April 7, 2021

Review: 41450 Heartlake City Shopping Mall

It's Friends and Family time at the new Heartlake City Shopping Mall.

Let's take a look behind the scenes of how we build this mall ...

April 5, 2021

Review: 41442 Vet Clinic Rescue Buggy

Oh no, a powerful gust of wind has blown the tree over, trapping Stephanie's puppy. 

March 30, 2021

Review: 41446 Heartlake City Vet Clinic

A busy day for Dr. Donna at the Heartlake City Vet Clinic by the Lake!

Meet new Friend - Savannah, who along with her guide dog Goldie, offers training for service and support animals. Having grown up on a ranch outside HLC, she loves horseback riding. Mia is helping her train Bella, as other animal friends pay attention.

March 26, 2021

Review: 41444 Heartlake City Organic Cafe


Foodies rejoice! Join Mia and her friends as you munch your lunch or slurp a rainbow of flavors outside Heartlake City’s healthy café!

My first thought on seeing the set was of excitement for the new figures. It is so great to see age and gender diversity in Heartlake City! New figures open up new possibilities for role play and I’m pleased to add these to our set of characters. 

The second thing I noticed was the fresh color palette—perfect for the subject matter of fruity drinks and freshly-grown foods. This yellow-orange color is one of my favs from LEGO and it looks great here with hot pink and lime green. It even inspired me to freshen up my backdrop color to match.

Looking at the box front, I can see that our guest characters are named Marcel and Ava. I get the impression they may be a grandfather and granddaughter. They join Mia outside a one-story open-backed eatery. Mia has a pedal-powered vending cart from which she can make fresh juice drinks and she’s holding one out to them. They appear to be in a hedged outdoor location such as Heartlake City Park, which is interesting considering the park just got a café set last year (41426) . However, one could argue that that was more of a [less healthy] ice cream and waffle-joint.

March 16, 2021

Review: 41443 Olivia's Electric Car

"Road trip!" Olivia and Mia, with their puppy pal, are out adventuring. They pause in their travels to power up with a snack, a stretch, and a car battery recharge.

Here’s a cute set that I expect will be especially popular with families who have (or wish they had) an electric vehicle at home. "Goodbye, Octan!" At first I thought the idea of such a car-charging station was a bit fanciful, but a little research revealed that, indeed, these hybrid solar/wind facilities have been built for years. You can even order a kit to set up your own off-grid power point. So cool! And it feels appropriate that STEM-loving Olivia would make use of this technology for her Earth-friendly EV.

My N. American box was dense and smallish—a perfect size for a Spring holiday gift. It sports the standard Friends branding (no sub-theme). Looking at the pictures, I see we will have: a rolling car, spinning windmill, park setting, an animal figure, and TWO (yay!) minidolls. This set seems a great deal for the suggested price of $15 USD. I wonder if minidolls are getting less expensive to manufacture. There seem to be quite a few dual-figured sets lately in the $10 – $20 range.

March 4, 2021

41924 DOTS Secret Holder - Review and Rebuild

Can you keep a secret? This kitty can. With endless ways to personalize your design, this fun box will keep your small secrets safe. 

February 23, 2021

Review: 41433 Party Boat

Let's have some fun in the water with our social bubble. There are a number of options at the rental booth. What should we rent first?

First we build the dark pink flamingo float. It has room for two minidolls plus snacks and drinks. It can be towed by the hitch on its neck. It looks happy to have you on for a ride. At the bottom are the extra pieces in bag #1

February 8, 2021

Review: 41447 Heartlake City Park

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
but Heartlake City Park is delightful.

I started building on a snow day, and I'm finishing up this review in the following cold snap, but inside I'm enjoying a perfect spring day at the park with Olivia and Emma.

I am personally biased in favor of this set. That swan boat brings back fond memories of a trip to Japan, but I will try to set aside my bias for this review. I think it will be a fun set to build and play with, so let's go through it together. 

