Christmas X-Wing: the Lego 2019 employee exclusive set [Review]

Each Christmas, the LEGO Group gives their employees a special gift in the form of an exclusive holiday-themed LEGO set. These sets often celebrate the company’s milestones, such as the home of LEGO’s founder with Ole Kirk’s House in 2012 and the 50th anniversary of LEGO trains with 50 Years on Track in 2016. This year, LEGO delivered a special present from a galaxy far, far away with set 4002019 Christmas X-Wing, designed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the LEGO Star Wars license. Set 4002019 consists of 1,038 pieces and has been distributed to LEGO’s employees worldwide. Since this was given as a free gift, there isn’t any official retail pricing – Based on recent eBay completed listings, you can currently expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $300 USD. While not available in stores, you can purchase it via other avenues like eBay.

The box and contents

When LEGO gives a gift for the winter holiday season, they really go all out – right down to the packaging. Everything is packed in an attractive box with a festive holiday scene on the front and a brief historical note on the back. This passage is translated into nine different languages to accommodate employees in regions where LEGO has a significant presence. Thus, you’ll find everything from English and German to Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

The front of the box has a very special LEGO Star Wars 20th anniversary logo, designed to look like a slick holiday ornament.

It’s also worth checking out the sides of the box, which are just as lovely as the front and back. Printing on the box depicts holiday-themed greebling in bright red instead of “Star Wars gray.” This particular side showcases the Yuletide Squadron Pilot, who not-so-suspiciously looks like Santa.

Outside of its beauty, the box is sturdy enough to hold up over time and double as a carrying case for the completed builds. In fact, one of the interior flaps even illustrates how you can arrange the modules inside. It’s akin to the type of boxes used in LEGO Ideas sets, complete with folding flaps to keep the box securely closed. It’s pretty well-packed, too!

After you’ve finished drooling over the box, it’s time to lay everything out. The Christmas X-Wing consists of eight numbered bags, a loose 16×16 white plate, three instructions books, and a folding pamphlet. A brick separator is stashed away in one of the bags and, before you get too excited, it’s an orange one. How cool would have been to see that element in a non-production color like red? I’m not complaining though, because a holiday X-Wing was a truly unexpected surprise.

As a child of the ’90s, I’ve never been a huge fan of sets that have multiple instruction booklets; inconsistencies in size and the possibility of losing one tend to bother me. However, I feel this approach works just fine here. While the three instructions vary in size, they represent each of the major builds. The X-Wing manual is the thickest in the lot.

Opening the X-Wing manual reveals a brief history of the LEGO Star Wars licensing agreement. We’re showing the English page here, but you can find other translations inside.

Another interesting point about the instruction manuals is how the minifigures appear in various steps. They can sometimes be seen peeking from behind an illustration or even helping to put a part in place. Sometimes, they even have speech bubbles with QR Codes which take you to a special video on the set. Each instruction book has it’s own minifigure, with the Yuletide Squadron Pilot appearing with the X-Wing, Yoda with the toy hut, and R2-D2 with the hover sleigh. For me, seeing these characters throughout the build made the experience all the more rewarding by giving me something to look forward to.

Those characters also appear throughout the manuals to illustrate your progress. A small walking minifigure graphic appears at the bottom of every page; as you turn the pages, the character continues to move further to the right.

The pamphlet was an unexpected surprise; as a collector of LEGO ephemera I was thoroughly pleased! It’s made to look like a letter, complete with a special Yoda postage stamp. The front is marked with “Dear LEGO Jedi” in multiple languages, and the back advises the “letter” is “to be opened once the holiday season is over.” More on this cryptic message later.

The minifigures

A holiday X-Wing wouldn’t be complete without some holiday Star Wars figures, and this set comes with three: the Yuletide Squadron Pilot, Yoda and R2-D2. Each minifigure is meant to represent familiar Christmas characters. With the white beard and green sack, the Yuletide Squadron Pilot is obviously Santa. As is evident by his toy workshop and pointy ears, Yoda is the elf. R2-D2 appears with the sleigh – a clear nod to one of Santa’s reindeer. With the exception of R2-D2, they have printing on the front and back sides.

