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Bob De Quatre

[REVIEW] 41684 - Heartlake City Grand Hotel

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Set information

Set Name: Heartlake City Grand Hotel

Set Number: 41684

Number of Pieces: 1308

Theme: Friends

Year Release: 06/2021

Prices: £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99 (Euro prices may vary)

#41684 on Brickset

#41684 on Rebrickable

Quote

Looking for a glamorous gift to impress a creative kid? The Heartlake City Grand Hotel (41684) toy will surprise and delight from the moment they step through its revolving door. This beautiful 3-story set is filled with creative details to keep little builders entertained with hours of real-world play.

Five-star features
There’s lots to explore, from the piano bar and reception, to the en suite bedrooms and outdoor dining area, as well as ritzy features such as a spa and penthouse. The setalso comes with mini-doll actress toy Amelia so kids can pretend play the A-list lifestyle. LEGO® Friends Stephanie, Emma and River are included to play the parts of the guests, receptionist or bellhop.

A set for all seasons
Included seasonal accessories give an added dimension to the play. As the seasons change, kids can dress their model in creative kit, keeping the play fresh. The trees’ leaves can change color in fall, there are snowballs, icicles and a snowman for winter, plus flowers for summer.

  • Let kids play out an A-list lifestyle at the Heartlake City Grand Hotel (41684), a feature-packed, 3-story, Parisian-style building toy, complete with seasonal accessories for year-long fun.
  • Comes with 4 LEGO® Friends mini-dolls – including actress and receptionist figures – and 3 animal figures. Packed with authentic details, the hotel has 5 rooms to explore, plus an outdoor dining area.
  • Creative kids will have hours of fun recreating what it’s like to stay or work in a ritzy hotel. They’ll love using their imagination to dress the hotel toy in accessories depending on the seasons.
  • Ideal seasonal gift for boys and girls aged 8+ who love real-world toys. Makes a show-stopping present for kids with a little building experience who will enjoy the construction challenge.
  • Main building measures over 11 in. (28cm) high,  11 in. (28 cm) wide and 5 in. (14 cm) deep. Thanks to its size and styling, this LEGO® Friends set makes a centerpiece display with real impact.
  • Like allLEGO® Friends sets, this 1,308-piece model is packed with authentic accessories to help spark truly creative play. There’s even a bellhop’s luggage cart and room keys that fit the doors!
  • Seasonal creative kit keeps the play fresh all year long. In winter there are candle lights and snowballs; summer brings flowers and ice cream; and there are golden leaves and pumpkins for fall.
  • Introduce youngsters to the world of Heartlake City toys. They’ll find cool vehicles, realistic buildings and everyday heroes – perfect for kids who love to role-play the real world.
  • New LEGO® toys meet rigorous industry standards, which ensures they are consistent and compatible – it’s been that way since 1958.
  • LEGO® Friends Heartlake City kids’ toys are tested in almost every way imaginable so you can rest assured that each toy building set meets stringent safety standards.

 

Box and content

The bow is quite big, with the front showing the Grand Hotel front facade, with inserts of the main play feature of the set: the seasonal accessories. The rear of the box shows the inside of the building and some detail shots.

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The box is almost full with 11 numbered bags of part, plus a bag with six 8x16 tan plates.

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Bags 9, 10 and 11 contain the seasonal accessories, one bag for each season... because there is only 3 seasons in the Friends world.

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The set comes with two instructions booklet. The bigger (235 pages) will guide you in building the Grand Hotel, while with the smaller one (28 pages) you'll build the outdoor dining area and decorate it and the hotel with your favorite seasonal accessories. There is also a big sheet of 22 stickers.

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Build

The build is simple, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow, from the bottom to the top of the Grand Hotel. While building up the facades of a floor, the walls can get a bit flimsy, until you reach the top.

The best building techniques are used in the windows, with the top most ones being built sideways, and the first floor ones being built upside down. The exteror of the Grand Hotel looks really good, with a lot of white detailing around the windows and doors.

Bag 1:

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Bag 2:

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Bag 3:

I think there is a flaw with the revolving doors, as there is a 1 plate high gap between the tile over the doors and the bottom plates of the floor above.

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Bag 4:

Toilet seat right in front of the window...

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Bag 5:

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Bag 6:

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Bag 7:

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Bag 8:

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As said before, with bags 9 to 11, we can update the Grand Hotel with seasonal accessories. It took a bit of time if you want to go from one season to another and  think the tree builds lacks a bit of branches.

