Review: 40254 Nutcracker

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View image at flickr

It's the biggest shopping weekend of the year - and it starts tomorrow, Brick Friday. LEGO gets into the shopping/holiday spirit by offering 40254 Nutcracker as a gift with purchase over $99. This set was also available to VIPs this last weekend, when I managed to get a copy.

Is the Nutcracker worth venturing out into the crowds during this busy weekend?

The front of the box shows the nutcracker with a Christmas tree with twinkling lights in the background as well as a hearth with a roaring fire. A red ribbon banner on the upper right hand corner indicates that this is a Limited Edition model. The back of the box illustrates different features of the set - the moving arms, the nutcracker function, and a close up of the face. I particularly like a feature on the bottom of the box - there's an illustration of a metal nutcracker (complete with nut) with a red line through it, illustrating that one really shouldn't use this set as an actual nutcracker.

Inside the box (it has one of those annoying thumb tab openings, but a sharp knife can get around that) there are three unnumbered bags and an instruction booklet.

The nutcracker is built from the ground up, starting with the black pedestal that he stands on. His tall boots are in stone dark grey and are topped with dark green trousers with some red detailing just on top of the boots.

The most eye-catching part of the nutcracker's outfit is his military style jacket. It's bright red with generous detailing in warm gold for the buttons and epaulettes. He has white gloves and a black belt to finish the look. His arms, connected to the torso thanks to some Technic pins, can be raised up and down but not rotated at all. I don't mind this a bit as this is quite consistent with regular Nutcrackers.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The connections between the main portions of the model (legs to torso, torso to head) are provided through a series of jumper plates, allowing for some offset connections that help to make the build more realistic.

View image at flickr

The top of the front of the torso includes the nutcracker's lower jaw and beard, which is of course the nutcrackers' primary function. The nutcracker lever is a Technic handle. However, the width of the space for the "nut" is quite small. Even though the packaging warns us not to use the model as an actual nutcracker I'm not sure what nut would actually fit in the space, unless it was a pistachio?

The back of the model is not unattractive, either.

View image at flickr

The nutcracker's head has some fantastic detailing, with bushy eyebrows, an elegant moustache and expressive eyes thanks to 1x1 round printed tiles. I particularly like his flowing snowy white hair, represented well through the use of several white 2x2x2/3 plate w/bow pieces. His white hair is nicely contrasted with a black hat with a warm gold decoration on top.

View image at flickr


Overall thoughts

View image at flickr

At 230 pieces, one would think this set to be around a MSRP around $20.00, however, my receipt shows that its MSRP is actually $9.99. Regardless of what the MSRP is, it's worth it. It's a engaging little build. I love the colour scheme and the generous use of warm gold for accenting on the torso, as well as the nutcracker's expressive face. The use of the jumper plates to create offset connections between the main portion of the build is very effective in creating a realistic model.

This is an excellent little set and well worth picking up if you have any shopping to do this Brick Friday weekend.

 

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24 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I think the thing looks creepy

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By in Belgium,

That is indeed rather ugly and creepy. It doesn't really evoke a Christmassy-feeling to me.
No need to start spending just to obtain this one.

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By in Netherlands,

Ugly, but at less than 5 cents per part it's a nice & cheap parts pack. So I will pick this up and add to my parts collection.

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By in Germany,

Funny how different the emotions this set evokes can be.
To me this evokes very deep Christmassy feelings, as nutcrackers just like this one are an essential part of the time leading up to Christmas, called "Adventszeit" over here. Sitting in front of a cozy fireplace with your loved ones, cracking nuts, eating home baked Christmas biscuits, tangerines, etc. Lighting the candles, singing songs, playing board games and, yes, bulding with Lego all are part of this special time of the year.
To me this is a perfect set, especially as I got it for free with a Brick Friday purchase.

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By in Canada,

I don't find it ugly or creepy, it is a faithful representation of a Christmas Nutcracker. But I'm sure some people find those to be creepy, and would feel the same way about this.

I don't care for the long handle sticking out the back and tried to shorten it, but alas it is required as a counterweight to keep the mouth closed.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm not ashamed to say mine will be going straight on eBay when I receive it, don't find it creepy as such just not my cup of tea.
Would much rather have a Christmas themed poly bag Minifigure as a freebie.

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By in United Kingdom,

Fairly nice set. Although first prize has to go to the Gingerbread House from two years ago with last year's snow globe in second place.

Is there another free xmas set expected in December?

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By in United Kingdom,

Personally, I think it’s an awful model. I don’t want it. Good review though, thanks!

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By in United States,

It will be hard to beat the Gingerbread House as a holiday freebie! But the Nutcracker is kind of cute and is well known from the musical performed every December in the US. It may not be as popular in many countries without this tradition. (Maybe they will sell leftover Nutcrackers for 10USD after the promotion ends.)

Everyone can identify with the Gingerbread House, which I hope will be re-issued because there seems to be a shortage in the States.

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By in United States,

How tall is it?

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By in Germany,

From counting, seems to be about 20 standard bricks tall. So quite substantial actually.

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By in United Kingdom,

There's no mouth movement linked to the lever then, like a real one?

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By in Germany,

^ Yes, there is, although it's more of "goatee movement", I guess. Looks a little weird.

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By in United States,

I would have fully expected this to creep me out, but I actually find it quite charming. Got one during early VIP access last weekend and already have him up on my bookcase.

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By in Puerto Rico,

This is so staying in it's box.

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By in United Kingdom,

Any Lego that's free is always welcome

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By in Netherlands,

Oh man, it's creepy just like it's wooden counter part.

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By in United Kingdom,

While free is my favourite price, I don't like it and will probably give it to a relative as a stocking filler. Much like 40223: Snowglobe.

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By in Austria,

Ugly and creepy is a spot-on description.

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By in Germany,

^ Of my mother-in-law, but not of this set.

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By in United States,

For those familiar with the Nutcracker story in ballet form or otherwise, there’s a certain “creepy” factor of the (normally) inanimate nutcracker that adds to its appeal. Any nutcracker you buy is a little ugly, but for some reading that’s part of the charm. Hard to explain.

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By in United Kingdom,

I don’t really understand how anybody can be critical of something which is free!!! Got mine today with the Taj Mahal and it’s a nice little Christmas set in my opinion.

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By in United States,

Yes i also got mine with the taj mahal and for free who can complain, love reading the reviews. my wife put ours together and it looks fantastic, we have it setting out with other Christmas stuff, thanks for the review.

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By in United States,

I'm late to the party. Sorry. But I think that the Nutcracker is a fabulous set. This one was a small challenge for me as I build with the word "Lego" facing in the same direction as much as possible. At 69 years old I think I earned the right to be weird. But I love the set. I spent many (6) years in Germany as a soldier and those Christmas seasons were always filled with warmth and kindness.
Thanks to Lego for bringing back those memories via the Nutcracker!

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