I love building Lego sets. It’s something I didn’t completely realize until I was an adult. It just puts me in a very serene sort of mood when I’m constructing some massive Lego set. And I liked doing it as a kid, I just never got the big sets when I was young. Only as an adult have I been able to grab things like the Ghostbusters Fire House and The Simpsons home. The only drawback is what to do with these things once they’re complete? These things aren’t like jigsaw puzzles where you put them together then toss them back in a box. They’re like sculptures, and also function as toys. I’m not going to just build them up to tare them down, but finding the space to display them is quite the chore.
Because of that, I try to limit my Lego purchases. If they ever went back to The Simpsons I’d definitely take a look, but mostly I try to stick to Disney. And by Disney, I mean theme park inspired sets. And that’s because my wife and I are really into that sort of thing. And I’ve been doing fine in that regard, but then Lego had to go and do something like create the house from Home Alone in Lego form.
Since the sale of 20th Century Fox to Disney, Home Alone is now technically a Disney movie and this is technically a Disney set. More importantly though, it’s Home Alone! I loved that movie as a kid, I still enjoy it as an adult, and now my own kids love it. We’ve already watched it a few times this fall because it’s really become a favorite of my daughter’s. She’ll want to watch it in June, she doesn’t care that it’s a Christmas movie. When I saw Lego was making this thing a reality, I had to get it: for myself, for my wife, and definitely for my kids. When it went up for sale, I pounced, and then I waited. I wasn’t sure when to spring it on my kids, and eventually I settled on the day after Thanksgiving. That’s the day I devote to decorating for Christmas and this year it was rainy, so it ended up being a good thing I had a Lego set to work on since setting up lights outside was a no-go.
The Home Alone house is based on the home of the McCallisters as seen in the films Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. It’s definitely more evocative of the first film since that film takes place almost entirely within the house as young Kevin has to defend himself against two robbers, the notorious Wet Bandits! Bringing the house into Lego form requires nearly 4,000 plastic bricks leading to a rather large set. The build process is spread out over 24 steps, ingenious as this basically doubles as an advent calendar, and it’s part of the Ideas series and was designed by Alex Storozhuk so it includes a large instruction manual with background info on the design. It also includes five mini figures: Kevin, Kate, Old Man Marley, Harry, and Marv. And it’s not just the house, as it also includes the tree house and the plumber’s van that the Wet Bandits use as a cover for their illegal activities.
Building the set was fairly painless. All of the instructions are clear and the build order was pretty logical. It starts with the van and then moves to the house building from the ground up. I worked on it at a leisurely pace over the long weekend, sometimes by myself and sometimes with my kids, and by Sunday night I was finished. The steps are organized in such a manner that there’s no tedious parts. The outer walls and roof are spread out by working on interior objects and the like to keep things fresh and fun. And if you’re a fan of the film (and I assume you are if you’re interested in this) you’ll have a ball as you uncover things pulled directly from the film.
Now, because we’re taking a large house and trying to cram it into a not-to-scale replica, some sacrifices have to be made. Lego houses routinely omit the basements, and that’s because they would look pretty weird if every house sat on top of a foundation. Unfortunately, the basement plays a large enough role in the film that it can’t be ignored, so Lego figured out a compromise. The house looks the part from the outside and even includes a section that breaks the rectangular shape by sticking off the back. Lego elevated that part, which is the kitchen in the film and in the set, so they could put a small piece of the basement underneath. This means you lose the steps that Marv slips down leading to the back door and the kitchen is actually elevated above the dining room inside. There are also no stairs going up from the basement into the house proper, so in order to do laundry the McCallister’s have to walk outside and around the back of the house to access their basement. It’s not perfect, but Lego made it work well enough and doing it this way means they were able to put the laundry chute in the kitchen so an iron can fall and smash Marv in the face.
The house is constructed for display and for play so there are four hinged pieces on the front. This allows the house to open wide for a view of the inside. On the right, is the dining room complete with grandfather clock and an uneaten macaroni and cheese dinner on the table. Behind that is the previously mentioned kitchen containing a refrigerator (with more mac and cheese dinners), island counter, television, microwave, rear door with doggy door (despite the family apparently not owning a dog or cat) and sink. It’s cramped compared to the massive kitchen in the film, but it looks the part. There’s also two boxes of pizza from Little Nero’s, one closed and one that’s opened, though the pizza inside appears to be topped with pepperoni, olives, etc. Big mistake, Lego, as Kevin only eats plain cheese!
In the center of the house is the staircase and Kevin can ride his toboggan down it and out the front door, though his figure throws off the weight of the sled and it rarely works properly. To the left of the stairs is the living room. There’s a fireplace, Christmas tree, lounge chair, and a model train set. A not Michael Jordon cutout is affixed to the train and it, along with a mannequin on a record player in the dining room, can rotate by working a handle on the outside of the house. This is probably the favorite feature of my kids. The mannequin is more of a bust though, which is a bit of a bummer, but at least the gag is represented.
