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  1. It's that time of year again when the days get shorter, the nights get colder, and children all around the world stare longingly into warmly lit toy shops and prepare their wishlist to send to Santa. This is also the time when The Lego Group releases their latest Winter Village set which has been an annual tradition for the past seven years. These sets have been very popular, especially among AFOLs, and are always highly anticipated. However, while some entries in this series have been more popular than others, none has been as controversial as this year's set, the Winter Toy Shop, which is a re-release of the first Winter Village set, 10199 Winter Toy Shop from 2009. It seems that many think that this set didn't need to be remade and would have preferred a new set instead, or that it is not different enough from the original and will be redundant in a completionist's collection. Does it deserve all the hate? Let's find out. Disclaimer: I don't own the 2009 version, so I can't compare them visually, but I will do my best to let you know what is different in this version. If you do need a visual reference, you can refer to Svelte's excellent review of the original. Set Number: 10249 Name: Winter Toy Shop Theme: Creator Year of Release: 2015 Pieces: 898 Minifigs: 8 Price: £59.99 / $79.99 / 69.99€ S@H description: S@H Bricklink Brickset The Box The box art of this set is similar to that of the original, but there are some notable differences. The Christmas tree is on the right side of the image this time while the park bench is on the left and of course it features this year's design for Creator boxes with the dark blue stripe along the right side and the "Expert" logo in the top right corner. There's also a small picture of the back of the toy shop and the background looks less cartoony than on the original. The back is also very similar, showing a different angle of the toy shop along with some close-ups, although this time there is no minifig lineup. Instead, the minifig lineup is on the right side of the box. It also includes the accessories that each minifig comes with and some of the toys. On the left side of the box there is a thumbnail of the box art and the set name in six different languages. They also want to make sure that you know that there are batteries included by saying it in dozens of languages. The top of the box features the inventory and a 1:1 scale reference with the female caroler. On the bottom there is a picture that reminds you that there is a light brick included in this set, in case that wasn't clear from the front of the box, and it confirms that yes, it is a bad idea to put it in water, in case you were planning to go swimming with your Winter Toy Shop. The Contents Inside the box there are two instruction booklets and two groups of bags, one for each instruction booklet. While two groups of bags is not as many as there usually are in other sets of this size, it's still better than the first version of this set where the bags weren't numbered at all, so this makes the build a bit easier. The large bag in Group 1 and the two large bags in Group 2 have a white stripe going down the middle of the bag and only have one group number printed on it along with some other number and some kind of scan code. I have no idea why they made this distinction for these bags or what that code is for, so if any of you know the purpose of this, please let me know in the comments below. Here is a random instructions page. As you can see, the building steps can get quite challenging as they sometimes include many different pieces in one step, especially when it uses a lot of brown pieces which are very dark and hard to see in the instructions, living up to the set's status as an expert-level set. Most of the time, though, the instructions are pretty clear and easy enough to follow. There are some parts in new colors in this set that weren't in the first version or any other set until now, such as that large, flat Technic arch in dark green, the jester hat in orange and blue, one of those new 2z2 round jumper tiles in brown, a golden frog(!), and a snowboard in dark blue. There are also some rare Friends parts that make their Creator debut here such as the skis in azure and that new clear 1x1 round tile with a tiny tube coming out of it which is usually used as a stand for Friends accessories and is a very useful piece, especially for SNOT techniques (and no, I'm not talking about the type of snot that many people usually have stuck in their nose around this time of year). There are some printed parts as well, such as the clock tile, the letter tile, and the register slope like in the first version of the set. We also get a new face print for the white cat which is more in line with other modern cat designs. But the best part is the shop sign which is printed this time around. It