At least one Lego bonus set has appeared on my desk every December since 2011. 🙂 Mr. GeoK keeps a close watch on newly-released Star Wars and Technics sets and buys them from the Lego store when bonus sets come with purchases over a certain dollar amount.
The past few years, the limited edition bonus sets have been quite elaborate. My all time favourite is the 2015 gingerbread house, but this year’s nutcracker is a close second!
Many of the 230 pieces are single stud, so they all fit in three fairly small poly bags.
From start to finish, the nutcracker takes about 30 minutes to build (including pauses for photographs). It’s clear from step one that the nutcracker has a small base (6 x 6 studs), so it will tuck nicely into any fireplace mantel or tabletop Christmas display.
The base is two bricks high and completely filled in, so the total weight serves as a decent anchor to keep the finished nutcracker standing securely in place.
As with many Lego builds, the nutcracker is assembled from bottom to top. Just above notional knee height, traditional Christmas colours come into the build.
The hip area is more complex, using one-third height basic bricks plus some Technics parts.
The bottom panels of the nutcracker’s tunic are attached to the specialty bricks that include right-angled faces – often used in the more refined architecture, vehicle and Star Wars sets.
A well-conceived mix of full height and one-third height bricks, with a few optimally placed Technics bits go into the making of the nutcracker’s torso and arms. I didn’t take a shot of the nutcracker’s back, which includes a lever to activate the “nutcracker” part of the model.
The nutcracker’s face has the same general look as Brickheadz sets, plus a nose! The wig is thanks to a similar combination of bricks as was used for the bottom of the tunic.
The finished nutcracker, with a pieces left over!
The finished height is roughly 17 – 18 cm (7.5 inches), And no, his arms don’t have to stick awkwardly out in front. I just didn’t take a photo with the arms down by his side!
Some Thoughts About the Lego Holiday Bonus Sets
The first time Mr. GeoK surprised me with a Lego holiday bonus set was back in 2011. 😮 I enjoyed constructing two tiny rooms all decorated for Christmas, and was so immersed in the experience that I didn’t think to invite K to join me in the build. For the next five years, it was my standard practice to ask for his help. Now that he’s in university, it’s back to solo building mode.
Over the years, we’ve noticed how these bonus sets have become quite elaborate. Some years, they melded well with Lego’s Winter Village themed sets. Other bonuses have been very much stand alone.
I’m not sure when Lego started offering these bonus sets as inducement to buy more sets in the run up to Christmas. If you know, please leave share via comment. Links to relevant pages also welcomed.
The bonus sets offered from 2010 through 2015 are marked limited edition and date stamped with the year. Beginning in 2016, Lego dropped the date stamping, retaining just the limited edition badge.
Standard practice when building a Lego set is to keep watch for any new-to-me parts. This set included one such part – a single stud, one-third height dot with peg. The set came with a spare, so this photo shows one placed according to the instructions and another on the table.
If you’re a Lego builder, is this something you do? What other standard practices have you developed over the years?