Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 21

With MCU mathematically eliminated, it comes down to a two-way battle between SW and HP. MCU can still play the role of spoiler and finish off their calendar strong. Let’s see how it all shakes out on Day 21.

Day 21 – MCU

Steve: No more cute rhymes after that debacle – the MCU is eliminated from first, and faces long odds to place second – Can we stay in the running to at least place #2?

-sigh- No.

Door #21 is… part of a sleigh. Spreading full builds over multiple days has been an ongoing point of contention for the reviewers – it cheapens the gift and makes for a disappointing day of building.  Based on the box art, I hesitate to even say this is HALF of a sleigh – it may only be a THIRD.  This would be a new low point for the LEGO Advent Calendars.

It’s hard to even critique the build as it’s obviously incomplete. This is the death knell for any ranking higher than last place overall- our score for today puts us well out of the running.

Day 21- SW

Pat: After a rough few days on Hoth, Star Wars needs to close the gap with Harry Potter if they have a chance of winning the race this year. Thankfully, for day 21 we get none other than Mr. “I blew up the Death Star”, Luke Skywalker! This is a version of Luke seen in Episode 5 on Hoth before he gets attacked by the Wampa and dragged to his cave. While not exclusive to the advent calendar, this version of Hoth Luke appears in only one other set, the 2021 75298 Microfighter AT-AT vs. Tauntaun, making him relatively uncommon. 

This is the 3rd time Lego has released an official “Luke in Hoth uniform” minifigure, and it is easily the best. In 2010, we received the first Hoth Luke, who had relatively common parts other than a nice torso print. In 2016, we received the second Hoth Luke in the UCS Assault on Hoth set, and while the torso was a step backwards from the 2010 version, it featured Luke with a cool unique head print, showing damage after the Wampa attack. This is definitely the most complete and accurate version of the character, with an accurate torso print, clean leg print (the first for this version of Luke), and primarily, a white balaclava. The face is actually printed on a white head piece with a flesh-tone patch (on both sides of the dual-sided expression) to reflect Luke’s face. Oftentimes when Lego prints flesh tones on a solid coloured head (black, white, even purple like on the Buzz Lightyear minifigs) the skin tone becomes skewed by the odd colour its being printed on, creating a pasty or pale coloured skin. Thankfully, this minifig does not have that problem, with crisp prints and bright colours. 

Interestingly enough, none of these Hoth Lukes have kept the same colour headpiece, though they all use the same piece. The 2010 version was in tan, the 2016 in white, now the 2021 in dark tan. The 2016 version likely used the headpiece as an equivalent to the balaclava, making it white. However, based on the Luke outfit seen here, dark tan is definitely accurate. Plus the lightsaber, spare goggles and spare hilt? Overall, great figure to get!

Day 21- HP

Matt: After one of the better microbuilds of the season, I wouldn’t be able to predict what comes next for HP. Let’s check it out.

Behind door #21 is the dreidel/spinner for the board game AND Hedwig. I’m legitimately shocked! As a fan and reviewer of HP calendar’s since 2019, today’s entry is a positive departure from calendar’s of years past- for two main reasons. I’ll explain below. 

First, we actually get the “dreaded dreidel” (spinner) piece out of the way PRIOR TO Day 24 of the calendar! This is huge, as it means HP has a chance to put up another cool gift on the 24th.While we don’t award HP any points for creating a playable board game throughout the season, I do recognize that the dreidel piece actually allows players to play the game.  The dreidel features a printed medium-nougat half-box displaying the moves/options the player makes after spinning. I do like the dark brown rounded tile and “flower pot” piece. And to confirm, the dreidel does actually work, and I would say much better than its previous iteration.

Secondly, we get a secondary gift in Hedwig on a 2×4 medium blue plate. This is a great value-add because last year, the dreidel was a standalone gift on Day 24. Adding Hedwig here is great. And again, for the hardcore fan at home, we now have a clear picture of Deathly Hallows Part 1 here- Hagrid’s bike, The Burrow, and Hedwig. Alas, this is a fitting tribute to one of Harry’s best friends who he tragically loses in this film sequence, while escaping from Privet Drive on Hagrid’s bike en route to The Burrow. I think it’s a great way to honour Hedwig’s legacy and to include him with the required dreidel piece, is fitting for today.

Verdict

By virtue of its Luke Skywalker minifig, SW grabs a commanding two points today. In second, it’s HP with the game-board dreidel and Hedwig. In 3rd, MCU doesn’t manage to steal any points today with a portion (?) of Rocket’s sleigh.

With today’s results, HP’s lead is cut in half once more, and SW is ensuring this will come down to the wire. The scores are now:

HP- 25

SW- 24

MCU- 14

To be continued…

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