For me it`s a bit of a recurring holiday season tradition. Every year, I buy the end-of-year seasonal sets, and they get to be on display on the shelf.
I don`t build winter villages though, as the sets end up taken apart a few days in the new year, and get me a heap of new bricks for use in MOC`s, so I don`t mind that the set is a bit of a rerelease with a slight update.
This years `big` set is thus as such the Winter Toy Shop, and opening it we get a pile of bags labelled all number one, which will be used to build the surrounding builds, and a pile of bags labelled number 2 that will build the actual toy store.
The first bag yields us 4 figures: two children playing and both the Christmas carollers, a duo of figures I really love!
We commence the set with a small build of a snowman. I really like the idea of using a red clip element to represent his scarf.
We also get a stack of small scale toys that will be going under the christmas tree. My personal favorite of these is the small tugboat and the doubledecker.
Next, we start a small scene. This is based on a 6x10 white plate, and will include a lamppost.
This lamp post is decorated with holiday wreaths, and uses the great transparent orbs to represent the lamps themselves.
There is also a bench that will go on the plate, made by hinges and brown tiles. This is then placed on the plate, and a kitten comes to be seated there. Add a small tree and this part is done.
The main build of this first pile of brick bags is the large christmas tree itself. Based around a large cartwheel style element, the foot of the tree is made to add stability to the build.
We then start layering the tree by the use of green bricks, and angling them level by level to give it a christmas tree bulk. Transparent elements are inserted to give the idea of candles in the tree.
These are all inserted over a central trunk made up of round bricks.
Every level becomes a bit smaller then the previous one to get the conical look of the tree.
The top level is then rounded out with a yellow transparent christmas star, which gives it a beautifull christmas look, as we add some lightribbons to round it out.
A large ladder is added to the set so that people are able to add the decorations into the tree.
The bottom of the tree has a joke gift, one of those boxes where a bobbling head jumps out. It`s just a bit ironic that the regular heads of my youth are now just used to represent a toy within a toy ;-)
Some small accesories are then added to the tree base, and this part of the build is done as well.
Bagpile number two grants us another 4 minifigures, including the toy maker. I selected to add the family to the bench build I did a bit earlier, it gave me a spontaneous laughter attack as it remembered me of basically my own `family`...
The toy store is based on 4 plates of 6x10, connected by tiles of uneven lengths to represent a boarded floor.
While the sides are being build up, the (printed!) cash register is installed within the store.
The fireplace and the window frames are the next things on the list to build.
Then we make two additional pieces of microscale toys, a locomotive and a robot, to go in the window displays.
We then start building up the walls for the ground floor, including the arched sealings. We put the door in the frame, and then add the great looking red and burgundy decorations to the facades.
The windows are slided in and the top of the walls `sealed` off to keep everyhting in place.
The set also has this great looking printed banner element, I`m definitly using that for some build afterwards!
Next we tend to focuss on the chimney as it slowly rises. It`s made with great angling elements to give it a bricky look.
The top floor also features a small tower for the toy worker to make his little bundles of joy. The sides cannot revolve open, but are nevertheless attached by hinges to fit them nicely together.
It also features his little desk and tools... which can be lighted by the use of a Lego Light Brick.
Next to it, we now add a large piece of christmas joy in this large decoration piece for the store.
The roof is then installed on top of the building, rounding out most of the build.
We put on the final part of the chimney.
We only have to finish the small tower top now, and the building itself is all done.
The whole set completed:
And a nice heap of additional parts:
While the building is more compact and as such handier to place on a shelf in between christmas gifts and such, and it comes with a Light Brick and printed elements... I must honestly say I prefered the Santa Workshop from last year more. Okay, this year, the two promotional sets where way better then the ones from 2014, but the `main build` just doesn`t do it that much for me, except then perhaos the large tree and the singers.