For the minifig collectors out there, the Yuletide Squadron Pilot is exclusive to this set and I believe all of the prints are unique (correct me if I’m wrong). While we’ve had a Yoda in a Santa suit before, this one sports the suit used in the Santa from the 2017, 2018 and 2019 LEGO City Advent calendars. R2-D2 is disappointingly “normal” and, given the droid’s role in this set, it would have been great to see him outfitted with reindeer antlers like he had in the 2015 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar.

Here’s a closer look at the Yuletide Squadron Pilot. Removing the wavy white beard allows for a better look at the front torso print, and it reveals the same face used for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Build 1 – the sleigh

Bag 1 starts off with the sleigh speeder. This is the smallest assembly in the set and makes for a great way to ease into the more involved models. The first leg of the build involves building a simple platform with wheels, allowing the sleigh to move around. To hide the wheels, a pair of panels are built and mounted to the sideways-facing studs.

The sleigh itself is completed after layering on some plates and tiles, along with adding a control panel and raised seat. This seat is designed to hold R2-D2 in place.

An empty sleigh is boring, but fortunately there are four gift boxes to place in the back. Two of the boxes contain a Star Wars-themed gift inside. The first of these is a silver roller skate, which I’m guessing is supposed to be the Millennium Falcon. If it is, you really have to use your imagination with that one. The other one is a small gold minifig statue standing in as a C-3PO action figure. I wish the designers would have included two additional gifts for the other boxes, but that also leaves more room for you to add your own. How about a porg or lightsaber hilt?

Once all of the packages are in place, the sleigh looks really slick. There are enough details to make it look like a Star Wars vehicle, but the color scheme and gold rail in the front indicate this is undeniably Christmas. Thanks to the raised tiles and the packages in place, R2-D2 sits nicely without sliding back and forth. I’m still disappointed he doesn’t have any antlers, though.

Build 2 – Yoda’s toy workshop hut

Yoda’s toy workshop takes you through bag eight and is the medium-sized build in the lot. As this is a building, things start off with the foundation. It’s your basic plate and brick stacking here. A number of the bricks have studs on the sides, suggesting there will be a lot of mounting later on.

As the build continues, a toy workshop starts to take shape inside. The instructions have you mount a duck, blue roller skate, and piece of equipment inside. My LEGO history radar is going off…

Taking these three details together, I realized this was an homage to LEGO’s beginnings as a wooden toy manufacturer. LEGO began making wooden toys in 1932, and the wooden duck became one of their bestselling wooden toys and, consequently, the official symbol of LEGO’s history. Though the instructions don’t show it, I am certain that the duck and roller skates belong together; they make for the perfect duck pull-toy! As for the piece of equipment, it looks like a drill press to me.

Master Yoda is basically the miniature green version of founder, Ole Kirk Kristiansen. “Good enough, only the best is!”

Once finished playing around with Yoda Kirk Christiansen, it’s time to get back to building the rest of the workshop. As before, it comes down to more stacking, though the positioning of bricks and addition of some corner slopes slightly convey the curvature of what will become a domed structure.

The domed structure becomes more tangible with the next portion of the build, which has you make a stand capable of supporting the X-Wing. Even without the X-Wing, the tilted stand doubles nicely as a communication receiver or defensive weaponry – your choice.

Remember the side-mounting I was talking about earlier? Here is where it comes into play. Curved slopes allow this to feel like a true wintry hut. Curved plates are also added to create a more interesting looking base.

A printed 20th anniversary 2×4 tile is affixed to the right side of Yoda’s workshop. Up until now, this tile was only available in this year’s promotional 20th anniversary microscale sets of the Battle of Endor and Battle of Hoth.

Add some trees and candles, and we have a very festive version of Yoda’s hut. The shaping is clearly meant to represent Yoda’s Dagobah-based abode, while the white coloring provides it an igloo-like appearance. I especially enjoy how Yoda is given the elf treatment, with his hut transformed into a bustling toy workshop. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…on Dagobah!

Build 3 – X-Mas X-Wing

The end is now in sight with the final build, and the Christmas X-Wing is the crown jewel of the set. Because you need bags three through eight, it’s also the more time-intensive build of the three models. I have to admit that I don’t typically buy LEGO Star Wars sets, so I’m not even going to pretend like I know how similar or different the building experience is from other LEGO X-Wing sets in LEGO’s portfolio. For those more familiar, the images in this review will hopefully prove helpful in ascertaining that information. Things kick off with the beginnings of the cockpit.

