The Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure #9

We continue looking at LEGO sub-themes and sets released over the years, celebrating the holiday season, as part of recognising that this year is the twentieth year since the release of the first LEGO Advent Calendar. Before unveiling today’s Friends Advent Calendar minibuild, I would like to look at the Belville Advent Calendar 7600, from 2007.

In world before the introduction of LEGO Friends, but after Scala, Belville was a theme directed primarily at girls.  With larger figures, and brighter colours than the majority of regular system sets, Belville sets were in production from 1994 to 2008.  While the sets over the years covered a variety of themes: home, farm, horses and fairy tales, this was the only Advent Calendar released.

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The Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure #8

AS we continue Further and further into advent, we continue to look at short lived Advent Calendar themes.  While Castle has been a long standing theme since the beginning days of the Minifigure, it has not been an endless source of Advent Calendar based material.  this is a shame, as the daily development of accessories and stories works quite well in this context.

There have been two Castle themed Advent Calendars over the years: ‘Castle Advent Calendar 7979’ in 2008 and Kingdoms Advent Calendar 7952 from 2010

7979 Castle Advent Calendar – 1978

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The Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure #7

We continue our nostalgia trip through the curiosities of LEGO® Seasonal offerings over the years, as a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the first LEGO Advent Calendar. After visiting the Pirates Calendar, we continue to explore some of the lesser known themes in Advent Calendars.

In 2004 a most peculiar Advent Calendar was produced. Yes, I’m talking about 7575 Clikits Advent Calendar.  Aimed squarely at tween age girls, for whom constructible jewellery and accessories might be desirable, this set prodded 24 days of bangles, hair clips, gift tags and picture frames, culminating on December 24 with a case to carry the previous 23 gifts in.

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The Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure Day#6

This year, we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the LEGO Advent Calendar, and the Rambling Brick is taking a trip back and forth through the history of Holiday themed sets, before looking at today’s offering from the LEGO Friends Advent Calendar.

In recent years, LEGO City, Friends and LEGO Star Wars have become evergreen Advent Calendar themes.  Over the next few days, I would like to take a look at some of the advent calendars that did not have the same level of long term appeal.  Today, I will start with the 6299 Pirates Advent Calendar.  This was released in 2009 – relatively recently in the scheme of things.

Enjoy 24 days of fun surprises with the 2009 LEGO Pirates Advent Calendar — no looting or pillaging required! With a new buildable character or setting every day, and lots of colorful minifigures, creatures and special elements, you can create your own LEGO Pirates world and play out swashbuckling adventures on the box-lid play mat. Each day open a new window in the specially designed Advent Calendar box! Includes 24 pirate-themed surprises in all, plus a play mat printed on the box lid! Includes 8 minifigures!

Text Source: LEGO.com via Brickset.com

The set came with eight minifigures and a number of creatures, including a crocodile, saw toothed shark, rat, parrot, crab and monkey.  In between, there were a number of minibuilds including a small cannon, some scenery, a treasure chest and raft.  Contemporary reviews are quite favourable, but do comment that there is not really any seasonal content included. Captain Brickbeard was opened up on day one, and I suspect if this calendar were to be produced today, he would have had a brightly wrapped present or sack, and a Santa hat! A full list of the minibuilds can be found on Bricklink, as this is from the days before shop.lego.com providing complete spoilers for the advent calendars.

This is the only Pirates Advent Calendar that we have seen to this day.  Perhaps it would be nice to see another, if Pirates make a return to the mainstream in the future.

Follow on after the break, to see today’s build from the 2018 Friends Advent Calendar.

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Mia‘s Hair Updated in 2019 to Match the Reboot Artwork

About 12 months ago, the world was reeling from the shock news that the main characters in LEGO Friends were getting a bit of a makeover. We saw a dramatic change in box artwork and design of the minidolls.

On seeing the 2018 sets, I was a little intrigued that while Mia now had bright orange hair in the artwork, it was still the dark red on the minidolls.

