April 4, 2018

Review: 41335 Mia's Tree House

Slide down right on target for a "hand-me-down" Tree House getting a
Friendly "Mia" makeover!

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.

The larger Friends boxes still have the lovely flanges and this year they are decorated with fun "artsy" doodle drawings of the various 'icons' of our main 5 Friends. The corner heart-shaped inset of the (new) main characters sets the tone for loads of other Hearts.
Something that seems new for 2018 is that even this large of a box now has push-tabs for opening, instead of the tape. Perhaps it's due to naughty people buying these large sets, being able to slice and replace the tape after swapping out bricks for dried pasta.

The new 2018 Heartlake city skyline is nice. Although not very prominent on this box, it is inside the instructions book. I like the idea of construction cranes being ever-present; as if there's always "building" going on here.

Interaction and play are the focus of the back of the boxes; it's good to see LEGO finally uploading these images to their product pages -- in the past only retailers had them.
At least the "Not for Sale" sticker covering the UPC doesn't cover any Friends faces on this box.

Top of the box is now used for characters and animal features.

Side panel being used as a 'slice' of the front graphic is really welcome -- it makes identifying sets easier when the boxes are stacked on a shelf.

Box contents: Instruction book (119 pages), 3 medium parts bags, sticker sheet, 6x16 bright yellowish green plate, orange netting (is only orange in this set, other color is yellow), and a Flex tube in Medium Lavender (only in 1 other set: 41237 Batgirl Secret Bunker); which came loose in the box and actually stuck a wee bit in the back cardboard fold -- so make sure you don't accidentally throw yours away!  Note: the title image indicates 332 pieces, yet S@H lists 351.  The difference must be in the inventory items not being rendered yet in the database I used for reference.

Bag 1 contents: 3 LURPs (Little Ugly Rock Pieces) in dark brown, and lots of treehouse-building base pieces.

First we build Mia and her brother Daniel, then orange skateboard wheels, and then Cinnamon's habitat. I really like the addition of round grey tiles as stones for this little build.
Of course we have carrots. Just now I realize the new for 2018 5-petal flower in orange really does match up with a "growing" carrot!

Even though hairpieces are the color "new dark red" for both Mia and Daniel, we can see a bit of a difference due to her hair being still the classic Friends "rubbery" type. I still think bright orange for her would look good *and* match her box art depictions.

Mia in 2018 has green eyes now, and a slight side-smirk smile, yet still the LEGO color "new dark red" for hair. Her outfit reflects her active, outdoor lifestyle with her azure plaid top over an orange t-shirt, classic green cropped pants (yet, without any butterfly motif), purple tennis shoes, and topped off with a new Lightning bolt necklace!

Daniel in 2018 has new eye color too - brown (previously were blue) and "new dark red" hair to match Mia's (previously brown hair); although the color presents a wee bit different on "brick" hard hairpieces than the rubbery ones. His varsity-style jacket, blue jeans, and laced boots certainly give off a collegiate vibe -- and somewhat an "Archie" vibe too, if I may say.
I'm not sure how I feel about his new mouth print ...

Everything else Bag 1 parts build -- the front view and back view of, basically, the "base" of the Tree House. I like the backside how it looks like a cave at this point. The instructions have only a few pieces marked per page, which is good because the dark brown is a bit hard to differentiate on paper.
The designers have used a good amount of cross-interlock, so it is very stable!

Bag 2 contents: Nothing too new or unique to this set, however, the 4x4 curvy tiles in dark azure are nice and new for 2018. The lavender corner bricks are a welcome addition for me.
The lone walkie-talkie is a twin to one that came in Mia's Bedroom set.

Here is the front of the Tree House so far will all parts from Bag 2 added. The orange netting is quite fun to work with, and I like the way it "dead-ends" at the top, whereas, its end connections are just hidden -- because the center held by the dark azure clips.
The orange door with "lock" tile is fun. The dark purple lentens over each window makes this seem more and more like a "house" than just a Fort in a tree.
Overall, it looks way better in person than in the box art. The balcony was enjoyable to build. The white sign is meant to say "Keep Out" yet since I'm doing a ReBuild later, I'll forgo stickers. To be honest, I think that sign is an old cliche and should probably go in the trash. Mia would never not welcome anyone.

The back and inside of the Tree House so far: Pizza! Of course! Plus a cute corner table, 
new 2018 "I <3 HLC" mug and can of soda, I think, yet they didn't use the pop-top tile.
Above the table we place a white 2x2 tile that is meant to have a sticker picture of Mia & Daniel making funny faces. I started to apply it, yet just couldn't. I really want Mia to make this hers now!
The opposite side has a lovely built-in bench type of seating with orange and azure cushions. It's always fun to see what things attach to bricks later in the build, that you placed via instructions and aren't obvious as to why.
Planning ahead for connections can help any builder learn to visualize for later.

