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REVIEW: Friends Animals Polybags Series 2

review friends animals series 2 41020 41021 41022

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#1 Zeahl

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:53 PM

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After my full review of the first series of Friends animals (Link) I found myself at a toy store to discover they already had the second series up for sale. Obviously I grabbed all 3 different bags, ran to the register to pay, and then hurried home to build them.
Let's see if they hold up to the great first series.

The bags

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The front of the bags has not changed much since the first series. Once again every bag shows a nice scene with the included set, an enlarged animal head in the top right corner, and the Lego Friends along the bottom, this time holding the three new pets.

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The back hasn't changed much either. still very much purple, with a 1:1 picture of the included pet for scale.

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The first thing we find upon opening the bag is a second bag with the parts. I still really like this, as it makes absolutely sure that all the parts will be in great condition when you get them.

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The second thing you'll find is the instruction booklet. Again with the same front as the bag. The booklet is folded in half to fit inside the bag.

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Inside the booklet we find the building instructions, which are very easy to follow, despite lacking a parts call out at each step. The colors are nicely differentiated, and I never had to do a double-check to see if I had the right piece, though this may also be due to the small number of pieces in each set.

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When we complete the build we come to the page containing a sample of the alternate build, and a web address where you can find the instructions to build it.

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After the single set alternative build, we find the "collect them all" build, made of all three sets in the second series. From the image it looks a bit better than the series 1 build, but we'll see.

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On the back we are once again assaulted by this creepy girl, telling us to "WIN!" by completing a survey.


41020 - Hedgehog's hideaway

Set Nr: 41020
Theme: Friends
Year released: 2013
Nr of parts: 34
Price: £2.99 / US$4.99 / €4.99

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Help to burrow a little hideaway for the hedgehog with leaves and an apple to eat, then go online to take care of her!

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On the front of the bag we see the hedgehog and it's cute little hideaway standing in what looks like small clearing near the edge of some woods. In the foreground there are some flowers, and near the bush in the back are what I first thought to be hedgehog droppings, but to my relief turned out to be pine cones, or at least I hope that's what they are.

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Inside we find a nice assortment of parts. some various plates and bricks, two colors of plant leaves, of which I've never seen the dark red ones before. You also get a reddish brown pitchfork, a bright green apple and a few lavender bows. Overall nice earthen tones for the most part in this outdoor set, with a bit of pink thrown in there for the hell of it, it seems.

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The hedgehog itself is very well molded, with good quality printing. I feel they've really nailed the look on this one, except maybe for the overly cutesy eyes, but seeing as this is a Friends set, I'll let them get away with it.

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When you complete the build you have a nice hedgehog hideaway for the hedgehog to.. well.. hide away in.
The hideaway itself is very nice, with a small jumper plate in the middle to attack the hedgehog. I don't really get the use of pink and purple in this build. wasn't this supposed to represent a natural outdoor area?
The dark red leaves are stacked on top of a small place. I guess this is supposed to represent dead foliage lying on the forest floor. The apple and pitchfork feel like they are just thrown in there just so there are some accessories in the set.

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These are the parts you have left over when finished building the set. Nothing too impressive.

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All hail our lord and master, the Hedgehog!
This looks a lot like some sort of shrine to worship the hedgehog (or any other animal you choose to put up there). It is quite simple in it's construction and all in all not a very great model.


41021 - Poodle's little palace


Set Nr: 41021
Theme: Friends
Year released: 2013
Nr of parts: 46
Price: £2.99 / US$4.99 / €4.99

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Build the perfect little kennel for the pretty poodle with a grooming table and dish with a bone, then go online to take care of her!


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The front of the bag shows the poodle and her accompanying set in the back yard of somebodies house. a few purple flowered plants adorn the foreground, whilst an apple tree casts it's shadow on the "palace".

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(apologies for the color quality in this foto. I am currently tinkering with my lighting setup and some photo's come out just..weird. I'll try updating it when I get to do the alternative models)

Lots of pink and white in here, with some bright light blue. medium azure and bright light orange splashes, and green for the base of the models. For accessories you get a bright light orange brush, dark pink flowers, white bones, and a couple of magenta bows.

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The poodle itself is mostly white, with a scarf printed across it's chest, along with the printed face. The doggy is nicely molded, but I just don't really like poodles, even in Lego form.

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The completed set consists of a small square feeding bowl, with a bone in it (someone really need to give the dogs in the Lego world some real food, I don't think they can live off of bones alone.), a small pedestal with the brush, for the poodle to sit on, being brushed, looking all snobby, and a "palace", which is nothing more than a small dog house with a lot of pink parts. I feel some more work could have been done on the "palace", as it currently stand I doubt it would hold the poodles "magnificent" fur coat dry during any kind of rain fall, it's just too shallow.

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After finishing with the set, this is what's left over. The first thing I did after seeing three bricks left over was do a double take on the instructions to see if I missed anything, which was not the case. The only explanation I can come up with, is that they are used for the alternative model, but time will tell.

