So here we are at Christmas Eve. All advent calendar windows have been opened and we finally have the whole set. This is the right time for an overview of the entire set. Of course, you may have already followed the day to day review on other sites, but it is also nice to see the entire set offered.
Lego advent calendars
Each year, you can get advent calendars from Lego. Those are boxes with a windows to open each day of December until Christmas. Each windows contains some bricks which are a simple model. This year, you could choose between three Lego themes: City, Star Wars and friends.
If you are not familiar with Lego’s advent calendars, you should know that they have 3 main interests, considering that they are intended for kids:
- the windows are randomly distributed, so a kid will have to look for the right window to open each day. This is a good little educational moment for the youngest as they are learning numbers.
- even if it easy to find the content of the whole box on the web, it is not really shown on the box, so each day remains a surprise.
- in each window, there is a ready to play object. We can’t really say that the content of each window taken separately is a playable toy as some need to be combined, but from day 1, the kid can play with what he’ll find.
Each box contains a printed playing area themed as the calendar.
Lego City calendar was theme this year was the firefighters, and all a kid can play with all the objects combined. So this year we had 7 minifigures: 3 firefighters, 2 kids, 1 mechanics and of course, Santa. Among the accessories, the most interesting is the tools-hanging wall. It comes in 3 parts you can assemble together or leave separated and is a nice piece for a stage set. We’ll also appreciate the desk with the computer, the chainsaw and the quad. The snowmobile, the presents, the Christmas tree or the snow catapult are recurrent each year. But this year Christmas tree does have an uncommon top which makes it interesting. The hand truck and the wheelbarrow are uncommon and welcomed accessories.
This year, we appreciated the content distribution among the windows. Remember last year, the police car needed the content of 3 windows to be completed and playable, which may have left some kids frustrated the 2 first days. This year, for example, a part of the quad appeared as accessories. The tires where found with the hand truck just after the mechanic. Some reviewers put a very bad rating that day (you can check the comment on Brickset for example) but where expecting something value of each window. The Lego team was clever to think about the kids: one day, they got a nice mechanic minifig. The day after, the hand truck and the tires are nice accessories to play with the mechanic. Finally, on the next day, they will attach the tires to the quad. I am certain that if a part of the quad was found before the tires, the AFOLs would have had a better appreciation, but that would have mean that that day, the kids would have been unable to play with what they would have got.
Lego’s good distribution is valid for each day even if sometimes, you should be imaginative. The trailer on day 22 for example was awaited to be attached to the snowmobile, but was found before. Yes, but it can also be attached to the quad…
So with the City calendar, Lego did a nice job this year. There are nice minifigures and accessories and even for those who are looking for uncommon bricks, there are some nice ones (especially from the wall). But more than the content of the calendar, Lego did a great job on the distribution of the content so each day, your kid could find a new playable object to complete the Christmas collection.
The Star Wars calendar content is much different. It is not a set. Each window is totally unrelated to the others as the calendar mixes minifigures, minivehicles and some accessories. We end up with 9 minifigures, 11 minivehicles, 2 weapon racks and one accessorie. Oh right, this count misses one windows. That is the Gonk Droid which is not a minifigure, but the scale is close to.So, no matter what other says, in my opinion, it is a minifigure so we have 10 of them.
Compared to the City calendar, this set is not entended to be playable by itself. The minifigures will make a good addition to your collection (and most of them are soldiers, we always need soldiers, lot of them…). The minivehicles will most probably stay displayed on a shelf as they are nice models, but each one at his own scale. Well, kids does not care about scale and they will see no problem to play a dogfight between a Star Destroyer and a Gungan Sub…
So this calendar was really dedicated to Star Wars addicts. This year, they seemed disappointed by its content, especially compared to last year. Nevertheless, the minifigures are a good complement to those you may already have.
A world about Lego Friends…
As I don’t have an interest in Friends theme, I can’t judge the calendar by myself. So, referring to its content and the reviews, the Lego Friends calendar is very similar to the City calendar: it offers an complete playable set with a good window distribution. Of course, the content is good complement to your existing Friends sets.
I can’t judge if the content really fits its public, but some windows look really poor. The handbag is a good example, even if it is a rare element. Nevertheless, there are some really good items in this calendar. The snowman is certainly the best, with unique elements (the brown branches witch are the same as the green carrot top).
On the whole, this is a good first Friends advent calendar. All the items are a good addition to the existing sets and there are really unique elements.
If you didn’t got yourself one of those calendars, you can still find them on Amazon trough the links bellow. Their content is still interesting even if you’ll not have the surprise on the opening of every window.
If you got yourself one of those, what do you think of it ? What do your kids think of it ?