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Found 168 results

  1. I am not starting another generic animal wishlist. Since many of us talk about target audience, I thought of putting the wish list of a 7 year old, all in Friends animals series: 1. Penguin, 2. Seal, 3. Peacock 4. Panda, 5. Goat in some farm set and 6. Reindeer in Christina's Christmas set. "No wild animals should be included as they would look strange with cute blue eyes, and other kids may think they are friendly and go near them to play in real life!" If any similar thread already exists, please merge this. Would love to see your lists too (mind you all with cute eyes, eyelashes and smiley faces).
  2. Our new Global Regulator GRogall brings us new High Res Pictures of the forthcoming Third Series of the Friends Collectible Animals! Come and join the Friends discussion here and find links to the much larger pictures GRogall has provided for us!
  3. Hinckley

    Review: 41006 Downtown Bakery

    Number – 41006 Name – Downtown Bakery Theme – Friends Year – 2013 Minidolls – 2 Pieces – No available piece count Price – price not yet known Links: Brickset, Bricklink, Peeron (not yet listed). LEGO shop@home Well, here we are for another review of a LEGO Friends set. The LEGO Group has graciously sent us this set for a preview review of the newest sets in this very popular new LEGO line of toys. So, why is LEGO Friends so successful? And what has happened with all of the controversy that The LEGO Group dumbs the sets down to girls and uses too many cliche feminine colors? Well, to tell you the truth, I don't know where the controversy sits and I truly hope it has subsided. My niece loves the Friends line and oftentimes calls me to tell me The LEGO Group should make more clothes for the characters. I try to explain to her that I don't work for The LEGO Group, but she knows I do something with LEGO, therefore I'll let them know. Well, here we are. LEGO Group, please make more outfits for the mini-dolls. As for the colors, I can't ever complain about The LEGO Group producing new colors. Yes, they're brighter and have more pinks and purples than the original LEGO palette. They must've done some research or something into what is aesthetically pleasing to females. As far as dumbing down the build, I don't agree with this. I do wish this building had a roof and I do wish Heartlake City had some men in it, but I think the buildings themselves are of the same caliber of a normal City set. The huge difference I see is how much detail is added. As an avid FABULAND builder, who loves to add fun little details, like cakes and ice cream in a bakery or many different types of bottles in an apothecary, I love how much detail The LEGO Group puts into the Friends sets. I think this is the big difference with the line and what really appeals to females. I think girls have a sharper mind at that age and it takes more mental stimulation to get them interested in the toy. The LEGO Group seems to know this and gives them plenty of extra detail to build and really spark their imagination. Let's compare this set to one that appears to be geared more towards boys, "Museum Break-in". This is generous considering the other two sets in the City line that I checked contained buildings that were completely empty. In the Museum there are four items for the robbers to steal. There's a plate, a sword, a jewel and a painting. An entire museum has four things in it and the detail is focused on the Action of the robbers stealing and the police catching them. There's a SWAT van and a getaway van and every figure has an accessory to aid in the Action of the theft and pursuit: crowbar, flashlight, handcuffs, walky-talky. As you'll see in this set, and every Friends set I've purchased, the detail is the set. Children who purchase this set can really immerse themselves in making and playing with all the little details. There are bakery cases filled with brick-built cakes and pastries, cabinets that contain silverware and pans and utensils, a telephone, pumps with sweet toppings, an oven, etc. The reason, I believe, this works for girls is because that is how girls naturally tend to play and think. Their minds and imaginations are stimulated more by detail and these sets give them endless possibilities to play and exercise their brains as well as their creativity. The packaging Here we have the usual, patented Friends smooshed curved box with bright graphics and a picture of the whole set. In my last review, I commented that it looked like the box was being hugged. Thus, the HIP, or Hug in Progress, box. It is very purple, very bright and very inviting. It shows a world that transcends the ordinary and invites the consumer to join a world of bright happy people who bake pastries all day... and eat them yet still have a twig figure to show off their bikinis in. I like that The LEGO Group has added the vector background of a mall to show that this is the corner shop of a larger shopping center, subtly encouraging kids to make this the corner and buy other shops to put around it, so that the LEGO friends have a whole outlet mall to hang out in. The makeup store, pet salon and even the vet's office would all snuggle up to each other to make a nice shopping center. Don't forget that City Park Cafe set too. Maybe this is because the set came direct from The LEGO Group, but there's no other info on the front besides the set number. Isn't that weird? No piece count, set name, nothing. Maybe someone can shed some light on this? I don't recall seeing this before. The box has a small inset in the lower right corner that indicates which Friends come in the set. This set comes with Mia and Danielle. Then there's a circular inset off to the left that indicates their relationship and how the Friends are intended to interact. Danielle is the customer and Mia is the Bakery Owner. I thought Danielle might own the place and Mia was a customer who also happened to be a chef or a jockey or a bellhop or something, so the picture helped me clear up that confusion. The large purple portion at the top is the smooshy section. It is concave and achieves that HIP (Hug in Progress) shape that we are so used to in the Friends line. On the top of the box we get a 1:1 scale picture of Mia, so that consumer will know the size of the thing. This was helpful to me as I was expecting a life-size Mia to come out of the box that would show me how to bake a cake and maybe even operate a business. This helped clear up that confusion for me. On the opposite side of the box is the advertisement for the LEGO Club Friends. I wonder if boys are allowed. According to the picture, it's just for red-headed girls and blue butterflies...and a cookie or button or whatever that other thing is. On the bottom is the choking hazard in many different languages, the recycling symbol, the UPC and the warning that the toy is not intended for 0-3 year old sad children with cowlicks. Whee!! The back of the box has a ton of information for you! There's another picture of the set from the back, showing it's full interior and lack of roof...and no umbrellas. Someone left their cake out in the rain! There's a closeup of the brick built cakes which are really cool and creative. There's a diagram for how the set is built in stages. First bag one, then bag two. The LEGO Group tries to give as many warnings about this as possible. They've split the process up into two steps, so help them help you by only opening one bag at a time! We have a diagram of Mia to show that all the pieces are interchangeable, so if Mia wants to go out in black pants and Danielle's shirt...and arms, she can! Then there's some action shots to show you all the things Mia can do in her bakery. There's a nice detailed inset of all the great accessories that come with the set. Finally, there's a group shot of the core group of Friends. I notice Danielle is not in it. I hope they don't shun her for not being part of the popular crowd. That might be why she's spending $100 at the bakery. Burying her troubles and feelings of inadequacy in sweets. This makes me think that Danielle is not as important as Mia, and I guess she wouldn't be since she is only the customer and Mia is the Bakery Owner. Still, this can't be helping Danielle's self-esteem. One more cupcake for Danielle, please. My niece will probably be very happy to see that Mia has a new outfit, even if it is just a work uniform. I do have to admit, and this is only my opinion and not meant to spark huge controversy, that I do not like the ultra skinny girl, with the unattainable figure. The minidoll itself may be attainable, albeit with gigantism of the hands and feet, but the cartoon is creepy to me. Even creepier is when LEGO stores have Friends events and there are women dressed like these characters that look... wrong. Here are four of the many exciting things Mia can do at the bakery: 1. Answer a vibrating phone, mix some batter, put a cupcake in the oven and put out a fire. A little closeup of the best part of the Friends line, in my opinion, the accessories! I know this will sound a little effeminate of me, but I just love to accessorize! I could've worded that better, but I'm going for comedy. Minifigs and minidolls need more and more and more realistic little doo-dads and foods to add awesome detail to all creations, masculine and feminine and all of those in between. Please, LEGO Group, please make many more of these and keep the new colors coming! I love that the interior is shown in such detail. When I was a kid, the interior of the set was only revealed when you bought the set. The catalogs never showed anything but the front of a set and there was no such thing as a website. My family had an Apple II E. It had Flight Simulator and Mad Libs and you couldn't play for more than 20 minutes because black and green was bad for your eyesight. My friend had Oregon Trail but I didn't. And we lived in caves and clubbed our dinner to death with whatever blunt instrument we could find. Anyway, I very much prefer to see alternate builds on the back of boxes. I really miss that. I liked that The LEGO Group would encourage creativity and show how many possibilities there were with just one set to create and invent and imagine! But, if we can't have that, I love being able to see what's inside the store. Especially with a set like this where most of the fun is playing inside. Perhaps this is a reason that there is no roof. It makes it easier to play the game and have fun inside. The closeups of the cakes are a really great idea since I didn't even realize they were brick built until I saw that inset. I was instantly left curious as to how that 2 x 2 round brick was attached to the goblet. The instructions Hey look, and instruction booklet! There is only one book with this set. The picture on the front is the same as the picture on the front of the box. I'm glad The LEGO Group started doing this as I used to try to save all the set boxes. Now, I don't need to since the instructions look the same as the box anyway. Anyway, now that I rarely buy sets to build them anymore, I should consider selling off my instructions... that go all the way back to 1979. I have that survey memorized and haven't won a free set yet. Oh, but The LEGO Group did send me this one so I shouldn't complain. Anyway, this is true and for real. I know somebody who knows someone that got a free set for filling out the survey. I'm glad this girl isn't also wearing purple. She seems to have a healthy self image despite looking a lot like poor Danielle. Heartlake City is getting so much bigger! I love that you can find each creation on the map and speculate about which little vector objects will become real sets in the future. I use to stare at the back of FABULAND instructions for hours. They had a similar map with drawings of all the current sets and the characters interacting. The very cartoony and fun nature of it filled me with inspiration and joy. I wanted a happy and adorable little village just like the one on the map! Sure, it's only product placement and somewhat of a marketing ploy, but it creates such a new and exciting environment that little builders can't help but be inspired by it. Hopefully they are imaging places they can design and build as well as future products! Here is a checklist of sorts for all five main Friends characters. Danielle doesn't have her own picture, does she? Keep those $100 bills handy, girl. Instead of creating a checklist for the sets, a checklist has been created for the Friends characters that come in each set. So, the focus is much more on the characters and minidolls. I find that interesting because it encourages kids to focus on the people and parts of the story that come with each set and not the sets themselves. The Parts (Bag 1) On to the parts! As previously mentioned, all of the parts are separated into two bags to easily guide a young builder through construction of the set. There's also the DSS (Dreaded Sticker Sheet) and a 16 x 16 plate in 226 Cool Yellow (Bright Light Yellow). Here is the aforementioned DSS. It immediately bugged me that the pretzel is upside down. But, the design is nice and the pretzel as part of the curly-dos is a nice effect. I usually don't apply stickers to elements unless I'm making a MOC that really requires it. I'm applying them to this set since it was sent to me by The LEGO Group for the purpose of reviewing and the set should be represented as intended. I do prefer printed elements to stickers but I fully understand that a sign for a Friends Bakery has limited use and wouldn't be cost-effective to produce these as printed elements. That being said, I prefer applying a sticker created by The LEGO Group over a third party sticker. And for all intents and purposes, these are very nice and well-designed. This set also comes with a handful of parts in 124 Bright Reddish Yellow (Magenta), including the very cool 3 x 3 Quarter Dome Top piece. This set comes with a good number of tan elements. But those aren't girly colors! . Just kidding. I appreciate the amount of tan and brown parts in this set. I use these colors a lot and appreciate any set that increases my quantity of elements in these colors. There are also 4 1 x 3 x 2 Arches with Rounded Top, one of my favorite pieces, in 191 Flame Yellowish Orange (Bright Light Orange). I can see those making their way into a FABULAND MOC in the near future. A handful of pieces come in the cool newer color of 322 Medium Azure. Why? Why aren't the Technic elements Magenta or Medium Azur or one of the girly colors? That would be so cool! And girls aren't going to be interested in simple machines unless they're pink or some bright color! Again, that's a joke. It is worth noting that these sets do come with features that require click hinges and Technic elements: more proof that The LEGO Group isn't trying to dumb the set down to girls. And look, there's a croissant in 038 Dark Orange! The LEGO Group has gone to great lengths to explain to its consumer that they should open the bags separately, building the contents of bag one before even thinking about opening the contents of bag two. Look how excited that girl is as she opens the box and dumps out the bags. And how pleased she is with herself for understanding that she should only open the bag marked with the big number "1". Then she builds the contents of the first bag, very pensive and involved, clearly using her brain, and then by the time she's ready to build the contents of the bag marked with a big number "2", she's supremely confident in her cognitive reasoning abilities and matrix reasoning. Good job, LEGO Group, I get it! Open the bags one at a time and build the contents of each before opening the next bag. But, for the purpose of this review, I throw all of your efforts out the window and open the second bag, dumping its contents onto my photography