The biggest LEGO Ideas set sure does sound impressive, but is this set more than just an over-glorified doll house?
LEGO 21330 - Home Alone
Available from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores from November 1st 2021.
LEGO Ideas has always been an entertaining game to watch, as AFOLs and media personalities always bet on what makes the next cut. Yet nobody overly seems satisfied at times. Home Alone however, was quite the opposite and was met with great excitement from many fans.
There was always concern that the set, however, would end up like a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or Seinfeld-like set, and boy, were we wrong! We had no idea what to expect, and were shocked by the simple size of this thing. LEGO have done really well on not skimping out on the mansion perspective of the set, but how does it hold up?
Is this set a faithful recreation of the Home Alone classic movie, or is more just a feature piece with not much to offer on the inside? Well, read on to find out more!
The set itself comes with 5 Minifigures, the McCallister house, Treehouse, and Wet Bandits van. That's a lot, so we are really gonna have to break this down section by section.
One of the best things about this set is how "Dollhouse-like" it is, due to the fact you can simply open it up from the front, instead of pulling each floor off one-by-one like the LEGO Creator Modular series.
I've found it extremely useful to open it up and double check things, as well as adjust the dining chairs or character poses, without having to painfully take the model apart.
Oh! And 1x2 Brown Mason Bricks! 143 of them!
This is unfortunately a bit of a double edged-sword though, as I don't actually think this is the colour of the McCallister's house, more being dark red, but it seems like I'm not the only one on the internet having this argument.
Wet Bandit Van
Harry and Marv's signature vehicle and getaway van, the Oh-Kay Plumbing vehicle looks exactly like it should. It's also perfectly in scale with the figures, and allows for them both to sit side-by-side without being too large. It even keeps to the classic 6-stud wide sizing too.
That isn't to say it isn't without its faults though. Although relatively minor, the characters aren't as dynamic to pose when seated in the vehicle, with their motion of arms hindered by the side mirrors. Harry unfortunately suffers the most form this, as he sits slightly closer to the wheel with his shorter legs.
Outside of that, the van also comes some stolen goods hidden away in the back, and plenty space for more spoils by these dastardly crooks.
First Floor and Hallway
The first floor of the McCallister home is split in to five sections, but for this moment, we will be focusing on these three.
You'll also see above that there is a knob on the back of the staircase. This is a play feature for Kevin and his sled to be gently pushed down the stairs and out the door! Outside of this, there isn't much more to this hallway.
The living room is probably tied for being the most decorated and detailed room alongside the Kitchen. It has everything from the Christmas tree, toy train, presents and fireplace.
There's a small knob on the side of the house, that when spun, spins the NBA 'Bricks' player around in an attempt to fool would-be thieves. There also quite a few references in this room that hark back to the film (more on those later), but a nice Easter Egg is the micro version of this very same set as a gift under the tree!
Our dining room is delightfully detailed with bright pops of colour, through the fan, record player and rug. The mannequin pirouettes in sync with the train, once again helping deter the thieves. The connection point for the wall panel that swings open isn't quite as well hidden on the record player as it is in the Living Room.
The dining table is of course a reference to Kevin's 'last meal' before the goons show up, giving us a plate of his mac and cheese. As well as having the fan trap as another reference.
All in all, this room would be quite perfect, if it wasn't for the darn chairs. Unfortunately, the chairs stand up on tooth pieces, which means they don't lock down, and are subjected to a lot of knocking over. The centre of gravity is almost at the back, which means and mild tap and they all fall.
The Kitchen is one of the most detailed rooms, tied with the Living Room. We have multiple references strewn throughout the room, but better yet is the new door mould, used to recreate an iconic scene of Kevin using Buzz's BB gun.
Not only having references to Little Nero's Pizza or the "Angels with Filthy Souls" movie on TV, this area does really well by compacting simple things like cupboards, a microwave, and even a space saving fridge (?) in to the mix.
A great sneaky play feature was LEGO's incorporation of the laundry chute, where Marv simply pulls on a light chain to turn on the light, and gets met with a falling iron.
