city

8 December, Christmas elf and advent calendar catch up

We did of course have our usual search for Tinkle this morning, just to find her in the lounge room trying to sneak a peek at tonight’s advent calendar items! I just didn’t get it posted this morning because, well, it’s Sunday and a bit of variety is a good thing, right?

Not only is her hand instead the Harry Potter Lego advent calendar, but we can see the flap for day 8 in the City Lego advent calendar has also been pushed in a bit – cheeky elf tried peeking at both calendars!

Lego advent calendars for 2019

Although I haven’t done daily posts this year, we do have two Lego advent calendars on the go – my daughter has the Harry Potter one this year (the Friends one seems to be hit and miss so we may as try something exciting!) while my son has the City calendar (which he is happy with but also a little jealous to not get the Harry Potter version!)

Lego Harry Potter advent calendar, set 75964

This set is exciting as it’s new and different, and because it is a character and book/movie series my kids enjoy (as far as they have got anyway – we limit them to those we feel they are old enough for so they only know the first three books/movies).

The scene is obviously the great hall at Hogwarts.

Day one was a harry mini fig, followed by Professor McGonagall on day 6. Hogwarts Express (the train) was behind flap two, and I even got to make that one.

My daughter was thrilled to get two Christmas trees on day 3 and then a fancier Christmas tree on day 4 as well! This advent calendar is making her much happier than the Friends calendars so it was a good choice for this year.

The Gryffindor flag pole is nice and I love the bench as it truly invokes images of the students gathering in the Hogwarts great hall. Harry and the Professor sitting there with goblets in hand also reminded me of drinking butter beer in the  Three Broomsticks Inn!

Note the Slytherian flags are actually from day 9 as Tinkles was in the way to my daughter getting out the day 8 item! We just swapped for today!

Lego City advent calendar, set 60235

Like most years, the City calendar has a winter and snow theme – it would be nice to see that changed up a bit next year but I’m not holing my breath!

This calendar has also had two mini figs so far – a boy wearing a propeller cap and a man in a parka with a broom for clearing away snow. The first day revealed a snow plough and the second day was a catapult.

On day four, we discovered a structure that the catapult can, if aimed well, can throw a snow ball – as per previous years, this may be something that makes more sense to those living in snowy climates than it does to us! My son thought he got a strange Christmas tree on day five, but it was more of a log with an axe and chopping stump.

The Christmas tree was on day six and today he made some presents to go under the tree.

 

Lego advent calendars for days 17 to 19

Our advent calendar themes continue as we move ever closer to Christmas Day.

Lego Friends

day 17

My daughter was very happy to find a stand for the proud cat, including a ramp and scratching post ‘just like a real scratching post thinggy’.

Lego cat on a scratching post stand

day 18

On day eighteen, we found what I call a lamp post, although lamp posts don’t usually have bows on them so I’m not entirely sure what it actually is meant to be! Any suggestions for me?

Lego Friends lamp post

day 19

There were sounds of excitement as my daughter discovered another trailer for the snow mobile to pull along so Stephanie can take her menagerie with her! In lining them up, I also realised that the ‘smaller cat’ was actually a cute little mouse which makes more sense than one small and one tall, proud cat!

Lego snowmobile and trailer

Lego City

day 17

Over in Lego City, we discovered a helicopter on Saturday furthering the collection of vehicles for my son.

Lego helicopter from two angles

day 18

When asked what he found yesterday, my son told me it was ‘the lady who controls the helicopter’. She is in a work suit and holds a walkie talkie – maybe she controls all the vehicles.

Lego helicopter and Lady controller

day 19

We must be getting closer to the 25th, as we have started getting the Christmas items with a Christmas tree! Compared to previous years, I was a little surprised it is just a plain tree without decorations.

Lego City Christmas tree

Lego Advent calendar roundup

So we are about to end the year so this seems like a good time to wrap up the Lego advent calendar review we run across all of December.

Overall, we had fun with both advent calendars and know that we now have more quality Lego in the house (rather than cheap chocolate in tummies or other tokens to deal with).

2015 Lego advent calendars in full

Calendar content

I wrote about the content of the calendars each day, and quite a variety of items were received. You can see images of each day’s calendar in the following reviews:

Lego Santa beside two Christmas treesMy five year old says her favourite items were Santa’s head (city) and “from Friends, the rabbit and Christmas tree the same much”.

Her seven year old brother’s favourites were Santa and the catapult.

I may be biased but I also loved Santa, especially on his chair beside a Christmas tree.

Overall thoughts

“Great! I liked them because we have to open them up and build for each. And I love chocolate. I like the Christmas tree because it’s like our Christmas tree. I love the Lego calendar because you can mix things up and put them in a different order, “says my five year old. Note she was given a chocolate advent calendar so was also doing that each day, thus the chocolate comment!

My son’s summary was “It’s awesome!!! It was cool to have it as a theme and I like City more than Friends (but I’m not really sure why!)”

So going back to the original questions, I think there is value in these calendars – buying them on special certainly helps as they are not cheap (especially if buying more than one). But given there is real Lego to keep forever, the kids are practising counting and number skills, it is fun, each day involved fine motor skills, and we had a family activity, I think it was worth the money.

I admit I had previously thought of buying Lego in other ways and making my own Lego advent calendar to get greater financial value. That would mean a lot of time and effort on my part, and would not have 24 little self-contained sets so any money saved in the upfront cost would not be worthwhile.

Repeat advent calendars?

The real test of how good the calendars were is whether or not we’d do it again next year…

Personally, I think we will do them again next year (unless the kids completely lose interest in Lego between now and then which is extremely unlikely!)

Mr seven replied with “I would like another one next year, but would be even happier if it was a ninjago calendar!”

Miss five answered “I want to do it again, too, but I’d like it to be a Frozen baby theme calendar.”

What do you think – would you have a Lego advent calendar next year based on our reviews or your experience of them?

And importantly, if we use advent calendars in 2016, would you enjoy another set of daily reviews? Or maybe just weekly updates…

Lego Advent calendar

Lego City advent calendar 2015

The 2015 Lego City Advent calendar

An advent calendar can be a fun way to count the days to Christmas – and it helps children understand it’s not yet Christmas!

There are many options for the countdown – commercial chocolate-centric calendars, home made calendars and even positive message calendars. And so far, we’ve used those sorts of calendars.

But this year, we’re trying out the Lego Advent calendars.

What is a Lego advent calendar?

Like any other advent calendar, it includes 24 days to show the days to Christmas. It has little boxes, like a chocolate calendar, with the plan of opening one each day and inside each box is some Lego.

Obviously, a Lego advent calendar is more expensive than the common ones – way more expensive! But you get Lego to keep rather than (usually) cheap chocolate that lasts for seconds.

Is a Lego calendar worth it?

This is the big questions – is it worth paying so much for an advent calendar? Is it an expensive way to buy Lego?

I’ve never been quite sure but with two children who love Lego (dare I say one is obsessed with Lego!) I thought we’d check it out this year and this review is to share our experiences with you.

So far, we haven’t opened any of the little boxes (it’s not 1 December yet after all!) so I’m still not sure how much Lego is in each box – I suspect it will vary a little anyway.

It is nicely presented so that the box stands up and forms a scene that the Lego surprises become part of.

Lego Friends advent calendar scene and count down boxes

Lego Friends advent calendar scene and count down boxes

We actually have two calendars – one for Lego City* and one for Lego Friends so each child has their own. And I will give a short review of each day’s surprises during December, with a final review at the end to answer this question of value.

 

* I found the Lego City calendar was harder to find – the Friends and Star Wars versions have been in more catalogues and shops than the City version which surprised me.

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