3 Advent Calendars.
9 mini spaceships.
3 gun emplacements.
3 Christmas trees (including the droid).
Having built all 72 models, I’ve come up with some winners for the best model in each category.
Best Christmas Tree: Friends Day 21
There were two trees (and one droid that looked like a tree) but I picked this one because of the pyramid piece and heart at the top, and the brown showing through between the layers. The City tree seemed underwhelming, though it had more variety in the colors of ornaments/lights.
Best Holiday Decor: Friends Day 17
Besides the trees, the most festive model in my opinion was this lovely hearth, featuring a sprig of pine topped with a star. The only thing missing is stockings.
Most Original: Christmas Tree Droid (Star Wars Day 22)
Of course this is the silliest thing I’ve seen in a long time from LEGO. They took the R2-D2 body and legs, put a cone-shaped piece on top, and made it in dark green. The custom printing and color are appreciated and the humor value is priceless.
Best Food: Cheese, Salt, and Pepper (Friends Day 13)
There was a lot of food to choose from, with the Friends calendar providing us with a very complete kitchen, but my favorite was this one because of the novel parts usage. The black and white cones, topped with transparent round plates, make perfect salt and pepper shakers, and the cheese wedge under a clear dome is a nice touch as well.
Cutest: Deer (Friends Day 4)
The Friends sets are known for their cute animals, and my favorite was this one. The kitten on Day 20 was a close second, but posing the deer with the little tree in a circle of snow pushed it over the edge. None of the other City or Friends models were anywhere near as cute, though the Star Wars Christmas tree droid is probably a candidate.
Best Minifig: Darth Claus (Star Wars Day 24)
The calendars, all told, included 14 traditional minifigures, 2 minidolls, and 2 droids, but I think the best of all these is the Darth Vader / Santa Claus mashup from the final day of the Star Wars set.
Best Micro Model: Tatooine Land Speeder (Star Wars Day 12)
There were plenty of micro ships to build for Star Wars, and a few cute micro models in the other calendars, but my favorite was the land speeder. It captures the look of the model from the movies perfectly and the engines are just perfect.
Most Extra Parts: Y-Wing Fighter (Star Wars Day 21)
This one is objective – the model that had the most bonus parts was clear, with a total of 7! This was another strong contender for Best Micro Model.
Dumbest Model: Tool Barrel (City Day 20)
What was this supposed to be for? It didn’t tie into the days before or after, didn’t match any of the minifigures, it was just randomly stuck in here. Not even any assembly required. Just plain dumb.
Best Overall Day: Day 23
There were a few good days to choose from for this award, some with trickier builds or better models, but I thought the strongest day overall was this one. The trike is cute, the Christmas tree is great, and the Sith Hearth is some nice dark side humor.
Best Advent Calendar: Star Wars
Overall I felt this was hands down the best of the three. It had the most small parts and clever builds, the best use of humor, and the most consistent from day to day (e.g. we build a micro fighter one day and its pilot the next). Very few of the models had anything to do with the holidays, but the parts assortment and level of build interest was best. Friends really let me down at the end, but some of the kitchen models were pretty good. City seemed kind of all over the map and random, with some good stuff and some really bad stuff. But Star Wars stayed pretty consistent throughout with the level of detail and difficulty.
I hope you’ve enjoyed following along as I build these, and I wish you and yours a happy holiday season, whatever holiday(s) you celebrate, and a happy and prosperous new year!