May 7, 2020

Review: 41378 Dolphins Rescue Mission


Even while on a Treasure Hunt, Friends turn their Adventure into a Rescue Mission!


Box front shows an underwater adventure with beautiful box art! It looks like the water and fish could come splashing out at you! The flanges have special aquatic life drawings for this sub-theme. The upper heart BFF motif has the Friends in Sea Life attire.
On the left under the set name is a graphic telling us the textile (map) is water reactive. With an inset below illustrating moving functions. Plus, we have our mini-doll cameos inside orange life preservers: Kacey and Stephanie.


Box back shows more adventuring activities -- that is the rescue mission, plus a treasure hunt!
This is the first time Kacey has been a mini-doll. The upper right graphic of Stephanie with Dash shows she is the main Friend here.


All the box sides: Top with mini-doll part size ratio of Stephanie, and Kacey with her name printed. Both sides have the part warning over brick collages -- plus you can see the sea life art doodles. Love that Seahorse. The bottom has another collage with Stephanie, the LEGO Life ad, and recycle info.

In the center I've added the Sea Life project graphic art, and that this entire Friends Sea Life Rescue sub-theme is partnered with National Geographic Kids.


Box contents: Two instruction booklets, stickers, and 3 numbered parts bags.


Bag 1 parts: The Teal coral piece debuted in this wave. Stephanie's Medium azure helmet with blond ponytail only otherwise in The Big Race Day 41352; both her torso and leg section in medium azure are new for this set. Kacey is new in mini-doll form.


Inner bag of Bag 1 parts bag: The Earth Blue 1x2 plates (both left and right) with bow at a 45-degree cut are not new in general, yet first time in Friends. They are just below the bright blue Technic pins, and get used in building the underwater scooter.


First we build Kacey, as I've mentioned -- she's new in mini-doll form -- yet a character in the animated shows. She's refer to as "bad-girl Kacey" by the product description. She looks quite nice here, with her lovely Teal eyes and magenta lips. Her black hair cut in a "bob" seems to be the same as Anna, Olivia's mom from 2012.
Her earth blue and spring green wet suit looks sleek, with it's silver zipper. No back print, yet she has pockets. She also gets a navy helmet and goggles with breathing tube -- and black flippers. It's nice we get a helmet and separate hair piece for her.


Then we build Stephanie with her new magenta and medium azure wet suit. She gets lime green flippers. The Seahorse curled into a heart shape is a beautiful insignia. She gets a medium azure helmet with integrated hair ponytail. Trans blue goggles with tube too. Plus, we get her regular hair piece for when she's dry! So lovely, as always.


Close-up of stickers: Teal heart-shaped windows, aqua Seahorse insignia on the Rescue ones, and the heart-shaped life preserver tie in the vibrant coral color.


Everything built from bag 1 parts: Our mini-doll Divers; under-the-sea section here has a crate with a map in a bottle; the treasure chest of gems; the cool underwater scooter; and the bottom air tanks of the submersible craft with robotic arms gets built.
Plus the spares from this bag.


Bag 2 parts: the Earth blue inverted 2x6 roof piece only otherwise in Marvel set, and the Earth blue 6x10x2 inverted shell only otherwise in Hidden Side Wrecked Shrimp Boat 70419. The Trans Light blue dome with hinge is in only 3 other sets.


Inner bag from bag 2 parts: First time lime green syringes have been in Friends; otherwise only Jurassic World sets.


We start building the sub on the earth blue hull shell. It's very compact, solid construction. The red brick is the engine (I've always liked how the designers do that :-) Then we add medical supplies before continuing sides and top.
The robotic arms have 2 movement joints and can grab an anchor.


Here is the submersible finished with sides, stickers, propellers, fin, periscope, front bubble hatch, and directional spot lights.


The front bubble hatch opens with a good friction hinge. The seat has a foot rest that folds up to secure mini-doll feet. The side hatches open for access to the supplies. Of course the propeller sections can rotate for moving the sub down and up.

The vibrant coral tiles on the roof really brighten it up. I think this is the first photo of mine that the color looks true; must be the color combo effect.


Everything bag 2 parts build, plus spares.


Stephanie is in the driver seat with two control sticks and the foot section raised.


Now we can close the bubble hatch. Ready to launch!


Top view with side hatches open.


Front view with Stephanie at the controls.


Bag 3 parts: The 2x6 inverted roof pieces (that we use for ship's hull) are in the color New Dark Red and are in only 2 other sets. Baby Dolphin is only in this set and Juice Truck 41397.
The gold quarter round balcony pieces are a bit rare too.


