Just as in the past few years, Lego released two holiday bonus sets in 2015. Somehow, I missed part two of the announcement in the fall, so I thought the Holiday Train was it for this year. As a result, I was surprised when a second holiday bonus set was added to my Lego shop-at-home cart as I ordered something from my nephew Christmas wish list.
The unopened box has been sitting on the corner of my desk for a few weeks now; I finally succumbed to the temptation yesterday. As with the Holiday Train set build, I took photos every ten steps or so.
Once the bags were open, I was ready to start building. I quickly discovered why this bonus set has so many pieces (count = 277). They make up all the little “candy” details that are the hallmark of a top-notch real life gingerbread house. There are frosting pillars, licorice allsorts, lollipops, candy sticks and more. The front walk is made of smooth-topped 1/3 height, round 2x2s in a range of colours. In fact, that was one of the main things I noticed about this set – the wide range of colours including a pale turquoise that I’d never seen in a Lego set before (maybe it’s part of the Friends line).
Another aspect of this set I really like are the coloured windows, constructed with 8 one-third height translucent 1×1 bricks in four colours. Here’s a look at the details emerging just 10 steps into the build:
The most interesting details I noted over the next 10 steps of the build are 1) the unique front door construction (it opens and shuts, but to close the door once it’s opened, you have to reach a finger in through the hinged roof panels to push the door closed from inside), and 2) the strawberry piece over the front door which was another new-to-me piece.
The rest of the build was all about the roof – the flat white panels (meant to look like snow) studded with flat, coloured circles that look pretty appealing. Although I haven’t included a photograph showing the roof panels open, they are hinged along the bottom and swing outward so that you can peer into the interior of the gingerbread house from above. Here’s the finished build and a close-up of the most poorly-designed aspect – the chimney. I really don’t like the way you can see right through the triangle-shaped gap between the hinged base of the chimney top and the slanted roof. I know there’s another way to do this so that the gap is filled. However, it’s a minor point against an otherwise charming set – and a promotional set at that (it came as a free bonus with my order of $99 or more).
The scale of the Holiday Train doesn’t work very well with the Lego Winter Village sets, and this one doesn’t either. But that’s okay – both of the 2015 holiday bonus sets are on display on our fireplace mantle where I spot them every time I walk through the living room.
Have you built a gingerbread house year? Whether with cookies/frosting/candies or Lego bricks, I’d love to see a photo, so please share by leaving a comment.