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LEGO released several brick-built, minifig-scale reindeer for the holidays through the years. The #10245 LEGO Winter Village Santa’s Workshop from 2014 was especially popular as it came with five brick-built reindeer with printed eyes and fur. While brick-built reindeer were welcome, some people felt that LEGO should make a special mould for a deer. LEGO started releasing more moulded animals, so there was hope that this will eventually happen.

In 2016, LEGO finally released not one but two reindeer moulds. Both the adult and baby reindeer came with rounded features to match the aesthetics of LEGO mini-dolls. The larger reindeer appeared in dark-gray in two sets; the #41066 LEGO Disney Frozen Anna & Kristoff’s Sleigh Adventure, and the #41166 LEGO Disney Frozen Elsa’s Wagon Adventure. This second set is the only one to date featuring the baby reindeer. The adult reindeer is especially detailed, but because of the rounded features, they don’t match the aesthetics of standard LEGO minifigs and animals.

Then in 2019, we finally got a deer mould in a standard LEGO set! The #75945 LEGO Harry Potter Expecto Patronum features a glittering, transparent blue mythical stag representing Harry’s guide. A proper reindeer shouldn’t be far now!

The following year (2020), LEGO released the #10275 LEGO Elf’s Club House with the very first realistically colored reindeer. Unfortunately, only a single reindeer was included with this $100 set, so it remained a rare item.

But soon, you will be able to build a full herd of reindeer with the upcoming #40499 LEGO Santa’s Sleigh set, already referred to by fans as the “reindeer battle pack”. The set features four reindeer pulling Santa’s enormous sleigh. The sleigh is so big because it is full of presents as well as snacks for Santa and the reindeer to sustain them during their long trip.

The set comes with 343 pieces and two sets of bags. Bags #1 feature the pieces to build eight simple but colorful gift boxes and other gift items like a teddy bear, guitar, ski set, and a printed 2×3 tile with Santa’s Nice List. This printed tile and the guitar are the only printed accessories. By the way, the list includes 16 names that are printed really small and blurry, but some are a bit easier to read than others. I can only make out Claudia from the first row, and Pablo, John, Donald, and Oliver from the second row.

Bags #1 also include Santa, with a nicely printed torso (front and back), and dual-moulded legs, and hat.

The reindeer has two versions. They are of course one moulded piece, but the gap on their back can either get filled with a plain brick and tile (which is what you would use when you just want to let them roam freely), or when you yoke them up, you replace the first assembly with a slightly more complex one. This second option is provided to you at a later stage of the building process. I appreciate that LEGO gave us both options in this set. In the image below, the reindeer are yoked up, and you can see the four plain fillers on the side.

The sleigh itself is enormous. It is 8 studs wide and almost 14 studs long. Santa looks comically small riding it, but it is great for carrying all the gifts. In fact, besides the gifts included with the set, you could easily pile up even more. And if you want, you can also add Mrs. Claus or a couple of elves into the cockpit from previously released sets.

The interior space of the sleigh is split up into three separate sections; the cockpit where Santa sits, the slightly higher up cargo area for all the gifts, and a slide-out drawer at the back used for snacks. The entire sled is very sturdy and well built with no weak connections.

There are a total of nine stickers that come with the set. Five of those are for the sleigh, and the remaining four small stickers decorate the yoke of the reindeer. The stickers are nice, but if you don’t want to apply them, that’s fine too. The sleigh has plenty of nice golden decorative pieces. The two more unusual stickers are Santa’s dashboard screen plotting his worldwide route and the license plate that reads 54N74. I’m not sure what that refers to, but if you know, feel free to share in the comment section below.

Once you finish building the sled, it’s time to gather up those reindeer and hook them up! The connections are done with long rods and tubes as well as small pieces with clips and bars. I was worried that this will be a bit finicky, but once you connect everything, everything is very sturdy. There are also extra connections between each pair of reindeer, which makes the connections even stronger. In case you need to know, Santa’s sleigh, including the reindeer train, measures over 3 in. (8 cm) high, 11.5 in. (30 cm) long, and 2.5 in. (7 cm) wide.

I wouldn’t recommend picking up the assembly by grabbing the reindeer and trying to whoosh the sleigh around in the air because the sleigh is too heavy. Nor would I recommend grabbing the sleigh only, because the clips will make the reindeer bend down and the connections eventually separate. But if you hold the reindeer with one hand and the sleigh with the other, you can totally do some whooshies.

The #40499 LEGO Santa’s Sleigh is going to be available starting October 1st. Prices are as follows: Price: 36.99 EUR/59.99 AUD/34.99 GBP/36.99 USD/49.99 CAD. For a 343-piece unlicensed set that’s a little high, but I believe the reindeer and nice Santa figure makes up for it. If you want to check it out, the set is already listed at the seasonal items section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like Santa’s Sleigh? Are you planning to add this set to your Christmas shopping list? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!

