Ten days into Advent and here at the Rambling Brick, we continue our investigation of ways that the LEGO® sets have been used to specifically celebrate the Christmas Holiday season, in light of this being the 20th anniversary of the first LEGO Advent Calendar.
The Christmas Build Ups: 40222 and 40253
Today, I thought we would take a quick look at the Christmas Build Up sets – 40222 and 40235, seen in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Both sets have a range of about 250 elements, and were available as gifts with purchase from shop.lego.com and LEGO Brand Retail stores of their respective years.
These sets involved a series of Advent builds (24 in total), but unlike the standard Advent Calendars, the expectation is that each day’s model would be dismantled before attempting to construct the new one. Most of the elements are readily available.
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.
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!
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.
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 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…