June 2, 2018

Review: 41344 Andrea's Accessories Store




Feeling bored with your current accessories? Need something special for the night out with the girls? Maybe some inspiration for that fancy dress party? Head over to Andrea’s Accessories Store (41344) for all your accessory needs!

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 FriendsBricks and are not directed by TLG in any fashion.

The front of the box shows the front of Andrea’s Accessory Store and the two mini-dolls - Andrea and Emma - featured in the set, as well as the main subsets.

The box is the new style without the ribbon across and the five friends instead in a heart bubble at the top right hand corner. The flanges have music symbols, reflecting Andrea’s passion - music (and not fashion). Anyone else confused at this point? Isn’t Emma the designer and fashionista?

The back of the box highlights the main play features in this set, including the change room, sewing machine table and sunglasses stand. 




The side of the box gives us the usual warnings and indicates the size of the pieces by giving us a 1:1 image of Andrea .


Inside the box are:
  • one instruction booklet
  • two sticker sheets
  • three numbered parts bags (with a further four inner baggies)
  • one 8 x16 Tan plate (wedged in the bottom of the box and hence not in the image!).



Let’s take a closer look at the instruction booklet:



The front cover of the instruction booklet has the same main image as the set box, minus the insets. Inside, the instructions are laid out well and easy to follow. And just one minor mistake:



The inside back pages of the instruction booklet feature:
  • Full parts list (two pages)
  • The friends’ bedroom sets
  • The largest set in this wave of sets - the Heartlake City Resort (41347)
  • A page on what you can do with the LEGO Life app.
       

The back cover has the gorgeous Emma letting us know how we can win a cool LEGO prize.. 



Here’s the parts that are found in Bag 1:



The parts that caught my eye were:
  • Dexter, the pug, who is available in other sets, but still worth of a mention because he’s adorable!
  • Teal parts, including the new scooter frame
  • Trolley bag / suitcase in Dark Blue, which is new
  • The two pens in Bright Light Orange / Magenta are the same mould as the Light Aqua / Dark Purple pens found in some of the earlier 2018 Friends sets
  • Printed tiles with paw prints




The white box contains a set of Bright Light Orange wings with gold sparkles around the edges to wear around the neck and two smaller capes with gold sparkles.



I’m not sure what to call the smaller capes - they’re not really capes, as they are intended to be worn around the waist, but they are too small to be called skirts.

The first bag builds the two subsets - the change room and sewing machine table - and starts the store itself:



We’ll have a closer look at the pug and the mini-dolls shortly.

The front part of the change room is built on a turntable, so you can spin it around to reveal the outfits. It also includes a hook at the back to hang the cape-skirts when they’re not being worn.  The sewing machine subset is quite cute and you can use the stylised mannequin to hold one of the capes.

The scooter uses a skeleton arm to hold the handle bar, which at first I thought looked a bit odd. However, it lets you pose the the mini-doll standing up straight (just taking it easy) or bent forward at the waist (for maximum speed going downhill).

This brings us to Bag 2:



It is apparent that this bag is meant for building a structure, with very little in the way of accessories What did stand out for me though were the 1x2x3 panels in Trans-Dark Pink!! These are also available in Andrea's Bedroom (41341), but have only been in that colour in one set previously.

It’s not surprising that the bag 2 parts are used to build the store:



On the outside, which is currently without a store sign, it’s hard to tell at this stage what the store is meant to be.  



The stickers on the inside of the store give a bit more of a clue of what this store is all about.

This brings us to Bag 3:



The part that caught my eye first was the wig with the cat ears. While it is not a new mould - Catwoman has a Reddish Brown / Black version - it is new in this colour. Also, it is definitely Teal, with Black ears, and not Purple as suggested in the description on the LEGO shop site.

The Magenta handbag is also new in that colour and is the first time it is in a plain colour. The previous versions of this handbag have had patterns on the side panels.  

The building is now complete, and has a cute bow sign above the entrance to let us know what we can expect to buy.



The inside of the store is completed with a couple of stands for the wings and wig, a locked case for the valuable accessories and a turning stand for the bows.





Let’s take a closer look at the mini-dolls and the pug:



From left to right, we have Andrea, Emma and Dexter.  

Let’s take a closer look at Andrea first.



Andrea is looking like a true rockstar, with her new dreadlocks and wearing a Metallic Blue vest over a leopard print Magenta top, teamed with a Dark Blue skirt and finished off with Metallic Gold socks tucked into the Dark Blue strappy sandals. I think she should have consulted with Emma on her choice of footwear before stepping out the door. I would have picked boots over sandals!

Having said that, she is wearing an all new outfit out, unlike Emma …



Emma is wearing a cute Dark Pink top with White lace detailing over a Light Aqua skirt and Dark Blue mary-jane shoes. While the top is new, this is the same skirt and shoe combo that she wore at her Emma’s Pet Party (10748) and she was also seen wearing that at Emma’s Art Cafe (41336). Unlike her eyes, which have mysteriously changed to Brown this year, her long Black hairstyle hasn’t. Please bring back the Green eyes!



With those Dark Azure eyes, what’s not to love about Dexter, the pug? 

This brings us to the spare parts, of which there are quite a few:



Let’s have another look at the set as a whole.



Overall, I think the store is more than a little confused. It is called Andrea’s Accessories Store, but it feels more like a costume store. Furthermore, fashion, photography and sewing machines are something that has always been associated with Emma, rather than Andrea. And the description on the LEGO Shop site says the scooter is for Andrea to get around Heartlake City, but the front cover of the box shows Emma on the scooter. I can’t help but feel this set was originally intended to be “Emma’s Accessories Store”, but a decision was made late in the process to make it Andrea’s.

I’m going to be bold and take this theory a step further. The big open windows, framed beautifully with the large arches, are somewhat wasted for the wings and a wig. They seem just right for showcasing whole dresses, like evening gowns or wedding dresses. And this would be more consistent with the dress pattern that sits on the sewing table!

Nevertheless, it is a nice set - the building looks good, it comes with a nice selection of accessories, a Teal scooter and other Teal parts.

Thanks for reading! C&C welcome.

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 use to verify this information.

1 comment:

Dan said...

My Lego interest was always modular buildings... I've never bought a Friends set (I was, I admit, embarrassed to) But when I saw this I immediately saw potential for my street. I really enjoyed modifying it and the more feminine style/colour allowed me to enjoy so much more of my bricks. Then I went and got the Drifting Diner and I'm fully hooked. Thanks for such a great site!

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