1 December 2015

REVIEW: LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015

The festive cheer is strong in this one.

It's back! Once again we're reviewing the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar day at a time, door by door. We've tried to keep the contents of this year's calendar as much of a mystery as we can, so each day will feature a mini review of the build therein. Merry Christmas you lovely lot!

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

Day 24 - C3P Ho-Ho-Ho

We made it! 24 days, 24 tiny little Star Wars builds. On this, the final day of this year's calendar, we get a Santa-fied C3P0 complete with beard and sack. The figure itself isn't actually anything original, as we've has C3P0 (the head, hands, and legs) before, and the Santa torso and beard have also appeared previously.

The prints all around are good, although there's a bit of gap with the beard, as it is clearly designed for a figure with a conventionally shaped head. But it is nice, and feels kind of like an actual exclusive figure - the only real one from the whole calendar this year.

Looking back, this year's was a bit blah, wasn't it? We were surprised not to get any vehicles or figures from The Force Awakens, and especially shocked that nobody from the Rebels TV show made an appearance. Pictured below are the three space ship builds you get, but we were expecting a lot more.

This calendar might not be the kind of thing that collectors will be interested in snapping up for the figures, as there really wasn't anything new or original this year; just a reuse of existing parts in different combinations. Oh well, still it was fun to slap these little things together every day - but the real excitement came from the anticipation of waiting to see The Force Awakens!

Thanks for following - hopefully we'll do something similar again next year. Mezzy Chrizwoz!

Day 23 - Sleigh

It's like Santa's sleigh... BUT POWERED BY LIGHTSABERS! As we thought, here is a sleigh for yesterdays R2 minifig to pull along. Two blue lightsaber blades, two grey hilts, and a few other bits make up this simple vehicle.

And of course it looks like there is room for a figure to sit at the front, and maybe even a sack to fix at the rear. So... tomorrow... who's playing Santa this year? We can't tell you how damn hard it's been to keep all these a secret from ourselves. Seriously, we couldn't even look at the box...

Day 22 - R2-Reindeer2

Yes! Christmas-themed minifigure... kinda. Today we get everyone's favourite droid (until BB-8 rocked up) dressed as a reindeer. Although it's nice to get something that acknowledges the festive mood, this is still just a normal R2 figure with two brown bits on his head.

We're never going to complain about getting R2D2 in anything, but last year's green Christmas tree astromech droid puts this to same. However, if this is a reindeer, we're guessing there's something Santa-y coming up in the next couple of days.


Day 21 - Turret

Although clearly a minifig-scale turret, we're guessing when we say it might be one used by the Rebels on Hoth. Certainly the colour scheme suggests so, but we're not completely sure. Here we have a stud-shooter mounted on a few bricks, topped off by a trans blue screen and a 2x1 printed control panel.

We like the parts, and its nice to get some of the ultra-bright trans orange studs, but we're a bit disappointed to get this so late on in the calendar; by now we expected non-stop exclusive figures and Christmas-themed builds. Oh well, there's always tomorrow... 

Day 20 - Spy Droid. Thing.

We're pretty sure this is that spy droid thing from ESB, right? The one with the dangle-down legs? Regardless, this build is another one that is a bit blah, feeling more like filler than an actual model of something. But we suppose this is a Hoth thing, so...

We do like the inclusion of transparent parts to make a stand, as clear pieces are always useful to have for your own builds. Wow, just four more days to go!

Day 19 - Boob Cannon

It's back! The big boob-like gun from Empire Strikes Back, makes yet another appearance in a LEGO Advent Calendar. We had this last year, and maybe also in a previous year too. However, 2015's is made from one of the ball joint parts (that we saw on the AT-TE) and features a lightsaber blade as the laser beam.

And just in case anyone was wondering, it was referred to as a Boob Cannon in the Family Guy ESB spoof. But come on, it is a giant laser-shooting boob. Pretty sexy.

"Fire the Boob Cannon!"

Day 18 - AT-AT

Oh my God! Look how cute this damn thing is! Even sweeter looking than the Star Destroyer, this AT-AT looks more like a long-legged puppy than an Imperial death machine. Here boy!

Especially when you put it in silly poses. This thing has movable legs and the head can be turned one way and the other. Colours are good and there are some nice little bitty parts in this. Also, its nice to be Hoth once more...

