27 February 2024

LEGO® Disney™ review: 43249 Stitch

Posted by Thomas Jenkins

Say 'Aloha!' to LEGO® Disney™43248 Stitch, a brick-built version of the mischievous extra-terrestrial. Today we take a look at all the recoloured elements and techniques used to build the little critter.

Products in this article were gifted by The LEGO Group; the author's opinions are their own.
This article contains affiliate links to LEGO.com; we may get a small commission if you purchase.

43249 Stitch
US$64.99/ £59.99/ 64.99€/ AU$119.99
730 parts
Released 1 March 2024

Set 43249 Stitch on LEGO.com

Recolours and new prints

Set 43249 Stitch features 2 eye-catching printed recoloured elements:

  • 1x Brick Round Corner 5 x 5 x 3 1/3 Dome Top with new print in Dark Azure (6476337 | 49612pr1)
  • 1x Brick Round Corner 5 x 5 x 3 1/3 Dome Top with new print in Dark Azure (6476338 | 49612pr2)
Not only is the quarter-dome new in Dark Azure, it also comes with two new prints: one each for Stitch's big eyes. The white reflection in the pupils appears as a pure brilliant white- not a tinge of blue or black seeping through here. However as you can see in the photo above, one of my white prints is slightly blurred (the other is perfectly crisp) – a shame, as these prints are large and end up being the focal point of the finished model.

The large print limits the use of these elements a bit but it might be an interesting challenge to fit these into a MOC: I was thinking they could be the markings on a big blue beetle's abdomen.

This is only the third time the 5 x 5 Dome has appeared in a set, the other instances being 10282 Adidas Originals Superstar where it came in White with a print and 71427 Larry's and Morton's Airships, a Super Mario expansion set.

The eyes are the only printed elements in the set but there is a sticker sheet we'll look at later. For now, on with the recolours!

As you might expect, there are at least a few new blue elements to match Stitch's fur:

  • 4x Brick Round Corner, Curved 3 x 3 x 1 Quarter Circle in Dark Blue (6481827 | 76797)
  • 1x Slope Curved 2 x 2 x 2/3 Inverted in Dark Blue (6470263 | 32803)
  • 8x Brick Round Corner, Curved 3 x 3 x 1 Quarter Circle in Dark Azure (6481632 | 76797)
  • 4x Brick Round Corner 3 x 3 x 1 with Bottom Cut Outs [No Studs] [1/4 Arch] in Dark Azure (6374452 | 65617)
  • 8x Plate Special 1 x 1 Rounded with Handle in Dark Azure (6481638 | 26047)
This batch of blue recolours serves as a a nice booster pack for all the new blue elements we received in LEGO® Icons 10331 Kingfisher Bird, which we reviewed recently. And, just like the Kingfisher Bird, there are lots of organic, curvy elements.

We also get some new Bright Light Orange pieces:

  • 4x Slope 45° 2 x 1 with 2/3 Inverted Cutout and no stud in Bright Light Orange (6485427 | 28192)
  • 1x Windscreen 8 x 6 x 2 Curved in Bright Light Orange (6485425 | 41751)

The last few recoloured elements are all pink-ish:

  • 1x Slope Curved 2 x 1 with Stud Notch Left in Dark Pink (6481633 | 29120)
  • 1x Slope Curved 2 x 1 with Stud Notch Right in Dark Pink (6481634 | 29119)
  • 1x Slope Inverted 45° 3 x 1 Double with 2 Completely Open Studs in Bright Pink (6484473 | 2341)
  • 1x Cone 3 x 3 x 2 in Nougat (6481805 | 6233)
  • 1x Cone 2 x 2 x 2 with Completely Open Stud in Nougat (6481642 | 3942c)
Nougat is a colour seldom seen outside of the realms of minifigures, so the 2 cone elements are a very welcome surprise!

