2023 is a massive year for Disney as the brand celebrates its 100th anniversary, and LEGO Disney fans are in for a year-long treat with plenty of sets released to celebrate the historic milestone.
From LEGO Minifigures to Brickheadz, there’s something for everyone, but high on every LEGO Disney fan’s priority list are a selection of minifigure-scale sets releasing in April 2023, with 43217 Up House being one of the standout sets.
This is the first time we get anything from Up depicted in LEGO, and fans have been clamouring for Carl Fredricksen’s balloon-house to be made into a LEGO set, and we finally have it!
It’s pretty much nearly everything you could want from a LEGO Up House, but the set’s expensive pricetag, and a few missing elements make for a slightly incomplete model.
Let’s jump into my review of 43217 Up House, ahead of its 1 April 2023 release!
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this set over for review.
43217 Up House Set Details
Set Name: ‘Up’ House
Set number: 43217
Price: US$59.99 / AU$89.99 / £49.99 / €54,99 / CAD$79.99
Minifigures: 2 (Russell and Carl Fredricksen)
Theme: Disney 100
Release Date: 1 April 2023
Set Designer: TBD
Like most LEGO sets aimed at younger kids, the set is awash with stickers with quite a sizeable sticker sheet. There are plenty of mandatory references included from Up which fans will be glad to find, but there are some really tricky ones to apply such as the circular portrait ones (you’ll need to align them properly), and the door stickers which were particularly challenging to apply nicely.
43217 Up House Build
The build was fairly straight-forward, and quite delightful in parts. There are 4 numbered bags and I decided to re-watch Up while building, and found that I completed the build just as the movie ended, building at a leisurely pace.
Might be something that you can do to relive the emotional trauma and damage from Up, which I consider to be Pixar’s all-time greats.
The build was fun in parts – there are some interesting techniques such as the angled windows, and there are some enjoyable furniture builds scattered throughout. Nothing too challenging or technical, making this ideal even for younger or inexperienced LEGO builders.
The house itself is colourful, matching the brightly coloured shades used by Carl and Ellie for their facade.
It is quite a small-ish build, and narrow, but I think the size does work well for this being a compact display model. Perfect if you don’t have tons of display surface area, or want a cool desk LEGO build to remind you of your favourite Pixar movie.
43217 Up House Minifigures
The minifigures are a bright point of the set, and you get Russell in his scout/Junior Wilderness Explorer uniform, and Carl Fredricksen looking as grumpy as you’d expect him to.
LEGO have also created a brand new Dug mould which looks fantastic!
Here’s a closer look at the Russell minifigure. His sash which contains all the badges that he’s collected as a Junior Wilderness Explorer is present, and he has a cheery face. It’s subtle, but you can tell that the designers have managed to capture some of his Asian features in his eyes, which I really like.
He has dual-moulded short legs, which also look fantastic.
Here’s a look at his alternate face which has a more toothy grin. Russell also comes with a new hat, with a brim that’s angled upwards, and has dual-moulded hair, which looks pleasingly accurate.
Here’s a look at his massive brick-built yellow backpack, which has plenty of tools for the great outdoors – he has a mug, frying pan, fork and even some binoculars!
Here’s a look at how the backpack is attached to him, using a neck bracket, and a look at his back printing. Really love his new hat and it looks great from behind too.
Next we have Dug and Carl Fredricksen. Carl is dressed in his brown jacket, and has medium legs, and a delightfully accurate grumpy expression. On his lapel is bottlecap badge that Ellie gives to him when they were kids, and he also has a walking stick.
Unfortunately, skates don’t come in green, so it doesn’t quite look like the one on-screen which has tennis balls skewered into the feet, but it does the job reasonably well.
And here’s a look at Carl’s alternate face, which has a slightly happier smile, and his back printing.
And here’s a look at Dug, the Golden Retriever belonging to Charles Muntz that Carl and Russell encounter at Paradise Falls. He has a collar that can translate his barks into English, and is just a cute, fluffy and goofy dog.
The Dug mould captures his proportions incredibly well, and outside of some slightly shoddy printing in his mouth, just looks nothing short of adorable and Up fans will be delighted to get a minifigure-scale Dug to add to their collection.
Minifigure-wise, I can’t think of anyone else I’d add that would fit into the theme, but there’s a huge Kevin-sized hole in this set.
I can understand LEGO not wanting to devote moulding resources into a large bird that will solely be used for this set, but I really would’ve liked to have seen a brick-built version at the very least at the set does feel quite incomplete without Kevin.
43217 Up House Completed Model
And here’s the completed model, with everyone in it.
There’s a small fenced patch of grass which has some helium tanks and balloons that Carl uses to blow up balloons before he’s meant to be sent off to the Shady Oaks retirement village. There’s a letterbox which is a poignant element from the film, but it’s plain, which is slightly disappointing, as I think a sticker with their handprints here would’ve made for a beautiful reference to the movie.
There’s also a Squirrell, to grab Dug’s attention!
The house itself is really well-designed, capturing all the essential elements from the flying balloon house in the movie. There are plenty of great references thrown in, such as the wound up hose out the front that Dug and Carl use to drag the house across Paradise falls.
