February 3, 2014

Stephanie's Beach House Review

Stephanie's Beach House Review
by Kristel 
 

Whether your perfect weekend revolves around sitting back and relaxing by the water’s edge or something more adventurous like windsurfing, Stephanie’s Beach House is the place to hang out on those beautiful summer days in Heartlake City.

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



The box front.


Box back.




Inside the box, we find:
  • 2 instructions booklets
  • 16 x 16 Tan plate
  • 8 x 16 Tan plate
  • 8 x 16 Medium Azure plate
  • sticker sheet

There are also four numbered bags with parts.


Here are the contents of Bag 1.

The interesting parts in the first bag are the surfboard, which is found in Magenta for the first time.   There’s also a crate in Medium Dark Flesh, which was first introduced in that colour in The Lone Ranger sets.


This first bag of parts creates the base for the set.  Even without the beach house, I can see myself sitting on those deck chairs enjoying the view out over the ocean!.


The crate with the hair accessories seems a little unnecessary for this set, but a girl can never have enough accessories, right? And there are plenty of good uses for the crate!

Let’s take a closer look at the windsurfer.


The box for this set shows Stephanie holding the windsurf by the vertical bar, which seems a bit awkward to me. I’m no windsurfer but it seems more natural to hold it by the horizontal bar. Unfortunately for our Kate, this means she looks like she’s either battling a strong wind or continually picking up the fallen windsurfer sail.

There have been windsurfers before (see, for example, the Belville Surfer’s Paradise (set 5847)), but this is the first appearance in a Friends set. I presume the reference to HLC-37 on the unique sail is a combination of Heartlake City and the last two digits from the set number.

This brings us to the second bag of parts:


Bag 2 is more diverse in its selection of parts and is loaded with parts in Friends colours including Bright Light Yellow, Bright Pink and Medium Lavender. There’s also a number of 1x4 bricks in Dark Pink, which were are not so easy to come by.

I love the tall windows with three panes! There’s a total of four in this bag, with more to come later. Yummy!

Bag 2 also has a nice selection of food pieces, including an apple, banana and two cream cones, as well as accessories such as the cupboard, plate, mugs and goblets.


Bag 2 completes the ground floor of Stephanie’s Beach House.   I really like the little flower pots lining the stairs, although I am a little concerned about the lack of a handrail!

I appreciate not everyone is a fan of stickers, but I quite like the one on the outside here near the stairs, as it adds to the summer feel of this set for me.


I thought the use of the goblets as the posts for the kitchen stools was quite neat.   This is only possible recently with the introduction of the round tile with a round bit in the back instead of the cross.   This is a great improvement to this piece, making it much more versatile, and I expect we’ll be seeing it used for stools in a few MOCs.

The wall area behind the kitchen is lacking in detail and really needs much more than the little sticker! There is also a 1x4 Bright Pink tile sitting between the back wall and the kitchen, which seems to serve no purpose other than to guide the builder as to where the kitchen cabinets should start.

This brings us to Bag 3:


The third bag also has a great selection of parts, including one of the new bowl pieces in White, the little 1x2 curved slopes in White and the yummy bricks in Bright Light Yellow.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture the true colour of the Bright Light Yellow panels and bricks, which is particularly evident in this shot. However, it is rapidly becoming a favourite colour of mine.

Bag 3 starts the second floor:


The orange round tiles in this bag are the older style, with the “x” underneath. No orange bar stools then, but it does make for an interesting toilet!

I was quite confused by the click hinge plate sitting halfway up the wall! (See 4th photo below for its usage.)


This particular angle also shows the media player tile in its dock. Ah, long gone are the days of the tape deck.

The contents of the fourth and final bag of parts:


All these pieces made sense to me when I was laying them out for the shot, except the trans-black panels. I guess that is what happens when you don't  pay a lot of attention to the box (I’m more of a rip it open and get straight into kind of girl).

I also wondered why we had another saucepan in this final bag, but of course we hadn’t finished the shower!


The palm leaf is strategically placed to give some privacy to those using the bathroom.


The click hinges allow you to convert the lounge to bunk beds. I imagine it would be more comfortable watching the TV from the top bunk, rather than straining your neck!

Time for a closer look at Stephanie and Kate:


The only new part in the mini dolls is Stephanie’s hair piece, which is her trademark Bright Light Yellow hair in a ponytail with a Dark Pink visor. The striped top has been worn by Mia previously in the Dolphin Cruiser (41015). Stephanie’s legs assembly with Magenta skirt with Black thongs has been seen on Isabella in the Heartlake City Pool (41008) as well as Maya in the Dolphin Cruiser (41015).

I love the bikini top that Kate is wearing. This is the same torso as Kate has in Water Scooter Fun (41000). The legs assembly with Light Aqua skirt and Magenta shoes is new for Kate, but has been in quite a few sets before, including for Sarah in the Butterfly Beauty Shop (3187), Nicole in the Adventure Camper (3184) and on Andrea in the City Park Cafe (3061), Birthday Party (30107), Andrea at the Beach (30100) and Andrea’s Bunny House (3938).

I feel the sarong should have been on Kate and the skirt on Stephanie, but mixing and matching in this case isn’t an option.


There’s quite a few spare pieces left, the most interesting being the bright pink and reddish brown ice cream swirls. I was surprised that I had two spare taps, but I double checked and am pretty sure I didn’t miss one in the build.

Another look at the completed build:


Overall, I consider this to be a great little set for the way it looks and the selection of parts.  Not necessarily a lot of new or unique parts, but a nice parts pack nevertheless.  In terms of playability, I must admit I didn't see the appeal, but then I'm not really the target audience for the playability aspects.  So, in the words of my nearly 7 y.o. daughter:
"I like the bed, the TV, the pop up roof and the windsurfer.  I also like the seats because they can go down and the people can lay down.  I don't like the toilet near the window because if you want the palm leaf down that wouldn't be good.  It is impossible to get to the toilet."

Thanks for reading! 

Note: All exclusive parts mentioned in the colors noted were applicable at the time this review was posted. Parts may be available in other colors and sets after the post of this review. Brickset and BrickLink were use to verify this information.
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