Sticker sheet

The sticker sheet is small and slightly unusual. LEGO stickers are usually shaped to fit the part they will be placed on. The hibiscus flowers on this sticker sheet are all flower-shaped. I can't decide whether I like this approach or not. I like the fact that the increased MOC potential of these free-form shapes- they could be applied to any piece but on the other hand, the perfectionist in me bemoans that I'll never get the stickers lined up exactly like the box art. I'm probably in a minority on this point!

Rare elements

We usually classify rare elements as those appearing in 3 or fewer other sets. Stitch has quite a few parts that fit this criteria.

The following elements currently appear in just 1 other set:

  • 1 x Brick Round 4 x 4 Dome Top with Round 2 x 2 Recessed, 4 Studs in Light Purple/ Bright Pink (6503237 | 79850) (6464977 | 79850)
  • 3 x Slope Curved 4 x 1 Inverted in Light Purple/ Bright Pink (6351891 | 13547)
  • 2 x Technic Brick Special 2 x 2 with Ball Receptacle Wide and Axle Hole, No Arm Holes in Dark Azure (6441422 | 67696)
  • 1 x Wedge Sloped 4 x 2 Triple Left in Dark Azure (6210386 | 43710)
  • 1 x Wedge Sloped 4 x 2 Triple Right in Dark Azure (6210438 | 43711)
  • 1 x Cone 2 x 2 x 2 with Completely Open Stud in Medium Nougat (6442143 | 14918)
These are in 2 other sets:

  • 2 x Slope Curved 3 x 2 with Stud Notch Left in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6398304 | 80177)
  • 2 x Slope Curved 3 x 2 with Stud Notch Right in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6398305 | 80178)
  • 2 x Brick 2 x 3 in Earth Blue/ Dark Blue (6385309 | 3002)
  • 1 x Plate Round 2 x 2 with Rounded Bottom [Boat Stud] in Earth Blue/ Dark Blue (4164359 | ) (6440476 | 2654)
  • 18 x Plate Special 2 x 2 x 2/3 with Two Studs On Side and Two Raised - Updated Version in Dark Azure (6470176 | 4304)
  • 4 x Slope Curved 2 x 1 with Stud Notch Right in Dark Azure (6453302 | 29119)
  • 5 x Plate Special 1 x 2 with Clip Horizontal on End in Transparent/ Trans-Clear (6358934 | 42923)
And finally, these elements appear in 3 other sets:

  • 1 x Food Hot Dog / Sausage in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6430410 | 25994) (6258994 | 25994)
  • 4 x Slope Curved 2 x 1 with Stud Notch Left in Dark Azure (6211418 | 29120)
  • 2 x Wedge Curved 4 x 4 No Top Studs in Dark Azure (6021779 | 47753)
  • 1 x Wedge Curved 6 x 2 Left in Dark Azure (6151672 | 41748)
  • 1 x Wedge Curved 6 x 2 Right in Dark Azure (6151670 | 41747)
  • 9 x Bracket 1 x 2 - 2 x 2 Inverted in Medium Azure (6441006 | 99207)
  • 1 x Slope Curved 4 x 2 No Studs in Medium Azure (6109835 | 93606) (6441153 | 93606)
  • 4 x Tile Round 1 x 2 Half Circle in Medium Azure (6510074 | 1748) (6445337 | 1748)

Building the model

The bright colours and 9+ age rating on the packaging belie the complexity of this set: after assembling the contents of the first bag we are left with a surprisingly complex SNOT assembly. I'm already starting to think that the minimalist black boxes of the 18+ sets might be more apt. 

Stitch's Hawaiian shirt is built with lots of large wedge elements, so it takes shape quickly. I chose not to apply the stickers to my model as I'm hoping to recycle the elements (and maybe even the stickers!) in a MOC.

Three little cogs are hidden in the chest – the head will be attached to the middle one later. The 2 adjacent gears provide enough friction to prevent unwanted lateral movement of the head. This little bit of articulation ids nice, but if you pick the figure up by the head, it will come off.