features a lovely wood pattern, the words "toy shop", and a toy soldier on both sides of the sign. Which is ironic since the shop doesn't seem to sell any toy soldiers like this, but it looks so good on the sign that I won't sue them for false advertising. The Minifigs Let's start with the most unique figures in this set, the carolers. These two were also the highlight in the first version of the set, but in the original they both had the same head (this one -> ) which featured a very questionable facial expression that could easily be taken out of context. In this version, they have unique faces which look much better and help distinguish their gender. The male caroler uses Lord Vampyre's torso which looks quite snazzy on him. Maybe this is Lord Vampyre before he became a vampire? The female caroler is easily the best minifig in the set, though, because in addition to her exclusive head, she also gets an exclusive torso and skirt print! A huge improvement over the generic unprinted one in the original. She also gets the queen hair in dark brown and Aragorn's lined cape instead of two combined regular capes. This set truly is the Return of the Queen! The snowman is technically not a minifig, but as you can see here, he is exactly as tall as one and he is the first thing you build after the minifigs, so I included him here. He has mostly the same design as before, except this time he has robot claws for arms instead of levers. Which is good since they allow him to hold accessories such as his broom. His carrot nose is included separately again. The carolers both have back printing while the snowman looks no different from the back than he does from the front. Here you can see the black side of the female's cape. This lined cape is so much nicer than the solution they used in the original. Next up we have what I assume is a married couple who are likely the parents of at least one of the kids, as well as the toymaker who I will call Geppetto. The man in the pinstripe suit was not included in the first version of the set, so he's a bonus minifig! These guys are fairly generic, but they have some detailed torso prints, so they look pretty nice. Geppetto seems to have gotten younger since the release of the original set since his gray hair has now turned dark tan and he doesn't seem to need glasses anymore. The men both have back printing, but the woman is the only one in this set who doesn't get a back print. Why you gotta be so discriminating against women, LEGO?! Last but not least, there are the kids. One of the boys wears dark blue pants, a green jacket, and a wool cap. He looks a bit like a lumberjack, so let's call him lumberjack boy, or Jack for short. The little girl wears an outfit that wouldn't look out of place in the Friends theme with a lavender scarf and pants. I'll call her Lavender. The second boy is wearing an Octan jacket and a sports helmet which makes it ironic that he is the one not doing any winter sports on the box art. I'll call him President Business Junior, or PBJ for short. All of the kids have fairly detailed back printing which makes up for the fact that much like the adults, they are made out of mostly common parts. PBJ's helmet and scarf cover up the back of his head nicely which is important as you will see in the next picture. What's also great about these figs is that half of them have a double-sided head. Here you can see PBJ doing his best Macaulay Culkin impression. I also removed his scarf so you can see the printing on his torso better. But he's not the only one who seems to be easily scared. The mother also has a very alarmed expression. Maybe she got surprised by the Jack-in-the-box or maybe she just realized how expensive toys are nowadays. You can see the female caroler's back printing here. Her alternate expression is a non-singing face which is very nice to have and I wish the male caroler could have one too. She looks quite cute with those rosy cheeks. But the most adorable out of all of them has to be the little girl. She comes with a pouting sad face that will melt your heart. Please, don't cry! I'll buy you any toy you want, just stop looking at me like that! The Build The first half of the build is dedicated to the surroundings of the toy shop. It includes the Christmas tree, the park bench, the snowman, the toys, the carolers, Jack and Lavender. The large bag contains two smaller bags with small pieces, a white box that contains the caroler's cape, and the jester hat in its own little bag. The first thing you build after the minifigs and the snowman is the toys. This version of the set has a lot more toys than the original which is good because I always felt that the first Toy Shop was a bit light on toys. Also, the ones that were in the original have been updated. For example, instead of the two pairs of skis, you now get one pair of skis that use the new ski mold and a snowboard. The Jack-in-the-box