April 29, 2018

Review: 41329 Olivia's Deluxe Bedroom

Clever builder Olivia is at it again and this time she has re-invented her room as a high-tech playground.

This set was provided by the AFOL Engagement of The LEGO Group for the purpose of sharing set details with fans. Opinions provided here solely reflect those of our reviewer. Photographs are property of Friends Bricks and are not directed by TLG in any fashion.

This kit is part of a series of sets, each featuring one of the girls in her bedroom. Two others were released in January (Stephanie’s [41328] and Mia’s [41327]), and two more are expected in the second wave of 2018 sets. Each is quite distinct and reflects the character’s interests. Olivia, being our “gizmo guru,” has filled her room with techy contraptions. Her small robot friend, Zobito, is here. He has a few control stations and an “elevator” up to his own shelf.

The color scheme, of dark pink, light yellow, and dark azure is distinctly Olivia’s this year. The same colors are used in her Mission Vehicle [41333]. Having worked in print publishing, I'm reminded of the cyan, magenta and yellow of the process color palette (CMYK). 

Taking a look at the box, the front shows Friends branding that’s been updated for 2018. The five girls are illustrated together with their hands in a stack to form a heart shape. In the lower right corner, we see Olivia’s portrait, framed by a dark pink 8-toothed gear. The gear has become her associated symbol now, replacing the heart which moved on to become the group's symbol.

This is a good photo of the completed set, except that the faded art shown above her pillow is actually a clear window. 

Background art makes me think Olivia’s room is up high, amid skyscrapers in Heartlake City. I see a construction crane out the window, which has a space-themed shade. That wall is angled, as if she’s living on the top floor, and two posters are on her wall. One appears to be of Pluto, with it’s appropriately heart-shaped area (Tombaugh Regio). The other is a science-y poster with an atom symbol. It reminds me of her green t-shirt from a few years back.

The back of the box shows Zobito’s “elevator” in action and some play scenarios. There is a visual explanation of figure assembly and illustrations of both the group of girls (lower left) and Olivia alone (upper right). In the latter, we get a nice view of her necklace, some matching bracelets, and a wristwatch. 

The box sides contain required fine print. We are warned about small parts in no less than thirty-three different languages and told the parts’ countries of origin. There’s also an ad for the LEGO Life app and an actual-size minidoll picture for scale. 

One side (left) shows a special tall-and-skinny peek at the set. These photos are new this year and I love them! My box's top face also has some special photography: a montage of parts from the set, arranged in an abstract pattern. This gives it a festive and creative feel.

Seeing these sides in combination makes reaching for the box feel like grabbing a handful of confetti candy. Seriously, I feel an irresistible sugar rush coming off this box-top! Sadly, the North American packaging took a different route, putting fine print on top.

Inside the box, we have four un-numbered bags, an 8x8 dark pink plate, a sticker sheet, and an instruction booklet that’s been folded in half.

Here’s a breakdown of the bag contents:

Below is a quick look at just what’s new. I am super happy to get more of these updated flower elements. The “I [heart] HLC” mug is cute and appears in a bunch of 2018 Friends sets. The printed white computer tablet is fantastic! Honestly, it’s hard to be a kid today without regular access to some kind of tablet device, so it feels appropriate to see this accessory added. It’s also available in Olivia’s Mission Vehicle [41333]. 

This minidoll of Olivia is a duplicate of the one found in the Friendship House [41340], Olivia’s Satellite Pod [853774], and Olivia’s Remote Control Boat [30403] (a polybag set). The character’s face, skin tone, and hair have been redesigned for 2018. I like her eyeglasses!

She wears a pale yellow skirt and simple shoes. Her top has a conservative look of a collared shirt and dark pink sweater with belt. Her back is plain. The necklace she wears, a fun collection of gears, reminds me (in a good way) of steampunk jewelry I’d find on Etsy. 

Zobito has appeared before, in Olivia’s Creative Lab [41307], of last year. This new version has some modifications, including a transparent pink neck plate (was trans. light blue) and the robot “hands” are now both light gray (instead of one being dark gray). A black control stick has also been added. I wasn’t sure if this should be positioned up, like an antenna, or down, like Zobo’s rear wheel. Box art depicts it a number of ways.

