“Lego Group, Netflix Team Up for ‘Stranger Things’ Set,” by S.M. O’Connor

LEGO® Stranger Things: The Upside Down (Set #75810)is The LEGO® Group’s latest licensed set and the first to be made in partnership with Netflix.  Set in the 1980s, the horror web series Stranger Things, which the Duffer Brothers created, write, co-direct, and produce (with Shawn Levy) for the streaming version of Netflix blends elements of Lovecraftian science fiction-horror, conspiracy thrillers, and adventure stories for older children.  The series stars Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, a divorcee and the mother of Johnathan and Will; Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, a special boy; David Harbour as Chief of Police Jim Hopper; Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, a friend of Will; Millie Bobby Brown as “Eleven,” a test subject who escapes from Hawkins Lab; Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, one of Will’s friends; Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, one of Will’s friends; Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, the big sister of Mike and a teenage heroine; Charlie Heaton as Johnathan Byers, Will’s big brother and a teenage hero; Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler, a trophy wife and mother of Mike and Nancy; Matthew Modine as Dr. Martin Brenner, the head of the Hawkins Lab; and Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Nancy’s boyfriend in Season 1. Sadie Sink joined the cast in Season 2 as Maxine “Max” Mayfield, a possible love interest for Dustin or Lucas.  Dacre Montgomery joined the cast as Billy Hargrove, Maxine’s violent elder stepbrother who supplants Steve as the coolest guy in the high school.  Sean Astin joined the cast as Bob Newby, Joyce’s boyfriend.  Paul Reiser joined the cast as Sam Owens, the new director of Hawkins Lab.  The set includes the Byers family ranch-style house as it exists in (the fictional town of) Hawkins, Indiana and as it exists in the Upside Down (as the children call the mirror universe inhabited by monsters they name after monsters from the tabletop board game Dungeons and Dragons); Chief Hopper’s police truck; and eight LEGO® Minifigures®.  The result is the model looks like a house atop its mirror image.

The set is comprised of 2,287 pieces that come in eleven bags.  It is meant for teens and adults sixteen years of age and over.

The centerpiece of this set is the brick-built house flanked by two trees with flat tops.  The trees are really pillars so the set can be flipped over.

The house model consists of a front porch, living room, dining room, and Will’s bedroom.  It measures 1’ tall, 17” wide, and 8” deep.  The alphabet wall that features prominently in Season 1 is present in the living room and has a light-up function.  The living room also has a couch, coffee table, telephone, axe, “Have you seen me?” flyer sticker element, and a bear-trap to catch the Demomorgan.  Will’s bedroom includes his bed, desk, desk-lamp, boombox, and stickers representing Will’s drawings and movie posters.

HighRes_LEGO-Stranger-Things_frontFigure 1 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the set LEGO® Stranger Things: The Upside Down.  Here, we see the front of the model of the Byers family home, Chief Hopper’s truck, the eight Minifigures®, and the Stranger Things logo sign.

HighRes_LEGO-Stranger-Things_backFigure 2 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is the back side and interior of the model of the Byers family home.

HighRes_LEGO-Stranger-Things_side

Figure 3 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is a side view of the model of the Byers family home.

 

Chief Hopper’s truck has a removable roof to provide access to the interior.  It includes a pumpkin in a nod to Season 2.

The eight Minifigures® are Will Byers, Eleven (with a blonde wig hairpiece), Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Joyce Byers, Chief Henderson, and the Demogorgan.  The accessories are Will’s bike, Eleven’s waffle, Mike’s flashlight and walkie-talkie, Lucas’s slingshot and flashlight, Dustin’s walkie-talkie and compass, Joyce’s drawing (by her son Will) of his character Will the Wise, and Chief Henderson’s coffee mug.  The Demomorgan comes with both a standard-shaped Minifigure® head that represents the way the monster looks with its mouth closed and a separate piece that fits over that head that represents the way the Demomorgan looks with its mouth open (very much like a blooming flower).

