Stephanie's Rehearsal Stage - Review
I like the set a lot. First of all it's playability has taken me back to early childhood. And on a creative point of view, it has a lot of neat pieces to offer.
Box content: two baggies, one 16x16 plate, a sticker sheet (x2) and instructions booklet.
Let's begin by opening up bag n°1. First photo is the content, followed by content of the inner baggie. All the purple is already making my mouth water.
Set contains one minidoll, Stephanie. It's often the case for smaller sets. Here, as it turns out, this is one of the larger sets of the first wave of 2013 LEGO Friends, besides for Heartlake City pool.
A closer look at Stephanie, with her guitar. It's another electric guitar, but a new unreleased shape. I was a little disappointed at the lack of variety in our minidolls' wardrobes in the two first waves of Friends. In 2013, although differences in skin colour make it sometimes difficult to fully personalise their clothing, The Lego Company must have decided to shake things up. I'm thinking of Mia in her magician suit (41001), Emma in a kimono (41002), Stephanie in her soccer jersey (41011) and of course our friends in swimsuits, in the swimming pool (41008) and in the water scooter fun set (41000). Here, Stephanie is more or less wearing a tutu.
We start with the little changing room, a rather simple construction for a pretty convincing result. I'd like to note that toy companies have made a real effort in the making of mirror stickers in comparison to what existed in my childhood. In the olden days, the reflections looked more like a kaleidoscope!
With the rest of the first bag, we start making the base of the rehearsal studio. This is what we get, with already a nice little number of spare parts. Loudspeakers are the exact same as the ones in the Heartlake City pool. Some pieces already announce playability. Looks like it's going to turn!!
Content of bag n°2 and again, detail of the inner baggie. A lot of purple again!
The studio base is finished. One element is still missing.
Let's add our little purple plate to our base and here is the last of the construction. Another nice amount of spare parts.
Let us now talk about playability. One of the reasons that lead me to write this review is that I think I would have LOVED this set as a child. The rehearsal studio that can be either for music or for dance is just great. And the fact that our dear Stephanie can spin around the front of the stage reminds me of old fashioned musical boxes, enough to make any little girl dream. Of course, the twirly whirly aspect also reminds me of the various merry-go-rounds that were available in the Fabuland line, which also takes me back to my childhood, since it is exactly my generation. I couldn't count the hours that I spent spinning, spinning and spinning some more, sometimes even with Playmobil characters, but shh, that's a secret!
In order to set the scene a little, I invited over Mia and Andrea to spend the afternoon with Stephanie. The more the merrier and as I said before, since this is one of the larger sets in the first wave of 2013 LEGO Friends, it is a pity that Stephanie winds up all by herself. But that is the case in most Friends sets. They usually portray one of the five main minidolls in her own surroundings. You thus need to buy several sets in order for our dolls to have other friends. In the sets that contain more than one figurine, the other(s) is/are always exclusive to that one set: secondary friends, parents, veterinary etc.
Now, on a MOC-er point of view, this set in indeniably interesting for its parts. While the Friends line in general suffers the reputation of being too colourfull, too flashy, too girly, one must admit that most of the sets are in fact based on one dominant colour, usually white or tan, and in the end contain very little colourfull pieces, except for the accessories. Here apparently this set contains 50% of all the dark purple that came out in all of the Friends sets altogether. I haven't verified, but it is the first time I see so many bricks of all types in "Friends colours": medium lavender, dark purple, medium azure, bright pink, bright light orange. Only magenta remains very limited, and it's my favourite. I'll take revenge on Emma's sports car this summer (41013).
These photos are just to show that even though this set is shy in magenta, TLC offers one 1x6 plate that barely shows in the finished product. It's not much, but still appreciated.
Now with all that, if you still don't want to buy Stephanie's rehearsal studio, you must not be a big fan of purple!
Piece count: 198
Review in her native French language: http://fujiia.canalblog.com/archives/2013/02/24/26488292.html
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