If you love LEGO (who doesn't) and you love Christmas (that's everyone, right?), then you'll love the latest addition to the Winter Village Collection. Keeping up with tradition, LEGO has released the Winter Village Fire Station (10263) for 2018.
Starting in 2009, LEGO has been releasing ultra-charming sets that mimic a Bavarian-style Christmas in a small town setting.
Apart from just looking fantastic, many collectors will use these sets as part of their actual Christmas decorations. This dual purpose of display and festive decoration appeals to a lot LEGO fans, including us!
So let's take a look at what this year's edition has to offer.
The Winter Village Fire Station stands are 1,166 pieces. Although not the largest of the series (that mantle belongs to the Winter Village Cottage), it is up there in terms of piece count compared to previous releases.
Inside we're presented with 8 minifigures, including a dog and a baby minfigure. Characters include three town firemen/firewomen, a saxophonist, a boy on skates, girl in a scarf, a baby and dog.
The minifigures themselves do the job to set the scene, but none of them are terribly special.
When it comes to contents, the Winter Village Fire Station parts come in 10 individual polybags, numbered from 1 to 3. There are also two instruction manuals and a sticker sheet (boo) with 10 decals to put on.
When it comes to the build, the Winter Village Fire Station can be easily described as easy, but fun. There aren't too many challenging build processes involved in this set, and the instructions now incorporate highlighting of parts to indicate what pieces have been added in each step - this makes of an easy to follow build.
The fun part comes with the variety. Overall, there is a number of different elements that keep things interesting. This includes the fire station itself, the fire truck, ice rink, Christmas tree and park bench.
If you've ever built a massive Creator series set, you'll be familiar with repetitive stages that are often made up of mono-colour bricks. However, this set isn't the case and it helps keep things light and enjoyable.
This set also includes a LEGO build light brick! This sits on top of the building near the bell tower and helps illuminate the structure.
Some of the more charming features of this set include a firemen's slide pole within the station and the retractable ladder on the firetruck. Unfortunately, with the firetruck itself, it was disappointing to learn that you cannot properly fit two minifigures in the front seat.
Like on a budget airplane, the two characters have to fight to see who gets to put their arm down in order to get them sitting side-by-side.
Overall, LEGO fans will be able to easily knock this one out in a quiet evening without much rush. But once complete, it creates a very charming and visually rich scene of a small town winter wonderland.
Here at Light My Bricks, we're big fans of the Winter Village series and this year's release is no exception. Maybe you can put this on your Santa wishlist, or alternatively get one before the festive season starts so that you can add/display it as part of your Christmas decorations.
When it comes to lighting up a Winter Village set, we're always conscious about the theme. With regular sets like a vehicle, such as a car, lighting is rather straightforward. It should be practical, functional and realistic.
However, with the Winter Village sets, it's more about a decoration and creating an ambience/vibe. From the light kit designer's perspective, this is both fun and a challenge.
The Winter Village sets are usually challenging because doll-house builds have typically less space to worth with and concealing can be tricky. Compared to the modular series buildings, there just aren't as many nooks and crannies to hide the lighting components.
But as light kit designers, we're not ones to shy away from a challenge!
Because of the nature of this set, we knew that some people would use this light kit as part of their home Christmas decorations, so we wanted to give off a warm, but wintery feel as well.
When it came to deciding which features to light up, the Christmas tree was a natural choice. In fact, another Winter Village set that we previously lit up in the Santa's Workshop had a Christmas tree so we incorporated the same techniques.
Unlike the standard LEGO tree pieces, the Christmas tree was built on a series of plates, which meant lots of bit lights! As you can see, there is a complex weave of lights underneath the transparent round plates to mimic real-life light decorations.
The next feature was the fire-truck. Having lit up lots of vehicles, even small ones like the convertible in the Downtown Diner modular building, lighting the truck was relatively straightforward. However, we always prefer to aim for playability with our light sets.
This meant we had to look for a way to place a power source for the truck, otherwise, it would have to be tethered by a connection cable to the main building. Fortunately, our flat battery packs are well... flat! And we could fit the pack underneath the truck without obscuring the contact of the wheels.
Next, we turned our attention to the ice-rink. This turned out to be our favourite section. Not because it was technically, challenging, no. All it required was just a single blue strip light to be attached. The reason we liked it so much was because how simple, yet effective the end result was.
The simple strip light really helped create something magical with the ice-rink and it really helps imbue that wintery setting.
Another one of the external features were the park bench and lamp posts. There is something romantic and nostalgic about low hanging street lamps, and we couldn't give up the opportunity to have these illuminated too. These were pretty simple to light up, but again, they helped immensely in setting the mood.
Now for the main building, the fire station itself. Overall, this was a simple process as well. We're well versed with lighting buildings since lighting up the modular building series was one of the main reasons why we decided to get into this business!
By adding a few light strips to the ceiling and bit lights in their appropriate areas, we were able to decorate a fire station befitting of a small town celebration.
The final product turned out great. Although not as complex as some of our other light kit builds, the abundance of features and colour makes the Winter Village Fire Station a truly special addition to the Winter Village series as well as making it a lovely Christmas decoration/display piece.
The Light My Bricks Winter Village Fire Station light kit is now available on our online store. Check out our video demonstration below to see the lights in full effect!