July 30, 2014

Filming LEGO Friends Jungle TV spots

   Behind-the-scenes look at the creation and filming of the LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue sets TV spots reveals the secret to smooth helicopter rotor blade rotation.
   Recently LEGO Club posted details and images on their "Inside Scoop" section about the making of these commercials.  We're sharing it here, so you won't miss it! (Plus, it provides great ideas for making your own brick films.)

   "Hi, Nina here! I’ve joined the Heartlake City girls ‘on set’ to find out how a LEGO® Friends TV commercial is made."
   “It’s a busy day at the jungle base. Emma and Stephanie have just saved a baby panda from drowning. They return him to base, where Andrea treats it. Suddenly the alarm sounds! Olivia and Matthew, who are in the watchtower, have spotted a bear cub on a bridge that has collapsed...“
(Look at all those Pandas!)
   It all starts out with a STORYLINE like this. Usually it’s a very short story with a beginning, middle and end. It also has to include whatever LEGO sets that need to be featured.
    Then the director will create a STORYBOARD with the team. This is a kind of mini-comic to show the camera crew what scenes they need to film. The story has extra details, such as what the girls are holding, but it’s told very quickly and isn’t always in full sentences!

   Finally, there is a SCRIPT that has all the talking – the dialogue and voice-overs – written down.

July 24, 2014

New 2014 LEGO Friends brick separator!

Those of us who have broken many finger nails trying to remove bricks from 'clutching' each other, in order to re-build another creation, always have a brick separator nearby.  The first ones were green, and the most recent are orange with an added technic axle shape at the end to push those pieces out when they are stuck.
Now LEGO Friends has a unique brick separator that is somewhat dolphin-shaped and is yellow, with a lovely printed wispy wing design on the side. [Edit: this may not be a LEGO certified product. Stay tuned ...]
It was first spotted in this product photograph (below) of the "1,000 Brick ZipBin Toybox" by Neat-Oh!  The brick separator, Friends bricks and a small set do not come with this storage product; although it can hold 1,000 bricks, unzips for build area with backdrop scenes, then zips back up with velcro secure lid and handles for easy transport.  That is really cool!

I hope this cute and ergonomically shaped brick separator ends up in Friends brick set boxes soon!
Take a look at the additional new 2014 storage items for LEGO Friends.

Thanks to Diane Farrell (co-owner of Neat-Oh!) for informing us the brick separator does not come with their products.
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FriendsBricks.com

July 12, 2014

Jungle Bench

 Just like all LEGO themes, Friends offers fun and clever alternate building ideas for the bricks that come in their sets.  Recently Maya noticed an alternate build for the First Aid Jungle Bike.  Then when I received my Club magazine with the Friends Special Edition I saw the instructions for a cute Jungle Bench and realized it's the same build that Maya found online. Since not every fan has access to Club magazines, here are the images for the building steps. [Click images to enlarge for better viewing.]



Even if you don't have an Orangutan, it's easy to use another animal and even substitute other colors.
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FriendsBricks.com

July 8, 2014

Review: Beach Hammock promo polybag

 

Beach Hammock 
Set # 5002113
Year of Release: 2014
29 pieces

This is a promotional set that I found on ebay the other day.





I don't know what event this polybag set will be distributed at, so I went ahead and bought it
while it's available. I paid about $6 including shipping.

So, here's the content of the set.




July 1, 2014

Building Challenge: Pop of Pink

Building Challenge: Pop of Pink
With your Friends bricks, elements, mini-dolls ~ Build a creation for this challenge to help make the color pink POP.
Save use of this color for some very special feature, item or action in your MOC.
Use any shade of pink from the Friends spectrum; juxtapose it against any other color in the Friends array.

- MOCs must be 'new' never before posted.
- Must consist of 'real' LEGO Friends parts, no clones.
- Any style: vignette, structure, place, setting, room, activity, landscape, etc.
- Post one image in this entry thread on Flickr, or on our Forum.
- Make your creation title so that viewers need to see it for the pink to pop in front of their eyes.
- Get your pink popping until July 31st!
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   *Feast your eyes on these final entries for this challenge!

