Living in a Dream (house) [Rapid Review 70831 Emmet’s Dream House/Rescue Rocket]

Let me tell you a story. I love living where I do. Most of the time. One of the not so great things about living in Australia is the fact that for three out of the four LEGO® [option theme name here] Movies (The LEGO Movie, the LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO Movie 2), the official release date in Australia is roughly six weeks behind the rest of the world. Ninjago may have arrived almost simultaneously here. I don’t know what we did to deserve that! There have been a couple of preview screenings, but next to no effort was made by the distributers to publicise them.

And so, what’s a guy to do on a long weekend if he can’t go to see the LEGO Movie 2 on a long weekend? Like I did with the LEGO Batman Movie, I have decided to live stream a few builds. So far I have done this with little advance warning. I’ll aim to do this a little better next weekend.

Streamed on Instagram

I started off with a live stream of building 70831 Emmet’s Dream House. Streaming was on Instagram live, which was very simple to set up(Story-live. that is all!), but has a couple of disadvantages if you might look to archive your recording for the future: each recording can only run for an hour. And unless you remember to set up your story settings early on, the video is gone in 24 hours. A couple of technical hitches occurred too: I needed to recharge the battery part way through, and then my phone overheated: shutting down, and losing the middle 45 minutes of a 2 1/2 hour stream.

The Set

The set comes with three minifigures: Lucy, Emmet and Rex Dangervest. It is a two in one build, building both Emmet and Lucy’s Dream House, as well as the Rescue Rocket. It has 705 parts and sells for $AUD89.99/$USD 79.99/£GBP54.99. Taking relative currency values into account, we actually have it pretty good here at present! The instructions come in 2 booklets: one for each build, and Instructions Plus is available for each module through the LEGO Life App.

The Build:

As I emptied the bags, two things became apparent: There are a lot of yellow parts, and there are a lot of small parts that seem to have fallen underneath all the big yellow parts. I do appreciate that each bag in the set, whilst not numbered, did contain a unique selection of parts, so the 1×2, 1×3 and 1×6 yellow bricks were not all mixed in together. If only I emptied each bag onto a plate, life might have been simpler.

We started off with the outbuildings: a workbench for Emmett, where he seems to be hatching a plan, the water tank – which looked a lot like a evaporator from Tatooine., and something which appears to exist in the functional space somewhere between a drafting bench and a barricade. A few other random builds follow, including a stack of barrels, containing hidden frogs as well as an old school cassette player. Some of these parts of the build look a bit like an excuse to chuck a few parts into the mix, but serve no obvious structural role here

From there we start constructing the rear of the house: a bay window, and lots of yellow walls, with arches over the windows. It really brings a feel of the classic Town House 376/560 from 1978/79 (depending on which side of The Atlantic you were living). This half of the house is furnished with the kitchen, table and the television. Moving onto the rear of the house, we built a (aqua/mint) couch/sofa as well as a lamp. The larger stickers in this set go onto 2×3 tiles: portraits of Emmet, Lucy and Unikitty.

As we build up, we install some window boxes, the windows and move onto the roof. The front wall is made of a mixture of inverse slopes, facing into the house. which I suspect will come into their own in the alt build. What I don’t quite understand is why there are lots of pipes in the attic. The peak of the roof is built up out of ‘attic’ and 3 way slope bricks, interlinked to appear as a straight ‘peaked slope’. The equivalent 2×4 element in blue has not been seen since 1995. The triple slope appeared once in 2014, the attic brick debuts in this set!

Emmet’s Rescue rocket.

Once the Audience had gone home and the stream ended, I pulled the dream house apart, and started work on the B-Build: Emmet’s Rescue Rocket. This was every bit as complicated as building the first model without sorting the parts out. Possibly more so. I find these Slightly ‘bonkers’ B-Builds to be really fun. Every part of the set was used to create this model – and the usage was never wasted.

The rescue rocket keeps the bay windows, has a bench and a stove, as well as two seats for the pilot. While maintaining the general look and feel of the house, the jets, stabilisers and missiles seem completely at home…

The Roof attic elements which were used in a clever way for the Dream House are now put to good use in developing the swept back appearance of the new roofline. This house looks like it has somewhere to go, and fast! The roof also lifts off for easy play, and panels can be lifted off the roof to reveal the internal plumbing of the ceiling space, as well as frogs and coinage!

The use of the tubes running to the engines are impressive, and really gives this version of the house a spaceworthy feel, while retaining the nostalgic feel of the primary build.

For me, this model is the more satisfying display piece.

The Minifigures:

We have 3 minifigures: Rex, Lucy and Emmet – all with dual face prints. All are unique to the LEGO Movie 2 sets at this time. We also have an Angry Kitty, with an alternating angry and sleepy face prints (and indeed seeping and angry poses)! Unfortunately there are not enough elements (particularly the tail and printed 1x4plate to build both versions simultaneously. Rex features the same hairs poking up on the left side as Emmet, but is a more tousled, lanky hair piece. He also comes with a dark blue helmet, with a lime visor as well as a brick built jetpack.

What I liked:

  • Both builds are great: they call on the nostalgia of classic town architecture, and infuse it with contemporary elements and building techniques.
  • The re-emergence of bright blue slopes into the parts palette is welcome.
  • Furniture designs on the Dream House.
  • Bay window
  • Neat parts usage on the peak off the dream house roof
  • The Minifigures
  • The rockets on the back
  • Great source of yellow bricks.
  • Teal Brick Seperator

What I didn’t like

  • Not enough parts to build both forms of angry kitty simulateously
  • the outbuildings for the dream house just felt like a way to cobble together all the left over elements from the Rescue Rocket
  • Rex, Wildstyle and Emmet minifigures can easily start to double up. Fortunately, at this stage I seem to have different figures.
  • I need to get another set!
  • A bit too big for my small streaming build area!

I give this set four point five Arbitrary Praise Units out of five. Both options are fun builds, and I really enjoyed putting it together, pulling it apart and rebuilding it into its secondary form. It features heavily in the trailer for TLM2, and as such is relatable, even without seeing the film. If pressed, I think I prefer the Rescue Rocket variation, from both the build and display perspective.

What do you think of this set? Good fun? Inspiring Nostalgia? Just a ploy to sell more movie sets. Leave your comments below, or on the social media. If you’ve enjoyed this review, why not share it with your friends, and come and Join me this weekend as I continue my streaming experiments on Twitch: I’ll announce the time shortly.

Until then,

Play well!

This set was provided by Adult Engagement Team from the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions expressed, however, are my own.

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