January 31, 2017

Review: 41301 Puppy Parade

This cute little set offers something different. It’s about puppies, doing what they do best, showing off and winning! This set includes a puppy named Apollo, a winner’s podium, a movie camera, a themed parade limousine, and Andrea (Apollo’s master).

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.

This set is part of a new Friends sub theme which will introduce six new puppies into the Friends world:

The box art for this new theme has a modified ribbon which is appropriately, a dog collar, that wraps around the entire box.

The front of the box highlights a parade Limousine which Andrea uses to show off her canine companion.  A winner’s podium and video camera are shown in the background.  These little add-on’s round out this set providing some additional play features.  Andrea and her BFF’s appear in the top right corner, as usual.

The back of the box features Apollo being interviewed by Andrea, posing in first place, and being driven to the parade in the back of the parade Limousine.

The sides of the box are typical of all friends sets, and do not contain any new images or insights.

Inside the box are two numbered parts bags and one instruction booklet. This set does not contain a sticker sheet:

Parts bag 1 contains one mini doll, one pet, the parts needed to build the movie camera, and the winner’s podium:

Parts bag 2 contains the parts needed to build Andrea’s Puppy Parade Limousine:

The instruction booklet is 64 pages in total, 55 pages are the actual instructions.  The cover of the booklet uses the same image as the front of the box.

The inside front page has a small illustration suggesting the builder open each bag onto a solid surface and build with it before moving on to the next one:

The instructions are well laid out and easy to follow, with each step only requiring a small number of parts to complete them:

The back section of the booklet includes parts list, and some illustrations showing many other friends’ sets.
One page shows all the sets which make up the Puppies sub-theme; the opposite page shows some additional new 2017 Friends sets.

I want them all!  How about you?

I usually like to show some the more interesting building steps, but the build process for this set was very straightforward, and actually a little uninspiring.  In fact their were no unexpected surprises as all, so yeah, kinda boring, but in a good way... so lets just leave it at that.

The parts in bag 1 are used to build everything except Andreas Parade Limousine:

Here is a close-up of Andrea, Apollo, and the other printed parts included in the set:

Andrea is wearing a sporty showmanship top. Apollo is thinking those new doggy biscuits look very Yummy!

The contents of Bag 2 are used to build Andrea’s Puppy Parade Limousine:

This open concept vehicle goes together fairly quickly and easily.  While simple in design, it is an amusing build, using some snot techniques for the ‘nose’ of the vehicle, and a Mixel’s ball and socket connector to allowing the ‘tail’ to be posed in many angles. This limousine has room for 2 mini doll's and up to 4 securely seated pets!  Wow!

Here is the completed set:

The car itself has a lot of character, but I feel it could have been even better with a little sticker on each side including a Puppy logo and “HLC parade” writing...

The articulating ‘ears’ and ‘tail’ give this little vehicle a surprising amount of character, as can be seen in these pictures:

While I can accept the whimsical nature of this vehicle, it still needs to be somewhat believable.  Unfortunately the placement of the steering wheel is very unfortunate.  Like many other friendly’ vehicles the driver can not reach the steering wheel in any practical way.  For the most part I can forgive this limitation in the interest of play-ability.  However, in this model perhaps the designer should have just left it out, as they have in some other friends vehicles, like the van in the Heartlake Gift Delivery.   When no steering wheel is provided, its sometimes better than a poorly placed one.

However, since a steering wheel has been included, I feel compelled to make a suggestion for correcting this most minor of design concerns.  i.e. it bugs me just a little too much not to share my thoughts...

Firstly, Andrea seems confused about how she can possibly reach the steering wheel, and she also appears very concerned that it is also blocking her view of the road.  She tries standing up, and while she can now reach the steering wheel, she can’t see where she is going… this is NOT good, she has her puppy passenger(s) safety to consider…

So, for safety reasons, Andrea sent her vehicle out to Sky Motors for repair. 

The talented engineers at the shop determined the steering column was just missing a tilt steering mechanism.  Andrea’s vehicle was returned with this one new part added to correct the obvious design flaw: 

NOTE: This additional part is NOT included with the set.

With the improvement in place, Andrea can now easily get in and out of the car while also being able to see where she is going while steering the Limo.

To sum it up, this is a fun little set which can provide many hours of fun for pet lovers of all kinds.  When used in conjunction with any other sets from the Puppy sub theme, the possibilities are truly endless!

1 comment:

SuzEaton said...

Great review! I love your steering wheel modification. That's a great idea.

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