 

HighRes_LEGO-Stranger-Things_Minifigures_2Figure 4 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The eight Minifigures® that come with the set LEGO® Stranger Things: The Upside Down are Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Mike Wheeler, Eleven, Chief Hopper, Joyce Byers, the Demomorgan, and Will Byers.

HighRes_LEGO-Stranger-Things_MinifiguresFigure 5 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The eight Minifigures® that come with the set LEGO® Stranger Things: The Upside Down are Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, Mike Wheeler, Eleven, Chief Hopper, Joyce Byers, the Demomorgan, and Will Byers.

 

One can purchase the set directly from The LEGO® Group via the dedicated LEGO® Shop Webpage www.shop.lego.com/strangerthings.  The general public can place orders starting on Saturday, June 1, 2019.  LEGO® V.I.P.s could place orders early, on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.  The retail list price in the U.S.A. is $199.99

There were two launch events for the set.  In New York City’s Flatiron District, an event in The LEGO® Store at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 featured a brick-built alphabet wall and a recreation of the Byers family living room.  For the launch event in London at Midnight on May 15th, The LEGO® Store in Leister Square had a vinyl Mind Flayer and brick-built replica of Will’s abandoned bike out front.  Inside, fans encountered a brick-built model of Will’s bike, a recreation of the Byers family living room, a designer signing, and a make-and-take event.

Jamie Berard, Stranger Things Design Lead at The LEGO® Group, stated, “It’s amazing to see the collaboration between the LEGO Group and Netflix come to life.  The Stranger Things universe offers us a wonderful opportunity to be playful with the bricks and allow fans to get lost in the mysterious world of the Upside Down. The design team has created an impressive model that is not only fun to build but also offers lots of details and ‘Easter eggs’ that should delight fans of the series.”

Netflix will drop Season 3 of Stranger Things on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Maya Hawke, the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, will be joining the cast as Robin.  Cary Elwes will be joining the cast as Mayor Larry Kline.

Creation Entertainment’s STRANGER CON: A Salute to the TV series Stranger Things will be held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare on Saturday, October 5, 2019 and Sunday, October 6, 2019, which is the first weekend in October.  The address is 9300 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Rosemont, Illinois 60018.  Rosemont is a northwestern suburb of Chicago outside O’Hare International Airport.

Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This video provides a 360° degree of the Byers family home from the set LEGO® Stranger Things: The Upside Down.

Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: One of the promotional videos for the release of LEGO® Stranger Things: The Upside Down is an interview with the designer done in the spirit of Stranger Things.  The audience is supposed to be watching a video tape of a (fictional) talk show from the 1980s, Behind the Brick, which is a nod to Beyond Stranger Things, an aftershow hosted by Jim Rash (who played Dean Pelton on Community) introduced by Netflix to be viewed after episodes of Stranger Things from Season 2.

Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This video, which also provides a 360° degree of the Byers family home, purports to be a clip from The LEGO® Shop Channel.  For context, QVC launched in 1986, so while there is not – and never has been – a LEGO® Shop Channel, the idea is true to the period.

Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This video also purports to be a clip from The LEGO® Shop Channel.  The joke is that footage from the Upside Down is spliced into it as if somehow a signal from the Upside Down intruded on The LEGO® Shop Channel.  After his experience in the Upside Down, Will Byers sometimes sees the real world as if it were the Upside Down.

The Adult Fan of LEGO® (A.F.O.L.) who has the JANGBRiCKS channel on YouTube pointed out in his review of the set that one can separate the Byers family home from the (show’s version of) the real universe and the version from the Upside Down universe to form a single house on one plane.  Alternatively, the two houses can be displayed separately.

Credit: JANGBRiCKS Caption: This is the JANGBRiCKS review of LEGO® Stranger Things: The Upside Down (Set #75810)

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