May 26, 2014

Review: Jungle Rescue Base

Whether it’s a bump on the head or something more serious, the Jungle Rescue Base is the first port of call for sick and injured jungle animals!  Let’s take a closer look at the central base for all the jungle rescues!

The FriendsBricks community wishes to thank TLG’s CEE Team for generous support of this set to review and share with fans.

The front of the box shows the three main components of the set - the control centre, living quarters and amenities block - as well as the Friends that run the base - Stephanie and Andrea.

The jungle theme of this wave of Friends sets is reflected in the box art, with the bamboo trim on the flanges, top banner and the mini doll image.  In a way this sets the jungle theme aside from the other sets, almost like a sub theme.

The back of the box shows us what we can expect to find in the box, highlighting the playing features and accessories. It also shows this set can be combined with three more of the jungle wave sets (#41033, #41036 and #41032) to make one mega jungle set!  I’m looking forward to having a go at this.

I don’t really understand why Stephanie gets the feature image on the top right hand corner, given both mini-dolls in this set are from the five main Friends.

Inside the box were two instructions booklets, four numbered bags with parts, one additional bag with large parts and a sticker sheet.   Actually, there were two identical sticker sheets, both of which were badly curled. However, you’ll have to take my word for it, as I had a minor photography disaster and don’t have images of the box contents as a whole or of the curled sticker sheets.  I also thought I was missing an instructions booklet, but the smaller booklet was tucked away inside the larger one.

Both instruction booklets have the same main image as the box cover. The instructions are easy to follow even for the younger fans, with parts lists for each step.

Towards the back of the first instruction booklet is a map of the jungle, featuring all the jungle sets from this wave:

I would love to replicate this whole scene in bricks!

Onto the parts and build.

First up, the un-numbered bag includes a 16x16 plate in Medium Azure, an 8x16 plate in Tan, an 8x16 plate in Green, a slide in Medium Lavender and two of the new rubbery vine pieces in Lime. These parts are used progressively through the build.

The Friends jungle sets are the first time we have seen these vines, allowing us (or me at least) to finally let go of the jealousy over the Duplo vine. In addition to the the Jungle Rescue Base, the vines are also found in the Jungle Falls Rescue (#41033) and the Jungle Tree Sanctuary (#41059).

The slide is also going to come in handy for those MOC waterslide and playground scenes.

Here are the contents of the first baggie:

The Panda is definitely a highlight in this baggie (but more on that, and Stephanie, a little later).

The other parts in the first bag are a nice mix, although not particularly unique. The walkie-talkie is not a new mould, but is in a new colour - Bright Light Orange. It is found in just about every one of the jungle sets in this wave, so they won’t be rare for very long!

Similarly, the mould of the medical bag is not new, but it has a new pattern for the jungle sets. It is also available in Jungle Bridge Rescue (#41036) and First Aid Jungle Bike (#41032).

The medical accessories were first introduced in the Heartlake Vet (#3188) in 2012. While they are not new, they are a highlight for me as I missed out on the Heartlake Vet set.

And another brick separator. I honestly believe that there has been a mix up along the supply chain at LEGO. In my mind it goes something like this: “I ordered 1 million brick separators, not 1 million boxes of brick separators!”

Bag 1 builds the amenities block, the medical examination cart and the “thingie” (sorry, but I have no idea what I should call it) that the Panda floats down the river on.

There are meant to be a couple of stickers on the roof (flowers), and also on the medical chart (for the chimpanzee’s chart). It thought it odd that the cart and chart are for the chimpanzee, but we don’t get to see him (or her?) until Bag 4.

The amenities block feels very similar to the one from Heartlake City Pool (#41008), but with a much more rugged shower.

Bag 2 contains lots of great, although not unique, parts:

The highlights of the second bag for me are Dark Orange arches and supports, Reddish Brown fences and slopes, palm leaves in Lime and Tan ice-cream cones.  This bag also includes a set of flowers, ladybugs and butterflies accessories in Bright Light Orange. As far as I am concerned, you can never have too many of those beautiful flowers!

The second bag of parts creates the main living quarters for Stephanie and Andrea:

This is probably the favourite part of the set for me. This little building creates a feeling of being outdoors, but still very cosy. I love the contrasts of the bright Lime and Dark Pink colours against the earthy tones of the Dark Orange and Reddish Brown. The ceiling fan is so simple, yet looks fantastic.

