LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar review

LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar is filled with references, but it’s not immune to LEGO advent calendar tropes.

When the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was first announced, it was an obvious choice for a LEGO Marvel advent calendar. Now, that idea has been realised as the first LEGO Marvel advent calendar directly inspired by the MCU, following the initial 76196 The Avengers Advent Calendar in 2021. It offers an opportunity to reinvent the wheel by embracing the scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the absurdity of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but with a seasonal twist.

If this was the goal, LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar is a clear success, though there’s still room for improvement as certain LEGO advent calendar tropes seemingly can’t be ignored. Note that there will be major spoilers for the contents of this advent calendar in this review.

— LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar set details —

Theme: LEGO Marvel Set name: 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar Release: September 1, 2022

Price: £29.99 / $44.99 / €34.99 Pieces: 268 Minifigures: 6

LEGO: Available from September 1, 2022

lego marvel 76231 GOTG Advent Calendar review contents group shot

— LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar build —

76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar features 24 days of builds and minifigures to count down to Christmas, all revolving around a specific theme. The current line-up of these seasonal sets ranges from Star Wars to CITY with Marvel being the newest addition to the annual range. However, 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar is the first to be based on a Marvel Studios project rather than Marvel overall, raising expectations from the 2021 version.

That initial attempt at a LEGO Marvel advent calendar covered a wide array of characters both cosmic and street-level, but this time the focus is solely on the Guardians of the Galaxy to tie in with their upcoming holiday special, which streams on Disney+ later in 2022. The design team behind 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar understood the brief, filling the doors with references to the team’s Marvel Cinematic Universe adventures and the usual seasonal models.

The presence of smaller builds that combine into a larger holiday speeder doesn’t go unappreciated, taking us back to the days of the 2011 LEGO CITY Advent Calendar, which mixed multiple doors into a single police station. Coming at the end of the advent calendar makes this model more disappointing though, as the final countdown to Christmas is made up of a cockpit, cargo and a pair of wings in three respective doors. The latter contents could be lacklustre on their own, though they come after the cockpit so you can attach them straight away.

There’s a mix of miniature ships including the Milano and Benatar behind some of the doors, and smaller ships referencing other films too. In the potential context of the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, these could easily be toys and their builds are surprisingly challenging for how few pieces they use. That’s no bad thing, as it helps extend the building time for select days.

Speaking of Easter eggs, one door holds a crate of items from past Guardians of the Galaxy adventures, including a prosthetic eye, Yondu’s arrow, the Power Stone containment orb and what might be an Anulax Battery from the sequel.

References make up the majority of this model, making this advent calendar better suited to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and specifically the Guardians of the Galaxy. Considering the huge audience that Marvel Studios has kept over the years and the widespread appeal of this team, that’s unlikely to be an issue and these deep-cut Easter eggs are something that Marvel enthusiasts will love to see with each passing day.

However, this is still a LEGO advent calendar and that means one unavoidable model. Yes, even the Marvel Cinematic Universe can’t escape the reach of seasonal weapon racks, as one door is dedicated to the builds that are destined to be disassembled at the end of the season. Each minifigure comes with an accessory already, making the weapon rack feel too out of place, and it’s a wasted slot for what could have been another reference or a more festive creation.

It’s a shame to see that LEGO advent calendars still can’t escape their usual tropes even when based on a source material as vast as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though it’s only one day in what is otherwise a great variety of models.

— LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar characters —

Seasonal and exclusive minifigures make up a huge part of the modern LEGO advent calendars and 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar is no exception. Most of the team is featured behind the doors of this set, including a new version of Drax, who has been one of the rarest members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in minifigure form.

lego marvel 76231 GOTG Advent Calendar review minifigures group shot 1

The full line-up includes Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Mantis, Nebula and Drax. No villains are included for them to battle against, which pleasingly makes the advent calendar feel like a Guardians of the Galaxy office party, as opposed to a festive celebration that a world-destroying conqueror (there are plenty) decided to attend.