table to keep the Parts section of the review all organized at the beginning. (Truth be told, I did it right, but re-organized the pictures. I would never defy The LEGO Group...) The Parts (Bag 2) Oooh! Bread in a new color! I love when elements come in new colors but especially when those elements originated in the FABULAND line. There are a lot of good parts in this bag. I love elements like crates and cabinets and drawers, especially drawers in fun new colors like 222 Light Purple (Bright Pink). Here are our favorite new accessories in 191 Flame Yellowish Orange (Bright Light Orange). This set includes 3 plates, one frying pan, three cupcakes, one mixer, one baking pan, one spatula, one measuring cup, three forks and three knives. Look! A star-shaped piece in 038 Dark Orange! This is the first one of these I have in my collection, so I haven't seen it before. It's a pretty cool piece. It has a tube on the back so it can stud onto another element and has a hole that a number of elements fit into. And the rest of the small elements from bag #2. There are plenty of 1 x 1 rounds in pink and purple, some thick flower pieces in red and a phone in 221 Bright Purple! The Mini-Dolls I'll start by saying that Heartlake City needs some boys. I have to imagine they test marketed these sets with male characters and the males didn't fare well. Perhaps they were a little pile of boy dolls in the corner or the girls just didn't like them. Did Ken have these problems? Is that why Barbie divorced him? Molded plastic underwear is freaky. Maybe it's the age range of these sets. Maybe the girls they are being targeted towards just aren't into boys yet. There must be a reason that we have a whopping one male figure available in the product line. Well, as long as they keep making new outfits for the girls instead of the male mini-dolls, my niece will certainly be happy. Mia and Danielle, of course, come apart and their legs, torso, hair and heads are all interchangeable. Maybe you can give Danielle some self-esteem and have her own the bakery. I think Danielle would appreciate that. Here are the completed mini-dolls. These hair molds have been seen before, as well as Danielle's outfit. "I have to wear hand-me-downs on top of it all? " Danielle cries as she eyes another cake in the display case. These girls are thin as rails, but they have enormous feet and hands! Just like real girls. Both girls have brown eyes, but don't put the freckles on the non-red-head, OK? The freckles are for Mia. "Don't I get anything?" Danielle cries as she scarfs down an eclair. The girls from behind. These soft plastic hair molds, in my opinion, are pretty cool in their cartoony sculpt and ability to fit regular minifig heads. Although, a majority of these hair molds when put on a minifig makes that minifig look overweight. Just something I've noticed. My minifigs are pretty self conscious and they don't like the Friends wigs. I'd show you the wigs on some minifigs, but since I'm packing for Brickworld, I'm short on time. "I'm in a Hinckley review and I don't get to dress up? Will anything ever go right for me?" Danielle sobs. "Oh Deana," Mia sighs, "Give it a rest. Eat a pretzel or something." "My name is Danielle! Do you people even notice me? What's the point of living? I may as well just die!" All right, all right Danielle. Yeesht! Here's a little fashion show just for Danielle. This fashion show contains pieces that are not available in the 41006 Downtown Bakery set. These elements are from other LEGO Friends and LEGO City and Collectible Minifigure sets. "A fashion show with me as the star? Look out main Friends clique! It's Danielle's turn to shine! You better work! Cover girl! Work! Turn to the left! New hair, new skirt, new shoes!" "I have a new bow in my hair! I'm so popular. I have puppy pawprints and butterflies on my shirt! Yes, it looks like a print, but I've just been running through the forest and I tripped and fell and smashed these butterflies and then my puppy walked on me... Now it's in style!" "I can even dye my hair Mia! We Friends sure do love puppy paws and butterflies!" "Out for a day of trendy horseback standing with my besties!" "I'm a brunette! Fun in any color. That's what they'll say about Danielle!" "I can even die my hair to clash with my clothes. It's rebellious Danielle! With 80's sensibility and Collectible Minifig cave woman hair." "Look at me with long brown hair flowing over my shoulders. Well...flowing over invisible shoulders, but flowing nonetheless." "Hey, everyone! It's the new Danielle! Nobody's paying attention to Marcia anymore, right? Marcia Marcia Marcia!" "What the hell?" "And suddenly, I'm a professional, sensible woman of the World. You may have been popular, Friends main clique girls, but Danielle got an education and is a success!" "I'm vacationing in exotic location! ... or working in a rice field." "This is my favorite outfit. A cute little light aqua sundress..." "...but it has a slight problem." "Silly LEGO girl! Our hair makes you look fat!" "That looks OK, but you still look a little chunky." "Fat and awkward!" "Even my hair makes you look fat. Fat!! I look great in your hair, but my hair makes you a fatass." "Black is slimming but you're a fatty LEGO Minifig girl." "At least I can ride a horse normally..." The Build (Part I) As indicated in the instructions, we will start by building the contents of bag #1 into the structure shown in the little inset picture. Whee, fun! We're building a pastry case! This is a simple, yet effective build... and very colorful! 124 Bright Reddish Violet (Magenta) and 322 Medium Azure are used to great effect as a highlight color for the natural colors of the outside case. Here is our first brick-built confection! It's a ... Neopolitan Ice Cream Sandwich? An Eclair? A gooey cake? I don't know, but it's cool and it makes me hungry. The baked goods sit on the beautiful and apparently appetizing 322 Medium Azure surface ... ...and are covered, responsibly with a LEGO sneeze-guard. Go sanity! I mean... sanitation. Hooray! We're building the bakery now. I love little detail like a classic 50's-style black and white checkered tiled entryway. There's more words in that description than there are bricks in the feature! So, again, it's simple yet effective and adds a little bit of character and detail to the set. The first sticker! Oh, the horror! It's fitting for the set, of course, and very prominent. The feel and style of the bakery depends a bit on the menu outside. It's a nicely designed sticker and compliments the set well. However, if I was going to build a bakery MOC, I might use it behind the counter on the inside. Still, it serves it's purpose here and adds a nice fleur-du-pretzel decor to the set's aesthetic. Another sticker! Show's the times the bakery opens and closes. Apparently, it opens at 8:00 PM and closes at 4:00 AM. And there's another upside-down pretzel. An in-progress build shot of the bakery. It's coming along nicely. It doesn't take long for the bakery walls to go up. Simple elements are used to facilitate a faster build as in most CITY sets. I'd prefer 5 1 x 2 tan bricks, but that's because I build everything in 1 x 2s. Time to add some TECHNIC action! The sign above the door will apparently be using some TECHNIC pieces to achieve the angle of the sign. When I was building this, I thought the awning would cover the arch, which I thought would be very cool to have Magenta arches inside, making a unique and cool interior as well as exterior. However, the awnings hang above the arches. Here is an in-progress shot of the build of the awnings. I really like these awnings and think they add a really unique feel to the set. They're bright with soft curves and really appealing to a sense of fun and creativity. Here are the completed awnings, one shown from the back to demonstrate how it will fit into the current facade. The awnings stud on... ...right where the gap was left in the facade. Now, how annoying is it that a tan brick wasn't used to connect them? Why wouldn't it have been tan instead of white? How many interior walls have random white bricks stuck in them? I could've just grabbed a couple of tan 1 x 3 bricks, but I used all of mine for this year's Brickworld Collaborative Display (coming soon to a Sci-Fi Forum near you. ). And here is how the TECHNIC pieces are used. As previously mentioned, they are positioned to achieve the 45° angle of the sign. The sign is very detailed and uses some nice techniques and pieces to achieve its shape. First, you create the main sign. A sticker is used here to indicate, universally, that this place sells cakes, strawberries and upside-down pretzels. The hinge plates sticking out at the bottom attach the awning to the sign. The awning is built using alternating 322 Medium Azure and 191 Flame Yellowish Orange (Bright Light Orange) 1 x 4 curved slopes over hinge plates. Then, the two pieces are attached. The sign receives a modified plate with pin connector to attach to the pin on the angled entrance to the bakery. The hinges are clicked to achieve the angle... ... and, voila! The bakery has its sign and entrance awning, completing the facade! Here is a close-up of how the sign connects to the pin. I wasn't too crazy about the gray plate sticking out past the wall of the building, non-symmetrically over the 2 x 5 tan bricks that form the walls. Couldn't the wedge plate have been white? The Build (Part II) Welcome to the inside of the Bakery! It's time to build the contents of bag #2 which, of course, we don't open until we're done building the contents of bag #1. Do you get that yet? It's very important. Don't forget. Anyway, using the very cool 1 x 2 log (or palisade) brick in 312 Medium Nougat, we create two more bakery cases. Next, the counter is built... ...and to foreshadow, this element makes me believe that something, at some point, will be spinning... but what? This is where Mia keeps all of the $100 bills that Danielle spends there. Hooray, Magenta phone! The bakery counter is very colorful with a 322 Medium Azure counter surface a 222 Light Purple (Pink) drawer and a 124 Bright Reddish Violet (Magenta) phone. The cash register is realistic, with a pink cash drawer underneath. What other color cash drawer would girls have? And why isn't the register purple? Brick built cake are my new favorite this year from The LEGO Group. Can we have more please? The 2 x 2 Reddish Brown brick studs directly onto the goblet piece. I never knew that. Here is another brick-built cake! It's so pretty and smooth. The new 1 x 1 round tiles are very effective as icing here as well as the 2 x 2 round profile brick. It's a very creative use of pieces and will hopefully spark children's imaginations as to what other confections they can build, using their LEGO collection and their imagination. Won't Danielle be excited to see Mia baking new and wondrous things? This cake is built onto a 4 x 4 round turntable piece. I bet I know where this goes! Oh, the cake turns! Like it's on a display stand. That's very clever. According to the instructions, you must shove all of the silverware into this cabinet. That's where it goes. Don't put it anywhere else. These hedge features work surprisingly well. With the overly curvy awnings of the outside, a nice square hedge compliments that nicely. It's a far stretch from what a real hedge looks like, but stylistically it fits very well into Heartlake City and the Friends world. And luckily, there's a fire hydrant right outside in case Mia ever leaves the oven on or has some baking accident that sets the place on fire. Let's hope that never happens, because what will Danielle do without her crutch of over-eating sweets to compensate for her feelings of inadequacy. Poor Danielle. And check it out, the bakery is now complete! There's a loaf of bread in a crate as well...for some reason. I love that bread mold. Go FABULAND parts! Soon, enough we'll return and our numbers will grow and we can reveal that we've been here all along and will soon take over the consumer LEGO world. The triumphant return of FABULAND! Once the building is complete, there's just the oven left to build. There's no room inside for it, so it sits outside along with the first pastry case built. It's only a few parts, but it's a good representation of a bakery oven. Now that it's all complete, pull yourself up to the counter and order a star-shaped cookie. Then pump some...jelly? ... icing? ketchup and marmalade? onto it. What are these? Maybe I don't go to bakeries enough. Can anyone enlighten me? The Completed Model The Spare Parts Conclusion Design: 9/10 The building is rather basic with some cool awnings and a very nice little build of a sign. The strength of the sets detail is in the interior and all the brick-built pastries and other details like the counter, oven and pastry cases. I know it's open on two sides and the ceiling so it's easier to play with all of that detail, but I would like to see a complete building. Since these are meant for kids to play with and not just sit on a shelf, the designed lack of roof is actually a benefit for the target audience. Parts: 10/10 I can't complain about the parts selection here. There are a lot of great parts in all sizes and a varied palette of colors. As with most bigger Friends sets, it comes with many of the new elements like plates, cupcakes, mixers, bowls, etc. The pretzel makes a triumphant appearance as well as the FABULAND bread mold in a new color. Well, new to me. And for adult fans who are sick of overly-specific molds, there are plenty of creative brick-built pastries as well. It also has windows, doors, arches, etc in a variety of bright colors. Minifigs: 8/10 Step it up, please, LEGO Group. Let's have some more outfits come with each set and let's have some boys in Heartlake City. Build: 9/10 A good set for any age range, challenging yet easy enough to be built quickly. There's so much function in the set, the build is almost a secondary focus. But as a LEGO set, the Friends line hasn't detracted from that main goal of building and creativity. Playability: 10/10 I can't help but give this a 10 because I can see the endless possibilities of playing with this set. It encourages positive roleplay and creativity. With brick-built cakes, The LEGO Group is inviting children to come up with their own brick-built confections. They might not show alternate builds on the back of the box anymore, but they're certainly still encouraging the creativity to happen and for children to use these parts to build original toys. Price: 8/10 It's priced well within the range of the rest of the line. I rate this a bit low because it's a bit unsettling how expensive our favorite toy has become. Still, considering how much learning, fun and creative stimulation the toy provides, it's worth it. Overall 90% Another set in the line that was intended to introduce girls to the LEGO market. I believe they're succeeding and they continue to produce quality sets to create the fun and creative world of Heartlake City. This set is no exception and adds another layer to the world of LEGO Friends. Mia owns a bakery and is very successful. The set uses some challenging building techniques, but mostly relies on a simple design with lots of detail added for play and creativity. The brick-built awnings, oven, pastry cases and bakery items themselves stimulates a child's creativity and fascination with details for positive play and challenging and rewarding creative environment. LEGO sets are pricey and Heartlake City needs some boys. But, The LEGO Group has proven that they know what girls want with this line. These sets appear to be giving young girls what they want in a play environment but also challenge their matrix reasoning and stimulate creativity. It's great that this proven educational toy is now as accessible to girls as it has been to boys for years.
  4. Kristel

