It’s been a big year for LEGO, and as we head into the Christmas festive season, the LEGO Ideas Home Alone McCallister House set was officially unveiled last week to much fanfare – firstly as the biggest LEGO Ideas set yet, and also a great way to close off the year as an especially festive, Christmas-themed set.
At 3,955-pieces, and with a sticker price of US$250 / AU$400, the LEGO Home Alone set is a sizable set, amongst the biggest released in 2021, and is a satisfyingly complete homage to the classic Macaulay Culkin film.
The LEGO Home Alone set has a release date of 1 November 2021, and will be available exclusively from LEGO.com.
It’s a big set, and with the launch coming up very very soon, let’s take a look at the LEGO Home Alone set, and all its hidden secrets, and references to the classic 1990 film!
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this early review set!
Name: Home Alone
Set Number: 21330
Price: $249.99 [US] | £ 229.99 GBP [UK] | AU$ 399.99 [AU]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com / LEGO Stores
Theme: LEGO Ideas
Release Date: 1 November 2021
Buy from: LEGO.com [US] [AU] [UK]
Home Alone Building Instruction Manual and Sticker Sheets
Unlike most 2022 Creator Expert sets which have been trying to shift away from stickers, the Home Alone set leans heavily into stickers as the primary vehicle to weave in most of the major references from the movie into the set, such as portraits of the McCallister family, and the TV screen with Angels with Even Filthier Souls, which has immortalised the “keep the change ya filthy animal” line forever in pop culture history.
Most of the stickers are fairly easy to apply and small, with the exception of the OH-KAY plumbing van ones, which you’ll need deft hands to align.
I REALLY like Home Alone’s instruction manual, and consider the creative and design direction to be one of the best of the LEGO for Adults. Unlike typical LEGO instruction manuals which have the set photo on the front, we’re instead treated to Kevin McCallister’s hand-drawn battle plan – lovingly re-created of course.
In many ways, it sets the stage the build, making you feel like you’re about to commence building all the booby traps, and getting the house ready for the Wet Bandits.
Apart from that, it has all the usual inclusions, such as features of the set designers Antica Bracanov, and Enrique Belmonte Beixer, who co-designed the set, and Kirsten Bay Nielsen who designed the graphics and minifigures, as well as highlighting the LEGO Ideas project designer, Alex Storozhuk (follow him on Twitter @legoadwind).
The LEGO Home Alone set comes with 5 minifigures – quite a small number considering the set’s price and piece-count, but at the same time, all the major characters are represented here, so you don’t really feel like anyone is missing.
From the left to right, we have Marley, the mysterious elderly neighbour, Kate McCallister, Kevin McCallister, and the Wet Bandits, Harry and Marv.
Here’s Kevin and his mum, Kate, who famously left Kevin behind and only realised midway on the flight to Paris. Both minifigures are decent representations of their on-screen counterparts, relying on their outfits instead of face prints to bring them to life.
A major story of 2021 is how well LEGO have innovated minifigure designs (see Queer Eye), but Kevin and Kate McCallister are pretty basic. I do like Kate’s brown power suit, with the large shirt collars that just scream late 80s and early 90s fashion.
Where both minifigures shine is in the alternate face department – where Kevin has his signature “shocked” face, and Kate has her “I just left my son Home Alone” look, where she darts up from her seat on the plane.
Both faces are equally great, and I especially like Kevin’s face, mostly so you can re-create the iconic poster/look.
Here’s the Old Man Marley minifigure, the mysterious neighbour of the McCallister, who is often depicted shovelling snow. His grumpy and quiet demeanour have given rise to rumours started by Buzz, that he was the South Bend Shovel Slayer, who murdered his entire family, keeping the bodies in buckets of salt to mummify them.
Marley only has a single-sided face, that’s mostly obscured by his large Santa Claus grey beard. To me, the beard is way too large, and as such doesn’t really come close to capturing Marley’s likeness.
The lack of a friendlier face is also disappointing, as you learn that he’s actually a kind old man with a sad story towards the end of the movie.
Sure, the beard and shovel does indicate that this is Marley, but he’s one of the weaker minifigures in the set.
Last but certainly not least we have Marv Murchins and Harry Lime minifigures. Self-styled as the Wet Bandits, these two bumbling thieves are the true stars of the Home Alone franchise, and provide the comic-relief as their hair-brained scheme to rob the McCallister House comes undone.
