Finally, the clock ticked over to 1 December 2021 (in my part of the world) and I can therefore, after months of anticipation, open the first door of the advent calendar. Has it been worth the wait? And is it up to the standard of the previous years? Read on as we start the 2021 advent calendar review…
As the blog has readers from New Zealand to Hawaii, spanning pretty much all time zones, I will as usual keep the title photo without any spoilers – just open the link when you’re ready to see what the calendar had to offer each particular day. It may be a late post for those in New Zealand, and very early one for any in Hawaii (maybe even posted before the day has arrived there).
In 2019 we got the first LEGO Harry Potter advent calendar, with the models centred around Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts. We got some nice models, including Harry and Ron with the knitted sweaters they got from Molly Weasley. Last year – in 2020 – we moved forward to the forth year, with the Yule ball being the main storyline. While some overlap in figures, that calendar was a good supplement to the Clocktower set, which also had the Yule ball as theme.
When the 2021 calendar was teased, I was therefore curious if there again would be a similar theme, and what year we then would focus on? (I had been hoping for Christmas at the Burrow as in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince). Judging from the box, it seems like we are back to the the first year at Hogwarts again though. Let’s have a closer look…
The Advent Calendar
Before opening the first door, I will quickly discuss the box. The front shows some of the models you will find in the calendar, including no less than five minifigures. Based on the last couple of years, I’d expect six minifigures in the calendar, and I’m slightly annoyed that only one is going to be a surprise. Generally, I don’t look at the photos that reveal the full content, as I do like to get the daily surprise. But that aside, the box cover is well designed, with a good mix of colours and with what I feel is a more dominant Harry Potter flavour than previous years.
Turning over the box you see how the calendar looks when the flap covering the 24 doors has been opened. In the lower left corner we see that the calendar includes two collectable wizard tiles, and interestingly – in the lower right corner we see that the calendar is also a “spin to play” game.
Here is my opened calendar, as it looked in the weak morning sun earlier in the day. I like the backdrop with Hogwarts covered in snow. The base appears to be the board used for the game – and various numbered spaces on the board indicate where models built on different days should go.
I like that LEGO is trying something new. But how does it work in practice? And how will it compare with previous years’ calendars? Let’s open the first door and have a look…
1 December model
The first model we get is a Privet Drive street sign. Somewhat a surprise, as we the last two years got a minifigure on 1 December. The model consists of just seven pieces, with no spares.
Two of the prices are printed tiles though. The white envelope with the red seal is a nice addition, but also a rather common piece. The Privet Drive sign is however unique to this set and looks really nice.
Here is the completed model.
As mentioned, the game board includes numbered spaces where the various models should go once built. Here I have added the 1 December model to its intended location.
So is it a good start? I will award today’s model 4 house points. I really appreciate the printed Privet Drive sign, and the model is well executed. The part count is rather small though, with just 7 pieces. An owl sitting on the sign would have lifted it up near five points though.
So now we have a game board, but no pieces to play with. Will the 2 December model help? Check back tomorrow to see on the 2021 Advent Calendar page.
Till then, Build the Magic!