    MOD/MOC: Emma's Place

    I've been trying to bring some sense of order and control to my daughter's Friends layout as it is slowly taking over the dining room table, leaving me with little space for my own buildings. So, I've started "modularising" the sets into buildings to allow the layout to expand upwards instead of outwards. The latest is "Emma's place" which houses three sets featuring Emma - the beauty parlour, fashion design studio and karate class. This one was a collaborative effort with my daughter. Hence the random yellow tiles to finish off the first floor and total lack of floor tiles! (MOD/MOC) Emma's Place (MOD/MOC) Emma's Place - Beauty Parlour (MOD/MOC) Emma's Place - Design Studio (MOD/MOC) Emma's Place - Karate Class There are a few more angles on flickr. Next up is Andrea's place, which will be finished once as I get my hands on the new bedroom set.
  5. Pencil_42

    MOC: Tramp Steamer

    Built out of the wreckage of the Black Pearl (lost at sea under the helm of a neighbor's 4-year old), here is a model of a turn-of-the-(last)-century freighter. I had wanted to do a freighter in LEGO ever since seeing plans of a steam schooner in a magazine some time ago, but finally got around to it :) And besides, my daughter was running out of space inthe LEGO rowboats for all the gear to take along on an expedition, so this solved that problem, as well! It has operating hatches and a crane, for loading those really heavy items. And a detailed interior....
  6. 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 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. The back hasn't changed much either. still very much purple, with a 1:1 picture of the included pet for scale. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. These are the parts you have left over when finished building the set. Nothing too impressive. 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 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". (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. 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. 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. 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. 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 The front of the bag shows the set in some larger back yard area, near a vegetable garden. 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. 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. 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. 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. When you're done with the model these parts are left over. 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 The combined model consists of five smaller builds, that form one bigger scene. Let's look at the individual pieces first. 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. The second part is a small storage area for the brush and pitchfork. The third, and least impressive of the lot, build is a few loose patches of grass with some flowers sprouting from them. 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. 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?) 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.
  7. When I came out of my dark ages at the start of this year, one of the first things I did was get the latest Lego catalogue to see what was new, and what would be coming. One of the things that caught my attention what a small insert in the Friends section detailing 2 waves of animal poly bags. I instantly liked the look of these sets and decided to buy them as soon as they came out. Here we have all three bags I will be reviewing today. Let's get started shall we? Set nr.: 41017, 41018 and 41019 Theme: Friends Year Released: 2013 Nr of pieces: 41 (squirrel), 31 (cat), 33 (turtle) RRP: £2.99 / US$4.99 / €4.99 The Bags The bags are made of very high quality plastic, and as such are not very easy to rip or tear without the use of scissors or a knife. On the front of each bag is the Lego Friends logo, with a drawing of the animal included in the set next to it. On the bottom are the 5 Friends girls, holding the 3 animals that come with this first wave of bags. And, the most important part of the bags, in the center is a picture of the enclosed set, with a nice background that amplifies the atmosphere. On the back is a lot of purple, some warnings, two time the web address of the Lego Friends page (because one is never enough, right?), a reminder that this is only Series 1, and a 1:1 picture of the animal that is enclosed in that bag. When we open the bag we find a small bag with parts and an instruction booklet. We'll get to the parts later, for now let's concentrate on the booklet. The front of the booklet is the same the front of the bag. When we turn the booklet around we are greeted by a creepy looking girl and the opportunity to win Lego Friends products in various languages. The instructions are easy to follow, with a non-obtrusive purple background with some adornments in the bottom right corner. Near the end of the booklet is an alternate model for the set, with a web address that leads to the instructions to build said alternative model. I like this! Now bring back alternative models for all other sets as well! After the alternate model you come to a page that shows you yet another alternative model, which you can build if you collect all three bags, again with a web address to the instructions. I think this is a great incentive to get people to collect them all, even if they only like one or two of the animals. Now, let us move on to the individual sets. 41017 - Squirrel's Tree House When you open the bag, another bag comes out, containing the parts. A bag within a bag. Well, at least you can be certain the parts are secure enough in their packaging! When freed from their bag, you get a nice selection of parts. Probably the first thing you'll notice are the lime plates, of which you get four. Apart from that you get mostly brown and tan parts, with some yellow thrown in there for variation. The accessories. You get a yellow plate, four of the new flowers and 3 bow ties. And of course we can't forget the most important part: the squirrel itself. It is adorable! It has a hole on the tip of it's tail to attach an accessory, and a cute printed on face. The first thing we are instructed to do is to put a bow on the squirrel's tail, and put some 1x1 round plates together to create nuts for the squirrel to feast on. Though I must say, those are some huge nuts! The main part of this build is the small tree house in which the squirrel will reside. The small tree stump it sits on is quite simple, but effective. The house itself is very cute, with good use of the cheese slopes to make a simple ladder. The top of the little house can open up for easy access to the inside. With the squirrel in it's place, and the plate with the nuts set in front of the tree house, this sets depicts a nice little scene, which can be used in any larger garden layout, or function well enough on it's own. These are parts that are left over when the model is completed. Like i mentioned before, in the back of the instruction booklet is an alternative model. Seeing as this review would not feel complete if I left this out... Voila! The alternative model seems like a small tree stump with.. a window..? next to it. I must say I'm not too impressed with this one. It seems a bit random, but then again, there is only so much you can do with so few parts. 41018 - Cat's Playground Let's move on to the next set, Cat's playground. Again a nice selection of parts, in quite a large range of colors. The accessories you get with this set are a pink plate, a fish and three magenta bow ties. And of course the cat. The printing on this animal is done quite nicely, although I have to say the face is a bit too cutesy for my liking. On the top of the head is a small hole to attach an accessory. The first thing we have to do is put the bow on the cat's head and build the scratching pole. And then we build up the main playground. It has multiple platforms and a little ramp for the cat to play and jump around. When everything is combined this is a fun little play set. this can easily be places inside a house (or outside if the house is not quite big enough) or be used as a stand alone set. These are the spare parts after the model is completed. Of course this model has an alternative model as well. The alternative model for the cat is some sort of obstacle course for the cat to run, with a nice fish at the end to incentivize the cat to jump from pylon to pylon. A lot better than the alternative model for the squirrel. 41019 - Turtle's Little Oasis And here we come to the final bag in the first series. Let's open her up, shall we? Mostly brown and tan parts in this model. With a few yellow parts, five transparent dark pink 1x1 round plates, 5 gold telescopes and some green jumper plates and foliage. For accessories you get 3 lavender bow ties and a white clam shell. The small turtle is well molded and has nice printing on it's head and shell. There is a small hole on the top of it's head to insert an accessory in to. The completed model is a nice little water side hut for the turtle to dwell in. The turtle can enjoy the shade in her little hut, and use the ramp to easily gain access to the water for a little swim. And these are the spare parts you have left after completing the model. Of course the turtle can't be left out when it comes to the alternative models. It appears that, in it's off time, the turtle like to visit a shrine and worship the great clam shell which governs the waters around Heartlake city. All together now! Time to combine these sets and see how the combined model holds up against the individual sets. The combined model consists of two smaller models. The first of which is this little scene which contains a little tree trunk for the squirrel and a small patch of water for the turtle. The second part is a small.. shrine for the cat to worship those ribbons? I honestly don't get this part. It seems like they had too many parts left over and had to build something out of them, even if it didn't make any sense. Overall I'm not too impressed with the combined model. The first model is merely okay, but the second is just nonsensical, The normal models, however, are all very well designed for such small sets. 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: The animals are all made very well, but they may be a bit too cute for some. Parts: For such small sets, the parts you get are very nice. build/design: The individual models are great, but the alternatives are a mixed bag. Playability: With the self-contained sets you can have some fun. But if you combine these with normal Friends mini dolls, the playability jumps up ten-fold. I really, really like these small sets, and will make sure to get the second wave as soon as they hit the stores. All that's left now, is to wave goodbye to our small new friends, and hope the next three can keep up the momentum.
  8. SilentMode