The minifigures are great, and I love the use of the medium legs to depict Harry’s shorter stature, and their outfits are carefully re-created in LEGO form. Their face prints are pretty accurate as well, with Marv’s wispy beard and moustache, as well as Harry’s glinting golden tooth peeking out of his evil smile.
Here’s a look at Harry and Marv’s back printing, and also Marv’s alternate face. Sadly, Harry is lacking an alternate face, which is a bit of a puzzling ommision as you’d expect an expression with some form of anguish – maybe a face where he gets burned, or covered in feathers would’ve been perfect.
Marv’s alternate face, with an iron burned on his face is just perfect, and contender for one of the best minifigure faces of 2021.
The minifigures are just okay – they tick the box when it comes to recognisability, and there are some really great touches such as Marv’s iron face, Harry’s glinting gold tooth, and also Kate and Kevin’s alternate faces, but the lack of hyper-detailed printing, and all the bonuses such as arm, and side leg printing are a bit of a missed opportunity.
That said, the simplistic, almost kiddie designs, do reflect the family-friendly, whimsical vibes from Home Alone, and I think that’s the direction they were going for, which fits the brief. Just don’t expect these minifigures to be especially memorable, or noteworthy and you should be fine!
Here’s the completed build which was quite an experience! At almost 4,000 pieces you can be assured of a really involved build experience.
There are 24 numbered bags in the set, which does suggest an interesting way of building the set – approaching it like an Advent Calendar, building it day by day in December to have it complete on Christmas day.
I took about 9 hours building it on and off, and it was a pretty fun and varied build.
There aren’t that many innovative techniques employed here, but I did really like the mechanical functions used to bring some of the booby traps to life.
There’s also a LOT of focus on the interiors and furniture, which may delight some people, or bore others – it depends what you like to build.
The final model is really large with the McCallister house measuring 27cm high, 34cm deep, and 34cm wide.
The facade is a really accurate rendition of the iconic McCallister House, with windows aplenty (seriously, you’ll hate popping glass into windows after while), with the brown bricks contrasting against the white roof, snow, and windows really nicely.
The colonial Georgian architecture is on full display here, and if you’re American, and this aesthetic appeals to you, whether because you grew up in a neighbourhood with houses like this, you’ll be happy displaying this.
To really illustrate how large the McCallister House is, here’s the set sandwiched in between the Modular Police Station and Santa’s Visit.
The size is almost modular-esque, and dwarfs anything from the Winter Village series, and while looking impressive on its own, will represent a challenge to display as it looks really weird next to most large LEGO sets – almost comically large, especially when placed next to Winter Village sets, which you may think might be a natural fit given the Christmas-y vibe of the McCallister House.
Best to be displayed on its own.
In addition to the house, you also get a treehouse, as well as the Wet Bandit’s van.
The Treehouse is pretty simple, with a skull and crossbones flag hanging. I was really impressed by the use of droid arms for the ladder.
The back is quite bare – with that large brown 2 x 8 plate looking quite awkward, giving the trunk a bit of an incomplete look, but I do like the bits of ice hanging.
The addition of the toy plane stuck on the leaves is also a nice touch, with oars/paddles used to great effect for the wings.
The Wet Bandits’ van, which appears in sand blue. The Oh-Okay Plumbing and Heating sign is printed on the side, so be sure to not be like me, and align the stickers well so it doesn’t look like crap.
It’s quite a basic looking van, and feels like a van right out of LEGO City. The gaps between the bricks in the sides are quite unsightly.
The roof of the van pops open, allowing easy access to place Harry and Marv in the front of the van.
In the back of the van is a crate with a pearl gold trophy and tap – loot from the houses that the Wet Bandits have hit.
Here are the Wet Bandits stalking Kevin as he returns from the shops.
One of the highlights of the set is that it’s the first set to introduce these masonry bricks in brown – there are 143 in total scattered across the walls of the McCallister House.
Here’s a look at the back which has the extension out the back, for the kitchen and basement. They’re attached to the main house via Technic pins.
The roofs are pretty simple, made out of white bricks, punctuated by dormer windows. The white roof gives it a heavily snowed under look, but isn’t completely accurate as the roof is meant to be grey.
The ingenious design of the McCallister House lies in its ability to open up the front walls, swinging outwards and, transforming the set into a Home Alone dollhouse.
With the walls open, it gives you a great view of the detailed interior and rooms. This is arguably, my preferred way of displaying the set as it allows the interiors (which are the highlight of the set) to truly shine.
