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LEGO Christmas trees have been a staple of the Holiday Season for decades. There have been multiple interpretations on how this should be executed and I will be sharing a few of my favorites, along with some not so great ones. From Advent Calendar offerings to the popular Winter Village sets, here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

First up is a simple design released in 2011. Set 40024-1 Christmas Tree was a LEGO Exclusive that came in a polybag. I like this tree as it shows how you can have a pretty basic design and still look good. The presents underneath add a nice touch too. My only criticism would be the tree decorations. No transparent parts? And that tree topper is undersized.

40024-1

 

Next is an advent calendar sub-set, and it’s really just a part I’m lifting to Christmas Tree standing! Sub-Set 7600-1-s24 Day 24 Christmas Tree and Presents, released in 2007, was the part 3471 with a festive snow topped pattern, part 3471pat0001. Originally found in the Belville set 5961-1, it’s still very rare today. I like the snow variation for this very iconic LEGO part and it surprises me it’s not used more widely in the Holiday sets today.

7600-1-s24

 

The tree that came with set 10254-1 has made my good list more for how it interacts with the set than its actual design. Integrated into the train so it actually rotates as the train moves is a fantastic idea and really lifts this set, especially seeing the miniature train around the base in motion too, very meta!

10254-1

 

With the Winter Holiday Train we have swiftly moved into the Winter Village offerings. It’s probably no surprise that the best trees are found in LEGO’s core Holiday Sets.

The Winter Toy Shop (Set 10199-1) has probably my favorite tree. It’s one of LEGOs largest and was released with the first Winter Village Set (Yes, I’m intentionally ignoring 2006’s 10173-1 Holiday Train) It has depth, and style, and has great string light decorations, with a stellar (pun intended) star tree topper too. And was so large the set had to come with a ladder so the poor Minifigs could reach to decorate it. Interestingly, this tree is the only appearance of Part 3709 in Green. To this day, 12 years later, it is still exclusive to this set.

In fact, this tree was so good I’m going to declare that it was the sole reason this set was updated and re-released 6 years later (Set 10249-1). What other reason could LEGO have had to re-release it if not to allow more people to own this masterpiece?! The re-released version did change a few details but it only improved on the original design.

Here’s the two, you decide which is best (Original 10199-1 on the Left, Updated 10249-1 on the Right).

10199-110249-1

 

Last of the good is the most recent. Set 10263-1 Winter Village Fire Station, released this year (2018), has (please don’t write me about this opinion) underwhelmed me a bit. Is a fire station inherently festive? I don’t know, and they have officially made my Winter Village Victorian which is news to me! But, the saving grace of this set is the tree (and the snowman and wreaths). Although it’s a little geometric I think it’s the best of the smaller scale trees. I do wish it had some transparent parts for decorations but it has the better star and the variation in greens really stands this out above the rest.

10263-1

 

The Bad

I consider myself to be a typical AFOL, so as is common with our community I find it difficult to be overtly critical of LEGO products. After all, if you don’t like their designs you can just build it differently. That being said, here are my least favorite Christmas Trees.

First up, another polybag. Set 30186-1 Christmas Tree. For a specifically designed model this is just wrong. Why do the branches point upwards? The red center plates, is that supposed to be ribbon or tinsel? And a starfish as a tree topper is just too much! It does have a certain ‘fullness’ about it which is good I guess but otherwise this is a big miss.

30186-1

 

Set 41016-21 Day 20 Christmas Tree is another offending article. This sub-set has a cone top that is far too large and is topped with an uninspiring star (LEGO Friends accessory 11609). Points for Trans-Dark Pink decorations but otherwise this is totally dis-proportionate.

41016-21

And the last entry in the Big Stinker category is Set 4124-24 Day 23 Christmas Tree. Another Advent Calendar sub-set, this time from 2001. Borderline Ugly, this is the worst of the worst. The tree part is simple and looks just fine, but top it with a wand and you get something really odd. Seriously, whose idea was the wand? Does anyone have a tree at home that looks like that?

4124-24

 

The Ugly

The last category is so bad they’re good…maybe.

