a 1x2 transparent tile which is new in this set.

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He has an alternative angry expression and fine printing of his T-Shirt, checked collared shirt and demin jacket front and back of his torso.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

He's easily my favourite of the figures!

Eleven

Eleven, or Elle as she's named by Mike, naturally has dark hair and a crew cut but, as that would have been difficult to reproduce in minifig form, she's been depicted wearing the blonde wig that she wears later in the series in order not to stand out.

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She has a pink cloth skirt and carries a waffle. She has no alternate expression.

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Joyce Byers

Will's mother carries a torch and a picture drawn by her son.

View image at flickr

Her hair first appeared in last year's Harry Potter sets, on Hermione, and while it's not a perfect representation for Winona Ryder's character, it's not bad.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

She has a look of shock/horror for her alternate expression.

View image at flickr

Chief Jim Hopper

The local chief of police is the only human character who's not wearing a jacket. Instead, the fine details of his uniform shirt have been reproduced on his torso, including a pen in his lapel pocket and police badge above.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Demogorgon

These mysterious humaniod creatures inhabit the upside down and once again the designers have done a fantastic job of nailing its appearance, both by leveraging existing parts (Wolverine's claws and the CMF faun's legs) and creating a brand new 'flower-like' piece to represent its head.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The standard head piece underneath has been printed, perhaps unnecessarily, because I don't believe the creatures exist in that form, but I guess it might have uses elsewhere.

View image at flickr


Verdict on the minifigures

Overall then, this is an exceptional selection of minifigs. Some are more successful than others at representing their on-screen counterparts; Mike and Lucas's hair, in particular, could have been better but I don't think fans have anything really to complain about. Everyone that needed to be included is.

Of course, it would have been nice to have some of the peripheral characters as well -- Nancy Wheeler, Jonathan Byers and 'Mad' Max, for example -- but I appreciate that the line had to be drawn somewhere!

The set even provides a stand on which to mount the four friends, which is very welcome and avoids having the model looking overcrowded on display.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Continue reading part 2 »


The set can be purchased from shop.LEGO.com now via these links:
USA | Canada | UK | Germany | France

Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

60 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I like part 1 was posted right after part 2...

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By in United States,

“Doesn’t seem like a natural choice for an IP” because it’s PG-13? Every Star Wars movie since Revenge of the Sith has been PG-13, there were two Indiana Jones movies that were PG-13, every Marvel movie that got sets have been PG-13, from Spider-Man back in the day to Endgame now. It isn’t breaking any standards in my opinion.

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By in United States,

Why did you say Dustin's hair could have been improved? It's perfect to me

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By in Costa Rica,

There are a few moments where demogorgon has the fauces closed, so that's the reason for the underneath printing.

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By in Germany,

The catapult/slingshot element was first used in the Simpsons theme, and recently reappeared with Dewey in the second Disney CMF series. It's new in these colours though.

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By in United States,

Typical Brickset... having a set secretly in hand already for a review and telling nobody! ;)

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By in Canada,

- The slingshot was created for Bart back in the first wave of Simpsons CMF. These are new colours, though!
- As Gustavo said above, the Demogorgon definitely has the closed face, and it's the one the characters in the show initially see (both Nancy and Joyce refer to the creature as "faceless")
- Looks like you accidentally typed Dustin instead of Lucas when mentioning hair with room for improvement(?)

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By in Netherlands,

@Huw the catapult is a recolour of part 20546, introduced with Bart Simpson. The 1x2 compass came in the City Jungle wave in 2017. ;)

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By in United States,

I have only seen a few episodes but I love this set.

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By in United States,

In addition to the corrections posted above, the "hairpiece" for Lucas actually originated not in Ninjago, but on the (bald) Buccaneer from the CMF series, and was reused on some of the figs from the Dragon Dance set this year. Texturally, it is a little lacking, but color-wise it works and the bandanna goes a long way toward making the character recognizable.