Each floor can also be easily separated, allowing you to access and peek into each room and section of the house from above, just like a modular.
The ground floor and layout is fairly accurate, taking inspiration from the Battle Plan layout, but the upper levels have had some creative liberties taken, with some rooms ommited, but it doesn’t really detract from the overall experience.
Home Alone movie references
So one of the best things about the set is just how many movie scenes, and references from Home Alone they managed to squeeze into the final model.
Unless you’re intimately familiar with the movie, I found it a really wonderful experience to re-watch Home Alone to immerse yourself in the gags, and booby traps – which really helped me appreciate just how much they packed into the set.
Without further ado, here’s a non-exhaustive list of all the references, booby traps and notable scenes you can re-create from the movie.
The Attic and the Battle Plan
Kevin begins scheming up his plan to defend his home against the Wet Bandits with his Battle Plan, which he draws up up in the attic.
The roof can be lifted up to reveal the attic, which houses Kevin’s bed, a desk, and a gumball machine
Michael Jordan cutout
In the living room, to trick the Wet Bandits into thinking that a party is going on, Kevin straps a cardboard cutout of Michael Jordan to a train.
The designers lovingly re-created this feature, complete with moving functions – twist a knob at the side of the house to move the train around. To avert any licensing or trademark issues, LEGO have used “Bricks” instead of Chicago Bulls wording on the front, although Jordan’s number 23 is still there.
In the living room as well is a cool little Easter Egg – a box of the LEGO Home Alone set beneath the Christmas Tree, alongside the Christmas baubels, and skates which represent the toy cars that are used for trip Harry and Marv.
In this shot, you can also see the printed train tracks, which are an awesome new element in the set!
In the living room as well, there’s a portrait of Megan, Linnie and Jeff – Kevin’s siblings. The portraits scattered across the house are a clever way to weave in the McCallister clan and those that didn’t have the privilege to be turned into LEGO minifigures.
Mac & Cheese
Bless this highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner and the people who sold it on sale. Amen
Personally this is one of my favourite lines from Home Alone, and Kevin’s last supper in the dining room is represented here, with a bowl of nutritious Mac and Cheese.
Tucked in the corner of the dining room is the large fan, ready to blow a giant pile of feathers into intruders.
And here’s a zoomed out shot of the dining room, which also shows off the statuette, that revolves in sync with the Michael Jordan cutout train.
The dining room is decorated with a wreath and candles, but man, I hate those chairs. These chairs have an interesting build technique, but the execution is just awful.
It uses small horns for its legs, which makes it the opposite of stable, and they keep tipping over unless you tuck them right under the table. Just awful and annoying.
Kevin’s sled is also present here, and there’s a cool play feature baked in to re-create the iconic scene of him sliding down the stairs.
Place the sled on top of the staircase, push a rod and it sends it flying down all the way out the front door!
Speaking of which, here’s a look at the entrance, which has a lovely arch and pillars above the front door, with the McCallister “M” welcome mat.
Another neat Easter Egg is the statuette in front, which gets knocked over by the Pizza Delivery Guy.
To lean in on the Christmas vibe, there are Christmas string lights strewn across the front, as well as festive wreaths on the door and lamps.
Here’s a look at the upper level of the house, with Buzz’s room on the right, a large and spacious hallway, and Kevins’ parents bedroom on the left, complete with ensuite bathroom.
Buzz’s room upstairs is packed with a heap of detail – I love this nod to Duncan’s Toy Chest, the New York toy store from Home Alone 2 on his desk.
The shelves are the highlight here, with firecrackers, an American football helmet, and the object of Kevin’s pursuit – some money hidden in the middle shelf.
You can also see Buzz’s BB gun mounted on the wall.
A neat play feature built in is the ability for the shelves to collapse at the press of a button behind the wall!
You’ll also be able to spot Buzz’s tarantula, which is freakishly large when compared to the minifigures! Here’s he’s just chilling on the attic staircase wall.
Of course, you are almost obliged to re-create this scene where Marv tries to smash the tarantula with his crowbar.
Heavy Paint Bucket Trap
On the staircase is this heavy paint bucket attached to some string, that Kevin uses to launch down the staircase as Harry and Marv walk up the stairs.
Over to the parents’ bedroom, which Kevin takes over when he has the house all to himself. There’s a box of popcorn, as well as a the alarm clock, which has reset itself to 12:00.