Day 17 - Hoth Rebel 

Minifigure today, on this day that The Force Awakens is released! We're assuming he's just a generic rebel on Hoth from the start of Empire Strikes Back, and not, say, Han Solo or Luke Skywalker in their cold climate getup.

Great printing all round on this guy, a large backpack piece, and a hat that can accommodate the visor in both the up and down positions. If you're queuing up to see Episode VII today - depending on where in the world you are - you might be wearing similar clothing. Enjoy!

Day 16 - A-Wing

SPACESHIP! Yay, something you can actually swoosh, today we get an A-Wing Starfighter. It's actually pretty good and was instantly recognisable as the smaller fighter from Return of the Jedi.

Was the ship so white in the films though? We remember it having the red and the white colours reversed, but we're a bit stupid like that. Still, a spaceship always goes down well with the kids who no doubt spent all of their breakfast flying it around the kitchen.

Day 15 - Laser Turret

We rather like today's little build. Is it just us, or does it look a lot like the rotating laser cannons on the Death Star? What you get here are two of the fixed stud-shooters (the type without the minifigure handles), a few other bits, and several trans green studs.

You can easily shoot both studs off at once and the rotation is nice and smooth. We normally hate these little things but there is something quite charming about this one, looking very much like something from the Original Trilogy. Nice.

Day 14 - Millennium Falcon

Yeah, bro! It's the Millnellium Falcron! Tee hee. Definitely the most recognisable space ship in the Star Wars universe (and probably our universe, too), today's build is done pretty well and looks super cute.

The shape is great, but we can't help but long for a special printed piece in top to catch some of the Falcon's trademark details. Still, we love the blue engines on the back, the transparent canopy upfront, and the general clever use of parts. Best so far, we think.

Day 13 - Assassin Droid

Minifigure today... of sorts. This is an Assassin Droid, IG-86 or something, we think. Pretty sure this was one of the bounty hunters lined up in Empire Strikes Back, but let us know if not. Basically this is a battle droid body in grey, with a few parts to make the tall head.

And look, he can break dance as well as hunt bountys! We've said before how much we hate the battle and super droid minifugures that LEGO often stuff in the advent calendar to make up the numbers (and pretty much all their Star Wars sets), but this one is petty unique, and an actual named character, so we'll let them off.

Day 12 - Imperial Weapons Rack

Lock and load, baby! Yeah bro, we packing heat today, because here we have a weapons rack for the Storm Trooper we got on Thursday; you know, the playa who be chillin' in dat fly Star Destroyer from yesterday. Word.

Anyway... you get blasters in three sizes and a few bricks to build the rack itself. Which also features a lever which we can only assume is designed to be pulled to activate an interesting thing behind tomorrows door. Quick everyone - pull it!

Day 11 – Star Destroyer

Spaceship! Spaceship, SPACESHIP! Relating nicely to the Stormtrooper we got yesterday is this lovely little Star Destroyer. It has to be the cutest Star Destroyer we've ever seen; cuter even than the Micro Fighters version we reviewed last year.

There is a great use of parts here to capture the iconic shape, and the colours are perfect, especially the studs on top to represent those ball things on the ‘real’ thing. So we guess we've entered an Imperial phase of stuff, and (and we don’t mean to like pessimistic bores here) we assume tomorrow will be a weapons rack for the Storm Trooper, or a cannon. We’ll see…

Day 10 – Stormtrooper

Minifigure! Getting a minifigure in the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar is always worthy of note… usually. But today we get a Stormtrooper. Yep, a normal, plain, standard Stormtrooper that most Original Trilogy Star Wars sets contain. He’s very nice, with lovely details and prints as usual, he’s just… well… a Stormtrooper.

Either he’s been included to go along with all the Ewok stuff from the past few days (remember that bit at the end of ROTJ when the Ewoks play the drums on the Stormtrooper helmets? Creepy). Or we’re starting a new line of vehicles and accessories to do with the Empire. We’ll see. Still, here he is; one to add to your probably already huge collection of Stormtroopers.

Day 9 – Ewok Catapult

The Endor treats keep coming today, following the little tree-top village, the weapons rack, the Ewok minifigure, and now what we can only assume is an Ewok catapult, as seen during the final battle in Return of The Jedi. It is, right?

This tight little build features a flick-fire mechanism, and a few extra bits of ammo standing nearby. This means that the Ewok we got yesterday is well and truly kitted out for war and we pity the Imperial fool who messes with him. Apart from that, this has a low part count, but that catapult piece which might be of interest. Come on; let’s visit a different Star Wars world tomorrow, eh?