It's a great feature to incorporate in to the build, but because of where the opening is placed, it rarely lines up with Marv down below, not to mention that it essentially blocks the walkway post-usage.
The Boiler Room is part of the rear attachment of the building, but you actually have to remove the whole section on to access it, due to the way the top floor interacts with the building.
It's worth noting that fans who want to display their McCallister house on a shelf might have to remove this section from the build completely.
Although small in size, the Boiler Room space makes use of iconic machinery and tools to show it. There's a reference to the tar staircase trap on the floor, which isn't location accurate, but nice to have.
I do really wish that the iron was a new mould for the iron trap, as the brick-built version doesn't convey quite as well, but on the flip side, LEGO did a really good job making the furnace look as scary as it was for Kevin with a simple light-brick instalment.
Moving to upstairs, there isn't much to show outside of family photos and setting up traps. The classic paint can swing can be launch from here, built actually in to the bannister, as well as an exposed stud on the wall for Buzz's spider.
Quaintly tucked away to the side is the McCallister bathroom, using a small bit of SNOT technique to spin a car hood upside down for a basin. I do like the toothbrush sticker as a reference to Kevin accidentally stealing it in the film.
It's quite bizarre how important Buzz's bedroom is to the overall story of Home Alone. But this little room does the room quite a lot of justice.
Not only is it packed with details like Duncan's Toy Chest from Home Alone 2, but LEGO actually made it a feature for Kevin to accidentally knock down everything on Buzz's shelf in his endeavour to get money.
Outside of the panicked screams at the start of the movie, this bedroom more serves as a location for Kevin's popcorn shenanigans. The builds are simple but quite accurate to the film, and even has the 12:00 reset alarm clock, but what I do love is the use of the older flower piece to make the vintage lamp, which is a part I haven't seen used in quite a while.
The attic space of the McCallister's home is quite narrow on the inside, and otherwise overwhelmed in white. There are very few details tucked away inside, but they've been made quite well regardless.
Kevin's space upstairs gives us a cutely made sofa bed, which I'm a huge fan of, as well as a gumball machine and a small desk for Kevin to make his "Battle Plan". The rear window also connects up to the treehouse via a cable for Kevin to hang-glide his way to safety.
The exterior of the attic is as ironically snowy and snowy can get, but I did run in to an odd problem, my rooftop won't sit flat. The 6x12 panels used on the room have the tiniest bit of a natural warp in them that they create a hairline gap that frustrates me.
The Treehouse is one of the last points of the story with Kevin and the Bandits. Now having chased Kevin to the top of the house, he glides his way out and down to the Treehouse!
The treehouse isn't anything to write home about, but it fits the bill nicely. Some albeit rarer parts are used here, like the brown stalks used to attach the leaves, but otherwise, not much to say.
Kevin's hang glider is a simple but effective little build, and the addition of the toy plane using oars for wings is a nice touch.
Kevin looks great and his iconic screaming face is spot on. The most important note about Kevin's Minifigure is that he comes with midi-legs! Which means his movie shenanigans can be recreated with ease.
Kevin comes with two accessories, a scarf and beanie. It would have been super cool if LEGO included a print design on his beanie to resemble the movie more closely, but we're not complaining.
In the interest in full transparency, our particular Kevin Minifigure did suffer a scratch across his right eye during transport to us, and LEGO have already let us know we can get a replacement after launch.
Marv's Minifigure could have been improved with a better newer moulded hair piece. But as reused moulds go, this works fine. In the movies we see the character depicted with frizzy curly hair, border-lining on a small afro. This hair piece is nicely groomed and has no curl to it. Other than the hair, the Minifigure is spot on.
The best part of this Minifig is the iron burn mark on his alternative face. This detail feels like a must as when I think of Marv Murchins. I definitely think of the ironed faced thief.
This Minifigure couldn't me more right. In fact, Harry's beanie in the movie could have been modelled off a LEGO beanie since they look so alike. His legs are midi-sized, making him the same height as Kevin, and in contrast, making his partner Marv seem taller. Just like in the movie. Also subtly, Harry has a gold tooth, which is a metallic print, making his tooth shiny too.