January 19, 2021

Review: 41692 Vet Clinic Rescue Helicopter

Swoop in to rescue Cinnamon from that not-so-friendly crab! Let's get Mia's baby bunny back to the Lakeside jetty.

First we build this lovely heart-shaped island with Lotus flowers and lapping waves from the waters of Heartlake.

I like the way the azure slopes and aqua tiles are used for that effect.

January 16, 2021

Review: 41691 Doggy Day Care

Getting dogs to take baths can be tricky ... it seems Emma and Roxy are experts in suggestive rewards!  Welcome to Doggy Day Care 101 ...

The tiny star of this set is the new-for-2021 Puppy!  It's mold is in dark nougat with a heart fur marking above one eye and freckles.  Plus, the cutest tail ever!  The play agility tunnel is built first using a section of straight light blue transparent tube that came out last year.

December 18, 2020

Review: 41448 Heartlake City Movie Theater

The new Movie Theater is a nice complement to the shops and restaurants in Heartlake City. It has a retro-classic Cinema style and clever building function to watch actual movies.

It's opening night for "A HLC Story" with new character Amelia and she's ready to give Andrea her autograph.

Let's go inside!

December 15, 2020

Review: 41449 Andrea's Family House


Welcome to Andrea's Family House!  This lively 2-story traditional home in a Heartlake City suburb is a modular style of build.  It has plenty of built-in features and fun techniques.  The beautiful new curvy floor-to-ceiling bay windows of the kitchen continue up to the sitting room upstairs. An arched center displays a star and house number 28.
Since music is Andrea's passion -- which runs in the family -- there is room in the garage for jam sessions.

Let's take a look inside: Pepper is perched above a photo, while checking on Mom in the Sitting Room upstairs.  Her little Sister is reading in their room, while her Dad decides on drum sticks or laundry ...
Stephanie is getting ready for lunch at the swing-out counter, just as Andrea munches a sandwich!

This house consists of three separate modules we build, then attach to make a whole house.

December 1, 2020

Friends Advent Calendar 2020

 Day 1 - Emma in royal blue pajamas with sleeping moon print, Lavender boots & azure hairbrush.

August 7, 2020

Friends Summer Cubes

LEGO Friends Series #3 Play Cubes - Vacation themed:

Andrea's 41410

June 13, 2020

Review: 41430 Summer Fun Water Park

It's a Water Park paradise! So much to do here ... water, water everywhere! Who will splash last?

Box front of this large box: Water from the dumping coral shell is falling onto Olivia! Lots of water-shooters, sliding fun going on here!
The Lifeguard stand and small ice cream truck frame the water park, which appears beyond downtown HLC -- perhaps neat Heart Lake.

Box back shows a slight angle of the park's other side and insets of what the mini-dolls can do there. Mason stays busy as Lifeguard and ice cream truck vendor, yet also finds time for fun too!

June 5, 2020

Review: 41429 Heartlake City Airplane

Stephanie and Olivia are ready to fly the Friendly skies for this Summer's "Vacay with Friends" Adventure!
Are they soon off into the Sunset of the Jungle or on the Beach?!

Box front shows this new airplane on a runway just outside HLC and the hangar's look similar to previous in Heartlake City Airplane Tour.
With standard BFF Heart and flanges, this set has 3 mini-dolls -- including new Ashley - the Pilot. The lower left inset shows some in-flight options.

Box back shows the airplane's main sections come apart for access. It even has overhead luggage compartments. Yet, before boarding -- airport screening is mandatory!

June 1, 2020

Review: 41422 Panda Jungle Tree House

Set: 41422 Panda Jungle Tree House
Year: 2020
Pieces: 265

Caring for curious baby pandas is a lot of work, but Mia and Olivia are up to the task!

The box front sets the scene for the Panda Jungle Tree House in a forest clearing with a mountain fed stream. The BFF heart insert is consistent with the the other sets in this sub theme, as is the National Geographic Explorers logo on the bottom left. The character insets on the lower right show that Olivia and Mia are included in this set. 

