LEGO Creator Expert Winter Toy Shop 10249 review
Winter is not only meant for Christmases, it’s also the time of the year where Lego releases their highly-anticipated Lego Winter Village set. This is a tradition that has carried on for the past seven years. These sets have grown to be immensely popular, especially when it comes to AFOLs, who anticipate them the most. These sets have always garnered mixed reviews from clients. But even while a couple of these entries have achieved popularity than the others, none has been more talked about than the 2015 release – The Lego 10249 Winter Toy Shop build. This was basically a re-release of the very first Winter Village set from 2009. Its seems that a lot of Lego collectors felt that it was unnecessary for this set to be given a re-release, and would’ve preferred a brand-new build instead of this one. Or maybe it’s not that hard from the first one and will be instead considered as redundant in a collection.
The 10249’s box even looks the same as its 2009 counterpart. However, there’s still a handful of differences. First off, the Christmas tree is located on the right side of the image this time, while the park bench is on the opposite side. And it also features the current look for the Lego Creator boxes, with a long, dark blue stripe found on the right side of the box, as well as the ‘Expert’ logo on the top right corner.
A tiny picture at the back of the box shows the assembled toy shop, while the background doesn’t look as cartoony as it did back in 2009. But despite all that, the back side of the box still looks very similar, and features another angle of the toy shop build along with a bunch of closeups, even though there’s no picture of the minifigures. The lineup is instead found on the right side of the box, along with the included accessories that each minifigure owns, and some of the toys they have. Meanwhile, the left portion of the box showcases a tiny thumbnail of the box art, as well as the set’s full name written in six languages. There’s also another multilingual blurb that informs you that you need batteries for this thing to work.
The top side of the box includes the inventory, and a scale reference with a picture of a female caroler. The bottom showcases a picture that tells you there’s a set of light bricks included inside the build – In case you haven’t seen it from the front side of the box. This basically confirms that yes, it is indeed a bad idea to place it inside any water, in case you have decided to bring your Winter Toy Shop build with you to a nearby pool or the beach.
Found inside the box are several groups of bags, as well as two instruction booklets. Even though having two large bags of bricks isn’t as numerous as there usually are in previous Winter Village builds, rest assured that it’s still much better than the first version of the set, in which the bags didn’t even have their own sets of numbers at all. This makes creating the set so much easier. The gigantic bag in the first group, as well as the two huge bags in the second group, all include a white stripe that goes right down to the center of the bag. There’s only one group number printed on top of it, together with several other numbers and a type of scanning code.
When you open up the instruction manuals, you will learn that constructing the 10249 could be a bit of a challenge for some, since they do incorporate loads of various pieces inside one single step – Especially when it utilizes so many brown pieces that are hard to see in the manuals, thanks to their shade. This practically lives up to the set’s status as an expert-level set that’s not meant to be built by rookies. But most of the other pages in the manual are still easy to read and are very concise.
There are several parts in new colors in this set that weren’t present in the 2009 version or any other set, until this one came along. This includes the large and flat arch in dark green (used mainly for Lego Technic builds), the jester hat in blue and orange, and any of the new rounded jumper tiles in brown (measuring 2 x 2). There’s also the golden frog and dark blue snowboard. Also included here are a couple of rare Friends parts that have made their official Lego Creator debut in the 10249, including the azure skis, and the rounded 1 x 1 clear tile that had a tiny tube emerging out of it. This is normally used as a stand for Lego Friends accessories, and could come in handy in certain builds, especially when you have to deal with SNOT techniques.
The 10249 has a couple of printed parts too, including the letter tile, the clock tile, and the register slope, much like the ones found in the first version of the set itself. There’s also a brand new facial print meant for the white cat accessory, which looks similar to the ones sported by other cat designs. However, the best part here has got to be the shop sign that is printed on the build. This is comprised of a lovely wooden pattern, with the words ‘toy shop’ and a toy soldier printed on both portions of the sign. This is rather ironic, since the toy shop doesn’t seem to carry a supply of toy soldiers such as this one, but it still looks nice nonetheless.
We now move on to the minifigures – The carolers have got to be the most unique figures included in the entire set. These two characters were actually the main highlights in the 2009 build, but during that time, they both wore the same expression. This features a rather questionable facial expression which could be most likely taken out of context by certain people. For this iteration, the two carolers have unique faces that look so much better than the previous one – And not only that, it also helps people distinguish which one is the male character, and which one is the female. The male caroler utilizes the torso from the Lord Vampyre minifigure, which looks really nice on him. Meanwhile, the female caroler isn’t looking too shabby either. Thanks to her exclusive headpiece, she also wears a torso that’s exclusive to this figure, with a skirt print to boot. This has got to be a huge improvement over the minifigures in the 2009 version. And not only that, she has also received the dark brown queen hair and Aragorn’s lined cape (from the Lord of the Rings builds) instead of a cape that was haphazardly-done.
There’s technically a third character added to the mix – The snowman. Even though this isn’t a minifigure, he’s just as tall as the two carolers, and is one of the first things that you will build after you’re done assembling the minifigures. He’s got the same design as his 2009 version, except he now wears robot claws instead of levers for arms. This is actually a good thing, since this time the snowman is now allowed to hold accessories like a broomstick.
Both the caroler minifigures contain back printing, while the snowman doesn’t look any different from the back, as he does when facing front. The female caroler’s lined cape looks so much better than the one from the 2009 version.
The next pair of minifigures is a married couple, which is probably the parents of one of the child minifigures. The man donning a pinstriped suit was not included in the 2009 set, so he is most likely a bonus character. These two look generic, but they still wear some nice torso prints. All of the male minifigures have back printing. However, the woman is the only one in the set who doesn’t sport a back print.
And lastly, there are the children minifigures. One of the boys sports dark blue pants, a wool cap, and a green puffer jacket. The little girl wears an outfit that looks similar to the ones worn by the Lego Friends characters – A lavender scarf and matching pants. The other boy minifigure wears an Octan jacket and has a sports helmet. All three of them have detailed back prints, which makes up for the fact that they look similar to the adults. They are comprised of very common parts. What we like about these figures is that half of them only wear double-sided heads. The girl has an alternate non-singing expression on her face, which looks nice.
The set looks just as beautiful as it did back in 2009. The tiny upgrades that Lego gave out in this version are so much better, even though the lack of a brick-built teddy bear is slightly disappointing, along with the way the roof of the build is attached. Even though the roof isn’t as bulky as before, it’s still unstable.