Stranger Things may be in the off-season, but fans are still eagerly anticipating season two and any news and updates about it. It’s also still arguably the biggest cultural phenomenon on TV since its August debut. Any and all references, tributes, and homages to the show are likely to be discovered and shared across the Internet as its popularity only continues to grow, ahead of the highly-anticipated second season's debut.
One of the best ways to pay tribute to a show as hugely popular as Stranger Things is to take its story and transport it to a whole different visual world. Netflix’s runaway hit has already been imitated in the form of an 8-bit game, which falls perfectly in line with its 1980s setting and aesthetic. It’s also gotten the Charlie Brown Christmas treatment. The latest striking homage to Stranger Things comes in the form of LEGO toys, and the end result is as impressive as it is quirky and entertaining.
The YouTube channel Bookshelf Productions posted on Nov. 1 a LEGO version of Stranger Things’ first season, effectively summarizing its inaugural eight episodes with strong attention to detail and narrative balance. The video covers many of the first season’s most memorable moments, like Barb’s (Shannon Purser) infamous pool scene, Joyce Byers’ (Winona Ryder) lighting rig, the flying truck, and Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) girly makeover and journey through the Upside-Down, among others.
Bookshelf Productions has been on YouTube since 2010, but has only produced nine videos to date. One of them is a Doctor Who 50th anniversary LEGO tribute, which has garnered over 685,000 views. The channel describes itself as “a brother and sister committed to telling amazing stories through the creative use of stop motion photography and Legos.”
This video should certainly interest fans of Stranger Things, even the casual ones. There’s a compelling charm to the production, which is imperfect but undoubtedly done with a wealth of dedication and knowledge of the source material. It uses the actual audio and sound effects from the show to its advantage (as the performances are among the show’s biggest strengths), while the custom-made LEGO figures and sets are impressively detailed and accurate.
The video, admittedly, is very much a "fan production". The lighting and camera placement is inconsistent, as is the animation itself at times. Certain viewers may also be turned off by the relative lack of popular characters like Eleven and Barb compared to others. But there was unquestionably a ton of passion put into the video, the same kind of enthusiasm shared by the Duffer Brothers and their cast and crew that made Stranger Things so compelling in the first place. That alone makes this LEGO tribute a video worth watching.
Stranger Things season 1 is now available on Netflix. Season 2 is in production and slated to premiere in 2017.