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Review: 43217 ‘Up’ House

Posted by CapnRex101, 18 Mar 2023 15:00

92792 Up 1C


Pixar films have provided inspiration for various LEGO sets, beginning with Toy Story in 2010 and later encompassing Cars, WALL•E, Brave and The Incredibles. Carl Fredricksen’s spectacular home from ‘Up’ offers superb potential, as an addition to the Pixar selection.

43217 ‘Up’ House looks excellent and accurately recreates the stunning vibrancy of Carl’s balloon-borne house. Additionally, the interior is remarkably detailed with references to the film and the characters appear exceptional as well, so every aspect of this set should prove enjoyable!


43217 ‘Up’ House, 598 pieces.
£49.99 / $59.99 / €54.99 | 8.4p / 10.0c / 9.2c per piece.
Buy at »

Despite the restrictive size, this model looks marvellous, with amazing interior detail

  • Impressive for play and display
  • Richly detailed interior
  • Lovely minifigures
  • Affordable price
  • Some external inaccuracies

The set was provided for review by LEGO. All opinions expressed are those of the author.


Converting characters from Pixar movies into minifigures has sometimes proven challenging, as their proportions are often unusual. Carl Fredricksen works perfectly though, especially with his wide head, which is suitable for a minifigure! This character’s distinctive glasses, huge eyebrows and perpetually grumpy expression look fantastic, with a friendlier design as the alternative.

Russell, by contrast, features enthusiastic grins on both sides of his head. The new combined hat and hair element looks excellent, while dual-moulded arms and triple-moulded legs are also integrated to great effect. Additionally, the torso is adorned with a variety of Wilderness Explorer badges, although one is noticeably missing, for assisting the elderly.

Carl’s torso is similarly detailed, including the memorable Grape Soda badge given to him by his eventual wife, Ellie. This minifigure also comes with a brick-built walking cane. Russell sports an enormous backpack loaded with accessories, although its scale is awkward for a minifigure with short legs and the backpack appears incomplete without a Wilderness Explorer flag on top.

Shortly after arriving near Paradise Falls, Carl and Russell encounter Dug, an unusually friendly member of Charles Muntz’s hunting pack. Dug is represented by a new element, which captures his demeanour brilliantly and includes ample detail. The eyes and mouth are both printed, while the dark brown nose and collar are dual-moulded with Dug’s tan hair.

Although the piece looks superb and I like the fixed stance chosen for the character, I do wonder whether Dug lacks something of the traditional LEGO charm. No studs are included and there is nothing to identify the figure as LEGO, other than two anti-studs underneath. Personally, I would have appreciated one stud on the figure’s back, perhaps angled at 45 degrees.


Source –

The Completed Model

Dug’s memorable focus on passing squirrels is represented by the inclusion of a squirrel, taking refuge beside an inflation tank and Carl’s mailbox. Unfortunately, its small size leaves no space for a sticker displaying Carl and Ellie’s handprints, which surprises me because the mailbox has tremendous symbolic significance in the film. Nevertheless, the mailbox is an important inclusion and I like the balloons too.

Of course, Carl’s iconic house is the focus. The bright colours are beautiful and correspond with the onscreen location, while the architecture of the house is more accurate than I was expecting as well, considering the modest scale. The whole model measures 28cm in height, including the clustered balloons, or 21cm without those attached.

The angular section of the façade is particularly impressive, comprising three panels connected using clips. 1×2 slopes close potential gaps between the panels and the combination of tan, pink and lime green colours looks excellent, reflecting the movie. Furthermore, the hose reel situated under the central window is accurate. Maybe a teal string could have been provided to simulate unrolling the hose.

Stickers decorate both sides of the front door, featuring the multiple locks present onscreen, that demonstrate Carl’s isolation. The surrounding porch looks good and includes a doorbell, but the space is limited, so Russell cannot actually fit when wearing his backpack. Ideally, the columns would be more slender, therefore creating some additional room behind them.

However, the most dramatic compromises are found on the roof. The wooden stanchions above the porch are extended to cover a blue section of wall, while the dormer window on top appears enormously simplified. Also, the larger roof slopes should project beyond the walls, leaving gaps on each side. In general, I think the proportions of the upper floor could definitely be improved.

Occasional sand blue tiles provide some texture on the roof, although the dark bluish grey studs alone were probably sufficient. The rotating weather vane looks superb, alongside the essential cluster of balloons anchored through the chimney! Inevitably, relatively few balloons are actually included and perhaps a bigger set could have accommodated more. Even so, I think this design works quite well.

The limited number of balloons also presents an opportunity for play, as you can hold the model securely using the dark red chimney. Technic pins secure the chimney at the top and bottom, so this reinforces the structure and becomes an unexpectedly effective handle. The open back may attract criticism, but that also increases the play value by providing easy interior access.

Numerous stickers are applied inside, including another on the door, which represents the inside of those many locks. The wall clock looks splendid and a houseplant also furnishes the entrance hall. Given the shallow design of the building, the necessary details are included. However, I can easily envisage a bigger version of Carl’s house, with space for his stairlift and much more.

Thankfully, the internal configuration gives more room for the lounge, which is certainly the most important room in the house. The famous Paradise Falls mural on the wall looks nice, with some authentic accessories displayed on the mantelpiece underneath, including the red bird ornament from the film. I have removed the chimney for these photos, to give a better view.

A couple of photos from the mantelpiece in the film are enlarged and placed on the wall, notably including one of a young Ellie sporting her flying goggles, while another shows Carl and Ellie as newlyweds. The lounge also contains a gramophone and a printed jar, where the couple placed their savings to visit Paradise Falls. These details are wonderful, although the small area means omitting Ellie’s armchair.

The upper floor is equally cramped, although this part of the house is less defined onscreen, so missing details are excusable. Instead, the designer has sensibly moved the television from the lounge. A sticker forms the screen and takes inspiration from the Movietown News documentary which Carl watches as a child at the beginning of the film, prompting his love for nature.

A box behind the television contains Ellie’s scrapbook, entitled My Adventure Book. The cover is decorated with an accurate sticker and I expected to find another inside, but the standard ‘once upon a time’ 1×2 tile is used instead. Nevertheless, this book looks marvellous and the colourful bed provides appealing colour upstairs, as these rooms are otherwise rather dark.


Carl Fredricksen’s house seems perfectly suited to LEGO, which three separate Ideas projects reaching 10,000 votes clearly demonstrates. 43217 ‘Up’ House finally realises that potential and looks delightful, considering the limitations imposed by its size. The exterior achieves surprising accuracy and the interior is absolutely packed with details from ‘Up’, using all available space.

In some respects, that serves to increase my feeling that a bigger recreation of the house could have been genuinely spectacular, so was perhaps a missed opportunity. This design is excellent though and the minifigures are also outstanding. Furthermore, I think the price of £49.99, $59.99 or €54.99 represents fair value, so I would have no hesitation in recommending this set!

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