April 5, 2021
March 30, 2021
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
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
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
February 23, 2021
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
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
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.
January 16, 2021
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
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
December 1, 2020
August 7, 2020
July 21, 2020
June 23, 2020
June 13, 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
*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
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.