With a worldwide population of 4 billion minifigures and growing fast, housing access is a crucial issue in the LEGO world. Even non-licensed minifigures need a place to live, and have you seen the cost of homes these days? We need every theme contributing housing that possibly can. Fortunately, Creator sets have been building homes for close to two decades now. And in the summer 2024 collection, minifigures can select from 3 dwelling options thanks to LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31153 Modern House. Whether at the beach, in the city, or in the woods, here’s our review of this 939-piece, 2-minifigure set, which is available for pre-order now (will ship August 1st) from LEGO.com for US $99.99 | CAN $129.99 | UK £89.99.

Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheet

The Creator branding may have made way for Icons in many other sets, but the classic yellow perseveres in the 3-in-1 sets, with a thumb-punch box showing small pictures of the alternate models alongside a large picture of the namesake build on the front. On the back, larger pictures show off different angles of all three builds.

Inside are nine paper bags numbered 1-9, and the three instruction booklets inside a sturdy cardboard envelope. The patterns on the paper bags are a really nice touch, and photographing them involves so much less glare than plastic. It does reveal less about the contents, however.

The main build

The primary build is the Modern House, described by LEGO as a beach house with swimming pool. It’s built in sections that are then connected together – it’s almost modular, but we’ll get back to that. The build starts with a small kitchen area with a table, chairs, stove, vent, some cabinets, and assorted jars and pans. An irregularly angled set of steps lead up to the kitchen door, and wood panels with a little offset space start a pleasing textured pattern up the front and side of the building.

Continuing to the second floor, the wood texture starts to contrast well with the black windows and white base walls. In this section of the second floor, we have a very colorful bookshelf and what might be described as a banana chair, made with two of the new quarter rounded slope pieces in yellow. It looks like a very comfortable place to enjoy a good read, the large potted plant, and the no-doubt priceless view.

The third floor only adds a large hanging light fixture to make sure that the reading nook below is well lit; we wouldn’t want our new homeowners suffering from unnecessary eyestrain. Outside the wood, black frames, and white walls finish off this section with a white overhanging roof.

The next two-story section is built all from a single bag. We’ve added stone shades to the palette, along with minimal furniture – just a single cabinet of drawers – but a very attractive glass balcony has a small flowering plant on the second floor. Let’s take a closer look.

The balcony is built with some new brackets introduced in the Orient Express Train set last year, now available in white. It’s a neat little construction.

The new section connects to the first, though the second floor seems to be off by a few plates. It’s really not clear why.

The final section of the building starts with a living room type area, with a clear glass coffee table, couch, guitar, and sliding doors that will eventually go out towards the pool.

Moving up a level, the same brackets that made the balcony possible are utilized to turn two doorframes sideways to build a wall section with panoramic views.

There are a few exposed anti-studs, but that rubber duck has a million-dollar view.

One curiosity in the bedroom next to the walk in waterfall shower – there are some tiles just hidden under the bed. You could say they’re there to help placement of the other pieces, but they really seem to just be stashed there for alternate builds.

And here the Modern Beach House is structurally complete. Varied heights and depths with consistent materials and patterns make up our slice of modern architecture.

An infinity pool with some sand and implied coastline is nearly the final piece…

… because with some finishing touches and trees, the build is done. It looks like a really lovely place to stay. It’s a bit odd how much the pieces of the build have lots of connection points and technic pin holes, but you can’t actually rearrange the rooms here without more significant modifications. It’s like all of the elements of modularity are here, but actually we just built a base with technic bricks.

The alternate models

The “second” build, as best we can tell, is this city townhouse. Its best feature is a large two-story glass window, built using the same brackets as the balcony and window from the Modern Beach House above. It’s definitely a bit less coherent than that house, though, and WHOA we are going to ask all minifigures to back away from that balcony until inspectional services can have a look. There is no way that that’s a high enough railing…

City living has been condensed to kitchen, hot tub, dining room (how does the food get there?) and rooftop levels. From the front and sides it’s an attractive townhouse. From the back, some of the compromises of secondary models are more apparent.

The back of the roof is a very notable example. The roof deck also has some interesting use of parts that feels like it’s meant to use up as many parts as possible in the secondary models rather than because they’re actually needed. The 1×6 tiles here, for example, would be just fine without the 1×2 rounded plates in the middle, and the 1×4 medium nougat tile is also unnecessary. Both provide extra support if someone were to really lean hard on the tiles, but that doesn’t seem like standard practice…

And! For the minifigures that want to get away from the city, the final build is this lovely forest cabin. The stone chimney laid of different size stones looks great, and the cabin is almost entirely glass to provide wraparound views.

A little swimming pool in the back provides some relaxation – until you’re ready to hike to the falls deeper in the woods – and the roof comes off easily in two segments to allow play access to the inside. This might be our favorite of the bunch…

Conclusions and recommendations

Let’s start with the price: $100 for 939 pieces doesn’t seem great. But there are a lot of large windows, doors, and floor/roof plates in this set. As long as what you build at least sometimes uses larger plates, this is honestly a decent parts pack. Tons of useful plates, good bit of tiles in neutral colors, tons of white and black door and window frames.

So price-per-piece isn’t a reason to avoid this set. Is there anything that would be? Well: if you’re dead set on a city townhouse … ehhhh you can do better. Possibly using the pieces in this set! But the city house is the weak link. The modern beach house is super lux, and the forest cabin is an impressively polished and finished alternate model. And the pieces that are left will be useful for so much more.

LEGO Creator 3-in-1 31153 Modern House contains 939 pieces and 2 minifigures, and is available for pre-order now (will ship August 1st) from LEGO.com for US $99.99 | CAN $129.99 | UK £89.99. Also available from 3rd party sellers like Amazon and eBay.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

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