In the first week of October soon after the Super Mario set was completed, Derek began his next LEGO project. At nearly 4,000 pieces, this would be his biggest LEGO build yet. It seemed fitting to set a goal to finish the house by winter break so that we could relive the Christmas story before the holidays. As children of the 90’s, we grew up watching the classic Home Alone movie but a lot of the subtle details had been forgotten. While building this LEGO set from the basement up, Derek had stories to share with me describing the significance of each section.
Part 1: “It all starts with a brick!”
Derek laid out all the LEGO bags next to the thick instruction manual before opening bag #1. As the first pieces clicked together, Derek posed for a photo to document the beginning of a new project. Surprisingly enough, the first structure built of the Home Alone house was Marv and Harry’s van that they used to lurk around the neighborhood. Sprout had a new toy to tap about with her paws as Derek continued to build.
The color-coordinated bricks are the inner workings of the home’s kinetic features. In the completed house, these manipulate the knobs that turn Michael Jordan’s cardboard cut out in circles on the train set and trigger the playful pranks that Kevin plays in the movie. These bricks are the foundation for all of those hidden Easter eggs.
Part 2: “Did I burn down the joint? I don’t think so. I was making ornaments out of fishhooks.” -Kevin McCallister, Home Alone, 1990
The Home Alone LEGO set was designed almost like an advent calendar with twenty-four sections to complete, each with its own bag of pieces. The building seemed to transform quite drastically when Derek was in the zone working on the first story of the home. Derek has always been a LEGO fan because he likes hands-on projects where he can build things.
There are times when the tiniest pieces seem to get stuck together or a complicated diagram gets misinterpreted, but it gives him a challenge that he has to muddle through in order to solve the problem and fit the legos perfectly together to continue on to the next phase.
The ground level of the Home Alone house is completed!
Part 3: “You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?”-Kevin McCallister, Home Alone, 1990
Derek’s favorite scene from the Home Alone movie is when Kevin is pulling pranks on the criminals and Marv opens the back door to a blowtorch that engulfs his head in flames. It’s amazing just how many references to the movie are hidden throughout the McCallister house now that Kevin has the whole place to himself. We see empty pizza boxes, big brother Buzz’s tarantula clinging to the wall, the aftershave in the upstairs bathroom, and the kitchen TV playing the gangster movie that Kevin uses to trick the Wet Bandits that he wasn’t alone.
“I’m going to give you to the count of three to get your lousy, lyin’, low-down, four-flushing carcass out my door! One… two……..Three! Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.”
There are interactive elements in the LEGO house where Kevin booby traps the bandits with an iron that falls down the stairs and Marv’s head reverses so that he has an iron-shaped imprint on his face. Knobs rotate a mannequin on a record player in the dining room and the shelves in Buzz’s room collapse when Kevin tries to get the money jar.
The second level is completed!
Part 4: “Bless this highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner and the people who sold it on sale. Amen.”-Kevin McCallister, Home Alone, 1990
The final level of the McCallister home was the snow-covered attic where Kevin plotted his battle plan. Each section of the house opens and closes like a puzzle so that we can peek into each of the rooms and look for clues from the movie.
Outside the main structure is an attached basement where Kevin built up enough gumption to face the threatening furnace so that he can run a load of laundry. The push of a button activates the furnace so that it lights up as Kevin screams and runs.
Derek’s favorite feature of the Home Alone house is the zip-line connecting the upstairs window to the tree house as Kevin escapes the bad guys before the police arrive. The LEGO Kevin actually connects to the bike’s handlebars to zip down to the tree house.
Part 5: “No offense, but aren’t you a little old to be afraid? -Kevin
“You can be old for a lot of things. You’re never too old to be afraid.” -Old Man Marley, Home Alone, 1990
With the McCallister LEGO home fully completed by December 24th, we spent the night before Christmas huddled together watching the Home Alone movie as the blizzardly winds whipped through our town. Home Alone is a true classic that gets us belly-laughing at the pranks and one-liners with a heartwarming ending. Little Kevin not only fends for himself but also single-handedly tricks the Wet Bandits into their arrest all while overcoming his fears of the basement and the old man down the street. It turns out that Mr. Marley is a just kind grandpa living alone who misses his son and finally reunites with his family. Kevin may have initially wished that his family would disappear but his Christmas gift is that they all come home to be with him.
I love the Home Alone LEGO house! It is such a life-like replica of the McCallister home with all of the intrigue of a miniature doll house. From the clever movie details to the detachable compartments, this LEGO set is a beautiful work of art.
While Derek was motivated to complete the challenge of this 4,000 piece structure by Christmas, I loved watching it come to life.
What’s next for the LEGO man you may ask? We got two 1,000 piece puzzles for Christmas that are calling our names with images of backyard birds and Marvel superheroes.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Jagers!
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