Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 4

After the first three days, it’s perhaps fitting that each calendar has secured a victory. Who will be the first to obtain their second? Read on!

Day 4- MCU

Steve: On the fourth day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeee…. I gift I didn’t want to seeee…

I said yesterday that “presents are the weapon rack” for the MCU, meaning a lacklustre build with not much going for it.

Well, for 2022 the MCU gives us a tool rack for day 4. Not much to discuss  here, there’s not many parts (7 total) and a very simple build. The only thing it has going for it is a relatively rare (to me) dynamite piece.

I’m not liking the trajectory this calendar is taking. 

Day 4- SW

Pat: I could’ve sworn after yesterday’s Droid Tri-fighter, today we would get the dreaded standard Battle Droid today (not a bad figure to have lots of, but admittedly feels like a letdown of a calendar gift). However I was surprised to see a Republic Assault Ship behind day number 4, marking our 3rd time getting this in small-scale from Lego. Less popular than its Venator or Arquitens – Class counterparts, the Acclamator-Class Republic Assault Ship was seen sparingly in Star Wars Episode 2 and 3, as well as the Clone Wars.

We’ve seen this ship twice before; once in the 2013 calendar, and once in the Coruscant Planet Series where it was a little bit larger of a build. Though all have been solid, including this one, it’s hard to get excited over a design that hasn’t been made into an official, proper set, and is barely seen in the movies. The new 2 x 3 ⅔ wing plates are nice to get more of, and it’s always nice to expand the Republic fleet, but overall it’s only a ‘pretty good’ build on a day filled with mediocre gifts across all calendars.

Day 4- HP

Matt: HP is finally on the board in a proper way courtesy The Chosen One himself on Day 3. With seemingly random entries to date, I’m curious to see what’s behind Door #4.

Today, we get a microscale Whomping Willow with Arthur Weasley’s Ford Anglia. This is of course a reference to the opening few chapters (or movie scenes) of The Chamber of Secrets where Ron and Harry miss the train (I see u Dobby) and “borrow” Mr. Weasley’s flying car to get to school on time- only to crash it into Hogwarts’ infamous tree and wind up in more hot cauldron water than they might have been before. 

Funny enough, this ISN’T the first time we’ve seen a microscale Whomping Willow and Ford Anglia depicted in LEGO. It was included on this scale in the massive set 71043 Hogwarts Castle from 2018- another insanely expensive, but fantastic display set.

There are however some notable differences- here, the Whomping Willow is not near as detailed/robust as it is in 71043, notably lacking the “swinging limbs” functionality of its predecessor. The absence of that aspect of the build can be forgiven in the calendar version in my opinion, and I think the tree is at least reminiscent of both the movie and its microscale counterpart in 71043.

What CAN’T be forgiven however is the design of this particular Ford Anglia. Although it is ALMOST identical to the one in 71043, it’s missing one crucial element- the 1×1 transparent plate, representing the windshield/windows of the car. Without this piece, I feel the car is missing a critical component that makes it recognizable. Would it really have been too much to ask to include it again here? It’s deja vu all over again, and I’m getting that LEGO “cutbacks” vibe once more…

Day 4’s entry (left) versus its predecessor in 71043 Hogwarts Castle (right). Image courtesy Brickset.com.

All said, it’s another microbuild which typically ranks lower on our battle scorecard. I wouldn’t have minded this build if it was a part of the chronological retelling of The Chamber of Secrets story, as this calendar’s main theme. But with the presence of Ollivanders and a random quidditch pitch, that doesn’t appear to be the case. This build may prove novel for those who understandably didn’t spring for the $500+ set, but ultimately it is destined for my bulk pile at the end of the season- and perhaps yours, too.

Verdict

A pitiful day across all calendars resulted in tough choices for us reviewers. In the end, by virtue of its somewhat faithful recreation of a movie scene, HP squeaks out a seemingly improbable two points. In second place, SW grabs a point with its Republic Assault Ship. Bringing up the rear in what’s becoming a troubling trend, MCU with a poor entry.

As such, HP moves into a tie with SW, and the score is now:

SW- 5

HP- 5

MCU- 2

To be continued…

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