is mostly the same, except it now has an orange and blue color scheme instead of the red and blue from the original. This change was probably not necessary, but hey, at least we get a new jester hat out of it. And instead of the brick-built teddy bear you get the new teddy bear mold. I have mixed feelings about this change because I actually kinda liked the brick-built teddy design and using a specialized mold seems to be going against the spirit of Creator sets, but on the other hand I can't deny that the molded teddy looks better than the blocky old one. Meh. The new toys include a tugboat which has some rounded Technic pieces as its hull, a biplane, a rocket, a helicopter, and a truck that cleverly uses roller skates for its wheels. These are all quite brilliant designs that feel like micro versions of Lego City sets and make a great addition to the set. Here is a back view of some of the more complex models. As you can see, the Friends accessory stand has been cleverly used to hold the biplane's fin in place and to provide a stand for the helicopter. The Jack-in-the-box has a hinged lid. The only thing that bugs me a bit is the T-piece on top of the helicopter that holds the rotor in place, but I can't think of any better way they could have done it. Next is the ladder that is used to decorate the tree which is exactly the same as the first version. The supports are on a click-hinge, so they can be adjusted or folded away. Then, you build the tree itself. You begins, of course, with the stand which is mostly the same design as before, but this time the plates at the bottom are brown instead of white and have golden studs as feet. Next, you build the first layer of branches. The main difference in this version of the tree is that this one actually has a brown stem rather than just a Technic axle on which you stack the layers of branches one by one. You wont be able to see the stem in the final result, but I like this change as it makes the tree more realistic. Then you add the second layer of branches. This one doesn't have lights/candles and attaches to the lower layer at an angle using the four trans-yellow studs close to the stem. The third layer is added. This one has lights again. Each layer is similar in that they are all made out of green plates that are built around a 4x4 ring plate, but they get smaller each time and are constructed differently enough for the build not to feel repetitive. With the addition of the fourth layer, we get close to finishing the tree. Lastly, you add one more layer and the tip of the tree. Now it's time to decorate the tree! However, it's not as fun as it sounds since that requires you to add lights to the two chains/ropes first which can get a bit repetitive. The clips holding the lights to the chain were white, but this time they're pearl gold which looks much nicer in my opinion. The next part of the build is the park bench with the streetlamp and the little tree. This is a fairly quick build with not much to it. The fishbowl helmet parts are a useful piece that you don't see too often, so it's nice to get them again in this remake. The design is pretty much the same as in the original set except for the wreaths on the streetlamp which use a green life preserver instead of a round 2x2 plate. This is another instance where they use a specialized piece instead of a brick-built solution, but I'm okay with that because unlike with the teddy bear, this part was not originally intended to be a wreath, so it's still nice part usage. The second half of the build is dedicated to the toy shop itself and includes the couple, Geppetto, and PBJ. Please note that there is a fourth 6x10 plate burried under the parts. You begin by tiling the floor, setting up the walls, and adding the interior items such as the fireplace, the cash register, and the toy displays. Next, you add the walls, windows, and the door and the ground floor of the shop is finished. So far, the build is the same as the old toy shop, except this time they decided to have the white stripes on the marquees be the longer ones instead of the dark red ones for some reason. I don't know why they did this and kinda would have preverred to get dark red 1x1 plates instead of white, but it doesn't detract from the look of the shop, so I don't really care. Now we begin with the upper floor. This is where things start to look a little different. Can you tell the difference? The difference is that this time they attach the roof using clip-hinges instead of bulky Technic constructions which gives you more space on this floor and allows it to look more like an actual attic. They even tile the floor next to the frog clock. Aftter adding the roof, the build is finished. The main roof feels a bit loose since it's only attached to the building by one side. I'm not sure if this was an issue in the old toy shop, but it's not a big deal. I just wouldn't pick the