Brickset news archive: Advent countdown
On the fifth day of the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar we are provided with a Storm IV Twin-pod Cloud Car mini model. This vehicle appeared in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and challenges the B-wing for the most sets created compared with the number of seconds spent on screen, coming in at two so far versus the B-wing's four.
This model is fairly simple, using SNOT techniques throughout almost the entire craft to achieve the rather odd orientation of the vehicle in the film, which I like. The basic shape of the Cloud Car is captured, although the strut which links the two cockpits should be far narrower than it is here which takes away from the appearance of the model in my opinion. I like the inclusion of a trans-blue stud to act as the engine which demonstrates impressive attention to detail, although the shape of each cockpit windscreen is too steep.
Perhaps the biggest issue in my opinion however is the colour scheme, which should be orange. The red shade is acceptable, but the light bluish grey bricks which are the basis of each pod are quite unattractive, and they should have been replaced with pieces of the same colour as the rest of the model.
Overall - 3 - Not a bad model, but the accuracy is lacking in my opinion and I would have preferred the Cloud Car to be orange.
Our second mini model of this year's Advent Calendar is another Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones vehicle, Zam Wesell's Koro-2 Exodrive Airspeeder which has only appeared before in the 2002 set 7133 Bounty Hunter Pursuit, albeit it at Minifigure scale. This speeder appeared early in the film, during a chase sequence on Coruscant, and the LEGO model does not vary too far from its source, particularly given the flowing design of the ship which seems unsuited to a LEGO model.
The Airspeeder is certainly recognisable, although the shape of the curved prongs towards the front of the model has not quite been achieved in my opinion using the lime green 1x4 curved slopes that are included. As I can think of no better solution, this arrangement is satisfactory for me. The cockpit windscreen runs all the way from the roof to the floor, as it should, and I like the orange accents which add a bit more colour to this already garish design. Lastly, the tail finial is not bad, but there really ought to be only a single 4L bar used here as the current design looks to be a little too wide compared with its appearance in the film. This is forgivable however for the following reason.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about this model though comes with the tail, as a pair of green 4L bars are included. This element has appeared in only one set previously, 7189 Mill Village Raid, and even there, only one was featured. These will be very useful for MOCs no doubt, and hopefully the current price of these pieces online will be driven down by their inclusion here, even if you cannot pick up the entire Advent Calendar.
Overall - 4 - A swooshable little model, although the aesthetics are a little disappointing in my opinion.
Lily, in today's Friends window, is a new character in Heartlake City. She's wearing a very Christmassy jumper, isn't she!
I had wondered whether the hairpiece was new in black, but it appeared in last year's calendar (day 24) and it's also used for Nicole in 3184 Adventure Camper.
The City calendar has a snowman in it.
Our third gift from the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar this year is an FA-4 Pilot Droid minifigure, which up until now, has only appeared previously in set 75017 Duel on Geonosis. It goes nicely with the Solar Sailer from yesterday, although it is not particularly useful as a standalone minifigure, unlike perhaps a Battle Droid which one can never have too many of.
The minifigure is identical to its earlier appearance, and while it is not the most interesting of characters, the three dark brown 1x1 slopes which are included (taking the spare into account) are fairly rare, appearing in only two other sets, which might be appealing to some.
If you have not purchased 75017 Duel on Geonosis, this is a great minifigure and will be a welcome addition to your collection. On the other hand, if you do own the aforementioned set, perhaps the dark brown slopes might be useful to you more than the minifigure itself.
Overall - 3.5 - Not a bad minifigure at all, but not particularly useful if you already own 75017 other than for the parts.
As you'll have noticed, CapnRex101 will be reviewing the Star Wars Advent models from now on. He knows what he's talking about when it comes to Star Wars so you won't have to put up with any more misspelled names and glib comments from me :-)
Today, I've chosen to feature the City model, which is this cute doggy, sporting a Dalmatian's spots but an Alsatian's head and ears. There does appear to be similar cross breeds around so maybe he is realistic. He only appears in the calendar and this year's fire station, so I suspect not many of us have him already.
The Friends calendar features a street lamp which is similar to that in last year's.