Ok! Our characters are now ready to go. Olivia tells me she has a plan to build a “recharge station” for herself. She says her project involves: electronic sensors, programming, mechanical engineering, and … it produces warm, tasty beverages! Wait – Do kids drink coffee? How old is Olivia, anyway? Haha. I have no idea, but let's build ...

Yes, her new appliance will be huge. But before you say, “That’s crazy! Why doesn’t Olivia just use a little Keurig machine?” I can tell you that in grad school we had one this size. It was part of some “intelligent kitchen” research. “Mr. Java,” as he was called, provided many options, kept track of our preferences, graphed our usage on-screen, and even collected satisfaction ratings. When Mr. Java was working correctly, he was GREAT! Anyway … I’m happy that Olivia won't settle for a flimsy ordinary coffee maker. Maybe she too has fresh ideas for a kitchen-of-the-future!

Looking inside the unit, notice the Technic axle connector. This will be rotated (via a decorative gear on the outside) to nudge out a mug. Turning it back will return the delivery plate. Above, Olivia holds this plate which will move freely. Below, you can see the inner workings.

Olivia stores surplus beans atop the machine in a big hopper, ready for grinding on demand. The connection of this clear container demonstrates a nice method for changing stud direction.

And here is her completed contraption! Very nice. Mounted above the mug, a carton of creamer is tipped, implying that the machine can add desired amounts automatically. It has the look of something Doc Brown would have made in Back to the Future.

Olivia must love breakfasts in bed, to have worked so hard on automating them. Or, if she’s anything like me, this continual caffeine supply is actually for powering her nights — up late playing video games! Hmm ...  Maybe she’s been busy designing her own “Heartlake City Mission Simulation” game to share with friends.

After a few minutes of whirring and wooshing, Zobito is ready to hand Olivia the first “test cup” of coffee. Below, you can see how the mug gets pushed out. 

Now, as you grab this tiny beverage with your big human fingers, take care to leave the trans-pink dot behind. Because, if you accidentally remove it, it’s a bit annoying to get back in place. Alternatively, you can leave it attached to the mug, as a sort of built-in drink coaster. Maybe it's a user ID tag, like we had for Mr. Java! Olivia reports that this drink is tasty, but the next cup will be better with a few software adjustments.

In case you’re wondering why there is a pink dot on the floor beside the machine, Olivia is pointing out its function of keeping the delivery plate within the unit. Should you happen to do what I mentioned above, and want to fix it, removing this dot will allow for easy access to the machine’s insides.

Now that Olivia has had a refreshing shot of Morning Blend she’s ready for doing some room construction! As with the other 2018 bedroom sets, the base plates of her floor will form a large heart shape. Wow, Olivia! This dark pink carpeting is a bold choice.

Below, I’m applying the second “robot” sticker to a round tile. I imagine these are indicating spots on the floor where Zobito may pause for instructions or recharging. Normally, our building instructions would suggest we sticker a tile first, then add the newly-decorated element to our model. But here we are told to apply our sticker only after the tile is in place. This is in order to ensure correct orientation of the sticker design. If this element had corners, or if it could rotate freely, this would not have been an issue.

Speaking of stickers ...  Here’s a close up of the complete set, still on the sheet. Unfortunately, on my particular set, the areas printed as gray are slightly smudged – but you’d have to look very closely to notice. I appreciate the accurate color match of the light yellow to the elements. Once these stickers are in place on the parts, their edges are barely noticeable.

Color matching between elements, however, is less than perfect. It may be difficult to see below, but comparing these light yellow bricks to the thin-wall elements, I notice a difference in saturation. The bricks are slightly more pale, as I’d expect this color to look.

Olivia has found a nice spot to hang a picture of Rumble the hamster. He looks as though he's just stuffed an entire birthday cake into his cheeks! Yum. 

Note, the side-studded brick on Olivia's wall couldn’t be light yellow, because that part does not exist (yet?).