Bathroom and American Dental Associated-approved Toothbrush
Here’s a look at the ensuite bathroom, with a mirror, toilet, and even a vial of aftershave. One of my favourite accessories in the set is of course the toothbrush that he steals from the store.
The mirror and step-stool combo is also great to re-create the scene where Kevin applies aftershave, and screams as it burns!
Is this toothbrush approved by the American Dental Association?
Keep the change, you filthy animal
We now move into the kitchen, which is my favourite room in the entire house. It’s lovingly decorated, with counters, microwave ovens, and of course, this black and white television featuring fictional movie Angels with Filthy Souls, which immortalised the “keep the change, you filthy animal” line.
The kitchen is stuffed to the brim with references, with pizza boxes from Little Nero’s pizza, and a refrigerator with magnets and postcards on it.
It has a travel guide to New York, with the Statue of Liberty on it, as well as a personal Easter Egg to designer Antica Bracanov – who hails from Croatia, and wanted to subtly incorporate the Dalmatia region into the build.
Mac & Cheese & Little Nero’s Pizza
Opening the fridge reveals 2 boxes of Mac and Cheese!
Icy Steps Booby Trap
Outside the steps to the basement and kitchen are icy steps, which cleverly use opalescent blue tiles to foil Harry and Marv as they come in.
Fan Designer Easter Egg
Inside the rubbish bin, is a stickered tile with Kevin’s flight tickets hidden inside.
There’s a personal nod to fan designer Alex Storozhuk, whose nickname is Adwind – immortalised by the Adwind Airlines ticket.
BB Gun Defence
Anticipating that the Wet Bandits would stick their head into the door with dog flap (a brand new mould!), Kevin is ready with his BB gun to inflict pain and suffering on Marv.
Blowtorch Booby Trap
Glad to also see the blowtorch booby trap activated when Harry steps into the kitchen!
Here’s a look at the basement, and the furnace, which at first is something that terrifies Kevin, but as he builds his courage, by the end of the movie, he is no longer afraid of it.
I really like the use of black sausages for the grills, and you can press the back down, opening its “jaws” and activating the light brick as well!
In the basement, there’s also a tar trap, which sees Marv’s sock get stuck to the floor.
Hot Iron to the Face
Last but not least, we have the hot iron to Marv’s face, leaving an indellible iron-shaped burn on his face, captured splendidly by his alternate face.
There’s a neat play feature built into it, where the iron is placed in a chute on the upper kitchen level – flicking a lever, drops it downstairs, flying into Marv’s face to inflict some pretty serious burns.
Cutting the Zipline
And last but not least, we have Kevin with a pair of scissors, cutting the zipline as Harry and Marv try to make their way to the treehouse!
LEGO Home Alone Review Conclusion
What I liked:
- So many Home Alone references!
- A large, detailed uncompromising LEGO Ideas set that also doubles as a Christmas set
- Finished McCallister House looks great as a standalone display
- Dollhouse functionality allows interiors to shine
- It’s rare to get large LEGO houses at this scale
- Tons and tons of play features to bring the set to life
What I didn’t like:
- Set’s scale is out of whack with other large sets/models
- Best bits are hidden inside
- Could use more minifigures
- Battle Plan and Home Alone set tile should have been printed tiles
- When enclosed, it’s not that attractive of a display model
The LEGO Ideas Home Alone set is remarkable for one, and only one reason alone – it’s an uncompromising and complete take on the fan designer’s submission.
LEGO have created and delivered the complete Home Alone experience, somehow squeezing in nearly every notable reference, booby trap and scene from the movie into a near 4,000 piece set.
If you’re a massive Home Alone fan, and want to reignite your sense of nostalgia for the quintessential family-friendly 90s Christmas movie, you will love every bit of this set.
It’s fan service done right, and the accuracy, and comprehensive Home Alone in LEGO form experience will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the Macaulay Culkin classic.
That said, the set is without flaws. In going too large (too squeeze as much in), the LEGO McCallister House creates an awkward conundrum – integrating it into your LEGO displays. Its comically large dimensions, especially when placed alongside Winter Village or even Modulars necessitates that you display it as a standalone model, to truly allow it to shine.
The final model is also not particularly impressive from an architectural perspective – while it does capture the McCallister House’ colonial Georgian architecture really well, the facade isn’t the most interesting, and unlike modulars, there aren’t any opportunities to showcase neat part usage, or architectural flourishes.
