Christmas is coming soon, and as is LEGO tradition, we’re treated to a new LEGO Winter Village set each year, and I’m very honoured to be able to present my early review of the 2021 LEGO Winter Village set – 10293 Santa’s Visit!
That said, aside from being in the same-ish shade of blue (light royal blue vs the cottage’s Medium Blue), and it being a family home, this really is a unique set with its own individual identity.
Designed by Chris McVeigh, who did last year’s Elf Clubhouse, as well as the 2021 Modular Police Station, Chris has imbued this set with his own unique style, and included some really personal touches to make it his own.
After two years of fantastical sets such as the Elf Clubhouse, Gingerbread House, it’s nice to see the 2021 Winter Village set get back to a realistic setting that goes back to this beloved subtheme’s roots.
Read on to see more of 10293 Santa’s Visit!
See below for regional pricing:
- LEGO 10293 Santa’s Visit [US] – US$99.99
- LEGO 10293 Santa’s Visit [AUS] – AU$169.99
- LEGO 10293 Santa’s Visit [UK] – £79.99
- LEGO 10293 Santa’s Visit [EU] – €89.99
- LEGO 10293 Santa’s Visit [CAN] – CA$139.99
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this review set!
Name: Santa’s Visit
Set Number: 76940
Price: $99.99 [US] | £ 79.99 GBP [UK] | AU$ 159.99 [AUS]
Exclusive to: LEGO.com
Theme: Creator Expert / Winter Village
Release Date: 1 October 2021 / VIP Early Access 16 September 2021
Designer: Chris McVeigh
Buy from LEGO.com [USA] [AUS] [UK]
Here’s a look at the instructions, which for some reason, is split into two – with one book for the house, and one for the Christmas Tree and outside fencing.
On the inside, is this neat profile of the set designer, Chris McVeigh, who is “well on his way to becoming the Yuletide specialist in the design team”.
Here’s the sticker sheet – nothing too controversial here – stickers are a pretty common occurrence in Winter Village sets, and while yes, I would prefer printed elements, these are easy enough to apply.
10293 Santa’s Visit comes with 4 minifigures, a small family of 3, and Santa Claus himself which has enjoyed a few updates, most visibly his new dual-moulded legs which finally gives him black boots. This is a big deal, and the design team pushed quite hard to get this done.
First, let’s look at the small family which gives us an adult woman, with her hair in a bun (first seen in Series 19’s Programmer). Her hairstyle is commonly found on African American women, so this does inject some diversity, even if she’s the default yellow minifigure.
The little girl comes in some teal pyjamas with snowflakes, and her hair in pigtails, and the father has a red scarf, on a brown jumper and a face that’s just perfect if you want to re-create Ted Lasso.
The mum and dad both have mirthful laughing faces – which is perfect given this is a holiday set, so they should be very happy, and the little girl has a face with her eyes closed, fast asleep.
A brand new addition to the set is this new sprinkle cookie element, which is based on actual cookies made by Chris McVeigh’s mum called Melting Moments. I thought this was such a sweet Easter Egg, and I’m sure Mrs McVeigh will be delighted to have her recipe immortalised like this.
The new Santa with boots, is the highlight of the set, and boots aside, is currently the best version of Santa out there. Look at how perfect he looks alongside older Santa minifigures. Aside from his fancy new boots, and slightly updated torso print (with less fur trimming), there’s another surprise underneath his beard…
Tada! Santa’s new minifigure head has beard printing on it as well, which is perfect if you want to display him without his beard accessory! Personally, I love his face like this without the beard!
And lastly, here’s a look at Santa’s new back printing too. Just great, and this set gives fans of LEGO Winter Village a perfect opportunity to upgrade to a new, and far superior Santa.
That or, you could also opt for the 40499 Santa’s Sleigh set, which also has dual-moulded legs, but I’m not sure if the torso and head are the same.
Another tradition with LEGO Winter Village sets, is the unique Christmas Tree, and this year has an extra special twist to it. At first glance, it looks fairly ordinary – sure, the square wooden base looks new, but wait, are those transparent studs peppered across the leaves?
Gently pressing down the star, illuminates the Christmas Tree for such a stunning, and festive effect. This is the first LEGO Christmas Tree to make use of a light brick embedded on the inside, and it really transforms its entire look in such a magical way.
Here’s a look at where the light brick is hidden – the Christmas Tree does pop out of its base quite often, and unfortunately, there isn’t a way to “lock” the Christmas Tree in place, if you want to keep it lit up, but I feel like this should be an easy mod if you’d like to include your own lightning kit (such as Light My Bricks) to keep it lit up permanently.
Here’s a better look at the assortment of presents and wrapped gifts. The highlights for me is the rocket, which seems like a homage to the Saturn 5 rocket, and the trumpet, but I also love the dollhouse, which has a blue car that cleverly uses a rollerskate piece.
It reminds me so much of classic LEGO Town Architecture, and I did dive through the Brickset archives, thinking it was an actual LEGO set from Chris McVeigh’s childhood – the closest I can think of is 1484 Houses from 1987, or 6360 Weekend Cottage, but the blue car does place it closer to 1484 Houses.
There is also a small outdoor gate and fence, with a quaint red mailbox – perfect to send Santa letters and Christmas wishes.
I really love the sculpting of the snow, and how it neatly blankets the fences, and piles up at the base, and I also love the use of this new 1 x 1 round brick within the lantern, which uses the fairly rare opalescent colour, Transparent White Opal.