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Minidolls

The sets comes with 4 minidolls: Emma in evening dress, River in tuxedo, Stephanie as receptionnist and Amelia in almost the same outfit as seen in #41448 Heartlake City Movie Theater.

Also included are 4 animals: a squirrel, a rabbit, a bird and a poodle dog.

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Conclusion

Design: 7/10 - A simple build, but bonus point for the windows frame technique. More foliage would have been good to accentuates the different seasons.

Parts: 6/10 - The part selection is rather average, plus you don't use all the parts at the same time due to the seasonal accessories.

Playability: 8/10 - With 3 bedrooms, a piano room, a spa on the roof and an outdoor dining area, there is a lot to do in  the Grand Hotel.

Minidols: 8/10 - The 4 minidols are very nice and detailed especially Amelia's dress.

Price: 7/10 - With ppp of 0,076€ and 4 minidolls, this set seems well priced.

Overall: 36/50 (72%) - A good looking set that would make a great addition to any Friends display. The seasonal accessories idea is good but could have been pushed farther.

 

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Very nice set and review @Bob De Quatre. Most friends sets are nice, but this one is really great. Really like the concept of allowing for changing seasons too.

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 Looks great, even the minidolls are somewhat different from the usual.

6+ studs depth is nice, so it's more then just a Facade but more akin to a dollhouse (or can serve as a palace/estate as well beside the Hotel use)

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Good review!

I don't think the gap above the revolving door is really a flaw — I suspect it was probably included to minimize the friction between the door and the surface above it. This way, I suspect it might be easier to give the doors a quick push or flick to start them spinning (sort of like a spinner for a board game or a propeller on a LEGO plane or helicopter), instead of coming to a stop as soon as you remove your hands from them.

This is mostly just speculation based on other stuff I've built in the past, though — you're in a better position to test it out yourself and determine how freely it spins in the official build compared to if you raise the tile one plate higher.

I find this design a big improvement on the original in a lot of ways. For one thing, although the old HGH's architecture and color scheme were very effective at conveying a ritzy atmosphere, it also carried connotations of gaudy indulgence due to its pastiche of different architectural styles and elements. By contrast, this hotel's color palette is a little more understated (with more pastels, but less gold), and the more unified Second Empire inspired architectural style helps it to feel like it could be a genuine historic landmark in Heartlake City rather than a cheap modern building that's merely adorned with the trappings of hat sort of palatial luxury.

Although this new Grand Hotel conspicuously lacks some features of the original like its elevator and taxi, it makes up for that by including not two but THREE one-bed/one-bath suites (including a penthouse suite), and a peaceful, tree-covered outdoor dining area in place of the original set's more basic-looking breakfast bar and patio furniture. Even some of the smaller builds like the fountain and luggage cart feel fantastically authentic! And the seasonal decor is a fantastic way to soup up the set's play value, display presence, and creative potential, even while keeping it at a lower price than its predecessor.

That said, there are a few contents of this set that I find a bit more awkward or questionable. First and foremost, the penthouse suite's rooftop spa feels somewhat humble for a set this large and luxurious, and although I recognize that a larger pool would have obstructed the door to the penthouse suite, I think it would be a lot more effective (especially in "winter" mode) if it were designed to resemble a modern hot tub/whirlpool tub rather than a traditional claw-foot bathtub.

Additionally, it's sort of a bummer that this set doesn't feature modular rooms/floors like the original, since not only is that a fun play feature/gimmick, but it also provides the option for builders to expand the hotel with additional suites if they so choose. I understand, of course, that it might've been tricky to pull that off (especially due to the shared hallway between the two suites), or required changes that might detract from the set's aesthetic. So it's not as though I don't respect the designers' choice here. But I can't help but wish that it were possible for this set to have all the same visual appeal and a modular, expansion-friendly design.

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19 hours ago, Bob De Quatre said:

Overall: 36/60 (60%)

It's out of 50, ie 72%

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1 minute ago, Merlict said:

It's out of 50, ie 72%

:look:

And I was like "That % seems strange considering the individual scores... but math is math..." :sweet:

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Thank you very much for the great review, @Bob De Quatre! :thumbup:

Imo this is the best Friends house of the last years! Like the school I already preordered it, because I really like it how Lego managed to put so many details in the house. And it's nice that this time, we get three desperated guest rooms. Only the whirlpool on top is definately much too small and I could have lived without the picnic area and this choose-different-seasons stuff and instead get the set for ten Euros less.

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