Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 15

SW grabbed top marks yesterday while MCU kep HP off the scorecard. Let’s see what happens on Day 15.

Day 15 – MCU

Steve: On the fifteenth day of Christmas the Guardians gave to me…..  A cane made of plastic candeeee.

We enter Day 15 on the high of scoring some points twice in a row for the first time, and door 15 presents us with a Candy Cane.

It’s nice and festive, and at least relevant to the season (looking at you, tool box…), but even as a minifigure-scale standing decoration this feels underwhelming.  The build itself is clean, if simple, but there’s no print or exceptional parts to make it stand out.  It’s at best a middle-of-the-road entry at a time the MCU needed to make up some ground before being mathematically eliminated from contention.

Day 15- SW

Pat: The stellar micro builds continue for Star Wars with an awesome 24-piece TIE Interceptor build seen in Episode 6. This is a ship we’ve received criminally few proper iterations of in the past, with our last system scale of the ship coming in blue and black in 2006, and a UCS scale in 2000. Otherwise, the last 16 years have been peppered with polybag builds, a planet series micro, a microfighter, and a subpar advent appearance in 2016 (plus its appearance as a micro in at least one set I can think of, GWP 40407 in 2020). You’d think I’d be sick of the Interceptors, but really I just want a good one, as most we’ve received have been awkward, stubby, and poorly angled. This one is thankfully neither!

Using the new 4×2 wedge plates in black, the wings of this build are really sharp and menacing, as the in-universe ship is. Black ingots used on the wings provide some nice shaping, and the cockpit using a dish really helps the build (which the 40407 build was lacking). The build doesn’t rest flatly, which is to be expected, but it does rest back on its heels on the groove of the wing plate, providing it with a cool attack angle seen below. Not much else to say; super nice build signifying, hopefully, an upcoming system scale set. 

Day 15- HP

Andrew: After a few days of “meh” from the HP calendar, we come out swinging with a minifigure of fan-favourite Nymphadora Tonks! This appears to be an exclusive variant, similar to her appearance in Lego set 76408 (12 Grimmauld Place) but with a different torso print and lacking leg printing. These figures seem to have similar main expressions as well, but the calendar version offers an alternate face with a duck beak (whereas I believe 76408’s has a pig-snout alternate). The only other version of Tonks was from 2020’s Attack on the Burrow set, where she featured a much different (and plainer) look.

The figure looks good, although it continues the trend of no printed or dual-molded legs that seems standard in this calendar. The design of the torso print is nice, but the printing could be a bit brighter—the printed flesh tone on the torso doesn’t quite match the face. Still, this calendar is by far the least expensive set to feature Tonks, and an exclusive variant at that, and so this is a solid contender for today’s victor. I think only a more holiday-themed figure could stop Nymphadora Tonks from taking the top spot today.


With its calendar-exclusive and overall rare minfigure, HP takes a no-doubter today and snags top marks with Nymphadora Tonks. In second place, an impressive SW microbuild edges out MCU who fall to the basement, a familiar place for the calendar this year.

HP and SW continue to flip-flop the lead, and the scores are now:

SW- 18

HP- 18

MCU- 9

To be continued…

Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 14

HP and SW are still locked in a dead heat, while MCU clings on for dear life. Can MCU keep the momemntum going? We’re in the back half of the Battle, and every day matters!

Day 14 – MCU

Steve: On the fourteenth day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeeee….

A mini-spaceship flying freeeee

The MCU comes off a win on lucky day 13, can we gain some momentum?

Day 14 is a micro build of the Guardians Ship. This is a tough ship to capture well at this scale, and I think they do well. The orange parts make the build really pop. 

My main criticism is that the main wing shape isn’t captured all that well, but I’m not sure I could have done it any better. 

A good recognizable build feels great to see after some misses in the early days. It’s also lovely to see a build that feels important and relevant to the film canon. 

