Weighing as much as a small car and perfectly camouflaged for the Arctic tundra, polar bears have become festive icons. They feature in numerous stories, adverts and are one of the mascots for Coca-Cola. Playfully rolling through the snow to clean their fur, and making warm dens for winter, there’s a lot we have in common with the largest bear in the world.
So, is 40571 Wintertime Polar Bears a really cool addition for a winter wonderland?
40571 Wintertime Polar Bears details
With all the white bricks in this set, expect some brick blindness. That’s what happens when you stare at bricks for ages without finding the piece you need – and it is always exacerbated when they are identically coloured. However, without the luxury of extra colours the designers have really focussed on shape and texture. Lots of curved bricks help create the bears’ round shape, with a few angled plates suggesting thick fur on the chest.
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The faces on both bears are brilliantly achieved using 1×1 and 2×2 round tiles for the cheeks, and 1×1 bread loaf tiles for tiny ears. In real life the ears are this small to try and prevent heat loss – though they still have a keen sense of hearing. Printed eyes then add plenty of character, along with a flowing red scarf on the bigger of the bears.
Two 6×8 half-oval plates are used to make the accompanying base, which is nicely landscaped to look like an icy lake. Light aqua and transparent blue suggest different thicknesses of ice, and some white studs are dotted around as snowballs. A Christmas tree finishes off the scene and uses a classic LEGO design which will be familiar to anyone who has built a Winter Village set. The star topper is new, but it does looks a little odd. Yellow cheese slopes are used in what looks more like a rubber duck than a star.
For anyone who is looking for something wintry rather than Christmassy, then 40571 Wintertime Polar Bears is a fun build that really highlights what can be done in LEGO bricks with a limited colour palette.
VERDICT: A fantastic example of bears in the brick that is really good value.