On the right side, the double branch with orange flowers is reinforced by a 1x3 brown plate. I find this good practice because green branches do come off easily, no matter how secure we think we've attached them.

Bag 3 parts gives two somewhat rare 2x3 Nougat tiles that are found in only one other set: 70922 Joker's Manor.
The smaller inner bags have welcome parts, such as the 2018 curvey Leaf pieces, new 2018 Heartlake City map tile, a boomarang (from Elves), and a paint roller!
The bird for this set is not a new mold, however is new coloring of a Bluebird.
(Stay away from the Whomping Willow Tree little birdie!)

Here is everything from Bag 3 added to the tree house structure - front view - you can see the paint roller is dark purple for the hand-over from Daniel to Mia. Mia's flag has been planted on top (yes, I couldn't resist 'this' sticker of Mia's cool new motif of Lightning bolt with leafy sprig).
I have to say that this set is much better in person than the stock photos. I was all prepared to want to ReBuild it from scratch, yet I would only change a few aspects. The "log" bricks don't really need to be Lavender, there's plenty enough other vibrant colors going on here. I would have made them brown or Tan to match the small arch; it would look more cohesive. The dark purple layered on top of that section serves enough for Friendly renovations.
Yet, I am fine with the balcony posts being Lavender. The bird's nest also already adds color too -- both Lavender and blue of Mimi the new bird with her egg.

Here is the back and inside view after all Bag 3 parts have been added. Although I like the hinged roof for play access, I truly do not understand why we don't get Printed wood-grain brown tiles? ... I could not bring myself to add stickers of wood-grain to those bright yellowish green (Lime) tiles!
I would have made the roof plates tan, with brown wood-grain printed tiles. Then maybe add a sprig of Lavender flowers on top for color.

The Nougat 2x3 tiles fit snugly on the top crate for a lid; a "warning" sticker is supposed to go on one, yet I could not do it. Those pieces will be good for ReBuild possibilities.

Mia's Tree House 41335 Review - build instructions page shows box photographers built it wrong
Just for proof that I built it correctly, according to the instructions, unlike the box art photographers -- here is the page about flag placement.  Since without this reference, the box art is making my title card image look bad ;-)

A close-up reveals what's in the top crate: boomerang, sealed Letter, and 2018 Heartlake City map.
It is nice to have hinged roof sections for accessibility. The dark purple layer on top of the arch looks really good from this side!

A close-up of the main living (hangout) area shows the corner bench you can see the book has a sticker of "Spooky" ghost stories and inside we place a 1x2 white tile with "text" and a skull drawing, and a flashlight at the ready!
The corner table is just right for a couple of drinks, and the center table is also just right for Pizza!

A close-up of the bottom crate is more spooky, actually ... because nothing goes inside the tree trunk cavity. Or at least nothing *we* put in there! Well, except 3 dark flesh 1x2 tiles, and 2 2x3 tan tiles; not certain of that purpose, other than reinforcing LURPs. It could serve as a secret hiding place, or a shelter for Cinnamon when it rains.

Spare parts of all the 3 bags: Flowers, especially the new 2018 5-petal variety are always welcome; in Heartlake City, we can never have too many "Lock" tiles; and bag 3 has some essentials, such as an extra technic pin, shooter mechanism, lightsaber hilt plus fluorescent yellow 1x1 plate to make another flashlight!

Here is the complete build, per instructions (not sure why the box art photographers moved the flag). When doing my own photos of the set "as close to box art as possible" for this review, it was tricky getting Mia's descent just right.
If you get this set: it is fun to watch Mia slide down, however, it is a bit unpredictable which way she faces; you can adjust the way she holds the handle-bars, and re-position the Landing arbor structure.

Now for my ReBuild!

"Mia's *new* Treehouse" is my ReBuild: Modification and Combination with 41327 

Take a Tour:
- Bottom Left: Tree nub steps to the balcony; secretly hidden behind the orange flowery branch.
- Bottom: Mia's flag is in front -- where Friends walking up can see it!
- Right: Equipment rack by the Skateboard ramp, along with a Garden bench and Mia's first visitor ... since Daniel when to college, her cousin Megan decided to visit!
- Balcony: Added a potted plant on the railing shelf. Even though the door still has a lock, Mia's policy is "Open House" in case a Friend comes along ...
- Upper side: Ramp for brave skateboard tricks!
- Roof: Forward sloped to shade the balcony and give it a more "natural" form. Although I still would use wood-grain tiles for roofing if I built from scratch, at least adding some greenery blends the roof into the surroundings. My panels also are hinged, yet from the get-go provide "access" to the inside from the rear/inside of the structure; plus they can change angle independently, although still looking cohesively like a roofline.
- Bird house: Mimi the Bluebird now has a cover for her wee egg's nest! She can perch and check on her offspring-to-be, while knowing it's secure when she flies away for food.