You’ve probably noticed that one member of the team wasn’t listed in that line-up, as Gamora is missing from 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar following the events of Avengers: Endgame. If anything, it’s the only downside of this calendar taking inspiration from the MCU, in which the current version of Gamora has no memory of the Guardians.

While we don’t yet know the context behind 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar and therefore whether or not it would have made sense to include Gamora, the lack of a new minifigure for her stands out considering the rest of the team are included.

She does make an appearance of sorts, though. 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar’s minifigure highlights include two seasonal variants for Drax and Nebula, both of whom are wearing a festive sweater – much like Iron Man in 2021’s 76196 The Avengers Advent Calendar.

Drax’s design has a dancing Groot with musical notes on the back, while Nebula’s gives Gamora a small cameo, smiling aside her less-cheery sister in a heart. This torso acts as a family photo of sorts as Thanos, with all six Infinity Stones, is on the front. Why Nebula would want to wear a jumper with him on considering their history is unknown, but maybe it’s some form of twisted irony for her.

Both minifigures are great additions to the LEGO Marvel 2022 advent calendar and a vast improvement over the exclusive minifigures in the 2021 version, of which only one was appropriately festive.

— LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar price —

Despite multiple days combined into one model and a missing team member, the level of thought and the many references in 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar make it great value, as long as you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans of Marvel comics might have preferred a mix of other heroes outside of the Guardians of the Galaxy, though to be fair the name of the set makes it very clear that this isn’t going to be the case over the 24 days.

For a price of £29.99 / $44.99 / €34.99, 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar presents good value in most regions, especially for those who have yet to purchase 76193 The Guardians’ Ship and want to get their hands on many of the minifigures featured here. In the US, the cost of $44.99 feels tougher to recommend unless you simply must have these Guardians of the Galaxy minifigures, as there’s just not enough content in these 24 days to justify such a high price.

— LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar pictures —

— LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar summary —

LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar manages to stand out as an absurd festive celebration in space among the rest of the 2022 LEGO advent calendar range. It does this by featuring a vast array of deep-cut references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, adorable details on exclusive minifigures and rare characters that have been featured in mostly retired or more expensive models.

For a Marvel Studios enthusiast, 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar is a must-have for the 2022 holiday season and most days will have you remembering a scene from the Marvel Studios movies. However, that focus on Easter eggs and references limits its appeal somewhat, as those not as interested in the MCU might struggle to connect with the builds, preferring more festive inclusions for the holiday season.

lego marvel 76231 GOTG Advent Calendar review turkey gun

This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your LEGO Advent Calendars through one of our affiliate links.

— Alternatives to LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar —

LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar launches alongside four other seasonal sets in 75340 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar, 76404 LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar, 60352 LEGO CITY Advent Calendar and 41706 LEGO Friends Advent Calendar. No matter your interest, that line-up should have something for everyone to enjoy over the holiday season.

Those only interested in the Guardians of the Galaxy aspect of this set can also find many of the minifigures in this model in 76193 The Guardians’ Ship, though you’ll struggle to find another Drax minifigure without resorting to the secondary market.

— FAQs —

How long does it take to build LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar?

Assuming you don’t plan on building LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar in one sitting, each day’s model or minifigure should take you a couple of minutes max to put together. Provided you do want to build all 24 days’ worth of builds at once, expect it to take around 35 minutes.

How many pieces are in LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar?

There are 268 pieces in LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar, making up 18 days of models and six minifigures.

How big is LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar?

That’s a tough question considering that LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar is a variety of smaller models and minifigures rather than one larger creation.

With the display platform on the box, 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar measures 32cm deep, 37.5cm across and 26cm tall. Each build measures a maximum of 6cm in each dimension, but you probably won’t have an issue displaying them individually throughout your collection thanks to their small size.

How much does LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar cost?

LEGO Marvel 76231 Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar costs £29.99 in the UK, €34.99 in Europe and $44.99 in the US, and is available from September 1, 2022.

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