    REVIEW: 41008 Heartlake City Pool

    41008 Heartlake City Pool Set 41008 Release year: 2013 # of parts: 423 # of figures: 2 Links: Brickset Well look who it is... It's been a hot minute, but it's time for a late review of the largest third wave Friends set, the Heartlake City Pool. The whole third wave has been an interesting affair; Friends sets are still generally improving, and we've been blessed with unique minidolls all round, but there have been a couple of misses along the way. Let's see if we can end this wave (no pun intended) on a high note. This is the first time I've bought all the boxed sets in a wave, mainly because I wanted to make sure I have all the unique minidolls. The Box (had to warp this picture a little) As usual, the background makes it look like there's more going on than there actually is - but the main draw seems to be the giant slide Andrea is enjoying. The one attached to the pool, thank you. Yes, Andrea makes her triumphant return in this wave, being the only main cast member not to have a GBP 9.99 set this time. She's also accompanied by Isabella, another supporting character. Back of the box As well as showcasing some of this set's other play features, LEGO reveals that Andrea's friend Isabella is capable of walking on water (middle right panel), giving her an unfair advantage in water netball. Other goings-on include her wanting Andrea to pass the soap, and brandishing a long sausage during lunch. Speaking of which: today's scale reference is indeed Isabella, wearing a Lavender bow. The Contents The box is very well packed, and I wasn't able to fit everything into one shot. Here goes: First we have numbered bags 1 and 2, with the first expectingly containing our precious minidolls. We also know from previous experience that both bags contain the necessary parts for individual sections of the build. Bag 3 contains a seemingly equal number of parts. It's accompanied here by two Medium Azure plates (both exclusive to this set), a large Magenta slide piece (a brand new piece for 2013 and exclusive to this set), and the usual DSS. You may be surprised to find two instructions books, and that the first one is the smallest. Unfortunately they were packed in the box so they'd curl up like this, but otherwise they're intact. Girly colours As well as the exclusive Medium Azure plates and the brand new Magenta slide piece, we're introduced to another new part for 2013: a 6x6 round plate with hole. This set has it exclusively in Medium Azure, but a Light Bluish Grey version exists in four other 2013 sets. All of these sets contain only one. We're also graced with the presence of Bright Light Orange flower accessories, as seen in a few other sets. Greenery A reasonably good look if you like Green. There are only six sets with Green 8x8 plates, and this set contains the maximum quantity of two, along with the more expensive Mini Modulars (10230) and King's Castle (7946). Tileage More great news, as most of the tiles in this set are in Bright Light Orange. Only one other set, Laval's Royal Fighter (70005) has the 1x2 tiles, but this set has nine of them. There's just one more 1x6 tile than in the likely unavailable Emma's Design Studio (3936), for a total of seven. Another record is set with this set having the most Magenta 1x2 tiles (four) of all the sets that have them. Best of the rest As there are so many parts in this set, I decided to show only the more interesting ones here. The set has two more new and exclusive parts with the Orange soccer ball (a new mould with a hexagonal pattern) and the new White basketball net - older basketball nets came in two separate parts in the old Sports sets, and this new one - as well as having a different net design - incorporates the hoop with the Technic axle for attaching to a surface. Very surprising is the introduction of Trans Neon Green/Yellow parts, which was completely unexpected. But the stand-out piece is the new ice cream cone (bottom left), which appears in this and Ice Cream Stand (30106). Unfortunately they've only provided one, when I had expected a spare. I was disappointed. Girls gone wild Here are Andrea and Isabella, up close and personal. You'll immediately notice both the new pairs of legs, where Andrea has on shorts and Isabella has a short sarong or whatever you call those loose skirts. We also have a nice pair of bikini top torsos to go with the one found in Water Scooter Fun (41000), although for now the lighter minidolls are forced to wear a lei. As you can see, Isabella has a blonde version of Emma's usual hairstyle, along with two other minidolls. Take off the hairpieces and you can see the bikini straps, which are a nice bit of detail. The Build As usual we start with the smallest builds first, progressing to the main model. Deckchairs We start things off with this pair of deckchairs, which make use of the 1x2 Magenta and Lime tiles. These are reminiscent of Emma's Splash Pool (3931), except without the attached table that I liked so much. Placing minidolls in a lying-down position on these deckchairs was a little more difficult this time for some reason, but it works well. Table with stools Another simple build, using the rod threaded through the hole in the circular plate to support the parasol. An annoying giant ladybird graces the table along with a cool drink, and is accompanied by two very simple little stools. Bar and grill In building the base of the City Pool's café bar, we encounter some clever usage of grille and round bricks to create textures. The Friends-themed cash register also takes its place on the bar top. Much like the carrot in Stephanie's Pet Patrol (3935), the singular ice cream cone in the set is stood upright - this time with the use of a flower plate. We can also see it's strawberry flavoured. Some decorations are added once we've finished the base: an external lamp and some decorative lights hanging over the bar for that party mood. The bar is finished with a partial Magenta roof, with a sign (one of the stickers would go here), a garnish of flowers and another bug. We also have a sign to accompany the bar, where another sticker would go. The hole in the roof provides ample space to position minidolls behind the bar, and is quite a clever design. You'll also notice there's a small grill right on the bar top, where fried cheese and sausage is cooking. I'm not sure how logical it is to have a hot grill and (assumingly) cold drinks so close together, but that's venturing into the world of nitpicking. Now we move on to Bag 2... Public restroom We're simultaneously building the shower area and the lavatory; you can tell which is which by the presence of the cold and hot taps. Before we know it, we have a fully furnished toilet complete with sink, housing a single tap and a complimentary jar of SweetBreeze™. Done with the interior, we add some much required shutters to the lavatory, as well as some more roof slopes. The shower head and yet another sign (where the last sticker goes) is added as the last step. Not sure how I feel about a plant and a bug being so close to the public shower, but that's how it goes. And now for the main event: The Pool Here's where the first of the Medium Azure plates comes into play. You'll see the pool being divided into two sections, and even at this stage it looks very pool-like. As we near the end of Bag 2, the other Medium Azure plate is brought in to complete the large swimming area, surrounded by a Bright Light Orange trim. We even have an area at the back for a small waterfall, and an isolated section that could be a hot tub or just a small pool. Personally I would be content with leaving the swimming pool like this, and letting the minifigures and minidolls do their thing... ...but noooooo, they had to go and add this girly detail. Fortunately it's not too hard to place them correctly, as the instructions give you a top-down view of the pool as a reference. It's also not too difficult to take them off, or not put them on in the first place. The basketball net is attached to the near side of the pool using a series of Technic parts... I guess our list of building techniques incorporated into the Friends theme is complete! That concludes Bag 2, and now for Bag 3. I got to here in the instructions, along the way becoming disappointed that the small pool wasn't left as is; instead it's been elevated to make a jacuzzi, with little bubbles included. I guess it makes sense, seeing there's a small set of steps leading up to it. The palisade (log) bricks are a very nice touch, although I'm not sure Reddish Brown fits with the rest of the pool. See that waterfall at the back? It's been turned into some kind of interior secluded area, because a section has been added on top for the big exclusive slide piece, which has now become the main play feature. The transparent panel also separates the jacuzzi from the interior space. Here's an alternate view of the pool, showing off the interior section, with the slide secured in place by the Bright Pink plates. We get to another play feature, which is this diving board. Instead of being a makeshift diving board, this one uses a rubbery Technic piece underneath to provide springing action - so it works just like a diving board should! However I was confused when I first got to it: the instructions had the usual warning about flicking objects into yellow people's eyes, so I assumed it was for launching the soccer ball into the basketball net. You can try doing it if you want, but it's very difficult (I managed it once!). So in short, it's definitely meant to be a diving board. Over a pool with such small clearance. Yes. Some Reddish Brown elements are employed to cover up some of the mechanics. We also add some loudspeakers, similar to the ones in Rehearsal Stage (41104) except with hooks at the back to be able to hang them. In these positions they can be rotated to direct the sound; one points over the jacuzzi while the other provides ambience to the pool. At the back of the pool, some ladders are added to access the diving board. Finally, someone had the grand idea of putting a palm tree next to the diving board - so here it is. The last of the insects graces the thick curved trunk. And there you have it! The Completed Set Unfortunately the studio wasn't big enough to space things out properly, but the Heartlake City Pool would look something like this. For the time being it serves as a private hideaway for Andrea and Isabella as they prepare for the busy summer season. Isabella once again demonstrates her ability to walk on water. What many people don't know is that she's manifesting her "woman power", as learned at Summer Riding Camp (3185), with the help of the heart-shaped octagram. Leftovers More small parts than I'm used to seeing are left over, including no less than three stalks. I completely forgot about the Lavender bows, so they're considered spares too! Near the back of the instructions This picture of Andrea signing her heart out straddles the line between inspiring and creepy... Fun with the set So why has Andrea been missing from the action for so long? Why has she made the fewest unique appearances to date (four compared to Olivia/Mia's five, and Emma/Stephanie's six)? The answer: she's been hanging out with her real BFF Isabella to help further her singing career. Together they decided to open Heartlake City Pool: a gathering spot for hip and trendy young women, where boys are strictly not allowed. Radio announcer: "The phones have been turning red-hot for this one! You've asked for it so we're gonna play it again - here's Stephanie with 'Easy Lover'!" Andrea: "hrrrr! Again?! Like, I can't believe she even got a record deal!" Isabella: "That is what the kids are listening to, I think..." Andrea: "This is so, like, totally unfair! Why does she get all the attention?" Isabella: "Relax, you're stressing too much! Let her have her moment; they'll get bored of her soon enough." Andrea: *sigh* Isabella: "I have an idea: we can have a music contest! We can invite some music people, set up a stage next to the pool, and you can perform there!" Andrea: "... You think that'll work?" Isabella: "I don't see why not..." Andrea: *squeal* "Like, let's totally do that! I'm, like so excited now, I'm gonna use the slide!" Isabella: "That's the spirit!" Andrea: "Weeeeeeeeee!" SPLASH Isabella: "Hey, want to play a quick game?" Andrea: "I wanna get started on this idea, like, right now!" Isabella: "Okay, let's get lunch!" The Verdict It took a while for me to get around to reviewing this set, because I initially bought it solely to complete my minidoll collection. It remained unopened in case I decided to make time to review it, which I obviously did in the end. I wasn't sure what to make of the set initially, mainly because of the presence of the huge slide piece, which seemed like a gimmick more than anything. As is usually the case, it took finally opening the box and assembling the model to appreciate it. Anyway, a big plus for the set is the variety of parts included, and there's likely to be something for everybody. If you like parts in regular colours, there's something for you. If you like the newer Friends colours, there's something for you. There's even a little bit for Technic-heads. As well as many of the more sought-after parts being in greater numbers than elsewhere, we also have a good number of (currently) exclusive parts, such as the Medium Azure plates, the slide and the basketball net and ball. The minidolls are noticeable by their unique outfits, in particular the legs with new clothing. They're not my favourite of the minidolls released so far, but they're both very good quality, and you'll definitely notice if they're missing from your collection. Even if Andrea has been missing in action, she has another interesting outfit to add to her collection. The set lends itself well to being reworked rather than built upon. The pool layout (before the flower plates are added) makes an excellent starting point for building your own, whether intended for minifigures or minidolls. While the 180 degree twist of the slide works with the design, I would have liked a straight slide piece leading into the pool from somewhere else - although I like the interior effect made with the diving platform. I can live with the jacuzzi being elevated as it is, and the rest of the set (the public shower/lavatory, deckchairs and bar) works very well as additions and extra bits to add to a display. Unfortunately I have one major gripe with this set: that I was anticipating finally getting hold of that new cone piece, and expecting there to be more than one. Seriously LEGO? Seriously? Two girls, one cone? I can't tell you how disppointed, and perhaps disturbed, I was about it. It poses a problem right now, at least, because the cone only appears once in two Friends sets; fortunately grey market prices aren't too bad at the moment, and could be a lot worse Weighing everything up, this was definitely a one-time purchase that I don't regret, mainly because of the parts selection and the bounty of exclusive pieces. Any extra minidolls would go well towards making a populated beach-themed scene, and extra parts could go towards building an even bigger city pool, with an even longer twisting slide. Design: 8/10 Even if the slide didn't have to be Magenta, it was very well incorporated into the model. A lot of smart building techniques can be found in this set, including the spring mechanism for the diving board, the basketball net and the jacuzzi. Build: 8/10 I wanted to get to building the pool area as quickly as possible, but everything was simple to put together right up until the diving board, where the Technic bricks became tricky to place in the right spot. Parts: 9/10 For those looking for parts for their MOCs, there's something for everybody - especially if you like the Friends colours. The number of exclusive parts in this set is a big bonus, increasing the set's desirability... just a shame about that one cone, where a spare could replace the grill, sausage and "cheese". Playability: 6/10 The basketball hoop and the slide provide the greatest amount of interactivity, along with the diving board. The set also serves as a pleasant-looking display piece, but watch out for the loose Yellow tile and sausage. Why not try using the diving board to dunk the ball? It would greatly help if the minidolls were able to easily sit in the water - not on the water - but an easy solution would be a cup full of 1x1 transparent round plates. Price: 7/10 Even with all the exclusive parts, the number of desirable parts in the set and the minidolls, it seems just a little expensive - but it's one to watch out for if discounted, especially for the Medium Azure plates and Bright Light Orange tiles. We end up with a 7.6 out of 10, which means my arm has been twisted into giving this set my seal of approval. I guess I'm content with having a complete minidoll collection for now. Thank you for reading! Dat Cone Isabella: "Oh no, I only have one ice cream left! Do you want to share?" EvilMode: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
  9. Captain Nemo