Day 14- SW

Pat: Star Wars rebounds from a rough build yesterday with, what I believe to be, one of the best micro ship builds of the calendar so far; it’s the Rebel B-Wing Starfighter! This bulky starfighter is definitely one of the least recognized of the traditional Rebel alphabet roster, and as a result, this is its first time appearing in a Star Wars advent calendar! We’ve seen the ship in some scale in 7 sets across 22 years, including a UCS scale set and larger magazine polybag and larger planet series micro-scale sets. However, it’s been a solid 8 years now since a quality, system scale B-Wing dropped, which was 75050 in 2014 (or even arguably 16 years since a good one, 6208 in 2006), but the ship is really due a rerelease in some capacity in a new set. I would personally like to see a new episode 6 B-wing, maybe with an updated General Madine or Admiral Ackbar, but I would also like to see the Prototype Blade-Wing from Rebels in a set, it would be a super unique colour for Lego Star Wars, and they already have the Quarrie minifig, who designed the ship (and seems to have gone up in value..?!)

This chunky, 19 piece build isn’t perfect, but it captures the angles well enough and has some hinges where the wings can fold, as the in-universe ship does. In the movie, the cockpit is gyroscopic and therefore always upright, but that portion of the lego build doesn’t really rotate unfortunately. For displaying, you can balance it upright in attack position:

Or, you can collapse the wings down, and lay it flat for landing positon.

In its landing position, the body and cockpit of the build is too topheavy for the ship to lay flat and therefore tilts upwards. An unfortunate problem with the physics of the ship design I think, being so long and thin on one side by bulky on the other. Oh well, I prefer its attack position anyway. Overall, very solid first run at an advent b-wing!

Day 14- HP

Andrew: After an okay microbuild yesterday, we get… an arch. A black and trans-light blue arch. After much guesswork from various family members, I finally caved and consulted Bricklink which informed me this is the Hall of Prophecies. This did bring back vague memories of a chase scene in the Order of the Phoenix movie in a black warehouse full of glowing orbs, which I guess this is supposed to represent a portion of, but I am thoroughly underwhelmed.

Even though this is a microbuild with very few pieces I was still bored putting this one together, since it is just stacking of plates and studs and capping them with some arches. For such a pivotal location to the story, I would have liked to see something a bit more interesting—maybe an intersection of corridors, or some microfigures, or something. This build doesn’t even have any interesting pieces to redeem it.

I’ve got nothing else to say on this one. I’m having a hard time imagining something worse from our competing calendars today, and fully expect this least favourite of the HP calendar to be today’s loser.


Today was a toss up between MCU and SW in a mini battle of microchips. Ultimately it was determined that SW had the more screen-accurate model, and takes top marks. In second, MCU with its Guardians ship. In 3rd, HP, with a poor design that will make its way to most bulk bins post-calendar.

The scores are now:

SW- 17

HP- 16

MCU- 9

To be continued…

Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 13

SW and HP remain tied heading into the back half of the festive battle. Guest reviewer Andrew House is back with some HP reviews for the next few days. MCU is in dire need of scoring today. Read on!

Day 13 – MCU

Steve: On the thirteenth day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeeeee….. some points to score finallyeeeee!

As we turn the corner and enter the back half of the calendars, the MCU is hurting. The juggernauts of Harry Potter and Star Wars have been battling and leaving scraps for the Guardians.

Day 13 is a turning point, I hope! We get a Mantis mini figure behind door 13. 

The print is solid, although no leg or arm prints. The hairpiece is the softer, flexible plastic (no doubt to prevent the thin antennae from snapping off). Dual sided head has a happy and an angry face, but I feel the eyes should be larger for this character.  Rounding out the fig she has a guitar accessory to tie into the musical Holiday special. The figure itself has only appeared in one other set – 76193-1 The Guardians’ Ship.  That’s an expensive set so getting a copy here is great value.

Great fig, much needed at this stage – let’s hope it’s a portent of things to come!

Day 13- SW

Pat: We’re continuing the Star Wars Beach Party with a cool little build of a sand castle seen being built by Finn in the Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation. It’s actually a sand castle build of Vader’s Castle seen on Mustafar, and comes with a bucket, a shovel, and a couple of blue plates to simulate the nearby ocean. This is a cool enough accompanying piece to yesterday’s Summer Vader, and the bucket and shovel are better accessories for him than the soccer ball (as the ball is too difficult for a minifig to hold), but overall this feels like a pretty weak get today, and arguably, the first miss of Star Wars’ calendar. The “mandibles” of the sand castle are too far apart, and there’s no great parts included, so unfortunately this build sticks out in the grand scheme of Lego Star Wars, and doesn’t provide a whole lot of usable parts if scrapped either. (A full-sized version of the set, 75251, better captures the angles. Maybe I’ll put it in the sand on set 75171?) 