Huw has kindly allowed me (CapnRex101) to provide a brief overview of each Star Wars Advent Calendar gift, while he takes a look at his favourite of the City and Friends models. Photos are taken by Huw.
The first mini model of the Advent Calendar this year, following the R5-F7 minifigure yesterday, is Count Dooku's Solar Sailer. This is a somewhat obscure vehicle, only appearing during the Battle of Geonosis towards the end of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and later in the Clone Wars film and television show.
This is a nice little representation of the craft in my opinion, capturing all of the major features using only eleven pieces. The bubble cockpit is formed rather nicely using a trans-clear 1x1 round plate and I like the brown, dark bluish grey and dark tan colour scheme, which is accurate to the Solar Sailer as it appears in the film. Lastly, although it is almost certainly accidental, I also appreciate how the ship sits when 'landed' just as it does in the movie, with the rear of the vehicle tilted towards the surface, while the prongs at the front stick a little into the air.
Each day I am going to award the model or minifigure a score out of 5, and today I am going to award the model...
Overall - 4 - although this is a nice representation of the vehicle, it is perhaps a little too obscure to wholly appeal.
My pick for today is from the Friends calendar, a cool ice-scooter for Sunday's Stephanie. I don't buy Friends sets normally so I was intrigued to see that they'd modified the handlebar piece, adding an extension to the ends so that the Friends figures, whose hands of course don't rotate, can hold it. It's been in a few sets already, I see.
It's interesting how many pieces they've made specially to work around the deficiencies of the Friends figures design, such as the 1x2 'T' panel to hold their feet when they are seated because they don't have stud receptacles at the back of their legs. No doubt we'll have some in the calendar later on.
The Star Wars calendar features a nondescript brown space ship which I thought was a Geonosian vessel but it turns out that it's Count Dooku's solar sailer. I never would have guessed.
The City calendar has a fireplace.
Today's the day we can at last break the seals on those Advent calendars we bought way back in September and start building.
This year I'm not going to post three pictures and try to make up something interesting to say about uninspiring models every day. Instead I'll just pick one model a day, or none if they are all boring.
As is often the case, the first window in each contains a minifig so, unable to choose between them, here's a line-up of them all: a policeman, Steph, and astromech droid R5-F7.
If you want to avoid reading these Advent articles so as not to spoil the surprise you can do so by changing your news preferences.
Today's City model is Santa in a snowmobile. The vehicle itself is pretty poor, to be honest, and would have been much better if only the skis were on the ground, and not the 2 x 6 green plate as well. Still, at least it rounds off the calendar nicely.
Yoda last year, Maul this year, I wonder whose turn it will be next year to dress as Father Christmas? :-)
City -- 7, could have been better but a nice end to the calendar.
Friends -- 5, nice hairpiece, but totally inappropriate.
Star Wars -- 10, great, amusing, minifig. Worth the price of the calendar alone!
That is, of course, the end of our Advent calendar review. I hope you enjoyed it.
All that remains then is to wish you all a Merry Christmas! The total number of sets we collectively own is currently 4,139,501. I wonder what it will be this time next week :-)
It will be a quiet day here at Brickset tomorrow but do come back on Boxing Day for the first of our Legends of Chima reviews.
City -- 7, slightly boring but a good addition to the yesterday's sledge.
Friends -- 7, a new slant on the traditional LEGO present :-)
Star Wars -- 10, what we all bought the calendar for, right?
So thank goodness tomorrow is the last day of the calendars. I'm running out of interesting things to say about them!
The Friends calendar has another seasonal model today. It's interesting that every time a Christmas tree appears in an Advent Calendar, LEGO 'reinvents the wheel' and redesigns it. I don't remember seeing one quite like this before.
The Star Wars calendar contains a nice micro Sith Interceptor. There's not much one can fault with it given the scale. This will be the last surprise in the SW calendar, since we all know what's coming in the next couple of days, don't we? :-)
City -- 6, might be useful, we'll have to wait and see...
Friends -- 8, great tree.
Star Wars -- 8, faultless micro-model.