    MOC Series: The Legion of Doom

    MOC Series: The Legion of Doom I love the Legion of Doom! Personally I think they’re one of the coolest DC organizations and one of the most underrated and underused ones out there. While most notable for its appearance in Challenge of the Super Friends series, it also appeared (Though not in name the behest of DC comics themselves) in Justice League Unlimited series two—which my builds are mainly based off of. Anyways after that short history lesson we get to the important part—the Legion itself. I love the legion, and it’s many members, and the Darth Vader shaped building, but rarely seen are the actual rooms within their headquarters. That’s the point of this build series, to see where those villains actually live and hang out when not being (totally) villainous. I have a chunk of rooms done now, but will add more in this thread when they are built. So enjoy the progress and the Legion of Doom and its rooms grow! (Click on the picture to find out more information on said room) -------- "The Legion of Lunch Room" The Legion’s Lunchroom; where villainous villains come to feast during the hours of 12:00 to 1:00, and again at 6:00 to 8:00. Closed on Sundays. ----- "Meanwhile in the Men's Bathroom..." Ahem, are you going to wash your hands? …No, 'cause I'm evil. ----- "Grodd's Office" ----- "Luthor's Office" ----- "Archery Room" ----- Enjoy--and more to come! ~Nemo
  10. I'm not really into Friends, but I find some of the sets very appealing (some strange colour combinations apart). So far, I always got smaller sets, and this one is no exception. My choice was primarily driven by the echo of Ninjago in this Karate Class, especially in the Dojo door/glass part (which missed in the original Ninjago release) and the kendo mask. The new Friends kimono print is well done, too. But let's start the review before I write everything in the intro! Theme: Friends Set name: Emma's Karate Class Set Number: 41002 Price: 9.99 $, 9.99 £, 9.99 Euro Pieces: 93 (+ 8 extras) Minidolls: 1 Year of release: 2013 Links: Peeron, Bricklink and Brickset The Box Front The box is almost square (15.5 x 14 centimetres, or 6.11 x 5.52 inches) and shows the many sub parts of the set arranged in a dojo display. The background is pretty varied and integrates the set with fictional wooden floor, full-body window and pastel green walls with a nice sakura decoration. The LEGO and Friends logos, Friends girls group shot and typical Friends 'curtains' complete the layout. Back The back shows some details of the set, like Emma wielding a katana and sporting a (quite disproportionate without the armour) kendo mask, or relaxing with a sip of water after a long exercises session, or even admiring her latest trophy and shiny medal. In the upper right portion of the back we see the usual Friends minidoll assembly instructions and Emma's mug shot and tag name, for those who did not recognise her in the new kimono version. The lower left corner brings on this theme, by showing a group shot with name tags for the five main characters in the Friends line. Sides Not mush to say here, as the sides sport the usual LEGO legal stuff and safety warnings. What I find interesting is the choice of the piece depicted in the 1:1 shot: instead of the expected minidoll, it's a nice lavender bag. Contents Inside Upon opening the box, we find two plastic bags and one instructions booklet. No stickers in this set! Once we open the bags, too, we get a cascade of parts and two smaller bags containing the minidoll's parts. Notice how there isn't a dominant colour proper, but a mix of pastel hues with some more common brown, tan and white parts. New pieces There is just one new part in this small set: Black Tile 1 x 2 with White Lavender Friends Accessories Hair Decoration, Bow with Heart, Long Ribbon and Pin. But do not let it discourage you: we'll see in a moment that the lack of new moulds is more than amended for by the abundance of rare parts. Re-colours Re-colours include: Minifig, Headgear Ninjago Kendo Helmet (Men) (a re-colour of sorts, being this just a variant of the Ninjago version, but without the white trimming of the visor) and Medium Lavender Friends Accessories Basket. Rare parts Parts collectors and MOCers will be interested in the following rare parts also: Bright Light Orange Brick 1 x 2 (only available in 2 other sets: 3938 Andrea's Bunny House from 2012 and 41004 Rehearsal Stage from 2013), Bright Light Orange Tile 2 x 4 (only available in 2 other sets: 3184 Adventure Camper from 2012 and 41004 Rehearsal Stage from 2013), Bright Pink Tile 1 x 1 with Groove (only in 5 sets so far), Dark Pink Slope, Inverted 45 2 x 1 (only available in 1 other set: 3184 Adventure Camper from 2012), Magenta Slope 33 3 x 1 (only available in 2 other sets from 2008), Medium Azure Brick 2 x 4 (only in 4 Friends sets so far), Medium Lavender Plate 2 x 4 (only available in 1 other set: 3185 Summer Riding Camp from 2012), Medium Lavender Plate 1 x 8 (only in 4 Friends sets so far), and Glass for Window 1 x 4 x 6 with Asian Characters on White Background Pattern (only in other 3 Ninjago sets from 2011, among which the fabulous 2507 Fire Temple). Extra pieces We get 8 extra parts, including the usual spare small round plates and tiles plus one ribbon and one katana. It would seem people at TLG are trying to sneak an extra weapon in each set these days! Minidoll I really like the new kimono version of the Friends minidoll. It is a nice conversion of the CMF series 1 karate man, and adds some variety to the girls' activities. I can see people complaining it is too specialised to be used in many other ways (we'll see if this is true in a moment), but, personally, I think a bit of specialisation is welcome in a theme which is likely to go on for quite some time in the future. Since the Friends' apparel is quite poor in the trousers' compartment, it is nice to have a cheap set including this part. Moreover, the kimono blouse (I know it must have a proper name in Japanese, but I'll keep this simple) works pretty well in other contexts, too. The only real con I see for this minidoll is the fact that it can't be used for Andrea and all the other dark skinned Friends characters. Maybe we'll see new versions in the next waves? Or will it be a one-shot minidoll? Instructions Only one instructions booklet in this set, thankfully. As always, the front cover uses the same image and art as the front of the box. The instructions are standard fare for a Friends set. Lavender background with a faint decoration in the lower outer corner of the pages, no distractions and simple pieces call outs as usual. The parts list covers two pages and shows the variety of colours and small pieces used in this set. Of course, the extra parts are not listed here. The last pages display a collection of sets from this line. If I'm not mistaken, they are all from this year's first wave. On the left we see the smaller sets, one for each girl (Andrea, Emma, Mia, Olivia and Stephanie), while on the right there are the bigger sets, with a repetition of Mia, Olivia and Stephanie's smaller ones to fill the page. Building Start This little set is composed of a number of smaller builds. We start with the bonsai, a nice little model which adds an 'oriental' feel to the scene with quite few pieces and simple but effective techniques. Karate chop! Next up is the 'karate chop station' by positioning a trio of connected parts on a non-connecting base, we have a chop-able board for Emma to work her tricks on. I'd like to add a small remark: since the board is a bit too high in the position depicted in the instructions, I suggest lowering it on the second row of supports. It looks more natural this way. Meditation corner With a printed door/window and few more parts, LEGO designers build a really nice looking corner where Emma can 'sit' (as we know, Friends minidolls can't actually use connections when sitting like normal LEGO minifigures do) and relax or meditate between an exercise run and the next. The addition of the water bottle is also a nice touch. Trophy wall This combination of a trophy wall and a bench is also well done. The use of the hinge brick allows a number of different arrangements girls (and kids in general) can play with. Finished set Front Here we have all the mini-models together. As you can see, the open bench part helps in creating a more 'enclosed' feel to our little dojo. Bonus images Girls at war Nya didn't like Emma's mushy attitude towards her boyfriend during their kendo lessons. Final comments Overall, this is a really nice set, with some creative use of parts and especially a good selection of mini-models that girls/kids in general can arrange to create their scenes. Design & Colour scheme – 9/10 (As said, nice little builds that work together to form a complete scenery. The colour choice is, of course, nowhere near that of a real life dojo [at least, I do not think it is], but it is in line with the general Friends theme.) Minidoll – 9/10 (A good rendition of the classic kimono in Friends format. The rare trousers, here in white, will be an useful addition to any collection. Again, the only con is it is limited in use to light skinned characters.) Parts – 9/10 (Being this a small set, the parts' variety is not superlative, but the amount of rare pieces, plus the small price, make this set a must buy for any parts collector.) Playability – 10/10 (I can envision hundreds of scenes that kids will spend hours enacting with this little set.) Build – 8/10 (Nothing too complex, but some efficient solutions are used, like the use of the hinge brick to allow some re-styling of the trophy wall-bench assemble.) Price – 10/10 (€ 9.99 for 93 parts, many of which rare, is very near the optimum these days, and quite better than most of the small sets I remember from last year, or even this year's selection.) Overall: 9.2/10 Excellent As always, questions, comments, and pic requests welcome! If you like my reviews, and would like to learn how it's done, please consider joining the Reviewers Academy:
  11. When the 2013 Friends product line-up were made public the first set that really got my attention is 41002 Emma’s Karate Class. I thought the concept behind a female doing a predominantly male-dominated activity is an interesting and refreshing take on the girl-oriented Friend’s theme (the same can be said of 41011 Stephanie’s Soccer Practice and 41001 Mia’s Magic Tricks). So how does this set compare to other Friends sets of the past year? Let’s take a closer look in this review. Name: Emma’s Karate Class Number: 41002 Theme: Friends Year: 2013 Pieces: 93 Minidolls: 1 Price: $9.99 | £9.99 Links: Brickset | Bricklink | Peeron (not yet inventoried) | Shop@Home The Box The presentation of the set elements are nicely executed, with proper spacing and even varying depths of perspective for the different builds. The light tranquil colors of the background give a Zen-like atmosphere highlighted by the oriental tree print behind. By now we’ve all been accustomed to the standard purple LEGO Friends boxart, it looks like nothing much has changed much since last year. Or has it? Upon closer look the Friends characters image in the upper right of the box is now more of a cartoon-anime illustration unlike the CGI image last year. Here is a comparison pic: Pandora touched on this in her Heartlake Pet Salon review, and I agree the cartoon depiction makes the Friends girls look like they’re somewhat ‘unsure of themselves’, compared to the more confident aura the characters have in last year’s CGI image. I honestly don’t know why those in charge of Friends decided on this change since last year’s image already looked good. Maybe they want to try to give a fresh take on the characters’ look? (but after only a year?). This is one of the cases where sometimes, things are better left unchanged IMO. The back follows the tried-and-tested formula of showing the playability features of the set. Once again we are greeted by the cartoon images of Emma (bust shot) and the whole gang at the bottom. The top is rather plain and simply shows the purple basket in the 1:1 panel. The usual LEGO manufacturing facilities are detailed at the bottom along with the other usual info that people ignore (barcode, recycle symbol, LEGO websites). Also interesting to note the difference in shades of purple of the top and bottom of the box. Both the sides of the box are almost identical, stating the Warning: Choking Hazard for small parts safety reminder in 29 different languages (yeah, I did bother to count ‘em all ). The “cleavage curve” print could also be seen on the both sides as part of the illusion to give the otherwise standard rectangular box a distinct “sexy” shape like the curved boxes of the larger Friends sets. The Contents Two unnumbered bags of LEGO goodness are what we get in this little set, along with the instruction booklet which unfortunately (but understandably) came folded. And hey what a surprise, no loose piece! The Instruction Booklet To avoid the redundancy of showing the instruction booklet simply having the same coverart as the boxart, I’d rather show some sample pages of the instruction booklet: Left: I noticed a small misprint in one of the piece callout boxes, not really a biggie but probably the only time I’ve experienced seeing this insignificant minor issue. Right: Nice touches of several faint “Friends symbols” prints at the bottom corner of pages break the monotony of the plain purple backdrop. Click the image for hi-res version At the last pages is a beautiful spread showing the 2013 Friends product line-up, with the right page showing each Friend character getting a set dedicated only for them; and the left page showcasing the whole line-up including the two large sets of this wave. The LEGO parts As what we’ve come to expect from Friends sets, the parts selection is peppered with the (society-dictated) feminine colors of pink, purple, yellow, with some azure on the side. Thrown in the usual blacks, whites, browns, etc. and you have a parts selection composed of 19 different colors! (1) The most noticeable (and only) interesting part for me is the trans-glass window with the oriental Japanese characters design. This piece, which can only be found in four sets, is not new but it’s the first time it’s been used outside of NinjaGo sets. With the help of EB’s resident Japanese culture consultant and fellow Fellow def, I found out that the Japanese characters actually mean “ninja”. (2) Despite the out-of-the-‘girly’-box concept of this set, there are still a couple of Friends-centric pieces: a purple basket and two hair ribbons (one is actually an extra). (3) As has always been the case, the mini-doll’s torso and leg pieces came in separately packaged, most likely since they’re produced in other manufacturing facility. The Mini-Doll In this set we get the ‘Karate Girl’ rendition of Emma, donning a full white Karate uniform (more properly called Karate gi) with purple linings and a floral logo. However, it seems the leg part is not as white as her torso. I don’t know if this is normal or there is a QC issue behind this. By virtue of having a black belt, it seems our dear Emma is already an expert in this particular style of martial arts! (Thou shall not mess with Emma! ). Though one questionable part of her outfit is her footwear, considering most karate practitioners are bare-footed when doing their karate training. But come to think of it, since the mold of the mini-doll feet are the same (only differing in footwear prints), it would be impractical for TLG to create a new single-use ‘bare-feet’ mold just for this small set, so from that POV I could forgive Emma wearing shoes while doing Karate. Here is a comparison pic of Karate Girl Emma and the regular garden variant Emma. It is only through this side-by-side comparison that I realized that the floral emblem on her karate uniform is actually the same flower on the print of her regular outfit! That’s a well thought-of personalized detail I must say! And before anyone points it out, yes, by my haste I wrongfully switched Stephanie’s pink skirt with Emma’s purple one (looks like somebody’s playing with LEGO Friends in his spare time… ) The Build Elements Bonsai A simple build yet perfect for the oriental theme of this set! This 11-piece set really works for me as it captures the overall look of a real-life bonsai. Needless to say, this definitely looks much much better than the 3-piece masterpiece of a tree in 60001 Fire Chief Car. Karate Chopping Block/Tile Karate practitioners practice their famous karate chops (or more technically known as the Knife-hand strike http://en.wikipedia....nifehand_strike), with the use of chopping boards/tiles/bricks. This brickbuilt rendition is a quite a nice representation, cleverly using the rail pieces to provide a two-level chopping challenge. Rest / Meditation Area This build probably gives the best oriental element on the set due to the Asian-style printing of the glass panel. The slope combination at the top corners imparts an overall shape reminiscent of Oriental Arches.This is also supposedly the resting area where Emma could take a break after training and sip some refreshments in her water bottle (trans-blue with white cap), but I’d like to think this could also be a meditation area, where Emma could practice Zen as part of her Karate training. Trophy Display Case As testament of her expertise in Karate, Emma has a display case for her top achievements, and looks like she has two – a gold goblet trophy and a gold medal (without straps). While the choice of the minifig trophy piece or the standard medal piece would’ve been obvious, it’s a nice to see the designers going the alternative route for the unusual picks of the goblet and 1x1 gold round tile. This build also serves as storage for the Kendo Helmet, Kendo Stick/Sword, and a tabletop for the basket. We’ll see more of these elements in the next section. Playability Features And we begin with the Trophy Display case, which interestingly has three modes of orientation owing to the simple yet effective use of the swivel bricks: (1) Straight Set-up – for spacious interiors and for maximum showcase of the trophy achievements! (2) Corner Set-up – as the name implies, this can be oriented on a 90-degree angle to fit corners of rooms. (3) Compact Set-up – this one is perfect for small interiors, and even the way the Kendo helmet and stick/sword is aligned together in this position is proof of how effectively-designed this part is. Here is Emma doing her “Karate-Chop exercise”. The unstable build of the 3-piece chopping block provides a clever way to recreate an actual block-chopping experience! Left: As mentioned earlier, the rest area could also be used as a meditation area. Too bad mini-dolls, or even minifigs for that matter, cannot assume the meditating sitting position. Right: Emma could also practice Kendo sword fight, as both the Kendo helmet and stick are compatible with Friends mini-dolls (she just has to remove her wig haha ) Here a couple of things Emma could do when she’s bored (or right before/after Karate training): (1) She could reminisce all her past glory by staring at her trophy and medal. (2) Or if she’s really that bored, she could just talk to the bonsai. The Completed Set The Scores: Design – 9/10 The reason I bought this set is primarily because of the individual build elements which I found to be interesting. I must say even if they are relatively simple builds they registered to me as well-conceptualized and nicely-executed. From the swivelling trophy display case to the cute little bonsai I think this set deserves a 9 in terms of design factoring in its relative size. Build – 7/10 Nothing exciting that you’d really expect from a small set, though nothing too difficult for kids to follow too. Parts – 7/10 I was impressed by the 19-color parts selection, even happy with the pretty neat Asian-style glass panel. Though I still have to find use for those brightly-colored pieces. Mini-doll – 8/10 It’s always nice to get different variations of minifigs, in this case minidoll, and the Karate outfit is certainly a welcome addition to the Friends line of outfits. The way Emma’s signature flower print is incorporated in her karate uniform also garners plus points for me! Playability – 7/10 Well of course as an AFOL it would be unfair to judge playability since I don’t play with these sets (or do I?), but putting myself once again in kids shoes I’d think I’d have a decent role-playing time with this set. I assume it may not be as exciting (for girls) as the usual cooking/dressing role-playing offered by other Friends sets, but the Karate playability in this set is a nice break from the usual girl-based activities. Price – 8/10 $10 for this set is actually not bad, just on the average 10 cents price/piece ratio. Overall: 77% Parting Shot I've created a comic to demonstrate this particular set in action! Pls. do take the time to check it out. Click the image to see the comic at the Brick Flicks & Comics section!
  12. KielDaMan

