January 1, 2020

Review: 41404 Emma's Play Cube


Emma has packed her cube with a mini photo studio for travel to Paris!


Package front has the sparkly trans-purple half of the cube protruding from behind the cardboard cutout. Image of the open cube with Emma -- no surprise pet just yet -- shows her photography hobby. This is designated Series #1 of the Play Cubes.

Back shows all 5 of play cubes, while the side bevel shows a collage of all the surprise re-colored pets.


Contents: Instructions pamphlet, largest parts bag, sticker sheet, and cube with stuff packed inside.


Sticker sheet up close shows us Emma is in Paris for this photo shoot!


Largest bag of parts: two of the new-for-2020 light pink 2x6/1x6 bracket plates, printed 2x2 tile of Chico in original color, and other than Emma's torso being new for 2020 (also in Heartlake City Hair Salon), no additional new parts, yet all useful.


Emma in her new-for-2020 kissing flamingos in coral on an aqua and white swirl/splash one shoulder blouse. She wears this at Heartlake City Hair Salon too, although in the cube she has an Aqua 2-layered skirt and Lavender shoes. The aqua and white swirl pattern is also printed on the back of her torso.

A big change in this version of Emma is that her eyebrows are angled as if she's uncertain about something. Plus, her mouth and smile are bigger!


Cube contents: Emma brochure, small parts bag, opened cube to see the square anti-studs on the bottom for the new brackets to connect, and the surprise pet pillow-box with tons of question marks!
I've added a LEGO ruler (not included in set) to show actual size of the cube itself.


Both modules assembled: The purple laptop is loose, so mind that for when taking the cube on a trip. The camera gets a clear inkwell piece (1x1 round plate with narrow stud) inserted into the front stud hole, rather than the typical clear 1x1 round tile.  The party hat appears in Aqua for the first time in this set.
The mirror sticker with paw print isn't a shiny "mirror" type.


Modules installed into the cube. The backdrop sticker shows her in Paris.
Camera is ready -- Now for a visit by her new surprise re-colored pet!


Magenta Chico is here! So pretty with pale green eyes! The pink shimmery print is the tail tip and inside the ears; the rest of the underside fur is somewhat pale pinkish white.
Might have to pounce on that pillow-box later ...


Sitting perfectly on the stool, Chico is ready for a close-up photo!
Chico with medium blue/grey fur and hazel eyes first appeared in 2017's Emma's Photo Studio.


Cube closes with the suggested pose ... apparently Chico is not fond of that huge brush and has jumped to the rooftop!
We get a nice selection of spares, considering this is only a 36-piece set.


Emma's brochure shows all the other colored Chico cats you may get in your cube.


Flip-side shows all 5 of the play cubes you can collect. Taking a cue from the Collectible Mini-figures series, randomly placed re-colored pets is a fun way to enhance a collection. We get a glimpse of Series #2 Play Cubes (due mid-2020) with sparkly trans-pink halves paired with the solid color of each Friend.


The cube closes quietly, yet has a faint *pop* sound when opened. I've found the closed cubes to be secure and the hinge strong (so strong I didn't dare pull it apart). We can place the rest of the stickers on any spot we want -- or not.


Chico thinks Emma is taking a water break -- yet doesn't realize she secretly photographing her cat admiring the matching magenta bow in the mirror!
In the original configuration, the cat can barely fit onto the purple jumper tile without its nose touching the mirror. My re-creation using the aqua 2x2 tile with stud allows for proper mirror distance; yet we can still close the cube.

It really doesn't take much to stage new settings in these cubes -- pull the modules out and let your imagination play.

Summary:

Fans who like containers to build inside of are going to love these play cubes. I've already noticed some AFOLs trying out micro-scenes with their own bricks.

For the target audience, I hope Pod burnout doesn't discourage giving these a try. Just for the fun surprise re-colored pets, it's worth trying at least one.

I may try some more scenes with some of these, as I've really enjoyed coming to the end of "review" images so I can re-build. That's what LEGO is all about, right? When I've done enough of these tiny rooms, I may use the cubes to store some of my very small parts -- like hair bows. As LEGO play containers go, these are very sturdy. I wonder what surprises will be for Series #2!


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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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this set! It is my favorite out of all the Play Cubes because of the beautiful cats that come with this set. I already have several in my collection, because I love the unique cats so much. I also love these small play cubes. They are adorable, and would be great as small, decorative storage boxes. This is definitely one of my favorite sets of 2020 so far.

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