lego

Days nine and ten of advent calendars

It feels like December has just started, and yet we have opened ten advent calendar flaps already! But the excitement is building and there is so much Christmas everywhere.

Lego Friends calendar

So after a few rocky days, the Friends calendar has redeemed itself in our house with the dog sled and shelter, thank goodness. So let’s find out what was hiding behind flaps nine and ten…

My daughter was quite happy to find a little bird and to make a pretty stand for it to perch on. She is getting quite a collection of animals from this year’s advent calendar!

Lego bird on a fancy stand

Grandma came to visit from the City calendar with a sled…

On day ten, she got two microphones and a microphone stand – and immediately wanted to put on a concert for us all.

Lego Stephanie at a microphone stand

Lego City calendar

On day nine, the Lego City calendar produced a snow machine! As Australians, we aren’t so used to snow machinery so my children first thought this was a snow clearing machine.

Lego snow machine from the City advent calendar

My son was surprised and happy to find that day ten’s flap hid a second plane – a jet plane according to him, and I let him hold onto that idea…

yellow Lego plane

Lego advent calendar review continues…

Part three of our Lego advent calendar reviews… We finished off after day five hoping for the Lego Friends calendar to produce some exciting items, so let’s see what we found behind the next three flaps.

Day six

The Lego City calendar for day six was a plane for my son to build. He initially followed the instructions and built the plane as shown, but then realised he had enough spare bits that he could change the design a little, which made him happy.

Lego plane for day 6 of advent calndar

My daughter found a ski ramp and snow board, which she was happy enough to put together.

Lego ski ramp from Friends 2017 calendar

Day seven

I was very surprised that another pet shelter/stand was behind the flap for day seven in the Friends calendar. But both my children and their friend thought it was perfectly reasonable to have one for the rabbit and this new one for the dog so fair enough!

Lego stand for the dog

This shelter has a bone attached under the wreath

My son was very excited to build a sleigh (more of a sled I’d call it, but he’s happy with a sleigh) from his City calendar for day seven. He was a little unsure about who was meant to ride on the sleigh so I offered but found it did move too well when I put my foot on it…

Lego sled from the City advent calendar

Day eight

And tonight the Friends calendar produced the dog’s sled to attach behind Stephanie’s snow mobile. While the dog alone disappointed her, my daughter is now quite happy to have the stand and sled for the dog.

Lego girl on snowmobile pulling a dog sled

Meanwhile, the City calendar gave my son a grandmother figure with a tray of biscuits (presumably ready to give Santa!) She now sits proudly on the chair!

Lego Grandma holding a tray of biscuits

Fresh biscuits anyone?

Lego calendars quite different

Our Lego advent calendar countdown continues with days three to five, and I must say there is a clear difference between the City and Friends versions this year.

In past years, my daughter has felt let down on a couple of days but overall loved the calendars. This year, she is really disappointed with the Friends calendar so far – and jealous of her brother’s City calendar. And rightly so. I’m afraid.

Day 3

Lego City produced a cute little fireplace that fits nicely into the corner of the play board.

Lego fireplace for day 3 of advent calendar

Lego Friends has a cute little rabbit on a slide (at least we think it is for the rabbit to slide down).

Lego Friends rabbit from 2017 advent calendar

Day 4

Pleasingly, Lego Friends had more pieces to put together today as my daughter created a structure – I thought it was a fireplace/mantlepiece, but my daughter sat the rabbit inside it so she thinks it is a pet house/stand apparently! What do you think it looks like? It also came with a carrot, which supports the pet stand idea I guess!

Lego rabbit sitting in a mantelpiece structure

Lego City had a chair, lamp and side table combination to put together, and it fits nicely beside the fireplace 🙂

Lego chair, amp and side table

Day 5

My son was very happy to open up and build a gingerbread house on day five of the City advent calendar.

gingerbread house from Lego City advent calendar

However, the sarcasm just dripped off my seven year old’s tongue as she said “Oh, this is exciting to build”. Inside the fifth flap she found a small Lego dog – no accessories, nothing to build, just a plastic bag with a tiny dog in it which she was bitterly disappointed with – especially in comparison to a gingerbread house.

Lego pug dog in front of Stephanie on a ski mobile

Puppy is cute but still disappointing

I sincerely hope the next few days are better in the Friends calendar.

Have you had any advent calendar disappointments?

2017 Lego Advent Calendar review…

So we’re into December and advent calendars have begun…

Ours was a little delayed as we were out late on the first at a (surprise, surprise!) Christmas party with Santa and some gorgeous lights (I digress – photos from that party can be a different post!)

So, we again have both a Lego City and Lego Friends advent calendar and will share what the kids find each day (although we will group them into a few days at a time this year).

Lego Friends days one and two

The 2017 Lego Friends Advent Calendar play board

The 2017 Lego Friends Advent Calendar play board

 

My daughter wasn’t too excited on day one as she ‘only got’ a character, Stephanie, but she enjoyed the fact that Stephanie came with two party hats and a Christmas list!

Lego Friend Stephanie with a Christmas list

Day two was much more exciting as she had to build a snow-mobile for Stephanie.

Pile of Lego pieces to create a ski mobile

The pieces of the snow mobile

Lego girl on a ski-mobile

Stephanie riding the completed snow-mobile

Lego City days one and two

The 2017 Lego City Advent Calendar play board

The 2017 Lego City Advent Calendar play board

On the other hand, both my children loved the Lego City day one when my son got to build a toy train which fits nicely onto the tracks on the play board.

