February 14, 2018

Review: 41340 Friendship House


The magic of Friendship can turn an old fire station into a Friendship House!

This set was provided by The LEGO Group; Review opinions presented here have not been influenced in any fashion.


Box front - Lovely new Heartlake City background buildings apparently in a new 'district' of the city.


Box back - Shows lots of activity in this newly acquired clubhouse.
This is the first year that images of the box back have been placed onto LEGO's shop site.


Box top - New graphics for 2018 along with new versions of most of the mini-dolls.




Box side - New parts, graphics, LEGO Life information, and it looks like Rumble is chasing a teapot, hot dog, juice and popcorn!
Certainly good exercise motivation :-)


Box side - Great use of this large side panel, to capture the house in a slice.


Box contents: 2 firefighter poles, instruction book, sticker sheet, baseplate and slide sections bag, and 6 parts bags


Baseplates and slide parts bag


Sticker sheet: Note the sticker #12 - Icons recognize all 5 original Friends: Gear (Olivia), Trophy (Stephanie), Music notes sculpture (Andrea), Whistle for animal training (Mia), and the Maneki-neko (Emma), a common Japanese figurine [lucky charm, talisman] which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. In modern times, they are usually made of ceramic or plastic. The figurine depicts a cat [traditionally a calico] beckoning with an upright paw. This also explains the Calico cat in the poster on the tree, as well as it being rescued by Olivia in 41333.


Front cover of Instructions Book (162 pages) and a crop of Emma on the back cover; still the pre-2018 Emma with green eyes,
instead of new brown eyes.


Bag 1 contents

First you build Olivia: the new 2018 "2nd Gen" Olivia has glasses now, an olive complexion, and lovely brow-to-side braid.

Then Emma: 2018 Emma has a slight eye shape change as well a color to brown.


Everything Bag 1 builds: Tool trailer attached to the bike, tool rack, and Tree with swing and a poster for Vicky's missing cat -- who is found in Olivia's Mission Vehicle 41333.
Stephanie's puppy Dash (same element mold as Scout from 41300) get a dish with a bone.
These medium azure tools have only been in one other set, Olivia's Creative Lab.


Bag 2 contents


Everything Bag 2 parts build - front: Slide, mailbox with an "I <3 HLC" postcard, walkway, small garden and enclosure for the bunny Cinnamon. You can see the "new for 2018" pink flowers, and the new thicker curved leaf design under the new 5-petal red flower, which also comes in orange, green, and white in this set.


Everything Bag 2 parts build - back: Front arched doorway leads to the Kitchen with a wall rack for shoes, keys, and other hanging items - all on a sticker with the Heartlake City Fire emblem. The Kitchen at this point has a microwave, frig, sink with green soap dispenser, top grill and oven stove with top burners (insert shows more detail of Soda can, Popcorn, and Pizza slices on a baking pan).


Bag 3 contents


Building the garage door - instructions illustrate with the medium stone grey 1x14 with groove bricks that the assembled door rides along.


Everything built by adding bag 3 parts - inside back - Rumble's habitat and spinning wheel, plus you can see the Kitchen has filled in.


Everything built by adding bag 3 parts - front: You can see inside the garage at the fun details of oil drips!


Bag 4 contents


Andrea is built; her 2018 "2nd Gen" version has brown eyes and soft dreadlocks sweeping across her brow.
After all the controversy of 2018 changes, once you are face-to-face with a new mini-doll the past melts a bit, because she is so endearing!


First true "module" built so far with bag 4 parts - inside: Sticker #12 goes on panel above wardrobe with icons to recognize all 5 original Friends: Gear (Olivia), Trophy (Stephanie), Music notes sculpture (Andrea), Whistle for animal training (Mia), and the Maneki-neko (Emma), a common Japanese figurine [lucky charm, talisman] which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner. In modern times, they are usually made of ceramic or plastic. The figurine depicts a cat [traditionally a calico] beckoning with an upright paw. This also explains the Calico cat in the poster on the tree, as well as it being rescued by Olivia in 41333.


First true "module" built so far with bag 4 parts - inside: The table surrounded by seats for all 5 original Friends in their represented colors (pink/Olivia, green/Mia, blue/Stephanie, yellow/Andrea, and purple/Emma); the brick-built white Heart on the table is probably one of my favorite aspects so far! The scissors get placed next to it later, so it's fair to say it's a folded-cut heart.
Of course, the "I <3 HLC" cup evoked a "squee" from me :-)


The Whole first true "module" built so far with bag 4 parts and the top pink baseplate with 5 sleeping mats added. Each sleeping mat represents one of the original 5 Friends - from left to right: Olivia (pink / techie print of circuits and gears [new icon for her, was heart]), Emma (purple / artsy print [pre-2018 it was a flower]), Stephanie (blue / star), Mia (green / lightning bolts [new icon for her, was paw print], and Andrea (yellow / Music note).