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Friends Bricks

June 29, 2014

Book Review: LEGO Friends Character Encyclopedia





Here’s the book I have been looking forward to since the day I found out about it last year: LEGO Friend
Character Encyclopedia written by Catherine Saunders, published by DK Publishing.
The price in the US is $18.99.





It’s a big hardcover book and it has the volume worthy of an encyclopedia. However, upon a closer look,
you will notice that half of the thickness is due to the cardboard box attached to the back of the front
cover holding the special mini-doll.



June 27, 2014

LEGO Friends Magazine

Earlier this week, Susan made a post on our Friends Bricks Forum about the new magazine dedicated to LEGO Friends. According to the press release she provided, this magazine will be published by German company Blue Ocean Entertainment and available in various European markets. The monthly magazine will have 12 pages of stories, puzzles, and craft ideas, plus each issue will include an exclusive, original LEGO Friends Playset.

So that got me curious and I searched online.  I came across a few interesting images shared by noriart on flickr.



Note the Charlie mini-set that comes with this particular issue as well as the beach-themed mini-set that will accompany the following issue.

I have also seen the covers of the German, Dutch and UK English versions of the upcoming issue, which will come out in July.

I hope this magazine becomes available in the US, too!

June 24, 2014

LEGO Friends: Friends Are Forever DVD


 Good news for fans who enjoy LEGO Friends animated series! A LEGO Friends DVD (MSRP $14.99) will be released on August 26th in the US. The product details do not mention exactly what will be featured on the DVD, but since it will be 66 minutes long, I may be right in guessing it will contain three of the mini-movie episodes. Each mini-movie is exactly 22 minutes long.

Here are the first three mini movies that are available in various languages online as well as on DVD in some countries:

Episode 1: New Girl in Town
Episode 2: Stephanie's Surprise Party
Episode 3: Dolphin Cruise

Sometime soon this year, two more mini-movie episodes should be added to the series. Susan (aka LegoMyMamma) stumbled upon them and the lucky few of us got to watch them before the videos disappeared. I suppose we were not supposed to see them quite yet. Anyway, I hope it's okay to at least share the names of the new episodes we managed to find out:

Episode 4: Country Girls
Episode 5: Emma's Dilemma

My guess is the new DVD will feature Episodes 1-3. The mini movies can be watched online, but at the moment it is rather difficult to find all the entire episodes in one place, so I am certain some fans won't mind owning a LEGO Friends DVD.

June 19, 2014

LEGO Fusion and Friends Resort Designer

The new LEGO Fusion augmented reality interface with imaging real bricks via your handheld device using Qualcomm's Vuforia mobile vision platform allows builders to get a 3D version of what they are building.  "Real build, Virtual game" is how LEGO describes it.  Due to release in August, the sets contain around 200 bricks at a price of around $35, with the app download being free.
Interactive play has been a big part of LEGO Friends since its beginning in January 2012.  This inclusion in the LEGO Fusion line, along with other sets, such as Town Master, Battle Towers and Create & Race, demonstrates the evergreen aspects of the Friends theme.
LEGO Friends set is called Resort Designers:
Comes with 263 bricks and the 'special' code image that allows the device to build in 3D.  Create and build to add to your virtual world, then store on LEGO's cloud using your LEGO ID so you can go back to build more and play.

Video demo:
 

More info about the Fusion line on LEGO.com
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FriendsBricks.com

June 16, 2014

Jungle Boat #30115

LEGO Friends Jungle Boat (polybag #30115)

Olivia and the Jungle Boat - the build.  Hovercraft style.
LEGO Friends Jungle Boat polybag #30115 - Summer 2014

Thanks to the keen eye of Maya!
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FriendsBricks.com

June 9, 2014

Jungle Gear

Some of the Jungle Gear to complement the new Summer 2014 LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue sets:
LEGO Friends Jungle Tent Accessory Pack 850967
Jungle Tent Accessory Pack (#850967) - comes with Mini-Doll Nya, bricks, a puppy, and LEGO-fabric tent (similar to cape fabric and previous tents, such as those first introduced in Adventurers theme sets in 1998).
LEGO Friends Jungle Playmat #851325
Playmat with Jungle scenery for building sets and other creations on - reverse side is Heartlake City.
#851325
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FriendsBricks.com

June 1, 2014

Review: First Aid Jungle Bike



With her medical bag, shovel and trike, there’s no jungle emergency that Emma can’t deal with! Let’s take a closer look at the First Aid Jungle Bike.