Day 13- HP

Andrew: After a few figures and minifigure-scale builds, we find ourselves back in microbuild land with… a building facade. I will admit this one was lost on me as I built it, and I was guessing maybe it was a Ministry of Magic building or something, but Bricklink informs me this is a build for the Room of Requirement!

Once I read that, some of the details make a bit more sense to me—the microfigure on the roller skate base is a clever representation of the Mechanical Death Eater training dummy Dumbledore’s Army used as part of their practice. The rest of it does not convey much sense of a “room”, however. I guess the corner arch pieces are meant to try and represent the depth of the space.

There are some interesting parts here. I’m always a fan of getting microfigures or trans blue pieces, and the tan arch 2×2 corner pieces were new to me. The half-pyramid slope pieces are also nice for detail work.

There’s not much else I can say about this microbuild. Of the comparable days we’ve seen so far in this calendar, I’d rank think build around the middle, mostly on the strength of the interesting arch pieces and dummy build. It wasn’t obvious to me what it was trying to depict, so it keeps it from ranking too high; but likewise it wasn’t so poor I’d put it near the bottom. So overall this microbuild is just… okay. I think it would have to be up against some actively poor builds from the other contenders to take the top spot today.


With a MCU minifig entry today, MCU takes a full two points, something we haven’t been able to say much this year. In second place, HP grads a point with its Room of Requirement build. Finishing off the scoreboard for only the first time this season, SW.

The scores are now:

HP- 16


MCU- 8

To be continued…

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.


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…

Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 11

Entering Day 11, both SW and HP continue to trade daily victories atop the leaderboard while MCU slowly loses runway. Can it begin a streak and bring this back to a three-way race? Read on.

Day 11- MCU

Steve: On the 11 day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeeee….

…. Ugh, more drone…. pod… things?

The lack of recognition when I opened door 11 is a repeated refrain for the MCU this year. Today we have two small micro(?) builds that Bricklink identified as “Mining Pod and Escape Pod).

I can’t judge the accuracy of the builds because I am unsure where in the MCU/Guardians canon they come from.  No prints or unusual techniques to set them apart – in fact one of the builds is practically a smaller version of the Drone from day 10. 

It’s a disappointing day, but I’m increasingly used to that by now. 

Day 11- SW

Pat: Star Wars stays on Tatooine for day 11 with an even more obscure build than yesterday’s, this time with a micro speeder. This is a pretty obscure ship, possibly the most obscure in memory for recent Star Wars calendars – its the V-25 Courier Landspeeder seen originally in Episode 4, but peppered throughout Star Wars since. The build is nothing special, but it’s our first time we’re getting it in micro scale, so it’s welcome enough. This comes not long after our first time ever seeing it from Lego, which was to scale in the 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina. Overall, nothing too special in this obscure micro, but a welcome addition to our Tatooine theme.

Day 11- HP

Matt: It’s been a two-day break from microbuilds for HP which has been a much needed change of pace in my opinion. However, based on the sheer number of microbuilds this year, I’m afraid of the calendar slipping back into that trend soon.

But not today. Day 11 gives us a system scale Triwizard Cup. Coming off the Goblet of Fire build from yesterday, these two items were touchpoints from Year/Film 4. Today’s build played an especially significant role as a portkey toward the end of the movie. As an aside, I’ve always marked the 4th novel as a pivotal point in the entire saga, as the atmosphere of the first three novels gives way to a decidedly darker tone from here on in. One could argue that the Triwizard Cup is a symbol of that. Once Harry touched that cup, there was no going back- literally or figuratively- to the ways things were before.

Back on topic. Today’s build employs some new and rare-ish parts. The new 1×1 plate with bar handles on both ends leads the charge here, but I’d like to point to the transparent dome top, as well as the angled bars in light grey (typically found in transparent variety, often to “pose” minifigures such as CMF’s). These are cool parts and are used in a neat way here to create a system scale cup. We had a previous variant of the cup in 2020’s calendar but I think this version is far more accurate and well made. Ironically, 2020’s goblet of fire was superior to this year’s version (printed tile notwithstanding). Oh well, at least if you bought both calendar’s, you now have a solid copy of each.


