We’re kinda obsessed with building things here at the Movoto Real Estate blog. We’ve assembled (virtual) homes out of everything from Rubik’s Cubes to Lincoln Logs, but nothing has quite fueled our obsession with construction like LEGO. We’ve taken this passion for interlocking plastic bricks and focused it into two blog posts so far: a construction calculator and an infographic exploring what could be built using all the world’s LEGO.
This Friday, theaters will be filled with our fellow LEGO Maniacs as our childhood (and now adult) obsession finally hits the big screen in “The LEGO Movie”. Its mix of computer animation and actual stop-motion LEGO action has stoked the fires of our fandom to the point that we just had to take another look at housing through a LEGO lens. In keeping with the Hollywood theme, we decided to see how many of the bricks it would take to create full-size plastic versions of some of the famous movie homes we’ve evaluated over the years. Not just how many it would take, but how much they’d all cost, too. So, grab some popcorn and let’s roll film.
1. Hogwarts — Harry Potter Series
Number of LEGO Bricks: 1,093,907,650 (1.1 billion)
Square Footage: 414,000 sqft
Real Building Cost: $204,102,000
LEGO Building Cost: $109,390,765
This magical castle where Harry Potter learns all things wizarding has been recreated on a smaller scale by master LEGO builders in the past, but if you really wanted to construct a one-to-one replica of Dumbledore’s spellbinding residence from plastic bricks, you’d need more than a billion of them. That’s just to make the outside; it wouldn’t include any of the unique touches, from the chandeliers of the great hall and moving staircases to Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom and the Chamber of Secrets.
2. Dorothy Gale’s House — The Wizard of Oz
Number of LEGO Bricks: 9,046,400
Square Footage: 1,500 sqft
Real Building Cost: $4,092
LEGO Building Cost: $904,640
It’s a good thing you can order a lot of bricks directly from LEGO in whichever colors you’d like, because you’d need around nine million in a mix of black, white, and grey to reproduce this motion picture musical farmhouse at full scale. Actually, given how run down the place looked in the movie, building it out of plastic blocks might actually be an upgrade. Then again, if it got really hot out, you’d have to worry about it… melting.
3. Yoda’s Hut — Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Number of LEGO Bricks: 1,871,474
Square Footage: 94.25 sqft
Real Cost: $7,762
LEGO Building Cost: $187,147
The smallest movie house you’ll read about in this piece, Yoda’s hut is nevertheless home to one of the most important characters in film history. Seriously, judge it not by its size. With just shy of two million bricks, you could recreate a full-size version of the pint-sized Jedi Master’s Dagobah lean-to, which, unlike the film version, wouldn’t need the Force to hold it together—and would be nicely waterproof.
4. Howl’s Castle — Howl’s Moving Castle
Number of LEGO Bricks: 77,197,293
Square Footage: 25,250 sqft
Real Cost: $5,126,000
LEGO Building Cost: $7,719,729
Getting the legs to be animated would require quite the engineering feat, but with about 77 million bricks you’d be able to produce a pretty convincing scale model of this iconic walking fortress from the classic Hayao Miyazaki film. Of course, you wouldn’t want to let Calcifer inside, unless you want several tons of molten plastic on your hands.
5. Tony Stark’s Mansion — Iron Man
Number of LEGO Bricks: 94,704,500
Square Footage: 25,000 sqft
Real Cost: $117,250,000
LEGO Building Cost: $9,470,450
LEGO actually sells an official set based on Tony Stark’s movie mansion that contains 364 pieces. If you really wanted to build a full-scale plastic version of this Iron Man-sion, however, you’d need almost 95 million pieces. That’s nearly 261,000 times as many, at a cost of $9.4 million, but that’s okay—Tony can afford it.
6. Fortress of Solitude — Superman
Number of LEGO Bricks: 497,121,660,000 (497 billion)
Cubic Footage: 7,065,000
Real Cost: $814 trillion
LEGO Building Cost: $50 billion
The “real” Fortress of Solitude is made out of Kryptonian crystal—7.1 million cubic feet of it. We used diamond as a stand-in for our property evaluation, which put a price tag of $814 trillion on Superman’s super-pad. That said, a plastic copy would set you back a much more reasonable $149 billion. Who are we kidding—that’s still astronomical, and makes this the most expensive life-size LEGO kit on our list by far.
7. Xavier Institute For Higher Learning — X-Men
Number of LEGO Bricks: 223,768,358
Square Footage: 76,654 sqft
Real Cost: $58,180,386
LEGO Building Cost: $22,376,836
We hope Professor X wasn’t reading our minds while we wrote this, since he’d probably think we’re insane. When you need more than 224 million LEGO bricks to construct a full-size model of a mansion, you’d better hope you know a mutant with the power to turn air into plastic. Hey, that gave us a great idea for a new comic! Stan Lee, we’re ready to talk about Plastic Tornado when you are.
8. Ghostbusters Firehouse — Ghostbusters
Number of LEGO Bricks: 35,136,029
Square Footage: 9,462.55 sqft
Real Cost: $15,717,356.50
LEGO Building Cost: $3,513,603
Just before we wrote this, LEGO announced that it will be selling an official Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set (with minifigs of the boys in grey!) later this year to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary. Much to the chagrin of Ghostbustin’ buffs, the set won’t include the iconic firehouse building, but we’re sure there are some super-fans out there who would gladly eat their weight in Stay-Puft marshmallows if it meant getting the 35 million bricks—a Gozer-sized figure—needed to build a full-scale replica.
