LEGO Ideas Treehouse 21318 in review: Great set or rather firewood? We planted the tree!
Kevin Feeser’s tree house design is one of the models that most quickly reached the magic limit of 10.000 supporters reached. Not even four months after the submission it was clear that Kevin’s idea will be in the selection. His design was created in over 300 hours of fine work and was rebuilt a total of six times. According to his own statement, he found inspiration in Robinson Crusoe. It wasn’t really surprising then that the model will be realized. Now lies the LEGO Ideas tree house 21318 officially presented, and one wonders: Who compares the pictures of the draft and the final product, you will quickly notice that much has been changed. Why that is, if it is good and what Kevin thinks about it, more about that later in this article. In this review, however, the final set is in the foreground.
Kevin with the summer model | © Kevin Feeser
Kevin with the autumn model | © Kevin Feeser
LEGO has provided the fan designer with Cesar Carvalhosa Soares, a real tree house expert – more about this in the video interview. LEGO tree houses were part of his application for the job in Billund. Cesar is currently working primarily for the Star Wars team.
Successful fan design by Kevin: The tree house. | © KevinTreeHouse / LEGO Ideas
Circumference and assembly
The box of the set tree house 21318 ("Tree House") is huge, colorful and makes you want more. No wonder, must also 3.036 bricks and elements are packed. Inside you will find another box, primarily for the extensive building instructions. The bags are numbered from 1 to 17, the construction sections 1 and 11 have two bags. Furthermore there are 10 not numbered bags with the leave elements, five each for summer and autumn. The building instructions are a book, 426 pages include a lot of information about LEGO Ideas, the designers and 894 building sections. In total there are 180 botanical elements in the set. These were made entirely from a sugar product that LEGO has been experimenting with for some time now. LEGO seems to be able to meet the goal of completely eliminating plastic by 2030, according to its own presentation. I like this environmental aspect very much and it fits well with the theme.
The entrance is already very appealing
Visually, of course, the happy, bright colors immediately catch the eye and the associated differences from the fan design. It is also very noticeable that there are two versions to build, the summer and the fall version. Otherwise the box only allows a look at the interior of the three houses. Let’s go, we fulfill a childhood dream and build a tree house!
The tree trunk
894 building sections sounds mighty, it is. It took me almost twelve hours in total to finish everything. It will also go faster, but why rush.
Like in nature the tree grows out of the ground. A very stable foundation is built. This is not very spectacular, green with a small river course. Here, however, we are more interested in the technical implementation: How do you get the tree trunk stable?? The whole thing is based on Technic elements.
View into the "root system
Very cool: The doors as an aid to height
Technic elements are used to attach the trunk to the skeleton.
The trunk up to the removable crown. Good to see the three branches that support the houses.
The white Technic rods form the interior of the tree, around which a skeleton is built in a width of 4×4 studs. The tree bark elements are attached to this skeleton, so they have little direct contact with the foundation. To gain height and save weight, among other things, door frames are used. The tree bark is docked to the lateral elements. This consists of 4×14 studs long buildings in the lower part of the trunk. Structure brings on the one hand the knobs, but also the different colors. Here, primarily the normal brown is used, as well as dark brown and olive elements. To get a roundness the gaps are built with thinner elements in a 45 degree angle. These are attached with Technic pins. The branches are formed with two brown 1×16 rods, these are built directly into the trunk and form the foundation for the three houses. Three houses mean three mighty branches.
Here we go, the houses are waiting for us.
The main reason for this set are of course the houses. We never had a tree house, but dreamed of it. Even if it would have been a tree-like palace, the reality would have looked a bit different.
The first treehouse consists of a bedroom with dressing table, a bed, perfume bottle and many other cute little details. A flower provides for a good room climate, a compass facilitates the orientation and a cuckoo clock shows the time. My highlight is the printed bottle, which represents a ship in a bottle. There is even a bed box with hiding place. The colors are kept natural, shades of brown, dark orange and an After-Eight colored green. The board look is represented with a printed 1×3 tile. Security is very important, of course there is also a fence.
The first house is also the smallest house. Here comes the staircase from below.
… and again. What might be hiding under the bedspread?