The left arm is attached with a clever technique involving Mixels ball and cup joints. While the position of the two Mixels elements on each assembly seem mirrored when compared side by side, since they are an equal distance apart, they match up perfectly. The result has the arm at an angle to the body, And it all fits together seamlessly – very clever indeed!

The right arm is built much more simply using traditional methods, but ends in a grasping hand to hold an ice cream. The new(-ish) mech fingers work wonderfully well as toe and finger nails.

I was impressed with the SNOT in the body but constructing the head really took things up a notch. Here we have studs in literally every direction.

As such, each surface – even those upside down – can be plated or tiled over, so there's a great level of detail. For example, the roof of Stitch's mouth is tiled and replete with perfect little teeth!

One of my favourite parts of this area is the the way the nose is attached: in two parts. The attachment of each subassembly is a Black 1x1 Plate with Clip which cleverly doubles up as a nostril!

Are the printed eyes cheating? Maybe, but I like them a lot. With these big bold prints and all the smooth surfaces (bare studs are mostly reserved to create the illusion of fur) this doesn't look like a LEGO model at first glance. It's something I love in my LEGO sets but I realise it's not to everyone's taste. 

The ears are attached with large ball joints and lend the model a small degree of poseability. The box art shows a 'sad' Stitch with his ears drooping. Even with his ears positioned so, he still has a big grin on his face so this feature seems a bit redundant. I'm thinking that this is probably more of a coincidence of the techniques used here rather than a deliberate design feature.

The finishing touches to the model are a a brick-built ice cream – an efficient mini model that only uses 6 elements – and a hibiscus flower. I like the overall techniques: the petals are connected to a Sonic Ring and the stamen is built with ice cream scoops and a sausage. 

Closing thoughts

With its limited articulation, it lacks playability, but 43249 Stitch is a fantastic-looking model. Thanks to an extensive library of all kinds of organic shaped elements, LEGO is knocking it out of the park when it comes to creature and character statuette-themed sets. In this case, lots of recoloured blue and yellow curvy elements really bring this Stitch statuette to life. The expression on Stitch's face is rendered amazingly well in LEGO bricks: I love that toothy grin!

I enjoyed building this set a lot. There was an unexpected level of complexity to the build (the kind of techniques you'd expect from something in the LEGO Icons line). There's also good variety of parts on offer: a vivid palette of blues and Bright Light Orange, many of which are recoloured. Even with the Disney branding, the set seems to be priced fairly. Non-branded sets will still provide the best parts-per-price ratio (eg. 10331 Kingfisher is cheaper and has more parts) but you could do worse when it comes to branded themes (like 71426 Piranha Plant, a great-looking model that provides a mere 540 parts for the same price as Stitch).

READ MORE: LEGO® Disney™ new sets reviewed: 43239 Mirabel's Photo Frame and Jewelry Box & 43237 Isabela's Flowerpot

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  1. Nice review. I had missed the Medium Nougat 3x3x2 cone, that's a great recolour. I like the big Bright Light Orange windscreen too.

    Can we request a picture with the eye domes swapped? It would look amusing...

  2. The Big Domes for the Eyes are described as 4 x 4 Domes in the Text. However, at the end of the Review it seems that the pieces are actually 5 x 5 Domes, which have only been used once before on a Super Mario Ship Set. Am I right here? Hard to say when you don't have the real thing in front of you...

    1. Oh my! You're absolutely right! Sorry about that mistake. I've corrected the article. Thanks so much for pointing that out. I assumed it was 4x4 but I really should have checked.

  3. I imagine if the head had been designed to tilt up and down there could have been some tricks you could do to invoke certain expressions; tilting the head up would make the mouth curve appear to slope down for a sad look, for instance, which combined with the ear pose might work better. (I used to do this with Bionicle heads, you tilt a Metru head up it looks like it's having a hearty chuckle but tilt it down and it's mad as heck.)

  4. I think image-shaped stickers would be better in many (but not all) cases, since it would get rid of the problem that the background-color of the sticker doesn't match the color of the brick.