The figs are all great but one aspect that I love (that you didn't already call attention to) is Joyce Byers' amazingly world-weary standard expression. There's an emotional depth there that I feel is pretty rare among figs, whose faces more often tend to skew toward more cartoonish extremes of emotion.

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By in United States,

You've got American ratings a bit wrong. PG-13 is a movie rating, so as a show, Stranger Things is TV-14. Also, the Demogorgon's head opens and closes (I've no idea how you missed that).

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By in United Kingdom,

This is truely an awesome set with some great display value. It's a bit pricey but I'm surely going to pick this up some day soon when it's out.
I think I'm going to set up a movie/tv display case at home for sets like this.

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By in United States,

Please tell me you made a typo regarding the bad hairpieces... Dustin looks phenomenal! Honestly he’s a contender for one of the best minifigures of 2019.

And it would be nice to see a picture of Eleven without the wig on.

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By in United States,

I love that catapult piece and the Demorgoron.

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By in United States,

@just2good Re: “Doesn’t seem like a natural choice for an IP” because it’s PG-13?

Indeed! One of my favorite Lego Minifigs is Mola-Ram holding a 1x1 human heart! It must be the darkest, most grim thing Lego has produced.

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By in United States,

Eleven probably has no alternate expression so you can ditch the Alsatia Zevo hair and have her go bald.

@cephalopoid:
I mean, they keep cranking out the Disney Wars stuff...

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By in Canada,

I like the new waffle, the bowl cut hair style, and the method of upside down flippery

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By in United Kingdom,

This set looks awesome but the biggest let down is Eleven. I don’t think it captures her image at all. They should have attempted her natural hair and gone with the nose bleeding.

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By in United Kingdom,

Love the new waffle tile might get some from bricks n pieces. Com and love love Love the minifigs especially Dustin, lucas and the Demogorgan,
It'd be cool if they made the four boys in the ghostbusters outfits they wore for Halloween in one episode,

Well done lego...

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By in Canada,

I assume we're all going to refer to the new waffle piece as a LEGGO? ... I'll get my coat.

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By in United States,

“Dustin’s long curly hair and baseball cap really are spot-on!“

“Dustin's hair, in particular, could have been better.”

Well, which is it?

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By in Netherlands,

I was confused by Mike's striped short but I think you meant shirt ;)

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for the info about the catapult, and yes, it was a mistake in my verdict. Dustin's hair is one of the highligts of the set!

Apologies for any other typos, I had to write it all in rather a rush!

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By in Germany,

TLG is straying so far from its path it is not even funny anymore. Family friendly content? Yeah, right. But let's somehow try to justify it anyway. Wasn't the "Shaun of the dead" set on Ideas dismissed because it did not fit the brand? Oh, that movie was rated 16 in most countries, too, just like "Stranger Things". There are so many, many sets of themes missing in the portfolio that kids are actually interested in (Cowboys, Pirates, Castle to name just the most basic), but no, what we get is over-hyped sets based on TV-shows that will be forgotten soon (my kids still play with my old Castle sets, how many six year olds will play with this in ten years?), over-priced sets with zero general appeal (Steamboat) or rehashes. And then they wonder where their customers go and why off-brands are so successful. What is left? We can celebrate hair-pieces instead of truly awesome sets. Yay.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for the minifig analysis it has certainty piqued my interest in the set which was previously quite low as I couldn't see what they were going to do with the brand. I think the printing on the Demogorgon head is meant to represent the flower leaves of the mouth closed up which is seen at several points in the series.

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By in United Kingdom,

good review

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By in Canada,

Thanks for the thorough review. I appreciate how quickly you posted it. Good work!

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By in Australia,

The biggest miss is not including a spare head for Eleven with bleeding nose.

Although I guess there’d be reluctance for Lego to release blood on a minifig - has it ever happened before?

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By in Germany,

@Mickitat: thanks for your comment. I feel exactly the same.

