I picked up this set at Wal-Mart the other day for $10-- I'd seen that they had some of the new Friends sets (all of the $10 sets and the Cafe) when I was in previously but had neglected to get one, so went back purposefully to get one for me and a friend.
I apologize for the pictures; not as clear as I'd like as I'm visiting friends and don't have access to my usual "lightbox" setup. We also don't have sun in Michigan.
So, to compensate, an image from the LEGO website in case you're not familiar with the set:
And, on to the review!
Box and Instructions
I like that the box is purple and not pink, anyway (a la Paradisa)! Makes me much more likely to pick it up as an AFOL and looks less like a child’s toy.
The back shows the front, basic scene broken down into smaller vignettes, as well as the five Friends characters and their sets.
The instructions are simple, with a few pieces added per step. Everything is detailed clearly, with no ambiguities, and each color is distinct.
Toward the end we have the piece inventory. There are also a few advertisement pages showing other Friends sets.
A very simple build. I'd read a review of Olivia's Workshop, and that set seems to have a slightly more complicated build. All I had to do here was put the drawers/cabinet together, add legs and tile tops to the table and desk, and build the eight-piece inspiration board, which is the most “complex” build. There's a step-stool as well (Emma's standing on it, but it's partly hidden behind the table in the cover image) and a round seat that I would put with the desk.
Originally, the first time I built, I didn't put the purple 1x2s on the bottoms of the table legs and desk because they seemed high enough already (2 bricks high, then a plate for the tabletops and tiles on top of that). They add a bit more visual interest, but it would be nice to work at a table without having to stand on a stool, no? When I took the pictures, I added those so the set would match the original.
I like the pink and purple drawers, the laptop computer, MP3 player, the RULER, my favorite (which is printed, not stickered), and the translucent pink mug. There are also a few 1x2 tiles in various colors; I'm not sure what those are supposed to represent, perhaps fabric samples?
Honestly, I like her and am slightly enamored. She's so cute that I had to show her to my brother (visiting over the holidays) and say "look, isn't she cute?" Cute notwithstanding, I'm not sure what I'll do with the fig since she doesn't fit with the rest of my LEGO.
She was smaller than I'd expected; I guess after seeing so many close-ups of the new dolls, I didn't think she'd be so tiny!
Sorry, I really couldn't get a clear (at all!) photo of just the fig.
The completed model
Everything comes together cleanly and the set looks nice as a whole, although it does contain five smaller builds, so for an AFOL, they were a bit unsatisfying. Adding legs onto a table doesn’t give me much pleasure as a built, and it took me perhaps five minutes. Still, there's definitely some playability here as Emma can move about the room and work on her computer, eat the giant sandwich with green filling, sort through drawers, and work at her table.
A cute but basic set. I think some of the other $10 sets will provide a slightly better value, but I like what this set accomplishes and like the purple and aqua pieces especially!
And, just for fun...
Since I've seen so many dismembered Friends figs in reviews lately, it's time for a little revenge...
I'm the proud owner of a blacksmith shop!
Oh no! Knight attacks!
I'll just use the water wheel as a counter-attack! Knight: "It's just a flesh wound."
Edited by Pandora, 20 December 2012 - 10:40 PM.