Now that December 24th has come and gone, I thought I would take a moment to share my thoughts on this year’s calendar. I did consider posting a day-by day account, but decided not to in the end. Lots of people post the pics of what they get, and I have found that sometimes ruins the experience for me. I will log into my WordPress feed, or Instagram, and suddenly I see 50 pics of what came in the advent calendar that day. It kind of sucks if you have not opened yours yet… So, I figured I would just post my thoughts once it was all done.
Let me begin by saying that I buy at least one LEGO advent calendar every year. Most years I actually get two (City and Star Wars). This was actually the first year since 2013 that I have only gotten one of them. When I looked at the Star Wars calendar this year, I felt like it was just missing that had-to-have, exclusive Minifigure. Christmas Darth Maul, Christmas Darth Vader, albino Wookie, these were characters I wanted to have. This year, I looked at it and my first thought was “pass”. So, let’s take a look at the calendar that I did buy.
NAME: 2017 Advent Calendar
SET #: 60155
COST: $39.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 248
RELEASE DATE: September 2, 2017
Summary Review: 69%
VALUE: 70% ($0.16 per brick is not great, but not bad either.)
BUILD: 75% (A lot of re-used ideas from previous years.)
MINIFIGURES: 86% (Good selection, but less than last year.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 45% (No wow factor, bad build-time value.)
This calendar cost $39.99 in Canada, and contains 248 pieces. That means each brick costs $0.16. That is not really a great value, but it is not terrible either, and earns 3.5/5 (70%).
There really wasn’t anything special terms of the builds. A lot of this calendar was just a rehash of ideas from previous years. There was another hot chocolate stand, mini Christmas tree, sleds, airplanes, helicopter, train, race car, and fire place. I didn’t hate anything (so I won’t deduct marks), but I didn’t love anything either. The more interesting items, in my opinion, were the snow blower, gingerbread house, and ice sculpture. The ice sculpture would have been better as an completely translucent blue Minifigure though. I will give the advent calendar props for the snow blower and the gingerbread house. I’ll throw in half a mark for the ice sculpture. That gives this set 7.5/10 (75%)
The City advent calendar is usually a must have for me. I like that it comes with normal citizens for my LEGO city. This year was no exception, but I do feel like LEGO skimped a little on the Minifigures. Last year, there were seven Minifigures, and you also got a husky. This year, there were only six Minifigures, and no animals. I would really like to see more Minifigures in the calendar, not less. With 248 bricks, this year’s advent calendar has a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 41:1. That is actually pretty good, and earns 5/5 for the ratio score.
I did like the assortment of Minifigures this year, in spite of the fact that there were fewer of them. I built a grandpa at the LEGO Store Minifigure station not too long ago, and this calendar came with a grandma holding a plate of cookies to go with him. There was also two coast guard rescuers (both women). That was pretty cool since I don’t have any coast guard sets yet. There was a male jungle explorer, and I love that theme, so no complaints there. I am really not a fan of the stumpy LEGO ape-children, so I wish the snowboarder had been a full Minifigure. And, finally, there was Santa Claus on the final day. I don’t know what else you would give on December 24, but I don’t really need another Santa every year. I was happy to see that this Santa finally had some back printing though. I also like his face print with the glasses.
With six Minifigures, this set could earn a total of 90 points for Minifigure design. They start off with 34 points for standard pieces, losing two for the stumpy ape-child legs. They all have unique faces, gaining 6 more points, but none are double sided, so no extra points there. They get 12 more points for having both front and back printed torsos. None of them have leg printing. Another 6 points come from each of them having hair or a hat, and another 6 for each of them having accessories (cookies, a saw, a snowboard, skis, and a walkie talkie. That gives these Minifigs a total design score of 64/90 (71%). Combining that with the ratio scores earns a total Minifigure score of 86%.
I have no idea how long it took me to build this set… a couple of minutes each day for 24 days I guess. So, if I go with 2 minutes a build for 24 days, that means about 48 minutes to assemble everything. That is pretty much in line with other sets that I have built with a similar brick count. Under the assumption that my estimate is accurate, then each minute of build time for this set costs $0.83, which is not a great build time value. It earns 2.5/5 (50%).
Will I keep all of these mini-builds built? No, probably not. Again, they are largely rehashes of previous calendars. I have already kept the variants I liked from previous calendars, and these ones were not better than any of the previous models. All the bricks will be re-purposed. I give it 2/5 for enjoyment (40%). Averaging out the build-time and enjoyment scores gives this set an overall entertainment score of 45%.
I was not really wowed with this year’s advent calendars. Star Wars was a complete pass for me. The City calendar came with some good Minifigures, but the builds were a little boring, and had a been-there-done-that feel to them. The value per brick was acceptable, the build-time value was not. But, it was an advent calendar, and gave me a little LEGO in my day for 24 days. Will I buy one again next year? Of course. I really hope for more Minifigures though…
Until next time,