As you can see from the above image, this set includes much more than just a car, a trailer,
and a boat! There is a whole beach themed area to explore. I especially love the juice bar! It's completely unexpected, and is integrated very well here.
Below is the front of the box. It has the typical Friends themed design, with five BFF's at the top right.
This set includes TWO mini dolls, Andrea and Emma! There is also a small green turtle included, easily missed, as it is poorly positioned just to the left of the boat dock in the above image.
The back of the box features the vehicles very well. It also shows a number of beach worthy activities like keeping well hydrated, enjoying the shade, roasting hot dogs over a beach camp fire, and listening to a friend play guitar.
The sides of the box do not contain anything unexpected, so lets just skip those images. All of the good stuff is on the front and back.
This set exceeded my expectations for playability.
The main focus of this set is Andrea's Convertible, Boat Trailer, and the Speed boat. If these were the only items included in this set it would be enough to keep kids engaged for hours. However, this set also comes with a boat dock, juice bar, lounge chairs, hotdogs, fire pit, and a cute green turtle! Imagine all the additional play possibilities!
I am sure that the Lego company considered releasing a smaller set with just the car, trailer, boat, and perhaps a single mini-doll. This configuration is an obvious choice and would have retailed for a lower price. I don't think Lego chose to go this route, as there are already many other vehicle focused Lego sets at about the same size, and already available. Instead, they chose to include a "beach themed" area, complete with many interesting features, to suggest a wider range of play options, rather than just moving vehicles around.
Inside the box are 2 instruction booklets, 1 sticker sheet, a tan plate, and 3 numbered parts bags.
After opening the bags and checking out all the neat parts, I decided the ones in the image below were the most interesting ones to me...
I am always thinking about how I would use various parts in my own Lego creations, and these parts jumped out at me for inspiring new ideas.
I did a little research and determined that there is only ONE NEW PART in this set:
Friends Magenta Top with White Polka Dots and Bow
The Minifig Utensil - Ski 6L. This is only the second time this part has been available in Magenta. The last time it was released was with the Minifig Collection Edition 8 - Downhill Skiier back in 2012.
41313 Heartlake Summer Pool.
After organizing the parts bags, I opened instruction Booklet One, which shows what things you will build using each bag:
The two mini dolls included are Andrea and Emma. Each is appropriately dressed for a fun filled summer day:
As I started building this set, I was pleased (as always) with the well laid out instructions, typical of all Friends sets
The car is built from the center area outwards. Their are no plates running the length of the car, which is a bit unusual, but it all works out.
The only thing that really got my attention was how the water ski's are attached to the boat trailer. The skis are placed with their bottom sides together, and then they are both snapped onto a 2x1 plate with clip.
It only works where the ski's have little bumps just ahead of the stud (used to secure the mini-doll feet).
This is the first time I have understood that their is a purpose for these little bumps. Until now I thought they were purely decorative.
After completing instruction Booklet 1, I had successfully built all of these items, ready for action!
Skipping to the end of Booklet 2, you will have built the entire beach area, including a boat dock, juice bar with gazebo, fire pit, and a lounging area.
Their are quite an impressive number of extra pieces provided:
A quick review of the instruction manuals reveals all the typical advertisements, parts lists, etc, that you come to expect from Lego.
There is also a page showing some of the other Summer 2017 Friends Sets, suggesting additional play options:
I hope the hospital is used primarily for treating the occasional minor sun burn and dehydrated patient.
Here is another quick view of Andrea's convertible:
The car does looks fairly nice, with that snazzy paint job. I really like the two stickers on the hood and trunk, as they add a racing flare to the vehicle. The inclusion of some parts in light Aqua is also always appreciated.
When I look at the overall build, I feel that a few simple updates could make this car even better than it is. I'd suggest upgrading the headlights and mirrors to start.
The speedboat is also a fairly simple design, but also looks very nice:
The placement of the tow line connection, mini doll seating area, and and propeller, all interfere with each other making it difficult to sit the a mini doll down. Even though this boat has room for two, the central position is the only one that makes sense for the driver, but the seating design makes it impossible to secure the mini doll in this position, and the doll will fall out when the boat is moved. A few minor changes would have made it easier to secure the boat's captain.
Here is one last look at everything you get with this set:
Each of the vehicular components go well together, didn't take too long to build, and were satisfying to complete, but they all fell a little short when it came to the final product. The car could use a little more attention to detail, the boat needs improvements in the seating arrangements, and the trailer is simply too simple. I expected a little more than this, and suspect compromises had to be made to get everything included with the relatively small number of parts.
On the other hand I felt the beach area was fantastic. There is a bunch of little details all packed into a very small area, and I appreciate each one.
When considering this set from a purely play-ability perspective, I'd say it is definitely a keeper.
I would recommend getting this set if you are the type of person who is interested in playing with it, and not too concerned with its display value or the basic vehicle details.