set up by the roof. What I do like is that they used double cheese slopes on the awning on the outer wall of the tower instead of singles which makes it a bit easier to build. I like how the supports under the tower roof now match those of the main roof. The wreaths have also been updated like the ones on the streetlamp. And those Technic arches under the roof look a lot more like garlands now. On the original, they were dark gray, so I didn't even know they were supposed to be garlands and assumed they were part of the architecture. The shop sign looks a lot better now that it is printed. The old one just looked like a white flag. I also like how the small plates under the marquee give it a wavy look and they included two trees in different sizes on the right side of the shop. The back is nice and open and allows you to see the rest of the toys, the robot, train, and race car, all of which have just as much of a simple and clever design as the other toys. The clock looks much nicer with the new golden frog. Because golden frogs make everything better. Spare Parts There are quite a few small parts left over, including a roller skate and one of those Friends accessory stands which will come in handy. The Complete Set Here you can see the full set together. It looks quite nice and festive with all the little details and there are many scenes that you can play out with it: You can have the minifigs decorate the tree, have the kids play in the snow, have the carolers sing by the bench, have the toymaker build some toys in his workshop, or have the parents buy presents for their kids. It's a festive, toy-filled Winter Wonderland! The fireplace looks cozy and I like the brick pattern going up the chimney. The entrance of the shop looks a bit empty aside from the cash register. I feel like they could have displayed some more toys here, but oh well. Being a set targeted at teens and adults, there aren't really any play features aside from the light brick which is attached to a hinge, so you can either activate it by pressing the button with your finger or tilting the brick upward so that the button is pressed against the roof. However, since the roof is not connected in the middle and only attached on the sides, it tends to split open a bit when you do that, so I'm not sure if attaching the roof this way here was such a good idea. Nevertheless, it looks quite nice when the light is lit. Ratings Design: 5/5 - This set is as gorgeous as it was back in 2009! The small updates that they made are mostly good ones, although the absence of a brick-built teddy is a bit disappointing and the new way the roof is attached, while not as bulky as before, makes the roof slightly unstable, but those are just nitpicks. Build: 5/5 - There are some interesting building techniques here, such as those on the tree, the roof, and the toys. The fact that the parts are only split into two groups and the part callouts can get fairly complex makes it a challenging, enjoyable build. Minifigs: 5/5 - They did a great job updating the figs in this set. While only 3 of the torsos in the original had any printing, all of the torsos have printing front and back in this set, even the skirt and cape of the female caroler. You get two exclusive heads and half of the heads are double-sided, plus you get 8 instead of 7 minifigs. You really can't ask for more in a Creator set. Playability: 4/5 - This set is more meant to be displayed than to be played with, but there are plenty of things to play with if you want. All the different minifigs, accessories, and set pieces make for endless possibilities for play. It's especially fun to swoosh the micro vehicles around. Parts: 3/5 - There are lots of good parts here. Most of them are fairly common, but there are some rare parts and some even in exclusive colors. Price: 4/5 - This set costs $20 more than the original, but considering that this set has nearly 900 pieces, including some rare and exclusive ones, as well as more minifigs with much better printing, I think $80 is still a fair price. Overall: 5/5 - So what's my opinion of this set? For a remake, I think it's great. They managed to make a good set even better. Are the changes minor? Yes. Are they an improvement? Mostly, yes. Were they necessary? Perhaps not, but it's good that they made them instead of just re-releasing the exact same set. So if you didn't get the first Winter Toy Shop, I can highly recommend getting this one. If you do already have the old version, this one might still be worth picking up for the hugely improved minifigs and rare parts alone. As for the controversy over re-releasing the Winter Toy Shop, I can see where the haters are coming from, but I find their complaints to be quite petty. I can understand if you're disappointed because you already have the first Winter Toy Shop and were looking forward to a new set this year, but there's always next year. If you're