Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 1

It’s that time of year again, and we’re back with our annual Head-to-Head LEGO Advent Calendar Battle, for After beginning the battle in the comments section of in 2019, this is now our 2nd year running the battle on our own LUG website. We’re thrilled to get the ball rolling on this year’s battle and we hope you follow along, share your thoughts, and most of all have fun.

Day 1- Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

Stephen Churchill here, and I will be reviewing the 2021 MCU Advent Calendar this year, making its debut on the licensed advent calendar scene. Based on the spoiler builds revealed on the box art, we are sticking to the Civil War to Endgame section of the MCU timeline, but nothing from the TV shows (which were covered by the CMF series) or the more recent movies. Let’s jump in with Day 1.

Marvel starts the 2021 advent season with a unique and festive mini figure- Holiday Sweater Tony Stark The figure has both helmet and hair, always a welcome addition. The print for the holiday sweater is unique and includes “Tony” across the back. Add in some transparent light blue pieces for repulsor blasts and foot jets, and it’s just a solid fig all around.

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Day 1- Star Wars (SW)

Hey everyone, I (Patrick Barnes) will be reviewing the daily Star Wars advent calendar builds. This is my 11th consecutive year purchasing the Lego Star Wars advent calendar, and its become a telltale sign of Christmas approaching at home! By the looks of the box, this year will have advent builds mostly correlated with the two seasons of the Mandalorian. Follow along at home and get active in the NewfoundLUG Facebook group if you disagree with our picks or would like to review the advent build of the day yourself!

Behind door number 1 of Star Wars’ advent calendar is this neat little Razorcrest build using a whopping 25 pieces. While this is a great and effective model that properly captures the angles and colours of the in-universe ship, it is hindered by the inclusion of a very similar model in the 2020 advent calendar. This model does utilize some new and improved techniques to recreate the engines, and I don’t know if dark tan tiles were the best colours to use on the sides, but otherwise it is a great little build. Especially surprising to see it included again here considering (SPOILERS FOR MANDO S2) its fate in the show.

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Day 1- Harry Potter (HP)

Entering the ring for the first time and making its advent calendar debut is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) theme. We decided it would be fun to allow MCU to join incumbents Star Wars (SW) and Harry Potter (HP), and let the three themes duke it out for licensed festive supremacy.

My name is Matthew Zwicker and this is my 3rd year reviewing the HP calendar. For the 2021 season, I find myself at somewhat of a crossroads. In 2019, HP made a fantastic rookie debut with a great calendar full of unique offerings and a breath of fresh air on the advent calendar scene. I felt that 2020’s “Yule Ball” themed calendar took a slight step back, but it was still widely well-received by the general population (so maybe it was just me). This year, I’m curious to see which direction HP will take- will they stick to each novel individually or will they leverage their Christmas theme pervasive throughout all books? Let’s take a look.

Upon opening the box, we initially see that the calendar is attempting to incorporate each build into a board game, where each build has a designated space on the board. I’m going to be very curious to track this progression and see how the game plays out. But for now, let’s check out what’s behind Door #1.

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Today’s offering is a rendition of the now-classic Privet Drive sign. Going back to the very roots and opening scenes of both novel and film series, the sign is presented on a 1×4 printed tile. It’s curious to note that retail set 75698 (4 Privet Drive) does NOT include a printed tile but uses a sticker instead. This distinctly reminds me of 2019’s calendar which gifted us with printed tiles in place of their sticker counterparts in other sets. It’s a curious trend but obviously a welcome one, as printed tiles are infinitely more valuable/desirable than stickers. Add in a 1×2 printed envelope tile, and today’s offering is usable scale build, if not the strongest entry possible. An owl would have been ideal to accompany the sign.

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The battle had begun with a bang, the loudest of which is clearly MCU, blessing us with the gift of a unique festive Tony Stark- checking off all the boxes that you love to see in an advent calendar gift.

In second place, HP ekes out a point owing to its printed 1×4 tile and offering a “to-scale build” that can be implemented in HP sets/layouts.

Third place goes to SW. A decent microbuild that was represented in last year’s calendar yet offers a welcome entry to those who may be just jumping on board this year.

After Day 1, the score is:

MCU- 2

HP- 1

SW- 0

To be continued…

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