July 30, 2016

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar 2016

Winter is coming!
Although it may still be hot in many parts of the world, we now get to look forward to counting down until the holidays and cozy winter activities with Friends.  This year it's Emma and Naomi enjoying a cuppa cocoa near a small bonfire.
LEGO Friends Advent Calendar (41131) 2016: The box front shows indoor activities for this year, including Emma getting creative with making holiday ornaments, while Naomi wraps gifts.
Back of the box shows how we open the flap to reveal more of the inside details, allowing for a build/play mat too.
   The daily "surprise" builds mostly feature indoor fun, with a few classic outdoor winter activities.  It looks to be a nice balance of crafts, music, gifts, food, pets, and typical holiday fun -- such as mailing gifts!
   Spoiler alert >> If you don't want to see the daily small builds, then don't click the "Read more" link below that leads to the rest of this post ... if you can resist :-)

July 28, 2016

Design nuance

Design nuance is the capture of the slightest details in color or form to connect the visuals of an object to the mind's cognitive awareness of a specific category.  Let's take the watermelon, for example.
We can see Mini-doll clothing, especially tops, as a blank canvas for the Design team to blend colors, shapes, activities, seasons, themes, and correlate to a set's aesthetic appeal.  Watermelon is a favorite hot weather fruit for sure.  Although it first appeared this January in the Heartlake Supermarket, the slices came with the Amusement Park sets a few months later.  Fairground food often offers watermelon for a quenching snack.
Having Mia & Olivia's tops be a graphic representation (motif) of a watermelon not only ties the look to the sets' activities (fun in the sun), it crosses the realm of play into real-life.  Lots of kids, especially girls, wear shirts with some graphic variation of the watermelon's curve, seeds, and colors.
The designers used the darker green rind color, layered with the paler green inner-rind, then an exploding array of watermelons seeds.  Considering most are "spit out" during consumption, it's fitting!  The lime-green color of the torso section "eludes" to watermelon, without having to be red or pink.  That would be too obvious.
Although many fans gush over new pieces offered by the Friends theme -- of which there are many lovely colors and elemental uses for 3D expression -- some of these more subtle cues go un-hyped.
You can see the various bricks, pieces, elements, and design styles in the Amusement Park sets.  In case these are just now appearing in your local stores, our detailed reviews (linked from the page this graphic above ^ opens to) can give you insight into which aspects will help make your choice for collecting and building.  Whether it's a building technique, a hue array, a specific brick, or for the "action" functions of a set, browsing through a review can always give more information than just a product listing.  This wave of sets certainly does have surprising moving parts.
The Heartlake Riding Club set review is also linked, under the Heartlake City sets.  It also contains the watermelon slice, as well as the lattice-top cherry pie quarter-tiles.  The traditional sets stay close to Friends love of animals -- notably, the horse!
We'll be horsing around more later on ...

July 21, 2016

Review: 10252 Volkswagen Beetle


Load up the cooler and get your best board ready!  It’s time to drive down to the beach and catch some waves!

This new Lego Creator set represents the good times, when surfing was cool, the beach party lifestyle was hip, and rolling around in your bug was all the freedom you needed.

This is not a FRIENDS SET, but just look at all those Dark Azure bricks!!!!  Its so pretty...  so we just had to review it!

This set was provided by the AFOL Relations & Programs team (AR&P) of The LEGO Group for the purpose of sharing set details with fans.
Opinions provided here solely reflect those of our reviewer.
Photographs are property of Friends Bricks and are not directed by TLG in any fashion.

Front of the Box

The box art on the front of this new Creator set shows the Volkswagen Beetle cruising down a sandy road towards the ocean.  The car has a roof rack sporting a cooler and surf board.  There is also top view of the car showing the roof rack detail and the models' real dimensions.

Back of the Box

The back of the box continues the theme from the front, showing the Volkswagen Beetle parked at the beach with the blanket, cooler, and surf board ready for use.  The inset photos show many details highlighting important play features and the high level of detail provided throughout.

Long Side of Box

I very much appreciate that the Creator series Lego sets all include a parts list right on the box! Seeing what parts are in the box is useful information that I wish Lego would include on the boxes of all Lego Sets.

July 14, 2016

Review: 41134 Heartlake Performance School

Heartlake Performance School is where future star performers take lessons in singing, dancing and acting, and of course, Andrea is a dedicated student there! 
Are you interested in their ballet class or voice lesson? Then why don’t you take a tour of the new school! 

This set was provided by the AFOL Relations & Programs team (AR&P) of The LEGO Group for the purpose of sharing set details with fans.
Opinions provided here solely reflect those of our reviewer. 
Photographs are property of Friends Bricks and are not directed by TLG in any fashion.

Box Front

The school building looks enormous! The familiar purple background on the box art is not fully shown because the upper part of the building is partially blocking it! 

Box Back

Box Top