a completist and feel like TLG is forcing you to buy a set you don't need, you're wrong. Nobody is forcing you to buy anything but yourself. If you decide to buy every set in a theme no matter what it is, that's your problem, not LEGO's. So put down your torches and pitchforks and just be glad that they improved the set design and gave us another chance to buy this classic set. There are far worse things that can happen in this world than Lego re-releasing one of their most popular sets. Sorry for that little rant. So what is your opinion on re-releases like this? Please cast your vote in the poll above. I hope you enjoyed this special Eurobricks Reviewers Academy review and would like to thank The Lego Group for the opportunity to review this set. Happy Holidays everyone! Bat-Toys by Okay Yaramanoglu, on Flickr
  2. Hello! I am considering to sell the whole diorama, inclusive 6 Original Winter Village sets and lots of white plates and bricks as well as 3 baseplates in light grey (48 x 48). Total of over 6000 new pieces and 44 minifigs. Ofcourse the whole street comes with Original boxes and booklets... Will only sell for a very good offer! (At least more than the Original price of all sets together) (Selling-location Netherlands) 10199 Winter Village Toy Shop 10216 Winter Village Bakery 10222 Winter Village Post Office 10229 Winter Village Cottage 10235 Winter Village Market 10245 Winter Village Santa's Workshop 40106 Toy Workshop (not in pictures)
  3. Tombacus

    (MOD) Toy Shop and Grocery 31036

    Here is my second Modular conversion. This time I started with two 31036 Toy Store and Grocery sets. I decided to just focus on the Toy Store, since the Green Grocer has the groceries covered. Like my Bike Shop and Cafe MOD, I wanted to try to keep the feel of the original. This is also my first attempt at an interior. 2015-03-05 16.45.46 I stole the sign idea from DDoshini... The ground floor is the toy store. A variety of things for sale. The first floor is a little office and storage for more toys. The top floor is a workshop where the owner makes his toys! More photos here...
  4. 3BrickFriends

    [MOC] Christmas Winter Village

    Hi everyone. My daughter and I have been working on a Christmas Winter Village MOC. Its based around the Santa's Workshop and the other Winter Village sets. We've also built a large Christmas Tree, a custom Lego Church and a number of smaller features. I hope you like the MOC. If you want to watch the previous 5 updates showing it being built from basic structure, to the working tree lights, to where it is today, click on our Youtube channel link. I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave any comments. Thanks, Mike
  5. TanTile

    [MOC] Winter Village Display.

    Hello EB Members! On the 4th of November 2014 I began construction of our LEGO Winter Village Christmas display. 8 days and 7 late late nights (2am/3am) later I have finished!. This has been my biggest MOC to date. Not that I have done many... This is my 2nd major MOC, but I have done about 7 small little 16x16 baseplate sized ones. The size of this display is Three 48 x 48 and One 32 x 32 baseplates wide and Two 48 x 48 baseplate deep. (1410mm W X 770mm D) It's lowest point sits on the actual baseplate, and at it's highest point it stands at about 34 bricks high! (330mm H) The whole thing is modularized and each building is easily detectible like a floor level on a "modular building". Throughout the build I have added in some things for the kids to look for like a Where's Wally/Waldo. They have to find: 8 x Elves 5 x Reindeer 4 x fire hydrants 3 x Owls Find everyone that is doing a sport ie: snow baseball, Ice hockey etc.. Everyday I move Bad Santa around and the Kids have to spot him in his new location. (since taking these Photo's the kids also have to find 6 toy Soldiers, the very same ones in the October bonus S@H set) The carousel works with power functions and the motor is hidden in the "shed" and the battery pack is underneath the shed in the underbelly of the foundations. Below are a few Photos of the display... You can view more photos in myFlickR Folder here. Thank you for taking the time to look. C & C are most welcome!
  6. I am on the verge of completing my expansion to the Winter Village Toy Shop Christmas Tree. Someone made an LDD file (back in November) of several new levels for the Toy Shop Christmas tree. I downloaded the LXF file, made an Excel spreadsheet, Bricklinked the parts (about $45) and I am now completing the last level. I would like to know who to credit for the LDD and what forum a photo of the resulting Tree should be posted. I assume that the Special LEGO Themes forum is the proper place (or maybe Town because of the WInter Village connection), Mods please feel free to move if I am in error. Most importantly I lost the original thread and I want to know who to credit for the design. Thanks, Andy D