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Greetings, my friends! Summer is finally here, and what better place to enjoy it than on the water? The popular Friends line has had a few beach-themed sets already, but not an actual ship yet. However, this is about to change soon with what is literally the flagship set of this year's Friends sets, and today it is my honor to bring you this exclusive early review of one of the most anticipated sets this summer, the Dolphin Cruiser! Set Number: 41015 Name: Dolphin Cruiser Theme: Friends Year of Release: 2013 Pieces: 612 Minidolls: 3 Price: $69.99 USD Brickset Bricklink Brickshelf The Box A few days ago, I received a package at my doorstep with the Lego logo and an official Lego address label on it. Inside this package was the set, which despite the lack of any cushioning material was still in very good shape! It's a fairly large and wide box with the usual purple frame and the indented side edges. It also has the same updated illustration of the main five girls in the upper right corner as the sets that were released earlier this year. The box art depicts a gorgeous scene of the Dolphin Cruiser swimming by the Heartlake beach and the Friends having fun. As you can see, this is one of the European boxes which are known to have much less text than the American versions. There is not much information about the set other than the set number and the intended age range. There is also a statement below those numbers proclaiming that this "ship does not float". This may be a disappointment to some people, but for those of us who have some experience with Lego ships this was already expected. Aside from the Lego Friends logo and the set number, there isn't anything at the top of the box except for these pictures of the minidolls. It doesn't even mention their names, just that the picture of Mia is at a 1:1 scale, but that's OK since it states their names on the front of the box. I guess in Europe they really let the pictures do all the talking, which is not a bad thing. The back of the box has a picture which shows that the top of the ship can be taken off to reveal the interior and lots of small panels showing various scenes that can be played out with this set. There are also pictures which tell you helpful things about the set as in every Friends set, such as how many bags there are, how many parts the minidolls consist of, or what kind of accessories are included. I kind of wish other Lego sets would have this kind of information. It sure looks like the friends are having a lot of fun. I just hope that dolphin sees Mia coming down that slide in time. Contents Looks like the picture on the back of the box was correct! There are indeed 5 numbered bags and two instruction booklets, along with a fairly small sticker sheet and some loose large parts such as the boat hulls, the water slide, and the flex tubes. The first page of the instructions has a demonstration of a minidoll building a set step by step which is adorable in my opinion. It's a perfect Friends version of that generic City minifig doing the same in other Lego instructions. Here's a random instructions page. All pages have a lavender background and clear part call-outs. Also, every page with an odd page number has a light silhouette of some butterflies and hearts. On the last page of booklet 1 there is a check list of all the minidolls from this year's sets. Towards the end of booklet 2 it shows you where all the summer sets are located at in Heartlake City. That's some pretty neat information which, again, I wish they would have in other Lego themes. There are many other nice pictures and illustrations of the Dolphin Cruiser and the other summer sets which I will let you discover on your own. They sure put a lot of effort into making these sets look good and appealing to girls! These are some of the notable pieces in this set. There are various pieces in medium azure, including skis which have been exclusive to the Friends advent calendar in this color until now. We also get the hair accessories in dark purple which only appear in one other set, the Pet Salon. Other pieces in rare colors include 1x1 round tiles in orange, 1x2 tiles in magenta, and 1x2 bricks in trans-purple. There are some new molds as well, such as a 1x2x2 curved slope, a 1x2 plate with a clip at the center of one side, and the ice cream cone which made its debut earlier this year in the Heartlake City Pool and the Ice Cream Stand polybag. There are some printed pieces too, such as the pink life preserver tile and the 1x1 orange juice box brick which have appeared in a few sets before, but also a new piece which no teenaged girl should be without: a smartphone! Looks like Heartlake City's technology is a few decades ahead of Lego City, who are still using walkie talkies and landlines. Minidolls This set comes with three minidolls: two girls and (gasp!) a boy! One of the girls is Mia the animal lover, who makes a lot of sense to be included in this set since it is named after an animal! She even sports a new