This brings us to the third bag of parts:

Bag 3 continues the very earthy theme of Dark Orange, Tan, Green and Reddish Brown, with just a splash of bright colours.

The part that stands out for me here is the boat in Medium Lavender, which is unique to this set in that colour. If you’re going to go down the river, you may as well do it in style!  The other thing I noticed was the two shades of Transparent Light Blue for the 1x1 round plates. There is no distinction made between these colours in the parts list at the back of the second instruction book.  This bag also includes a chameleon and Andrea, which I’ll cover shortly.

The parts in Bag 3 are used to build the base of the tree that houses the control centre for the rescue base:

Bag 4 is also dominated by parts in Reddish Brown:

The highlights here for me are the round corner fences in Magenta and three more Lime palm leaves. We also finally get to see the chimpanzee that was the subject of the medical chart in the first baggie!

Bag 4 completes the control tower:

I love how the vines wrap around the big tree trunk - very “jungly”! The slide is also a great feature, and I can see hours of fun (for my daughter, of course) sending the girls down the slide into the boat and also along the flying fox [zip line].

Let’s take a closer look at the mini dolls, Stephanie and Andrea:

Stephanie is wearing the same Sand Blue skirt and sandals as Stephanie in the Summer Caravan (#41034).   However, her cute sleeveless shirt in White with the rescue logo is unique to this set.  I struggled with Stephanie’s hair piece, as it did not fit snug against her head and always looked like it was slightly off centre. I didn’t notice this in Stephanie’s Beach House (#41037), where she wears the same hairpiece.

Andrea, on the other hand, is wearing an all new outfit for the occasion, including a sleeveless shirt in Bright Pink (also with the rescue logo) and cargo Tan shorts. While we have seen the shorts before (see for example, Kate’s Medium Azure shorts in Water Scooter Fun (#41000)), this is the first time the shorts have been seen in Tan.

The animals in this set are also worth an extra mention:

  • The panda, which is a new mould, has the sweetest look on its face and gorgeous lavender pads on its feet. According to Brickset, Series 6 Friends Animals will include “Panda in the Bamboo” (#41049). Yay for more pandas!

  • The chameleon is not a new mould, as it was introduced early in 2014 in Rapunzel’s Creativity Tower (#41054), one of the Disney Princess sets. However, this one has new colour highlights, with blue eyes (instead of brown) and a lavender splash on its rear legs and tail (instead of green). The new chameleon is also included in Jungle Falls Rescue (#41033).

  • The chimpanzee is not a new mould, being the same as the orangutan from the Series 5 Orangutan’s Banana Tree (#41045), but in black for the first time.

  • The parrot is the same as from the Series 5 Macaw’s Fountain (#41044).

Curiosity got the better of me and I went to Wikipedia to find out more about the macaw.  Turns out the macaw is native to South America, which means it isn’t going to be found in the same jungle as the panda (China). The chimpanzee is native to the African Congo, while the chameleon is a little more widespread. Guess it’s a global jungle!

There are quite a few spare parts, including a few 1x1 round tiles and an antenna / whip.

 I thought it odd that there was a spare antenna, but this was the first piece that went missing from the set!  It flicks off, at a rate of knots, with the slightest bump.

Another look at the set as a whole, with the flying fox [zip line] attached to the living quarters:

Overall, this was simple enough for my young daughter to do herself (except the flying fox string), but with enough details and elements to keep this AFOL interested too. I can see my daughter favouring these sets over some of the earlier Friends sets due to the animals and the role playing possibilities.  It feels like Andrea has already done the flying fox a thousand times since we finished building the set.

From the words of my seven-year old daughter: “I like the animals. I also like the flying fox. I like the doctor’s accessories. I like all of it. There is nothing that I don’t like.”

The price is on the high side for the number of parts, coming in at 12.68 US cents per piece. Unfortunately, for the Aussies amongst us, this set will probably retail around 80-90AUD.

Despite the price, I think this is one of the “must have” sets from this wave.

Thanks for reading!

Note: All exclusive parts mentioned in the colours noted were applicable at the time this review was posted. Parts may be available in other colours and sets after the post of this review. Brickset and BrickLink were use to verify this information.

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