Lego Review: 75056 Star Wars Advent Calendar
I have to start by saying that when this item arrived a few weeks ago, I couldn’t resist opening the package prematurely. Then again, I didn’t buy this set with the intention to use it as it is meant to be used. After all, this is an advent calendar, and it’s well-known that my Christmas spirit is… well, lacking. To be honest, the reason I wanted this set was really because it comes with a Darth Vader minifig dressed as Santa Claus. The rest of the set is really no big deal to me considering the number of sets and minifigs I already have.
Before we continue, let me explain what an advent calendar is:
An Advent Calendar is basically a calendar that counts the days until Christmas (usually beginning on December 1st). The calendar is used to celebrate the Christian season of Advent. Each day one of the compartments on the calendar is opened, revealing a small gift (like a toy, part of a story, candy, etc.). If you’d like to know more about the traditions of Advent Calendars, or the season of Advent, you can read about it on the Wikipedia page.
And Lego said, “Why Not?”
The first Lego Advent Calendar was launched in 1998. It was based on “classic” Legos, using mostly original basic pieces and traditional designs. The premise was a good fit for Lego; Pack 24 small models in a box and sell it. At the time it seemed as though Lego was still searching for its future identity, and although there were already successful series such as Town, Castle, and Space, they were still wrestling with ideas like Scala and ZNAP. It wasn’t until 2005 that Lego changed its Advent Calendar theme to City, and so it has remained until the present day, with a couple of Pirate, and Castle sets thrown into the mix.
In light of the growing success of the Advent Calendar series, Lego didn’t take long to bring the idea to their best-selling series; Star Wars. In 2011, Lego produced both a City, and the first Star Wars version of the calendar. As part of the marketing for the new set, Lego included an exclusive minifig of a well-known character from the movies dressed as Santa Claus. This theme has remained with the series each year, and is one of the reasons that the Star Wars version of the Calendar is so popular (and, as I said, the main reason that I buy them). This year’s minifig is Darth Vader. Past Santa Claus characters include Yoda, Darth Maul, and Jango Fett.
2014 Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar (75056)
After our brief history lesson, we come to the real subject of this article; the 2014 Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar. Let’s start the review by taking a look through the contents of the box. Although it may seem like an ordinary Lego set, it’s really not. There is no booklet of building instructions inside, and if we open one side of the box we find a compartmentalized tray.
The system is very simple; each day you open the window that corresponds to the day of the month. The windows give access to a compartment in the box that contains a small bag of miniset pieces or a minifig. Printed on the back panel of each compartment is a small diagram with instructions for each model.
And here is the exclusive Santa Claus minifig included with the 2014 Calendar:
Realistically, one can’t expect much from this set. It is a good gift for children and provides a small amount of entertainment value when opening and assembling the models. The complexity of assembly is almost non-existent, and the playability of the sets are similar to a Kinder Surprise Egg (which are not imported to the US). With a list price of about $40 US it’s not too expensive, but it won’t substitute a real Christmas present for someone.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m a collector, and nobody can ask a collector to explain the rationality of his purchases, right?
NOTE: I’d like to give special thanks to Peach for his invaluable help with creating the English version of this article.