43217 Disney™ Up House Review

Review by Ben Groot (SAFOLs Member, CapeLUG Member)

My family and I enjoy watching Disney movies together, often with some home-made popcorn. We have watched Disney’s Up several times, with the DVD sitting in our collection. When we saw that Lego was releasing a set for this movie, it was high on our wanted list. Many people will also recall that one of the set’s designers, Ollie Gregory, visited South Africa earlier this year. I was unfortunately not able to get a signed box of this set.

The box contains the instruction manual, a sticker sheet, and four numbered bags. In each of the first three bags a different minifigure is included: Russel, Carl and Dug the dog. The set contains 598 parts, with 6 unique elements, other than the minifigs.

Starting with the minifigs, they are portrayed very accurately. Both Carl and Russel have the double-sided minifig head: Russel’s head has a smile on one side and a big smile on the other, whilst Carl has his well-known scowl on one side and a smile on the other. He also sports his walking cane.

Russel’s backpack was a very fun build: it attaches to his neck in a clever way, and contains his cup, binoculars, a pan, a fork and even his trumpet! The weight of the backpack does, however, mean that he cannot stand on his own, and must be fixed onto a plate or brick for him not to topple backwards.

Starting with bag 1, Russel is built, and then work starts on the house itself. Lots of details from the movie are included in some very clever ways: a ribbed round brick (part no 4650644) is used as a lampshade, and a black minifig hat (part no 6349965) is used as part of the ancient record player. There are unfortunately quite a few stickers to be applied, for example the picture above the lamp, as well as the wall clock. The biggest unhappiness as far as stickers are concerned, was that both sides of the front door have a sticker. If one considers that many children will want to build this set, the use of stickers, especially on the front door, may make it difficult to get the look exactly right.

Bag 2 continues the house, and here a few SNOT-techniques are used to build up the windows and frames, and to get their angles just right. Inside the house, the details continue, with a tv set (stickered again), as well as the iconic “My adventure book”. I quite liked the modified minifig head, which is used as a transparent money jar labelled “Paradise Falls”, with even some coins in it (part no 6422742 and unique to this set). This was a great touch, but the part will of course not easily be used in MOC’s. It did, however, add to the nostalgia from the movie, as the money jar is referred to several times in the movie.

The upper level of the house and a portion of the roof are built from bag 3. The upper level contains Carl’s bedroom with a cleverly designed bed, and an attic. The TV unfortunately looks as if it has merely been stuck in the middle of the floor, without considering where it would fit best. The roof slope is obtained with the use of some hinge bricks. Unfortunately, there are no stairs linking the top and bottom floors, but given the size of the build, this is not surprising.

The last bag completes the roof, and then it is on to the balloons. Even though the building of the balloons is repetitive, they are cleverly spaced, so that the colours are evenly distributed. They are cleverly linked to the chimney, using an axle, and one can see how they are in the process of being released through the chimney. Lastly, there is loose 6×6 plate with bow that contains the fence and a few stray balloons, as well as a well-designed gas bottle inflating a balloon.

The build is not difficult at all, but, once finished, I was quite surprised at how small it was: the base of the house is only 18×6 studs. For its small size, though, it has an impressive amount of detail.

This is a lovely display piece, and with its abundant colour will immediately catch the eye. It is very playable as well, which will probably attract the kids. It fits in nicely with some of the other Disney sets, such as the Winnie the Pooh set (set no 21326) and can easily be displayed next to them.

The set retails for R999 at LCS and R969 at Kiddiwinks respectively at time of writing, but prices are set to increase on 1 September. At time of writing, LCS seems to be sold out, but Kiddiwinks shows a number in stock.

I would highly recommend buying this set – it will be nice a collaboration for parents and children to build and enjoy.