summerly outfit with a dolphin and seastar motif on it. The other one is Maya who is a new character. The cherry blossoms on her shirt and her dark hair with bangs make me think she is supposed to be Asian, but I can't say for sure. She has Stephanie's hair in black and the same legs as Isabella. The boy's name is Andrew and he brings some much wanted gender deversity to Heartlake City. He has a surfer hairpiece and a blue shirt with a small sailboat on it, both of which are very fitting for the set. I can't put my finger on it, but somehow Andrew reminds me of another boy who preteen girls like... Well played, Lego, well played. But how is anybody supposed to compete with a guy who looks like a teen idol?! When you look at the minidolls from the side, you'll see that the boy's torso mold is different from the girls. Which is good because it would be quite odd if he had breasts. None of them have back printing unfortunately, but that's common for minidolls. And here are the stars of the set, the dolphins! We get two in different colors in this set, sand blue and light blue. The eye lashes on one of them tell me that the darker one is supposed to be a boy and the other a girl. They are smaller and rounder than the old Paradisa dolphins, and due to that and their eye prints they probably wont integrate into other Lego themes too well, but for the Friends theme they are perfect! They have two anti-studs on their tails and one on their belly, so they can be posed as if they're jumping out of the water or lying on an elevated surface. It's also possible to stick them on a pole. Not sure how that could be useful, but it's good to know. Their fins are shaped so that a minifig/doll can hold on to it and ride them. Also, their blowholes can be plugged up with bows and other accessories. Seems kind of cruel to me, but whatever. The Build The first bag contains Mia, Andrew, the male dolphin, and the parts for the jetski and the base of the boat. First, you build the jetski. It's a quick and simple build, but it ends up looking pretty good. Certainly much better than the one in 41000 Water Scooter Fun. It has some clips on one side, but more on that later. Next, you assemble the base of the Cruiser. Not a lot of details at this point. The second bag contains Maya, the female dolphin, and most of the interior of the ship. The beds and sofa are attached to the ground only by two 2x2 round plates each which makes it easy to put them in and, if you wish, take them back out later. The third bag has most of the pieces to finish off the lower deck. Lots of white and tan here. You almost can't tell this is part of a Friends set! This is the part where you attach the water slide. Bag four contains all the pieces to finish off the second storey. After this part, it already starts looking like a complete ship. The fifth bag includes all the pieces for the upper deck, which happen to be most of the pieces with the girly colors. And here is the finished Cruiser! It looks quite impressive, and not too girly. The overall design definitely makes it look modern and luxurious. It looks great from just about every angle. All those azure pieces give it a cool, refreshing feel. The only thing I find odd is that there seem to be windows missing in the second storey. There is already a sloped window piece that would fit perfectly into those six gaps, so I don't know why they left them out, but if it really bothers you and you have six of those windows on hand, that should be an easy fix. The wave stickers at the front give it a nice dynamic look. One of them reads "HLC" which I'm guessing stands for Heartlake City. There is a large opening in the back that allows you to see right into the interior since there are no doors. Lets hope it doesn't get too windy out at sea! Looking at it from the side, the Dolphin Cruiser looks quite sleek. There is a life preserver on the left side. There is no life preserver on the other side since that's where the slide is. The slide is not too obtrusive and actually adds to the overall dynamic look of the ship. The only thing that bugs me a little here is that triangle-shaped gap between the row of windows and the white slope at the lower front. Again, if you have an extra two of those windows, that should be an easy fix, but it just makes me wonder why TLG didn't include those pieces to begin with and avoided this little flaw.. Looking from above, it just has the usual Lego boat shape. No complaints here. At the bottom it has several of those round slide shoe parts to make it glide over the floor better. The Complete Set Here's the ship with the jetski, dolphins, and minidolls. Now we're ready to go on a cruise! They all look very nice together, don't they? Play Features There is lots to do on this ship! On the top deck, you can seat a minidoll at the steering wheel or serve drinks at the little bar. There is a sonar for finding dolphins and there are two studs on the wall which act as a socket for the smartphone so that you can pretend to play music from it over the speakers on the sides. The only thing that I don't like here is that the steering wheel is way too far for a minidoll to reach, but that's a common issue with the Friends sets. On the main deck, you can have the girls relax on the sun loungers and enjoy a drink or a banana. Also, the big window in the front can be opened to see inside. In the back of the ship, the friends can climb up the ladder (which has a similar design as the one in Olivia's Tree House - plus points for consistency!) and slide down the water slide (which is the same as in the Heartlake City Pool from earlier this year) or feed the Dolphins with the bucket of fish. There is also a life vest sticker and a shower with a shampoo bottle and knobs for hot and cold water. The use of a frying pan as a shower head is quite clever here. Also, as you can see, the jetski's clips can be used to attach it to the bar underneath the life preserver in order to store it. Neat! The top of the Cruiser can easily be taken off to play inside the cabin. There are cheese slopes and arches which help it slide back into place easily. The interior is surprisingly well furnished! Inside the first room there is a plant and a big couch for relaxing. The next room is a restroom with a toilet and a rack of towels. I guess there is no such thing as privacy in the world of Friends, though, because there are no doors and one of the walls is transparent. On the other side of the couch, there is little kitchen area with a sink and a small fridge where the orange juice can be stored. On top of the fridge there is some ice cream, one for each of the friends. I think this area is a little dark and boring and doesn't quite fit with the rest of the set. I would have prefered it if they would have included two more cupboards instead of these black bricks. There is another sink in the bathroom, along with some Technic beams where you can stick the combs, hair dryer, and mirror. It's kind of tough to put them there since it's such a small space, but maybe it's just because I have such big manly hands. I think it would have been nice if they would have included a mirror sticker to put behind the faucet, but not necessary I guess. Did I mention I'm manly? In the back, there is a bedroom with two beds with brick-built flower patterns on the sheets. It's nice that they didn't use a sticker for these, and that they made the beds different. There is also a lamp, a box to store the hair accessories in, a TV, and a pin board with pictures. Seems quite cozy! And just for fun, here's a comparison to my Friend Ship. They look quite similar, don't they? Either Lego stole my idea or I'm really good at predicting sets! Spare Parts There are various 1x1 pieces left over, along with a string and the brick seperator. Ratings Design: 5/5 - Aside from some missing windows and doors, this ship looks beautiful! It's mostly white and doesn't have many parts in girly colors, so it will appeal to boys and girls alike and will easily integrate into Lego City as well! It's sleek, modern, and luxurious. What more could you ask for? Build: 5/5 - Aside from the boat hull and the slide, there aren't many large pieces, so there is a lot to build, and the build is diverse enough to keep it interesting throughout. Minidolls: 5/5 - All the minidolls are exclusive to this set and have very fitting outfits. Maya and Andrew are both new characters and it's great to finally get some more males in this theme! And do I even need to mention how cute and awesome the dolphins are? Playability: 5/5 - There is a lot to do in this set! You can drive around, look for dolphins, feed them, ride the water slide, take a shower, take a nap or freshen up in the cabin, serve drinks at the bar, ski on the water, and much more! There are hours of fun to be had with this set! Parts: 5/5 - There are several parts in rare colors or molds and not many of them are in Friends-specific colors, so most of them are reusable in other themes. The azure pieces are especially nice to have. Price: 4/5 - $70 for 612 pieces does seem a tad much, but considering that there are some very large pieces like the hull and the slide included, it actually seems fair and it's well worth it for such a great set. Overall: 5/5 - Lego has got a real winner on their hands here! I was not very interested in the Friends line when it first came out, but I find myself liking it more and more, whether it's for the rare parts or for the thoughtful designs. This is a beautiful and fun set that will appeal to most people. It has a ton of play features and some nice exclusive figures, including dolphins! It's a perfect summer time set and I'm sure every girl would love to have it. I would recommend it to anyone. Well, that's all I have to say about this set. I hope you enjoyed this exclusive early review. If you liked it and would like to learn how to make reviews like this, join us in the Eurobricks Reviewers Academy! Now if you'll excuse me, I feel the need to go grill a steak or wrestle a bear or do something else manly.
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.