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Speaking about the alternative model... No, you don't use those bricks for that either.
The model itself is a nice little seen of some sort of small bridge over a tiny body of water. It's...okay, I guess.


41022 - Bunny's hutch


Set Nr: 41022
Theme: Friends
Year released: 2013
Nr of parts: 37
Price: £2.99 / US$4.99 / €4.99

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Create a cozy little hutch with a door for the bunny, a hinged balance beam and a tasty carrot, then go online to take care of her!

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The front of the bag shows the set in some larger back yard area, near a vegetable garden.

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The most standing out part of this set for me are the medium dark flesh bricks with masonry profile, for the sole reason these are the first of these new bricks I've managed to acquire. Apart from that, a nice selection of colors, With three medium azure bows and an orange carrot for accessories.

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The bunny itself looks very cute, like it can hop away at any moment. The molding is well done, and the face print is of good quality.

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The completed set consists of the bunny hutch, which I'll come back onto in a moment, a small balance beam for the bunny to walk across (I never knew bunnies liked that kind of thing?) and a carrot sticking out of the ground as incentive for the bunny to cross the balance beam.

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As shown above, the roof of the hutch can be opened up to make it more easy to place and retrieve the bunny from within. The design of the hutch itself is quite nice, with some brickwork on the sides to give it a more real feel.

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When you're done with the model these parts are left over.

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The alternative build for the bunny is some sort of back wall with a carrot in front. I'm getting less and less impressed by these things, even though they clearly do the best they can with the small number of parts they have at their disposal, without making something that looks too much like the original model.


Combined model

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The combined model consists of five smaller builds, that form one bigger scene. Let's look at the individual pieces first.

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The first part looks like a small waterfall appearing out of thin air, which ends up in a cute tiny pool of water with some flowers floating around in it.

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The second part is a small storage area for the brush and pitchfork.

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The third, and least impressive of the lot, build is a few loose patches of grass with some flowers sprouting from them.

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The fourth part is another shrine for the hedgehog. They must really worship hedgehogs at Lego...
It's a cute little building, with a roof of leaves. The ramp seemingly leads to nowhere, but that is remedied by combining the smaller parts into one scene.

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The last part is a patch of grass, with a carrot sticking out of the ground, a bone lying on a patch of dirt, and a small ramp that leads to nowhere (guess where that will be going on the combined scene?)

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Surprice! When combined both ramps line up so that the holy hedgehog can get down from it's shrine and harass the lower creatures, who are just trying to enjoy their favorite foods. The other parts are nice little additions, though the small patches with flowers feel a bit excessive, and the small waterfall/pool area has no real use, seeing as there are no aquatic animals in series 2. Maybe it's meant for the turtle from series 1?


Conclusions

(Disclaimer: I don't believe in giving numerical scores. It is up to the reader to decide what they think of any given model, and I believe mandatory scores detract from this notion.)

minifigs: Just like the first series, the animals are all made very well, but they may be a bit too cute for some.

Parts: A good part selection for such small sets, and for a decent price as well.

build/design: The individual models are mostly good. I will comment on the alternatives as soon as possible.

Playability: On their own these sets offer little in terms of playability. But if you add a mini figure of mini doll, the possibilities are endless!

Overall, I still quite like the idea behind these sets, and hope to see more of these in the future.

For now let us bid farewell to all our animal Friends.

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Edited by Zeahl, 02 May 2013 - 10:47 AM.


#2 soccerkid6

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 12:29 AM

Excellent review, some great parts in the Hedgehog Hideaway, I'll probably get a few of those :classic:
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#3 Kristel

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 03:19 AM

Thanks for the comprehensive review, Zeahl.  Looks like each one has something to offer in terms of parts, in addition to the animals themselves.  I'm looking forward to getting hold of some of those dark red leaves.

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#4 Xeen-ia

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 06:34 AM

Great review. I really look forward to getting these in the mail next week.

#5 Chocolatecake

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for a great review.
There are a lot of great bricks in these sets, I might buy more than one of each because of the bricks.
wallpiece from the bunny, brown branches from the hedgehog.
The poodle is the only one that don't come with something very special beside the dog.

#6 TheLegoDr

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:29 PM

Thanks for the reviews. I picked up the last series for my daughter, so more than likely I will find these also.

The smaller dark red leaves will go well with the Mirkwood set from Hobbit. I may want to pick some of them up for myself, or just "borrow" them from my daughter...right.

I don't love the price tag for one little build and a single animal, but Friends seems to get away with it compared to other LEGO themes.
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#7 Ajax

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 06:43 AM

I need to buy 5 or 6 hedgehog sets just to get the red leaves. Im building a nice collection of friends mini figs and animals for an ebay 'lot' sale, lol.
I really wish lego city would release a few more animals.

Edited by Ajax, 30 April 2013 - 06:45 AM.


#8 Zeahl

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:48 AM

The review is now updated with the alternative models for all three sets, as well as the combined model.



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