Next, it’s time to assemble and put into place the mechanism used for opening and closing the wings.

Building out the front end follows afterward.

Things start to get interesting when shaping out the front end. A needle-like structure is put into place, and a pair of hinged panels are slotted around it to form the angle leading up to the nose.

Covering up the gaps left behind is paramount, and this is achieved with some tiling and plate stacking. After that, the nose is constructed and slotted over the Technic axle. The cockpit is also further fleshed out.

It’s around this point that you have to flip the model upside-down and add the landing gear. This view also reveals the underside of wing folding mechanism. Pushing up on the bar will eventually cause the wings to collapse.

Detailing the rear is an enjoyable process, as I love gold elements. Curved elements are also used to capture the iconic cylindrical shape.

Construction of the folding mechanism continues, additional curved slopes are added to the sides of the cockpit, and the windshield is clipped in place. At this point, a pair of pins are also created which will be used to secure and release the wings.

At first, building the wings primarily requires plate and brick stacking, but things get interesting when you build the candy cane laser cannons. They are so whimsical and drive home the point that this is a Christmas X-Wing (in case the red and white color scheme didn’t already accomplish that).

They would make for one hell of a jet pack, don’t you think?

Once the wings are completed, it’s time to put them into position. White rubber bands are used to join the pairs of wings together, and the pins I mentioned earlier are slid into place to secure the wings against the body.

With the wings in place, let’s see how they work. Our Yuletide Squadron Pilot shows us how its done, starting with getting the wings to close. If you remember earlier, I mentioned that the wings can be closed by pushing a pin on the underside of the X-Wing. This is also achieved by pressing the lever on top toward the rear of the starfighter.

Pressing the lever toward the front of the X-Wing opens the wings. The action of opening and closing wings makes a satisfying “click, clack” sound.

After a little more detailing, the ship is finally complete.

With the wings open, this is a snazzy-looking X-Wing sure to get you into the Christmas spirit. The red white and gold color scheme is especially festive.

It looks just as nice upside-down as it does right-side-up! The light gray Technic plate underneath has holes that allow the X-Wing to mount on top of Yoda’s hut.

Aside from the folding wings, the X-Wing contains two other play features. The most obvious of these is the cockpit windshield which opens and closes.

The most unique feature of all are the “gift bombs.” That’s right; the gifts can be attached to the side of the starfighter, right below the cockpit. Flick them off to the intergalactic boys and girls below. Personally, I prefer to leave them on the sleigh for aesthetic reasons, but don’t let that stop you from playing with yours!


If you recall the brochure mentioned earlier in the review, it mentioned waiting to unfold it until after the holidays. For those of you who are curious, I defied the rules. One side features a cool overhead view mini poster of the X-Wing, while the other features instructions for disassembling modules for storage in the box. Everything should comfortably fit inside the box, allowing you to pull everything out again for next Christmas.

Pulling the pins from the X-Wing releases the wings, while the height of Yoda’s hut can be lowered by removing the brown axle. Once the axle is out of the way, the stand folds down.

As advertised, everything fits comfortably inside one box! For long-term storage, I would personally recommend adding some bubble wrap for cushioning. That way things won’t shift around inside too much. The ability to store an assembled set in the box is a nice touch for those who don’t want to relive the process of building from scratch again. It also allows a simple transition from display to storage.

The completed model

With all three models completed, I’m impressed by how nicely they look alongside one another. While my only real complaint was about R2-D2 being so plain, this point becomes less noticeable in the trio of builds. Maybe it’s the Christmas cheer talking, but I can’t think of a weak model in this set; I found them all delightful to build and play with. It’s the “Holy Trinity” of holiday-themed Star Wars builds.

When the stand on Yoda’s hut is used as intended, it makes for a stellar looking display piece when viewed from all angles.

Conclusion and recommendation

As someone who has had a passing interest in the LEGO employee Christmas gifts, I feel like the Christmas X-Wing is one of the best, if not the best. It celebrates the history of a beloved theme in the most imaginative way possible and is a total blast to build. While not a primary selling point for me, the play features that are included are enjoyable, and I love the callback to LEGO’s early history with wooden toys.

