August 14, 2017

Heartlake City Playground - LEGO Designer Contest Winner!

The beginning of this year celebrated LEGO Friends 5th Birthday and LEGO hosted a Friends Design Contest.  The winning entry is Sienna's Playground (41325) a Heartlake City Playground, built by Sienna!
  To be released September 1, 2017 ~ list $39.99

She even gets herself made into a Mini-Doll!

Here is her bio: Sienna age 8 from the UK.

  • sport: gymnastics, rock climbing
  • hobbies: LEGO® bricks, art, music, piano
  • after-school activity: ballet, Brownies (the Girl Guides – not the cakes!)
  • food: chocolate
  • color: turquoise
  • LEGO Friend: Mia
Five fun facts
  1. Sienna found ideas for the Heartlake City Playground from the playground near her house and other fun playgrounds and parks she has been to.
  2. Heartlake City Playground has Sienna’s absolute favorite playground activity: a climbing wall! And another favorite: monkey bars!
  3. Sienna’s brother brought a teddy bear everywhere when the family came to the LEGO headquarters in Billund. It was his school class teddy bear and it ended up as a model sticker!
  4. Sienna’s mini-doll character has a brown pet dog named Pippa. It’s named after her grandmother’s new pet that she got for her birthday!
  5. Sienna is always busy with school, after-school clubs, and spending time with her friends and family. To find time to build the playground, she used every minute of spare time she could find. She even shut herself in her bedroom for a full Saturday to build the playground and only came out for lunch and dinner! 
Along with the LEGO Friends Design Team, Friends Bricks' own Kristel served as one of four Judges from the LEGO community.  Here is her interview for Heartlake Times on being a part of this contest:

Q: How excited were you when asked to be a Judge for the LEGO Friends Design Contest?

A: Very excited!  For Friends Bricks to be recognised in this way was awesome!

Q: Without giving away "company secrets" can you give an overview of the process?

A: There was  huge number of entries, so they were shortlisted by the LEGO Friends team before we did any of the judging.  We were provided with high resolution images of the short listed entries and voting forms to score them. The scoring was based on ten attributes, each weighted equally, and covering appeal and relevance, originality and innovation, aesthetics and design.  Being located in different countries, most of the interaction was via email and skype.  The LEGO Friends team were really helpful in the whole process and it was great to meet them!! 

Q: What design aspects emerged as a trend in many entries?

A: There was great use of colour across all the shortlisted entries.  The buildings also tended to be open, either from the top or the top and bottom.  This is a common feature in many of the official LEGO Friends sets and really adds to the playability of the sets, so it’s not surprising that this was reflected in many of the entries. 

Q: Are there any particular builds that stood out (other than the winning entry) that you recall the design appealing to you as a builder?

A: Other than Heartlake Playground, my favourites (in no particular order!) included The Flower Shop, Liza’s Flower Shop - Garden Center, and Friendship Island.  I absolutely adore the swan in Friendship Island and I can see it being used constantly to “ferry” the friends between places (water or no water)!  Liza’s Flower Shop also appealed to me because it included a gorgeous little cart and green house.  The Flower Shop caught my eye because of the stunning brick-built flower above the entrance.  This set was reminiscent of many Friends sets and could easily have been an official set given its overall design and colour scheme. 

While the two flower shops caught my attention as a builder and something that I would love the build, they don’t have the same level of playability as either the Friendship Island or Heartlake Playground.

Q: Were you surprised at the final design chosen from all the finalists?

A: Not at all.  It was one of my own favourites and I thought it was the one with most interesting play features.  It’s a perfect fit for the Friends theme, and would work well with the skate park and soccer sets.   

Q: What are your favorite aspects of the winning Heartlake City Playground set?

A: I thought this was one set that every 6 year old would be able to relate to and it was packed with things for the Friends to do - climbing, swinging , spinning, hanging from the bars or just hanging out in the cubby house!  From my experience with my own daughter, if it has great colour and plenty of things that move, then you’re well on your way to a winner!

-- Thanks Kristel, we look forward to a review of the Heartlake City Playground set from you!

Description of the winning set:
    LEGO® Friends Heartlake City Playground is the perfect place to have a blast with your besties. Centered around a tree house, it includes a climbing wall with colored holds and a twister slide. Push the functioning swings to make them go back and forth, spin the merry-go-round and make the 2 mini-doll figures go up and down on the seesaw. Help them take a seat on the benches as they watch Pippa the dog stretch her legs, then use the walkie-talkies to invite more friends to come out and play!
 - Includes Mia and Sienna mini-doll figures, plus a Pippa the dog figure.
 - Features a tree house playground with slide, climbing wall, swings, merry-go-round, seesaw, hopscotch, monkey bars, benches, fountain and an ice cream cart.
 -Meet up with friends at the playground and have fun pushing the swings, spinning the merry-go-round and working the seesaw!
 -Climb up the climbing wall to the tree house and enjoy the view from up high.

More Contest details:
Here are original submission images of Sienna's design -- before her 4-day visit to LEGO HQ in Billund, Denmark to meet with the Friends design team and tweak her creation for the final set:

Sienna on LEGO factory tour
Sienna working with LEGO Designer Fenella at LEGO HQ
Sienna with the designers and her final design!

And here are some of the other entries, out of the over 28,000 they received, Kristel mentioned having appealed to her:

 Friendship Island by stealthradek
 Flower Shop by Juliette_E
 Liza's Flower Shop and Garden Center by Martina1804

The top 10 finalists from all around the world:

 Check back for the review of Heartlake City Playground here on Heartlake Times!

Watch 41325 animated in this video.

Watch Sienna's trip to LEGO headquarters in Billund, Denmark!



Unknown said...

My daughter, Teagan, was one of the finalists. Her 27 prize sets arrived in the mail last week. The whole process, from entry to finding out she was in the top 20, top 10, etc. was an unbelievable experience for a 12 year old. Lego did it right. Now we have a ton of building to do.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed emotions about this set. Whilst it's nice, & has a high level of playability, I'm not really into it. I wish Friendship Island had won. But I understand why the jury chose the playground. Ciao for now! ~ themime

Xyra Silverleaf said...

All of the finalists had great designs. I'd love to see them all on the shelf at the LEGO store. :) I really like the playground and can see using it in one of my calendar rebuilds.

Congratulations, Sienna; and all the finalists.

thweatted said...

I've always thought Lego needed a playground set, but I guessed the Friends themselves were too old for that sort of thing. Funny it took a contest winner to get one made. I'm not wild about the execution, not the girl's version but the final product seems too familiar, like puppy playground meets adventure camp tree house. The flower shops and greenhouse were also nice ideas I could see Lego making on their own.

Unknown said...


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