The FriendsBricks community wishes to thank TLG’s CEE Team for generous support of this set to review and share with fans.

The front of the box shows Emma going to the rescue of the orangutan, who seems to be caught in rockslide. I hope she gets there before he gets buried under all those 1x1 bricks!



The back of the box shows how the main features of the set, with Emma desperately shovelling away the bricks to rescue the orangutan and then tending to his injuries on the bike.



Inside the box is one loose instruction booklet and three un-numbered parts bags. No stickers in this set, which seems to make it the odd one out in the jungle subtheme.



May 31, 2014

Review: Jungle Falls Rescue



Will Olivia get to the tiger cub before he is swept away into the rapids, or will Olivia be too engrossed in her lunch to notice the cub’s plight? Will the life preserver do the job? And what is hiding behind the falls? Let’s take a closer look at the Jungle Falls Rescue!

The FriendsBricks community wishes to thank TLG’s CEE Team for generous support of this set to review and share with fans.

The front of the box shows Olivia in action, having found her way onto the rocks in the water to rescue the tiger cub.



The jungle theme of this wave of Friends sets is reflected in the box art, with the bamboo trim on the flanges, top banner and the mini doll image. 

The back of the box shows us what we can expect to find in the box, highlighting the playing features and accessories. The Trans-Neon Green rock crystal features in quite a few of the shots here, but it is actually hidden in the build.  I’m still pondering the purpose of the rock crystal in this set!



Inside the box are two parts bags, one instruction booklet, a 16x16 plate in Medium Azure, two Lime vine pieces and a slightly curled sticker sheet.



I was surprised to find two of the new flexible vine pieces in the box, as the outside of the box shows only one in the set. I think this is possibly the best “extra” part I have ever seen!

Review: Heartlake Shopping Mall



Summer is near, it’s that time of the year again! Let’s go for a stroll down at Heartlake City shopping mall. Our friends might need to buy some new clothes, sporting goods, or they just may want to hang out and go window-shopping, or take advantage of the many activities available there, from the photo booth to the music scene… all in a bright and colourfull atmosphere!

The FriendsBricks community wishes to thank TLG’s CEE Team for generous support of this set to review and share with fans.


Box art:



When looking at the front of the box, you are a little overwhelmed by all that’s going on. We can see some buildings in the back, many small elements in front. But wait, there is also a cool looking car and four minidolls! Even when holding the box in your hands (it is almost as big as a Lego Creator Expert set, you know, modular buildings and such) it is hard to settle on one specific detail!

On the back, the image of the building modules side by side without the other elements suddenly makes the set look a lot smaller. And the small side images show only a fraction of what you can do with this toy. I think the idea here is to get our attention but still keep room for suspense and fun surprises while building the set. There would be no way to show all the details anyway. So without further ado, let’s open the box, already!

Box content:



There are eight numbered bags, in another one are some large plates, and all the paper goods are neatly stored in yet another bag, secured with cardboard reinforcement. It has happened to me before to open boxes only to find all crumbled up sticker sheets. So this is a nice attention.

When opening up the non numbered bags, we find a total of six baseplates plus two smaller plates, two sticker sheets and four numbered booklets.

Bag n°1:



It looks like we are going to start with the smaller elements of the set.

May 29, 2014

Review: Andrea's Mountain Hut


Explore parts of Clear Spring Mountain with Andrea!
After a day hiking, help her build the mountain hut so she can enjoy a toasted marshmallow
and relax surrounded by nature.
Entertain a woodland critter while setting up the campfire!


The FriendsBricks community would like to thank TLG's CEE Team generous support of this set to review and share with fans.

Box front:
Overlooking the heart-shaped lake, from up on the side of Clear Spring Mountain, just outside Heartlake City.


Box back:
Shows Andrea studying a map; where the sneaky squirrel hides when Andrea is resting on the hut's daybed; nature photography; the campfire for heating water to purify for drinking, and later toasting a marshmallow.