Overhead, Zobito has a ledge for scooting about, with an “elevator” to get there (really just a box on a pole). I like Olivia’s attention to maximizing space, and gosh, is she organized! I wish my peripheral cable stash looked like hers. (Instead, I have boxes of tangled spaghetti.) I can never find my thumb drives or remotes either, and I see hers are plainly ready for Zobito to fetch. Also up there is a visual interface for the coffee station. It shows temperature, water supply, battery life, etc. If I were to re-imagine this set, I might try moving this panel onto the coffee machine itself.

Next up, Olivia needs a place to sleep. And why should she have just a boring standard bed when she could have ... a SPACESHIP!  Now, I will admit that when I first saw pics of this set, I did not “get it” that this was intended to be a spacecraft. Instead, I saw that big black spike on the end of her bed and it was just ... creepy. But I figured there must be something more to it, and so I looked closer to find the wing-like projections and understood. But I was further delighted and surprised, once I started building the set, to find orange “engine” lights on the head end. So cool! Because they face the wall, I just hadn’t noticed them before. It might have been fun if the bed sat on a plate hinge, allowing it to be angled up for blastoff. 

Olivia's comforter has a pretty gear/flower pattern.  Psst! Secret: There’s a bit of empty storage space under Olivia’s mattress; just enough to hide a map or notebook tile. Or ... a slice of pizza!

With her bed complete and in place, it’s time for another coffee break! Ahhh … Olivia is daydreaming of space travel with Zobito.

Get back to work, Olivia! You still have a computer workstation to assemble! Although, for those of us who love technology, setting up a new computer never feels like work. (It's fun!)

Olivia has an enviably-sized cinema display, stereo speakers, and a keyboard on her colorful desk. Her retro-graphics game looks suspiciously like a Friends version of Pac-Man. I approve.

She will also get a nifty swiveling chair. The chair back is decorated with a sticker. Studs on the chair’s sides allow you to add your own creative flair later.

Now, here is the set, completed:

Zobito's elevator glides and swivels nicely. But having to lift him in and out of the box seems a little awkward. Can Olivia coax Zobito to try jumping down onto the bed? "You can do it, little guy!" Zobito is thinking a slide would be nice.

Here are the spare parts: 

I found these spares useful for making a few more things in her room. I built a smaller plant and tiny robot; and I tried out a mood-indicating chest light for Zobito.

I was pleased with how Olivia fit when seated at her desk. I also like the way Zobito’s wheels fit perfectly in the ledge.

The back side of the model, however, disappointed me. Unlike Mia’s bedroom, for example, this set seems to have limited views of interest. Not even stickers were included for the exterior of her house, where there could have been … say, a flower box outside her window? bird feeder? weather station? or … something. The window in general feels like a missed opportunity. From art on the box front, I’d thought the glass may be stickered for some sort of changable display there; but it’s just plain.

The only benefit I can imagine (from a play perspective) of having a plain-backed model would be for Olivia’s room to go back-to-back with another girl’s room without anything being lost. But when I tried this with Stephanie’s Bedroom [41328], it didn’t really work. Matching flush wasn’t possible due to some little bits sticking out the back of each, plus the windows not lining up. I would have loved it if the room sets joined up some clever way to form a larger display.

Overall, I’m delighted with this set. I love the way Olivia is depicted as an ambitious tinkerer. I’m glad that the mechanical bits in here weren’t just for fun – they actually do things. And I can picture myself happily spending time in a room like hers (though I may have to swap out the pink carpet! LOL). But the best part for me is seeing how far the Olivia character has developed since her generic girl’s bedroom of 2012. Her transformation is impressive and exciting. I hope young builders today will look at this new “deluxe” room set and feel inspired! <3 

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


Animalland9 said...

Thank you for doing these! Love your blog! :)

SuzEaton said...

Thank you for reading!

Xyra Silverleaf said...

This is a wonderful review! Olivia's room is great.

Did you say all the Olivia's are dressed the same in all her different 2018 sets? If yes, it's kind of sad if I were collecting all the sets. I mean it's great to have back ups if ou lose one.

Anonymous said...

I miss 2012 Olivia, her bedroom, her look... I do not like the new Olivia

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