6 November 2017

10259 Winter Village Holiday Station

Can we talk about Christmas yet? I guess so; LEGO® Creator Expert 10259 Winter Village Holiday Station



 has been available for over a month now (902 pieces, priced £74.99 / US$79.99 / 69.99€). Today, Sven Franic explores the new parts included and gets inspired to build.

A year since we saw the 10254 Winter Village Holiday Train, presumably picking up passengers randomly along the line, a train station is finally here to restore some order to the holiday chaos.



Although the Winter Village Holiday sets are part of the Creator Expert line, there isn't all that much expert in them. This is also acknowledged by the 12+ marking on the box compared to most other sets in the line which are 16+.

As a certain LEGO set designer, who might not like to be named, recently explained to a group of keen AFOLs, there are certain techniques and elements which are known to cause difficulties in the building process for some children and are thus avoided in most other LEGO themes. This includes things like having two very visually similar pieces of the same colour close together in the build.

This requires orientation skills and great attention to detail which may not yet be fully developed in some children. Because of this, sets have to abide by certain rules in order to fit into a specific age recommendation (that’s the number on the box we all hoped our parents would ignore when buying our birthday presents).

I don’t want to sound like I know what I am talking about, but TLG does a lot of tests, so presumably it knows its stuff.

A building, a vehicle and its modest surroundings all under 1000 bricks wouldn’t really be expected to pose a great building challenge anyway, but, fear not, you will be spared an hour-long stacking festival. There are some interesting solutions to ostensibly simple problems in the winter station. Having a corner tower at a 45° angle right next to its adjacent walls isn’t new. We have all seen hinge plates and have even recently got a specialised corner door frame for this purpose. This building, however, uses none of them to accomplish its angles.



The tower built up on a 6x6 plate sits perfectly between four 6x6 wedge plates (Element ID 6030845 | Design ID 6106). A simple 4x4 turntable under the platform keeps it firmly in place. There is a chance this was used before in a set and I just never knew about it, but this is the first time I have seen it and thought it was clever.

In order to avoid collisions between parts of the walls, a lot of round pieces were used in the tower along the rest of the build, including 1x5 Technic plates. 

Another unusually clever use of parts in the set are the black hydraulic cylinders (6195916 | 87617) used as pillars. They could have just used the common 1x1x6 support (43888), but this is more interesting and saves them from introducing the support element in black.



The Bus follows a consistent vintage style of Winter Village sets. Trucks, buses and pickups always look better than regular cars from official LEGO sets. The available parts, specifically mudguards and windscreens, seem to favour larger, boxier vehicles.



New LEGO elements in 10259 Winter Village Holiday Station

New pieces and recolours in the set are scarce compared to some of the juicy releases this year. It is the end of the year after all and this set was probably developed far in advance.

 What there is, though, is quite interesting.

My favourite piece in the set is the Microphone now in Medium Stone Grey [TLG] / Light Bluish Gray [BL] (Element ID 6199163 | Design ID 18740 or 90370). I have used this piece in black before for finishing off bollards which is what they are used for in this set.

Being a utensil, its primary function is aesthetic. Other connection points, apart from the obvious bar, as hard as I tried to find them, are non-existent, at least in the legal connections spectrum.

The ball end of the piece fits surprisingly well into a ball-joint socket, but only until it bottoms out at one of the sides after which it just falls out freely. The pointlessness of this connection is further attested by last year’s introduction of a far more efficient piece for this purpose. The 3.2 Shaft W/5.9 Ball (Design ID 22484), though a bit longer and not yet available in light grey, is actually intended to fit a ball-joint socket.



The small end of the microphone bar is a non-standard dimension and is not used for connecting pieces. This is the diameter used by some axles and can also be found on the end of the minifigure umbrella piece. The only hole I found to fit this size was the smaller end of binoculars. I don’t recommend you try, though, since this compatibility may be purely accidental and could possibly damage your pieces.

In my further efforts in exploring new places to push the grey microphones, I went around asking people what it reminded them of. One suggestion was ball casters as found on some of those ugly office chairs. Other ideas included curtain rail endings, radio knobs and a couple of less appropriate uses for grey balls and shafts.

I played around with some microphones, seeing how many I could incorporate into a small scene. 


I had more ideas for the whole room, but unfortunately I ran out of microphones.

One of the more recent pieces, Shell, 4X6X2/3 here recoloured in Earth Blue [TLG] / Dark Blue [BL](6195326 | 32739), finally solves the less than ideal transition between the vehicle roof parts.




The curved wedge piece (52031, shown in the background of the picture above) commonly used for city vehicle bonnets and roofs never had a proper continuation of the curve if you were to have a longer roof. “Cheese slopes” (54200) were the best part for the job, but they weren’t perfect. With this new piece, the transition is smooth, but, due to its large size, the possibilities are still quite limited.

Following in random order, Design Brick 1X1X2 also known as 1x1 Scroll Brick (6192919 | 20310) is recoloured in Medium Nougat [TLG] / Medium Dark Flesh [BL] for the first time here. The piece has a mostly decorative purpose which means new colours are always welcome. So far we have had this piece in Reddish Brown, White, Warm Gold [TLG] / Pearl Gold [BL] and Brick Yellow [TLG] / Tan [BL].




