Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 12

HP took its first lead yesterday but SW continues to score a point each day. MCU will need a Christmas miracle at this point. Let’s find out how it all shakes down on Day 12.

Day 12 – MCU

Steve: On the twelfth day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeeeee… drinks and snacks for you and meeeee. 

Marvel and the Guardians stay on the ropes coming out of day 11… can day 12 save us?

We find a nice little drink and snack bar behind door 12. It’s actually one of the better minifig scaled builds from the MCU this year. We get an orange-slice print (with a spare) and some good food and drink related parts.

On another day this might have scored a point but Potter and Star Wars both put up monster figs so I fear we remain in the basement.

Day 12- SW

Pat: Wow this years’ Star Wars calendar is totally throwing me for a loop! After getting a sweater 3PO last week, I figured the calendar could change things up and provide a Summer-y figure for the final day with Tank Top Vader. But yet, another loop thrown, here he is! Day 12 gives us a fantastic exclusive figure in Summer Outfit Darth Vader with a soccer ball! Vader has become pretty synonymous with the Star Wars Advent Calendar, with a Santa Vader appearance in 2014, a Christmas Sweater Vader in 2020, and now a Summer fit in 2022!

This outfit is a reference to the Star Wars Holiday Special we got this summer, where Palpatine and Vader took a trip to Scarif for a vacation. It’s a great little special, with music by Weird Al Yankovic and plenty of burnt Anakin jokes to accompany, and I’m glad to see it referenced by Lego in this years’ calendar. Vader has super crisp leg and arm print seen on the newest versions of the figs, and he comes with sweet black flippers that really suit the outfit. On Vader’s torso, we get an awesome print of a red sleeveless shirt featuring a Death Star Sunset on Scarif. We get little Tie Fighters, some palm trees, and twin “suns” on the front of the torso (with one sun being the Death Star), and on the back we see some more Ties and the Scarif Citadel Tower. It’s a super detailed fig!

Vader also comes with a soccer ball, which is cool to see (eat your heart out GBC, as Matt said), but I had to look up the fig to make sure I got the right part. The instructions depict the ball provided with thick lines, making it resemble a soccer ball, however the ball provided is matte white. I guess the soccer ball lines show up as thick as the regular lines on the instructions? Weird, but super minor gripe, the alternative was no ball at all so I’m glad to get it! 

Day 12- HP

Matt: After three straight days of decent builds, would I call myself cautiously optimistic or simply waiting for the Yule Ball to drop? Hard to say. Let’s see what Day 12 brings us.

On the 12th day of Christmas, we finally get a minifigure making his long awaited debut on the HP Advent Calendar Scene. Coming in at a soulless 5 foot 11 inches, the pride of the Gaunt family, Heir to Salazar Slytherin, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and the wizard formerly known as Tom Marvolo Riddle, it’s Looooooooooooorrrrrrrrddd Voldemort! 

I’ve been vocal about the antagonist’s notable absence in HP calendars since their debut in 2019. While SW routinely gets Darth Vader and MCU got Thanos last year, it’s really something that this is the first time Voldy graces us with his presence (ie. four years in). Could it be because, unlike the other two, this character truly is a categorically irredeemable, sociopathic narcissist who never knew love, and basically represents the antithesis of the Christmas season? Yeah, I mean, maybe. 

That said, let’s talk about the actual figure. For those who are new to the growth and evolution of HP figures throughout the years, Voldemort has come a long way since his first depiction on the back of Professor Quirrell’s yellow head minifigure in 2001. From a glow in the dark head to a baby variant, we’ve seen a few takes on the infamous character over the years. The most accepted version these days is a white headed ghostly figure with robes as he appears in the movie. Today’s figure is more along those lines. The torso printing with subtle greens on both sides is fantastic although I wish we got some printing on the leg/skirt piece. However, some research tells me this figure is indeed an exclusive variant owing to his torso and head.

Speaking of which, let us take a moment to address that facial expression. According to Bricklink, it’s officially called “White Minifigure, Head Alien with Black Eyebrows and Nose Slits, Light Bluish Gray Contours, Tan Teeth, Red Tongue Pattern.” That’s a great description, but the choice to give Voldemort an expression with his tongue out here is a little corny (my 2021 word of the year). It’s not that it’s a bad facial expression to add to the collection- it’s just I prefer my Voldy a little more “Dark Lord” and a little less Detroit Rock City

Overall, a long winded review for HP Day 12, but I felt the need to cover all the bases with Voldemort’s first HP Advent Calendar appearance. Great exclusive fig, but unfortunately loses out to his counterpart in the SW column today. Perhaps they’ll give him a Santa hat next year. We can only hope.

Verdict

A mid-season battle of the antagonists goes in favour of SW with its exclusive summer outfit Darth Vader. A silver lining for HP’s baddie as we finally get a Voldemort in an advent calendar. In third it’s the same old song and dance for MCU, unfortunately. 

With that, SW/HP remain tied, and the scores are now:

SW- 15

HP- 15

MCU- 6

To be continued…

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