I can't say I'm too impressed with today's City 'model'. Not only is it fairly boring, and not fire- or season-related, it was also too difficult to isolate from its background due to the soft round white edges of the dishes, so I didn't bother.
The Friends one though, ticks all the boxes. Seasonal, lots of parts and a decent model. The 1 x 1 flower pieces are always useful to have because they allow you to join certain parts stud-to-stud to others. There are plenty in the bag today, including a few spares.
City -- 5, poor all round.
Friends -- 9, once again, everything a Advent model should be.
Star Wars -- 8 useful army-building figure.
Just 3 days to go now (thank goodness!!)
As you can probably tell, I'm back from my travels now. I had a great time on a 'Christmas markets cruise' to Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Hamburg. I managed to find, and visit, the LEGO brand stores in the latter two cities. The highlight of the trip however, was Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg which is the most incredible model railway, the largest in the world. To call it a 'model railway' though is doing it a disservice since it's so much more than that. If you have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it. You'll need a good half day to appreciate it all though, there is so much of it too see. My wife and I spent four hours there: she was fixated by the airport segment in which aircraft taxi, take-off and land. We've now seen enough Christmas markets -- Liseberg, Tivoli Gardens and just about everywhere you looked in Hamburg -- to last a lifetime!
Anyway, onto today's advent calendar windows...
Today's City window contains a wheelbarrow and a shovel for the snow. The wheelbarrow was only introduced this year, so it's useful to get one in the calendar. Not very festive, or 'fire-y', but perhaps tomorrow we'll get a workman to push it.
In the Star Wars window we have another micro-model, General Grievous' Starfighter. It's a pretty good rendition given the scale. I particularly like the way they've managed to get the brown and tan stripes in, like on the larger version.
City -- 8, not too exciting but every city needs more wheelbarrows.
Friends -- 5, could have been better.
Star Wars -- 8, another great micro-model.
I'd like to thank bluemoose for posting the advent articles in my stead. I hope you enjoyed reading his perspective on the models, I know I did. Any mistakes in the construction of the models (like yesterday's Star Wars one) are entirely mine, I did them all in a hurry before I went :-)
Today, the City advent calendar gives us another firefighter, but this guy looks like he's had a pretty busy day and is unwinding with a nice hot cup of tea. The two extra fire helmets are a nice touch.
In the Friends calendar, we get a single element, a handbag. It's a relatively rare part and it has only previously been available in the large Friends Summer Riding Camp. A nice accessory for one of the minidolls, but a single item does seems a bit poor.
Today's mini ship model from the Star Wars calendar, is a Neimoidian Escort Shuttle as used by Nute Gunray in the Prequel trilogy. It's a nice little model, with an interesting build technique and some nice parts (15 in the model with 3 spares).
Overall a pretty good day; the firefighter and Shuttle mini model are excellent, but the handbag lets the side down a bit.
City -- 9, a nice figure with some useful accessories.
Friends -- 3, regardless of what you think of the handbag itself (I think it's pretty neat), a single element is a bit of a let-down.
Star Wars -- 9, a great little model, my favourite of the mini models so far.
A slightly odd model today from the City advent calendar, with a touch of toilet humour ... the fire hydrant is a nice little model (only five elements though), and the dog is one of the modern 'police' dogs with a printed face.
Yet another minfigure in the Star Wars calendar today ... this time it's a rebel trooper, most famously from the start of Episode 4, when Princess Leia's CR90 Corvette, the Tantive IV, is boarded by Imperial Forces.
Overall an okay day; the dog and minifigure are nice, and the two models are okay, with useful parts.
City -- 8, a nice little model, with some useful parts, and a great dog.
Friends -- 7, seasonal and cute, with a couple of nice parts.
Star Wars -- 9, someone to bolster the Rebel ranks.
Continuing on with the snow-fight theme from yesterday, the City advent calendar gives us a snowball (or toilet roll) chucking device. Not very complicated, or particularly interesting from a parts' perspective.
In the Friends calendar, we get get a cutesy mail box for sending Christmas letters and cards to friends and family ... and Santa, of course. A bit like the City model, it isn't very interesting, but the pink 'cheese' pieces are quite nice.
