REVIEW: 2013 City Advent Calendar

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GBP 19.99 / USD 29.99

The Gifts

I’m very sure other reviews of the advent calendar have ruined the surprise, but if you don’t want to know the order of gifts in this one, please don’t open the spoiler below.

Spoiler (click to reveal)

  1. Policeman
  2. Fireplace
  3. Dalmatian (dog) with a plate and bones
  4. Snowman
  5. Barrel of equipment
  6. Burglar/Robber
  7. Wooden table
  8. Food items
  9. Wooden bench
  10. Firewoman
  11. Barbecue
  12. Christmas tree
  13. Astronaut
  14. Gifts/presents
  15. Racing car driver/mechanic
  16. Go-kart (part 1)
  17. Go-kart (part 2)
  18. Child with remote control
  19. Toy planes
  20. Toy boar
  21. Toy train
  22. Toy crane
  23. Sled with small gifts/presents
  24. Father Christmas/Santa with sack

In no specific order let’s go through what we’ll find in the box.

Father Christmas / Santa

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

As mentioned before, Father Christmas in the advent calendar is virtually identical to S7 Santa (shown on the right). The only difference is that advent calendar Father Christmas has a shiny belt buckle, whereas S7 Santa has a dull one. I’ve checked two S7 Santas and this appears to be the case.

Either way, it’s great that Father Christmas appears in this form in the advent calendar: it’s a great opportunity for anyone who has suffered at the hands of hoarders/scalpers to obtain one – and a far better one, because of the belt buckle.

Policeman and Burglar/Robber

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

For lack of a better term, I’m calling the guy on the left a policeman, even though he’s more of a SWAT person. As City fans will know, 2013 was the year of the SWAT team and their going HAM on city crime.

I refer to the other figure as a burglar because burglary (also known as breaking and entering) involves unlawful entry into a building, usually to steal. Most people hadn’t thought about that, and will instead call him a robber anyway.

Both of these figures have elaborate back printing, and for whatever reason both come equipped with mugs of cocoa.


Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

To have at least some female involvement – she is in fact the only female in this set – the fire services are represented by a female. But she isn’t putting out any fires this Christmas – oh no. Instead she’s cooking herself a wiener, with a fire extinguisher to hand.

Go-kart driver/mechanic

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

Dude doubles up as an Octan-sponsored go-kart driver and mechanic, ready for action with his trusty wrench. On the other hand, I have absolutely no idea what that green thing next to him is: perhaps some pit-stop equipment?


Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

For some reason LEGO have included an astronaut – who could easily pass for Neil Armstrong – complete with magic wand, in what appears to be a fairy godmother move. This is so random, even I wouldn’t have thought of it.

The astronaut is the newer-style one that appeared in the City theme a couple of years ago, and has a very nice opaque gold visor as well as front and back printing on the torso. The magic wand is in the usual Trans Neon Yellow.

Little Timmy

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

Little Timmy, the boy who never grew old. He gets a lot of bad press, especially if you hang around various forums, but deep down he just wants to play all day long.

This time around he expected the arrival of the legendary astronaut, as he has on the astronaut sweater and a very uncommon pair of short Dark Tan legs. Also uncommon is the Orange 1×1 round tile on the remote control, of which this is my very first one. Expect to see this part in even more colours in next year’s sets.


Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

Compared to the last advent calendar I reviewed, this snowman is incredibly simple: it’s a minifigure but with a 1×2 brick instead of legs. He brandishes his customary carrot as there’s no way of sticking it to his head.


Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

A basic fireplace makes use of those sought-after masonry bricks in Dark Tan, and is very simple to build.

Dalmatian with bone

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

Another delightful animal to add to your collection: this dalmatian, which is a White version of the newer dog mould, also appears in Fire Station (60004). For anyone not into fire sets, this is a great place to find it.

Wooden bench and table

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

These are also fairly simple to build, and a reasonable source of parts in Tan and Reddish Brown.


Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

It’s the middle of winter, someone thought, so how can we pass the time? I know: let’s have a barbecue.

For anyone who actually thinks a winter barbecue is a great idea, another wiener accompanies the build.

Toy train

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

This time around we get a red toy train, complete with a carriage that can be attached to the back. An opportunity was missed to use more 1×1 round tiles for the wheels, but 1×1 round plates will do.

Gifts or presents

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

You’ve seen similar builds in Decorating the Tree (40058), but it’s easy enough (provided you have the parts) to make a whole bunch of these and make kids very happy.

Toy crane

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

This is probably the most complicated build in the set, but it’s very impressive and may even spark a bit of imagination. Many of us could use some.


Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

The go-kart comes in two parts: the first is the body of the car, which is dead simple to put together from the eight parts, and the second literally consists of the wheels and what appears to be a fuel tank. It may not look pretty, but it’s still more appealing than the three-part police station in the other reviewed advent calendar.

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

Naturally the wheels attach to the body to make a meh-swooshable vehicle.

Barrel of equipment

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

Just what every growing person wants for Christmas.

In fact, I’ve only just realised that the barrel contains an accessory for each of the policeman, firewoman and burglar/robber.

Toy planes

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

They could be gliders (the paper or polystyrene ones I used to waste my money on in primary school) or remote-controlled planes, but in either case we get two of them to play with.

Toy boat

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

It took me a while to figure out what this monstrosity is, but given its orientation I’m assuming it’s a fire boat. There’s nothing endearing about it whatsoever, so much so that I wouldn’t even part it out.

Sled with small gifts

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

This sled is one that someone pulls along, and is a rather clever build that uses two of those useful brackets in Dark Stone Grey. The tiny gifts are another incredibly simple build that provides a nice touch.

Christmas tree

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

This tree is very stubby, but given that it fits inside one panel in the advent calendar it’s not that bad.

Food items

Photo of 2013 City Advent Calendar

If a barbecue isn’t your thing, there’s always the option of having pizza. I mean, really? It’s cool if you don’t have one of those pizza tiles, but it’s not the first thing I’d think of when it comes to Christmas.

Anyway, you will immediately notice that LEGO has included transparent bottles without printing for only the second time, although it looks as if the printing has been scratched off. You can find just one of these in this year’s Colby City Showdown (79109) from The Lone Ranger theme.