With it’s system scale build and unique design, HP takes top marks today. IN second place, SW grabs a point with its landspeeder micro. In 3rd place, and we’re really not making this up folks- MCU finishes with zero points again.

With this result, HP takes its first narrow lead of the season and the scores are now:

HP- 14

SW- 13

MCU- 6

To be continued…

Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 10

A day to remember in the battle is over and it will be hard to top yesterday’s gifts across all calendars. MCU gets a much needed win to keep itself in contention. Let’s see what happens on Day 10.

Day 10- MCU

Steve: On the 10th day of Christmas, the Guardians sent to meeeeeee…. Onnnnnnne Golden Pod!

Day 10 sees the MCU coming off a high, but I’m not sure we can maintain it – The 10th gift is a Golden Pod from a space battle in “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2”.

It’s an OK build – the pods move really fast in that scene so it’s hard to get a good look at them on-screen to compare them to the micro-sized version (although they have been seen in LEGO form before, in set 76080 – “Ayesha’s Revenge” – photo credit Jays Brick Blog)

The micro build here is fine, although the parts and techniques are nothing unique or special.  The main strike against it is that it’s just not a memorable ship from the films, and, like many builds so far in this calendar, it suffers from a recognition problem.

Day 10- SW

Pat: Looks like we’re staying on Tatooine for another build, as day 10 of the Star Wars advent gives us a sweet little build of the moisture vaporators as seen in Episode 4. These are mostly seen in the barren parts of Tatooine, with a few dozen surrounding the Lars Homestead, but Lego has included them in a variety of sets and advent calendars in the past. We received a decent moisture vaporator build in the 2014 advent calendar, and a colour swap of that one in 2018 to resemble a Christmas Tree, but this is definitely the better design. Even though its downsized, I like including these in my Tatooine display as they still effectively depict weather vanes or structures in the sand. Overall its a solid micro build, I prefer something static over the ships like we generally get from Star Wars.

Day 10- HP

Matt: Day 9 was likely the best day we’ve seen since starting our seasonal Battle in 2020, courtesy three exclusive minifigures. Unfortunately, HP ended up on the outside looking in. Let’s see how they fare on Day 10.

On Day 10, we get the Goblet of Fire. So we’ve moved on to Year 4 now, and the Goblet of Fire itself kicks us off. I appreciate a gift that is “somewhat” to-scale in place of a microbuild. This is typically because we can use these builds in our MOC’s and displays. We’ve actually seen a more robust rendition of the Goblet in a previous calendar. 

All that said, the main draw today is the exclusive 1×2 transparent-tile with a Harry Potter parchment print. For those that remember the movie, this represents the moment when Harry’s name comes out of the Goblet after all school champions were already selected. An exclusive printed tile is definitely something we want to see out of these calendars.


Based on its quasi-to-scale build and exclusive printed tile, HP grabs full marks today. A battle of microbuilds occurred between SW and MCU, with SW ultimately squeaking out second place. In third, a line we’ve used too often this season, MCU finishes in 3rd.

With that, the score is now:

SW- 12

HP- 12

MCU- 6

To be continued…

Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 9

The competition remains tight after Day 8, but MCU is in dire need of top marks if they want to remain in the hunt. After some insightful review contributions courtesy Andrew House, I am back (Matt Z.) with the HP reviews for the next few days. Let’s see what happens on Day 9.

Day 9- MCU

Steve: On the ninth day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeeeee…. A fig that made me very happeeeee.

After a long drought, MCU has delivered a solid gift for day 9. We get Nebula in a unique Christmas sweater.

This is what we want to see in the Advent calendars. She also doesn’t show on the box, so she was a total surprise. It’s a great fig, metallic printed front and back on the head. The sweater has Thanos with the Infinity Gems on the front, and the back has Nebula and Gamora in a heart. 

For a finishing touch, she has a small buildable present as an accessory. Just solid all the way.