We have now seen some of the images of the 2019 Friends sets, and it would appear that Mia’s hair has received a little adjustment, to match the artwork. The set shown below is Mia’s Heart Box – 41358, recently revealed on the LEGO image servers:

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The Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure Day #5

Today we continue our our exploration of LEGO® Christmas Celebrations, as a tribute to the 20th anniversary of LEGO Advent Calendars, and will follow it up with a quick visit to today’s entry for the LEGO Friends calendar.

Today’s entry comes from extremely recent history: today in fact! I visited the shop attached to the local LEGOLAND Discovery Centre (Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne), and found this great little collection of minifigures hanging on the shelf, with an asking price of $19.99AUD.

We have Santa, Mrs Claus and a red hatted elf. I could not help but think that they remind me of the figures from the Creator Expert Winter Village set “Santa’s Workshop”10245 from 2014.  There are, however, some subtle differences.  Are they enough to justify the purchase? 

As you can see, the packet is quite generic.  What you see above is what you get: there is no back printing.  Which is a shame, as the City Santa from the 2017 and 2018 Advent Calendars has a dual printed torso, with a candy cane tucked in under the belt.

Here are the original inhabitants of Santa’s Workshop.

Let’s compare our new figures: with those from Santa’s Workshop.

Let’s start with Mrs Claus.  The older version has a red dress, while the newer version has a dark green dress.  The details on the skirt elements are the same, although the colouring is slightly different on the new torso.  Our new Mrs Claus has grey hair, rather than white, with a bun.  She is also carrying a pie element, introduced with one of the collectable minifigure clowns, rather than the red sack element.

On the left is the old Santa, on the right the new one. Superfically, they look pretty similar.  The torso’s are identical to the one from the 2016 City Advent calendar. Remove the hat and beard however, and we see that the heads are subtly different.  Our new version features greying eye brows and reading glasses.  How else can he check his list of who has been naughty or nice? This appears to be a new combination, with this head only otherwise appearing in the Fun at the Beach people pack 60153, the 2017 City Advent Calendar, and attached to some European books.

On the right we have our new elf: he wears the same tunic as the Collectable minifigure Holiday Elf, from Series 11, but has red legs and a red hat.  I believe this is the first time this ear/hat element has been seen in red.

They all feel, in part like they have come to perform holiday relief work, to allow Santa, Mrs Claus and the Elves a chance to have a well earned break.  I hope they wait until after Christmas to take it!

These are a great selection of holiday themed minifigures, and the new elements are an unexpected bonus. What do you think? Perhaps you will be able to pick them up at your local LEGO Brand retail store, or a LEGOLAND park/discovery centre somewhere around the world.  If you do, I’d love to see how you use them…

Catching up with our Friends:

Let’s open up door number 5 after the break, and see where it takes us…

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The Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure 2018 #4

Today we continue our Advent-ure: 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the first LEGO Advent Calendar, which appeared in 1998.  In our the Rambling Brick’s Advent-ure, we travel through the years looking at different sets and themes which have been used over the years to celebrate the Christmas Holiday Season. And then, you can follow down to see what our Friends have in store in their Advent Calendar today.

Today, let us take a look at the Nutcracker 40254, distributed as a gift with purchase during Brick Friday 2017.  Nutcracker dolls originated in Germany in the seventeenth century, and became associated with Christmas through Hoffman’s story “The Mouse and the Nutcracker” which is set around the time of a household Christmas Party.  The story was popularised through Tchaikovsky’s ballet adaptation, which has become a seasonal favourite over the year.

The 2017 Staff Gift: at 732 elements, it’s a bit bigger than 40254

The set has two hundred and thirty parts, and features an opening and closing jawbone, operated through a lever on its back.  As a relatively recent set, it should not set you back too much on the secondary market.  This version of the nutcracker makes great use of the warm gold/ pearl gold highlights.  The build was simple, and made good use of warm gold jumper plates.  This was not the only Nutcracker model released in 2017, with the annual staff gift also depicting a much taller nutcracker.  I quite like this set: it is small and effective, and achieved its goal of causing me to purchase a significant amount of LEGO at the time of the year.

I don’t know what drove me to want to discuss it this particular set today…

What Are Our Friends Up To?

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