Now this is more like it; another of the popular mini vehicles from the Star Wars calendar. Today it's the Flash Speeder (from Episode 1), Captain Panaka's ride. A nice little model, but fairly simple (14 pieces). A few nice parts.
Overall, a bit of a slide back from yesterday, but not the worst day.
City -- 3, maybe okay for play value, but a bit of a low-point.
Friends -- 4, again, maybe okay for play value, but not a great model.
Star Wars -- 7, another great mini vehicle model.
In a break from the fire-fighting theme of the last few days, today the City calendar gives us another welcome minifigure - a young female with snowballs, to go with the young male figure from Day 6. As with many of the other figures in this year's advent calendars, while the figure is technically unique to this set (in that the parts have never been used together to create this specific figure in any previous set), the individual parts are fairly common. Still, a great minifigure!
In the Friends calendar, we get what I assume is a bucket full of snow balls and a broom ... a little bizarre, but there you go. The bucket was originally a Belville piece; while it has been fairly common in Friends sets this year, and has popped up in a few other themes over the years, it isn't a very common piece. The broom originates with the Fabuland theme in the early 1980's, but has been included in many sets in recent years, including many Harry Potter sets, so is now fairly common.
Another of the popular mini vehicles in the Star Wars calendar; today it's the turn of Queen Amidala's Naboo Royal Starship (from Episode 1), a ship that continues to be a curious omission from the regular mini-fig compatible line. A nice little ship, and a great partner to the Naboo Starfighter from Day 7. Also, a nice mix of useful parts - 20 parts in total, including a couple of spares.
Overall a good day, although the bucket and broom still feels like an odd inclusion ...
City -- 8, a nice figure, in the spirit of the season and a great addition to a 'Winter Village' display.
Friends -- 4, a bit odd and not very useful.
Star Wars -- 8, another mini starship for the collection!
Today in the fire-obsessed City calendar, we get a third section of wall which follows on from the previous sections received on Day 5 and Day 8. The accessories today can be assembled to create self-contained breathing apparatus for one of the minifigure fire fighters. The model also includes four more of the always welcome 'brick profile' bricks.
In the Friends calendar, we have a third section for Olivia's sledge. The build is pretty simple, but the parts (all 8 of them) are quite nice. How much longer can the sledge get? (The previous sections were from Day 2 and Day 10).
Another minifig from the Star Wars calendar today; not a rare or unique figure but a welcome 'army builder' - an Imperial Snow Trooper. Technically the figure in this particular configuration is unique to this set - the head hasn't been used on a Snow Trooper figure before, but it's the common 'Imperial Minion' head from the 2012 sets.
I feel that today is a welcome 'step up' from the last couple of days, and the scores reflect this.
City -- 7, another section of wall, with some useful accessories for play.
Friends -- 6, another section for Olivia's sledge, with some interesting and useful parts.
Star Wars -- 9, an always welcome addition to the Emperor's forces.
Carrying on with the fire theme, today we appear to have some equipment for practicing putting out fires, just so our miniature firefighters can be prepared for the potential Christmas conflagration ...
There have been a few grumbles in recent days about the lack of weapons for the Star Wars minifigs. Today they make up for that, with a little weapons rack so our Hoth-bound figures can now defend themselves.
Very like yesterday, today feels a bit like a 'filler' day; no minifigures, animals, vehicles or micro-scale ships. Not terrible, but not great either ...
City -- 5, not too bad, a few useful pieces for the firebugs out there.
Friends -- 5, again, not a lot to it, but some rare-ish colour/part combinations.
Star Wars -- 6, an accessory pack, like the other two calendars today, but you can now 'complete' a couple of the previous figures.
As Huw mentioned yesterday, I've taken over doing the reviews for a few days while he takes a well earned break. Huw will be back this time next week, but swing by tomorrow to find out if day 15 is going to be an improvement over the last couple of days. And don't forget to let us know your thoughts on today's Advent Calendar sets in the comments section below.
BrickLink categorises this 'Gonk Droid' as a minifig. I'm not sure I agree, and I'm not sure he looks very much like the Gonk Droid at Wookiepedia either...