The first ugly is set 40002-1 Christmas Tree. A LEGO Exclusive polybag, this is how not to make a LEGO Christmas Tree. Made worse by the fact that it was released in 2009, I could forgive it if it was an early attempt but we’ve really improved in the last two decades, beyond this.

40002-1

And the last entry on my journey of Festive Trees is Advent Calendar Sub-set 7907-25. This looks like it’s straight out of A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s so spindly it makes me think of all those poor orphan children going without this Christmas Day. Even the gifts couldn’t be bothered to look nice, a simple 1x1 brick is a poor gift.

7907-25

 

And that’s it, LEGO is clearly improving, every year they try again and eventually maybe we’ll get a really good Advent Calendar Tree, let’s be honest, whatever they do, I’ll probably be buying it anyway!. Here’s hoping you have a Merry Whatever-You-Celebrate and feel free to let me know in the comments which ones you like (or don’t like) and any that I’ve missed.

 

15 COMMENTS

  • 1 month, 3 weeks ago Pioneer4x4 (2630) MOC Designer
    Where would you put "40058 Decorating the tree" in this list.  I have this unopened and almost built it to put in our family room over the Christmas holiday.
    • 1 month, 3 weeks ago Pioneer4x4 (2630) MOC Designer
      Also, thanks for this post, interesting and entertaining over the holiday.
    • That's an interesting one. Definitely some nice details on the tree so probably just gets in the good. It's similar to the first one in the post, but actually adds to that design. Biggest issue is those top Dark Green 'Teeth' (just like the first one. They should've used the two colors throughout. I like the bauble/lights though, gifts are good too. But that dreaded wand is back!
  • 2 months ago diddypi (20)
    Your "wand" tree and comment made me laugh.  Actually, yes, our tree looks exactly like that this year!!  Long story short - we don't have the top of our tree.  My DH stuck flagpole sticks down the center to hold the star.  The result looks just like the Set 4124-24 Day 23 Christmas Tree!  And yes, it looks bad, but makes us laugh!  We had a Christmas tree bush this year!
  • 2 months, 4 weeks ago route180 (171)
    "Why do the branches point upwards?"

    That's what the branches on actual Christmas trees do! The real question is why do all the other Lego Christmas trees, and indeed so many drawings and models in all sorts of media, show branches that appear to point down?
    • 2 months, 3 weeks ago wich (780)
      Exactly, was just about to say so.
    • 2 months, 3 weeks ago vinternet (289) MOC Designer
      In general, while the individual branches point up, if you zoom out, the overall shape of the tree is such that its outer contours slope downward. The bricks are usually representing a large number of closely clustered branches.

      But to your point, at a certain scale, upward slopes would be accurate and could create some interesting shapes to represent individual branches poking out from the tree.
  • 3 months ago papad (142)
    A good read and walk down Memory Lane!  I love Christmas the true meaning of the Christ Child, but I also like building things to reflect the secular side of Christmas.  The trees have their origins dating back to Martin Luther, but while building them and their everlasting quality through Winter, I tend to dream up other little things that are built around them and create them together to make great Winter Town
    displays that Kids and the Public can enjoy and put a smile on their face, and a warming in their hearts
  • 3 months ago Sunray18 (53)
    I enjoyed this. I have my own Lego Christmas tree, I buy parts every year so it grows with time and tradition.
    • 2 months ago RonzLegoLoco (27) PRO
      Speaking for myself, I would welcome a photo of your setup.  I have 4ft fake Christmas tree I am going to start making and adding LEGO ornaments each year.  This year was just the tree, lights and garland.  I’m still sorting everything and will start building for next year.
  • 3 months ago mfg3 (256)
    Enjoyable overview, thanks! Is a fire station inherently festive?  Lol... I don't know, but our local Christmas parade features 20 fire trucks out of about 40 floats and the old vintage truck is the first one out of the gate! Even Santa was cracking wise about it this year on the radio the morning of the parade:)
  • Hilarious story about little trees keep writing and enjoying "the best toy ever " .
  • 3 months ago slangivar (20445) MOC Designer PRO
    Nice summary, I'm glad you omitted that crazy free gift from last year. It looked like you were going to get an awesome Christmas tree but it turned out to just be a printed box with a windmill to put on top.
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