The minifigures are also a weak point of the set – looking just enough like the characters thanks to their outfits and hairpieces, but not going far enough to really capture the actors’ likenesses – this is salved somewhat by the funny alternate faces, which capture some of the character’s most well-known expressions.
Little things like the lack of arm printing, and no alternate face for Harry just feel like wasted opportunities.
Where the set truly shines is its immaculately detailed interiors, and play features baked in, which are allowed to shine with its dollhouse design.
Home Alone is best as a family movie, and similarly, this set is best appreciated by kids and children, who will appreciate the numerous play opportunities, rooms, and furniture.
My 5 year old has been having a blast both with the set, and I also used this as an opportunity to introduce the movie to her, which she thoroughly enjoys thanks to the family-friendly physical humour.
As an adult, though, unless you’re a die-hard Home Alone fan, the utility of the set is somewhat limited. Because the best parts are hidden on the inside, you’ll rarely get to appreciate it, unless you keep the dollhouse open, and peer into it occasionally, you’re just left with a large, brown, rectangular-shaped McMansion.
It’s a hard set to recommend, and it certainly isn’t for everyone, considering there are so many better alternatives for adult fans, as well as more budget-friendly alternatives (such as Winnie the Pooh or even Sesame Street) which are great for families.
If you love the Home Alone movies, and appreciate all things 90s nostalgia, or want to introduce your young kids to Home Alone, and give them a satisfyingly large playset for Christmas, I highly recommend the set.
If you don’t fall in the above categories, this is a good set, just not great.
I do think the set will sell incredibly well, and will be really popular, both with longtime LEGO fans and those newly discovering the hobby, so be sure to order it at launch if you want to guarantee building it in time for Christmas!
Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰
Build  – A lengthy build, with 24 bags with plenty of furniture and interior details.
Real Value  – For US$250/AU$400, the price is decent for the amount of LEGO you get, and how large the model is
Innovation  – The way designers seamlessly included play features is cool, as well as fit everything in, but there’s nothing groundbreaking here.
Coolness  – Very impressed to see a licensed LEGO Ideas set that doesn’t hold back. 90s nostalgia is also trendy right now
Keepability  – Licensed LEGO Ideas sets usually hold their value well, and Home Alone has a special place in many people’s Christmas memories, so I can see this set ageing well.
Thanks for reading my early review of the LEGO Home Alone set!
The LEGO Home Alone set will release globally on 1 November 2021, and will be available exclusively from LEGO.com or your local LEGO store.
What do you think of the LEGO Ideas Home Alone set? Does it appeal to you personally?
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this review copy!
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Another Easter Egg is the two Turtle Doves on the tree, I would think . . . .
So my son in trying to build this. there are 30 bags like there are 2 2’s and 3 18’s. We are missing a ton of windows for bag 3. Is there 2 bags for 3 and we only got one????
I can’t wait to build mine with the family on Christmas. One thing bothers me…HOW DARE THEY PUT PEPPERONI ON HIS PLAIN CHEESE PIZZA? 😉
Peter Anello says
I’m actually disappointed for the price of this set that they couldn’t put the stairs to the attic in the proper location (end of the hallway). That’s an epic scene in the movie where Marv grabs Kevin’s ankle during the pursuit to the attic, and gets the tarantula put on his face.
Regardless, I got the set asap, and waiting a couple of years to open until both my kids are more of the age to help build it.
Can you tell me the dimensions of the box it comes in? Trying to decide if I should ship directly to my brother’s house for Christmas, or if it will fit in a suitcase easily. Thanks!
Paul Castle says
Have a look on the Home Alone page the Lego online shop and you’ll find the dimensions in the product details.
Hayley Godby says
Can you tell me the dimensions of the finished project?
Paul Castle says
I’ve just checked: it’s on the pain product page for each set, under the product gallery, on the far right hand side of the line of info that lists L-R Age / Pieces / VIP points / Cat item / No. of minifigs / dimensions.
Another great review, Jay.
Love all the details, and my family are big Home Alone fans, so we ordered this yesterday thanks to your convincing review.
We will save this one for a Christmas build.
I think Lego have done a great job and that was an excellent review. I just don’t like the look of it I’m afraid, the architecture style has no warmth or character; but I suspect that’s from the movie.
Paul Castle says
I’m a fan of the movie, so will absolutely love this set. My only dilemma is, do I order on Nov 1st, or wait a week for the coffee cart GWP?