Box contents: Large bag, small bag, one instruction booklet; no stickers.

May 27, 2014

LEGO Friends Series 6 Animal Packs

LEGO Friends Series 6 Animal Packs:
LEGO Friends Seal on Rock 41047
LEGO Friends Seal on Rock #41047

LEGO Friends Lion cub in the Savanna 41048
LEGO Friends Lion cub in the Savannah #41048
LEGO Friends Panda in the Bamboo 41049
LEGO Friends Panda in the Bamboo #41049
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May 26, 2014

Review: Jungle Rescue Base



Whether it’s a bump on the head or something more serious, the Jungle Rescue Base is the first port of call for sick and injured jungle animals!  Let’s take a closer look at the central base for all the jungle rescues!

The FriendsBricks community wishes to thank TLG’s CEE Team for generous support of this set to review and share with fans.

The front of the box shows the three main components of the set - the control centre, living quarters and amenities block - as well as the Friends that run the base - Stephanie and Andrea.

The jungle theme of this wave of Friends sets is reflected in the box art, with the bamboo trim on the flanges, top banner and the mini doll image.  In a way this sets the jungle theme aside from the other sets, almost like a sub theme.

The back of the box shows us what we can expect to find in the box, highlighting the playing features and accessories. It also shows this set can be combined with three more of the jungle wave sets (#41033, #41036 and #41032) to make one mega jungle set!  I’m looking forward to having a go at this.


I don’t really understand why Stephanie gets the feature image on the top right hand corner, given both mini-dolls in this set are from the five main Friends.

Inside the box were two instructions booklets, four numbered bags with parts, one additional bag with large parts and a sticker sheet.   Actually, there were two identical sticker sheets, both of which were badly curled. However, you’ll have to take my word for it, as I had a minor photography disaster and don’t have images of the box contents as a whole or of the curled sticker sheets.  I also thought I was missing an instructions booklet, but the smaller booklet was tucked away inside the larger one.

Both instruction booklets have the same main image as the box cover. The instructions are easy to follow even for the younger fans, with parts lists for each step.

May 21, 2014

Review: Olivia's Ice Cream Bike



Olivia has installed her ice cream bike near what could be a public square with a fountain;
or is it a park? Her front yard? Let your imagination decide and pick your favorite flavour!

The FriendsBricks community wishes to thank TLG’s CEE Team for generous support of this set to review and share with fans.

BOX ART, front and back:


BOX CONTENT:


At first glance there seems to be a pretty classic array of pieces and colours. I can already see some log bricks, those are always nice! What strikes me immediately and really makes my day: there is not a single sticker!

May 19, 2014

2014 Advent Calendar #41040

First look at LEGO Friends Advent Calendar for 2014 - set #41040 contains 228 pieces/bricks to build daily surprises.
LEGO Friends 2014 Advent Calendar #41040 box front
Box art on front
LEGO Friends Advent Calendar 2014 items #41040 built out of 228 pieces
Daily surprises to build! Lots of neat furniture designs and clever gift boxes! Even better than last year's!
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FriendsBricks.com

Review: Summer Caravan #41034



   Drive the Summer Caravan to a lovely spot on Clear Spring Mountain, overlooking 
Heartlake City!
   There you can help Olivia and Joanna set up camp. Enjoy the flora & fauna, then set up your
picnic table to cook lunch.
   Let's see how well-equipped this new car and camper are for Summer 2014!


The FriendsBricks community would like to thank TLG's CEE Team generous support of this set to review and share with fans.



Box front - A view of Heart Lake from atop Clear Spring Mountain



Box back - take a look inside this fun camper!



Box contents: 2 bags, 2 instruction booklets, sticker sheet; back of booklet #2 shows screencaps of LEGO Friends video game.



Inside instructions shows what each bag builds.



Bag 1:

LEGO Friends have been fortunate to have several cars already. The new part
in this car build is the Medium Azure Slope, 45-degree 3x1 Inverted Double.

The Hinge Train Gate 2 x 4 Locking in dark stone (found in LEGO Train sets) is new to Friends.