Today's review is the 2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Advent Calendar from Mega Bloks. Given it is almost New Years Eve, I am not
going to go into great detail with this review, especially since I posted each day on Twitter as I opened it. But as long as I was
going to post the photos here, I decided to include some brief thoughts about the set as well.
Packaging - 2/10The packaging for the Advent Calendar set looks great on the store shelves and serves it role well as the actual calendar. But it has a huge, inexcusable issue to its design. It shows off everything that is inside! I understand that you more or less need to do that while the set is on store shelves to get people to buy it. But once you get it home and are ready to start opening it, I really don't want to see all of the included items. But what really makes this unforgivable from a design aspect is that it could have been avoided so easily and for a minimal expense. The set is already wrapped in shrink wrap while it is on store shelves to stop curious shoppers from opening it in stores. So all they had to do was take the artwork that they used on the front and back of the box and print that on paper. Then they could have put any Christmas themed artwork on the box itself and wrapped the two sheets of paper with the shrink wrap for marketing. A little extra thought on the part of the design team could have made the experience of having this box sitting out for most of the month of December so much more enjoyable.
Sculpting/Design - 6/10The calendar set is not very large or expensive and it needs to include twenty four different offerings despite those limitations. It's relatively successful in that endeavor. The small Christmas decorations are cute. And if you have a lair play set to decorate with them, they are awesome. The same needs to be said of all of the personalized gifts such as the TV, Donnie's work bench or the Mazes & Mutants game. But they work all year round.
Paint - 8/10The sets that you build each day are quite small. So there isn't a lot of complexity to them. But there is a surprising amount of color and decals included. But there is also one obvious oversight in the form of the Christmas tree. It was left plain green, no decorations, no strings of lights... just the star on top. Printing some decorations onto the tree part shouldn't be too much to ask.
Accessories - 3/10This set has some cool accessories for the included mini figures. The ones for Casey and Shredder are great and are included with those figures. The issue is when you get to the Turtles. Their weapons, masks and the pizza for each Turtle make up a full third of all of the days in the calendar. And then you were three Turtle mini figures short to be able to use them. Only including one Turtle body with this set is it's greatest weakness overall. Making the Turtles' accessories such a large portion of the overall calendar just highlights that shortcoming over and over and over and over.
Value - original price 6/10, clearance 10/10As a fan of the entire series of modern Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sets that Mega Bloks has produced this year, I really love the Advent Calendar. It's a great concept (even if it was rather blatantly stolen from Lego) and this set gives you a lot of neat little touches to enhance your other sets. The lack of a full set of Christmas Turtles is quite unfortunate. I would have happily given up Casey, Shredder and even the mousers if needed to get three more Turtle bodies thrown in. At the set's original $30 price tag, I can understand why some fans might have passed it up in favor of some of the more traditional sets. But with a rebranding of Mega Bloks into Mega Construx, and because of the seasonal nature of the set of course, if you can still find one in stores, it should be selling for considerably less. And half price or less it is certainly worth picking up. I'm just debating how cheap in needs to get before I'll end up buying three more to complete my ugly Christmas sweater Turtle quartet.
Happy Hunting:The Mega Bloks Ninja Turtles Advent Calendar was released in the fall and has been available at retail for some time. But that time is quickly coming to a close. The set was not an exclusive. But I found it primarily in Target stores in my area. At the moment, just before New Years Eve, it is still available on Target's web site as well as Amazon. But it isn't likely to be around for long.