City -- 7, not too bad, useful printed computer pieces.
Friends -- 6, not much to it today.
Star Wars -- 6, a cute little fellow.
From tomorrow, bluemoose will be guiding you through the calendars and I'm sure he'll add a fresh perspective to them.
Today we have our second fire person, and for a nice change it's a female. It's good that LEGO is acknowledging that it's not just males that work for the emergency services, but I don't honestly know, do women work on the frontline tackling fires?
There's another unique minifig in the Star Wars calendar today: Hoth Rebel Trooper, Moustache. His component parts are common enough but the combination is unique, so another great figure for the Star Wars minifig completest.
City -- 9, great female minifig.
Friends -- 7, only one piece but a cute piece :-)
Star Wars -- 7, not too exciting but a must-have for collectors.
You will notice that today I have not cut the images out and presented them on a white background. That's because from tomorrow, I will be away for a few days, so I had to open all the windows today and get the models photographed before I go, and I didn't have time to do so. I'll be posting tomorrow's, then the rest of the team will (hopefully) get the rest posted in my absence. I hope it hasn't spoiled your enjoyment of them too much :-)
Actually this is a fairly decent little quad-bike model given the number of parts. I think it would have looked better with some cross-country tyres rather than the slicks.
City -- 9, excellent model that showcases what's possible with a handful of parts.
Friends -- 8, seasonal and cute.
Star Wars -- 5, not immediately obvious what it is, so loses points.
City -- 1, useless...
Friends -- 7, cute.
Star Wars -- 4, what can I say...?
Today was not a very good day, was it?
BrickLink says he's unique, although it's only the combination of torso and head that is; the component parts have appeared in sets many times before.
I do like the new baseball cap with curved brim, so it's great that there's a spare one of those.
In the Star Wars calendar, we have a treat for minifig collectors. Like the mechanic, this 'Imperial Officer, Chin Strap' is unique to the calendar although the component parts have been used often in the past.
So, not a bad day, then...
City -- 8, useful minifig for populating your city.
Friends -- 7, nice parts, perhaps could have done with a few more though.
Star Wars -- 9, unique minifig, although not particularly interesting.
I'm not sure why it has a 'roof' and flashing lights on the top though...
City -- 7, model a bit boring but useful parts.
Friends -- 7, ditto.
Star Wars -- 9, a very clever mini-model.
It's quite an interesting set of models in the windows today. In the City calendar we have a remote control fire engine. It was a neat touch making it a minifig scale r/c vehicle rather than a micro model of a real fire-engine.
So, today, my scores are:
City -- 7, quite interesting and well executed.
Friends -- 7, girls will love these accessories.
Star Wars -- 8, best micro-model yet.
In the City calendar today, we have a naughty boy with some snowballs.
His green torso is uncommon and has only ever appeared in three Christmas-themed sets for whatever reason.
The spare helmet will come in handy, I'm sure.
In the Star Wars window today, in keeping with the Naboo theme of the calendar so far, we get what must surely be the most boring 'minifig' in the Star Wars universe. Don't we all have hundreds of these already? At least it has a dark red torso, I suppose.
City -- 9, great minifig.
Friends -- 9, unique mini-doll in festive outfit.
Star Wars -- 5, yawn...
Today is an excellent day for parts in two of the calendars. The tool rack for the firemen might not look like much but the parts are great. You can never have too many of the 1 x 2 profile bricks, and the 1 x 4 plate with two studs in red is uncommon, appearing in only three sets thus far.
In the Friends calendar we have a very nice snowman. The carrot tops in brown are unique to this set; usually they are green of course. What's more, we get a spare!
So, some nice parts in two of them. Now onto Star Wars...
I don't really know what to say about this one. I am a fan of micro-models, but this is taking it too far. 'Mini' and 'Micro' are fine, but not 'Nano'! Although we can all see it's a MTT, and I suppose it's quite cleverly designed, it's just a bit too small, isn't it. So..
City - 7, not much of a model but great parts.
Friends - 9, everything an Advent calendar model should be.
Star Wars - 5, too small, too few parts.
