Set Name: Santa’s Workshop
Set Number: 40565
MSRP: GWP (US$150 purchase)
Available: Dec 1-24, 2022
Why I Bought this Set
Getting this GWP motivated me to make a qualifying purchase as it fits with my winter village, and it went with the Winter Elves Scene (the November GWP). I liked the look of the toy conveyer belt, and I always want more elves and Santa minifigures!
The set has two building sections, described in a 92-page instruction manual. The first section creates the minifigures, base, conveyer belt, and side wall. Part two focuses on the doors, roof, and adding in a few interior details.
The minifigures are not unique to this set but are fantastic. The Santa is the same design as the one in Santa’s Sleigh (review), with a candy cane in his belt. The elf matches those in the Elf Club House (review) set, which is good as it blends in with them. In a way, it helps extend that set with this one. Both minifigures have great hats, and each has an accessory (beard for Santa and a paintbrush for the elf).
The start of the build is straightforward, with the core built on four 6×6 tan plates. Curved tile is laid as an entrance ramp to the workshop. Red brick and window elements outline the conveyer belt and the surrounding wall. A print piece is placed for the computer keyboard.
The conveyer belt is an isolated mini-build. The underside is black tile to minimize resistance as it moves back and forth. Jumpers and grates are used on the top. Molded toys (cars, a video game controller, and a doll) are placed there, along with a car micro-build. Four semi-circle tiles are used at each corner to keep the conveyer belt in place.
With the belt installed, the rest of the wall is constructed along with several decorative elements. There is a window, light, air vent, and a tiled archway on the exterior. The interior has two printed tiles for the conveyer belt’s instrumentation and sticker elements for the computer screen and conveyer belt door. You cannot push the belt to open the door – there is too much resistance, and the toys will pop off if you try this.
Stage two of the build begins with constructing the doors to the workshop. They use brownish-red brick, a darker shade than the building’s walls. They do have the same white trim halfway up for continuity. A wreath is added to each door as a decorative element. The doors sit between two ridge tiles that allow them to move easily.
Once the doors are in place, the build focuses on constructing the top of the wall and its roof. A semi-circle window is a good design and gives the workshop a barn-like appearance. A molded piece with a transparent yellow 1×1 round brick generates a lantern to hang above the door. The roof is finished with white plate to give the workshop a snow-covered effect.
Only a few steps are left to complete the build; a roof for the other wall and some presents to fill the workshop. The top is more white tile, held in place with two hinges. The gifts are made chiefly from 1×1 plates and flower studs.
There are a lot of extra pieces by the end of the build, as Lego typically includes duplicates of the smallest parts. There’s plenty left to make more presents or utilize in future builds.
After popping the minifigures in place, the set is complete, and I’ve included images of all angles. My favorite angle is the sliding doors.
This set is meant to go with its GWP predecessor: Winter Elves Scene (review), which was released as a GWP in November during the VIP and Black Friday weekends. I’ve put them together below, as suggested. I have to say, it looks better in person than in images, but even then, it appears cluttered, and they don’t match well. In line with the silhouetted trees from the elves’ scene, the back of Santa’s workshop doesn’t make sense and looks slightly off. I recommended splitting them up or modifying the sets, so they work better together.
I’m trying to remember that this is a GWP and attempt to not be overly harsh on the set. However, I will use the Winter Elves Scene as my baseline, which doesn’t bode well for Santa’s workshop.
My main issue with the design is that it feels unfinished. While the two exterior walls are polished and detailed, the inner walls look incomplete. There are too many exposed studs and technic pieces.
The design was crying out for a more extensive set and was far too ambitious for a GWP. To make the conveyer belt make sense, you need a sleigh on the other side or a storage facility. Yet, we have double sliding doors on the other wall, ideal for a sleigh to be backed into. Further, by having decorative elements on four walls (two sides of two walls), there aren’t sufficient pieces to do a stellar job of everything.
Finally, I don’t know how best to display this set. The focus should be on the interior, yet the exterior looks better – especially the double doors. The best move is probably to modify the scene to make it feel more complete.
Despite my reservations, I think this is a great GWP with a reasonable entry point. The minifigures are fabulous, and there are a lot of quality pieces and elements in the set.
I had a great time building this GWP. Many decorative pieces brought me joy, and some parts, and techniques I had not seen before. The sliding doors were new to me, and I’ve taken note of how to do this in the future. I also haven’t seen the lantern, and I like that element.
Build techniques were straightforward, ideal for a set that will make an excellent additional Christmas present for all Lego fans.
Many sets do not look stunning from every angle, but they typically look amazing from at least one – this set does not. The exterior is the most refined element, yet the set’s focus is the interior. So, no matter how you display this set, you won’t see its full potential. I am comparing this to the Winter Elves Scene, which focused on one display profile and delivered spectacularly. For Santa’s Workshop to be as effective, it needed to be a more expensive set.
You can’t fault a freebie, and you get a lot in this set, even if you paid the retail value of $19.99. There are 3 printed tiles, two stickers, molded pieces, and two superb minifigures. The piece count isn’t lacking either, coming in at a PP of 6 cents.
I would likely have a higher opinion of Santa’s Workshop if I hadn’t built the Winter Elves Scene immediately before it. It is a fantastic GWP set with two great minifigures and many excellent pieces. Visually it will look great as a decoration, and you can find a home in many winter village set-ups. If like me, you find it needs a bit of modification to look complete, that’s a relatively straightforward process.
Overall, if you’re buying from the Lego store this December, I’d recommend hitting the $150 spend to snag one of these sets for your collection.
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