LEGO 75340 Star Wars Advent Calendar for 2022 – Where life is a snowy, sandy beach [Review]

Christmas still seems a long ways off, but merchandising has never cared much about that. And sometimes you need to make sure you have stuff on hand before the season starts! That’s the case with Advent Calendars, anyway. If you pick one up mid-December you’re really late to the party. So maybe it’s a good thing that LEGO has revealed the 75340 Star Wars Advent Calendar now. You know, so we can prepare.

This 329 piece set will be available September 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $49.99 | CAN $59.99 | UK £29.99. We’ll still be doing our annual daily Advent reveals in December, but if you don’t mind spoilers you can see all the goodies inside this calendar right now!

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

Unboxing the goodies

It was a given that the package art would have to spoil some of this Advent Calendar’s surprises. What is sad, though, is that they decided that all of the big reveals would be front and center. We get to see both of the ugly Christmas sweaters – and Darth Vader’s beach vacation. I get the need to sell these sets, though, and I suppose you need to draw in every customer you can.

The back of the box is just as bad, with the remaining minifigures cavorting about in the snow.  In fact, combined with the front of the box,  you can see 24 out of the 24 daily gifts. I’m sure they would have included more if they could have.

Like all LEGO advent calendars, the box has a foldable flap to serve as a play/display area. The daily doors are integrated into a winter scene with a Santa At-At stomping through an Ewok village. R2 and 3Po also appear, decked out in their seasonal attire. Darth Vader feels really out of place, though, with his summery top and swim fins. Fair enough, as he was never one to confirm to a rigid code.

Behind each of those door-tabs is a small illustration showing how the day’s gift should be built. Like our review of the Marvel Superheroes 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar, I won’t be spoiling which build is hidden behind each day. Instead, you get a picture of all the days in a big pile. Merry Christmas!

The Micro-Ships

Like most LEGO advent calendars, the daily gifts can be clumped into similar thematic groups. We’ll start out by taking a look at the microscale ships – a pretty large fleet of nine vehicles. First up are a V-35 Landspeeder, Luke’s X-34 Landspeeder,  and a Republic Gunship.  We last saw a LEGO V-35 in the 75290 Mos Eisely Cantina set, and we saw Ultimate Collector Series editions of both the Gunship and X-34 this year. 

Next we have what appears to be a Republic Acclimator-class Cruiser, Bad Batch shuttle, and T-16 Skyhopper. Of these, the Acclimator seems like the weakest build, particularly if it’s supposed to be a ARC-170 Starfighter as listed in the product description at Maybe it’s supposed to be a different vessel. My Star Wars lore is not encyclopedic, so if there’s a better ID, let us know in the comments!

We wrap up the micro-fleet with a Droid Tri-Fighter, TIE Interceptor, and B-Wing. I had to place the B-Wing on a stand made from other pieces in this set for the photo – it won’t stand up on its own. Likewise, the TIE interceptor is unbalanced and rests at an odd angle when not “in use.”

Hoth in Microscale

The next grouping are all small builds that tie directly to The Empire Strikes Back and the battle on Hoth. We get an adorable AT-ST, as well as a Rebel defense turret and laser cannon.  We know the AT-ST is a Hoth version because of the modified white 2×2 plate it’s on. If it was from Endor, it’d be green.

Minifigure Play areas

Before we get to the minifigures, there are three daily builds that serve as small playsets for them. The white Wampa cave is another scene from Hoth, complete with a tasty bone and a mounting point to hang an unlucky Luke Skywalker. And what would a Star Wars advent calendar be without an ammo rack and stud shooter? This one seems to be based on the chasm-swing scene from A New Hope, and comes with a small mouse droid build. (Two, actually, as you get an extra copy of both the 1×1 black tile and roller skate elements.)

Not really minifigure scaled, but not a good fit in any other category, is a Tatooine moisture vaporator. It’s included here for completeness’ sake.  Of more interest is Darth Vader’s castle rendered in sandcastle form, complete with shovel and bucket. This was built by Finn in the Disney+ streaming special LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation, but seems to be Vader’s creation in the Advent alternate universe.

The minifigures

In my experience, most fans come to the Star Wars Advent Calendar looking for the minifigures. This year there are eight, three of whom have exclusive holiday printing. But we’ll start out by looking at the weakest entries – both from the Clone Wars era.

This marks the third appearance this year for the yellow Clone Trooper Commander, joining the Ultimate Collector Series 75309 Republic Gunship and the 40558 Clone Troopers Minifigure Accessory Pack. You think LEGO could have opted for a slightly more unique version. I mean, yeah, they’re clones and all, but still.

