With the battle now concluded, our reviewers share their final thoughts on this year’s advent calendars:
Stephen Churchill (SW Reviewer): Final thoughts on the whole thing- Both Matt and I went into December expecting an easy overall win for Star Wars, and we were both wrong. Thanks to some lucky/strategic matchups, Harry Potter kept the score interesting and it was a nail-biter right to the end. Looking back, an overall tie actually feels right. Both Calendars have had good days and bad this year, and overall 2020’s Star Wars calendar turned out to be a middle-of-the-road offering – neither the worst nor the greatest.
Patrick Barnes (SW Weekend Reviewer): As someone who has been getting the annual Star Wars advent since 2011, I was really happy with this years calendar. The majority of the vehicle builds were great and I’ll likely keep them built, which is more than I can say for a lot of previous advent builds, and the calendar came with a whopping 10 figures, so days with gifts like the Battle Droid and Porg didn’t feel like a wasted slot. I would have liked to have seen more Mandalorian and Clone Wars builds, as those media have been staples of Star Wars this past year, but it was nice to get stuff over all three trilogies regardless. I think the highlight of the calendar has got to be Poe and Vader in their Christmas sweaters!!
Matt Zwicker (HP Reviewer): This is the second year for the Harry Potter Advent Calendar, and first year that we’ve run a seasonal “battle” (for fun) on NewfoundLUG.ca. I had previously run this in the comments section of Brickset (a popular LEGO Fan wesbite) and it was well received, so together Steve and I thought it would be a fun competition to bring in-house, and run on our LUG’s website. I’m glad we did.
I think overall HP’s inaugural 2019 calendar was better, maybe just based on the figs or the novelty at the time. My initial thoughts upon seeing the 2020 box art was that this year’s calendar was going to be far weaker. Despite my initial take, I actually welcome the strategy of sticking to Year 4 (Goblet of Fire) as the overall theme for the calendar. I think that’s a smart play by TLG and gives them a strategy moving forward. There’s so much content in each novel/film, that sticking to a single one for each HPAC is pretty cool. That said, while the Yule Ball does take place around Christmas, I felt like it hemmed us in a little bit in terms of daily offerings. Getting multiple mantle/windowsill days as well as two halves of an ice sculpture felt a bit cheapened. I would prefer if each HPAC told a visual story of the novel/film as we worked our way through December month. That said, the “coherent scene” theme that’s come to define the HPAC’s from both 2019 and 2020 might suffer under that strategy I just mentioned. It’s always give and take with these things.
The 4th novel is my favorite although ironically, my least favorite film. That said, there were a lot of missed opportunities in my opinion. How about a Quidditch World Cup Viktor Krum in Bulgarian colours? A microscale Hungarian Horntail? Something from the 2nd Triwizard Challenge? Mad-Eye Moody/exclusive Barty Crouch fig? Fleur or Madame Maxine? So many possibilities. And as mentioned in the Day 24 review, I would have liked the last couple days to be both festive and HP related, with a definite Dumbledore/Voldemort presence (If SW can get its main antagonist, why can’t we?!).
In the end, as Steve mentioned, HP pulled off some strategic wins where it mattered and were able to secure 12 days worth of points, which came as a definite surprise to me. All’s well that ends well.
That’s it folks! I’d like to take this time to thank both Steve and Patrick for their insightful reviews and commitment to the Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars on NewfoundLUG.ca. I hope that you, the reader, enjoyed following along with our daily matchups for a laugh, and if you have any thoughts or suggestions of your own, we’d love to hear the feedback!
On behalf of my fellow reviewers and the rest of NewfoundLUG, we’d like to wish you and yours a safe, relaxing, and brick filled holidays!