Hello everyone once again,
It's the month of the LEGO Advent Calendar tradition starting once more. For members like me whom doesn't adhere to the Christmas Advent tradition, we should probably be taking the packets out and construct them at one go, instead waiting to open each box over the month of December for a period of 24 days before Christmas, itself.
It has been an exactly a year since I previously done the 7724 City Advent Calendar 2008 review. I have created a second poll to allow members to select between the 2008 and 2009 City Advent Calendars and rate the ones that you prefer the most. Too bad, the Pirates Advent Calendar has not arrived yet. Before I forget, this review of mine actually marks my 6000th posts in Eurobricks.
Name: LEGO CITY Advent Calender 2009
Theme: LEGO / Holiday / Christmas / Advent Calender
Price: USD$29.99, GBP 19.55, SGD$39.90
Resources: Brickset, Peeron, BrickLink
An image of a 7687, City Advent Calendar 2009
Rear box's image
24 pieces of magical gifts throughout Christmas
Unlike past advent calendar sets, this year, the advent tray is made up of transparent plastic instead of white plastic like before. It's not as flimsy like the trays before. These trays can be useful for sorting out LEGO parts, while building big and complicated sets.
Introducing the citizens
What a great way to start by viewing the minifigures that are included in this series. There are a total of 9 City minifigures, ranging from the usual street cleaner to the smug looking kiddo at the right. Last year, we had 10 City minifigures, I wonder if the child subtract from the previous 10 since child is a little bit much expensive to create. However, this year, the minifigures variety is pretty good, with some good addition such as the 3 civilians which is very useful to increase our town population.
Maintaining traffic order
It seemed almost every year, there is definitely a Policeman that can be found in the Advent Calendar series. For this year, the traffic light is pretty useful that can be used to organise the traffic which can be placed for our road baseplates but the traffic light looks quite incomplete without the amber.
As for the Policeman, I don't understand why his Police Hat is coated with black instead of the usual white. On another note, don't you guys feel that this section is pretty similar to the 8401 City Minifigure Collection.
Modern Santa Claus
There is one exciting gift that we all should be exciting about. I owned City Advent Calendars ranging from 2007 to the current one, and I don't remember seeing any vehicles included. Although the design for this postal car looks extremely simple that reminds a toy car, but I am very glad to see something of this diversification. Matching up with this postal car are the wooden crate and the christmas gift.
I noticed something unusual about the Postman's red cap. It seemed to be quite different from the usual caps' designs and it appear to bend much inwards than normal. Not sure if anyone of you has noticed that, or seen it in other sets?
Edit: Thanks Macoco for providing this info for me.
Looks like this new cap design, can be found currently in 4 sets which are City Corner, Grand Carousel and Wind Turbine Transport.
When you placed them all together, it certainly looks nice and suitable for each other.
Snow removal specialist
The street cleaner that is featured this year, is working hard to clear the snow from the pavement with its trusty pushcart. The design of the pushcart is simple but yet effective which can hold up to 2 equipment at its side, and allowing the street cleaner to push it from point to point without much hassle.
Grand Prix RC Rally
I must admit that I was quite surprised of its simple built when I first saw the complete Grand Prix RC Rally combination. The RC cars are really very easy to build, but yet it effectively portrays the image of miniature RC cars very well. The child is one of the best additions of this Advent Calendar. We don't get children minifigures that often, if only we can have one more child to race with him.
Winter Cafe Stand
This stand, featured a nice warm cup of hot chocolate done by our beloved chef is situated near the beautiful fountain which is another simple yet nicely illustrated design that we can used it for parks in our Town. It has been quite awhile since I last saw a flower in recent City sets.
Clear the way mates, dangerous work in progress!
Can't you see that Ras is wearing the striking safety vest to warn others not to come near him. Looks like Ras appeared to be chopping woods and cutting timber with his lumberjack for his part time fiesta. The barricade can be also be used for construction sites, and its good that we are not seeing construction workers in this series.
I can just imagine this entire scene is like a miniature central park filled with ice skaters. From the wooden bench to the stand, down to the traditional looking lamp post, it certainly match pretty well. Furthermore, I am pretty pleased with the design of the lamp post. The ice skater is another great reason for getting this, since we don't get good accessories like the helmet.
Building Mr. Snowman
Another snowman design, but I prefer this one compared to the rest. It's much sturdy and firm on its overall built. The design of the snowman sure looks like one that is made by the child on the right bringing along its small ice sledge.
Final moment, Santa Claus!
A great way to end this series is having Santa Claus dropping by at your fireplace, filling up Christmas gifts in your stockings and near the Christmas tree. The fireplace is nicely designed with the christmas stockings hanging at the front plus that brick built Christmas tree, I can just place all of them inside one of the Creator houses to create a nice and warm interior.
To keep up with the Christmas Advent tradition, there is zero stickers in this set, and best of all, it comes with some useful printed parts such as the race flag, red and white 1x3 panel, and the letter. The most surprising thing, is that among these parts, there is a magical wand, that used to be part of the Dragon Masters, Castle theme, wielded by Majisto, the Wizard.
It seemed like this year, the spare parts for the Advent Calendar revolved mainly around 1x1 cheese bricks and those small little studs, that are pretty useful for decoration purposes. I do like having an extra flower plant stem that can be used for future mocs.
Overall, I prefer this year's City Advent Calendar series compared to previous years, mainly because it provides some new additions of minifigures such as the child and 2 generic city minifigures. There are some nice printed parts that are used in this set, plus some great assortment for town enhancement such as the fountain, lamp post, traffic light and bench. More importantly, this is the first City Advent Calendar series that comes with a small vehicle.
Playability: 8.5/10 (Good variety that can be used to integrate into your town settings.)
Design: 8.5/10 (Some nice town enhancements like the fountain and bench are great designs.)
Price: 8/10 (Price is a little bit much expensive compared to last year's Advent Calendar in terms of Singapore context.)
Overall: 8.3/10 (Get it for parts and minifigures, more importantly, get this set for Christmas.)
I gave it a "4" based on my Review Score Card. What about yours?
Hope everyone of you enjoyed reading this simple review of mine. Comments and Critics are strongly welcomed.
Pictures can be found in My Brickshelf (When moderated)
Edited by WhiteFang, 18 December 2009 - 06:41 PM.