Lego Ideas Tree House review

Three years on, the Lego Ideas Tree House is still a stunning set.

Lego Ideas Tree House 21318 - full model (21 by 9).
(Image: © Future)

Live Science Verdict

Although it originally released back in 2019, the Lego Ideas Tree House is still a gorgeous, eye-catching model packed with fun-loving details. The fact that this is one of the first sets to include parts made out of plant-based plastic makes it a really important part of Lego’s history, too.


  • +

    Beautiful design packed with lots of details

  • +

    Comes with two sets of leaves for summer and autumn

  • +

    Uses plant-based plastic for the leaves


  • -

    Some sections of the build are repetitive

  • -

    Changing between green and orange leaves means rebuilding the entire top section

Why you can trust Live Science Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best ones for you. Find out more about how we test.

Essential info:

Price: $249.99/£214.99

Model number: 21318

Number of pieces: 3,036

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 9 inches / 37 x 27 x 24 cm

Recommended age: 16+

There’s a lot to love about the Lego Ideas Tree House. First: sustainability. This is one of the first sets to come with elements made from plant-based plastic. All of the plant and leaf elements in the set are made from sustainably-sourced sugarcane, part of Lego’s initiative to be using only sustainable materials in all core products by 2030. It’s a noble effort and makes the Tree House something of a collector’s curiosity as a result.

Even outside of its sustainable nature, the Lego Ideas Tree House is simply a wonderful model. It stands tall at 14 inches (37 cm), making for quite the statement piece. The detail here is lovely; from the trunks to the branches and the treehouse itself, every element has been carefully considered and made to look as realistic as possible. It does make for some repetitive building, but the end result is good enough that it hardly matters.

Looking for more Lego content on Live Science? Our guide to the best Lego sets will help you choose a new kit to work on. You can also read about how pieces of Lego are still washing up on England’s southwest coast after a shipwreck 25 years ago. 

Lego Ideas Tree House review: Build

  • Repetitive sections in the trunk and the tree branches
  • But wonderful details in the tree house and on the ground more than make up for it

Coming in at just over 3,000 pieces, the Lego Ideas Tree House remains one of the biggest Lego Ideas sets currently available (beat only by Home Alone and the Grand Piano). Naturally, a set this big takes considerable time to put together; it took us around eight hours to finish the Tree House.

Unfortunately, a number of those hours were spent building rather tedious sections. This is a tree, and so naturally lots of it is simply made up of brown. Expect to spend a lot of time dealing in different shades of brown, and putting together repetitive sections of bricks. The trunk itself is made up of separate panels of bricks which are then arranged into a cylindrical structure. However, putting together each of those panels is rather monotonous. Thankfully, putting together the centerpiece of the build, the treehouse itself, is a highlight and so is building the base.

(Image credit: Future)

We love the base of the Tree House. Rather than being built on top of a standard Lego baseplate, the bottom of the tree house is constructed by layering bricks together, offering it a unique shape and a sense of height and scale. There’s even a river running through it and various bricks staggered around the edges to offer up the idea of a textured, uneven terrain. It looks fantastic, especially decorated with a table and chairs, a swing, and a set of winding, rickety stairs that lead up to the treehouse itself.

Onto that treehouse. It’s made up of three separate, circular buildings. They’re all similar in their construction, but are a lot of fun to put together thanks to the wonderful details stashed away inside. Add in finishing touches like railings and rope bridges joining them together – not forgetting the winch system allowing items to be passed upwards from the ground and vice versa – and you have something really special.

(Image credit: Future)

Those buildings alone almost make up for the more yawn-inducing part of the build, the worst of which is the tree itself. There are a lot of branches to be built here, all rather repetitive and fiddly. What is neat is that the set comes with two sets of leaves: green for summer and yellow/orange for autumn. Unfortunately, you can’t easily swap the leaves out as they’re built into the branches, and so to replace the color you’ll need to rebuild the entire top section of the tree. As nice as it would be to change them as the actual seasons change, we’re not sure we’ll ever have the inclination to. Whichever color you decide to start out with, you won’t be disappointed as both look amazing.

(Image credit: Future)

Lego Ideas Tree House review: Design

  • A sturdy, fun set with so much kooky detail
  • One of the best to come from Lego Ideas, we think

It’s the little touches in the Lego Ideas Tree House that really make it come to life. One room of the tree house is a bathroom, complete with toilet, huge tub (with ‘water droplets’ inside it!), and little details like a hairbrush and various toiletry bottles. Another is a bedroom, with a beautifully-designed double bed, dressing table, and hat stand. Details like a ship in a bottle decoration, a flower on the dresser, and even a cuckoo clock puts this set in another league. It’s an incredible amount of detail, and it’s so fun to explore.

(Image credit: Future)

All these detail makes the Lego Ideas Tree House feel a little like a playset, but with a price tag of $250/£215, we’re not sure you’d want small hands getting too busy with it. However, even as adults we can appreciate the love and care that’s gone into the design.

The special features don’t stop inside the treehouse, either. The trunk of the tree, although it might have been dull to build, comes to life thanks to the bird’s nest stuck on the side, the sawn-off branch, and the way bricks have been layered to create texture. There’s even a sticker paying homage to the set’s designer, Kevin Feeser, here: “Build your dreams K.F.” Such a lovely little touch.

(Image credit: Future)

There are some innovative building techniques on display here, which we always love to see. The treehouse buildings sport round porthole-style windows that have been crafted by stacking together two ‘bridge’ pieces, then using rods to secure them in place. The rickety rope bridge is also a highlight, being secure enough for the sake of the set but managing to give the idea of being unstable.

(Image credit: Future)

There really is so much to love here and it remains one of our favorite ever sets to come from the Lego Ideas program. It’s a testament to how much creativity exists within the Lego builder community. It captures the fun-loving childish nature of Lego as play while being a technically competent and impressive model. The Lego Ideas Tree House is a real joy to behold – the only trouble is finding enough space to display it when you’re done!

Should you buy Lego Ideas Tree House?

If you enjoy original, innovative Lego designs, then absolutely, you should buy the Lego Ideas Tree House. Particularly so considering this has been around for three years, and will most likely be heading to the ‘retiring soon’ chopping block. There’s no other Lego set quite like this one; it’s fun, it looks wonderful, and it’s one of the first sets to use sustainable elements. A piece of Lego history, then – and who wouldn’t want to own that?

Other Lego sets to consider

If it’s more Lego Ideas sets you’re after, how about the Lego Ideas Globe for $230/£200. This 2,585-piece set brings the whole world into focus in beautiful brickish detail. It might not technically be geography accurate, but it looks pretty cool.

We also love the Typewriter, complete with moving paper roll and a QWERTY keyboard where you can press down the keys (£250/£215). It implements some Lego Technic building techniques so can be a bit tricky at times, but it’s worth it for the finished product.

For more sets aping nature, the Lego Ideas Winnie the Pooh set ($100/£90) offers up another chance to build a tree, albeit with a fantastical 100 Acre Wood twist. And for something a little smaller (and for smaller budgets), there’s the realistic-looking Lego Icons Bonsai Tree, which makes a fantastic desktop display for just $50/£45.

Contributing writer

Kim is a UK-based freelancewriter who focuses on Lego, toys and video game-related content. She's the co-creator of and, where you'll find most of her work. If she's not building with plastic bricks, playing a video game, or writing about doing either of those things, you should probably check she's still breathing. You can find her on Twitter at @ichangedmyname.