With the current amount of seasonal LEGO sets, it’s absolutely impossible not to add a LEGO model to your holiday home decorations. And when the trendy BrickHeadz figures meet the holidays, some of the sweetest and most adorable sets are born. LEGO BrickHeadz 40274 Mr. & Mrs. Claus is the fifth seasonal BrickHeadz set, and the only double-pack of the sub-theme. The set consists of 341 pieces, which makes it the third largest LEGO BrickHeadz set so far. This is possible thanks to a ton of decorations that the figures come with, but let’s take a closer look at the designs of Mr. and Mrs. Claus themselves as well…
Due to the set’s slightly bigger piece count the box contains not two, but four separate bags. The first thing you’ll notice is how colorful the pieces actually are.
Next thing to expect is a couple of instruction booklets. Despite the fact that Mrs. Claus comes with number 34 (and Mr. Claus is number 33), the building guide suggest assembling Mrs. Claus first.
New and interesting pieces
Among the set’s 341 pieces we’ve managed to find several noticeable elements:
- tile 2×4 with “Seasonal” print; quite a rare element, which can only be found in other seasonal BrickHeadz sets (40272 Halloween Witch, 40273 Thanksgiving Turkey, 40271 Easter Bunny and 40270 Valentine’s Bee)
- minifig flotation ring in green; this piece is popular as a Christmas wreath. This is why the piece in green comes in just 12 other sets, almost all of which are Christmas-themed
- round plates 1 x 1 with 5 petals in white; 2018 is the first time we’ve seen these pieces in white, and 40274 Mr. & Mrs. Claus is one of the 12 sets containing the elements in this particular color
According to the way the bags are numbered, Mrs. Claus is to be built first. The figure starts with a very satisfying round shape made with curved slopes.
As usual, the figure comes together very quickly. Some moments later you’ll find yourself completing a very unusual pattern of L-shaped plates on both sides of the head.
The complete figure is the epitome of care and benignity. Somehow the very common pieces suddenly make a very kind and absolutely sweet character. Once again the LEGO BrickHeadz design team shows us how to create another piece of clothing for a BrickHeadz character; this time it’s a winter cape.
I could not think of an accessory more suitable than a tiny tray full of freshly baked cookies.
Interestingly enough, unlike Mrs. Claus’ round figure, Mr. Claus’ body is a regular 4×4 square. It’s very simple, clearly lacking a couple of tiny details…
The rest of the figure comes together way too quickly leaving almost no chance to enjoy the assembly process. Somehow, after Mrs. Claus’ adorable build, Mr. Claus feels unfinished and underdeveloped.
Evaluating the figures’ designs
Grabbing the set from the store, I had absolutely no intention of criticising the set in any respect. However, after a very pleasant first impression the set hits with a very mediocre Santa Claus’ design.
Obviously, this is a perfect opportunity to speak about the changes every character undergoes to become a BrickHeadz figure. Just like the format of the regular LEGO minifigure, the signature features of a BrickHeadz character create some significant limitations on the characters’ original designs. More often than not, the designs undergo a process of simplification; Black Widow’s body is more boxy than that of Scarlett Johansson, while Hulk‘s hands do not look capable of smashing much of anything. Of course, there are two basic ways of smoothing out the flaws of BrickHeadz designs. First, numerous printed pieces help elaborate the figure’s outfits (e.g., the fabulous Dumbledore’s robe). Second, designers are constantly looking for new ways they can use the most common pieces (just look at Mickey’s and Minnie’s ears!).
But then there are characters that do not survive such transformations particularly well. Santa Claus is such a case. The final BrickHeadz design looks surprisingly dull and uninteresting. I think the reason for this is the initial design being way too simple. If you think about it, the only distinguishing things about Santa’s appearance are his red winter coat and his white bushy beard. Both of these can be easily transferred to the format of a BrickHeadz figure, but this is not enough for an eye-catching model. Moreover, some design decisions are quite questionable. For instance, 1×4 slopes used for Santa’s hat could be easily replaced with curved ones, which would make a more organic shape. After several days spent with the set I tend to think that Dumbledore’s beard design might work much better for Santa than Santa’s own version.
The result is a pair of very different figures that don’t particularly dovetail into one another.
Unlike the figures, both stands are simply wonderful. I can hardly recall any other LEGO Holidays set featuring such lovely decorations.
Both characters look particularly sweet among their accessories.
Moreover, all the decorations work perfectly even when detached from the stands. You instantly get a lovely set of home LEGO decorations to be placed on a table, on a mantel, or by a bed-head.
It suddenly feels as though the new LEGO BrickHeadz 40274 Mr. & Mrs. Claus set has turned out to be a pretty controversial set! Even though the overall quality and the design of the models are brilliant, we can’t examine them taken out of the context of the whole BrickHeadz theme. And with 80 figures so far we’ve seen some particularly impressive sets featuring great color combinations, awesome piece choices, and unusual design solutions. Unfortunately, the new holiday couple can hardly offer any of these. But if you’re looking for one solid reason to get the set, note that this is the first and only Christmas BrickHeadz set so far, and it makes a wonderful LEGO decoration.