April 23, 2020

Review: 41409 Emma's Shopping Play Cube


A Toy Store is the set-up for Emma's new Series #2 Cube with a satin pink front. Planes, Trains & Teddy Bears, oh my! What else can we find stuffed into this cute travel container?


Just like Series #1 the box's teardrop shape allows the cube to protrude out the front, secured by 2 top studs. The box front let's us know there's a "surprise" animal by the empty studs near the cash register. Since the appearance of one out of four colors is random, the image leaves it out. The side panel shows us all the new animals with four possible colors. Each of the 5 core Friends gets their own "Shopping" Cube with unique type of store or shop.


Box contents: Cube closed with contents; Sticker sheet; instructions sheet; and largest non-numbered parts bag.


Largest bag parts: The 2x6 plate with 1x6 upwards studs is new in Lavender for all 5 cubes; only otherwise in Trolls World Tour "Pop Village Celebration" as interior base of their pods.
Somewhat new is the white 1x3 plate with 2 knobs (Double Jumper). It came in dark brown in Heartlake City Hair Salon. Somewhat rare is the 2x2 plate (tile) with knob in bright pink; only otherwise in Trolls World Tour set Poppy's Air Balloon Adventure 41352.


Cube contains the mystery "surprise" colored animal cardboard pillow box in pink with lots of Question marks for this series -- as it was purple for the first series -- to coordinate with the front color. Brochure with other cubes, plus preview of Series #3 cover color, and a small parts bag.


Small bag parts: The yellow propellers are new to Friends, yet not new, as they came in Creator Fun Fair pack previously. Also not new, yet the White 1x1 plate with 1x1 upwards reminds me of the minifig collar piece that allows you to attach items on the front. A very useful piece.


The front Cube shell with hinge bars is Satin Trans-Dark Pink (same as the 1x4 side panel piece from Aurora's Royal Carriage 43173). The back cube section remains medium Lavender like Series #1 - as one of Emma's signature colors.


Emma in her lovely dark pink & white scroll motif top with navy straps and solid navy back. This Art Nouveau inspired top is paired with a fun Art Deco necklace above a strand of silver orbs. She wears this in Emma's Art Studio and Heartlake City Restaurant. Here it's over Aqua skirt and Navy Mary-Janes.


First we build the toy airplane (after building Emma for assistance ;-) and it's swooshable! I love these small items built with few parts -- it shows how skilled the designers are! I didn't mind applying the pink starred sticker for the plane's wings.


We attach the toy airplane to one of the upper studs in the satin trans-dark pink side of the cube -- then apply the toy store shelves sticker in the medium Lavender side, along with trans-yellow 1x1 plates for Lights! Lots of other fun toys, even if only in graphics.
The hinges are secure enough to hold all the parts for travel; yet can come apart.


Next we build the Toy Train engine -- it's so cute! The core black part is actually an "engine" not a really video camera as we've seen it used in the past. Just as with the Airplane, the designers managed to create an easily recognized object with only a few parts! The counter for that display side is built using the double jumper and a 1x1 azure blue 'dot' to secure it "centered" on top.


Both counter sections and items for sale are built. Plus, we get 15 spare parts!


Under the toy airplane is a train Caboose ... at least that's what it looks like to me. A 50% sticker is meant for the 2x2 dark purple brick/counter -- I guess because it isn't the same gauge as the train engine.

So here is Emma with her first earned "5" coin in her Shopping Cube, before we get to see what "randomly" surprise color animal is in the Question mark box ...


Yet first let's look at the Stickers for clues ... hmm, don't see any ...



Oh, and here are the "blueprint" dimensions of all the Friends Cubes.

OK, ok ... Here is our "stuffed toy" ...


Alpaca! A purple Alpaca! Yay! It has a shiny gold nose and shimmery eyes. A cute tail and short forward ears, just like an Alpaca.


Now Emma can open for business with a stuffed animal toy! Although many suspected the Teddy Bear would be the surprise animal, it's only in sticker-form here.


Part images from TLG here show the four possible colors of animals randomly placed into Cubes (no feeling chart like CMFs ;-) and all are fun, honestly. The Cool Yellow is probably the most realistic color -- yet it's a stuffed "toy" animal, and not a pet store.

As I written on the image: Although the design ID says Llama, we know Alpaca is in a recent LEGO Friends magazine, and in a set name for the next wave. The ears and face are more Alpaca than Llama.


The cube closes with all items as positioned just fine. It's ready for sticker personalization. They are cute; I may save the artists brush for an Emma MOC.


In the brochure you can also see all the 4 other Friends Cubes in this wave, plus the other surprise animals matched with the cubes they come inside.

PLUS: Preview of Series #3 Cubes (due out June 2020) shows we'll get a Satin Trans-Azure Blue front section. A few sticker-hints to the theme being Summer activities.


Apparently all Emma's toys came to life after her store closed for the day! Woo-woo ... toy train parade! Oh, a flying Alpaca ... yikes!

Summary:

I'm always amazed at what the LEGO Designers manage to build with the fewest parts -- the "model train" toy and "model airplane" toy for sale in her store are both very succinct. The train caboose is too, yet almost overlooked when you add the "stuffed" Alpaca.

Just for learning the miniature design/build techniques, I'd recommend this cube for any LEGO fan. Everyone loves a toy store, right? You could create you own designs to add, or fill it with LEGO Teddy Bears!

Departing from just the two main release of waves (plus Advent Calendar), this is the second grouping of sets for Friends this year already. These launched April 1st worldwide, then after the June series #3, there will be a Winter theme for Series #4 later on. As collections go, these are fun. Even for AFOLs who aren't going to carry this to a playdate, the containers are alluring -- as parts holders, or a new mini-build arena. The parts are diverse enough for any builder, plus the spares here are worth a shopping trip.

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:

Miles Flinn said...

Love your reviews! Getting this on payday - 15 spares a Llama /Alpacku... of course at +15pcs still not a "deal" but seriously the Charm of the set is sumerized with the parade you get spares for most of it to! Hope you do a review on the Jungle Cubes - I am gonna get Andrea for the sloth but Emma has a chamelion... and J am a sucker for Mia

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