I have wanted to build something from A Christmas Carol for some time now, and more specifically, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come because he’s my favorite purely because he looks like the Grim Reaper and does nothing but point. I had also been wanting to make my own insert for the Pop-Up Book because as much as I love the set, I have no real connections to the fairytales within, and even though that’s where the focus of the set is, I cared more for the cover than anything else, Sorry Grant and Jason. As luck would have it, LEGO Ideas’ contest for custom inserts happening around this time gave me the excuse to put the two ideas together.
Just like my Nativity from a few years ago, the characters’ designs are heavily inspired by the 2D sculptures of David Alexander Smith. It was a decent challenge to get all four to fit within the dimensions of the book and with one another. The Ghost of Christmas Past just barely squeezes in and needs to be offset in order to do so, The Ghost of Christmas Present is actually three studs deep, so that meant Future had to stay as thin as possible, but I needed that pointing gesture of his, and Ebenezer Scrooge’s head is attached past that two stud depth, too. It leads to the backs of these characters looking a little less desirable, but I see this as a bit more of an art piece, almost like a shadowbox, which can really only be viewed from one direction.
I also wanted other elements of the story to be present by way of the other various connections behind the pivoting panels of characters. Originally, I wanted to incorporate the ghost of Jacob Marley in a fireplace, the grandfather clock to toll the coming of the first spirit, and Scrooge’s future tombstone, but LEGO does not make fourth dimensional bricks to allow all that to happen in such a tight space. So I scrapped the fireplace, and moved the Clock over since Present’s cornucopia torch was going to block it anyway, but then how do you do that? Technic parts, and a rubber band from Mars Mission. I’m very pleased with this since I’m not very experienced in functions like that. The last time I messed with gears to actually make a function and not just for aesthetics was to get the engines on a podracer to spin.
There’s that annoying bar that is used for the beanstalk in the set, and I found a way to use it to do two things. The liftarms used to bind up when closing the book, but by using a plate with clips, a 2x4 tile, and an inverted curved slope, all is right with the world. But all that technic stuff looks awful and kills the vibe. I then made a table with a turkey (or goose) feast that uses another clip, and a bunch of snot stuff. This actually works quite well for Present’s part of the story as he arrives surrounded by a banquet of food, and later takes Scrooge to see Bob Cratchit’s home and his family enjoying dinner. And it works for the end of the story as Scrooge shares dinner with his nephew and sends dinner to the Cratchits on Christmas. There is the bird, a pie, strawberries because shut up they’re just supposed to represent fruits of some kind, cookies, some custardy things or whipped something in pink and brown, puffy white stuff, a bottle, and a candlestick. It’s pretty obvious I have no idea what people ate in Victorian England.
There are two small little builds at the front. On the left is a small withered plant surrounded by coins and on the right there is a plant that is full and lively. These are symbolic of Scrooge’s mind and soul from the beginning of the story and the end. There would have been more to the plant, but because Present is a bit of a giant, they got in the way of each other. I have a lot of respect for everyone that is trying to do this because anyone with big ideas has to scale things down to get it all to work.
Now I must confess something. I’ve never read A Christmas Carol. I haven’t even seen too many renditions of it despite it having been done a million times. But The Muppet Christmas Carol is awesome, and it’s all I really want to know as the story. There are of course creative liberties, I mean, it’s got Muppets doing Muppety things. Wikipedia, as much as it is not a reliable source to professors, is reliable enough for me to believe that the Ghost of Christmas past is a weird androgynous angelic candle child. Yeah… It also showed me a few other differences, but I, like everyone else have taken my own liberties, like Future having wispy smoke for part of his body.
And as always, I made a review for YouTube:
There is one more thing to address. This will be my last upload to MOCpages. After all the hackings and the insecurity of this site, it's just no longer a viable option to upload creations to. I love MOCpages, and I have been patient, but it has not treated users well for too long, and I've had as much as I can take. If you are at all interested in following my efforts in the LEGO Community, I upload to Flickr, I have a YouTube Channel, and I can be found on Discord, although I'm sticking more with servers, not really one-on-one conversations. There is currently an effort to make a new home for the LEGO Community, so follow the updates over in this Flickr Group. I won't be deleting my account, I may hang around and see how things go, I'll respond to comments if I feel like it, but I will no longer be uploading creations to MOCpages. It's sad, but I just can't do it anymore.
I really enjoy the various functions you added and the figures look good from the front side. I've only read a Christmas Carol once and I've seen the Muppets one many times (It's my favorite rendition of the book as well), and it's my favorite Christmas story. Anyway, if this had been the ideas book set instead of the fairy tale ones, I would have more than likely bought it. Good work!
Great moc! I'll be sad to see ya go, though. It was great hanging with you while you were here, even though you're one of the better builders and I'm kinda obscure. If all goes well (or the opposite) I might move to Flickr as well.
Beautifully done. So much fantastic detail. Love the ghost of Christmas present. My all time favorite version is the 1951 Christmas carol with Alastair Sim. This version gives more background into Scrooge’s past .