I’m not going to lie: when I first saw this set, I was a little baffled. Most of the imagery associated with Christmas holidays refers to the northern hemisphere winter: conifers, reindeer, references to the North Pole. The penguin does not appear very high on this list at all. Harking from the opposite side of the earth, you might understand why. Instead, I embraced this as the Southern Hemispheric attempt to embrace the Southern summer: if you were looking for snow at this time of year, it would have to be on the Antarctic or, at least, a nearby sub-Antarctic island.
I was very fortunate a few years ago to have the chance to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula, via Patagonia. It was January, and the sun dipped beneath the horizon around one am, only reappear around two hours later. Penguins were abundant, of several species, and I found myself wondering if I saw anything resembling the one depicted in this model. More of that later.
But I digress. The 40498 Christmas Penguin is the 4th ‘iconic’ seasonal set released this year, after the Valentines Day Bear, the Easter Rabbit and the Halloween Owl.