Someone emailed yesterday to point out that the Christmas tree shown on the back of the calendar box had a fairy wand/star on the top and the contents of his day 3 bag didn't include one. The reason for the discrepancy became apparent today!
Today's bag contained the star and some steps to enable our fireman to reach the top of the tree. I'm surprised at the lack of health and safety awareness he has, though: it's not safe climbing to the top rung of the steps when there's no guard rail. If he loses his balance, he and the tree will topple...
I believe they are the same as those we've had with collectable minifigs, aren't they? I can't find mine to check. Whatever, they look great in blue, although the poles are a bit short.
The scores today then, are:
City -- 5, not much to it, and boring parts.
Friends -- 6, just the 4 parts but they are all good and go well with the mini-doll.
Star Wars -- 7, another decent micro-model.
It's very similar to those that have been in previous year's calendars, although having just checked, it's nothing like the one we had last year.
The 2 x 2 x 2 slope at the top is not common, although they don't really have much use other than for the tops of trees, do they...
The street lamp in the Friends calendar is not too bad I suppose, although the decoration is perhaps a bit on the large side, and the lamp post could do with being a bit taller: Olivia could reach up and burn herself on it!
It's a good day for parts. The models are okay but I think their constituent parts are better.
City -- 8, a nice festive model and plenty of big, bulky parts.
Friends -- 7, design could be better.
Star Wars -- 7, complements yesterday's figure perfectly.
Quite why he's chopping logs though, I'm not sure. Perhaps he's making toilet rolls :-)
Olivia gets a cool sledge to play on today which comes with one of those 1x2 modified tiles that LEGO calls a 'Foot, Plate'.
Their sole purpose is to solve the problem of the mini-dolls not having holes in their backsides to secure them when seated (stop giggling at the back...). The piece wedges between their feet and keeps the doll seated.
In the Star Wars calendar we have our first minifig: a Gungan soldier. Luckily it's a generic one and not our friend Jar Jar. It's the same as that which appeared in 7929 from 2011.
So handy for army builders wanting to recreate the Battle of Naboo.
Marks out of 10 for today's offering:
City -- 5, nice model but light on pieces.
Friends -- 7, nice parts, just right for Olivia to sit on.
Star Wars -- 6, a decent minifig, one you can probably never have too many of.
Having just got back from our Christmas party at LLW (which was great BTW), I've just read through my RSS subscriptions and was shocked to see that every Tom, Dick and Harriet are doing Advent countdowns on their blogs this year!
It will be interesting to read their take on the models but with my photographs and your comments, together we'll make sure Brickset's is the best on the 'net :-)
For day one of the City calendar, we have a fireman. I'm not a big fan of emergency services sets but this year the fire minifigs are so much more realistic than in previous years with their high-vis outfits, printed legs, and dark red helmets.
The bag contains a spare helmet and 'megaphone'.
This one is, I believe, Olivia, who's sporting a lovely festive jumper. There's not much more to say about her, but hopefully in the coming days we'll get some neat models for her to interact with.
Overall then, all three calendars are off to a good start. My scores out of 10 for each are:
City -- 8, nice fig, spare hat.
Friends -- 8, unique festive mini-doll.
Star Wars -- 7, good effort, maybe a bit on the small side.
We have a Santa in both today, so no surprise there. Santa Yoda is certainly very cool and the highlight of the calendar. I first saw him in January at the London Toy Fair and you may remember I tried to hide his identity but it wasn't long before it was revealed at another blog. I guess it was worth the 11 month wait to get my hands on him!
That concludes the Advent countdown, then. I didn't know if I'd continue it 24 days ago but I've just about managed it although on some days it's been a struggle to find things to write about the models. It was quite fun, though...
I predicted that December would be a quiet month for news and that's one reason I started the countdown, but I couldn't have been more wrong, could I: you'll surely remember that the biggest LEGO story of this millennium broke mid-month!
So, it's 9:30 here in the UK. Santa will be here soon so all that remains is for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas! I hope all your presents have that unique rattling sound when you shake them!
In the Star Wars calendar, we have a seasonal model for a change.
Just one window to go now, and we all know what's in the Star Wars one, don't we...
