LEGO Holiday Review: Winter Toy Shop (10199)

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The real reason I got back into LEGO was a simple one: I wanted some fun but off-beat holiday decorations. So after stumbling upon the LEGO Toy Shop, I knew I could create a little town for a mantel piece.

The holidays are coming, and that means a busy time in the toy maker’s workshop! This scene from a winter wonderland includes a charming shop filled with tools, toys, and even a light-up tower window. Outside, minifigures sing carols by the bench and lamppost, ski on the snow drifts, build a snowman and play with snowballs, and decorate the giant Christmas tree with a star, lights and gift-wrapped presents around the base.

The big attraction of the set is the toy shop itself. A lovely little building that looks quaint with its snow cover roof. It would fit right in if it were in some small town in New England. The large glass windows show of toys made of LEGO – like a train engine and a blue robot. The idea of making toys out of LEGO is odd, but so adorable.

The building looks great with little details like the alternating awning and the stone chimney. It looks like a place that’s warm and inviting. Above the entrance is a tower where the toymaker sits and works at his workbench. A fantastic addition is the LEGO light brick – a 2×3 brick that glows orange when a button is pushed on it. Sadly, nothing can be done to make it so the light is always on.

The inside of the shop is amazing. A rafter overhead gives the clock a place to stay (and a gray frog to perch). The fireplace is roaring with fire and a simple cash register is on a desk. In the tower is a single swiveling chair and a work bench with a toy car being built.

In addition to the toy car, robot and train engine, three other toys are included that can be moved about. First is the jack-in-the-box which takes the jester look but does it in red and blue. Sadly, the head doesn’t fit in the box. A teddy bear holding a flower is also made that looks cute, but too blocky – a teddy bear would work better as a single piece accessory. The final item is a wrapped gift with an addressed envelope on it! I would have loved a few more of these for the set to come with to put under the tree.

Speaking of a tree, this set comes with a giant LEGO Christmas tree! Standing six inches tall, it’s far bigger than your average LEGO pine tree. Assembled out of green plates and layered, it looks great. It’s decorated with some non-functioning lights and topped off with a giant LEGO star-snowflake. To help the LEGO figures decorate it, it also includes a giant ladder.

The final set piece is a bench on some snow behind a lamp (sadly, my lamp is missing several pieces after a drunken incident that didn’t involve me). The bench is simple but works great, while the pine tree adds some holiday color. A stack of white studs are snowballs for a child who may not be getting much for Christmas. I absolutely love the street light though. The black contrasts perfectly against the white snow and the intended look of the lamps being in bubbles is gorgeous. In an amazing reveal of how good LEGO is at building, part of the light is made from a LEGO SKELETON’S LEGS. Genius work.

The last built piece is a snowman – which looks infinitely better than the one in the advent calendar but still seems a little off. But the big reason is a LEGO brick can’t make something that looks like three spheres. The top hat and scarf are nice touches. It’s just a shame the head isn’t painted with a carrot and coal for a face. Instead he comes with a carrot that can’t be put anywhere. The set also includes a white LEGO cat to scamper around as you desire.

To complete this winter scene, the set comes with seven different LEGO figures! First is the toymaker himself. Wearing identical clothes to the farmer, the red flannel shirt under green overalls takes on a much more festive look. His face is older with a gray beard and glasses along with a gray head of hair. He looks a lot like George Lucas.

To decorate the tree is a woman wearing a red jacket with white pants (there’s a terrible idea; pitch never comes out of clothes). Her face the new generic female LEGO face with black hair pulled back in a ponytail. The little touch I love is that the emblem on her red jacket is the classic Space logo! It’s a fun little touch that makes this set feel like it was made for older collectors.

No Christmas scene is complete without carolers and this set comes with two. A man and a woman both dressed up in black. The man is wearing a sports coat with a top hat and bandanna being used as a scarf. The woman is dressed in all black with white gloves (she must also play the bells then). To give her some color, she’s wearing both a red and a black cape. Both figures actually have identical heads, but the rosy cheeks and open mouths work perfect for a singing couple! To complete the look, they also come with music folders.

But the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without kids and this set includes three little ones. All using the still-new-to-me legs that make them about half a leg shorter than the “adult” LEGO figures, the kids seem to have gotten the short end of the design stick. All of them are rather bland since they don’t have any paint applications beyond the face.

The snowball throwing little boy is wearing tan pants with a blue shirt and gloves. He’s also wearing a scarf along with a helmet oddly enough. His face can be shown either agape in fear or looking very nefarious for a little kid. Both looks are perfect for someone throwing snowballs.

The other two kids are skiing and come with a pair of skis and ski poles. The girl is wearing purple pants with a red shirt and tan hair. The boy is wearing dark blue pants and a gray shirt, but oddly is wearing a bright orange vest – like it’s hunting season or something. He has a smirk on his face and a black beanie on his head.

This set looks great sitting on mantle during the holidays. It’s cute, unobtrusive and very festive. But beware because it feels more fragile than many LEGO sets. My biggest wish would be if LEGO included non-snow parts to make just a regular LEGO toy shop. But either way, this set would many any toy collector happy because it takes what we love and turns it into a toy. There’s nothing about this set that screams buy me, but I can’t help but smile when I walk past it.

Written by jestergoblin

December 13th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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