Given the price point, this is not a set that comes at a cheap price. This, coupled with its scarcity and cross-appeal with general Star Wars fandom may further drive up its price in the near future. If you are a diehard LEGO Star Wars fan, I feel like the experience is worth the current price of admission because it provides a unique take on a classic starfighter. With the exception of R2-D2, the minifigures are fun, and this set is the only way you will get the Yuletide Squadron Pilot. Moreover, if you’ve been looking for a way to display your LEGO Star Wars Advent calendar minifigures, the X-Wing offers a nice start.

Given how positive the response to this set has been, maybe there is a chance LEGO will consider doing holiday-themed Star Wars sets besides Advent calendars for the general public. If so, it would certainly come to rival the Winter Village series. As for whether or not it will happen, “help me LEGO-wan-Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Until then, you can use the Force to find a copy on eBay. Happy Life Day everybody!

8 comments on “Christmas X-Wing: the Lego 2019 employee exclusive set [Review]

  1. Benjamin von Sück

    I’m torn about these reviews. As always they’re insightful, but do I REALLY want to know about a set I can only buy on ebay? My wallet says no, but…

  2. Purple Dave

    The pilot outfit is definitely exclusive. It looks like it’s based on the one from the B-Wing/Endor planet set, but with a dark bib, a little more detail, and a white fur collar. The bib looks black on the minifig, but the box art suggests it’s supposed to be dark-green (and it looks like your camera picked up a hint of green). I know there have been issues with weak print on dark colors, but I can’t think of any previous instance where it had such a dramatic impact on the look of the minifig, as a black bib doesn’t seem particularly festive.

    The head, on the other hand, appears to be Obi-Wan’s first introduced in the MOs Eisley Cantina from 2014, and appearing in its second minifig and fifth set with the Death Star Cannon that came out earlier this year.

    So for those who want to Bricklink a copy, the only exclusive parts might be the pilot jumpsuit, where the newer B-Wing Pilot should be a suitable substitute. Or wait until someone copies the deco and print snow it on LEGO minifigs parts.

    Since you get doubles of both parts, I just used those to fill the extra gift boxes, but later in the instructions they show the blue roller skate and rubber ducky are meant for the empty boxes (like Artoo and Yoda, you have to pick which of two places to put them).

    I read elsewhere that the sleigh is modeled after the service vehicle seen in the OT Rebel hangers. For the X-mas Wing, I’ve not bought every version by a long shot (nor built every version I own), but the build felt _very_ familiar. At this point I don’t think there’s much they can do to significantly improve the core design without being rejected by the Design Department (I’ve seen a few MOCs that are better, but wonder how sturdy they are), but they’ve been able to tweak it a little by using new parts as they become available. Stuff like the slope tile inside the engine cowlings, various curved slopes, 2×3 tiles, and ingots have all been added to the lineup since this basic design first appeared.

  3. gomek

    These sets are only cool if you can source 100% of the parts from Bricklink. With the inclusion of a uniquely printed pilot, this is much more of a way to stick it to collectors than anything else. If Lego wants to do something “nice”, the stand up thing would be to give their employees a raise. Saying, “hey, instead of a $300 bonus, here’s a set we made for $30* that you can use to burn our fans on Ebay to the tune of $300”, is not only being cheap, but shows a blatant disregard for the people who have been collecting the Star Wars holiday figures for years,

    (side note: I don’t collect the Star Wars Holiday figures, but I have a lot of empathy for those who do. Clearly I’m happy I decided not to collect them)
    (*likely a lot less than $30 consider retail would be @$70)

  4. Purple Dave

    You’re not wrong…but you’re not entirely right, either. Something like this may only cost them $30 this year, and for the same $30 they can give out a new set next year. A $300 raise costs them the same $300 every year going forward, but a year from now it’s just the new normal. You’d need to give a new raise on top of the old one to register as generosity. Another option is giving one-time cash bonuses, but that feels rather impersonal. This gives them the option of keeping something special, or cashing it on.

    As for the fans, I know there are those who chase every SW minifig, for whom I have no sympathy. Many of them cost hundreds of dollars now, especially if you’re going after variants like smooth-hair Leia and the alternate print on one of the AT-AT Driver. At the moment, you can probably get this entire set for the same price as the original Cloud City Boba Fett, so for that crowd it’s no big deal. However, a lot of people were trying to collect all the 20th Anniversary sets, which was already complicated by the Endor and Hoth microscale sets without adding in something like this. Or, yeah, the people who have been collecting all of the Star Wars/Disney Wars Advent Calendars just got clubbed over the head with a giant candy cane.

