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LEGO Santa’s Sleigh & The Evolution of LEGO Reindeer

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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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Rob September 16, 2021, 10:08 AM

    It’s kinda funny that I didn’t notice how funny Santa does look in comparison to the size of the sled, lol. Also it took me a moment to realize what “54N74” on the license plate stood for. I won’t spoil the surprise for the others.

  • Grim September 16, 2021, 2:09 PM

    Yay! Just needs four more reindeer.

  • quinton September 16, 2021, 2:29 PM

    I like the brickbuilt reindeer. They are charming. But for things like mocs that require more realism, and for photography, the molded one is more suitable. I bet the sellers on bricklink are scrambling trying to get rid of their high priced stock before the reindeer battle pack goes on the market.

  • magickchicken September 16, 2021, 3:31 PM

    54N74 is leetspeak (1337sp34k) for “SANTA.” It’s a gamer/custom license plate thing, substituting digits for letters that vaguely resemble each other.

    5=S
    4=A
    7=T

    • magickchicken September 16, 2021, 3:33 PM

      Guess I should have stylized it as LEETSPEAK/13375P34K.

      -M4G1CKCH1CK3N

  • Emperor P. September 16, 2021, 3:51 PM

    Reindeer battle pack pulling Santa’s enormous tank! 😀

  • Håkan September 16, 2021, 4:07 PM

    And now the main question is how to use the reindeer for constructing a purist Rudolph…

  • brickmaster September 16, 2021, 4:20 PM

    My name is not on the list, so I guess Santa won’t bring me anything? Are those the names of the designers? Hard to make out.

    • Thita (admin) September 16, 2021, 4:36 PM

      UPDATE from LEGO via the Ambassador Network about the names:

      There are 16 names on the list. 14 plus 2. The plus 2 is for names that the designer got to add that were important to them. This is a common practice that happens throughout the portfolio. The 14 names are an even 50/50 split in names typically associated with male and female genders. They presented the non-blurred image as proof and awareness of this conscious decision to split the names evenly but have asked that it is not shared. When there are names/writing on tiles such as letters or envelopes, they purposefully blur to allow the builder to imagine or be creative.

  • Undercover AFOL September 16, 2021, 5:02 PM

    So happy that’s we’re getting this! I was okay with the brickbuilt reindeer, but the recent animal molds have been amazing! And thank you Lego for giving us four in one relatively cheap set. The sleigh makes a nice parts pack too.

  • Aabhav Raina September 17, 2021, 5:24 PM

    i think i voted for a lego set back in 2021 early -that its my choice to choose something cool , before i can choose whats doing what on lego’s 90th anniversary so…….i think my little one who is my little brother who just turned 5 , on his 6th birthday i am choosing a lego creator castle set for himself. so i can build it alone and put it on display. , i like that set that was on display on the website i think that will be way to old for my brother. i need a lego set that can match the age of 6 or 7,8. so i am still choosing the cheapest price for the lego set i wanted.

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