    3D Model: 41015 Dolphin Cruiser

    I normally don't get excited about new Friends sets but when the new pictures of the upcoming 41015 Dolphin Cruiser surfaced from the German Toy Fair it really piqued my interest so I tried to recreate it using LDD and rendered it using LDD2PovRay. Here is the result: LDD Build by KielDaMan, rendered using LDD2PovRay with help from speed rendering technique from bbqqq. Click on image to see it in all its high resolution glory (2068 x 1536 pixels) General Remarks: Based on the limited views of the two reference images I used (below), I tried to replicate as much as possible the external design of the cruiser/yacht. Unfortunately there there is no interior in this digital model. Due to parts limitation in LDD, the Friends mini-dolls were replaced by standard minifigures (approximating the look of the Friends characters). The pink slide part is also not available in LDD. Stickers are also absent. The exact mini-doll count is still not certain up to this point, but for the fun of it I completed the five main Friends characters plus a couple more male figures to accompany the girls. Interesting parts include the front Boat Hull Brick 16 x 10 x 3 and the middle Boat Hull Large Middle 8 x 16 x 2 1/3 with 5 Holes which will be available in white for the first time in this set. There also seems to be a couple of new parts in this set: 1) a new curved part (2 x 1 x 2/3) which can be seen at the front bottom corners of the pilot station above and the pillow part of the beach bed in front (replaced by cheese slope+1x1 tile combo in this model); 2) a transparent 2 x 1 x 2 inverted slope which can be seen on both ends of the trans windows at the sides (replaced by two 1x1 trans bricks in this model, leaving a gap on the sloping part). [*]I'm not sure if dolphins are included in the set, but for the fun of literally taking its Dolphin Cruiser name I added a couple of them in this model. [*]Minor nitpick: The railings are so low that it defeats its safety purpose (but hey this is just LEGO so... ). Overall, this set looks really promising and I'll be eagerly anticipating the release of this set. I'm sure this will also be a nice 'base model' for modification into minfig-based yachts. If you'd like to inspect more of the build, here is the LXF file: NOTE: Pls. give credit if used for modding, etc. Reference Images: Photos courtesy of Facebook (left) and Karsten Grosser - NOZ.de (right) - taken from Heartlake Times blog.
  13. Veynom

