Review - 10267-1 - Gingerbread House
For me Christmas officially begins with the release of LEGO's annual Winter Village set. I love Christmas and I love LEGO so naturally these things combined are a total win for me. It was actually the Winter Village sets that brought me out of my LEGO dark ages. I hope 2019's addition doesn't let me down.
Christmas sets have been around for decades, but it wasn't until LEGO launched Winter Village sets that Christmas LEGO became an annual tradition for people. Even the most casual LEGO fans often cave into buying the annual offering.
Early Christmas sets were mostly small, brick built Santa's or Snowmen, that kind of thing. It wasn't until 2006's 10173-1 Holiday Train that we really got something more special. Whilst it is not considered part of the Winter Village collection there is no doubt without this landmark set we would not have the more complex models we get now. Just like most of the early Winter Village sets, the Holiday Train has become one of the most sought after sets. A BNIB will run you the best part of $400, not a bad investment for those who bought it for $90 originally. Even used sets can cost you over $250.
Winter Village was officially released (or maybe gifted to us!) in 2009. 10199-1 Winter Toy Shop was a huge success (read my post The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly for a short breakdown of this set and it's later re-release.) The Gingerbread House is one of just two of the sets in the collection that have a more fantastical setting (the other being 10245-1 Santas Workshop). Usually the sets are more grounded. themed around a 'village', similar to popular Christmas Diorama Models that has been around for centuries. For some reason people love building small, snowy, towns at Christmas (guilty as charged!)
Each year, along with Winter Village sets, we are usually treated to several smaller Christmas sets, a buildable Christmas decoration or two, and a limited edition Gift-With-Purchase set (which usually demand high secondary market prices too.)
Another annual tradition are LEGO Advent Calendars. These have taken a while to really catch on, possibly due to the relatively unknown tradition in America. In Europe chocolate advent calendars are everywhere, that's not really the case in America. People are usually familiar with the tradition but most don't actually have experience with it. Without that nostalgia driving adults to fork out the premium prices for LEGO versions, the uptake on calendars has been a slow build. Starting in 1998, the early calendars were pretty basic. It wasn't until LEGO hit on releasing licensed versions in 2011 when people really started noticing them. Previous to that they used LEGO themes like Castle and City for their calendars. With consistent Star Wars calendars released since they have become more popular, this year releasing a Harry Potter version too. Calendars are usually easy to find in January reduced. Last years Friends Calendar was still available (50% discounted) well into February in my local LEGO store, so maybe some themes are still more popular than others.
The Gingerbread House: Back in 2013 LEGO gave us a Gingerbread Man as part of Series 11's Collectible Minifigures. Then in 2015 LEGO's Gift-With-Purchase was a small Gingerbread House. It is a nice little set, satisfying to build and looks nice in my annual village. These two things fitted perfectly to create a complete little build, house and home-owner. But LEGO clearly wasn't happy with just that. This time we get a two story house packed with details, with a full family calling it home. How you incorporate this new set into your village next to your smaller version without it looking like class warfare is brewing will be challenging, poor old original GB-Man has no gifts, wife, or even furniture, but at least he has pies!
Enjoy a festive build and play experience with the LEGO® Creator Expert 10267 Gingerbread House. A treasure chest of magical details, this amazing model features frosted roofs with colorful candy buttons and a delicious facade with candy-cane columns, glittery windows and a tall chimney stack with a glowing fireplace. Inside the house there’s an array of fun details and candy furnishings including a tasteful bedroom with chocolate bed and cotton candy lamp, and a bathroom with the essential toilet and bathtub. This wonderful LEGO Gingerbread House sets the scene for imaginative adventures with the gingerbread family. Children can light up the cozy fireplace, help clear the sidewalk with the snow blower and nestle the gingerbread baby in its carriage. It also includes a decorated Christmas tree with wrapped gifts and toys, including a rocking horse and a toy train. This advanced LEGO set delivers a challenging and rewarding building experience and makes a great seasonal centerpiece for the home or office. Includes gingerbread man, woman and baby figures.
The box measures 480 x 280 x 90 mm. Inside are 10 bags numbered 1 to 5, 1 loose part (part 91405), 2 instruction manuals, and a sticker sheet.
Instruction manual 1 measures 195 x 125 mm. With 39 pages and 75 total build steps.
Instruction manual 2 measures 195 x 260 mm. With 154 pages and 230 total build steps.
The pdf can be downloaded here.
The set contains 1477 parts and 63 spare parts, in 36 different colors, and 32 different categories, with a total of 329 unique parts/color combinations.
Main colors are:
- White: 70 Parts, 377 quantity
- Reddish Brown: 49 Parts, 328 quantity
- Medium Dark Flesh: 21 Parts, 115 quantity
Main categories are:
No new parts in this set, but lots of new prints, new colors, and rare parts.
New Prints of Existing Parts:-
Parts in new colors: I have separated this into new this year, meaning they have appeared in a set for the first time in 2019, and totally unique to this set.
First, new colors, unique to this set:
Now, parts in new colors in 2019:
Parts in rare colors:
This set comes with 2 minifigs, Mr & Mrs Gingerbread. Despite LEGO's persistence in calling that 1x2 tile with the baby printed on a figure I refuse to acknowledge it as one. It's a shame they didn't give us a cute baby Minifig using this part or this part.