Perhaps it's a German thing though, as we probably feel we "lost out" the most when TLG shifted their focus away from their European customers and towards the US.
Remember back in the Eighties, Germany must have been the biggest market for TLG, visible from the fact that basically all the reality-bound sets represented German life. The style of the vehicles, the road signs, and the whole look and feel of besically everything LEGOLAND. The trains even were exact (for the time) replicas of some of Germany's most common trains at the time.

Nowadays, most sets appear to have been geared to US tastes and styles. They still offer the occasional set that at least also can "live" in a European environment, especially in the City theme, but everything else often feels so far removed from what kids over here are used to and see in their everyday lives that it is no wonder that many themes just don't sell over here like they probably do in other parts of the world. People, especially from the US, might not be aware of this, but many things they take for granted as being "universally popular" actually is not - over here.

Like this show. I said it somewhere else, I asked around, and no one, not even the ones who have Netflix, have heard of the show or watched it. A lot of people I know are huge fans of GoT (and would love to be able to buy sets based on that IP), some love various "Prime Original" shows, but on the whole there just doesn't appear to be too much enthusiasm for LEGO sets based on modern shows here. Older stuff is a different matter, especially stuff from the Eighties like Knight Rider, A-Team, Ghostbusters, The Fall Guy, Masters of the Universe, etc. Or genres like James Bond of course. Just imagine all the cool sets based on the films from the 60s and 70s that could be produced.

And don't forget Duck Tales based sets. The whole Entenhausen (a.k.a. Duckburg) universe could be the base of countless sets, scenarios, CMF series etc. Every kid over here knows that universe, the Lustige Taschenbücher series of comic books is a bestseller and has been for decades. Sets based in that universe would sell like hotcakes - plus be family-friendly and highly desirable for AFOLs as well, as many here grew up with that universe.

Anyway, enough OT.
Everyone who likes Stranger Things, enjoy the set and figures.

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By in United States,

Dustin minifig is so spot on, it's uncanny.

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By in United States,

No Nancy, Jonathan or Steve is a big disappointment.

Hopper doesn’t look great either. A hair mold with the hat may have fixed that issue.

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By in United States,

Good review so far! It's kind of disappointing to learn that no attempt was made to recreate Eleven's buzz cut. I honestly expected it to be printed on the head underneath the hair piece (like many of the early 2000s LEGO Sports minifigures) after seeing her wearing the wig in some of the teasers. While that would have been a decidedly imperfect solution since it would leave the head stud itself unprinted, it still might have been preferable to the set only including her "disguised" appearance. That said, everything else about the figures is fantastic.

Until reviews of this set started turning up, I didn't realize that the item held by Lucas was referred to as a catapult in British English. In American English we call them slingshots.

An amusing detail I saw mentioned in The Brothers Brick's review which is unnecessary but still clever is that the Eleven minifigure appears in Bag 11 of the set. ^_^

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By in United States,

@Mickitat and @AustinPowers: I think it's a little ridiculous to complain about this set as if it has anything to do with the lack of Castle, Pirates, or Western sets. It's not as though not having this license for a 16+ exclusive would somehow make room for a wave of regular 5+ to 9+ sets from a classic theme.

Also, there's no shortage of space stuff in The LEGO Movie 2 — AFOLs just seem to ignore it because it's not "real" LEGO Space, the same thing some AFOLs have been saying about every ACTUAL LEGO Space theme since the 90s. And I find it baffling that you somehow think cowboys are more popular in Germany than the United States, where the Country/Western genre remain a major part of the musical landscape and nostalgic, idealized visions of the Wild West are often used to uphold our country's embarrassing attitudes towards firearms and police violence.

I don't think anybody at LEGO is wondering "where all the customers go or why knock-offs are so successful", because LEGO still dominates the construction toys market even in your own home country, and profitable knock-offs are not an even slightly new phenomenon. I understand that LEGO might have at one time been MORE popular and successful in Germany than it is today, but I don't think something being less successful than at its peak is a cause for alarm.

