LEGO Kingdoms Review: 2010 Advent Calendar (7952)

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When I bought my LEGO City Advent Calendar, I immediately was kicking myself for not grabbing the Kingdoms Advent Calendar since it was soon sold out and then going for an absurd markup on the secondary market. But lo and behold, the Christmas fates smiled upon me and I stumbled upon it in a store – at 50% off!

Celebrate 24 December days full of medieval builds! There’s a surprise in store for you every morning as you decorate the LEGO® Kingdoms with new exclusive holiday accessories every day.

So in a single day, my brother, sister and I went through an entire advent calendar on Christmas Eve! It included 24 miniature builds, but since we did them all at once I don’t remember what was revealed on what day so they’re instead clumped together in similar themes. The set includes nine different minifigures and 15 different builds.

First up is the royal family! LEGO has come along way since the first princess, but this calendar included the queen and a prince. The Lion Queen features a stunning red and gold dress. Her hair is braided and in a bun topped with her golden crown. Her face is smiling and pleasant, but when her head is turned, she quickly becomes angry. For accessories, she came with a single green frog (which explains why there is no king).

A new member of the LEGO Castle royalty is the inclusion of the young Prince. Looking smug with his long hair and chiseled cheeks, the Prince is a great addition to the court. His fur-lined crimson tabard and golden lion neckpiece looks great and he sports a classic medieval sword.

For royal builds, two sets clearly belong with these figures. First is a red and golden throne that looks lovely. It’s simple enough but still looks a touch ornate. It probably belongs to the Prince since the Queen is unable to sit. The other one is the Sword in the Stone. This is a genius little piece that really shows some creativity. Sure, it’s just five bricks and a sword, but it’s classic imagery that looks fantastic in a town center.

Once in the town square, it’s obvious there is a celebration of some sort. A gorgeous (by LEGO standards) barmaid is present wearing a green dress and corset. She’s showing off far more skin than I’d expect. Her long brown hair looks good and several other days include a variety of items for her.

First is the keg on a stand and a yellow mug. It’s just a barrel with a spout attached to it, but it’s a fine accessory. Taking a page from another story book, the maiden gets a black cauldron with an apple in it, possibly the start of a stone soup? Also included are a pig to wander around (or to be feasted upon), a second apple (could one of them be poisoned?) and a knife for the barmaid for no real reason.

Even though this is an Advent Calendar, LEGO got creative with how to include some classic Christmas symbols. On the last day, instead of revealing Santa Claus, a grand blue Wizard was revealed! With a large, white beard and a star studded hat, he’s a great update of the original Majisto. Hanging from his belt are a small purse and a silver trinket with a rune on it. For accessories, he came with a star wand.

Since he’s a medieval wizard, he comes with a worktable for his odd attempts at alchemy. An open flame with a frying pan and a strange looking bottle, it could easily double as a pancake making station. The other “Christmas-y” inclusion is a sapling with an owl perched on top of it.

To protect the Prince and Queen, the set includes two Lion Kingdom soldiers. The archer comes with a quiver and crossbow. His armor is simple chain mail over a red tunic and he’s got a fine silver helmet. The other soldier is a pike man wearing the Lion Kingdom’s tabard over his armor and sporting a wide brimmed helmet and a spear. For them to practice, a training dummy is also included that can spin around when its shield is hit.

But the soldiers may also double as guards. To hold those who try to steal from the chest containing three giant jewels, a jail wall is provided. Made to look like stone, it’s nice looking but a single wall won’t hold anyone! But since the set comes with a skeleton who is handcuffed, it looks like the Lion Kingdom hasn’t had to imprison anyone lately. In a genius move, LEGO now includes an extra skeleton arm too!

A single warrior from the opposing Dragon Kingdom is included. A black knight equipped with a flail looks ready for war. While he’s horribly outnumbered, he comes with a ballista to take out a few knights and a miniature catapult to aid him in his raid. It’s just a shame he’s so horribly outnumbered.

The final grouping is the local blacksmith. He’s clearly been hard at work smelting a new sword. The level of detail on the figure is impressive given the fact that even the hair on his chest is painted on! His miniature forge and anvil look good but he clearly could benefit from something greater. Showing off some of his past work is a weapons rack with a shield, ax and spear attached to it. His final piece may actually be a gift to the prince since it is a suit of armor on a rack.

The more I look at this set on its own, the more it seems like the honoring of the young prince. A new suit of armor, a sword in the stone, and a wizard in waiting – it all points towards someone heading off to battle. For those looking to flesh out their kingdom, this includes some great little pieces. If you can find it below retail, it’s a great grab but this battle does seem awfully one-sided against the Dragon Kingdom.

Written by jestergoblin

January 1st, 2011 at 12:00 am

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