Theme: Creator Expert
Release Date: October 1, 2014 (VIP Early Access September 17)
Piece Count: 883
Minifig Count: 6
Age Rating: 12+
Cost: $69.99 USD / $89.99 CAD / £59.99 GBP / €69,99 EUR / 649,00 DKK
If your weather is like mine right now, it may feel completely alien to be thinking about the next winter holiday set, 10245 "Santa's Workshop" - I know I was not in the holiday spirit, sweating on my front porch while taking pictures and building! Thanks to the LEGO Community Engagement & Events team, we have the opportunity to review the sixth installment of the "Winter Village" theme. We'll see how this one stacks up to the previous offerings, but first, let's hear what LEGO has to say about this set:
Have festive family fun building Santa’s Workshop!
Enjoy the magic of Christmas with Santa’s Workshop, a festive addition to the LEGO® Winter Village Series! Gather your family around the Christmas tree to build this enchanting winter wonderland. Help the elves make the toys, feed the reindeer and help Santa load up his magical sleigh. Santa’s wife has baked cookies and the clock tower shows it’s nearly time for Santa to deliver the presents—all at the most wonderful time of the year! Includes 6 minifigures: Santa with red gift sack, Mrs. Claus with cookie tray and 4 elves with pointy ears and hats.
- Includes 6 minifigures: Santa with red gift sack, Mrs. Claus with cookie tray and 4 elves with pointy ears and hats
- Features beautiful sleigh with red and gold detail and dark green padding, 4 reindeer and a baby reindeer, building with detailed interior, clock tower and Christmas tree
- Building features stained glass window and Christmas lights on roof
- Accessories include: 4 wrapped presents in assorted sizes and 4 toys including a blue classic spaceship, yellow car and a pink wand
- Also includes North Pole sign, Santa’s Workshop sign and a summer holiday picture of Santa and his wife
- Gather everyone around the Christmas tree!
- Help Santa take off in his sleigh!
- Family dual-building experience: includes separate brick sets with instructions for adults and children aged 8 and over
- Santa’s Workshop measures over 6” (16cm) high, 3” (8cm) deep and 9” (24cm) wide
The box is rectangular, nearly twice as wide (19") as it is tall (11"), and thin, with a depth of only 2.25". Naturally, the front is adorned with an image depicting all the various parts of the overall build, with small callout window showing the 'inside' of the building. It's interesting to note that the copy I received used the more sturdy, corrugated construction that is glued instead of the thin-walled design that uses adhesive strips.
Like last year's 10235 "Winter Village Market", this set is marked under the "Creator Expert" subtheme. However, unlike any of its predecessors, the "Winter Village" prefix is conspicuously absent. No doubt this is because "Winter Village Santa's Workshop" reads a bit awkwardly, but still, it's a notable departure - as is the set itself. There is no lack of Christmas Trees in other sets of this line, but this is the first to acknowledge the big jolly old elf himself, though we've seen Ol' Saint Nick in CMF ser. 8 and last year's CITY Advent Calendar. It also appears he will show up yet again in this year's CITY Advent Calendar.
10245 Santa's Workshop box, front by vynsane, on Flickr
The back of the box displays the main building model from additional angles, as well as callout windows showing some up-close details.
10245 Santa's Workshop box, back by vynsane, on Flickr
The side of the box depicts all the minfigures, two of the reindeer (the one juvenile and one of the four that are fully-grown) as well as some of the smaller ancillary bits. My daughter delighted in the fact that two of the elves were being mischievous, stealing cookies from Mrs. Claus and "setting fire to the tree". That's quite the mischief, really.
10245 Santa's Workshop box, side by vynsane, on Flickr
The top of the box has a listing of all the pieces included in the box, as well as a small callout window displaying Mr. and Mrs. Claus at full-scale.
10245 Santa's Workshop box, top by vynsane, on Flickr
Parts, Instructions, and Stickers
The 883 pieces are broken up into nine bags, marked with a 1, 2, or 3, as well as two instruction booklets, one small sticker sheet and three 144mm "flex tubes" (one extra).
