For me, a highlight of every holiday season is the arrival of the LEGO® Winter Village set. Over the years, we have seen a delightful village and its shops, a market, train and gone off site to the North Pole, to visit Santa’s Work Shop, and the Elves Club House. And a gingerbread house.
This year’s set, Santa’s Visit, has been officially announced and returns to the village, where we have a new home being visited by Santa. The set has 1445 pices and will cost €89.99 / $USD99.99 / £79.99 /$AUD159.99 / $CAD139.99. It will be released through LEGO retail channels on October 1st 2021.
An Insider’s Guide to Santa’s Visit: a Walkthrough with Designer, Chris McVeigh.
Jay Ong (writer of Jay’s Brick Blog, and my Collaborator on the Extra Pieces Podcast and I were fortunate to have a preview of the set at the LEGO Groups Virtual Fan Media Days, a few months ago. Here, Chris McVeigh, designer of the set, took us through the features of the model:
So this is called Santa’s visit. It’s a family home. It comes with four minifigures. You have the father, the mother, a child and a whole new Santa. So the Santa minifigure has a new face with a white beard under actually the, you know, the other beard element. He has a updated torso and, for the first time, he has dual molded legs, so he has nice big black boots. We are excited about that.
So, if you look at the model here, you can tell it’s got some really interesting geometry going on with the roof structure and the front of the home bends inwards. So it’s using angle plates to kind of bend inwards to give the front, a very warm, cozy, you know, embracing kind of look to it.
What this allows us to do by bending in the front is to open up the back, and at the back. We have loads of details in here. So we have a dining room table with a table runner candles so centerpiece on it. We also have a fireplace with stockings, a family portrait above it. We have candles on the mantel, as well. On this sign on you can see we have a fairly detailed kitchen and above it will have a child’s bedroom.
So there’s lots of storytelling in this set, and we think it’s really fun. Of course it’s all about Santas visit, that’s the name of the set. So, Santa naturally can slide down the chimney. [At this point, Chris Dropped santa down the chimney, and he came flying out onto the living room floor]
It’s very basic feature, but, you know, For play value for features it’s just, it does what it needs to do and we think it’s really fun. There’s a couple of other details, because of the, the roof structure. The way it’s mounted, you actually have a, you can pull the roof back where the child’s bedroom is so you can access it a little bit better. She has a letter to Santa there and she also has a poster space because she’s, she’s quite into space stuff. There are some lovely details in the kitchen.
Richard Jones: I love the mixer .
Chris McVeigh Yeah, the stand mixer was super fun, a super fun little detail.
Under the front we have the card feature arbitrates the storytelling about the card, all the holiday cards that arrived so we have dad going down to the mailbox to collect the mail. A little Snowbird on the window sill here throughout the set, you’ll find a couple of hidden little details that I think enhance some of the storytelling as well.
And the last feature that I would like to show you is the Christmas tree. It’s a fairly nice Christmas tree, I think. There is a nice bushy quality to it, but that’s not the real draw the draws here.
This is the first tree that lights up all you do is press down on the jewel at the top, and it will light up and I as you might imagine in a room that’s a little dimmer than this one, it’s going to look really fun, so warm and inviting, and I think you guys are really going to love it.
The other thing that I’m extremely proud of in this set is, I am bringing a new cookie to the set. This one is a specific holiday cookie. It’s actually based off of my mom’s cookies that she makes every year: … for her to make these cookies is a shortbread type cookie with icing. It can have maraschino cherries on it, or it can have sprinkles. In this case, I’ve gone with a sprinkle expression just to make it feel more like the holiday season. So I’m super excited to include a little bit on my own traditions in this set, and I can’t wait till my mom finds out about it actually is going to be gonna be super fun to see her reaction to it.This is all part of the broader storytelling in Santa goes down the chimney. He, you know, he’s down there he’s getting out the presents. He can also stop and you can have milk and cookies, there’s a little table there for him and a chair for him to sit in. So, you know it’s really fun to incorporate all these little details into this interest again, how the back of the set is just open so wide. It just allows so much more possibility for this type of little intricate storytelling.
At this point, Chris highlighted the front of the house:
Jay Ong I love the use of green Wolverine claws
Chris McVeigh We have a mixture of Holly, and pine boughs around the eaves of the house.
Just to clarify, this is bright light blue, it’s not medium blue. It’s bright light blue, so there’s a lot of interesting new bricks in there.[Medium blue was the colour used in the Winter Village Cottage 10229]
Richard Jones So, we’ve just seen a few the bright light blue come through in the Everyone Is Awesome set as well so that color is really getting a boost this year (To say nothing about what is being seen in the Fiat 500 Reissue).
Chris McVeigh Yeah, it’s just a fun color and I think when it when it came to the set we really wanted to mix things up. It’s very easy to get into the habit of doing a lot of warm colorus, but this gave us the opportunity to something completely different.
Jay Ong That’s cool. Thank you so much for your time.
Richard Jones Thank you. Great.
Chris McVeigh Have a great day guys. Thank you.
Special thanks to the AFOL Engagement team of the LEGO Group for providing the opportunity for us to talk with Chris: his passion for the set, and the things that makes this design new were palpable during his presentation.
The Winter Village sets are a highlight of the LEGO release calendar for me, and I look forward to seeing what gifts with purchase surface over the festive period to make picking this set up extra special.
This set will be available from LEGO Branded channels from October 1st 2021.
What do you think of this new festive set? Will you add it to your winter village collection? why not leave your comments below, and until next time,