The snowmobile is OK as well, although identical in design to the orange one two days ago which shows a little lack of imagination, but I guess you can race the two of them round the snow track on the lid of the calendar now.
Two days to go, thank goodness, I'm running out of things to say about them!
Today we have the Millennium Falcon in 13 pieces. It captures the look of the ship perfectly. This is the 8th model of the MF to have been made, which has been rendered in 6 different scales, from this, the smallest, to the UCS Falcon.
The TIE fighter is also very simple, but not quite so effective. It would have been nice it was to the same scale as the X-wing Fighter so as to enable some dog-fighting action!
I really like today's City model of a safe, complete with gold bars, although in this picture it looks better than it actually is because the door is not hinged. Nevertheless, it goes some way to making up for the disappointment of the car.
The TIE Defender Pilot in the Star Wars calendar featured in only one set until now so I suspect it's one many of you don't have. All in all a good day!
Both calendars are back on track today after the disappointment of yesterday. Here we have another instantly recognisable miniature marvel: a Y-Wing in 20 pieces. How did we ever manage without 1x1 cheese slopes, I wonder? They are great for adding details to small models.
In the City calendar we have a minifig, our second criminal, this time in a standard issue prison stripy shirt. Like one of the cops, this is also a unique figure although none of his constituent parts are new. The crowbar is a nice piece and there's even a spare in the bag!
In the Star Wars calendar we have what BrickLink calls a Weapons Depot. It's not particularly exciting on its own but I suppose it does add some play value when combined with the minifigs we've had. Let's hope things improve tomorrow!
It's been such a monumental day for LEGO news that I'm going to keep this brief today. In the City calendar, we have some more pieces for our car, while in the Star Wars calendar we have a Clone Pilot, who has not made an appearance since 2009. BrickLink considers this to be a new unique figure though, because it has a black head.
After the disappointment of yesterday, the Star Wars calendar is back on track with this excellent rendition of a Republic Gunship from about 13 pieces. The model wouldn't have been possible without this old SNOT piece that first appeared in 1987 in Space sets. I thought it had fallen out of favour with set designers, but clearly it still has its uses.
Just nine pieces, plus a couple of spares, in our Star Wars bag today that go together to make this mouse droid, whose previous appearances were in the same two big sets that contained yesterday's astromech.
It's quite cute I suppose, but I feel a little bit short-changed...
The number 13 may be unlucky for some, but not for us because today we have minifigs in both calendars. This little astromech droid, R2-Q5, is a particularly welcome addition to the Star Wars calendar because until his appearance today, he could only be found in two expensive sets (6211 and 10188) and as a result, commands a high premium over at BrickLink.
In the City calendar we have our second policeman. He is actually a unique figure, according to BrickLink, although there isn't anything very special about him. I do like his new-style baseball cap with curved peak though, and we even get a spare one in the bag, which is great.
He is scowling, looking very angry, so I'm guessing that he might just have been hit by an errant toilet-roll...
Here we are then, half way through the Advent calendar already! Haven't we had some great models so far! Today's Snowspeeder is another miniature masterpiece: a model of the battle of Hoth at this scale, complete with 6" high AT-ATs, would be awesome!
If you're interested. you can also read FBTB's views on the Star Wars calendar models so far.
In the City calendar, we have the final part of our police station. I can't say I'm too impressed: it has no glazing in the windows, no door, no roof, they scrimped on the tiles for the roof, and 2x2 corner slopes would have been nice. Still, I don't suppose the target audience will worry too much and I look forward to hearing what your kids make of it in the comments.
(I *hope* future models are not predominently white -- it's such a nuisance trying to select the white parts when photographed on a white background in Photoshop!)
I'm sure we all have too many Battle Droids as it is, but at least this one has a blue torso which is not particularly common compared to the tan one, having appeared in just two sets until now (8036, 7662). BrickLink doesn't differentiate between those that are painted and those which are not for some reason, but I'm sure I've seen painted ones before. (Update: it does, I just wasn't looking in the right place)
Our police station is taking shape nicely now, it now has a door. Not a very secure one, by the looks of things though, it's more like an archway. Maybe there's a force field or something to keep the baddies in and the toilet rolls out...
