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LEGO Friends 41353 Advent Calendar (2018)

£16.99
build quality
fun
design
longevity

3.9

5

Overall

The LEGO Friends 41353 Advent Calendar has nailed the Christmas theme. The builds are more on the ornamental side rather than playable standalone pieces, but as long as know what you're getting yourself into, it's a great concept.

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Leila El-Dean

19th September 2018

By Leila El-Dean

I like tea, travel, cameras, food and hot sauce.


LEGO is back with another offering of chocolate free advent calendars. As usual there are three to choose from, LEGO City 60201, LEGO Star Wars 75213 and the LEGO Friends 41353 Advent Calendar. The premise is simple, there are 24 push-out windows in the countdown to Christmas. Each window reveals a different mini-build to construct every morning (or evening is that's your preference).

Doorbells And Sleigh Bells And Schnitzel With Noodles

Out of the three different LEGO advent calendars, I'd say that the LEGO Friends 41353 Advent Calendar is the most seasonally charged. It's bright, it's colourful and there's a large variety of Christmas themed builds. Each of these mini-builds will either make a great accompaniment to a larger LEGO Friends set or can be turned into your LEGO themed Christmas decorations.

A nice touch is the loop on top of build which is unique to the 2018 LEGO Friends advent calendar set. You can either display them on the mantel piece (free-standing) or use the loop on top of each build to thread some string or ribbon through and hang them on the Christmas tree. Each of the decorations are based on the five main characters from the LEGO Friends Heartlake City franchise which is a different (more loose) take compared to the other LEGO advent calendars which are a bit more literal. It's an interesting concept but isn't without its own pitfalls of course.

A Little Different

While the LEGO Friends 41353 Advent Calendar has certainly nailed the Christmas theme, there are a couple of points that let it down. Sure there are a lot of builds to keep little hands busy (so that's a big positive), there is a serious lack of mini figs. Each year there seems to be less of a variety in terms of items compared to the other themed LEGO advent calendars. At least last year there was one mini fig (Stephanie) along with a few animal characters to play with, but even that calendar saw one less mini fig compared to the previous year.

Unfortunately this also means that the builds are more on the ornamental side rather than playable standalone pieces. For that, you're better off getting either the LEGO Star Wars 75213 or LEGO City 60201 advent calendar which come with their own built-in play mat. The LEGO Friends 41353 Advent Calendar is simply an advent calendar with no additional foldouts. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It make this set a little different from the rest. It is simply something to consider before buying to save disappoint.

Tradition In The Making?

Personally, I like that LEGO have done something a little different with this advent calendar compared to the others. As long as you know what you're getting yourself into, it's a great concept. Not only do you get to build something new every day, but you can also decorate your tree in the process. And if LEGO continue with this concept, each year you can build on your LEGO decoration collection. Best of all, they are reusable which means you can build a pretty unique assortment of decorations to use year-on-year, making it a pretty smart investment (I love something with longevity). If you're buying this for your child, you could even buy them their very own miniature tree to decorate themselves and display in their room.

Overall, the LEGO Friends 41353 Advent Calendar is the perfect mix of a fun Christmas activity and lucky dip reveal style toy. Would it be nice if there were some playable figures include? Sure, but that's what the big sets are for. This could be the beginning of a new Christmas tradition.

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To read more on this model, check out the LEGO Friends 41353 homepage here (opens new window).

Images

  • Age Range: 6 to 12 years
  • Pieces: 500
  • Dimensions: 38.2 x 7.1 x 26.2 cm
  • Includes: Christmas tree, candy cane, gingerbread man and a surprise to represent each of the 5 friends from Heartlake City
  • Additional Info: Visit LEGO.com/friends to unlock more surprises on 25th December

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