LEGO 40484 Santa’s Front Yard will be available as a Gift with Purchase (GWP) to celebrate the holiday season for all qualifying purchases over $170 / €170 / £170, at the time November 26th – 29th 2021.
The set has 317 pieces and includes a minifigure of a lovely elf with a red cap, a golden lamp (pearl gold), and a carrot. This carrot is for him to feed a lovely reindeer that is built entirely from bricks. They are fit in a pine forest, under a starry sky and facing a blazing full moon. The pine trees are covered with snow, as is the ground and there is a stream running through the snow. A sign on the ground, also covered with snow, indicates where we are next: the North Pole, Where is Santa’s Front Yard.
The starry sky
The sky in the background is built with dark blue bricks. A modified brick with a stud on one side is used to fit the stars and moon. Stickers decorate the moon and also a star beam. The stickers give a special touch to the starry sky, which particularly enchanted me a lot, especially the full moon.
The pine forest and the landscape
A little further from the sky plane, dark green pine trees are added to create depth in the scene. More forward, two green pine trees are included, with snow on their branches. Note that the lighter color compared to the pine trees in the background contributes to creating the scene’s depth of field. These pine trees are simple to set up, but they are very cute and were one of the things I liked most about the set.
I also note that the terrain is formed by a slope with snow and a lovely flowing stream, built with light blue trans tiles, another detail that forms one of the strengths of this set.
Highlight is the sign indicating the North Pole.
The elf and reindeer
Only one minifigure accompanies the set: an elf. The head (face), as well as the torso, is common, but the red hat is certainly one of the highlights of the set. The short legs are red in color to match the hat. The golden lamp also combined with the green and red details and evokes a Christmas decoration.
The reindeer is easy to build: the horns are simple but very creative. The head and tail are movable. I think brick-built animals are a little weird, but I understand the proposal and in that sense, it’s very adorable. Highlight is reindeer fur on its back (sticker).
The qualifying purchase limit for Gift with Purchase (GWP) of $170 / €170 / £170 is the most negative point, as I considered it a high threshold value for the complexity of the set.
Because it has a high threshold value, I believe it could have some finer details.
The first one is the stickers. I don’t like the use of stickers, I would love for everything to be printed on the parts. Especially the full moon, which I considered the most beautiful piece on the set.
Since I mentioned the moon sticker (there are also stickers with stars), the stars themselves, instead of round bricks could be parts of stars (Star with Stud Holder). Of course, the round brick traces the glow in the sky, but the star sticker itself draws them with five points. So I think it could be a good way to improve the set.
I loved the elf with the red hat and pants. I believe that if the torso were also colored with red, it would certainly be a very outstanding minifigure.
Finally, about the reindeer. I am passionate about LEGO animals. Certainly, the set would be on another level if it came with one. However, I understand that the built animal is also linked to a proposal.
For the above, I rate the set: 6/10.
Photographing the set
Without a doubt, it is not an easy set to be photographed because it is a night scene with moonlight and starry sky formed by a fixed background. This means that space is very limited, making deep-field exploration difficult. Lighting also becomes difficult because you necessarily need to reproduce moonlight.
Those were my priorities. In order not to lose details of the limited space, I enlarged the scene with Styrofoam and cardboard. To have the moonlight as the main light, I placed a light source not too small or too large on the wall. I lit the elf’s lamp with a battery-powered microled.
In order not to have so many shadows, especially since the main light was a backlight, I filled in the shadows using a distant light reflected off a Styrofoam board.
In some photographs, I changed the position of the sign and some pine trees to make it better and also to show the pine that makes up the background of the backdrop.
Equipment used: Canon T7 camera with 50mm lens. Retouches were done in Lightroom.
It was certainly a very pleasant experience to build and photograph this lovely set. Thanks to LEGO and BrickCentral for the opportunity!