May 23, 2013

Friends bricks at Fan events

   Re-creating Heartlake City from fan's perspective showcases Friends bricks ability to blend with imagination.  One of Daniela Drost's displays at BRIQU'Expo 2012.  She is a member of FreeLUG (French Enthusiasts LEGO Users Group).  The 2013 event will be 21 & 22 September in Veneux-Les Sablons.

Photos by Daniela Drost

May 14, 2013

Warner Bros. Announces Nintendo video games for LEGO Friends

 LEGO Friends Nintendo DS game

   Set for release August/September 2013, LEGO Friends will feature creative game-play based on the fun found in the already-popular LEGO Friends collection of building sets, which launched January 2012.

   Tom Stone, Managing Director at the development studio TT Games, said:

    "We are very proud to welcome even more girls into the world of LEGO video games with a title based on the best-selling LEGO Friends line. LEGO Friends allows players to build personal fun adventure while expressing their individual style and personality along the way."

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today LEGO Friends for Nintendo DS and 3DS

                        Screencap of game-play via

LEGO Friends Nintendo DS game   LEGO Friends welcomes players to Heartlake City, where Summer fun awaits! The game is all about freedom and the ability to customize your character, express yourself, explore and make new friends. In fact, building friendships is key. Players can join others on special adventures, such as helping Emma take pictures for her next newspaper article or reviewing song choices for Andrea’s next performance. As they do so, their friendship levels with each character grows and eventually “true friend” status will be reached, at which point a Heartlake City celebration is in order.
   This momentous occasion can be captured by using the in-game camera mechanic, allowing you to solidify the memory and add it to your own personal scrapbook. Additionally, players can care for a variety of pets. They can train and groom them in preparation for the local pet show, with each pet also having a special skill that players can use to aid them in their adventures. Plus, players can trade places with the fun-loving pets to play the game from the animal’s perspective.

Game overview:

Welcome to amazing Heartlake City where summer fun awaits! Meet your new LEGO® Friends and join them on exciting adventures that build friendships with the girls and allow you to express your individual style and personality as you explore the city.

Shop for the latest outfits and accessories, select the perfect hairstyle, decorate your bedroom and even pick out a pet. Choose how to spend your summer vacation; whether you’d rather attend horse riding camp, perfect a dance routine, play soccer, practice karate, or care for an animal at the rescue center, you can do these things and more as you express your creativity, and build fun memories with your five new friends!

Game features:

Express Yourself: Pick out your clothing, hairstyle and accessories, decorate your bedroom the way you want, choose your favorite animal as a pet and even pick out accessories for your pet!

Meet New LEGO Friends: Join your new friends on unique adventures. Help Andrea decide what to sing at her concert, or take photos for Emma’s newspaper article. Enjoy different activities with each girl as you learn about her unique personality, interests and personal style.

Enjoy Total Freedom: Explore Heartlake City and decide how you want to spend your time. Hang out with your friends at the cafe, play soccer, attend dance rehearsal, or master skills at the karate dojo.

Build Your Friendships: Help your Friends on special adventures like winning a trophy in a horse riding competition or delivering cupcakes, and your friendship levels with the girls will grow closer to “True Friend” status. On some adventures you’ll even unlock in-game money that you can use for shopping!

Care for Your Pet: Train your pet to do tricks, groom her, feed her treats, and enter her in a pet show. Each pet has a special skill that they can use to help you on your adventures. You can even trade places with your fun-loving pet so you can play the game from her perspective.

Scrapbook Your Adventures: Use your in-game camera for photo-ops and create a beautiful scrapbook of fun memories, so you’ll never forget your summer adventures in Heartlake City.

Developed by TT Games, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

May 2, 2013

Stephanie's Rehearsal Stage - Review

By fujiia
Stephanie's Rehearsal Stage - Review

   I like the set a lot. First of all it's playability has taken me back to early childhood. And on a creative point of view, it has a lot of neat pieces to offer.

 Box content: two baggies, one 16x16 plate, a sticker sheet (x2) and instructions booklet.