10245 Santa's Workshop bags, instructions by vynsane, on Flickr
The instructions and sticker sheet are not packaged with a cardboard backing, nor are they contained inside a flapped, taped bag, but are actually wrapped in a bag similar to those used for the pieces themselves. This makes it a bit harder to open and, obviously, impossible to re-use, which is a bit of a disappointment to me, as I've used the cardboard-backed bags to contain multiple instruction booklets from various sets. If this is a sign of things to come, I will eventually run out of such bag/board combos.
10245 Santa's Workshop bagged instructions by vynsane, on Flickr
The small sticker sheet has six distinct stickers, three of which are applied to 2x4 tiles, one to a 1x4 tile, and two to either side of the round ornate black sign, which we've only seen thus far in two Friends sets in white.
10245 Santa's Workshop stickers by vynsane, on Flickr
The instructions and parts are broken up in such a way that two people could build simultaneously - one using booklet 1 and bags marked "1", and the other building the remainder of the bags via booklet 2. I'm sure it's a cost-saving measure, but it surprises me that they didn't break bags marked "2" and bags marked "3" into separate booklets as well.
10245 Santa's Workshop instructions breakdown by vynsane, on Flickr
Build: Part 1
As delineated in the first page of instruction booklet 1, the bags marked with a "1" contain the pieces to build Santa's sleigh, four adult reindeer, one juvenile reindeer, a Christmas Tree, the North Pole, and Father Christmas, himself.
Unique/rare or notable pieces for this portion of the build include the Santa's torso, head, hat, and sack (in red for the first time), four "elephant tail/trunk" pieces in gold, five 1x1 bricks in brick-yellow with reindeer eye printing (four depicted, missed the fifth), four 2x2 curved slopes in brick-yellow with reindeer fur pattern, the aqua colored electric guitar, four 1x2 curved slopes in earth green, six 1x1 brick w/stud on the side in earth green, two 1x6x2 arch bricks in red (new design), two 1x3 arch bricks in brick-yellow, and four 1x1 stars in dark orange. I included the gold lightsaber bars because I honestly thought they were more rare, but they're apparently not
10245 Santa's Workshop, Part 1 unique/rare pieces by vynsane, on Flickr
While there is no shortage of brick-built Christmas Trees, I am always delighted to see them built in different ways. This one is no exception, with a clever sculpting technique using four 2x4 wedge plates around 1x1 "travis bricks".
10245 Santa's Workshop, Part 1 tree construction detail by vynsane, on Flickr
Santa's sleigh is built upon a white 4x6 plate. It makes sense for stability's sake, but looks odd when swooshing it around, like a huge pack of snow has wedged itself between the sleigh rails and will dislodge above some poor sap who is out getting that last-minute Christmas Eve gift. In fact, the plate and additional bricks have been removed (whether by photoshop of by hand is anyone's guess) on the back of the box!
Comprised of mostly earth green elements with a smattering of red and gold, it certainly looks the part!
10245 Santa's Workshop, Part 1 mid-build by vynsane, on Flickr
While the reindeer seem to be quite divisive in the community, I find their brick-built nature to be a breath of fresh air. The four adults are built with a removable section of two stacked 1x2 plates that can be replaced by the red 1x2 plate w/holder so they can be attached to the sleigh. The construction is simple but elegant and the two 1x2 plates can be removed remarkably easily. The sand yellow color of the top 1x2 plate matches perfectly to the fur printing on the 2x2 curved slope.
10245 Santa's Workshop, Part 1 reindeer construction by vynsane, on Flickr
The fully constructed sleigh with the reindeer attached looks great, and will be a lot of fun for kids of all ages to swoosh around.
10245 Santa's Workshop, Part 1 sleigh detail by vynsane, on Flickr
With the completion of all bags marked with a "1", we have Santa with a sleigh full of presents, and four reindeer ready to pull him on his journey, the juvenile reindeer, the Christmas Tree, and the North Pole
10245 Santa's Workshop, Part 1 complete by vynsane, on Flickr
10245 Santa's Workshop, Part 1 complete by vynsane, on Flickr
Stay tuned for the rest of the build in part 2, coming soon!