Everything we build with parts from Bag 2 through 4 - backside: Second floor added; Rumble the hamster is getting ready to 'spin' after munching down in the habitat; the upstairs wardrobe opens to a stickered panel of clothes, its design reminds me of Beauty and the Beast; the Kitchen gained a Pizza box (stickered, although lovely design) on the table, and classic Friends juice.


Everything we build with parts from bags 2 through 4 - front: The fire station alarm bell, horizontal tilt window, garage door,
balcony ready for Andrea, and Cinnamon is still in her enclosure (whew!), even though there's a newly installed pet door.


Bag 5 contents


Front view of the house with everything parts from bag 2 though bag 5 build: Deck has chairs, grill with hot dog,
with one in a bun in between the lounger chairs, speakers and purple heart decorate the balcony.


Side view at this point.


Back-side you can see the hamster habitat, the room with sleeping mats now has a TV ... or is it just? ;-)


Aha, not just a TV -- it conceals a secret mission locator screen so the Friends know how to locate others in Heartlake City.


Bag 6 contents


Front view of the completed house: The winch for lifting stuff to the top deck is installed, as is the telescope, and Firefighter's sliding pole (which only looks slightly leaned because it inserts
between 2 studs on the top).


Back-inside view shows the heart-shaped rooftop pool, a place to tuck the book [sticker #25] next to the ladder for the telescope perch.
Inside the craft room, we place the purple laptop, "I <3 HLC" cup and insert new pen, add scissors and green camera.
No photos I could take would do justice to the new pen and cup design, they are best in person :-)


All the extra pieces from all the bags, plus one extra Firefighter's pole / Amusement Park pole, which was in the box.


One more look at the finished build -- after all the creative renovations of that old Fire Station - it's ready for Friends!

Starting with the rooftop, each level's color (aside from tan) represents one of the core Friends; it would be great to have all 5 Mini-dolls in this set (needing Mia and Stephanie), however, this is the typical LEGO formula. Plus, it keeps it at a lower price point. Inverted slopes and other combinations create this structure as very stable -- I can say this, having experienced moving it around to different surfaces -- you just have to mind a few playable loose pieces. This could easily be made into a Modular house with a few tiles for easy releasing of baseplates. Expanding on many of the existing concepts, such as heart-shaped pool on the rooftop, can be done by the builder. It's so jam-packed with activity-related spaces, that for those to be in greater detail out of the box, this set would be quite large and push it into another price bracket.

While building this, my advice is to take your time and enjoy all the small, thoughtful details. Even though I was taking photographs throughout mine, I still felt like I was seeing some things for the first time as I looked though my images. I tried to mention lots of clever and fun details in my written review, yet, forgive me if I missed a detail you were looking forward to seeing. I could probably take 35 more photos and still not capture all the building details and play possibilities. It is a House of Funship!

Note: All parts noted from Brickset's inventory.

4 comments:

Melody Silverleaf said...

This is absolutely too cool! I love all the rooms and features. There is one detail I would nit pick; however, as the firehouse was converted to a friendship house the little dog is a-okay. If it were still a firehouse, then he should be a dalmatian pup.

Olivia is so pretty in this outfit. I kind of wish the "outifts" had sleeves. It's hard for me to find mini dolls and figures for the winter months of my calendar rebuild. :-) Guess I need to get some of the ski lodge before it disappears.
~Xyra

Rebecca said...

My daughter Abby (Lego Cookie Cupcake)thinks that a lot of what is in this set was inspired by her (and probably other) contest entries from last year's Friends contest. This was def at the top of our shopping list on January 1st when it was released though. It's interesting to see how many ideas from the contest entries are incorporated into this set. Abby counted 7 or 8 things from her contest entry that appear here.

Anonymous said...

This is just really adorable set!!! Thank you that you mentioned the pets' names - I didn't notice some of them, so it's really useful for me. Btw, has anyone noticed that the flowers on the swing-tree (how I myself call it xD) are also coloured in 5 Friends colours? What a lovely detail!!!
I still can't be ok with "just changing the Friends", but I think that I'll get this for Christmas, take the "new Olivia, Emma and Andrea" as another minidolls with similar name (Andrea - Audrey etc.) to keep Our Old Friends the same, and it'll be their base.

Thanks again for all!!!
BL0NDwAvE

Suzanne Eaton said...

Great review. I enjoyed building this set recently - But I had totally totally missed that those were oil stains in the garage. Hahaha! Good catch.

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