Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Emerson: Now in Chocolate

Back in August, I had posted about receiving the Emerson House.The original kit I received had some damaged pieces and the follow-up replacement kit also had some damaged pieces so the good folks at Brinca Dada suggested that I wait for the second production run of the house. Well, it has finally arrived and I was pleasantly surprised to see that several improvements have been made to the kit, as well as the nice new chocolate delicious color. Granted, I know some of you may prefer the caramel finish for personal reasons and because it hides any bumps and dings better than a darker wood stain, but I am quite partial to this cocoa mood goin' on here. It's oh so swanky swanky! HA!

Anyway, the second production run improvements to the kit are in the overall packaging. The manufacturer has more carefully protected the plexi pieces with film and individual sleeves.The wood floors and walls are also sleeved. The placement of parts inside of the box is more thought out this time around. All the parts to build the structure are assembled like a puzzle and then sandwiched between styrofoam cushion walls. A few wood pieces in the new kit had some minor abrasions that where actually covered up by overlapping pieces. I only had one casualty in the new kit and it was a cracked piece of plexi known as 1M.

The instruction manual has changed and is easier to understand. They've included more images of the completed structure and have broken down the build into three stages: side 1, side 2 and then connecting the two sides together. I definitely need to mention that the parts are labeled this time around and so there's less time involved trying to match up pieces with the illustrations.

Due to the plexi fatality that I mentioned earlier, I was only able to build a portion of Side 1(which you see above). I do notice that the screws and parts line up better and that the loft portion is staying level so far. I have received some inquiries from other Emerson House owners who had concerns about the loft portion not staying plumb, etc. I'm not having that experience with this new version of the kit. I did assemble side 2 completely and only struggled with the sliding doors. Oh! and pay very close attention to steps 11 through 13, there's a part in step 13 that directs you to slide plexi piece 2I into a groove and there's no way you can do that without damaging pieces or untightening several screws, so you might want to slide 2I in during step 11 or 12.

Side 2 of the Emerson House looks pretty good assembled. I'm already trying out designs in the structure even though it isn't complete with side 1. You definitely can use some 1:12 pieces in the second half of the structure and it looks fine. I'm sure that 1:12 options increase in side 1 since it has a double height ceiling. And, of course, I'll be posting more pictures of this house as I finish building and start experimenting with the interior.


  1. I think it's great that the new version has a darker stain, when I saw the Emerson house in real life at FAO Scwartz New York, I was a little bit surprised to see how bright the caramel colour was. But it's gorgeous in both colours and I still want one, just hope they will ship worldwide soon.
    And I looove chocolate :-)

  2. Like you, I prefer the chocolate color so I am pretty stoked about that (when I do eventually order one!). Its also nice to know that the manufacturers are improving as they get more experience building and shipping it.

    The contrast in the first picture is just great! Will you keep it like that?

  3. Hey Pubdoll,
    It was a nice surprise to see the chocolate color. When I removed it from the box, I said "Oh hey! Cool!" ha ha!

  4. Hey Ann,
    I am under the impression that the manufacturing process of these toy designs will get tighter. I'm not going to keep the two caramel kits. I've already promised them to someone who is incredibly crafty and can fix or hide what ails them. They should be able to get one decent structure out of the two kits with their talents and some elbow grease. I wish I could get a perfect caramel version. I might have to keep a lookout for one that someone has assembled and looks good. It would rock to have both versions, but I can't justify having both right now. And I'm running out of space. I need to shed some inventory.

  5. Hi and thanks for the report and sharing your experience. May be they'll ship ti Israel one day....

  6. I received my Emerson house (prod. run 1) a couple of weeks ago, but have only just got it out of its box - your post here was what got me moving. I wanted to see whether I'd have the problems you mentioned. Phase 1 is sort of put together but with 2 windows (narrow top) left off because they're too tall by a couple of mm. But I've really come unstuck at the beginning of phase 2, because it seems notches in the 'brick' wall are out of place by about an inch. So I'm putting it to one side for the moment, a little sadly, till I decide what to do next. But I really want to love this house! And of course, I messed up the wiring, tugging the bits into place. (insert sad face here)
    Jen (Sydney, Aus)

    - Pubdoll: BrincaDada arranged shipping for me, but the courier charges were about 2/3 the cost of the house itself.

    I ordered the furniture pieces as well, since I don't have any 1/16 furniture, and while some were quite sweet, others were a real disappointment. Maybe they will improve in later runs.