On the second floor are the bedrooms we saw in the film. Now, Kevin has four siblings to go along with two parents, but we only see a bedroom for his brother Buzz and one for his parents. Naturally, Lego saw fit to only do those bedrooms so where everyone else sleeps is a mystery. Buzz’s room is on the left (when looking at the house from the front) and there’s a desk in there with a Christmas catalog on it (sorry, no Playboy) and shelves that can be made to “fall down” by pulling on a tab. There’s money, firecrackers, and a motorcycle helmet plus an old fashioned rifle mounted on the wall to represent the BB gun (there’s a second gun included so you can arm Kevin without needing to steal from Buzz). There’s also a chest to represent Buzz’s private stuff, but inside is just a heart. His girlfriend’s photo is mounted to the wall for Kevin to “admire.”
At the other end of the floor is a bathroom with stolen toothbrush. I like that Lego used a mirrored sticker for the mirror so your mini figure can actually see himself and scream accordingly. On the other side of that wall is the master bedroom, which is definitely a little cramped. It can’t really be accessed without taking the third floor off of the house, but inside is a neat looking wood stove and a large beg with popcorn and an alarm clock that will forever read 12:00. In the center of the floor are more stairs leading up to the attic. The paint can trap is here and it works reasonably well. It can only fit one can though, but it’s sufficient for taking out two Lego figures.
The attic is rather cramped, but that’s to be expected. The one in the film was impossibly large, but Lego was still able to fit the hide-a-bed along with a desk for Kevin’s battle plans. There’s also a gumball machine that’s a clever build and the top of the house is on a hinge so the attic can be accessed easily. The rear also features a window with opening shutters so Kevin can zipline to his tree house. The tree house is a simple, but effective, build and serves its purpose as Kevin’s evacuation plan. I’m tempted to try and assemble a second set of bricks to build another tree house to put with my Simpsons house.
The house is really quite impressive. I’m surprised that Lego was able to work basically every room we see in the film into this. Sure, it’s not 1:1 as the living room lacks a TV and the bathroom isn’t connected to the master bedroom as it is in the film. I know in the second film we see a hallway bathroom, but I don’t really care about the second film. I mostly just have nitpicks with the presentation of the house. I’m pretty sure Buzz should have a red or green comforter on his bed since everything in that house is red, green, or white. If you’ve never noticed pay attention next time, it’s kind of crazy. I think Lego just got sick of that color palette as there’s more teal and such in use here and there. I also don’t like the dining room chairs. Lego used these tusks or spikes for the legs and they just don’t support the weight of a mini figure as they just topple over. I would have much preferred something more stable. That’s really it though. The little functions work fine, aside from the toboggan, and there’s even an illuminated brick for the basement furnace that’s pretty cool. The only other Lego “house” that I have is The Simpsons one and for that Lego had to make huge compromises to bring it to life by eliminating multiple rooms. I was expecting similar with this one, but the Home Alone house is far more impressive as far as screen accuracy goes. I will say, there are 34 stickers that need to be applied which feels excessive for an expensive set. It is what it is though and I can understand Lego not wanting to do screen printing for a Little Nero’s design it will never use again.
And it’s not the only thing! We do get the mini figures and the van. The van is just okay. It’s more or less in scale with the house, but it is on the small side. The rear opens with a swing-out shutter and the Wet Bandits can store their loot in the back. There are no doors though on the cab so the only way to get Harry and Marv inside is to pop off the roof. It works, it’s just a fairly compromised add-on that could have been done better.
The five mini figures are also serviceable. Kid Lego characters are always hard to get right, and Kevin is really no exception. He’s in his maroon sweater so that at least makes him identifiable. His head also features two expressions: a smile and a scream. The hair piece, which is very blond, seems a little off to me. He does have a scarf and a hat, though the hat is a simple knit beanie and doesn’t resemble the pom-pom one from the movie. I wish he had a second torso for his jacket, but oh well. Kate also doesn’t really do much for me. She just looks like a generic character, but also gets to smile and scream. The Wet Bandits fair better as there’s enough personality to their design to make them apparent to anyone who these characters are. Harry uses the kid legs since he’s so short and he has his gold tooth printed onto his smile. Since he doesn’t have hair, he only gets one expression, but he makes up for it by having a police hat he can swap his black, knit, beanie for. Marv just plain looks like Marv. He gets to feature a smile and a face that’s been burned by an iron, a fun and necessary touch. Lastly, we have old man Marley. He’s got his beard and shovel and looks okay, though they were very generous with the hair. It’s a solid assortment of figures. I don’t think a Home Alone set needed anymore to feel complete (and really, it probably only need Kevin and the bandits), though I would have loved the pizza delivery boy or Johnny and Snakes. Johnny does make an appearance via a decal for the TV.
Lego’s take on the iconic house from Home Alone is quite impressive and a lot of fun. I suspect my kids will play with this one throughout the holiday season this year and maybe even beyond. I don’t intend to put it away with the Christmas decorations, so this sucker is here to stay. Customizers will likely also find a lot of fun to be had with this by making lights to pair with it, or even that pizza boy I’m missing. He wouldn’t be a hard figure to come up with, and we already have the Little Nero’s stickers. If you’re looking to add this one to your own collection this Christmas, it’s currently available now for $250 through both the Lego Store and the Disney Store. Both show it as out of stock for now, but I would expect more to be on the way. Will they be in time for Christmas? Maybe not, but I bet this thing is just as fun to build in March as it is in December. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!