I think you may be perceiving the current portfolio of products as more US-centric than it actually is.
• While most of LEGO's movie licenses are with American studios, there have been several recent licenses heavily geared towards popular British subject matter, such as Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Doctor Who, The Beatles, and Caterham Seven.
• Most licensed Technic, Speed Champions, and Creator Expert vehicle sets have focused on European automotive or heavy equipment brands, with American brands only having recently started getting ANY attention in these themes.
• European architecture is extensively featured in the Architecture and Creator Expert themes. Also in Creator Expert, the Winter Village Market set depicted a Christmas market, a popular form of Christmas celebration in Germany that's almost unheard of in the United States.
• Just three years ago LEGO launched a DFB minifigures series exclusive to Germany, while we haven't seen any minifigures representing American sports teams or athletes in over a decade and a half.
• The various LEGO theme magazine and trading card series created by Blue Ocean launched in countries like Germany, Italy, and the UK long before they launched in the United States.
• Even the Friends theme, one of LEGO's major achievements of the past decade, was initially launched in France, not the United States.
• That Angry Birds license AFOLs complained so much about? Angry Birds was created by Rovio, a Finnish company, and is very popular in Europe, where it is represented not just with apps and movies but with an Angry Birds store and Angry Birds activity parks.

And also, from my understanding, a lot of the concern about LEGO's popularity declining in Germany stems from the experiences of brick-and-mortar toy sellers. But that has as much to do with the growing dominance of online merchants like Amazon.de as with kids losing interest in any brand of toys, as this article attests: https://www.ascentialedge.com/insights/toys-europe-amazon-effect

That's not to say this is a harmless phenomenon, since Amazon has a reputation for using shady tactics to outsell their competitors — but in this sense the concern should be for the future of smaller chains or independent retailers, not for LEGO's own future.

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By in United States,

I'd love a CMF series for Stranger Things. Maybe Barbara could be the "rare" fig (she was pretty darn hard to find after all), and she could have some Upside Down inspired darker foliage pieces as accessories... you know, to bury her in! Too dark? I have some thoughts on her possible alternate expression as well :)

CMF Stranger Things Series 2 could include Barb's parents, one having a bucket of KFC as an accessory!

^@Brick Dangerous, does TATORT have anything to do with a giant potato shaped monster? That would be awesome!

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By in United States,

Dustin and Hopper look perfect. Dissapointing, though, that the center of the show (Eleven) looks... terrible.

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By in Poland,

It's a TV series, (not a movie) so it received TV-14, not PG-13.

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By in United Kingdom,

Perhaps TLG could do something with "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" - or should have done so a decade ago. But may be not, because of the whole 'slaying' thing.

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By in United States,

neat minifigs; though not knowing the show (heard of it, but that's all) when i read "Demogorgon" i thought of the Dungeons & Dragons fellow!

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By in United States,

@AustinPowers:
I can confirm that the US overtook Germany as the largest single consumer nation of LEGO product shortly after the launch of the Star Wars theme, so as of 1998 that means Germany ranked first. I have no year-by-year data to show how long prior to that Germany ranked first, but it may go back to the post-WWII reconstruction era. I likewise have no year-by-year data showing how the US has ranked since the launch of SW, but with everything else that's launched in the last two decades I suspect the US has spent most, if not all, of that time in the lead.

@Aanchir:
Cowboys have had their heyday in the US. Now they may be regionally popular, but by no means do they have the pop culture dominance that they did when my dad grew up. Toy Story directly references the shift away from the cowboy culture with Woody (a cowboy) being the older toy that gets pushed to the side in favor of Buzz (a spaceman). BttF3 kinda hints at it, too, with the horrible outfit that Doc Brown provides Marty in 1955. But to much of the world outside of the US, cowboys _ARE_ the US.