  7. Hey Jen,
    I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with the kit--especially since you paid so much for shipping, etc. This is the first I've heard about the plexi windows being too tall. You've got me curious since I've never been able to get to the step where you place the plexi in side 1. Have you tried contacting the company? They may have a solution for you in regards to that brick wall on side 2.

    I also purchased the furniture but decided to return it for reasons you understand. I anticipate that there will be another production run of the furniture too.

  8. Wow. I love the chocolate floors. Great upgrade and thanks for the thorough update. It's nice to know how much much BrincaDada is working to improve the house. Can't wait to see what you do with it. Wait, hold the presses, did you say shed some inventory. Good God, I'll drive right over and save you the ebay listing. :P

  9. Love the chocolate, but loved the golden too.

    Curious about the furniture.

    What a great company to attempt such a complicated house and keep improving it. C

  10. Despite the challenges, I hope you're having a bit of fun! I do have a preference for the chocolate...

  11. So is there no problem with the chocolate one? And which furniture pieces are disappointing (and which are 'sweet')? I am going to buy the house and the furniture with all the money I've saved up and am very scared of all the things that might go wrong because almost everything I buy is defective.

  12. does the 2nd production run emerson include the staircase?

  13. Hey Mini Dork,
    I am actually just donating it to charity. I'm too holiday busy/lazy to do ebay for the pieces. So far, I'm paring down to my artisan pieces. Send me an email. I don't have a problem boxing some items up and sending.

  14. Hey My Realitty,
    Yeah, I like the caramel version too. Maybe someday I'll stumble upon one in good condition.

    Yeah, the company seems to be proactively solving a few production issues, plus they have really good customer service.

  15. Hi Callsmall,
    You know "me" and "having fun" are best friends. Ha ha---that's so corny.

  16. Hi Anonymous 1,
    I haven't been able to build the entire structure so I can only report on what I've experienced so far. To recap from the post, I had trouble with sliding doors on side 2, a single broken piece, a few abrasions to the wood that ended up being covered during the build process and an issue with one assembly step.

    M1K1 can address the disappointing and sweet question in regards to the furniture. I'm not sure how she defines each.

    From my experience, I don't think you have to be afraid to purchase. The company's track record so far shows that they take care of their customers. At least, Emerson owners who email or comment (including my own personal experience) note how satisfied they are with the resolution of issues.

  17. Hello Anonymous 2,

    Yes, the staircase is still a part of the kit. It also looks fabulous dressed in chocolate.

  18. Is the chocolate color really dark, or not that dark?
    And is the caramel color really bright, or not that bright?

  19. Hi,
    I am also having some problems with my Emerson house. It is the second, darker stained version. Piece 1L does not sit flush in the slot in the base. The slot in the plexiglass is too far to the right, or the piece is too long on the left, or piece 1C is too thick on the right side (not sure which of these is the issue). A piece from the second side of the house has a broken electrical connection, and another piece from side 1 has a flaw in the plexiglass. I've emailed the company tonight and hope that they'll find some way to make this right. What did they do for others who've had similar issues? Thanks

  20. Hi there

    I need some help here. I just got my Emerson House and finally got it built. However, the lights above the great room (the ones below the green lawn roof) are not working. The wiring is correct as all the lights in the other rooms are working. I suspect something is wrong with the lightbulbs. I tried to pry open the wooden roof but decided not to as I'll probably end up with a damaged roof. Does anyone here know what to do? Please help, I'm pulling my hair out here trying to figure out how to fix this.


  21. I recently bought a kit off of eBay for $159 shipped and the seller stated that the house might have imperfections and some damage. I immediately put the house together and was very pleased to find that only a couple of pieces were damaged (scratch on one of the windows and a knick in one piece of wood). All the lights work and there are only a few pieces that have gaps. A few holes also took some love to line up but for the most part im very happy. For $159 im definitely not complaining :)

  22. Hi Juliana,
    In response to your question about the lights. brinca dada says:
    "Behind the fireplace on the first floor, is a battery pack containing green batteries. These batteries are charged by the solar panel and run the lights/fireplaces when it's not receiving direct sunlight. Because these have been in the box for so long, the rechargeable batteries have lost their charge and they don't get enough "kick" from the solar panel to get them functioning. Replace the batteries (temporarily) with regular AA batteries just to make sure it is the rechargeable batteries and not something to do with the wiring. All the lights should come on with the regular AA batteries. If they do, it means that the rechargeable batteries have been fully depleted and need a jump in a wall charger. Once they are charged, the solar panel can keep them going."