Day 9- SW

Pat: Alight, now we’re getting into it! Day 9 for Star Wars gives us our first exclusive minifig of the calendar in the form of Christmas Sweater C-3PO! I am shocked to see this fig so early as I expected the two Christmas Sweater figs to clue up the calendar for days 23 and 24, but this is great too! This C-3PO minifig uses a brand new torso print depicting a knitted R2-D2 Christmas sweater, which is just adorable – R2 and 3PO wear each other on their sweaters! The leg print for 3PO is also super crisp, and turns out its brand new for 2022 too, appearing beforehand on the 3PO from the Trash Compactor Diorama 75339.

Unfortunately, I cannot for the life of me expand further on where we saw Christmas C3PO in an R2-D2 sweater – I feel like I’m experiencing the Mandela Effect! I could have sworn R2 and 3PO dressed inappropriately in the Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation special we got this past summer and were wearing these sweaters at the beginning of the “movie”, but after a brief scan I don’t see them at all? So then I was sure I saw them in the Holiday Special from 2021, but I don’t see them there either? Oh well! A fantastic minifigure nonetheless, I can’t wait for the R2 counterpart!

Day 9- HP

Matt: Just want to start off by thanking Andrew for his HP reviews over this past week! We’ve seen HP and SW exchange top marks in the microbuild category, which is an interesting hill to duke it out on this season. Let’s see if we get more of that today.

Behind Door 9 is Sirius Black! Sirius is of course James’ Potter’s best friend and Harry’s godfather. Once thought to be a criminal, he was wrongly imprisoned and managed to escape to become a key figure in Harry’s life and a major part of the overall HP story. A bit of digging tells me that this variant of Sirius is exclusive (tan sweater) to this calendar and isn’t present in any other available retail sets. For me, the big draw from today’s offering is the never-before-seen 1×2 printed tile with Azkaban prison tile. I find it somewhat amusing to see Sirius with a winter-sweater, while holding his Azkaban licence plate and an angry expression. The closest we got to something similar was a Bellatrix Lestrange Azkaban accessory in CMF Series 2.  Nonetheless, I’m thrilled to get such a unique print, and these are coveted items especially in advent calendars. I will certainly find a use for this in my HP LEGO displays.

Today’s gift is almost everything you could ask for in an advent calendar- exclusive fig variant with an exclusive accessory. However, it lacks that festive element that the other two entries have today, which unfortunately results in no points on the board for HP on this day. Overall, I’m happy with this gift even if the results weren’t there on the battle scorecard- that’s the way she goes.


One of the most memorable days in the history of the Battle saw THREE exclusive minifigure variants go head-to-head-to-head! That’s not something you’re going to see year over year, but it’s days like today we’re thrilled to open the advent doors and compare entries.

In first place, MCU secures a much-needed win, but a well-deserved one with its exclusive, festive, Nebula fig with accessory. In second place, an exclusive, festive C3PO with R2 sweater- an excellent gift. In third place, exclusive Sirius Black with Azkaban tile.

With that, MCU stays alive, and the scores are now:

SW- 11

HP- 10

MCU- 6

To be continued…

Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 8

The battle of the microbuilds is alive and well between SW and HP, with poor ol MCU on the outside looking in. Let’s see if these calendars can start putting up some good entries as we complete the first third of the seasonal battle.

Day 8- MCU

Steve: On the eighth day of Christmas, the Guardians gave to meeeee….

…a turkey.

Look, if they are not going to put effort into the builds, I am certainly not putting effort into any rhymes.

The MCU is slipping more and more behind and needs to really step up their game with door #8.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen.  We get a festive (?) turkey and a flame for day 8.

There’s literally nothing I can say here.  It’s a turkey.  It’s not a cool, sci-fi Marvel-esque turkey, it’s a cooked bird.  The flame was confusing, and only by looking at the box do I see that it’s supposed to be used as a flame effect of Rocket’s gun build – arguably extending the Rocket minifig to a THREE day build.

