December 24, 2019

Review: 41391 Heartlake City Hair Salon


A new hair salon opened around the corner, let Nina show you the latest Heartlake City styles!


Front box art shows this salon near to downtown HLC. We have the 2020 adjacent purple framing, along with standard doodle drawings on purple flanges -- along with BFF heart and mini-doll cameo insets. The scene inset gives us a glimpse of how well the salon's mirror works.


Box back shows us inside, the accessories and examples of hair styles to try.


Box top has elements, brick collage, and our mini-dolls with names.

Box side with scene slice shows Emma leaving with a different hair style -- yet her natural black.


Other box side shows brick collage and the Instructions Plus ad. You can see we get the newer heart-centered pastry, which debuted in Olivia's Cupcake Cafe last year.


Box contents: Instructions book and 2 numbered bags. We'll see sticker sheet later.


We get a new re-color of wig #68 in bright pink; although it has been in Lavender before. I call that style beehive. New in Lavender for the first time is the hard plastic mini wig #4 (this style first appeared in 2009).
First time in Friends in Bright Purple is the Angular Plate 1.5 Bot. 1x2 1/2 used in the wig and accessories rack. This color debuted in Adventure Time's 2017 LEGO Ideas set.



Emma has a top featuring 2 kissing flamingo birds forming a heart shape in coral, against an aqua and white swirl splash graphic. It blends with her aqua skirt, plus the pattern carries around to her back. Printing on the backs of torso parts continue in 2020. Her navy mary-janes stand out in contrast to so much pastel. We're told to give her a phone, no doubt to make an appointment!


Nina is new in mini-doll form: Her Lavender hair is lovely with her slight olive skin tone. She has brown eyes and a cheery slight side smile with pink lips. Her azure vest has ruffles with a bow sash over a bright pink v-notch top that matches her skirt. She wears a pair of scissors on a lanyard to have them at the ready. Her azure strapped shoes balance out her colors.


After building our mini-dolls, we get busy with salon equipment: first is the clam-shell sink, and a chair that reclines for easy hair washing.


Then we build the beauty equipment rack -- which holds a spray bottle, hair blow dryer, scissors and hair brush. We get to build another chair and attach a dome hair dryer. I love the style and build of these chairs! The newer bow bricks as arm rests is perfect. Our wig and hair accessories counter uses gold telescopes to hold the hair style choices.
Building furniture outside the shop or house is more enjoyable and playable too. I think it also encourages new designs, and the ability to move things around -- rather than just connecting bricks onto a baseplate.
A whopping 14 spare parts finishes out everything from bag 1.


Bag 2 parts: Circled on left in dark pink is actually a 1x2x1 2/3 brick with 4 knobs -- I didn't realize it was upside down until instructions showed it later. You'll see it right-side-up soon ... I love that element design and want in every color!
Rounded plate with 2 studs in dark pink is new to Friends, only otherwise in 2019's TLM2 Shimmer & Shine Sparkle Spa. It's used in the striped barbershop pole sign. The reddish-brown 1x3 plate with 2 Knobs (jumper with 2 studs) is new to Friends, although appears in several 2019 sets.


The mini-doll progress of your build along the bottom is so cute! There is Emma walking along with us!
Instructions book is the new 2020 style with "ghost view" images like you'll see in the LEGO Building Instructions "Instructions PLUS" app. (You don't have to go through LEGO Life any more.)


We begin with the base, walls and build the canopy separate before installing. The salon mirror sticker goes inside a panel; it's really lovely with lattice scrolls. The sheen of the stickers makes photography tricky. The newer heart-centered pastry is on the brown counter next to the grapes.
You add dark azure round tiles with stud now, so the furniture that we made is easy to install.


Sticker sheet:  I've angled my camera so we can see the graphics without the mirror glare. Number 4 will be the TV screen with a Baking show. Five and six are magazine covers -- so we can look at styles.


Now we start on the base for the front sign. We use that dark pink 1x2x1 2/3 brick with 4 knobs. Adding the jumper tile makes it look like a chest of drawers. The barbershop pole is built and attached using the rounded corner plate.


Building another section separate is the huge scissors! The black cross plate is the base. It then attaches to the dark pink jumpers.  I love it, plus that designers are doing this more and more, which lessens sticker use. Although we do add a sticker to the side swinging sign. It's very lovely!


Instructions have lovely graphics throughout too -- such as those above the greenery and flowers that we need to add next.
Reminds me of Friends graphics in earlier years ...


Interior and walls finished before we're told to install furniture. TV and magazines are ready.  Lemonade dispenser is so cute!


After adding fire hydrant and front flowers -- here is everything bag 2 parts builds, plus all previous items installed. Although the instructions do not show installing the hair-care equipment rack inside the curvy window, I did for my box art images. I think it's meant to stay out like the wig and accessories rack, because it's hard to get into the curvy space.  Plus, Nina is going to be able to use it near her customers in chairs.
We get a nice spare parts array -- including a heart pastry!


Nina tests the water temp for washing Emma's hair as she reclines. The hair-care rack got moved out of front corner window, since it would be hard to reach tools; plus the cash register needs access.
Other than putting it in the window to attempt box art, it's better as stand-alone accessory, like the wig counter. Otherwise the black studs get stuck. It looks good standing on it's own -- those black 1x1s look like wheels of a rolling rack.


Nina blow-dries Emma's hair in the chair. That mirror sure is lovely.


Catching up on the latest HLC styles, Nina takes a break. Maybe she'll enjoy a heart danish :-)


They decide to try a few ... Hairspray anyone? Emma looks lovely in Lavender too! Nina with a bubblegum beehive is quite a character!


Last customer of the day -- Emma decides only a Lavender bow for now. Yet, Nina managed to brush Emma's hair perfectly back to its beautifully pulled back style.
Now Nina only has to sweep clean, count tips and close for the day.

Summary:
Every town has several hair salons -- now so does Heartlake City!  Even though all 3 salon sets are similar, they have their own style.  In 2012, Butterfly Beauty Shop 3187 was released in the first wave, and Heartlake Hair Salon 41093 was built in 2014.  We do get scissors sign again like the second salon, yet there are other designs updated.  Of course building furniture outside of the set, then installing, is one of my favorite aspects.  Newer sets are starting to have extra tiled details like MOCs -- such as the front entryway.

Having a new character like Nina scores points from me -- and surely for other Friends fans.  Interesting that she holds the same name as the original Friends rep on LEGO Club.

This is a typical Friends shop with back access only -- no roof removal; so for AFOLs, re-arranging after it's built takes patience.  I wish the curvy window area was easy to get to -- yet the square column is nice interior architecture.  There isn't room for the hair-care rack or wig & accessories counter inside.  I could probably add more tan base for that.

I enjoyed the sign and learned new techniques, so that gives this set AFOL appeal.  Being an evergreen theme now, having to re-visit a few set topics that newer fans have missed out on is going to probably continue.  The barbershop pole is a nice touch for those incorporating this set into a larger layout.  Even as an adult, I enjoyed playing -- especially since the chairs recline and can be moved to other spots.  The new hair pieces are most likely what will attract many AFOLs -- which is a great aspect of mini-doll to mini-fig sharing!

Disclaimer:
This set was provided by 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.

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