    [MOC] Internet Hotspot

    This is a remake of the 6613 Telephone Booth set from 1986. However as you probably know, we are today in 2013 and telephone booths have almost disappeared from your usual surrounding. Instead we have seen the emergence of more and more hotspots allowing us to access the Internet. This is the base of my remake. I also decided to replace the old bicycle by a modern Segway and while I was at it, I used the Friends theme to make this even more Lego. Enjoy! So this is Stephanie on her Segway next to the hotspot. Steph goes surfing by Veynom, on Flickr Internet Hotspot by Veynom, on Flickr Stephanie is comfortably sitting on the bench surfing the Internet. Is she visiting MOCPages or FaceBook? Still surfing the Internet by Veynom, on Flickr Surfing the Internet by Veynom, on Flickr Arriving at the hotspot, Stephanie uses the hotspot to protect her screen from the sun. Stephanie at the hotspot by Veynom, on Flickr Connecting by Veynom, on Flickr After chatting with her friends, Stephanie is now driving back home on a shiny Segway. Time to leave by Veynom, on Flickr Stephanie on her Segway: Stephanie on her Segway by Veynom, on Flickr And the Segway alone: Lego Segway by Veynom, on Flickr Hope you had fun.
  14. Number – 41007 Name – Heartlake Pet Salon Theme – Town Subtheme - Friends Year – 2013 Minidolls – 2 Pieces – 242 Price – £29.99, $29.99, €32.99 Links: Brickset, Bricklink, Peeron not yet listed. Shop@Home. Information from LEGO shop@home: Ru unexpectedly brought this (and 41008: Heartlake City Pool) home for me just after Christmas, and despite 41008 looking like a great set, this was the one that grabbed my interest most out of the two. From the first look of the set I was interested in the fact that it was a shop with a large glass frontage, and that it seemed to have a whole lot of stuff in it, and I'm rather fond of stuff. So how does this set look out of the box, and how will this bode for the 2013 range of Friends sets? Read on to find out.. The Box As is traditional, we start with a look at the front of the box. Interestingly, the boxes for the new wave of Friends sets are ever so slightly different from the originals. Firstly, have a little look at the gaggle of Friends in the top right – they look a little more clingy, don’t they? If you compare that portrayal with one from an earlier box, there’s quite a noticeable difference. Unfortunately, I don’t really like this new portrayal; the girls seem simpering and .. a bit needy, really. The old portrayal was of much stronger more confident girls. Oh well, it’s one corner of the box. The rest of the box front has a picture of the entire set, arranged in a way that displays as many features as possible. The background is of a simple, pastel town, and there are some small insets to display a play feature, and the girls that are included. More on them later. The back of the box is another fiesta of shades of purple, but the pictures give you good views of the play features and the interior of the salon, so you really know what you’re getting before you buy. There’s an illustration of how to build a minidoll, and also an indication of what one might find inside the box. There’s the same picture of the 5 ‘core’ Friends as is on the front, but this time their names are overlayed to help forgetful parents, plus there is a large new picture of Emma in the top right. I’m sure they meant Emma to look sweet and friendly, but really she looks insecure and slightly worried. Maybe it’s just me, but the impression I get now is a far-cry from the strong and independent girls that were first introduced. The top of the box is pleasant in its simplicity, and essentially gives first-time buyers an idea of the size of the minidolls; a common feature on all LEGO boxes. The bottom of the box has all the required safety information in all the required languages, and you can also see the price sticker from the LEGO store. The interesting thing is the background colour, which is a lighter shade of lavender than has been used previously. The difference is subtle, but noticeable, and in fact the colour is more blue-tinged than that on the older boxes. I can imagine several people being entirely unfussed about this change, but to me this is a nicer colour, and slightly less girly. The right side of the box continues this colour, which contrasts nicely with the dark purple on the ellipsed corners. The declaration of where the components are made is clear, and bold, in case anyone’s concerned, and there’s a sweet little advert for the LEGOClub website. Just like the right side, TLG have also gone for a ‘less is more’ look for the left side of the box. There is some gentle detailing with the various swathes of pink and purple, and the nice, subtle Friends pattern, with a rather small inset picture of the set. It’s the same picture as on the front of the box, so it doesn’t add any information, so really it’s just there for aesthetics. And it works very nicely. The Box Contents As indicated on the back of the box, there are two numbered bags of LEGO parts inside. I was quite surprised by this, as it’s not a big set, and the parts could just as easily been bagged up without being sorted into sections. This sort of separation makes sense for modular buildings or sets built in a modular way, but it seems unnecessary for one little shop. It doesn’t matter much; if you’re a first time builder it makes sorting the pieces a tiny fraction easier, and if you just lump all the contents of the bags together from the start anyway, then it doesn’t matter one jot. Loose inside the box are also a pair of bright light blue plates, both of which are only seen in Friends sets, and only two other Friends sets,specifically 3061: City Park Café, and 3188: Heartlake Vet. Also loose, but in miraculously good condition, is the dreaded sticker sheet. The stickers look a bit unusual until they are actually applied to the set, and the poodle-with-kitten combo is slightly cutesy, especially with the hearts. The colour scheme is clearly Friends without including much pink, and they actually work well with the pieces. This set is the first set I have ever actually applied the stickers to; shocking, I know, but I hope you’ll see later how they actually do add something to the building. The Instructions There is just one instruction booklet, but you’d know that if you looked at the back of the box properly. The picture and graphics here are pretty much exactly the same as on the front of the box, but that’s ok. I don’t expect something new and different, I just want the instructions to be identifiable, and the nicest way to do that is with a picture of the set. Remarkably, like the sticker sheet, this was also in miraculously good condition. I think we’d all fall over in disbelief if there were a reasonably sized set aimed at children that didn’t have a picture of a Gagne-child on the back. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I much prefer this quite sweet girl to the obnoxious looking boy they have for other sets. I can even bear to show this picture in my review. Aside from that, basically: you can still win stuff. An absolutely charming addition inside the instruction booklet is a short comic strip Emma demonstrating how to build the set. Any set (and please remember folks that this isn’t limited to Friends) that has numbered bags has some sort of indication that you should build one bag at a time, because they’ve packed it that way. I love this new illustration – it gives exactly the same information as before but in a much more entertaining way. The other side shows the beginning of the build, and is reminiscent of many Town sets to me (assemble the minifigs; large plate plus bag #x makes such and such). Towards the back of the instruction booklet there’s the handy checklist for you to tick off your sets as you buy them, but there’s also a brand new illustration of Heartlake City. It doesn’t seem to be quite so obvious what the future releases might be, but maybe someone here will spot something? As always, they have included those most useful pages in the booklet, the inventory listing. If you click on the picture it should link to original high-res image, but even a glance here shows a good colour mix and variety of parts. I’ve also included this, which is a random page in the instructions. People like to see these, because it gives them an idea of the build. I also think this demonstrates that this, just like any other LEGO set, is not the kind of thing you can put together without instructions because it’s so simplistic and easy, because it’s actually not so simplistic and easy. I’ll probably comment more on this later, in fact I know I will. The Parts The contents of the first bag, as you can see (or not, as the case may be), are actually mostly white or trans clear. There’s a very interesting selection of pieces here. We’ll start with the rather small amount of pink. The magenta 1x3x2 curved top arches and 3x3x2 dome top pieces are new in this colour for this set, and only available in this set and the 6 magenta 1x4x1 1/3 curved bricks can only be found in this colour in 3939: Mia’s Bedroom, and you can only find one there. The bright pink 1x3x2 curved top bricks has only been seen in this colour before in 3061: City Park Café, so we’re off to an interesting start with the smallish amount of pink pieces. The light aqua 1x2x5 bricks haven’t been seen in this colour before, and there’s a rather good selection of dark blue pieces here too. The white and light bley pieces also have useful bits and bobs in them, including the white 1x4 SNOT brick and the always-useful light bley taps and 4x4 macaroni pieces. Next to the yellow pieces you can see a new shop sign, which is a completely new mould; we’ll look more closely at that shortly. The 4x4x6 trans clear curved panel can only be found in 3061: City Park Café, and the Star wars set 9526: Palpatine’s Arrest. Here’s a closer look at the shop sign. At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that Fabuland was making a comeback, but actually this is ever so slightly different to the Fabuland sign (the red sign here) in that it is slightly smaller and has slightly less filigree. It’s nice to see this type of piece come back, though, and with some custom decals I can see this appearing in a few MOCs. In the second bag, the contents are more colourful, and the interest continues. It still manages to look quite pink, despite there not being that great a proportion of pink in the set (just perhaps more than in most non-Friends sets these days, that’s all) but there’s all sorts of accessories and a few printed parts here. Naturally there are also the Friends accessories, newly available in dark purple for this set, just as each colour of accessories has only appeared in one set each. Overall, I thought there were quite a few interesting parts, so I’ve put them all together here. I’ve mentioned quite a few pieces here already, but there are a few more worthy of note (and I’ve only included one of each part referenced in this picture). The 1x2x2/3 slopes for instance, in this set in bright pink, light aqua and medium lavender and these parts are pretty much exclusive to Friends sets with the exception of the light aqua, which can also be found in 8487: Flo’s V8 Café. You can also only find the 1x2x2 medium lavender brick in Friends sets, and the pearl gold taps are a Belville throwback that has reared up again in Friends, along with a guest appearance in 10229: Winter Village Cottage. The printed medium azure 1x1 round brick has only been seen in Friends sets, but then it is very much a Friends piece, and the printed cash register piece, despite being reminiscent of Fabuland, is also an exclusively Friends piece. We get another new Friend with this set, in the form of Joanna, who has a pretty patterned orange vest and magenta shorts, neither of which have been seen before, and thus they provide new outfit choices for Andrea and also Ella, Nicole, Sarah, Chloe and Kate. Emma has a new top in tasteful dark blue with pale pink and lilac flowers printed on it, and also has a printed necklace, too. The bright pink layered skirt has been seen before on Olivia in 3937: Olivia’s Speedboat, and on Sophie in 3188: Heartlake Vet so it’s the least exciting clothing part here. The poodle has sweet printed eyes, which are oddly blue (I didn’t think dogs had blue eyes). Its collar is pink with a little bone tag hanging from it, which is a cute little detail. It’s a very sweet-looking poodle, but it looks wily, like it knows something you don’t. Anyway, it’s also a very accurate representation of a poodle in LEGO form, which is what matters. Emma’s hair is… Emma’s hair; the hairstyle she usually wears, but Joanna has a brand new hair mould, and her hair is braided into plaits. Why haven’t we seen plaits in LEGO before now? I dunno, but surely now the mould is out there we’ll begin to see more of it. I really like this new mould, I think it looks great, and a new female hairpiece is always welcome. The back of the poodle lacks printing, which is probably for the best, really. The Build Now I think this is an interesting picture. This is here to illustrate just how far you get in the building process before you start adding any pink whatsoever. You’ve pretty much got the shop built, and some of the structure inside, and I think this really shows that actually the ‘pinkness’ of these sets is quite superficial. You could easily switch out the 8x16 and 16x16 bright light blue plate for some light bley ones to make a bland and non-girly basis for a shop if you wanted to. Round the back, you can see that there’s already quite a few bits and pieces placed inside the shop, as I mentioned, so it’s not as if you’ve only put up a few trans clear windows and then everything goes pink. And even from this point onwards, there’s still not that much pink or lavender. So when you do add all the other pieces (including the pink) this is what you create. You’ll notice I’ve even applied the stickers , which is something I very rarely do, but they allow the set to make more sense. There are some extra small builds that sit outside the shop that make it more interactive. They’re each about the size of a polybag set, perhaps slightly smaller. Both of these extra little builds are quite fun, without being too challenging. They strike me as good things for younger hands to be doing while the main build is being built, to keep them occupied and out of trouble. On the left we have a stand to display bones and accessories for pets. The stickers suddenly make sense; they are the price tags, and characters can roleplay picking out what they'd like and buying the actual pieces, rather than a representation of them. It's also a handy place to put the gazillions of purple accessories. On the right is quite obviously a bath, and we have that because this is a grooming salon as well as a pet store. I like the use of the 1x1 round plates to signify the hot and cold sides of the mixer tap, and the bath is about the right height to get most of the small Friends animals into with a Friends minidoll standing next to the bath. It's a fun little build and, like the display stand, it adds to the play features. So should we talk about the roof now? It's quite an extravagant structure, and you've seen how the building looks without it. It's very curvy and 1950s, and rather pink too, as I'm sure you've noticed. It does mean that this shop fits in with the aesthetics of 3061: City Park Café, and thus makes the Friends range cohesive, but it seems like a rather large addition of pink stuff on top of the shop. It's an interesting build, and it allows display of the new sign part, which I really like, but it seems a little excessive for a small high street shop. Anyway, the lovely thing is that you can see right inside the shop at what's going on inside, and there are some nice details outside too (aside from the extra builds above). There's a pink water bowl for the wily poodle to drink from, some pretty (and mercifully not exclusively pink) flowers, and another structure outside the right hand side of the set, which might be a birdhouse. Here's a better view of the birdhouse outside the salon, well, I assume it's a birdhouse, because it looks like one. It certainly looks like something that would be found for sale outside a pet shop, so it's a logical addition. The large windows allow an easy view into the shop to see what's going on inside, and you can glimpse a brush and comb ready for use. Once we get round the back of the shop, we can see all the added features inside. Like the other Friends sets, attention has been paid to the interior, to make it interactive and fun. After all, this wouldn't be a shop if it didn't have stuff in it; it'd just be a brightly coloured building. We can look at the various additions inside. So on the other side of the window where the presumed birdhouse was, we have a beauty station for pets. The two white 1x2 jumper plates are attached to a turntable, so a pet may be applied and spun for easy grooming. There are holders for the brush and comb on the grooming stand (which you could see through the window from the front of the shop), and a hairdryer and grooming shears (represented here by the feather piece) handily attached to the wall. In the foreground you can see a container that is built in order to contain the accessories. I like the fact that the container is constructed, as it illustrates again how these sets aren't just a pile of large, '<insert that tiresome argument>' pieces, but are building sets on a par with any other LEGO set of the same size. Also towards the back of the shop there is a cash register, complete with pink drawer and money. I have no idea what the trans red cheese wedge represents; maybe it's the chip and pin machine? You may also be able to just make out the top of a carrot top that sits in the lime green basket nest to the cash register. Maybe this is for impulse purchases of greenery to feed your pet? Or maybe this is someone's current purchase waiting to be rung up at the till? Looking at the back of the shop from the other angle, you can see that while the previous side was devoted to grooming, this side is devoted to sales. The addition of the stickers to these parts make this section bright and colourful and interesting. There is also a better appreciation of how bright the designers have made this set through the copious addition of windows, and it's great to be able to see in from all angles. Zooming in so that we can see better, there are some nice products for the Friends to buy for their pets. There are bags of dry dog and cat food, tins of (presumably) pet food, and dog collars and cat toys for sale on the wall. The 2x2 stickered tiles attached to the yellow 3x2 modified plates really do look like items one may see for sale on a rack in shops, and small as it is, I find this feature endearing. The fact that the holes in the modified plates allow then to be attached to headlamp bricks in the wall means that these items are easily removable, and could even be used as parts to play in another set. So here is the full set in all its gloriousness. Those large windows are just great, and there's so much to see inside. Wily poodle is made even more deceivingly innocent with the addition of a bow, and you can see the additional builds together with the main building to appreciate their context. A hitherto unmentioned feature is the outside tap on the left wall, which is unnecessary with the presence of the bathtub, so it's a nice extra feature. The bath tub, when shown in scale with the poodle, now seems rather grand and luxurious. Lucky poodle. There are so many details to appreciate, and the only area that I'm not so keen on is the roof. As with any set, there's a small number of leftover pieces, mostly 1x1 round plates, but I certainly don't object to extra LEGO, and I quite like having the extra flower and bone pieces, for instance. Conclusion Design: 8/10 I think this shop looks great, especially with the double-fronted, curved, floor-length, trans clear window panes. Having the doorway between the two looks great, and is reminiscent of independent high street shops, especially in Europe. I showed you how far you can get without adding the pink, which is very superficial, and actually doesn't necessarily add to the aesthetics of the shop. The pink parts do, however, make this set fit in well with the rest of the Friends sets and Heartlake city, so I can understand their addition. Having the stickered pieces hanging from the wall is a great design feature to me, but there are plenty to appreciate. Parts: 9/10 The new sign! I love it, and I really hope to see more of it. That and the fact that there are a good number of parts here in a new colour for that part. As one might expect, there are a good number of accessories, and these have cropped up in a new colour this time. A few printed pieces and some other useful bits and bob, and a good number of those lovely curved windows, and this smallish set actually has a high proportion of interesting pieces. Minifigs: 8/10 Another new Friend in the form of Joanna, and she seems nice. She's come with interesting clothes and a great new hairpiece, but... she's not male. We cry and wail for more males in Heartlake, even as shopkeepers, but it seems the idea is that the Friends themselves are running all the businesses in Heartlake. Maybe we're seeing them at all these businesses collecting their 'protection' money? Anyway, I digress, two minidolls is the right number for this set, and while Emma will always be Emma, it's great to see her with a new torso. Build: 9/10 I may have been more subtle in my previous Friends reviews, so I will make some points again. The build for this set is in no way easier than the build for any other Town or CREATOR set of a similar size. The building is absolutely the same, and definitely not easier. This set, like all the other Friends sets, is not dumbed down because it's for girls. It's a fun build, and it has some interesting processes, and anyone who says the build looks easy may well be right, but it's not easier than any other LEGO set of the same size. I enjoyed it just as much as building 7346: Seaside House, which was a set almost twice the size, with three builds. Playability: 9/10 Well, there are lots of accessories for a start, and the whole set has bags of roleplay potential. Most kids love playing shop, and that's completely covered with the cash register, the money and the items for sale. Add to that the whole pet salon part, where animals can be bathed and groomed and accessorised, then there's tons of playability. There may not be moving parts or dynamic action, but there's still plenty to play with. Price: 8/10 I think that £29.99 is a very fair price for the parts and build experience in this set. The price evaluation is often the most subjective part of any review, and you can try to objectivise it by listing price per piece, but if you don't want the pieces then the price doesn't matter. I like this set a lot, and if I didn't already have one, I'd feel comfortable paying this price for it. Overall 85% A pet shop isn't very girly, heck we have a Modular version already, but a pet grooming salon may well be considered to be on the pinker end of the spectrum. The grooming salon aspect of this set is done fully, and having the pet shop aspect of the set helps tone the 'girliness' down somewhat. There are some great parts here, especially for Town builders, and a brand new Friend (even if she is female) along with her new hairpiece and Emma's new torso, and another ton of Friends accessories along with other removable features. The shop looks mostly great, although I have some reservations about the roof structure, but the windows are truly lovely, and there's tons of stuff to build and play with. With the advent of all the collectible Friends animals, sets that integrate animals more will also help integrate these small satellite sets. This is a charming little shop, and a really lovely addition to Heartlake City. "Ella, I don't care how much money you have, you are not going to be able to fit your horse in that bath!" Thank you for reading, comments are always very welcome. High-Res pictures can be found on my flickr account.
  15. daisy