Day 8- SW

Pat: The microbuilds continue for Star Wars, and this one is ALMOST as perfect a microbuild as I could ask for. See, the problem with the microbuilds, in my opinion, is I can’t easily add them to my existing Star Wars battles or collections, due to them being seriously scaled down. Some really tiny ships could make cool minifig-scale toys, dioramas, or holograms, but they don’t lend themselves as well to the theme as say, Harry Potter micros fleshing out the UCS Hogwarts, for example. If there was ever going to be an ideal Star Wars micro though, its what we got behind door number 8, a T-16 Skyhopper. This is a ship we’ve seen a couple times before as system-scale sets, once as a microfighter, but never as a micro calendar build, so its cool to see. The build is solid, albeit too front-heavy to stand up, and effectively achieves the angles and fin of the in-universe ship. The second spare ski pole of the calendar is a sweet bonus too!

So why is it a near-perfect Star Wars microbuild? Well, in Episode 4 in 1977, during the Death Star briefing, Luke exclaims hitting the thermal reactor port isn’t that hard; “It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than two meters”. Many fans assumed Luke was referring to his Landspeeder he sold to get off Tatooine, but in reality, he’s referring to this little recreational ship seen incredibly briefly in the background of Luke’s subterranean garage, and also as a small toy ship he is seen fooling around with. The toy prop was introduced in 1977, and since expanded on in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show as a gift to Luke. A screenshot of the scene can be seen below; if the build was just a little smaller, it could be an effective toy held by a figure.

Day 8- HP

Andrew: Today’s microbuild represents a pivotal part of the Prisoner of Azkaban story, depicting the Dementors by the forest lake. The highlight for me are the Dementors themselves, represented by the same “cloaked microfig” that were used for Dementors in the big Hogwarts Castle (71043) set. Those pieces have appeared in a number of Star Wars sets in trans-light blue and black, but this was my first time getting my hands on them and I was delighted by them.

The scene itself uses a few small limb elements and some brown bars to make trees, and the use of some basic plates in 2 colours simply conveys the sense of the forest and the lake water. I appreciated the use of a pair of wedge plates to make for a more interesting shoreline in the limited 2×4 space this build was working in. Overall, this is a pleasing combination of colours, continuing a trend started yesterday with the Knight Bus.

The “floating” of the Dementors is also nicely achieved through use of a trans-clear round 1×1 and through attaching to the tree branches. It immediately evoked images of the Dementors closing in on Sirius on the lakeshore. This is definitely my favourite of the microbuilds so far, but I will admit I’m already planning on stealing the microfigs to represent Darth Vader toys in the custom toy store I’m planning for my Lego city.


Microbuilds continue to steal the show in a manner of speaking. Today, the edge goes to HP with one of its better microbuilds to date. In second, SW, with one of their best entries as well. And for fear of sounding like broken-record (or Quill’s cassette player?), MCU finishes off the scoresheet once again.

The scores are now:

SW- 10

HP- 10

MCU- 4

To be continued…

Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 7

HP and SW remain close, but seem to be pulling away from MCU a bit early on. Fortunately, there’s still tons of runway left for all three calendars. Let’s see how today played out:

Day 7- MCU

Steve:  On the Seventh day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeeee…. A gun that goes with someone previousleeee.

(The rhymes are getting harder)

Door 7 for the MCU brings us a buildable weapon for Rocket. It’s no surprise, we saw it on the box, but it is still disappointing when they spread one build over two days. 

The gun is appropriately, hilariously oversized for Rocket, and looks pretty good in his hand. The build has some interesting ideas – using a thicker droid arm as a shoulder stock is nice, something I might try on some other blaster designs. 

Overall, MCU needed a win to stay competitive but I don’t think this door delivers. 

Day 7- SW

Pat: Day 7 for Star Wars brings us the best micro version of a ship we’ve seen countless times before, Luke’s Landspeeder! Like clockwork, it has been 4 years since we’ve gotten our last micro Luke’s Landspeeder (2018), and it was 4 years before that we got the first (2014). Peppered between the years are Luke’s Landspeeders in System scale, macro scale, even Ultimate Collectors Series scale – so how does this Landspeeder stand above? Well for starters, they correctly achieve the busted engine on one of the side thrusters, like Luke’s full sized one has in Episode 4. We also get a little white stud representing Luke, and a little gold stud representing C-3PO, which is cool to see. This version is missing a few of the colours of the other ones, like the dark red used in previous years for the base, and its super hard to say if I think it looks better or worse without it – it looks more accurate for sure, but kinda less Lego-y? Super minor gripe though, solid build all around for what is supposedly the calendar’s stop at Ep. 4 as it progresses through the canon (so far episode 2 builds, followed by episode 3 and bad batch, followed by episode 4, implies the calendar is going chronologically.

