LEGO Review

LEGO Review: Wintertime Polar Bears #40571

Set Name: Wintertime Polar Bears
Set Number: 40571
Pieces: 312
MSRP: $12.99/CA$16.99/AU$19.99/£11.99

Why I Bought this Set

I am collecting these small models for my desk at work, and adding this adorable set to the collection was an easy decision. Like most people, I love looking at polar bears (I wouldn’t mind a docile, never-aging baby polar bear as a pet, but I hear they are rarer than the regular polar bear model), so having this little decoration was a must!

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The Build

This set comes in three sections, with pre-sorted pieces in numbered bags. The directions, as always, are easy to follow and come in an 88-page booklet. The first section to build is the adult polar bear. In the picture, I have mixed both bags marked 1. Time to get building!

The build begins with constructing the back of the bear before moving onto its mid-region, then adding most of the scarf. The body is straightforward, and the part usage focuses on creating a smooth and polished bear.

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All this bear needs now is its head! The head build begins with the snout, then is built around that element. Very quickly, the shape is there, then, with a few finishing touches, we have an adorable face. Pop the head on the body, and boom! A polar bear. It’s beyond delightful.

Naturally, the polar bear needs somewhere to sit and think about being a bear. Time to contract the base, which is bag 2. You start with one of the base plates, adding layering and color details. This set uses a light teal for the base, which allows the translucent blue pieces to pop and look like ice.

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Base construction is a straightforward process, especially the second one, as it is mainly covering the plate in tiles. I discovered I was two corner round tiles short but had four spare 1×1 tiles. After checking the booklet and looking around the floor in case one of my LEGO relocation specialists (cats) had moved the pieces, I concluded that it was a mistake in the set. In the end, I took two tile corners from the top section and put in the square tiles instead. It doesn’t look quite as polished, but I won’t notice the difference in a few days. My solution is definitely better than leaving the bottom section of the plate unfinished.

Onto the last section – the baby polar bear and then the tiny Christmas tree. The smaller bear was quick to put together, and I was impressed by how few pieces were needed to create something visually stunning. I didn’t look too closely at the picture before I began building and was surprised when I made the sled! I love LEGO for features like these.

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I’ve recently built a few Christmas trees with the various sets I’ve incorporated into my winter village, so I knew the drill here! You create a good texture by using stacked triangle plates, decreasing in size. Translucent studs create the lights, which look phenomenal. The sides of the tree are connected to a central pillar. Finally, you make what I assume is meant to be a star but looks more like a duck or a boat to top the tree. I had quite a few extra pieces at the end of the build to add to my ever-growing inventory.

All that’s left in the build is to put everything on the baseplate. I think this set looks terrific once completed. Each element can stand on its own too. If Christmas isn’t your holiday, remove the tree, and you have some lovely winter polar bears instead.

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Set Review

I love this holiday decoration set. The part usage isn’t particularly clever, but the animals and scenery created with only 312 pieces are highly effective and pleasing. It fills me with festive joy when I look at it. The elements could be removed and used in a display differently, though the animals are a bit big compared to a mini figure.

It’s a set that can easily be built with a companion as the elements are constructed separately.

The choice of colors and excellent elements, such as the sled and the translucent tiles to make an ice effect, elevate the build tremendously.

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Ratings

Build: 5/5
Like most of these smaller sets, the build is not complicated. However, I enjoyed seeing the bear come together as one minute, it looked like a bunch of random bricks, and a few steps later, I was staring at the cutest bear.

Having the build in discrete sections allows the casual builder to construct this in short sessions, which is ideal when you’re doing it with kids and/or have limited time.

Display: 5/5
LEGO has a few of these small decoration sets, and this is a superb addition to the product line. The red next to the white bear helps provide the animals with definition. The base plate is neutral, yet not white as it could have been; this would have meant the bears were lost to the background. The set will look great as a holiday decoration, and I can’t wait for Thanksgiving to be over so I can display it!

Price: 5/5
At ~4 cents per piece, this has an average value compared to most LEGO sets and is comparable to other sets in this line-up. However, such an attractive price point does come with some drawbacks. There are no unique pieces included, nor any more expensive molded elements. Overall, this is an excellent entry-level set that won’t break the budget and is a decoration that can be used for many holiday seasons to come. Great value.

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Final Thoughts

I am a big fan of this set and know it will look great as part of my desk collection. Creating lifelike polar bears from LEGO is challenging as they are big and round animals. Yet, this set executes the design. I love the details in the baseplate and the colors used. Very happy builder here.

Buy the Set

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LEGO AUS
LEGO UK

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