While stuff like HP, LotR, and the Beatles did all have British origins, their success stems more from gaining popularity in the US than in the UK. The US/Canadian box office for the entire HP series and LotR/Hobbit series ran pretty solidly around the 30% range. The only box office reports I found for the UK were for HP/FB and only listed in GBP, and the only exchange rate data I could find starts after the first five films were out of theaters. If the trend for the last three HP films extended back to the first, the UK ran about 9% of the worldwide for HP, and dropped to 8% for FB. Doctor Who is clearly a big exception to that, since it appears the US has never cracked 2 million viewers over the lifetime of the franchise while the UK alone managed over 10 million viewers for the 2005 relaunch. I have no idea about the Caterham Seven, as I'd never even heard of it before the Ideas project started getting coverage on AFOL sites.

Speed Champions skipped all US brands the first year, but actually ran slightly over half US brands the second year. Since then it's still skewed heavily European, but Ford appears to be tied with Porsche for second highest number of sets (Ferrari ranks first), and I believe that would leave them matched for overall totals since I know of one Technic Porsche and one Creator Ford. Oddly, Chevy has been their big partner for the North American International Auto Show with a lifesize TLBM Speedwagon Batmobile in 2017, and a lifesize Silverado this year (both years had a make-and-take event for tiny models of both vehicles).

Anyways, with the amount of shelf space dedicated to SW, DC, and Marvel, and previously covering so many other movies, TV series, and print media properties that originated in the US, I suspect that anything along the lines of Team GB or DFB that they could release here would either not perform very well, or would have genuine worldwide appeal (as compared to just being demanded by AFOLs who either want to collect everything or who want access to exclusive parts).

@denn:
I've never watched Stranger Things, but I was looking up info on the Demogorgons and found that the kids actually borrow that name from D&D in the show.

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By in United States,

@Aanchir:
I just read that article, but it comes across very much like "Amazon is doing really well in Europe, and here's why LEGO is responsible for that success." Can't really argue with the numbers presented, but it feels like you're reading two different articles that were taped together in the middle.

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By in United States,

‘Mad’ Max was a season 2 character and this is so blantantly a season 1 set. No need for her to be an included minifigure.

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By in United States,

@denn: You'd be right on in that case—the kids name the monster after the demogorgon from Dungeons and Dragons!

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By in Serbia,

Seems to me like some people are deliberately misreading what @AustinPowers said. LEGO is no longer the behemoth it once was in Germany (interestingly enough, when I travel there I see that Playmobil has a much larger shelf presence than it used to, a lot of it devoted to their historical themes which TLG does not cover). City sets no longer represent German townscapes, Castle no longer represents pseudo-German medieval life - instead we get the VERY American Power Rangers-based ninja techno fantasy (Ninjago) and MOTU-based pseudo medieval space fantasy (Nexo).

However, USA is actually not to blame here. From my discussions with TLG people over the years, it's actually German kids who have turned away from classic German flavors and are now more into the same stuff that American kids are - including Star Wars. Prior to the SW decline which started 2 years ago, SW was really big in Europe too. Now, thanks to Disney's decisions, the whole brand has been devalued and I'm sure TLG doesn't appreciate paying so much in royalties for sets that are heavily discounted all the time...

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm pretty sure the transparent 1x2 compass piece is the same one from the 2017 jungle explorer sets.

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By in Germany,

I do not see this as a US vs. Europe thing.
I have two perspectives on this - one as a parent, one as a so called AFOL.
What I see is that many kid compatible sets are missing. Kids at age 4 do not play with Star Wars sets (at least none I have ever seen, at that age not one kid has seen anything SW related except in a Lego catalogue). They play "farm", they play "city". A few years later, they play "cowboys and indians", "pirates" and "castle", some "space". Many of these themes are absent from the portfolio. I see it at birthday parties - kids used to gift 10 euro Lego sets because there was an abundance of sets at that price range fitting to these topics. The kids I know play with Ninjago and the creator expert series houses, because the other stuff is missing. These themes are bought from the Playmobil range.
As an AFOL, I am not missing a set like this. Nor many, many other licensed sets, of which many feel like they are just chasing the Zeitgeist. I am missing sets of the caliber "Imperial Flagship", a TRUE train range (train station, shed, turntable, etc.).
I have watched Stranger Things when it was released. What makes the show appealing is the perfect reference to the 80ies. Lego would do well looking back at their past successes, too.
And PLEASE USE PRINTS!!