On the porch, the door uses stickers for added accuracy, and you can see the multiple keyholes out the front.
It’s a bit of a challenge for Russell to squeeze into the porch and into the door with his massive backpack.
The architecture is also done really nicely, with the steep pitched roofs, and windows, and Classic Space fans will enjoy the “laser guns” being used for window decorations here, appearing in tan for the first time ever!
Here’s a look at the clump of balloons – the one most iconic visual element from the movie, which are folded upwards and are attached by sticks.
It’s dense enough and with a bit of imagination, it does work to convey that yes, this is a house that’s held aloft by helium balloons, but in the context of the entire build, the balloon mass looks quite small, and I think is just begging for more to be added.
Having an ungodly amount of balloon would introduce all sorts of stability issues with the set, so I can see why LEGO went for a more “abstract” amount, which does do the job, but in truth, I think it’s an invitation to add more. I know I will, once my Bricklink orders arrive!
Here’s a look at the back which has an exposed dollhouse look. As the house is quite small, the rooms and interiors are quite cramped, but LEGO have done a really good job with the space they’ve gotten, all while squeezing in tons of references to the film.
Here’s a look at the door from the inside, which has plenty of latch-bolts on the sticker. In the hallway there’s a potted plant, and a bird painting.
Across the hallway is a grandfather clock.
On the upper level is Carl’s bed, with a delightful quilted pattern on his blanket.
And across his bed is a portrait of Carl’s late wife, Ellie riding her bicycle.
Up in the attic is an old television.
And behind it is a crate with Ellie’s My Adventure Book.
Here’s a better look at the Adventure Book.
In the living room is Carl’s lounge chair, and plenty of great stickers, such as this poster which has Ellie and Carl’s house perched on Paradise Falls, a dream of theirs that Carl fulfills in the movie.
The addition of the ceramic red bird/chicken is also a nice nod to the movies.
Hanging on the walls are plenty of portraits detailing Carl and Ellie’s lives. We have Ellie as a child in her pilot helmet and goggles.
There’s a portrait of Carl and Ellie during their wedding.
And on the other side, an Elderly portrait of Ellie. It’s really sweet to see all these portraits, as they are accurate to the movie, but also convey just how much Ellie meant to Carl.
And another nice surprise on one of the windowsills is the savings jar that Carl and Ellie put money into, to save for their dream trip to Paradise falls.
Here’s a better look at the jar, which is printed on a minifigure head.
Oh, and to finish off the photos – we also have a new teal chicken, which acts as the weathervane! Was not expecting this and completely missed it in the official photos, so this was a nice little surprise!
What I liked:
- Finally an Up LEGO set
- Ellie and Carl’s house is just the right size, and looks accurate to the movie
- Excellent minifigure lineup and Dug
- A really pleasing display model that will absolutely delight up fans
What I didn’t like:
- Definitely needs more balloons
- Kevin is missing 🙁
- No sticker on the postbox
I had an absolute blast building the Up House. As it’s one of my favourite Pixar movies of all time, I also had a wonderful (heart-wrenching) time rewatching it after so many years, and it still holds up incredibly well.
Looking at this as a LEGO set, it does have that magical feel to it, and LEGO have balanced the design really well, with an appropriately-sized model, great minifigures – all to make it look unmistakably like the Up House.
The Carl Fredricksen, Russell minifigures and Dug are absolute treats, and LEGO Disney fans will be delighted that these are actual minifigures.
Unfortunately, the set is also counter-weighted by a number of flaws. For one thing, this is a really expensive set, at US$59.99 / AU$89.99. For only 600-pieces, and for what is a medium-sized display, the price is a little out of what you’d expect from a set of this size, and with only 2 minifigures.
For this price, LEGO should’ve really included Kevin, the bird from Up that they encounter in Paradise Falls, either as a moulded version (ideal), or a brick-built version as a compromise. It just feels so awkwardly incomplete without Kevin, especially when LEGO are asking for a lot of money for this set.
The small number of balloons is a minor flaw for me. For what it’s worth, the balloon design does work well, and for it to be as stable and less finicky as it is for kids, the number of balloons are appropriate, but it does feel like LEGO wanting to invite fans to add more balloons for a more movie-accurate house.
This is a tough set to recommend, because the value isn’t here for US$59.99, but if you’re a massive Disney and Up fan, it’s likely that you’ve already decided to buy this set, as it’s been long on everyone’s wishlist.
Build  – Fairly simple and basic build, with some interesting architectural techniques and furniture
Real Value  – Poorly priced and is too expensive, especially without Kevin
Innovation  – Not too much new here, but I’m glad LEGO went with minifigures for this
Coolness  – Up is my favourite movie, so it’s incredible that we finally have a LEGO set for it
Keepability  – A great display model that’s easy to display thanks to its compact size. Also unlikely to ever see another Up set.
Rating and score: 3/5 ★★★✰✰
What do you think of the LEGO Disney Up House and how its priced? What else would you like to have seen to justify the price, and will you pick it up?
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