    My "map" of Heartlake City

    Well this is not actually made with LEGO. But a way to display/play with LEGO at our home. We really needed a storable way to display/play with our LEGO sets. (Dont have room for more tables, and the bare surfaces were overflowing and disordered) We have mostly Friends sets, so I created a map of Hearlake City. I saw this one on lego.com. But it is pretty small, and I would rather spend the money on actual LEGO. My other hobby is quilting (I have an affinity for putting colored shapes together ) I used only fabric I had on hand as I didn't want to spend money that could go for LEGO, so the patterns/colors aren't my ideal choices, but I think they work. Currently I know my 2 little (5 & 3) girls are going to mostly play on it. But I hope as they get older we be able to use it to design nice displays each winter. And now I get to "make nice displays" ( or play ) after they go to bed. So here is Heartlake City: It is about 3' by 5', I designed it freehand based on the map that comes in the sets. Here: with LEGO set up. Even though it is on carpet - it is flat/sturdy enough for minidolls to stand. The binding on the edge keeps pieces from wandering off into the short shag. There is plenty of room for new sets/mocs. My girls couldnt resist playing with it right away, those minidolls below are swimming/sunbathing And although I set it up with friends sets for pics, soon afterwards minifigures and other sets/mocs joined the friends. We are very pro LEGO integration around here
  16. Name: Squirrel's Tree House Theme: Friends Year: 2013 Pieces: 41 + 10 extra pieces Minifigs: 0 Animals: 1 Price: USD$4.99 SEK 39.00 My local toy store got some of the new sets for 2013 this week (The Hobbit, Ninjago, SW, some City and Friends) including the first batch of the new small animal bags from Friends. I definitely wanted the squirrel the most so I got it and here are some pictures and my thoughts about it: I started with ripping open the bag and then realizing I should've taken a picture of it before that. Ah well, it's not the bag that's the interesting thing here, it's what's inside: Instructions and yet another bag! The instructions got the same front picture as the bag. I'll spare you the picture of the Win!-girl at the back. No piece call out, that's what's to be expected by such a small set. The instruction are easy to follow and I didn't spot any mistakes. Parts list, click for higher resolution. There is a small ad showing how you can combine the three animal bags to strange structure: To me it looks like the squirrel is sitting on a throne and waiting for the turtle to bring him the offerings of a plate with fish. Chieftain Squirrel will have to wait for a loooong time to get that fish. Meanwhile the cat has her own private room and can enjoy the luxurious meal of a bowl full of... bow-ties? Well, let's not dwell to long on that mysterious picture, I'm sure there is a logical explanation... Here are the pieces that comes in the set: Nothing that pops out, everything is standard and mostly useful pieces. It's this what the set is all about, the squirrel: The bow-tie fits is a hole on top of the tail. The build of the tree-house is quick and simple: Alternative views of the tree-house: It's not the most interesting build, but it uses useful pieces and does the work. It could be a good small present to a kid I think. Some concluding thoughts: If you buy it, you buy it because of the squirrel of course, so it all comes down to if you like the animal or not. But the pieces you get with it aren't useless so the higher price than the Collectible Minifigures is not unbearable. The squirrel is of course very cartoon-y, just like the rest of the Friends animal, but I still find it quite alright to use in a normal LEGO setting. It's certainly too big to be realistic, but all small LEGO animals are too big (ants anyone?) so it's not too much of a big deal. It's about the same size as the chimpanzee that can be found in the Collectible series. Ratings: Design: 5/10, simple and standard. Nothing out of the ordinary. Parts: 8/10, most are very useful and there is actually more pieces than I had thought. Animal: 7/10, so far the best of the Friends animals in my opinion, and something we have never seen before. Price: 6/10, not so bad. Arguably it's mostly small parts, but the price per piece is quite ok in SEK. Maybe it's a different story in other countries. Total: 7/10, if you want a squirrel, buy it. If not, then pass. It's as simple as that. Let me finish by quoting General McAuliffe during the Battle of the Bulge, WW2: "Nuts!"
  17. Mr Copperhead

    MOC - Friends Modular Building

    B-OM-34A Hello, I was hesitating for quite some time before posting this as it's my first my first MOC since probably around 1980 and as you can see my photography skills are obviously not that great. Plus a lot of stuff is just simply copied straight from the sets. But I figured, what the hey, someone might enjoy it and hopefully I've figured out how to post the pics here. This is one is made using parts from the first wave of Friends sets and a couple of pick a brick cups. Peter and Anna had a mid-life crises and left their middle management jobs and home in the suburbs to follow their passions in the heart of Heartlake City. Peter has always had a love for hair styling and finally has opened his very own beauty parlor and Anna is exploring her deep love of pastry cooking in the space below. Having no commute has really freed up a lot of time in their lives to perfect their talents. Sorry for the non-LEGO Pinky Pie, but she couldn't resist Anna's cupcakes ! If these pics don't show up, here's a link to the flikr page: http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/
  18. Pandora

    Heartlake Park - the Friends Hub

    Welcome to Heartlake Park Here you will find links to all the content pertaining to Friends on Eurobricks, from across all the forums. This first post will serve as a Master Index, with links to everything you could ever possibly wish to find about LEGO Friends. In the second post, you will find all of the high-resolution pictures of the Friends sets so you can feast your eyes on the various sets. If you're looking for a more in-depth view of these sets, then the third post has all the Friends Reviews from right here on Eurobricks. The fourth post has a full index of MOCs created that relate to Friends from across all the different sub-forums on Eurobricks. To find all the different discussion threads, check out the fifth post, where there's an index of all these threads from across EB, including some interesting miscellaneous threads. The sixth post contains all the entries for the Summer of Friends Building Contest 2012, and contains information about all the winners and prizes they won! As always, feel free to comment on this, or Friends sets in general in the Friends Discussion topic, or read the latest news about upcoming sets in the 2014 Friends Sets - Rumours and Discussion topic. *** If there's a topic or MOC that you feel needs to be included that hasn't, please either mention it in the discussion topic or PM me (Pandora). ***