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By in United Kingdom,

For a 100th time - there will be no Classic Space because Star Wars killed it off. Until you can ramp up more money than Disney does you cannot have that back. Maybe you can enjoy the upcoming City Space line-up.

"Cowboys and Indians" - Legoredo's khm success aside, this type of thing won't fly in a PC world

"Pirates" - have you seen the latest theme park sets in Creator?

In my view Lego does respond to certain AFOL needs with flashbacks, one off sets (TLM2 Benny's squad) as much as they can but money talks and big IPs of Disney sell. Success is not measured in how the AFOL or TFOL community will respond.

After all we will MOC whatever we want anyway, right?

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By in Germany,

@Purple Dave and @Sammael: thank you very much for the additional info. I can only second that totally.

@Mickitat: about what kids want: my observations are very similar. The "problem" appears to be supply and demand. As long as there are no other things on TV, children will want what they see there. Otoh, the success of the classic Playmobil themes seems to disagree with that, as do the experiences toy store owners I know share with me in that kids and parents alike would love to buy certain themes from LEGO but turn to Playmobil as well as Schleich, Bruder, Brio, etc. for all the stuff LEGO doesn't offer anymore. They also relate that themes like Superheros, Nexo Knights, or really obscure stuff like Unikitty, Powerpuff, Adventure Time, Angry Birds etc. doesn't/didn't sell well at all and just collect/ed dust in the shelves because there just isn't an interest in the relevant age group for those themes over here.

By the way, to keep an open mind, I have now watched a bit of Stranger Things at a friend who has Netflix. I like the references to the 80s (obviously), but like I thought the genre itself isn't my kind of entertainment. I can now better see why it might appeal to some people though.

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By in United States,

@Purple Dave: The United States definitely makes up a bigger portion of ticket sales for Harry Potter and stuff than the UK, but it seems to me that has more to do with the country's larger population than any difference in popularity between the two countries.

Just as an example, so far, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has grossed the equivalent of $43,500,000 in the United Kigndom and $159,555,901 in the United States. So it's grossed 267% more in the United States. But the UK has a current estimated population of 66,910,737 people, while the United States has a current estimated population of 328,801,607 — 3.91% higher! So the per capita gross for that movie in the UK ($.65 USD) is substantially higher than that in the US ($.49 USD).

@Sammael: I'm surprised you're describing Ninjago simultaneously as "Power Rangers-based" and "very American", since Power Rangers is originally a localization of a Japanese television franchise, "Super Sentai", using original Japanese footage for most of the scenes featuring costumed heroes and villains, and primarily splicing in scenes featuring American actors for scenes of characters in civilian clothes. In that sense, it's hardly any more "American" than "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", which was localized in a similar fashion.

You're right about Nexo Knights being more inspired by American than European storytelling, but I would compare it not so much to "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" (which is less medieval-flavored and more "Conan the Barbarian" flavored in terms of genre) as to other science fantasy series like "Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light" and "Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog". And with all that said… Nexo Knights is over now, and was never intended to last more than a few years to begin with, so I don't know why it's still being treated like some sign of LEGO completely giving up on their traditional themes.

I mean, the Pirates theme got nothing but re-releases, 4+ sets, and Duplo sets from 1998 to 2008, but I never see people holding a grudge against Adventurers for taking its place (even though it was 1998's only major new theme that didn't belong to another category like Castle, Space, Technic, or Town).

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By in Norway,



Great show, great set and great minifigs! Hope more like this to come.

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By in United States,

Kind of surprised that Lego chose to make a set from this franchise. I think all of the minifigs are quite good and look like the characters. I think 11 could be better but she is still OK.