And here’s the completed family home, which is resplendent in Light Royal Blue – the same colour as the Winter Village Cottage, which still works really well, as it contrasts really nicely against all the white snow on its roof, and ground, and also makes the green and reds pop.
The house sits on a uniquely shaped base, which gives it a more unique almost W-shape, further setting it apart from the Winter Village Cottage which is very blocky.
There’s a more organic, natural feel to this house thanks to its shape, and Chris has done a marvellous job here with the architecture and angles.
Here’s a look at the entrance, which has a lovely stone arch and pillars, as well as festive gold bells hanging from holly above the doorway.
The door also has some holly which Chris cleverly sandwiches within the door’s holes.
This set just oozes peace and tranquility, especially with the white dove on the windowsill, just chilling there. A part of me also imagines that it doubles as Christian symbolism, as the dove is widely used as a symbol of peace and goodwill.
At the side of the house is white spiny tree, with sharp white branches, and a bird-feeder in it.
One of the highlights of the house design and facade, is the introduction of these green wolverine claws, which Chris uses to great effect for festive pops of colour all around the house.
They add so much fun to the look, and are another huge way that sets it apart from the Winter Village Cottage.
Oh and more opalescent lamps which are just divine.
I also like this double roof effect going on here, which creates such a great effect. The colour blocking is also so pleasing, with the dark blue trim, separating the lighter blue and white.
To soften the sharp lines for the roof, and house, Chris generously uses these curved tiles on the edges, which also looks great as it creates a sense of realism where snow tends to pile in these exact spots.
Such a great facade – very inviting, homely and peaceful.
Like any good Winter Village set, the back opens up like a dollhouse to reveal the interiors. This house contains a large living and dining area, fireplace, a small kitchen, and an upstairs bedroom.
Don’t ask me where the parents sleep. It’s not as large as the Winter Village Cottage, but makes clever use of the available space, and manages to avoid feeling too cramp. Unfortunately, this also means no Christmas Tree on the inside, which is a bit of a bummer.
Here’s a look at the kitchen, which includes this perfect Stand Mixer. It’s absolutely genius, and I love it so much.
And in a nod to Chris’ mum baking, there’s also a loaf of bread resting on the countertop too.
The dining table, for the very first time has room to spare for everyone to seat everyone including Santa, and I love that it doesn’t feel overly cramped. It has a lovely table runner, and some candles as a centerpiece.
Here’s a look at the child’s bedroom.
To allow better access, you can fold the roof out, which is pretty clever.
There’s a small desk, where the young girl can pen her letter to Santa.
And you can tell that the young girl is a fan of all things space, with the rocket poster above her bed.
And this neat little model of Saturn hanging from the roof.
This must be a McVeigh family tradition, but hidden in the attic, beneath the roof, is this pink present!
Here’ a look at the fireplace, with the family portrait, 3 brightly coloured Christmas stockings, and a clock.
And here’s a look at the lounge chair, and logs next to the fireplace.
It wouldn’t be a Chris McVeigh Christmas set without some fun play features, and true to the set’s name, you can actually pop Santa into the chimney, and he falls all the way down and pops out from the fireplace!
What I liked:
- Charming set, at an accessible price
- New Santa minifigure
- Colours are delightful
- Superb architecture and a family home for your Winter Village
- Has its own identity
What I didn’t like:
- Not much, maybe another minifigure would be nice
- Presents could be improved
This is a truly delightful set, and a more than worthy addition to LEGO’s Winter Village series. While it may share colours and the general theme as the Winter Village Cottage, this set truly has its own identity, and can stand toe to toe against the beloved Winter Village Cottage.
There’s so much to like, but I love that this set remains quite accessible at only US$99.99, allowing most families to expand their Winter Village without costing too much.
The facade, and architectural design is quite accomplished, and I love the oddly shaped base, and W-shape of the house, as well as how well the curves on the roof, offset some of the harsher sharper lines.
Where this set truly excels, is the little touches and flourishes that cannot be quantified on its own. Chris has imbued this set with so much of his own personal Christmas family experience, and thus radiates warmth and personal charm that makes it quite unique.
I don’t have the entire Winter Village out on display, but here’s how it looks next to some of the recent sets, and the Winter Village Cottage, which has a special place in my heart.
So yes, while there are some similarities, this set does have its own identity and is a great expansion for your LEGO Winter Village, especially if you don’t own the Cottage.
In many ways, I have to commend LEGO for acknowledging that many people want a residential, “home” build, and they could’ve gone the Winter Toy Shop route, and re-release the exact same set, but I like what Chris has done here – taken the Winter Village Cottage as inspiration, and update it to make it its own thing, yet still influenced by the colours, layout and vibe of the set.
Highly recommend the set, as it’s truly charming, and will hopefully bring you lots of joy come Christmas time, especially if you’ve had a challenging 2021.
Rating and score: 4/5 ★★★★✰
Build  – A very fun and engaging build that was super relaxing. Not too challenging, but mostly chill.
Real Value  – Can’t fault it – you get a LOT of LEGO for the price.
Innovation  – Does a new Santa count? The facade, and overall architecture is also quite unique
Coolness  – Ice is cool, so this set is very cool.
Keepability  – Its a Winter Village set, so very collectable.
Thanks to much for reading my early review of 10293 Santa’s Visit! I hope this helps you decide if you will add to this your LEGO Winter Village.
Special thanks to LEGO for sending this review copy!
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