Hello, just me – and I’m back with a review of probably my most anticipated set of the year. I’m serious: I’ve spent the last few weeks waiting for “Brick Friday” to come, and on that morning I waited outside of the Lego store at 8.30am to make sure I got one. It turned out that the store opened at 10am, with a mad crowd of around… five people to contend with.
Getting these sets proved to be a bit of a nightmare, but I managed to obtain three: one for this review, a spare (which is being given to Pinky) and one going in the SilentMode vault. No scalping/reselling in my yard, and shame on those who are.
If you’ve missed it, see my overview of the first Holiday set.
Here’s the back of the box, which is the same size as Set 1. From here on in you’ll notice there’s absolutely no mention of the first set anywhere.
One of the sides of the box shows a Santa figure for scale. One has to wonder why the pictures on the box are renders rather than photos of real parts – and very disturbingly, some people still couldn’t/can’t tell the difference between computer graphics and photos. (One person on Bricklink was asking about the “new goblet piece” shown on the front.)
The other sides of the box don’t have much to look at.
Yesterday I opened the box up, being careful not to stare too hard at the parts inside. Like many other AFOLs I’m sure, there was one part in this set that I was really looking forward to seeing up close and personal… you know which one I’m talking about!
Much like Set 1, we have two bags of parts (one with the larger parts, one with small parts), an 8×8 Light Bluish Grey plate on its own, and the instruction book. I didn’t take a picture of the contents of the instructions, but it’s very similar to the one in Set 1 – except there’s no mention of Set 1 inside it.
Take a look at these sexy Dark Red bricks. (Altogether now: LOOK AT IT!) I’m guessing they’re in exactly the same quantity as in Set 1, given that they’re used to build the walls. We also have a Dark Green quarter-circle brick as well, which previously has only existed in a Pirates of the Caribbean set (the Fountain of Youth).
Stars of the show
Any set that includes tiles in white and grey, as well as SNOT bricks, is okay with me. But we also have a shiny new transparent cup, and a brand new head for Father Christmas/Santa Claus (previous incarnations tended to use a basic head). I like the fact the head has its own white beard, although I can’t remember where I’ve seen it before.
… Okay, I know I’ve left an important part out of the previous photo; I wanted to save it until last. Here we go!
Tile, Round 1 x 1
I finally have them in my possession, and they look gorgeous.
I know a lot of people have gotten themselves excited about this Holiday set, solely because this piece was included, and so have I. But I think we’re missing a very big point: this was one of the most requested new parts on Eurobricks (in this and this thread), and that’s what makes its fruition significant, whether or not it was a direct influence on Lego.
I only hope that these tiles are made widely available: I’d especially like to see them in opaque colours, such as white, tan, medium blue, black and green, since they’re commonly showing up in transparent colours in the newer sets.
IMO the real credit should go to Brickforge, who put out their own version of this round tile a while ago. Their version is only available in transparent colours, however.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Lego’s and Brickforge’s counterparts: the Brickforge version is in transparent green.
While both tiles fit onto this brick, the Lego version was easier to apply and remove. In fact, the Brickforge version was very tight on most stud connections, sometimes not being able to attach at all. But before we criticise Brickforge, I can attest to the difficulty in designing and producing custom parts.
But back to the set.
The assembled Father Christmas/Santa Claus figure in all its glory. While he looks more impressive than his Advent Calendar counterparts with the new head, I find myself joining the queue of people wondering why Lego hasn’t produced a dedicated hat for him. For one, they’ve already produced several new moulds for the Collectible Minifigures series, some even one-offs like the S5 Graduate’s mortarboard hat; for another, they could have possibly used a Red version of the S4 Gnome’s hat.
Also, where’s his sack?!
Building the model
The first round tile goes in!
The second round tile goes in!
And we’re done, all that’s left is to add Father Christmas/Santa Claus to the scene.
“Gimme that cookie, you selfish punk!”
“No, it’s my cookie!”
“Oh you think you bad, huh? Take ‘yo cookie, take yo’ drink – matter of fact, have some of this table!”
“NO TOYS FOR YOU!”
Just what I was hoping for: a leftover 1×1 round tile to play with! As is customary, we have spares of the other small elements – sadly no Green 1×1 plate.
Without a doubt, Set 2 is superior to Set 1 both in terms of the final model and the parts used in it. It stands to good reason that it is, because it was the more difficult set to get hold of. Although the promotion lasted for just three days, amazingly some people weren’t able to get hold of them – probably losing out to the scalpers and resellers with deeper pockets.
Anyway, this set isn’t quite perfect, and we have to overlook the inclusion of those 1×1 round tiles. For one, the fire in the fireplace was very weak (it’s literally a transparent orange cheese slope on top of a stud); as we can hardly see it when the model’s complete, we might as well have has an Orange one, or pehaps even Trans Neon Orange round plates as hot coals. The grille in front of the fireplace seemed to be not much more than a use for one of those round tiles, as it doesn’t sit perfectly in the middle of the fireplace, although you could argue I’m nitpicking. Usually a turntable piece would be used to create those 45 degree angles.
But definitely, this was a set worth getting as a Christmas display and for the parts, especially those tiles (if you’re not lucky enough to be in the US right now). For those who weren’t able to get this set, I really do feel for you guys; let’s just hope you don’t end up paying through the nose for one from one of these scalpers/resellers.
As with Set 1, since there’s no definitive price, I won’t give this set a score – but while I’d prefer to have both, I personally would purchase this set over Set 1 given the choice.
“He’s climibin’ in yo’ window, he’s snatchin’ yo’ people up…”
Having gone over this review just now, I noticed my comments about resellers and scalpers (which someone on Eurobricks decided to have a dig at me over). It was a little out of order, but I generally stand by what I’ve said.
First off, I should reiterate that I didn’t obtain the three copies of this set to resell. There’s still one in my vault (which is a long term investment), and one was donated to another AFOL and a good friend of mine – I also still have the one used in the review. I got the three copies in three different transactions across two LEGO stores, and I’d spent my own money.
Secondly, I don’t have a problem with resellers in general (not just because I have a Bricklink store!), because they usually sell to people who, for whatever reason, are unable to make the most of these promotions. Many people weren’t able to get hold of these sets during the three days, simply because they were limited to the first 300 customers at each store – and this is assuming they actually could get to a store.
But I do have a problem with people who buy up a load of stock just to make an obscene profit, or just because they can. I understand that it’s a debatable point that can go either way, but the short story is that they stop legitimate buyers from obtaining the products – and that’s what gets my goat.
Of course, I could be wrong about the whole thing.