The back of the box shows the pandas enjoying their tree house home and has several insets calling out scenes for imaginative play. Mia is featured on this set in graphical form with a sloth. It's a cute illustration but seems like an odd choice since the sloth is not included in this set. All five friends are illustrated in their jungle rescue clothing on the bottom left corner. Doodles and emojis are scattered throughout the box design.

May 30, 2020

Review: 41428 Beach House

Welcome to the Beach House!
Mia, "Hey Andrea, snap a pic of that baby Dolphin leaping!"  Andrea, "Sure, after I get one of that pretty Flamingo on the dock!"

Box front shows this Beach House on an island beyond HLC's downtown and the BFF Heart inset is standard, so we know this isn't part of a sub-theme. Although this wave has a "Vacay with Friends" theme.
The lower left inset shows the roof can flip up for a rooftop music stage. Mia and Andrea's cameo insets are framed in purple doodle circles. The flanges are standard.

Box back has lots of vacation activities at the beach. Even though the title isn't "Andrea's Beach House" and they arrive at the same time, Andrea gets the top right box feature.

May 29, 2020

Review: 41421 Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue

Set: 41421 Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue
Year: 2020
Pieces: 203

Oh No! A baby elephant is stuck in the swamp! Hold on! Emma and Stephanie are on their way!

The box front shows our jungle rescuers arriving in a forest scene where the baby elephant is stuck. The jungle sub theme BFF heart insert in the upper right corner shows all our friends in their new rescue attire. The bottom right character insets let us know that Stephanie and Emma are included in this set. And the bottom left corner shows that this set supports National Geographic Explorers.

The back of the box features the simple mechanism for rescuing the baby elephant. It also shows Stephanie and Emma caring for the baby elephant post rescue. Emma is featured in graphic form, painting the jungle scenery. All 5 friends are illustrated in their new jungle attire on the bottom left corner. Typical doodles are scattered across the layout. We also see the half-moon knockouts for opening the set as this box is glued rather than being sealed with tape. 

May 26, 2020

Review: 41427 Emma's Fashion Shop

Fashion Friends indeed! Andrea scoots over to Emma's new shop to see what cool capes and other clothing designs she's come up with in her upper-floor studio!

Box front shows Emma's Fashion Shop situated near downtown HLC. Lovely trees and green-space behind it.
The BFF heart and flange doodles indicate it's a standard, non sub-theme set; and our mini-doll cameos are the previous Lavender circle frames.

Box back shows the garment rack rotates to offer more selection. Of course Emma is featured in graphic form in her classic purple polka dot ruffled blouse.
We get to see inside this Cool Yellow modular shop.

May 23, 2020

Review: 41424 Jungle Rescue Base

*Red alert* No time to be slow -- there's a tree about to catch fire! Water buckets and spray to the rescue! Get ready for a medic check, and to fly that Zobo Drone for an aerial view too!

Box front is full of activity in the Jungle! The new sub-theme BFF heart inset upper right has Friends in their new jungle attire. We see a mountain in the background, and lower left indicates support for NatGeo Explorers. Three mini-doll cameos are framed in Jungle vines.
This is a big box!

Box back continues with more activity insets, with Olivia garnering the upper right in graphic form with a Zobo Drone!
We also see there are functions for interactive play after we build.

Box top has brick collage and let's us know 41424 will be in the Instructions Plus database. Our 3 mini-dolls with some lush jungle graphics; Olivia is the 1:1 size ratio rep.

May 21, 2020

Review: 41425 Olivia's Flower Garden

Olivia rides her garden scooter to a spot where she built a solar-powered-light growing station.

Box art shows she's just outside HLC scooting along with her pet hamster Rumble -- while her robot Zobo waits for instructions.
The flanges are printed only and we know this is a standard set based on the BFF heart inset.

Box back has some cute images of them gardening together and that you flip up the solar panel.
The upper right graphic of Olivia features her flying heart robot from the MidWinter Night's Dream Science Fair episode. I would love to build it someday.