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LEGO Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft Coming Soon!

Yesterday, the LEGO Group and Queer Eye revealed a fabulous set to celebrate creative expression and promote positivity. Queer Eye is known as the eight Emmy Award-winning Netflix show that changes lives, embraces differences, and evokes smiles around the world. Now fans of the show can pay homage with the #10291 LEGO Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft set, featuring a model of the apartment that serves as the group’s base in the show.

The set was created in partnership with Queer Eye creators Scout Productions in a partnership conceived by the show’s licensing agency IMG, and will be available globally from October 1st at official LEGO stores, select retail partners, and the Online LEGO Shop.

Matthew Ashton, Vice President of Design at the LEGO Group and lead designer of the new set, worked closely with the Fab Five and is proud of the collaboration and what it stands for. He said:

“Queer Eye has had such a positive impact on so many people’s lives which is why we are excited about this collaboration. It reminds us that we need to take time to celebrate kindness and help build each other up. In this set, we’ve captured themes central to both the LEGO Group and the show – caring, creativity, learning, and fun. While the Fab Five rebuild people’s lives, we are on a mission to inspire people to get creative and help rebuild a more positive world.”

AUTHENTIC DETAILS AND FABULOUS HAIR

The set recreates the original loft from Season 1 and 2 of the show, where Bobby Berk, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, and Jonathan Van Ness first assembled as the Fab Five to embark on a mission to change people’s lives for the better.

Bobby Berk, the group’s interior designer said: “LEGO bricks played such an important part in my childhood. Clicking those little bricks together really sparked my imagination and creativity. Collaborating with the LEGO team was an absolute dream come true! It would be any kid’s dream and now it’s my reality.”

The set, created for adult fans who love stylish, modern design and elegant architecture, features 974 pieces and measures over 3.5 in. (9 cm) high, 13.5 in. (35 cm) wide, and 8.5 in. (21 cm) deep. It is packed with authentic details – including the iconic ‘STYLE, TASTE, CLASS’ sign – and accessories to highlight each of the Fab Five’s talents.

The set also features seven minifigures and fan favorite, Bruley the dog, and comes with a coffee-table-style instruction booklet which gives an insight into how LEGO designers and the Fab Five collaborated on developing the set.

“It’s been an honor to work with the Queer Eye team and everything they represent. Our design team has really enjoyed recreating the Fab Five as LEGO minifigs; Tan was the biggest challenge. We didn’t have an element that did his gorgeous hair justice, so we had to make an entirely new wig element – in shimmering silver of course! The team has also had fun packing the loft with Easter eggs, including a ‘Yaaas Queen’ print for the kitchen, which if you look closely, features ‘FAB 5’ in the unique brush-stroke art,” Ashton added.

BUILDING PEOPLE UP

Each Queer Eye show features a ‘Hero’, a person who learns different skills and perspectives from each of the Fab Five which helps rebuild their confidence and has a positive, lasting impact on their lives. The LEGO set aims to showcase each of the stars’ skills and celebrate their artistry and individuality.

Food and wine specialist, Antoni, has a kitchen island from where he can help ‘Heroes’ learn new culinary skills and express themselves through food. Style guru Tan has a clothing rack where he can plan outfits to suit every personality and shape to make people feel great about what they wear.

Karamo is a life coach and therapist. He supports ‘Heroes’ on their personal journeys, helping them to make sense of their pasts and chart a way forward. He has a couch and scrapbook which he uses to shape the conversations and tools he shares with participants. Jonathan, the grooming consultant, has a salon area complete with a swiveling barber’s chair. He is expert in helping people take care of how they look and seeing their true inner beauty.

And as for interior designer, Bobby? The set itself captures his style as well as featuring his laptop and the ideas board he uses to develop concepts to help ‘Heroes’ transform their living or workspaces.

The set also features one of the show’s most memorable makeovers – Kathi Dooley, Jonathan’s beloved High School teacher. The episode celebrated the positive influence Kathi had on Jonathan and reinforced the importance of children receiving genuine support from the adults in their lives as they work to find their true, awesome selves. The apartment features a transformation chamber – and before and after minifigures – to recreate Kathi’s emotional reveal.

The fab LEGO team behind the set are: Matthew Ashton – Vice President of Design, Ruth Kelly – Senior Element Designer, Diego Lopez Sancho – Senior Graphic Designer, and Eloise Bradley – Senior Licensing Manager.

As mentioned above, the #10291 LEGO Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft set will be available globally from October 1st at official LEGO stores, select retail partners, and the Online LEGO Shop for $99.99. Visit the Adults Welcome section of the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? How do you like the LEGO Queer Eye set? And what do you think of the minifigures? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!

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