Clearance Review: Lemax Christmas Village Accessories
Around Halloween we looked at some Lemax 'Spooky Town' collectibles. Well, I went back to Michaels the other day and was thrilled to find that the Lemax Christmas display collectibles had been marked down to half price. I picked up a couple of packs of "Brick and Pebble Roads", along with a "Street Clock", and a big bag of miniature trees. Because these vary so much in terms of scores and appearance, I'm going to score them individually this time.
Just like last time, these represent a small percent of the figurines, displays, and accessories you can pick up. A lot of them are ugly, but just as many are kind of cool. Wait for a sale, go in with an open mind, look around, and see what jumps out at you. You just might be surprised.
Prices vary, as do sales, so it pays to bide your time and check out sales. But isn't that always the case?
Clock: 7 Roads: 9 Trees: 9
Out of the three, the clock was the most dissappointing when I pulled it out of its package. The reason: it was crooked and bent. The pictures hide this somewhat, but in person it's obvious. Even so, the basic design is pretty cool.
The roads look incredibly cool. They come rolled up, and you unwind them. There are two per package: one stone and one brick road. I'll have some issues with them later, but I can't complain about the basic look.
Then there are the trees. These are, by far, my favorite part of this purchase. You get twenty one different trees in several different sizes. The quality of the appearance varies from tree to tree - some look a little shaggy - and I dropped the score a bit because of it. But, as you can see, they really get the idea across.
Packaging and Accessories: ----
These really ARE accessories, so this category is basically meaningless. The packaging is a very minimal, but at least they don't carry a name like 'Spooky Town.'
I do want to warn anyone considering the clock to take a nice long look before buying: I didn't notice the warped pole even though the package was clear.
Play and Display:
Clock: -1 Roads: -2 Trees: +2
I'm dragging the clock down even further, and it's for the same reason I hit the appearance: it's crooked and doesn't stand up straight. In fact, it won't even sit right. Still, it looks good enough as a scale street clock, something that's hard to find and kind of cool.
The roads also don't fare as well as I'd hoped. They might look good, but they don't really work. I wasn't surprised that they didn't want to stay flat when I first unwound them, but I figured after a week under a heavy object they'd be more obliging. Well, they're somewhat better, but they're still not flat. Set it on the ground and the ends start to bow. For something that's meant to be laid down as a road, that's kind of a serious problem. I'm sure I'll find some use for these: my wife's already eying them for some sort of customizing project. They are neat, but their uses are kind of limited.
Then there's the trees. The beautiful, glorious trees. First of all, you get four different sizes, and I've got plans for some of each. Do you have six inch Christmas figures? Pop a few of these around it, and you've got a display that'd do Rankin/Bass proud. Do you have an Ent? You can give him a forest. Got birds? Let 'em perch! At the very end of the review, I've got even more photos showing suggestions, and I could have kept snapping pictures: these are useful. I bought these for gaming, but I'm coming up with ideas left and right. Versatile, simple, and effective, these are a must have for any collector's display bin. Especially at the price I paid. And what price was that? Read on....
Price Tag and Final Analysis:
Clock: 6 Roads: 7 Trees: 10+
I like these to varying degrees, but I'll tell you now: they were all worth what I paid. Lets start with the clock. It retails for three bucks, so I paid $1.50. Honestly, if you have a use for this, it might be worth the $3. Sure, it has problems - serious ones at that - but it's cool, unusual, and a neat addition to a display styled like the late 19th century. Now, not everyone has a use for such an item, but it's a good price if you do. At half-off, it's a steal.
It's hard to think of uses for the roads and, honestly, if you're not interested in customizing, you might want to skip them. If you're creative, though, these are pretty cool for their price tag. The retail is $4 for a pack of 2. I don't necessarily think they're worth that much, but at half off you're basically paying a buck for each of the roads. I'm still trying to come up with a use for mine, but at that price I can't complain.
Then there are the trees. You can find these packaged in smaller quantities, but go for the 21 pack if you want to get your money's worth. A package of 21 miniature trees would set you back $15 at full retail. Now, lets take a minute to consider this: that's less than seventy-five cents a tree. Considering their versatility, I think they're easily worth it.
But if you can find them on sale like I did, you can get them all for seven dollars and fifty cents. It just doesn't get much better than that. Still skeptical? Here are a few ideas: