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Just in time for Christmas 2015, LEGO has cashed in once again on the Frozen fever with… Special thanks to CopMike and the LEGO CEE team for providing this set! Set Name: Arendelle Castle Celebration Set #: 41068 Theme: Disney Princess - Frozen Parts: 477 Figures: 2 Minidolls + Olaf Year of Release: 2015 Price at Release: USD 60 Brickset Bricklink(not yet available) Flickr Set You might've noticed my slight pun in the first line - this set is based upon Disney's short film Frozen Fever, which I found so aptly named due to there being a Frozen fever in the sense of everybody going gaga over Frozen, while this short makes people even more gaga over Frozen and provides new outfits for Elsa and Anna that parents will surely have to buy for their little girls. I did see Disney's recent live-action Cinderella, so I saw Frozen Fever in the theater, but I watched it again online before writing this review. Rest assured that this review will be about the LEGO set and not about Frozen, but how come Elsa can suddenly sprout flowers and design clothing with the flick of her wrist in Frozen Fever? I thought ice was her thing? It makes absolutely no sense, and that's why Frozen Fever strikes me as a marketing ploy to sell more dresses to children. Anywho, I'm not going to let my gripes with the source material get in the way of reviewing, so let's get on to the pretty set before us. PACKAGING The front of the box has some lovely, vibrant colors as you'd expect from a Disney Princess product. The animated Elsa and Anna wear their Frozen Fever outfits, letting you know with subtlety what the set's based upon. LEGO has wasted no time in assuring you that the facade-like Castle contains an interior, including a Castle-rear pic right on the front. The back highlights the interior, with a bunch of scenes meant to show… roleplay, I guess? It shows you right off the bat that there are next to no true 'play features' in this set, not that a dollhouse-style building needs them anyway. The snowflake atop the Castle was too tall for the front of the box, so it's been wrapped onto the top. Else looks a bit lonely in the 1:1 picture, with no other pictures up here. I would have expected a scene with Anna, Olaf, and the mini snow-things. INSTRUCTIONS The instructions come in a single glue-bound booklet, similar to that of large sets like the Ninjago Airjitzu Temple, for example. I prefer this over multiple smaller booklets, if only because it means you can't misplace one out of three instruction booklets. I do speak from experience… The inside has just a simple lavender color with no frills added. I actually wanted to highlight this particular step because the designer chose to use two 1x1 bricks with clip to attach the door instead of the 1x3 brick with two clips. Perhaps it was done for structure, but I appreciate that the color scheme of the parts was kept consistent, as it often is not with the 1x3 being used. The back contains an ad for the Palace Pets sets and their show Whisker Haven. Note that it features Pocahontas, who has not yet appeared in LEGO form. Is it a hint? For the parts-list pages, please see here and here. STICKER SHEET Stickers are no fun and I'm less good at applying them than I once thought. Luckily all of the stickers in this set go on tiles or sides of bricks, if that makes it any better. For those that like to use stickers for customization, this set offers some lovely designs. I wanted to stay true to the intent of the design, so I applied them all. PARTS & THE BUILD Straight outta the box come four numbered bags (still transitioning from the old design to the new), one larger and one smaller dark tan plate, and the agua/light bluish green slide. Doesn't feel like a whole lot, but I already love all that aqua. NOTE: I inevitably missed some interesting parts in (I think) every parts picture. I will do my best to highlight them in text. Also, while I will try to be as accurate as possible, a lot of these colors look very similar and I might muck up the names of them now and again. Feel free to correct me. Bag 1 If it wasn't clear to you already, this set is a bright-parts and recolor treasure trove. Certainly new and very exciting are the stem pieces in lavender. The plain heads in medium lavender, light royal blue (Chima Eris color), and whichever pink color that is are also pretty cool, and I think one or both of the flower colors I picked are new as well. I forgot to highlight the 2x2 round plates with center stud, aka round 2x2 jumpers, which come in dark azure and white. Feast your eyes on the piles for anything else I forgot. Bag 1 builds the outdoor celebration stuff and the beginnings of the Castle, including nice ice tile-age. I was a bit worried building the balloon decorations that use the lavender stems - too much force might break them, and even placing the heads atop the flowers felt dangerous. Placing all of the flowers outside the Castle gets a bit tedious, but the result is worth it. Bag 2 Bag 2 contains considerably less colorful goodness than Bag 1, but still plenty of goodness on the whole. The real standouts would have to be the small leaf pieces new in white. A little bit of purple, sand green, and shades of pink help liven things up, as well as those roof-topping pieces in light aqua. I picked out those two light/Barraki eye pieces to show that, while all four included should be the same color, the one I put on the left is a lighter shade than the other three (one of which is on the right). Odd. The parts in this bag basically finish off the first floor of the Castle, and include Anna. Applying the stickers, especially on the door, was a bit of a pain (and my fingerprints are now embedded in the set), but the designs do look nice. Bag 3 In Bag 3 we hit the blues, or really the trans blues and the light aquas. I have really loved that light aqua color ever since I first got it in the Cars Tokyo Pitstop set, and it's great to see all of the useful slopes in that color (which are all exclusive to this set for now, if Bricklink leads me true). I was quite surprised to see that the 1x6 tiles are in fact printed, which confounds me a bit even though three are included in the set. But heck, of course I'll take prints! At this point we've made a lot of progress on the Castle, though it still needs a fake 1-brick wide roof to top itself off. Bag 4 Getting over the wonderful explosion of aqua in this final bag, there are some other exclusive parts like those Scala dishes in dark bley and Chima fire wings cast in glitter trans-light blue veering on trans-clear. I have no idea why the trans 1x2 brick isn't trans-light blue seeing as it's used as a continuation of the windows. It's a pretty color on its own, but it doesn't make much sense. Surprise! The Castle is finished at the end of this final bag. Leftovers Some people hate eating leftovers, but we can all agree to appreciate LEGO leftovers (I hope). Lots of pretty things here, like another lavender stem and orange unicorn horn, as well as many wonderful colors of bits and bobs. MINIDOLLS & Other Characters As usual for Minidoll sets, not a lot of characters. Luckily, you only need to purchase the other new Frozen set to get the other characters necessary for the scene, so things could be worse (like having Jasmine but no Aladdin). I'm really mixed on the Elsa and Anna in this set. Nearly everything positive about them has a negative. The unique hairpieces are nice (including Anna's new one), but Elsa's still needs to be white and not blonde-ish. The detailing on the outfits looks lovely, but Elsa's doesn't match the color in the source material, which has much more blue in it. Elsa's face kind of works, but Anna's really doesn't remind me of her at all, even with the freckles. I wish LEGO would gives its Minidolls more expressive exp<b></b>ressions, especially in the Disney line where they represent expressive characters. I'm also not a fan of the huge flower and how it sits on Anna's hair, but Elsa's new crown looks good. Those hairpieces do have really great styling all around. Interestingly, Elsa's cape is longer than the minidoll body, so that it can 'flow.' The effect kind of works, though it makes her fall over sometimes since the cape is somewhat stiff. Both hairpieces also have a spot to attach another accessory on the back. The cape has a nice design, despite being the wrong color. Unlike a lot of Friends hairpieces which are quite voluminous, these more contained ones look right at home on minifigures. Ginny and Luna are trying out some new styles. The buildable figures round out the characters of the set. Olaf looks recognizable, but as others have pointed out he looks a bit off without the strands of hair. He just looks a little wrong. The little snow-things that Elsa coughs up (literally) are bundles of cuteness, though. Even a little hair printing on Olaf would've helped. ACCESSORIES Unusually, this set falls a little light in the true accessory department. We only get Loki's staff, a few cups, ice skates, a bow, glittery blue fire, and Harry's acceptance letter from Hogwarts. Some other parts used as decoration could instead be used as accessories, though, such as the water wings and LEGO's version of the Halo sword. Chima breastplate not included. FINISHED SET Here's everything you get - the Castle, the party stuff, the characters. The colors all go together quite well, creating a bright and lively set in wonderful pastels, which I greatly prefer to bright primaries. As I like to do, let me take you on the grand LEGO tour. Outdoor Decor For the outdoor party scene, we get a table with some foodstuffs, stools that make wonderful use of the old rocket tip piece, a gift, and some balloon ornaments. I've already mentioned how the balloon ornaments were a bit frightening to put together, but they look absolutely stunning when done. The cake is nowhere near the size of the cake in Frozen Fever, of course, but it does approximate the design at a tiny scale. The gift makes use of some cool new-ish parts, but is otherwise lackluster as it's quite small and only contains a bow. I hope Anna wanted a new bow. Removable Furniture For whatever reason, a chosen few items from the interior get attached via jumper plates and are thus easily removed. I'm not sure why anyone would want to remove the fireplaces, and I can't see how that facilitates more play, but there you have it. The sand green fireplace looks really lovely, while the white one is just ok. The color scheme of the white one doesn't strike me as very fireplace-y. The bed has a pleasant girly color scheme with lovely