Day 8 – Ewok

Called it! As predicted yesterday, today we opened up the door to reveal our second minifigure of the year, a plucky little Ewok. Look at his little face. Christ, the Ewoks were pretty creepy when you think about it. There’s even a shot in Return of the Jedi when you see one without eyes – just holes in the mask stretching down to the actor within. Anyway…

Another one from the original trilogy, and we’re beginning to think that’s all we’re getting this year: no prequels, Clone Wars, Rebels, or Force Awakens. We’re not that upset by that, and kind of get the feeling this calendar might be a final hurrah from the OT – next year might all be Rey and Finn and BB-8 and Kylo Ren.

Day 7 – Ewok Village

It is, isn't it? This tiny and seemingly random build has to be a representation of the treehouse village featured in Return of the Jedi, right? Look, it even has a little stud acting as a fire. You know, the one the Ewoks nearly burnt Han, Luke and Leia alive in. What larks!

It does make sense if yesterday’s weapons rack was in fact of Endor-ian origin, and we hate to spoil the surprise here, but we’re guessing that tomorrow’s treat will be an Ewok minifigure. We’ll see. Still, yet more original trilogy stuff and no sign of The Force Awakens. Also, where the hell is Hoth? It’s Christmas, after all…

Day 6 - Weird weapons rack. Thing.

Yeah. As with Day 3 we're not completely sure what this is. Sure, it's a weapons rack (although the only recognisable weapon is the bow), but our best guess is that it relates to the Ewoks of Endor, as they're the only characters we've yet to see use bows.

But it is a bit sandy, matching more the colours of Tatooine than what we know of Endor. Oh well, you still get a bow and arrow piece, a weird sort of blaster, and a green vine part. So yeah... okay. Thanks.

Day 5 - Sandcrawler

Yay, another match up! Yesterday's Jawa fits in nicely with today's vehicle build, a Sandcrawler. This teeny tiny creation captures the New Hope mammoth pretty well, mostly using bricks and some Technic bits as the tracks.

The whole top section actually pivots on the tracks, adding a bit more posability to the build. But... something else from Tatooine AND the original trilogy, so everything is pretty hot and sandy for a Christmas calendar. Oh well, look who's happy. We assume.

Day 4 - Jawa

Minifigure, bitches! Yeah, our first figure of the year, and it's beaut. Tying in with the previous Tatooine-based builds of the Sarlacc Pit and Jabba's Sail Barge, looks like we're in the desert this Christmas. We're not complaining, as this little guy is pretty cool with some great printing on the front...

...and back, and the use of the LEGO child legs makes him a tad smaller than your average minifigure. At the end of the day, the most interesting parts of the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar are the minifigures and what they do to make them uniquely Christmassy. Although not an original figure (pretty sure this guy came with the huge Sandcrawler set) he is still very welcome. More like this please.

Day 3 - Weird Droid. Thing.

Is it a droid? We don't know, and can't specifically remember seeing it in any of the Star Wars films we've seen. Is it from The Force Awakens? Then again, it could be a tank what with those track-like Technic parts on the bottom. But it's got a grabber on the front.

So yeah... a weird droid thing. Probably. If you know what it actually should be, let us know. Here's hoping for something more recognisable tomorrow.

Day 2 - The Sarlacc Pit

Look, it's an adorable giant sand monster that eats people! Merry Christmas! At least, that's what we think it is. We're right, right? Certainly it goes with yesterday's Jabba's Sail Barge, but if we're wrong, tell us.

This is a nice little build with appropriately coloured parts, but can anyone tell us what the transparent 1x1 tile on the right corner is supposed to be? Anyway, more from the original trilogy again, but will we be getting anything from The Force Awakens? And look, a nice little diorama...

Day 1 - Jabba's Sail Barge

First up, it is a teeny tiny vehicle build, one that is definitely recognisable as Jabba the Hutt's pleasure yacht, the Sail Barge from Return of the Jedi. This is pretty cool, and not one we've seen at this kind of scale in the past. The colours are spot on, and those curved pieces on top are used very cleverly to represent the sun shades on the deck.

Although the instructions inform you to build everything straight, we found you get a bit more realism (of a fictional craft, mind) if you give them a bit of a jaunty angle. But still, this is a good start, its an original trilogy thing which we always prefer, and it comes with a transparent stand. December 1st wins.

© The Test Pit

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