At the latest now: Shut up and take my money: The ship in a bottle and the cuckoo clock
The roof will be built later, but I’m going into it here as a representative for the other two houses. Dark blue elements represent the roof, which is formed into a mushroom shape by movable Technic pins. Light blue panels add a few visual touches. The roofs are only put on. Each house has a guide for it in a different color, this color is found again in the substructure of the roofs. Not essential for AFOLs, but may make it easier for newbies and kids to play with. Still, the roofs aren’t quite convincing, I would have been more pleased with tan roofs for example, although the roofs don’t look bad that way either. A staircase, which will be built later, leads up to the first house.
The roof from below. The green plate belongs to the green marked house.
The second house is a bathroom. Here I find first of all the floor visually appealing. As in the first house there are many details. Here, too, there are extensive hair care products. Conveniently, there is even a flush toilet in this room. A traditional bath tub with shower possibility already represents a certain luxury. A crane on the tree house can be used to pull up food or other supplies. This house is awesome in that it solves basic treehouse cover problems. The second and third houses are later connected with a plank bridge.
The second house, with a practical freight elevator
A shower and a water closet in a tree house. Can there be more luxury?
Oldschool again: The shower and the water tub.
The third house is the sleeping quarters. Here you can find a double bunk bed and a scout research lab. There is a microscope, a flower in a glass container and probably a nesting box, I can’t quite figure this thing out. Also, a 2×2 tile is a treasure map. There is even a treasure hidden in the set, but I will not say where! This is a great idea! The upper of the two double bunk beds has a bookshelf with a book in it. The balcony in front of the tree house houses a telescope for astronomy.
From the tree house look at the stars… romantic!!
Double bunk bed, laboratory instruments. Explorer soul, what more do you want?
All three houses are very well done. The rounding fits well, a hundred percent rounding will not be possible to represent. Movable panels provide the necessary support. Each house is unique and cuddly in its own right. Children who want to play with the set will find many great options here.
The crown and other details
Let’s put the crown on the set, literally. The crown is removable. The branches are created with Technic elements and 1×2 plates, which are horizontally movable when plugged together. The crown consists of the numerous Leave elements, in the summer in light and dark green, in the fall in different shades of yellow and orange. The crown could be tighter, but it’s acceptable and doesn’t mind that it’s not quite as tight. Those who want to can add on. For me it was not the green stuff that was interesting, but the structural implementation. The movable elements give the whole thing a natural curve, which makes the tree look convincing, at least by LEGO standards. The leaf roof is visually chic.
The tree house with crown. This one could be a bit fuller
Chainsaw massacre? No, the crown is easily removable
Just plug it in, that’s all.
Numerous details round off the set. I have already sketched the inside of the houses. On the tree trunk itself, I noticed two special features: There is a very cuddly birdhouse with inhabitants and a printed element with a trunk carving, on which Kevin could immortalize himself. Otherwise, on the foundation next to the little river, there is a campfire (wands are used here) with a cauldron, a cozy sitting area with candlesticks and mushrooms. The swing was taken over from the fan design. The idea with the sawed off branch is also good.
The candlestick is cuddly, isn’t it??
Very good idea, will be adopted for the MOCs right away.
The conversion from autumn to winter is unfortunately a bit complex. You take off the complete crown for this (that’s no problem) and replace it with the included autumn colors. After about an hour the season is "exchanged. You don’t need the building instructions for this either. Personally I like the autumn layout very much and I think it’s a very good idea.
Anja rebuilding: full concentration, then it works well.
Autumn is always our best time. – Goethe
I like autumn better.
The complete tree top
Four minifigures are used. These are built every now and then in between. There is a ranger, a female minifig, maybe the group leader. In addition, there are two half-brats, a boy with nerdy glasses, the girl in a research outfit. Only the ranger, wearing a hat, has an alternative to cover his head and the woman is the only one with an alternative face. The figures are relatively unspectacular, unfortunately the moving legs were omitted from the youngsters. Four minifigs are enough, especially since there are only three sleeping places.
The adults from the front..