9. The Burrow — Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Number of LEGO Bricks: 12,489,969
Square Footage: 1,467 sqft
Real Cost: $660,150
LEGO Building Cost: $1,248,997
The cockeyed home of Ron Weasley’s family was the second “Harry Potter” property we evaluated, and while it’s quite a lot smaller than Hogwarts it would still take more than 12 million bricks to build at full-size. As with Howl’s Moving Castle, we imagine it would take some major engineering skills to recreate its most famous moving part: the family member-finding Weasley Clock.
10. The Sultan’s Palace — Aladdin
Number of LEGO Bricks: 5,865,332,950 (5.9 billion)
Square Footage: 1,152,364 sqft
Real Cost: $51,856,980
LEGO Building Cost: $586,533,295
At more than one million square feet, the Sultan’s Palace from Disney’s beloved animated classic “Aladdin” is the largest fictional movie property we’ve evaluated (so far). You’d need 5.9 billion bricks to erect a full-size clone of the lavish building, not to mention a whole new world’s worth of space to put it.
11. Order of the Phoenix Headquarters — Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Number of LEGO Bricks: 18,810,858
Square Footage: 3,780 sqft
Real Cost: $3,685,500
LEGO Building Cost: $1,881,086
We used the dimensions of a king-size bed to measure Sirius Black’s family home at 12 Grimmauld Place, but we certainly wouldn’t want to sleep on a LEGO bed—no matter how big it was. You’ll get no argument from us over the fact that 19 million LEGO bricks is a serious amount for anyone to try to store. That’s why you might want to just claim you’ve got a Fidelius Charm and the place is just invisible, rather than plunking down $1.9 million for all that plastic.
12. Thor’s Castle — Thor
Number of LEGO Bricks: 873,048,416
Square Footage: 259,410 sqft
Real Cost: $212,716,200
LEGO Building Cost: $87,304,842
It would take an ungodly 873 million bricks to replicate this god’s shiny bachelor pad in the real world—or in Asgard, for that matter. It would surely cost a lot less than recreating the bifrost bridge in rainbow-hued bricks, but just imagine the mess it would make if Thor accidentally dropped Mjolnir in just the right place. Forsooth!
13. Beast’s Castle — Beauty and the Beast
Number of LEGO Bricks: 241,458,782
Square Footage: 89,900 sqft
Real Cost: $80,190,800
LEGO Building Cost: $24,145,878
Belle was willing to look past the Beast’s outward appearance, but we wonder if she’d be as forgiving if the monstrous prince confessed a love of playing with LEGO? At least if his castle was made from the bricks, repairing Chip would be a snap. Plus, with 241 million pieces to go around, if someone wanted to try building a talking candlestick or something, Beast would be able to say “be my guest.”
14. Katniss Everdeen’s Mansion — The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Number of LEGO Bricks: 38,548,972
Square Footage: 9,720 sqft
Real Cost: $1,837,080
LEGO Building Cost: $3,854,897
Katniss and the other youths who battled in the Hunger Games didn’t really have a chance for childhood staples like LEGO, and the whole thing is kind of a grim affair to try and recreate in brightly colored plastic. Still, we can’t help but grin at the idea of a minifig Peeta baking tiny loaves of LEGO bread and who knows—maybe constructing things out of interlocking bricks could become Panem’s new, much less violent, competitive sports craze?
15. Bag End — The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Number of LEGO Bricks: 24,312,200
Square Footage: 4,500 sqft
Real Cost: $1,330,000
LEGO Building Cost: $2,431,220
Bilbo Baggins doesn’t strike us as the kind of Hobbit who’d play with LEGO. In fact, he’s probably yell at people for getting them all over the place. He’d probably like the idea of being able to make easy repairs after the dwarves stopped by, though. Plus, if he only pocketed a few pieces of Smaug’s treasure, he’d be able to afford the $2.4 million it would cost to build a new, brick-ier Bag End out of 24 million blocks.
16. The Parker Residence — A Christmas Story
Number of LEGO Bricks: 9,412,779
Square Footage: 1,792 sqft
Real Cost: $53,000
LEGO Building Cost: $941,278
LEGO didn’t even exist in the late 1930s or early 1940s when “A Christmas Story” is set, but we have to imagine that, if they did, Ralphie might just have asked Santa for them instead of a Red Ryder BB Gun. After all, he wouldn’t have to worry about putting an eye out with them; the worst he’d have to contend with is stepping on one while barefoot. Plus, if his dad’s major award was made from them, just imagine how easy it would’ve been to fix.
17. The Maitland Residence — Beetlejuice
Number of LEGO Bricks: 13,211,513
Square Footage: 2,800 sqft
Real Cost: $344,400
LEGO Building Cost: $1,321,151
Just imagine what would have happened if, upon their deaths, the Maitlands received not only a “Handbook For The Recently Deceased” but 13 million LEGO bricks and a manual on how to put them all together into a life-size version of their home. After all, Adam does like putting together model buildings. It would also be pretty easy to put everything back the way it was after Delia remodeled. LEGO bricks, LEGO bricks, LEGO bricks!
Didn’t see your favorite movie house? If you know how big it is, you can punch the number into our LEGO calculator and see how many bricks it’d be. Of course, you can also enter your own home’s size, too, and at least pretend you’re living like a silver screen legend. Bear in mind that these are approximations (and don’t include interior details), so make sure to do detailed math before placing your order for bricks at the LEGO store.
Looking for a new home? Movoto’s got you covered. With millions of listings, plenty of property information, and established agents all over the country, we make finding your future home simple. And when you’re ready to take a break from browsing homes, you can always come back here to learn more about your favorite cities. Who is Movoto Real Estate, you might ask? Movoto is a national online real estate brokerage. Our blog has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes, CBS News, and The New York Times.