Wanting something of more value and fewer calories than a chocolate advent calendar for your kids this year?
There are many options, but a popular choice is an advent calendar where the daily surprise is a toy, namely some construction pieces like Lego. Compared to a chocolate calendar, Lego advent calendars are very expensive and harder to justify although I think the value is there.
So maybe you’ve thought of getting a non Lego building block calendar instead…
A Block Tech Christmas advent calendar
I wasn’t really planning to try something different, but the Block Tech calendar cost me $10 at Kmart, and I’ve taken a sneak peek (for days 1, 2 and 3) to see how it compares to the Lego advent calendars.
It wasn’t quite as I expected, but the key points I noted were:
- Block Tech has no fold out scene to lay pieces on – but to be fair, it is not meant to be a set to create a story but decorations for a Christmas tree (not that I read that on the box before I started opening flaps, oops!) It does however include some string within the box to help you hang the created pieces as decorations
- it was harder to open the flaps then for the Lego boxes, and more likely to end up with torn flaps.
- unlike Lego’s advent calendars, there were no instructions on the flaps – but I eventually figured out that if you open the box, there are instructions on a separate sheet of paper (handy to keep and use to make decorations again next year)
- The instruction sheet is colourful, organised and easy to follow.
- there were fewer pieces each day (compared to the average number of Lego advent calendar pieces)
- once made, the pieces don’t look as solid or rigid as Lego nor as tightly fitted
- it is completely compatible with Lego – I have seen some nasty plastic blocks sets that claim to be compatible but really weren’t – these truly click in place with Lego so can be part of the general Lego collection after Christmas
Of course, my children haven’t seen this advent calendar yet so I can’t give you their opinions…
So which one to get this Christmas?
I don’t think there is a simple answer to that question, sorry!
Lego is definitely better quality and a higher price.
Block Tech is a little different as it provides Christmas decorations so each day something new can be added to the Christmas tree (whether the main tree or a special tree just for these decorations).
There is only one Block Tech version, whereas Lego has three versions (City, Friends and Star Wars) so depending on how many sets you want for your children this could be a deciding factor.
Lego has a greater resale value – that is, Lego stays good for a long time and can be sold down the track if you want to reduce the toys in the house.
Personally, I have to say that the Lego advent calendars are the better value but the novelty of making decorations is where Block Tech stands out for me.