June 29, 2014

Book Review: LEGO Friends Character Encyclopedia

Here’s the book I have been looking forward to since the day I found out about it last year: LEGO Friend
Character Encyclopedia written by Catherine Saunders, published by DK Publishing.
The price in the US is $18.99.

It’s a big hardcover book and it has the volume worthy of an encyclopedia. However, upon a closer look,
you will notice that half of the thickness is due to the cardboard box attached to the back of the front
cover holding the special mini-doll.

I’m not too happy with the way this encyclopedia and LEGO Friends Brickmaster have cardboard boxes
permanently attached to the books for practical and aesthetic reasons.

But still, it is a beautiful book of substantial size that all LEGO Friends fans can get excited about!
Every one of its whopping 176 pages is pretty, colorful and lively, filled with lovely pictures many of you
will recognize from the official set images. It brings a smile to your face just by looking at the happy
mini-dolls and their peaceful world!

Now let’s have a closer look of the pages within!

Each one of the mini-doll characters has a page dedicated to him or her. Some facts about lesser-known
characters are rather random and not based on any official set descriptions, like this one: “Once Ella and
her best friend Katharina switched the salt and sugar in the school cafeteria. Poor Olivia put salt in her tea!”

Still, those little anecdotes the writer came up with will make all the characters seem more human and
relatable to the readers. Perhaps the writer hopes the readers will find someone they know that are similar
to each of the Friends characters.

By the way, in case you have been wondering, Ms. Stevens’ first name is Maggie!

Another thing that is wonderful about this book is that all of the animal names are revealed for the first time!
Of course, we have already known Scarlett, Bella, Daisy and Oscar, but I had no idea the owl from Heartlake
High had a name. And yes, even the frog from various jungle sets has a name!

Sets of different sizes are showcased under the Hobbies, Locations and Vehicles sections of the book.
The majority of the sets released from 2012 through 2014 can be found (although the map of Heartlake City
does not show the summer 2014 sets).

Towards the end of the book, you will see the gallery pages where you can find pretty much all the mini-dolls,
animals and sets pictured, although there are a few that are missing from the galleries.

The unnamed mini-doll (resembling Naya) found in ‘850967: Jungle Accessory Set’ is missing from the
mini-doll gallery. I wonder if she was simply forgotten or ignored because she is just part of an accessory set.

Three polybags from 2014 are not included in the Set gallery: ‘30112 Emma’s Flower Stand’, ‘30113 Stephanie’s
Bakery Stand’ and ‘30114 Andrea’s Beach Lounge’. Since all the other regular polybags are listed, those three
must have been just forgotten.

As a bonus to the encylopedia, you will get a Naya mini-doll in an exclusive outfit and two accessories.

I have said this before, but I was disappointed with this particular mini-doll for two reasons. First, why
doesn’t this Naya mini-doll come with a freckled face? This face & hair combination is Danielle as you
see from the comparison photo below:

Also, I was hoping to see an exclusive outfit that is made of exclusive parts instead of an exclusive
combination of ordinary parts.

Nevertheless, the mini-doll with her purple basket and her phone is definitely cute! I’ll just secretly call her
Danielle instead of Naya.

In conclusion, I have found a few minor issues, but overall, this is an absolutely lovely and probably the
most informative LEGO Friends book you can get at the moment. It is an entertaining book for children
who love LEGO Friends and will certainly engage them in reading for hours or even for days. It is also a
comprehensive resource for the sets and mini-dolls (both retired and current) for adult enthusiasts of LEGO
Friends like many of us here.

I will certainly hope to see a revised and updated version of this book in a few years! 


Huw said...

It is a shame about the lack of attention to detail, isn't it. But, I guess the target audience won't care about a few missing sets or figs from the galleries, and those that do can get the information online.

Maya said...

Thanks for the comment, Huw! I see you also mentioned in your own review that a few things were missing from the galleries. I'm glad I wasn't the only one that noticed the omissions. I wonder if that has ever happened with the other DK LEGO Character Encyclopedia books...?

Anonymous said...

i also found that the missing things. I agree Maya, i am calling 'naya' danielle!

Maya said...

Thank you for the comment, fellow Friends fan! Yes, we can either call her Danielle, or swap the heads with the unnamed, freckle-faced mini-doll from '850967: Jungle Accessory Set'. :)

Blondwave said...

Yeah. I have this book at home, although I'm not native English speaker. I love the book becuasew it isn't written for small children, but it's for everyone who Wants to know everything about our lovely Heartlake City. I can't wait for next update of this book, too!
I really appreciate work of you, who are editing this pages. I want to say that these are most informative pages about Lego Friends I know. I'm really BIG Lego Friends and Elves fan, so I know what I'm talking about. Your reviews are amazing - I love that you are not only sending pictures, you are also commenting everything. So nice. Thank you guys for all you're doing for us, fans!
Btw can I ask if you, editors of this pages, are fans or from Lego company?
Thanks again a bunch!
Look at my creations at Lego Friends gallery: Blondwave

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