For a number of years, LEGO has been slowly building out its Winter Village Collection with numerous sets featuring Santa and his elves, starting back in 2014 with 10245 Santa’s Worshop, and following up in 2020 with 10275 Elf Clubhouse. This year’s free Gift with Purchase holiday set adds one more elf set to the mix, along with an adorable brick-built reindeer in 40484 Santa’s Front Yard. The 317-piece set will be available this weekend, Nov. 20 and 21, for LEGO VIP members, and then will be available for anyone Nov. 26-29 with purchases of US $170 | CAN $TBD | UK £170 or more from LEGO.
Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheet
Santa’s Front Yard comes in the standard long box that many Gift with Purchase sets have, such as last year’s 40410 Charles Dickens Tribute: A Christmas Carol, and includes the Limited Edition ribbon in the corner. These limited edition sets are only available for a short period, but aren’t difficult to get provided you’re willing to spend the qualifying amount during that window. This particular set is only available for six days total, two of which are locked to VIP members only.
With 317 pieces, the box for Santa’s Front Yard is actually stuffed pretty full, containing four parts bags spread across two numbered sections. There are also three large white plates that are loose, along with the instructions and sticker sheet.
I have one minor gripe here, and that’s how LEGO packs the fragile sticker sheet loose into the box amid the parts. Both my instruction manual and sticker sheet were pretty bent up. Thankfully, I was able to mostly flatten the sticker sheet out again and it didn’t interfere with applying the stickers, though I have found damaged stickers this way in the past. I wish the stickers could be inserted into the booklet, or perhaps placed in a cardboard protective sleeve like on the new big sets such as the 75313 UCS AT-AT.
As for the parts, there’s a decent selection of bricks and plates, but nothing new or terribly unusual, apart from the red elf hat, which was only previously been available as a Build-a-Minifig element at LEGO stores a few years ago. The one thing that did catch my eye is the nice—though small—selection of aqua elements, which are fairly rare outside of Friends sets. They’re used here to give a little icy variation to the snow.
The build is a very simple affair and won’t take you long. Even with pauses to photograph it for this review, it took me less than 20 minutes to complete the set. The base uses those three large white plates, and they get a brightly colored foundation of bricks and plates below the snow line, along with some trans light blue for the stream.
Next, add a layer of white over top for the snow, and a few details like the trees. The little brown cheese slopes around the tree stumps help hold the trunks in place, so despite being only a single-stud connection, the trees are not easily dislodged when the build is complete.
Now we move on to the forced-perspective background, which has a big dark blue wall with dark green two-dimensional trees and a few scattered stars. The trees have a few connection points to the backdrop, which makes both sturdier.
Finally, we add the trees. LEGO has used this basic design with wedge plates around a Travis brick core quite a few times before, but works pretty well. I do wish that when LEGO has multiple trees in this style, as here, one would use left-hand wedges and the other right-hand. As it is, you’ll get 12 right-hand green wedge plates but no matching lefts.
Now we just have to build the reindeer and elf, and the set is complete. Normally, I don’t mention the spare parts in a review, but this set has a remarkably nice selection of extras considering its size and that it’s a freebie set.
The completed model
This is an adorable little scene. It fits thematically with the larger elves sets such as last year’s Winter Village 10275 Elf Clubhouse, but is a perfect standalone vignette with its own backdrop.
The transition from three-dimensional trees up front to the forced-perspective backdrop is lovely, and something I’d like to see on even more little sets like this. I think I might have liked the foreground trees to be dark green as well, but perhaps they would have blended in too much like that.
The elf and reindeer are great choices to populate this North Pole scene. The elf has the same torso as the elves in 10275 Elf Clubhouse, while the red hat, as I mentioned before, is somewhat rare having only been in Build-a-Minifig bins previously. The elf’s head is a common one showing a grin on one side and a worried lip-bite on the other. I think I’d have preferred the reindeer to be the molded design that’s in 40499 Santa’s Sleigh and 10275 Elf Clubhouse, but I have to admit the brick-built reindeer is dorky and adorable and I kind of love it. I do wish the droid body that makes the reindeer’s upper head were brown instead of dark grey, however. LEGO hasn’t specified which reindeer this is, but if they’re going to make a brick-built reindeer, I feel like they missed an opportunity to give him a red tile for the nose and call him Rudolf. There is even an extra red 1×1 round tile included, so you can always make the swap yourself.
Is this set worth spending $170 to qualify for, however? That’s a tougher proposition to swallow. As nice a set as it is, that’s a very high threshold for a freebie set, and it’s probably not worth it if you didn’t have that much already on your holiday shopping list. However, as most fans are keenly aware, LEGO has been releasing a huge number of large, expensive sets targeting adult builders lately, many of which are very enticing. So it’s fairly likely that if you’re reading this review, your shopping list could qualify for this multiple times over. And in that case, this is a delightful freebie that’s perfect for a mantle or desk display.
40484 Santa’s Front Yard contains 317 pieces and will be available this weekend, Nov. 20 and 21, for LEGO VIP members, and then will be available for anyone Nov. 26-29 with purchases of US $170 | CAN $TBD | UK £170 or more from LEGO.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.