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By in Serbia,

@Aanchir - I initially wanted to mention Super Sentai but then decided against it because I figured that the majority of Brickset readers is not familiar with it and also because I feel that Power Rangers as a localization is much closer to Ninjago. Super Sentai was made for a different - Japanese - audience, with different likes and sensibilities. Acting in Super Sentai is less cheesy (although of course effects are just as cheesy), plotlines are grittier and with higher stakes, and there is less high school drama from what I could tell. IMO, Ninjago was far closer to Power Rangers than Super Sentai. In any case, it's a ripoff.

As for Nexo, c'mon. Its world is very much a ripoff of Eternia. Protagonists may be a bit different from MOTU, but it's got all the same vibes.

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By in United States,

I just realized why the reviews are posted "out of order." hah.

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By in United States,

@Aanchir:
Popularity is always about numbers. The US is a bigger market, so nationwide broadcast networks can reach more viewers, bring in more ad revenue, and cover bigger budgets. The same holds true for movie releases. I don't know how often I see reports that some blockbuster is doing phenomenally in the UK or Japan, and the box office total is under $10M. In the US, if that same film didn't net at least $100M in opening weekend, it'd be considered a flop. Yes, the HP films may have been more popular in the UK, but the UK box office alone came to about 50% of the budget (and they only happened in the first place because an American director pitched the idea to Rowling). The world market outside of North American accounts for 2/3 of the total box office, so even if North America didn't show a single screening, the films would have been very profitable. But given the size of the UK market, I don't think anyone would have been willing to risk such a large production budget, which in turn probably would have affected global performance.

A disproportionate amount of the world's big budget spectacle comes out of Hollywood, and it's primarily because they have access to the most lucrative single market, allowing (and probably encouraging) them to take bigger risks. One likely result of that is, if it catches on in the US, people are more likely to give it a chance. Another is that, with so much of the worldwide box office dominated by exported American culture, the simple fact that a film has a US-based production company behind it probably boosts box office performance, because the world is used to watching American films. Even considering that it takes place entirely in the UK, and is based on a story written by a British author, the HP films probably have a very distinctive American flair to them compared to what they would have been like if a British studio had been given the same budget to work with.

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By in United States,

BTW, has anyone else noticed the easter egg hidden in the sticker sheets? Here's a hint: once you apply the stickers, the egg is broken.

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By in Germany,

@Purple Dave Do you mean the lights that highlight the letters for LEGO?

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By in Italy,

I totally agree with everyone who's complaining about Eleven's badly reproduced figure. No crew cut (!), the pink dress and blonde wig she wears only appear for a relatively short time in the series, and worst of all no second expression - of intense concentration as the uses her powers - which could have made the difference.
As far as the rest is concerned, I truly consider this one of Lego's wittiest and most creative set of all times.

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By in United States,

@SirZed:
Nope. Since the easter egg has been revealed elsewhere, I'll just spell it out for you. If you look at the two sticker sheets, they are both oriented right-side-up in the photo. Both have the copyright notice and ID number printed horizontally in the lower right corner. But if you compare the matching stickers between the color sheet and the B/W sheet, any sticker on the B/W sheet that's not printed sideways is always printed upside-down compared to the matching sticker on the color sheet.

This applies to stickers 2/17, 10/18, 12/22, 3/23, 4/25, 6/24, and 11/26 (the five smaller stickers along the bottom of the B/W sheet, the Christmas lights, and the "149" sticker). Stickers 20 and 21 are printed sideways on the B/W sheet, while the 4x 1 stickers are printed sideways on the color sheet, and there are no B/W counterparts to stickers 9 or 13-16.

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By in Germany,

@Purple Dave Arguing with Aanchir is a complete waste of time. Enjoy your sets and don't let that guy ruin your day. The Stranger Things set comes with nice figures and a ton of useful pieces. That's all that matters.

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