Bag 1: As usual with these kind of sets, we begin building the accessory details. The tree, gifts, toys, etc... The tree uses the wedge plate technique which now seems to be the LEGO standard for tree building, however, with the star they have tried something new. The pointed diamond part looks very effective from the front, easily one of the best stars (LEGO always have trouble with this detail) however from the back it looks terrible (unlike part 42409 in last years winter village set, which looks great from all sides).
There are other micro builds that aren't without fault either. While I loved the snow plow thing, the rocking horse and gifts, the train looks odd with the tap for the front (there are so many better micro trains which makes this one look worse) and whoever decided to put wheels that don't turn on that pram needs to go take a seat on the naughty step. What were they thinking? The aesthetics are not worth the loss in function.
Bag 2: The beginnings of the build are very reminiscent of a modular set. I like the different tile flooring and the windows are pure Christmas Magic. They look great and are a more interesting build than just sticking 1x1 bricks on top of each other. The fireplace immediately creates a festive feeling to the model, even without the finer details.
I already have a huge complaint with this set however. The floor with the White and Dark Turquoise 1x1 tiles is borded with 1x4 Dark Blue tiles. They span the joining of the plates that form the structure of the base. The main tile that is supposed to hold these plats together only has 1 stud over one side, then it's 8 studs until the next tile spans the plates. That means every time I pick it up the plates split at that point. It's incredibly annoying, especially since I tend to build on the floor with the model in my hands or my lap (I know, I'm weird but it helps when building sets with my kids). I simply couldn't build this set like that, I had to keep it flat on the table.
Bag 3: Here we add some of the internal detailing and finish off the main structure ready for the roof. The furnishings are perfect, and with details like the family portrait and stockings the house is looking more like a home. Outside we also add some nice touches, like the lights and icicles on the windows.
Bag 4: Now we get to the most interesting part of the build in terms of technique. I have not seen a roof constructed like this before. I have to say, it's genius. The high peaks created using this technique of connectors and pins is impressive. However that's where my praise ends. In actuality the roof was a pain in the a**! several times I had to completely restart it. It is impossible to 'quick-fix' it, if any plate pulls apart it's a 'burn-it-to-the-ground-and-start-again-fix'. I spent 15 minutes repairing a section my son broke trying to lift the roof sections like wings (they do not lift in anyway, once built they are most definately fixed). I actually don't mind a build being challenging so I would happily build another set with a roof like this, just don't expect it to be a simple build.
Another point about the roof is that new colored part 18677 in Coral. Now I love getting new colors, and I love the new Coral color, I just don't understand why we got it for this set. They are used to connect the roof sections and once complete are completely hidden. Why go to the expense of creating a new element that we don't even see, they could just have easily been an existing color and put that money somewhere else (like the baby!)
We also start the upstairs rooms, starting with the bathroom.
Bag 5: My son waited the whole build to get his hands on that cotton candy lamp, and he wasn't disappointed. The chimney however disappointed me. It's an impressive structure and commands the focal point of the model, but thats not what annoyed me. Near the bottom of the chimney you place a light brick, you bury it deeper and deeper, thinking how do I push the button? Eventually that is answered in an ingenius way. Axles connected to a 1x2 beam leads to the top which you add a small smoke stack to. This is your button. It looks great, and maybe I built it wrong (I did go back and rebuild it but maybe I'm still missing something!) but everytime you push it the smoke 'balls' extend wider than a 1x1 plate, meaning the surrounding 1x2 tiles are forced open. After half a dozen pushes the tiles eventually loosen so much they fall off. This is a very odd oversight for LEGO. They are usually much more careful than this. I fixed this simply by adding a 1x1 round plate that was in the spares. That tiny bit of extra height is all it needed to work perfectly, you don't even notice the extra plate, I can't beleive LEGO left it this way.
The last part of the roof is added, again some really great techniques are used to create this fantastic looking roof. From above it almost looks impossible. And finally the Candy Cane sign out front. Odd that they stuck with "Candy Lane" instead of the more common term "Candy Cane Lane", I guess the sticker would be too big with that extra word.
The final set isn't as impressive as I thought it would be. Yes the roof is amazing, and aesthetically it looks great, it just seems smaller than I was expecting. Infact the first thing my wife said to me was "It's a lot smaller than it looks on the box." Especially considering the part count for this set (the second highest of any Winter Village set).
I recommend this set for a lot of reasons, if you're a Christmas fan especially. It is easily the most challenging Winter Village set I have built (I have not built them all, my budget doesn't allow me to get some of the earlier ones. I'll happily take a Cottage off someones hands if anyone needs the space!). And it comes with a load of interesting parts in interesting colors.
The tree is quite large also. I can't wait to get it next to some of my other Winter Village trees to see exactly how it stands up, but It definately doesn't fit in the house. And compared to the tree in the Harry Potter Clock Tower set it really is quite large.
I just wish two very simple faults weren't present. With two dark blue 1x3 tiles and a 1x1 plate you can fix this set easily, but for $100 we shouldn't have to.