Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 16

Coming off the heels of one of its best entries to date, HP tied the overall score with SW. Who will take the lead today? Read on to find out.

Day 16 – MCU

Steve: On the 16th day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeeeeee…..  A boom box scaled… figural…eeeee?

(I’m on the 16th one, they are not all going to be winners)

The MCU is reaching do-or-die status here.  We are not mathematically eliminated yet, but….let’s crunch some numbers.

The minimum “win”  is a three-way-tie of 24, so the MCU needs to score at a minimum of 15 points in 9 days to even have a chance.  That means we can only give up 3 points from day 16 to 24.  That’s a tough hill to climb, and the MCU can still lose with that 24 points.

Ouch.

Day 16 offers up a minifigure-scaled boombox!  This is a nice build, actually.  It’s well scaled and the speakers are detached for posing it in your scene if you choose to keep it after the holidays.  Several printed tiles are included, including a second copy of the unique-to-the-calendar “tapedeck” printed tile, which is a great addition.  Simple, but effective.

Day 16- SW

Pat: Remember when I said a few days ago that Sand Vader’s Castle was arguably Star Wars’ first “miss” of the calendar? Well, this one isn’t arguable. Day number 16 for Star Wars gives us an Imperial… wall? Gun storage? Firing Range? Bricklink calls it an “Ammo Rack”, which I suppose makes sense given the presence of a stud shooter and a couple spare studs… just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in. Star Wars pulls through with the infamous weapon rack this year again, and in the latter half no less. 

To be fair, this is a slightly better weapon/ammo rack than some in previous years. The days of a couple clips on a single brick or implement are over, and at least Lego makes an attempt to incorporate a scene now. This is clearly an Imperial build based on the provided tiny, but minifig scale, Mouse Droid build, plus the grey walls. There is a small mousehole in the wall, which is a cool inclusion based on its presence in the original Death Star set, and its usage by the mouse droids for delivering messages between walls, but it’s actually too small to fit the mouse droid, which kinda sucks. There is also a small peg off to one side to hold the single stud-shooter (weak weapon for a weapon rack), and a container to hold a couple spare studs. Overall, it’s a valiant attempt at a weapon rack by creating a usable scene or build around the rack, but at the end of the day its still a weapon rack. Last year, we got something similar in the Tusken Raider Weapon Rack, among other gifts, and this is a further improved version of that. And at least you get a second mouse droid from the spare pieces!

There are a couple brief points I would like to address of the build, which neither improve or hinder it’s quality in my opinion. First, this is our first time seeing a Mouse Droid to proper scale using a rollerblade, but it has been done in many MOCs before, though usually with a cheese wedge (Steve did in his Imperial Hanger years ago, for example). It is probably better with the cheese wedge instead of the 1×1 tile. I’m just hoping they didn’t opt for the 1×1 so it could fit in the hole, because it didn’t work. Secondly, this is our first Mouse Droid not to have a Bricklink ID#, which is super fair, it’s only two parts. However, it’s no less a mouse droid than the previous 5 iterations, which received the minifig entry (and can be seen here). That’s speaking more to the crazy definition Bricklink uses for a “minifig” (which moreso, in Lego Star Wars, just means sentient creature, humanoid or droid) but I’d still include it on my minifig wall. And finally, I don’t know what the deal with the hole is in the build, I guess its a window for shooting through? I just pray that doesn’t mean we’re getting targets like last year.

Day 16- HP

Andrew: Coming off yesterday’s high of Nymphadora Tonks, we have a delightful fusion of a build that is both a minifigure accessory and a minifigure: Professor Horace Slughorn… as an armchair! Hearkening back to Harry’s first meeting with Professor Slughorn who was hiding from Death Eaters, this build/figure captures Slughorn in transition from full armchair mode back into human form.

Slughorn previously appeared in 2018 in a Toys ‘R’ Us Bricktober minifigure pack, then in 2020’s 75969 Astronomy Tower, and given his rarity it is a shame that no minifigure body was included for this day. This version appears to use a similar or identical main face print and hair piece to the two previous iterations, which is perhaps a bit disappointing. However, it does have an alternate frowning face (that I forgot to take a picture of), which is nice.

As for the armchair build itself, it is pretty basic. I do like the curved slope pieces used for the armrest, but there’s only 2 of them in medium lavender so there’s not much else I could do with them. The seat of the chair is also shallow compared to most Lego seating builds, and with no studs, I think trying to actually use this as a chair for a minifigure is going to be prone to lots of slippage.

Anyway, as delightful as I find the concept of today’s build, I’m a little torn on how much I like it. As a minifigure, today’s offering is lacking (specifically, a body). As an accessory for a figure, it is also sub-par. But, as a representation of Slughorn in armchair form, it kind of works for me, so I think this build is ultimately greater than the sum of its parts. Whether this can beat a proper minifigure offering from a competing calendar (if there is one) is an open question.

Verdict

By virtue of HP’s unique entry, and its classification as a minifigure, HP takes back to back daily wins in the battle for the first time this season. In second place, MCU with a three-piece boom box set and tile print. In 3rd place, SW with a disappointing return to the weapon rack.

With that, HP grabs an ever-so slight edge in the race, and the scores are now:

HP- 20

SW- 18

MCU- 10

To be continued…

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