sticker designs. The interior looks a bit bare without the furniture, so I don't really recommend removing those pieces. What's really odd is that not all of the furniture is as easily removable. If everything came out easily, it would make more sense to me. The Castle - Exterior The designer has really done a splendid job making the Castle recognizable. If you Google Image 'Arendelle Castle' you'll find that this set is really not so accurate at all, but I'd say it doesn't matter since one look at this tells me what it is. It's like the difference between what you think a person looks like in your head and that person's appearance in real life - both represent the person. This Castle really looks quite right, and quite pleasing. Of course, the whole facade design does strike one as kind of odd. Even dead-on you can tell it's flat, but turn it just a little and it really starts to show. Since the whole design works on the principle of merely approximating the shape of Arendelle Castle, I'm not against the facade choice. The sloping roofs would have been hard to pull off with legal building techniques and looking good at this scale (by my estimation, anyway), and this way the Castle has both a good shape and a very open, playable interior. On the ground floor, the Chima wings work really well as Elsa's ice fountain sculptures (albeit at a very small scale, once again). The dark tan of the ground doesn't mesh very well with trans-light blue, but it's understandable that the designer wanted to differentiate the ground from the color of the Castle walls. The tiling does make posing minidolls quite easy. Looks, some of Anna's Friends have arrived to join the party! The only design choice on the outside that I don't really like is the lack of window glass in the upstairs side windows. I would think the design could have been altered just a little to accommodate some large window panes. This way, Anna can comically escape her icy sister. The Castle - Interior Here's an overview of the backside. It doesn't have an awful lot going on, especially on the lower level which is left with quite some empty space, but it does have enough for plenty of fun. On the right side of the ground floor we have a nice grandfather clock that reminds me a bit of the one in The Burrow (though all they have in common is that they are both clocks), some cheery flowers, a bright chez for Anna to lollygag about, and a painting on/in the wall. If the trapeze artist losing her shoe is some sort of reference, it's lost on me. There are ice skates in the clock (makes perfect sense), which have the unfortunate side of effect of forcing you to always have a container were you to re-use the stickered part. On the other side is a pretty stickered rug that ties the room together (literally, it's structural), and the sand green removable fireplace, re-instated in its rightful place. Elsa can sit by it to get warm, which I'm sure she loves to do. In the bedroom upstairs, I've painstakingly recreated the scene from Frozen Fever in which Elsa wakes up Anna. I hope you like my expert figure-posing skills. Another nice rug in here, by the way. Or perhaps it's Elsa's bedroom, and Anna would like to know if she wants to build a snowman. If not, Anna can make a quick getaway on the conveniently located slide. Speaking of the slide, it's the only real 'play feature.' Elsa does indeed slide around on ice in Frozen Fever, so it kind of works in the context of the scene, though I had to try many times to even get the figures to slide down so it doesn't really work as a toy thing. Oh well. Better than another spiral staircase, maybe? THE END I've already said a lot, so if you've read it all, I commend you. If you haven't, here's where I recap everything. Parts - This set is a tremendous parts pack, provided you like the sorts of colors on offer. There are exclusive re-colors to be had, the highlights of which would have to be the lavender stems, white foliage, and all of the aqua. Really great stuff there. Figures - As I detailed above, I have issues with these figures. The have pretty dresses, but there are problems. The hairpieces are quite good and usable on minifigures, which is a big plus. Unless you or your loved one is gaga about Frozen, I wouldn't buy this set for the figures by any means (especially since Olaf is coming in a polybag sometime). Design - Some may fault the facade design, but I don't. Overally, the model pleases the eye, and reminds one of the source material well. Tan and 'normal' shades work well with the aqua and pinks, coming together for a fun-looking and vibrant set. Price - Here's the one thing I haven't touched upon yet. Almost all of the Disney Princess sets seem a little overpriced, by five or ten dollars if we're talking USD (which I always am). This set would make a much better buy at 50 USD than 60, but even at 60 I can feel it. The Castle is almost substantial enough that 60 seems ok. I can't comment on the price in other parts of the world, which will be much higher as always, but perhaps the differences in price possibilities apply to your currency as well. Overall, I'd say this is a fun and worthwhile set, one that I would definitely recommend for your consideration either at full price or eventually for a few dollars/euros/yen less. Yours truly, CloneyO, signing off.