Harry comes with a police hat, of course to reference the opening scene to the movie. It would have been nice to have the rest of the police uniform. But again, we aren't going to complain.
Kate looks just about right, if the Minifigure weren't based on a character, this fig would be rather plain and just forgettable. But Kate is a perfectly typical mother, not some secretly cool main character of sort, so this seem accurate.
However, her panicked realisation face doesn't tick my boxes, the eye brows are completely wrong, and her eye shape is too rounded to truly resemble that moment she has. Kevin's scream face captured the unique mouth shape and wide eyed disbelief that he has in the film- so why not bring that level of detail to Kate?
"Old Man" Marley
I understand not wanting to make a new mould for every character Minifigure, but Marley's beard simply doesn't look as impressive as his minifigure's. But I'm happy that they chose a beard accessory rather than a print, as it would have made him less interesting.
However, his hair is completely wrong. Most notably, Marley doesn't have a widows peak and he wears his hair in a comb over style. LEGO's Dick Grayson/Obi-Wan Kenobi hair piece comes to mind as a possible alternative, in grey of course. Other than his hair pieces, his attire and facial expression is true to character. And, as you would expect, he comes accessorised with a shovel.
Here's a list of every reference we can find and remember. And yes, there is a LOT of them!
Kevin at Home
Scary Boiler Room
Kevin's fear of the downstairs boiler.
When the power goes out, the clocks reset to 12:00 and get everyone in a panic.
The image is from Home Alone 2, because, you know, it happens twice.
Kevin's plan to defend his home.
Mac and Cheese for Dinner
Kevin sits to say his prayer before battle.
This Pizzaria appears both at the start of the film, and when Kevin tricks the delivery driver with the recording of the movie. We can also see one of the Wet Bandits pretending to be an officer.
Kevin's Missing Plane Ticket
Kevin's Plane Ticket at the start of the film is put down on a bench, which then gets things spilt all over it when Kevin and Buzz fight. Cleaning it all up, Kevin's dad accidentally puts Kevin's ticket in the bin; another reason why Kevin wasn't noticed as missing.
Popcorn on the Bed
No parents, no rules.
Scream in the mirror/Stolen Toothbrush
The iconic scene of Kevin using aftershave is referenced, as well as the red bricks having a toothbrush print on it to reference the toothbrush Kevin accidentally stole.
When reaching up to get some money for food, Kevin accidentally breaks his brother's shelves, also releasing his pet spider.
Ice Cream on Chair
Watching a scary movie at home, Kevin eats ice cream and gets scared.
Sledding down the stairs
Kevin takes a joyride down the stairs and out the front door.
A reference to Home Alone 2, turtle doves can be found on the Christmas tree.
Duncan's Toy Chest
A main location for Home Alone 2, Kevin stops the "Sticky Bandits" from robbing Duncan's Toy Chest.
Pictures hanging up on the walls reference both Paris and the Empire State Building.
Traps and Tricks
Whilst attempting to deter the Wet Bandits, Kevin creates a fake party, including the mannequin on the record player, and of course the Michael Jordan cardboard cut out.
If its cold, why would you not?
BB Gun to the groin and face
Grabbing his brother's BB gun, the Wet bandits learn some harsh lessons.
Paint Can slip-trap
Marv slips up and slides along the floor into a stack of paint.
Iron to the Head
Down the chute and straight to Marv's head. Ouch.
Sticking to every step he takes, Marv must remove his shoes and socks to get up the stairs, not noticing quite a horribly large nail waiting for him.
Forced to remove his shoes, Marv has a hard time traversing the lounge room when Christmas baubles break under his feet.
When opening the door, Harry sets off a fire trap and has top dive head-first in to some snow.
Ready to be hit with feathers, Kevin turns Harry into a chicken.
Swinging Paint Cans
Whilst waiting for them to come up the stairs, Kevin swings these into action down below.