The equipment rack can hold 2 skateboards and a boomarang. The ramp 'may' have gotten some bird dropping on it ... oops!
The bench is a good spot to watch Mia do tricks on the ramp, or put on rollerskates.
The blue ladder was moved inside to access the attic area. You can see the angle of the roof, and another birdhouse entry for Mimi to come inside the attic if she wants.

Inside you can see Mia taking a nap on her Hammock with her sleeping bag bedding. She must not realize Meagn has arrived. Megan is waiting for her to come launching out of the upper ramp onto the blue one and land on target!
Twister and Cinnamon are both snug in their habitat waiting for bath time! The Lavender flex tube is now a Garden hose, pulling from the underground spring that also keeps their water bowl full.

Mia has Binoculars, a Flashlight, and Walkie-Talkie within reach of her cozy sleeping spot -- all under the azure blue sky or stars!
The main Living area is mostly the same with corner table and corner bench -- except now a crate doubles as a table (which is more correct Mini-Doll height) and holds the Pizza, the mail, tools, and Spooky stories book.

Here's a close-up of the Bunny habitat!

A close-up of Mia's dreamy loft.
Obviously being a Bluebird, Mimi has a pension for collecting 'shiny' objects.

A bird's eye view of the whole treehouse.
From the Living area, climb the blue stairs to the grey pull-up bar to get into the attic -- or just hop onto the orange Hammock!

Megan talking to Twister, while Cinnamon is eager for bath time!

This side is where the Rain-water catching system provides Mia with fresh water. It falls into a small brown barrel cylinder, then drips down through a series of slopes and into a canister equipped with a filter. The black handle serves as a spigot.
You can see the roof panels are hinged independent and allow easy access to the attic, where a spare pair of binoculars is kept on a shelf.

Mia is finally awake -- and after rolling up her Hammock, gets a drink of water.

Megan found the 'secret' stairway to the balcony and greets Mia -- both are ready for Pizza!

The Hammock rolls up and the clips are reversed to attach to the roof, and the sleeping bag get placed in the attic.

It's finally time for Cinnamon's bath -- and she couldn't be happier! Megan, Twister and Mimi watch as Mia readies the Garden hose.

After taking care of the bunnies, Mia gives Megan some skateboarding tips as she checks out the ramp ... target reached!

A side-by-side view of the original Mia's Tree House next to my "Mia's *new* Treehouse" for you to imagine building your own version!


As I mentioned already, this set is way more fun in person.
It has a good solid base, which even The Treehouse Master (a tv show) would approve of, for its cross-beam support.

This set can easily be modified on the top two layers to give fans the chance to personalize.
Parts-wise, there are some very re-useable ones that any builder can utilize.

I realize play functions are important; I like them too, even as an AFOL -- however, the flex tubing as a zip-line just doesn't do it for me. The movement isn't as smooth as the Firefighter's pole in the Friendship House. Plus, I couldn't stop thinking she's sliding down gripping a toilet seat. Yes, I realize that part is a life-preserver. Still, even I re-purposed it as the water bowl for my bunnies ... so, that's a LEGO Life!

All parts information based on Brickset's embed of LEGO's 41335 inventory page.


Animalland9 said...

I really like the way you moderated the set and I would honestly think it was the actual version if I saw it. The new Daniel just doesn't look 'right' to me. His face is the size of the face of a grown man but his body and chest piece is the shape of a young boy. The original set suits Mia and I wouldn't imagine her not wanting others to keep out, either. Overall, I think the set is quite good!

Melody Silverleaf said...

I have Mia's bedroom set; I love how you incorporated it to your rebuild! I do really want this set for my collection and enjoyed your review. With regards to the "Keep Out" sign - i agree, Mia would never try to keep anyone out. Maybe it's an April Fool's joke played by Daniel. His new look is interesting; his toothy grin is kind of a grimace from a distance. Could you do a side-by-side comparison like you did with Stephanie?
Thank you!

LMM said...

@Animalland9 - Thank you, that is very heart-warming to hear!

@Melody - There is a side-by-side image of the 2 "Daniels" on the page about the 2018 changes: http://heartlaketimes.blogspot.com/p/changes-to-lego-friends-for-2018.html
Thanks for enjoying my ReBuild :-)

Melody Silverleaf said...

Thank you for the direction to the side by side! Not sure how I missed it; just focused on the actual Friends I guess. In Daniel's case, I really like the original version better. The new one's head is too big. The new hair color is fine, but with the big head and larger features (including the new freckles) he really reminds me of Heat Miser. :-O

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this review! I like the Lego treehouse set, I think it would have been more fun if Mia and Daniel built the treehouse together as a storyline, instead of the house being a hand-me-down. I wonder if the concept of a girl building her own treehouse is a bit too modern for the creators of Lego Friends :D I also liked the old Daniel better, the new bigger head just looks weird and he looks a bit scary!

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