    Let's begin by opening up bag n°1. First photo is the content, followed by content of the inner baggie. All the purple is already making my mouth water.

   Set contains one minidoll, Stephanie.  It's often the case for smaller sets.  Here, as it turns out, this is one of the larger sets of the first wave of 2013 LEGO Friends, besides for Heartlake City pool.
A closer look at Stephanie, with her guitar. It's another electric guitar, but a new unreleased shape.  I was a little disappointed at the lack of variety in our minidolls' wardrobes in the two first waves of Friends.  In 2013, although differences in skin colour make it sometimes difficult to fully personalise their clothing, The Lego Company must have decided to shake things up.  I'm thinking of Mia in her magician suit (41001), Emma in a kimono (41002), Stephanie in her soccer jersey (41011) and of course our friends in swimsuits, in the swimming pool (41008) and in the water scooter fun set (41000).  Here, Stephanie is more or less wearing a tutu.

     We start with the little changing room, a rather simple construction for a pretty convincing result. I'd like to note that toy companies have made a real effort in the making of mirror stickers in comparison to what existed in my childhood. In the olden days, the reflections looked more like a kaleidoscope!

     With the rest of the first bag, we start making the base of the rehearsal studio. This is what we get, with already a nice little number of spare parts. Loudspeakers are the exact same as the ones in the Heartlake City pool. Some pieces already announce playability. Looks like it's going to turn!!

  Content of bag n°2 and again, detail of the inner baggie. A lot of purple again!

 The studio base is finished. One element is still missing.

    Here is the finished stage that will conclude our studio.  On one side, music studio with keyboard, mic holder and superstar decoration!! On the other side, dance studio with the bar against the mirror, just like in real life!!  In reality, maybe the blue steps in front of the mirror come in the way during rehearsal!

    Let's add our little purple plate to our base and here is the last of the construction. Another nice amount of spare parts.

    Let us now talk about playability. One of the reasons that lead me to write this review is that I think I would have LOVED this set as a child.  The rehearsal studio that can be either for music or for dance is just great. And the fact that our dear Stephanie can spin around the front of the stage reminds me of old fashioned musical boxes, enough to make any little girl dream.  Of course, the twirly whirly aspect also reminds me of the various merry-go-rounds that were available in the Fabuland line, which also takes me back to my childhood, since it is exactly my generation.  I couldn't count the hours that I spent spinning, spinning and spinning some more, sometimes even with Playmobil characters, but shh, that's a secret!

    In order to set the scene a little, I invited over Mia and Andrea to spend the afternoon with Stephanie. The more the merrier and as I said before, since this is one of the larger sets in the first wave of 2013 LEGO Friends, it is a pity that Stephanie winds up all by herself.  But that is the case in most Friends sets. They usually portray one of the five main minidolls in her own surroundings. You thus need to buy several sets in order for our dolls to have other friends.  In the sets that contain more than one figurine, the other(s) is/are always exclusive to that one set: secondary friends, parents, veterinary etc.

   Now, on a MOC-er point of view, this set in indeniably interesting for its parts. While the Friends line in general suffers the reputation of being too colourfull, too flashy, too girly, one must admit that most of the sets are in fact based on one dominant colour, usually white or tan, and in the end contain very little colourfull pieces, except for the accessories. Here apparently this set contains 50% of all the dark purple that came out in all of the Friends sets altogether. I haven't verified, but it is the first time I see so many bricks of all types in "Friends colours": medium lavender, dark purple, medium azure, bright pink, bright light orange. Only magenta remains very limited, and it's my favourite. I'll take revenge on Emma's sports car this summer (41013).

   These photos are just to show that even though this set is shy in magenta, TLC offers one 1x6 plate that barely shows in the finished product. It's not much, but still appreciated.

   Now with all that, if you still don't want to buy Stephanie's rehearsal studio, you must not be a big fan of purple!

Piece count: 198
Mini-doll: Stephanie

 Review in her native French language:
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