Lego train on teh tracks of the 2017 advent calendar

My son was also very excited on day two to discover he had a snow boarder.

Lego person on a snow board

 

Choosing a building block advent calendar?

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.

box for the Block Tech Advent Calendar (decorations)

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.
  • day one flap open on teh Block Tech advent calendar

  • 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)
  • PIeces from days one and two of teh Block Tech Advent Calendar

  • once made, the pieces don’t look as solid or rigid as Lego nor as tightly fitted
  • Block Tech advent calendar decorations for days one to three

  • 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
  • Block Tech Christmas pieces on a Lego plate

    Three Block Tech decorations on a pink Lego plate

 
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.

And then there’s the Graifx Block Tech advent calendar that is based on a story set – it is nearly twice the price of a Lego advent calendar!

Which one better suits your needs?

 

Second last day of advent calendars…

Collage of 2016 lego Advent Calendars

Day 23! That means we’re almost finished our advent calendars and Christmas is almost here…

The Lego City calendar produced a sleigh tonight –  to which the husky from last night can be attached to pull it along.

Lego sleigh pulled by husky dog

We have Santa’s sleigh – now we just need Santa and his sack of presents!

My daughter discovered a snowman in her Lego Friends calendar – one that looks quite different to those already discovered in the City calendar this year or in the 2015 Friends calendar. Given it’s shape and size, I’m now wondering if last night’s table was meant for the Christmas pudding, or as a stand for the snowman! What do you think?

A Lego snowman holding a guitar in front of a CHristmas tree

A Friends snowman who can play guitar!

SO it is looking like Santa will arrive in Lego City on Christmas Eve – but will he also arrive for Naomi and Emma?

And if you are keenly following along with our advent calendars, you can do back to day one or sneak back to read what happened in 2015.

22nd December advent calendar review

Collage of 2016 lego Advent Calendars

Day 22 – the big question from now on is ‘where is Santa?’ With only three flaps left in advent calendars, there are not many more options for when Santa appears! Logically, it will be on Christmas Eve 🙂

Neither calendar provided Santa or anything Christmassy… again, my daughter was upset at the non-Christmas element and was in tears because “a table is boring!” I explained the table suited last night’s Christmas pudding, but she remained disappointed.

The City calendar contained a husky dog, some bones and a water trough with bucket.

Lego Husky and water trough

Finding and building a water trough for the husky

Three days to go in advent calendars!

2016 Lego advent calendar collage

Wow, we’re onto day 21 so there are only three more flaps to open – and school has now finished for the year around Australia so the excitement is definitely building now 🙂

Lego City now has a Christmas tree, complete with a star on top and some lights.

Lego Christmas tree with star on top and present beneath

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas…

Our Friends advent calendar now has a Christmas pudding to add to the feast – and it looks pretty good!

Lego Christmas pudding in front of a Christmas tree

Time for Christmas pudding with some Lego Friends!

Advent calendars are up to day 20…

2016 Lego advent calendar collage

Day 20 of the Lego Friends calendar showed up a stove and a big chicken leg – even the chicken had to be put together in Lego fashion!

a Lego stove, chicken leg and fry pan

A Lego stove and chicken leg to go with the cooking utensils!

And day 20 of the Lego City calendar produced two presents – very different ones to those in the Friends calendar on day 17.

Two Lego presents under a decorated tree

Two Lego presents under a decorated tree

Don’t forget you can go back and read day one of the advent calendars from this year, or from 2015!

We’re into the last days at day 19

2016 Lego Christmas Advent Calendars

Day 19 of advent calendars…

As predicted by my son, the bakery stall now has an oven 🙂

Lego City bakery stall and oven

Interestingly, the Friends calendar produced a second turntable and three party hats (one each for Naomi, Emma and their pet!)

Lego Friends turntable & party hats

Advent calendar days 17 and 18…

2016 Lego Christmas Advent Calendars

Day 17…

My daughter was very excited to find a Christmas related set of Lego for day 17. She found two presents – she had to make the gift boxes and had little hair clips to put inside the gifts.

Lego Friends gifts

Gift boxes partially made and containing a gift

Her brother was happy to have the second part of the bakery stall to put together.

Lego City bakery stall

Day 18…

Both children found their advent claendars today built on what they found on day 17. Lego City’s bakery stall now has a uniformed firefighter serving biscuits!

Lego firefighter at bakery stall

The Lego Friends calendar produced a Christmas tree to put the presents under. The tree was a little difficult to build – pieces on different angles based on a single connection point made it easy for pieces to fall apart as we pushed on them (and I say we but my six year old couldn’t do it so I ended up making the tree, although she added the star!)

Lego Friends Christmas tree

Previous days…

With only a week to go to Christmas, here are some of the previous days of the 2016 Lego advent calendars.

It’s Friday and day 16…

2016 Lego Christmas Advent Calendars

Ok, it is actually Saturday morning but I am sharing the Lego advent calendars fro Fridday as we lost power last night and I couldn’t access the internet to post this.

Again, my daughter was questioning the Christmas aspect of the Friends calendar so I am trying to explain that not everything in an advent calendar has to actually be about Christmas. But given her enjoyment of making things, she was very happy to put together a craft table and glue bottle.

Lego Friends craft table

My son found a plane in the Lego City calendar. I wondered if it would turn out to be a shuttle and part of a rocket (as happened last year) but we’ll have to wait until tonight to find out!

Lego City advent calendar plane

If you have enjoyed reading about day 16, you can go back to day one or even read the 2015 day 15 Lego advent calendar review.

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