Day 7- HP

Andrew: Day 7 predictably brings us back to another microbuild, but this time featuring a Prisoner of Azkaban scene, specifically the Knight Bus.

The build of the bus is quite simple (a stack of mostly 1×2 plates), but brings some much needed colour after 2 days of blacks and greys. The build also makes use of its game-piece base to flesh out the environment of the bus, providing a sidewalk with a lamppost as well as a section of road the bus is driving on. As a result, despite the overall simplicity of the build, I found it very evocative, and looking at the finished build immediately brought to mind the first time I saw the Knight Bus on screen long ago.

While I’m not the biggest fan of microbuilds, this one strikes me as better than average, being an unmistakable representation of an early scene in this story. As such it deserves some praise. But it remains to be seen if it can beat the competition.


Two microbuilds for SW and HP again, but this time the edge goes to SW with its landspeeder. A close second goes to the Knight Bus. In third again is MCU with a cool gun for Rocket, but ultimately feels like one gift spread out over two days.

As such, the scores are now:

SW- 9

HP- 8

MCU- 4

To be continued…

Battle of the Licensed Advent Calendars- Day 6

After capturing a full two points yesterday, MCU is right back in the thick of things but still trails HP and SW. Let’s see how it all plays out on Day 6.

Day 6- MCU

Steve: On the sixth day of Christmas the Guardians gave to meeeee….a box of junk I didn’t want to seeee…

Marvel comes off a win on day 5, let’s see if they can keep the momentum going!

In a word….Nope.

The MCU’s entry for day 5 is literally just a box of… stuff. Bricklink says it’s a “tool box”, making it the second tool storage in six days. A few mildly interesting parts don’t save this build –  a gold arrow for Yondu/Kraglin and an eyeball print  (with a spare) that I assume represents Rocket’s ongoing obsession with collecting prosthetics. 

This one is destined for the sorting bin. 

Day 6- SW

Pat: The prequel train slows down with our build behind day number 6, but its a super cool build nonetheless! The Star Wars calendar gives us our first micro version of the Bad Batch Havoc Marauder Shuttle with an impressive 19 pieces. It uses some sweet sand blue plates and bricks, and effectively captures the shaping of the in-universe ship. This is also surprisingly only our third “set” from The Bad Batch, with the two previous being the full sized Bad Batch Shuttle 75314, and the newer Justifier set, 75323. I’m doubtful we’ll get anything else from the Bad Batch in the calendar, though a figure could have been sweet. Oftentimes, the Star Wars calendars include a non-festive unique figure, such as Young Boba in 2013, U-3PO in 2016, General Merrick in 2018, and Ep. 8 Luke Skywalker in 2019. A Bad Batch figure in line with that would give this calendar a serious bump over previous years’,

Either way, great micro build, super happy to add it to the collection!

Day 6- HP

Andrew: For Day 6 we get some more relief from microbuilds in the form of Moaning Myrtle. A bit of searching tells me that the last (and only other) version of Myrtle was from the 2020 Harry Potter Collectible Minifigure Series 2, and this new one is quite different from her earlier appearance.

While the print on the torso and hair piece seem to be the same, they are both in a more greyish colour compared to the bluish tint on the CMF version. While the version included for day 6 has a new face print for this character, the lack of print on the legs makes the calendar version decidedly inferior to the previous release. That said, this would seem to count as an exclusive version of the character, and is a good way to add her to the collection for anyone who missed the 2020 version.

Myrtle is a nice figure to get, and one that ties in with the run of Chamber of Secrets-themed microbuilds, but is completely lacking in any accessories. Her drab ghostly appearance is also somewhat lacking in visual excitement. As such, if she is up against another calendar’s minifig in today’s shootout, she may have a hard time taking the win.


With an exclusive figure only represented once in LEGO before, it’s a no brainer today as HP grabs the full 2 points. In second place, SW with a Bad Batch microbuild. In third, MCU can’t gain any momentum with an absolutely poor entry.

The scores are now:

SW- 7


MCU- 4

To be continued…