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LEGO REVIEW: Creator Santa's Workshop #10245


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It's the holiday season, so pour a glass of eggnog and get your ginger snaps close at hand. Actually, are ginger snaps a holiday thing? I have no idea. Maybe I should just talk about the set.

REVIEW: SET DETAILS
Set #: 10245
Name: Santa's Workshop
Theme: Creator (Winter Village)
Parts: 883
Price: $69.99

Before we get to the build, let’s talk value. At $69.99 the price per piece works out to just under $.08 each. This is much better than the licensed sets that I am used to dealing with. There are 6 minifigures. Without a lot of experience with creator or city sets, I feel like most of the body parts are reused. In addition to all of the minifigures there are 5 brick built reindeer. I was a little sad that none of them were Rudolph, but I guess I could swap the extra trans red stud for the brown one that is on one of the reindeer in the set.

BOX CONTENTS

Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 9 numbered baggies (3 bags each numbered 1-2,) and a bag containing a sticker sheet, and 2 instruction books.

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THE BUILD AND EXECUTION

Bag 1: I'm going to still call it bag 1 even though it is the combination of 3 bags, because bags 1 is just awkward. You build Santa, his sleigh, 5 Reindeer, a Christmas tree and a North Pole sign. The sleigh has some nice little details, the runners in pearl gold, the Dark Green accents and the lanterns. The candy cane North Pole sign and the Christmas tree are nice little simple touches. The smaller reindeer has a similar, but simpler build than the 4 larger ones. They all have eyes printed on a 1x1 brick, and the larger ones have printing on their backs. Speaking of their backs, you build a pair of stacked 1x2 plates to fill in the gaps when you separate them from the sleigh. I don't know about you, but to me this is just so much extra pieces as I am unlikely to display them detached from the sleigh. I was half tempted to throw some extra 1x1 round plates on the ground under these guys, but maybe magic flying reindeer don't defecate.

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Bag 2:Here we find Mrs. Claus with a plate of cookies, and the residential portion of the workshop. Santa's got an easy chair. There's a photo of the Claus's on vacation in Fiji, and a roaring fire in the fireplace. Plus Santa's got a big stack of mail. You use up most of the stickers in this section. I loved the little details in this portion of the build. The study is by far my favorite. the snow on the eaves is nice and I think the clock is great. I couldn't help but think of the Hill Valley clock tower when I saw it. I also really liked the ladder. Instead of using a premade ladder, we use bannisters and hang them sideways. The pearl gold pops out I think. The giant candy canes were annoying. I think they should have been added at the end, because I kept popping them off every time I moved the build to add more pieces.

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Bag 3: This is where you find the workforce and their working area. This is the actual workshop. I don't know if the toy machine was supposed to go into the workshop, so my elves are building the toys outside, just like the box shows. Santa's kind of mean making his elves work outside in the snow instead of inside where there's a fire. I liked the toy machine. It wasn't a hard build, but some of the stuff on it struck me as clever. Plus look at those smoke stacks. No wonder the ice caps are melting, these guys are running industrial machines outside on top of the glaciers.

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There were a lot of small extra parts, including a cookie, a wand, a candy, 2 flames, a hose, a bow, Santa's beard and a gold lightsaber handle. That seems like a lot of specialty pieces which makes me happy. I also include the brick separator, because I have so many of these now, and they are not a part of the build.

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REACTION

I like this set. I wanted to start my winter village last year when this set was new, but I couldn't think of a place for it, and frankly my kids are too young to leave sets like this out where they can access it. Well, I figured out a nice, safe way to display a few sets in the living room, so I got this set. The kids love it, the wife likes it. It's all around fun and nice to look at. I don't know that it belongs in a winter village setting, but with my display, it makes an excellent stand alone piece. My 6 year old tried to help me build this, but she kept getting distracted and wanting to play, and my 3 year old had a great time playing with Santa and his reindeer as I was trying to keep track of all the small pieces that they were knocking around.

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I don't know why one of the elves has a crying second face or why Mrs. Claus has an angry one. I guess it's just the reused pieces.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

This set is on its second year of life, heading into the home stretch towards the holiday. Typically, these holiday sets have had a 2 year lifespan. I wonder though if LEGO might want to refresh this one again next year. It seems like it was a big seller this year. Since it is related to, but not of the Winter Village, I could see it being a bit of a spoiler. People who want only one holiday set would probably choose this one. It looks good on its own, it can work with existing city/town or Creator scenes. The building is barely a façade, so would look terrible with Modulars.

This set has a short life cycle. Sure, this is the second year, but each year it is only available for a few months. This should generate a scarcity, but it is also a highly perishable set. December 26, people will be looking for something else to fill that niche. Very few people will be looking for this set in March. In September, however, people will start seeing Christmas decorations everywhere and might start thinking of Christmas sets.

If this set retires this year, as we should expect, it should make gains. It won't be as rare as initial offerings in the Winter VIllage line, but it should have a broader appeal beyond those who collect to make a winter scene. The popularity of the subject matter will drive the price in the aftermarket. Unfortunately, it is also a very popular reseller target, so initial gains will be low until the quick flippers sell through.Go buy it on Amazon


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