    But I long ago shifted focus to Batman, so at some point I still need to snag a Batpod, a Zebra Batman, and the Comic-Con Gotham vignette. And I should get that done before 2024 if possible, when we can expect to see the next SDCC Batman minifig. I guess I’m kinda used to feeling a sharp pain in my back every few years.

  5. gomek


    Yes, I sort of used “raise” and “bonus” interchangeably, and of course they are very different as you point out. For the purpose of a holiday gift, let’s call it a bonus that Lego has decided to defer the tab to the secondary market.

    Yeah, I have long since had to pick and choose my ‘collections’. And increasingly, things I thought that were reasonable to collect, have become unreasonable by way of artificial rarity. I was never into the Christmas figures, but at one a year, I’m sure many thought it was reasonable to collect all of them. If you have all 4 or 5 holiday figures (or however many were released), this has got to feel like a big slap to the face.

    Clearly, like you, I’ve invested in collecting things I thought were very reasonable and attainable, only to have Lego decide that after years of purchases to give me the shaft.

  6. Matt Hocker Post author

    @Benjamin von Sück
    The main goal with my article was to share this unusual set with our readers. I did have to buy if from the secondary market but was glad to do it for this one. There aren’t too many employee gifts that I feel like I have to have, but this one looked like a lot of fun. I promise that I’m not trying to cause you any pain. :-)

    @Purple Dave
    You are indeed correct about the face print. Thanks. At the time of writing the article, the set hadn’t been inventoried on Bricklink so I wasn’t sure. However, it’s there now, and I will be editing this article accordingly.

    I can’t comment on how LEGO gives its employees bonuses or raises, but I don’t see the motivations for doing the Christmas set as a way to cheap out on employees. LEGO has had a long tradition of doing something special for it’s employees leading into Christmas. Since at least the 1970s, they issued a special Christmas card for their workers and this tradition eventually transitioned into doing the exclusive sets.

    It’s a fun way of saying thanks to employees, and gives a LEGO set designer an excuse to potentially work on a passion project. I don’t know what sort of costs went into the set, but LEGO also has to pay its designers and, in this case, possibly licensing fees. Is that going to stop employees from selling a set? No, but at the same time it’s up to them to decide what they want to do with it. I’m sure there are plenty of others who keep theirs, too.

    On the topic of bonuses, I know for sure that LEGO did pay out a year-end bonus one year to the equivalent of one month’s pay to thank its employees for 10 years of continuous growth. I don’t know if that was company-wide but remember some designers talking about it.

  7. Purple Dave

    Yeah, bonuses and raises are very different. But another article posted here sheds even more light on this, revealing that even back in the day they would print 33,000 Christmas cards. Assuming that number hasn’t changed (it’s probably gone way up), and you’re right about the cost, that’s still close to $1 million just to wish everyone Merry Christmas. Convert it to a cash bonus and you’re talking closer to $10 million. Then you have to account for those who get these as gifts but who aren’t on payroll. RLUG Ambassadors get them, but for them a cash gift would be completely inappropriate and terribly impersonal. The same holds true for any business partners who may receive these. Some LEGO Store employees also only work there for the discount.

    Now, I long ago gave up on staying 100% complete on LEGO Star Wars sets, but I used to buy two copies of every SWAC before they started shoveling Disney-flavored coal into our stockings. And right before any of them started to retire, I’d made a point of picking up all of the retail 20th Anniversary sets, so this filled two holes in my collection.

    @Matt Hocker:
    Did they finally get the pilot added? I couldn’t even find it in the Pending Approval section. I found the head by pulling up the color list, selecting the death-pallor flesh color, and doing a search for “beard -glasses”. That left only about 2-3 pages to search through.

    As for the Christmas gifts, the only other one I’d really like to have is Ole Kirk’s house (also produced as an Inside Tour set). Maybe the instructions are posted and I can just make my own copy.

  8. Brian H.

    Thank you for this review. I saw this was coming a few weeks ago, said, “Awww Sweet!”, and then I forget about it. I usually don’t buy things I can’t readily get like the SDCC and NYCC stuff if I can’t get it normally like everyone else. This set felt different and the review actually really made me consider paying the mark up for it and so I did.

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