Alternative head and headgear
… and from behind. Cap and braid are one element
Comparison with the design
Let’s come to the comparison between fan model and the final product. Here the differences are immediately obvious and are partly blatant. The fan submission is much darker, there is only one season. Many details are different, for example the stair gates and details like spiders are completely missing. At times I had the feeling that LEGO thought the idea was great, but everything else was not. One problem, however, and this is also mentioned in the building instructions, was that Kevin’s design was far from the magic limit of a maximum of 3.000 stones was. I contacted Kevin about this and asked him about it. Following is his answer in English and the automatic translation in German:
Hello Jan, thank you for your appreciation, indeed, many people are disappointed but they should not because they only stop at a photo that made the glory. We worked closely with Cesar and Samuel to make the official set more delicate. Moreover, the idea was to avoid confusing it with the cabin of Ewok Star Wars. Eeach idea must be a unique set. I have validated all adaptations and modifications and some modifications are due to Lego’s obligations for transport, resistance and playability. The final set is very attractive, my project is a prototype too complex. The most important thing for me was not to see any repetition of construction and to find the recovery side in the huts. That the whole is on the scale of the figurines, that they can have all that it is necessary to live on the spot, kitchen, room of bath and room. Everything is there with the magic touch of the lego designers and more. Cesar told me, he had a lot of fun working on treehouse because he had more freedom than the licensed sets that brands impose. I built one of my dreams with treehouse and that’s really amazing.
Hi Jan, thanks for your appreciation, indeed many people are disappointed, but they should not be, because they only stop at a photo that made the fame. We worked closely with Cesar and Samuel to refine the official set. Also, it should be avoided that it is confused with the cabin of the Ewok Star Wars. Every idea has to be a unique set. I have confirmed all adjustments and modifications and some modifications are due to Lego’s commitments to transportation, resilience, and playability. The final set is very attractive, my project is too complex prototype. The most important thing for me was not to see a repeat of the construction and to find the recreation side in the huts. That the whole thing is in the scale of the figures, that they can have everything it takes to live in place, kitchen, bathroom and room. Everything is there with the magical touch of LEGO designers and more. Cesar told me that he had a lot of fun working on the tree house because he had more freedom than the licensed sets that brands dictate. I built one of my dreams with the tree house and it is really amazing.
The modifications are clearly visible!
There is a similarity to the Ewok Village
The ship in a bottle was taken over
I can live with it very well, Kevin’s idea comes to the validity and to the effect. Besides, for me the idea is always more important than the implementation. In fact, just the risk of confusion with the Ewok village 10236 speaks for a redesign. We also purchased at Assembled already pointed out. Thank you very much for your answer Kevin!
Interview with the designer
Conclusion: Ideas tree house 21318
Let’s come to the conclusion and start with the points of criticism: The roofs are not well done. The whole construction is very wobbly compared to the otherwise surprisingly stable tree. The entire implementation is very far from the fan design, so those who were guided by the visual will be disappointed. In addition, there are two or three places where the substructure shines through. Likewise, the light gray elements in the tree top are not nicely chosen, whereas the black parts are not visually disturbing. As well as the light gray elements on the houses – with iron a house just holds a little better.
Shoots the bird: the birdhouse with residents
Positive aspects there are many. For a really fair price of 199.99 euros RRP, the builder gets a lot of building fun and detail delivered. The three houses are classy, cute and very well done. The details make the set live, especially the printed element of Kevin, the candlestick and the birdhouse are great. The idea to go through the seasons with the house (for the winter you just dismantle all the Leaves, which you then replace from April onwards peu a peu) I find great. Despite the changes, I think the set is all around great and I can only recommend everyone to take a close look at this set. Of all Ideas designs so far, it plays for me next to the ship in the bottle 21313 and the research institute 21110 in the absolute upper league and characterizes for me those sets that I appreciate most on the Ideas platform: Own playful ideas, own imagination and no replicas of TV series. The forest calls!
The key data of the set
" Theme: LEGO Ideas
" Treehouse 21318
" Age recommendation 16+
" 3.036 parts
" 199,99 Euro MSRP
"Fan-design by Kevin Feeser
" Desginer: Cesar Carvalhosa Soares
" Exclusive building set
" LEGO Online Shop and LEGO Stores
"VIP presale from the 24th. July
"Regular sale from 1. August
Many thanks to LEGO Group for providing us with this set for our review. However, the article reflects only my personal opinion.
With this everything is said!
How do you like the final set LEGO Ideas tree house? Did you like Kevin Feeser’s design better, or do you pick up the set more as it will be on shelves? Feel free to comment in the comments.