Even more generic is the battle droid. Still good for army building, and the component parts can make for a good building challenge if you’re not into assembling ranks of cannon fodder.

Next up is the Festive Shirt Gang – C-3PO, R2-D2, and Darth Vader.  3PO and R2 are showing their holiday spirit with festive ugly sweaters. Both torsos are unique prints for this set, with the droid’s other parts all having previous appearances.

R2’s red sweater features 3PO’s face on the front. This version of his dome has been around since 2020.

On R2’s back is the logo for the Alliance.

C-3PO pays tribute to his pal R2 with his own knitted outfit in blue.  His legs are the same as those that appear in the 75339 Death Star Trash Compactor diorama.

The white snowy pattern continues onto the back of his dual-sided torso.

Darth Vader, in an odd twist, is dressed for summer. (Or maybe Decembers on Mustafar are just that warm.) He has a new dual-sided custom torso print showing off a Summer on Scarif, with the Death Star hovering in the sky in a totally non-threatening way.  He also comes with a white sports ball, with a manufacturing dimple that kind of makes it look like a beach Death Star pool toy.

Vader has your summer fun covered in both directions.

We wrap up with the Hoth Adventure Gang – a Snowtrooper, Luke in cold weather gear, and Santa Gonk.

This version of the Snowtrooper is actually pretty rare – the only other exact match was in the Ultimate Collector Series 75313 AT-AT.  The head is the key element – its only other appearance is in the 75332 AT-ST as part of a Biker Scout minifigure.

Luke is identical to his appearance in 75298 AT-AT vs Tauntaun Microfighters. This is still the most-detailed version of this outfit, and only a second appearance, so no complaints here. I’m also fond of the brushed-silver lightsaber hilt that’s been showing up in 2022. It’s not as cool as the original chrome, but I’m sure this one is a lot more durable.

We conclude with this calendar’s Kringle-proxy, the Santa Gonk. This brick-built figure straddles the line between “minifigure” and “brick built character”, but LEGO lists it as a mini, so I will too. Gonk droids are a personal favorite of mine, and this holiday edition is super cute. Complete with a bobble-top stocking cap, white beard, and festive color scheme, you won’t even wonder how it’s supposed to fit down a chimney.

The Full Set

At the end of the advent, you’ll have 24 daily builds to enjoy. There’s a good range of stuff here, with a little something to appeal to just about every Star Wars fan.

The advent box’s play area is a little weak, but that’s always going to be the case for a single set that needs to span so many iconic movie locations. In this case, a mash-up between “Hoth” and “Winter on Endor” seems like a good compromise.

It’s also worth mentioning that you’ll end up with a pretty decent pile of surplus parts over the course of the month. In our house, we usually have a small cup next to the calendar to collect these – maybe one year we’ll make a building competition around them.

Conclusion and recommendation

Star Wars advent calendars have been around since 2011 – making this the 12th go round. And while they’re making more Star Wars content all the time, it’s got to be a challenge for LEGO to keep these calendars both interesting to long-time fans as well as having enough “core content” to appeal to new ones. I think this year’s offering does a great job of finding that sweet spot. The minifigure selection is pretty good, even if Clone Wars fans are going to be irked by the Clone Commander figure choice.  (I think they might be somewhat appeased by those great seasonal sweaters and Vader’s beach wear, though.) The mini builds are interesting, and most were recognizable to a more casual fan like myself. The price point of $45 US seems a bit high overall, but these licensed calendars are always a bit pricy.

Bottom line, if you’re a Star Wars fan who wants to integrate that joy into the larger holiday season, then you’ll be happy with this one. If you’re not a Star Wars fan…why are you even reading this review?

75340 Star Wars Advent Calendar will be available September 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $49.99 | CAN $59.99 | UK £29.99. It may also available via third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

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4 comments on “LEGO 75340 Star Wars Advent Calendar for 2022 – Where life is a snowy, sandy beach [Review]

  1. Shane

    Are we no longer getting new product announcements on BB? I always enjoyed the presentation more than other sites, with better pictures and sometimes some initial thoughts on the product.

  2. skes

    Haven’t heard about any new sets on TBB for a while now, I’m eagerly awaiting a review of the new Hogwarts Express, the other Lego fan sites just don’t have the polish that TBB does.

  3. Ed

    I wish they’d make a Ninjago or Jurassic advent calendar for the kids out there. Jurassic would be tough at that scale, but Ninjago should be doable.

    The kids really seem to be into Clone Wars these days. I’m not sure how interested they are in the original trilogy anymore.

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