The scroll brick is just one of many new or re-introduced pieces in Medium Nougat this year.
 This set also introduces the 1x2 Technic Brick (6192920 | 3700) in this colour, and re-introduced the 1x3 brick (6192922 | 3622) after 7 years.

A fairly new piece, Plate 1X1 Round W/ Horizontal 3.2 Shaft (6196548 | 32828), making a debut in the recent 70620 Ninjago City was previously observed on New Elementary by Elspeth De Montes, and I instantly commented on how it reminds me of the basket filter from an espresso machine, which is exactly what it is used for in this set.


While this almost single piece build is quite limited to coffee makers, the piece has far more potential as a utility element for bridging connections from studs to bars and pins. I can think of two minifigure utensils which could previously do part of the job of this new piece. The Stop Paddle (3900) and the “Ring Spanner” which is part of the Tool Wheel (11402).


The paddle is an awkward size, only has a stud, no anti-stud and is quite rare in black. The spanner has two anti-studs, and I am not sure if connecting both sides at the same time constitutes a legal connection. The new piece is a traditional round 1x1 plate with a 1l bar attached to the side.


The bar also has a hole for accepting pins, such as those found on minidoll hair accessories or flower stems. If we count the hollow stud, this tiny piece has five different connection points. This might be a new record!


The station’s tower is home to a new printed clock piece which uses the Round Shield element (6195246 | 75902).


This shield element is an unusual 2.5 x 2.5 studs size which is a neat size of clock to have. It fills a gap in available clock elements which are usually printed on 4x4 dishes or 2x2 tiles. If you are building any kind of clock tower, the size of the clock itself is likely to dictate your building scale.
The four-sided tower in the set supplies you with 3 shield pieces with the clock pattern.





No other printed elements are new, but the newsstand at the station sells a slightly less common publication, a 2x2 printed newspaper tile (6135300) that only previously appeared in the 25827 Firehouse Headquarters. The print is generic enough to be used in non-licensed sets and adds some variety to the choice of reading material.



The BrickLink inventory for 10259 Winter Village Holiday Station states there is an alternate part for the white “LEGO NEWS” newspaper tile (4655208). It shows a white tile with a picture of a fireman and a cat in a tree, but my copy of this set didn’t come with this alternative option. I haven’t been able to find this new print on any official inventory listing. One possibility is that this is a new newspaper print meant to replace the old generic newspaper tile, and LEGO is just using up the old print while stocks last, or it is a mistake in the set inventory. Neither of these options would be a first.



Through the years, minifigures and minidolls have been well informed through their 2x2 tile media. I think I have most, if not all, of the ones available, not counting stickers, magazines and comics. Most are affiliated with a licence so can’t be used in other sets. If the alternative newspaper tile from this set is real, then it is one more to be added to the collection.



Finally, the supplied sticker sheet may have potential to be re-used in other builds, but contains mostly holiday themed stickers. I especially like the “TICKETS” sign. I would love to use that on an amusement ride ticket booth.


Conclusion

A train station was an obvious choice after the train, but it is very uncommon for a LEGO set to be an add-on to another set, even though this is not explicitly implied. All things considered, most notably the size and price the winter village sets need to fit into, I think dividing the train and station into separate sets was a brave move and the only way to achieve substantial builds. The part inventory seems quite generous. Train fans are sure to make use of the 4 pieces of straight track. The set comes with two rather expensive and nowadays uncommon pine trees and a bunch of other great pieces in nice colours.



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4 comments:

  1. Great to see the revival of the medium dark flesh 1x3 brick!
    Just in time for the bulk order :)

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  2. "

Another unusually clever use of parts in the set are the black hydraulic cylinders (6195916 | 87617) used as pillars".
    That was first done in the bandstand that is part of 10222 Winter Village Post Office.

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  3. The roof extension is too little, too late, and too studded. I've more or less switched to making brickbuilt roofs on cars because I can vary the length and shape a lot more. And eliminate all of the studs.

    On the newspapers, A couple years ago I made my Flash trail, and I wanted at least a dozen different non-stickered publications to add like they were getting kicked up in his wake. Of the ones you used, I skipped Scooby-Doo because technically that's just a clipping with a notecard attached by paperclip. I skipped Heartlake because friends don't let friends play Friends. And I skipped Doc Ock because it'll be over 81 years before Spiderman is cool, and also it seemed blasphemous to put Marvel tiles on a DC MOC. What I used instead were the Springfield Inquisitor (technically more newspapery than magazine in format, if it's indeed based on the National Inquirer tabloid) and the Brick magazine with the Ghostbusters cover. If there is another new newspapery type tile coming out, that would be awesome because I'm stuck at eleven right now.

    Oh, and you're definitely missing one. Two, if you include other clippings. The Scooby-Doo plane set has a second clipping with another paperclipped note titled Stolen Trophy (makes you wonder why the other sets didn't come with any), but the expensive one would be the Yoda Chronicles tile from NYTF 2013.

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  4. I think Ninjago City has a similar trick with a 45-degree 4x4 turntable, though not exactly the same.

    ReplyDelete