Review: #40603 Wintertime Carriage Ride & #40604 Christmas Decor Set
Are these holiday-themed Gift-with-purchase sets worth seeking out, or just a nice bonus when buying LEGO sets this December?
I think this month will be a record at Brick Architect, with 9 LEGO sets reviewed in a single month! (Yes, I am counting the four advent calendars as four separate sets, even though it was a single article.) As you can imagine, I’m ready for something with festive, lighthearted and easy. Pour a cup of coffee, cocoa, or tea and let’s take a look at these two wintry Gift-with-purchase sets.
#40603 Wintertime Carriage Ride
After opening the box with these two sets, I was immediately drawn to this one as it has good vibes, a nice looking carriage, a horse, and some of those fancy rear wheels that I do not have in my collection.
This set is is a ‘free’ gift-with-purchase when buying $150 or more at LEGO.com website, and is listed as a $23 value. I had expectected the 153-piece set would be listed as a $20 value. Not a great price-per-part (if you could purchase it separately), but it does include those fancy wheels, a horse, and three minifigs.
As this is just meant to be a very short review, and my 5-year old son built the model while I was watching, I just want to hit on a couple main points. The first is that the carriage is quite intricately detailed for a simple GWP set, with a strong chassis built on toip of a largely hidden 2×8×2 Double, Inverted (part 11301), and the front section of the carriage can turn using well-disguised Technic elements.
I think this set would look perfect in your Winter Village scene, which is why #40603 Wintertime Carriage Ride earns a Recommended (4/5 star) rating. Let’s just hope they make it available with a reasonable purchase amount.
#40604 Christmas Decor
By contrast, this set did not grab my attention. If I had more time, I wanted to build it as a short family activity. With 3 ornaments in the box, we would each get to build one.
I ended up building them myself over about half a cup of coffee — I didn’t time myself but I’m sure it took less than 15 minutes. They go together pretty easily, with a 2×2 central core and four assemblies that attach to the sides using SNOT techniques.
We unfortunately do not have a Christmas tree up yet, but I do think the black loops will fit over smaller branches, or you can attach one of those metal hooks to each loop. Speaking of that loop, it is an element that is new to me. With a magnifying glass, I was able to read 73767, which I learned is called a “Bag Tag Ring”. It was actually introduced in 2021 with the LEGO Dots Bag Tags.
These ornaments are more typical of what we often see with Gift-with-purchase sets; small underwhelming models that we are still happy to get because it’s “free LEGO”. In reality, it is not a free set, but a deliberate strategy to try to shift your spending habits to LEGO Brand Retail stores over big box stores that tend to have more discounts.
Prior to announcing the $70 purchase requirement or $14.99 value, I had hoped that this should be considered a $10 value and have a low purchase requirement. Given the 182 pieces in the set, I wasn’t surprised by the $15 value. I would not purchase the set for those prices, and I wouldn’t go very far out of my way to get this gift-with-purchase either. That said, they aren’t horrible either, which is why #40604 Christmas Decor earns our Acceptable (2/5 star) rating.