After 10 days, both HP and SW are knotted at 5 points apiece. We’ve seen some highs and lows on both sides so far, and it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen in the remaining two weeks. That said, lets’s take a peak behind Door #11:
Harry Potter- Day 11
Matt: Thankfully, the emergence of Ron Weasley yesterday snapped a losing streak which we will now put in the rearview of the Ford Anglia. I’m looking forward to great things (terrible, yes…but great) from HP over the remaining two weeks. Behind Door #11 is a classic fireplace + mantle combo, presumably from the Gryffindor common room. Mantle/Fireplace settings are commonplace in various themed Advent Calendar’s, and HP itself featured a very similar entry in its inaugural year (2019). Again, a build like this is not intrinsically “Harry Potter” so I’m disappointed from a pure fan perspective whenever this occurs. That said, the build is festive with a brick built stocking that is quite appealing hanging above the mantle. I like that it features an open-back chimney as opposed to a closed chimney (2019) as I believe the trans-orange flame “pops” more. The black bar in front is also new for this year and I like this style as opposed to 2019’s entry. Worth noting the presence of “1×1 bricks with clips” on the side of the fireplace, either hinting at future add-ons to this model, or a place to store accessories we may see down the line. In summary, it’s hard to get overly excited about a build like this when it’s lacking a definitive HP imprint- but the festive nature of the build is welcome. Furthermore, we’ve strayed off course from the Yule Ball, but not sure it should be penalized for that. All in all, “Good, not great” or “pleasant but not astounding”, would be how I’d describe today’s HP offering.
Star Wars- Day 11
Steve: Star Wars puts up a solid microbuild on Day 11 – The Millenium Falcon. The round radar dish means this is either a Rebellion-Era Falcon or a post-“The Last Jedi” version. This build is just a really good microscale of the Falcon. It’s a great example of how a designer doesn’t need new and specialized parts to really evoke classic designs. It’s out of scale with the other microscale ships in the calendar, but that’s a clear limitation of the size of the builds, so I won’t penalize it for that. I WILL say, however, that the instructions may have been the worst I have seen in an Advent Calendar. This is a build that needed a “step 2” instead of trying to do it all at once. I am not sure it’s a cut-and-dry winner today. The Falcon is good, but not amazing.
Both calendars put up less than stellar offerings today. HP strayed off theme but remained festive, while SW reinvented a build that, like the fireplace, has been in advent calendars before. Both camps were less than enthusiastic about the offerings today, and felt that there wasn’t enough evidence to declare one build a clear winner over the other. Therefore, a tie is being awarded for the first time this holiday season. The day will be split, with half a point awarded to each. The score therefore remains tied, with:
To be continued…