January 7, 2020

Review & ReBuild: 41431 Heartlake City Brick Box


Heartlake City Brick Box is a Lavender tub container with 2-in-1 model suggestions (with instructions) containing 321 parts. The cardboard wrap has the new dark purple corners and standard BFF heart inset. We see images of HLC as backdrop graphics.
I love that we finally get this! It should have been in the very first wave of sets in 2012.

It's just like any brick box (tub), such as 10696 Classic Medium Creative Brick Box in yellow, except in Lavender. The Classic tubs come with building "ideas" books too. So this tub is on par with those.


Tub back of cardboard label wrap shows the models you can build if you decide to use provided instructions. You can build one version of each of the three models of at the same time -- not both version as the packaging notes (at the bottom).
Or, you can just look through all the parts and build what you want.


Tub top: The embossed LEGO logo faces the same direction as bricks and plates.
I like the cardboard wrap graphics.



Side of the tub has handles and the lid does closes with a firm snap -- so it's safe to carry around with loose bricks.  Other than the cardboard wrap, there is no additional "printed" sticker on the tub itself like other tubs (yellow, red, blue).  It's pure medium Lavender all around!


Tub bottom: Cardboard wrap has standard artsy doodle graphics, LEGO Life ad, etc. This tub can stack onto any other tubs this size.
Mind the inside tub crevices of bottom anti-studs that small pieces don't get lodged. Probably better to put those tiny elements in a snap lid container then in the tub.


Contents: We get 3 yellowish green (lime) 8x16 base plates, three instructions books for main models and their alternates, and 3 numbered bags of parts.


Bag #1 of parts with the instructions book to build either an Ice Cream booth, or a Pool.


Instructions number #2 and parts bag for building either a Horse Corral with trees, or a Treehouse with the horse nearby.


Bag #3 of parts with instructions book to build a Music Store or Dance Floor.

These are all cute, yet fairly easy to see how they are built from images. This makes sense considering it's for age 5+ builders. My favorite is the giant ice cream float as a stand/sign. The straw is clever use of that black "function element" piece!


Here are all the parts that come in this brick box/tub. We get a brick separator that is usually reserved for much higher than this 321 piece-count. Considering there will be room in the tub to add more bricks of your collection, a brick separator makes sense. The 3 smaller baggies came in each larger bag, and the azure animal accessories came in bag 2.

Rather than spending time tediously placing them all out for a photo, I'd rather spend that time re-building.  So, I'll include the actual parts list from the instructions book at the end.
Until then ...
A few new and rare parts:


- The Glitter trans-purple 1x1 brick is only in this set and the Creator Winter Village Gingerbread House (10267).- The black riding helmet with bright red hair integrated is only otherwise in Mia's Horse Trailer (41371).
- Medium Lavender 2x3 with arch brick only otherwise in Emma's Art Cafe (41336) and Classic Extra Large Brick Box (10717).
- Vibrant coral 1x4 plate with 2 knobs only 3 other sets.
- White smooth swirl top 1x1 only otherwise in two Disney Moana sets, and Ariel's Storybook Adventures.
- New in Aqua and only in this tub is the 4x4 1/2 circle plate.


Rare: Piano keys tile that's 1x4 is only otherwise in Systar Party Crew (70848) and LEGO Ideas Central Perk (21319).


Rare: Teal 2x4 brick, only otherwise Bookshop (10270) and Wyld-Mayhem Star Fighter (70849).

Since we're encouraged to "Build & Re-Build" -- Let's see how I used these bricks:


Here are my own three models -- since tubs are usually associated with free-building. That has been a criticism of LEGO Friends, and in fact, all modern LEGO sets -- that it's too prescribed. Some think it's dissuades creativity.

Of course what the instructions have to offer is new, clever, and unique building techniques. We get to learn from these, and then build upon those to design our own.


Garden Arbor - Built over a small pond that naturally waters the garden.


Garden Arbor - Olivia's hamster is eyeing those tomatoes.


Garden Arbor - alternate version -- use the ladder attached at the back so Olivia can use as a lookout. This version without the pond has self-watering raised flower beds.


Jazzy Ice Cream Bar - Self-serve ice cream counter with music too.


Jazzy Ice Cream Bar - Mia has arrived while Olivia is getting some vanilla ice cream.


Jazzy Ice Cream Bar - Playing that funky piano is hard to resist for Mia -- while Olivia enjoys the music, plus the bright and sparkly atmosphere!


Heart Barn - Where Mia has her black horse and a hutch for her bunny.


Heart Barn - Twister the bunny's Hutch can be pulled out.


Heart Barn - Mia has lifted the gate so she can go riding. Twister hops to the small garden.


Mia's close up shows her torso and outfit first appeared in 2018's Mia's Tree House (41335), yet in this tub, we get her riding helmet with her ponytail integrated.


Olivia's close-up shows her cool yellow ruffled one shoulder top with dark pink and navy ziggy graphics that first appeared in Olivia's Summer Heart Box (41387), yet this skirt is only otherwise in Nature Glamping and Olivia's Play Cube.


Parts List for 41431 (page 1 of 2)


Page 2 of 2 Parts List for 41431

Spare parts: a couple extra flowers, new white swirl, brown bar, magenta star, aqua swirl, etc.

Summary:

Colors: It seems a bit odd to include Vibrant Coral in this tub; even though the color features prominently in 2HY 2019 Sea Rescue sets, it's not a core HLC color. I would have rather had those tiles in light pink or Lavender, or white.
When coral was re-introduced for TLM2 Party Bus, I was excited about it. I love the color Salmon. Yet, in person for me -- it seems fluorescent pink/orange and has trouble co-existing with certain other colors.

Parts: All good, yet while building my re-builds, I kept needing angle plates (to change direction of a section from horizontal to vertical), or slope bricks (bricks with bows) to round out something.

The product description mentions using your own bricks from your collection to supplement new designs. I didn't do that during this review and re-build; I used only the 321 pieces in this tub. However, I can't wait to use these pieces in more creations. Also, I'll most likely use this beautiful Lavender tub to store all my Lavender and other purple bricks.

After all the bright yellow, red, and blue tubs -- it's nice to finally have a purple version!

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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