Parts from both inner bags from bag 3: Lots of great parts!


Sea Life parts in Vibrant Coral which come in their own bag.


Building the wrecked ship section is quite intense and very enjoyable! Here they are complete before we "re-attach" the aft ... due to that rock they hit after sinking.


We connect the ship's aft section via clips in front of that rock that made it break after sinking. We've added the mast, the baby Dolphin (and the red ball which is what drew it to the ship, apparently), plus we add some coral sea life pieces to the reef built from bag 1 parts.
That we build an anchor, instead of just using an anchor piece is awesome! Plus, we have a nice selection of spares from bag 3. Instruction don't reference the conch shells, yet I added one to the reef anyway.


Kacey came upon a treasure map in a bottle in an old crate near a sunken shipwreck, while exploring on the underwater scooter.


While finding the treasure chest under the ship's old captain's quarters -- Kacey sees the trapped Dolphins!
The mast has fallen while the baby Dolphin was going after a red ball ...


Kacey alerts Stephanie about the dolphins, and she comes to the Rescue in the submersible -- using a robotic arm with hook attached to pull up the mast -- setting the Dolphins free!


Kacey checks out the treasure chest of gems, while the baby Dolphin is snuggled by its mom -- and Stephanie gets the red ball for it.

Based on the flag, I think this old ship was the *original* Dolphin Cruiser -- from when HLC was founded ;-)


An overview of what is built in this set: The ship is wonderfully built into the seabed rocks and caverns with wavey seaweed that hides things. The scooter is succinct and very Kacey! The submersible is perfect in its design, build, colors and functions.
Of course the teal coral and coral sea life are those final details we love about Friends. Plus, no adventure (even a rescue one) is complete without a Lavender Treasure Chest filled with shiny gems!


The red paddle fin is what pushes out the treasure chest when you turn the helm's wheel. Even though I have mixed feelings about stickers since printed wooden boards exist, the ship looks better with the exposed wood grain.  It also looks like rusty nails -- so that adds to the sunken ship's authenticity.


The ship's aft is designed so there's no mistake it's an old wooden sailing ship. It's built upon a heart-shaped ocean section, of course!
Now want to build a ship that hasn't been wrecked!


The other side of the ship also has details -- like another cavern with "moving" seaweed. The ship's front is fun to build, yet when trying to position for the dolphins, the nougat arches come loose. Even when trying to move the brown antenna piece, the grey ball in the socket connection isn't very moveable. otherwise, the Mast's moving functions are great!


Out of deep water, Stephanie does a health checkup on the baby Dolphin in the Rescue Sub. Awww ... so cute! Everyone is A-OK!

Summary:

So many moving parts on the Sub: propellers and their cams, periscope, spot lights, robotic arms, and of course the bubble and side hatches. The scooter's propeller moves, as do its robotic arms. They are fun to build and require attention to detail.

Obviously this is a "play" set and not so much for display. Although both look nice enough for that too. Building the shipwreck was the most fun for me. The moving functions are great techniques for a builder of any skill level. Plus, it's gorgeous!

For any aquatic fan, I can recommend this set for daydreaming about time in the ocean while you build. If you like LEGO Submarines -- there have been  many -- then this is a refreshing version. Other themes will soon be out with their designs of subs and other ocean creations.
Even if you don't apply stickers, or want to change out the coral tiles, this one is technically spot on.

It even has the endorsement of Erika Bergman, who is a real-life Submarine pilot. She helped the Sea Life campaign with NatGeo Kids in spreading awareness of caring for ocean animals.

AFOLs can have a good build, daydream, nice parts, and inspiration with this set. The water-reacting textile isn't a draw for AFOLs as much as kids. Yet, it's good for LEGO to branch out in other ways to make construction toys fun. Everyone likes a mystery and a treasure hunt, right? Even better that we also get to play with Dolphins!

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.


Message about the Sea Life project:

LEGO® Friends are proud to partner with National Geographic Kids – and yours! Together we want to bring sea creatures and ocean conservation closer to children’s lives through play. With four new sets inspired by real-life sea rescue challenges and adventures, videos, fun facts, quizzes and more, your child will learn about endangered species and feel empowered to help save their ocean habitats.

More info: www.lego.com/en-us/campaigns/sea-life-rescue

Visit to pledge and see what your animal is: www.lego.com/en-us/campaigns/kids/friends/sealife

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