Every year LEGO puts out at least one Advent calendar, each one typically folowing a particular theme. This year for the first time (that I know of) we have three Advent calendars: Star Wars (9509), City (4428), and Friends (3316). In case you’re not familiar with Advent calendars, they are a traditional way of celebrating the month of December in Christian families – each day in December up to Christmas Eve, you open up one box from the calendar and get some kind of treat. When I was a kid these were just paper calendars with pictures behind each door. With LEGO it makes the concept a lot more interesting since you get a toy to build and play with.
I’m writing this on December 4th, so I’m a bit behind. I’m going to catch up by posting the first four entries tonight, and then try to stay on top of them each day. Unlike some bloggers I feel it is important for me to actually open up the set and build it on the day, but this weekend I was so busy and overwhelmed, and only got three hours of sleep Friday and Saturday nights thanks to being out too late and being woken up too early by factors beyond my control. Anyway, I’m back to a more normal sleep schedule now, and will endeavor to stay on top of this with a daily post. Wish me luck!
When I opened up Day 1 in each of the calendars I found a little plastic bag of LEGO parts and a little paper page. Each calendar has a paper page with the legal warnings about choking on small parts and pictures of other sets in that theme. When you open the door for each day, there’s a small picture of the set you are to build on the back side of the door, and you pull out the little plastic bag and build it. There’s no step by step instructions though, so it can be a little more difficult to build the more intricate models than a typical LEGO set that spoon feeds the build to you in individual steps. They’re never all that hard though.
The big surprise I got however came when I opened the Friends calendar for Day #1, and found the wrong parts! I opened a couple of other doors at random and found the same thing. Eventually I figured out that my set was built wrong. I don’t know if they’re all this way or if I just got one that was defective, but the tray that contains all the stuff to build was put in backward. I opened up the box, pulled out the plastic tray with 24 bins in it, turned it around, and put it back in, and then not only Day #1 but the other doors I had opened were now correct.
Anyhow, I built the three models, and here they are – a micro scale space ship for the Star Wars calendar, a minidoll in the Friends calendar, and a firefighter minifig (with an extra helmet and bullhorn) in the City calendar.
The spaceship is the only thing that is at all challenging to build, of course, and the parts assortment is pretty ordinary, so there’s not much to write about.