41420 Friends Advent Calendar Review

As per usual, with all four (yep, four!) of the 2020 Advent Calendars, I’ll be updating this post daily. Each day will have an image of the day’s build, a quick comment, with a final overall review at the end of the month. If you want to keep up to date with the post, use the link to the right of the page – it’ll be there for the duration of December. I won’t be posting any pics on social media, so it won’t get spoilt by me!

Theme: Seasonal; Friends
No: 41420
Release Year: 2020
Cost: AUD $49.95
Pieces: 236 (with five minidolls)

Friends can be a bit hit and miss with their advent calendars. 2018’s tree ornament calendar was fantastic, and last year’s was a bit so so – we’ll have to wait and see this year – there’s a couple of elves in this one, but some of the builds on the front look rather simple. I’m also building this one with my 3 year old daughter, so she’ll add some comments in regularly too.

We’re back to having a display stand this year after last year’s rather annoying lack of one.

Day 1:

First up is Emma in some light blue PJs, with a sleepy moon and stars print. It’s cute. She’s also got a hair brush with her. Miss 3 immediately said “Awww she’s got PJs on! Why does she have shoes on?”. Good question, kid.

Day 2: Cup, Cookies and Checklist

This was a little confusing for Miss 3 – “Is it a cake, Daddy?”. Well, no. I think it’s meant to be a table, with a cup (presumably milk), cookies for Santa, and Emma’s checklist of presents. I do like the pens though.

Day 3: Fireplace

We’ve got the obligatory fireplace today, but this to me feels more like City rather than Friends. It’s a shame the holly isn’t hanging, rather than placed, and the stocking is very nice. Miss 3’s comment this morning – “Look Daddy, it’s an L!”.

Day 4: Hamster and Pretzel

Yeah, this is more like the Friends advent calendar sets. Just a day of disappointment. A hamster, a pretzel (yep, random) and a pillow? I guess? What a completely random assortment of weirdness. At least Miss 3 was happy – “Oh I like the bear!”. Do better please, Friends.

Day 5: Mailbox

This is a bit better. A mailbox for the letters to Santa. It’s very basic but it’s good to see a little snow on the top, even if it is a bit plain.

Day 6: Elf

It’s another minidoll today, but it’s a special one, as it’s brand new! While the head is a normal minidoll size (and the hat the same as system LEGO with different coloured ears, the body of the elf is brand new to the set, and it’s super cute! The printing on the body, which is all one piece and not moveable, is really well done, but there’s no back printing. He’s able to hold little bars as well, which is great.

Day 7: Christmas Arch

We’ve got a build with a fair few parts today, in a Christmas Arch. It’s quite nice! Miss 3 was able to get started straight away by herself. It was really cool to see. A nice build for a Friends calendar.

Day 8: Toy Workbench

From the outset, this might seem like another disappointing build, but I’m kind of impressed by it. No, the bench itself is a little sad, but it’s what’s on top that’s got me liking it. Not only is the duck still relatively hard to find, having appeared in only five other sets across a number of themes, but it harks back to LEGO’s history with The Wooden Duck. I’ll let you read the article yourself, but this is a really great inclusion.

Day 9: RC Glider

This is apparently an RC Glider. I think they’re trying to Friendify a City idea, and I’m not sure it works. The colours are a bit all over the place, but the concept is kind of cool.

Day 10: Treats Table

Well this is nice. A treats table filled (sort of) with biscuits, cakes and a meringue? This is a decent build, with some good spares.

Day 11: Toy Train and Workbench

I have to say, I’m impressed this morning. This workbench with a toy train and paint brush on it is brilliant! The details in the train are really well executed for a small model, and the use of a Technic element as a paint pot is superb. The brush tends to fall out quite easily, but all in all this is a really strong model.

Day 12: Skateboard

We’re at the halfway point of the calendar and we have a very basic and frankly disappointing build in a skateboard with a bow. At least it’s purple so it matches the box?

Day 13: Waffle Stand

I love this! I wasn’t sure what it was at first – the image on the flap doesn’t quite show what it is, but when I saw the printed waffle tile, I immediately got it. It’s a waffle stand with a waffle iron and condiments. It’s excellent!

Day 14: Wind Up Penguin

I’m a sucker for the wind up key elements so I’m happy with this little wind up penguin. The face is a little odd – I’m not sure if if it’s wearing a top hat or has really weird eyes, but the feet are very clever, using a half Technic pin and a Coral heart tile.

Day 15: Elf

Another standard elf today – it’s the same as we’ve had earlier on with Day 6, this time with a pearl gold feather in hand.

Day 16: Present Wrapping Table

I love this! A nice wrapping station with bows, sticky tape and scissors to boot. Very clever.

Day 17: Presents

Apologies for the delay in posting day 17’s builds – I’ve landed myself in hospital with pancreatitis! I was just too weak to do anything yesterday. I’m here for a few more days, but will try to continue to post.

We’ve got a similar sight for Day 17 with some presents. An easy build. Inside the presents are sunglasses and bows.

Day 18: Campfire and Hot Chocolate

We’ve definitely seen this before, but the three nice cups are a fantastic inclusion! I like the look of the hot chocolate jug (or hot cocoa if you’re not in Australia). Tried and true. Those cups though. I’m super happy with those.

Day 19: Catapult

Another build we’ve seen plenty of before – a snow catapult. Very simple. Hopefully something more exciting tomorrow!

Day 20: Snowman

I’m out of hospital! Time to recover and get stuck into some more LEGO. Time to catch up on Day 20 as well.

We’ve got the commonly seen snowman again. This one always seems to have a different design each year, and I have to say, this year it’s a bit lacking. I think the kids that built it got a bit bored? The snowman needs to stand on a single anti-stud, which means it’s easy to topple over. It’s also got no arms. This was a bit lazier. I don’t mind the scarf though – it looks a bit like a collar!

Day 21: Sleigh

It’s nearing the end of the calendar, which means we’re getting close to Santa. Here’s his sleigh, ready for Emma to sit on, although she can’t so she has to stand. It looks like a present can fit on the back. Will we get a trailer on the back tomorrow? Time will tell.

Day 22: Sleigh Trailer

As predicted (der), we’ve got a little trailer that clips on to the back of the sleigh for all the Christmas loot. It even comes with a nice little present. Only two days til Christmas!

Day 23: Christmas Tree

It’s the second last day of the Advent Calendar and we’ve got a Christmas tree! Every calendar needs a Christmas tree. We’ve seen designs like this before, so nothing new and exciting. One day to go!

Day 24: Mrs Claus

It’s Christmas Eve and this year we get Mrs Claus! It’s unique to the set and a really nice print. This could actually be my favourite minidoll. It’s got some excellent printing and she comes with a sack of presents. Pretty cool, and a great way to finish off the calendar.

This year hasn’t been too bad. To be frank, I’m often disappointed with the Friends calendar, but this year has been pretty good. The Santa’s Workshop builds in particular have been quite good, with the favourites this year being the waffle stand and the wooden duck table. My daughter has certainly enjoyed building them every day – she even brought the bags in to me when I was in hospital so we could build them together.

Thank you to all of you for following along with the calendar this year. It’s been a big month! In the coming week I’ll be preparing my 2020 Reflections article and then in the new year I’ll be releasing the results of the Top 5 Sets for 2020 poll, and who the winner is! We’ve had a lot (I mean a lot!) of entries.

Merry Christmas to Everyone, and have a great New Year’s break.

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