Today, as anticipated, we have proof that yesterday's minifig was not an axe murderer on the run from the LEGO City Police, but a fisherman. Today's bag is a bit light on pieces but they complement the ice fisherman nicely. The use of whip piece is less than ideal, though, as the poor man has to be virtually on top of the fire to get the fish anywhere near it.
What an excellent day day 9 is in both calendars. In the Star Wars calendar we have our third mini-ship, an X-Wing, and once again it's a miniature masterpiece. The designer even managed to get R2-D2 into it!
In the City one, we have something unrelated to Christmas, or cops and robbers: an ice fisherman. What makes it so good is that it's a unique torso, which is only the fourth to be made in bright green and the hoodie only appears in one other set, the Winter Village Post Office. So overall he's a great figure!
In the Star Wars calendar we have our third minifig: Dack Ralter, who apparently, served as Luke's gunner in the Battle of Hoth. This is the fourth Dack minifig we've had, but the first to feature anything other than a classic smiley face. However this is not a new print, it's been used for various pilots recently including Zev Senesca. It would have been better had it had a printed helmet like the other Dack's, but it's still a nice addition to any Star Wars minifig collection.
The Star Wars one isn't too exciting today but at least Chewie gets a crossbow which some of you were hoping for, along with some tools. I had wondered why there were tools until I was reminded at Wookiepedia that apparently he is a skilled mechanic and designed many of the Falcon's systems. The dark grey barrel is a nice piece that, although first made in 2008, hasn't appeared in many sets since.
Today, we have a Christmas themed mini-model in the City calendar which makes a change from pieces of wall. The model's not too bad, but a 1x1 round brick for the trunk would have been a better choice, IMO.
Chewbacca makes an appearance in the Star Wars calendar. He's a great figure but perhaps a bit of a disappointment given that he already features in two other sets this year.
Also, I reckon his mould could do with a bit of a refresh as it's still the same as it was in 2000 when first released. More recent figures, such as this year's Watto, make it look somewhat crude in comparison.
The Star Wars calendar might have been expensive but the models so far have been superb. Today's Slave 1 made from 20 pieces is another excellent representation: even its wings rotate. It might be a small model but took some skill to make it instantly recognisable and packed full of detail.
On the other hand, I can't say the same for the City calendar. Another piece of wall today. I much prefer it when each day's model is a stand-alone set. The play value of today's and yesterday's, on their own is absolutely zero. Let's hope the combined prison is worth the wait...
Today in the Star Wars calendar we have an OG-9 homing spider droid, and once again it's a good representation given its size and the number of bricks.
As if proof were needed that the shifty guy on day one was up to no good, today we have a policeman complete with handcuffs in the City calendar. Thankfully he has a hat so any toilet rolls that come his way won't knock him out.
The Star Wars calendar features the second mini-model which I have to confess I didn't recognise and had to look up at Wookiepedia. Apparently it's a mechno-chair, used by wealthy Neimoidians such as Nute Gunray, which I suppose makes sense given we had him yesterday.
So here he is, on his chair...
As promised, a bit later today. I hope you've all opened yours!
The Star Wars calendar today features its first minifigure, Nute Gunray, the Neimoidian, first seen in The Phantom Menace. He's such a popular, pleasant chap, isn't he, and perhaps a strange choice for inclusion in the calendar. Perhaps there was a stash of his hat somewhere in the warehouse :-)
In proper (as opposed to Chinese) plastic, he was quite rare until today, having appeared in only one set, 8036, Separatist Shuttle, in 2009.
It's likely to be a slow couple of weeks for news, so member Red Five Standing By suggested I do an article a day featuring the advent sets of the day. I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep it up for 24 days but I'll start as I mean to go on...
In the City calendar we have a very shifty looking minifig wearing a standard issue prison shirt under a scruffy jacket. He must be shifty, he has a gold tooth, LEGO only gives them to shifty characters for some reason. What's more, he's brandishing an offensive weapon. I can't decide whether it's a snowball or a toilet roll :-)