December 18, 2020

Review: 41448 Heartlake City Movie Theater

The new Movie Theater is a nice complement to the shops and restaurants in Heartlake City. It has a retro-classic Cinema style and clever building function to watch actual movies.

It's opening night for "A HLC Story" with new character Amelia and she's ready to give Andrea her autograph.

Let's go inside!

December 15, 2020

Review: 41449 Andrea's Family House


Welcome to Andrea's Family House!  This lively 2-story traditional home in a Heartlake City suburb is a modular style of build.  It has plenty of built-in features and fun techniques.  The beautiful new curvy floor-to-ceiling bay windows of the kitchen continue up to the sitting room upstairs. An arched center displays a star and house number 28.
Since music is Andrea's passion -- which runs in the family -- there is room in the garage for jam sessions.

Let's take a look inside: Pepper is perched above a photo, while checking on Mom in the Sitting Room upstairs.  Her little Sister is reading in their room, while her Dad decides on drum sticks or laundry ...
Stephanie is getting ready for lunch at the swing-out counter, just as Andrea munches a sandwich!

This house consists of three separate modules we build, then attach to make a whole house.

December 1, 2020

Friends Advent Calendar 2020

 Day 1 - Emma in royal blue pajamas with sleeping moon print, Lavender boots & azure hairbrush.

August 7, 2020

June 13, 2020

Review: 41430 Summer Fun Water Park

It's a Water Park paradise! So much to do here ... water, water everywhere! Who will splash last?

Box front of this large box: Water from the dumping coral shell is falling onto Olivia! Lots of water-shooters, sliding fun going on here!
The Lifeguard stand and small ice cream truck frame the water park, which appears beyond downtown HLC -- perhaps neat Heart Lake.

Box back shows a slight angle of the park's other side and insets of what the mini-dolls can do there. Mason stays busy as Lifeguard and ice cream truck vendor, yet also finds time for fun too!

June 5, 2020

Review: 41429 Heartlake City Airplane

Stephanie and Olivia are ready to fly the Friendly skies for this Summer's "Vacay with Friends" Adventure!
Are they soon off into the Sunset of the Jungle or on the Beach?!

Box front shows this new airplane on a runway just outside HLC and the hangar's look similar to previous in Heartlake City Airplane Tour.
With standard BFF Heart and flanges, this set has 3 mini-dolls -- including new Ashley - the Pilot. The lower left inset shows some in-flight options.

Box back shows the airplane's main sections come apart for access. It even has overhead luggage compartments. Yet, before boarding -- airport screening is mandatory!

June 1, 2020

Review: 41422 Panda Jungle Tree House

Set: 41422 Panda Jungle Tree House
Year: 2020
Pieces: 265

Caring for curious baby pandas is a lot of work, but Mia and Olivia are up to the task!

The box front sets the scene for the Panda Jungle Tree House in a forest clearing with a mountain fed stream. The BFF heart insert is consistent with the the other sets in this sub theme, as is the National Geographic Explorers logo on the bottom left. The character insets on the lower right show that Olivia and Mia are included in this set. 

The back of the box shows the pandas enjoying their tree house home and has several insets calling out scenes for imaginative play. Mia is featured on this set in graphical form with a sloth. It's a cute illustration but seems like an odd choice since the sloth is not included in this set. All five friends are illustrated in their jungle rescue clothing on the bottom left corner. Doodles and emojis are scattered throughout the box design.

May 30, 2020

Review: 41428 Beach House

Welcome to the Beach House!
Mia, "Hey Andrea, snap a pic of that baby Dolphin leaping!"  Andrea, "Sure, after I get one of that pretty Flamingo on the dock!"

Box front shows this Beach House on an island beyond HLC's downtown and the BFF Heart inset is standard, so we know this isn't part of a sub-theme. Although this wave has a "Vacay with Friends" theme.
The lower left inset shows the roof can flip up for a rooftop music stage. Mia and Andrea's cameo insets are framed in purple doodle circles. The flanges are standard.

Box back has lots of vacation activities at the beach. Even though the title isn't "Andrea's Beach House" and they arrive at the same time, Andrea gets the top right box feature.

May 29, 2020

Review: 41421 Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue

Set: 41421 Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue
Year: 2020
Pieces: 203

Oh No! A baby elephant is stuck in the swamp! Hold on! Emma and Stephanie are on their way!

The box front shows our jungle rescuers arriving in a forest scene where the baby elephant is stuck. The jungle sub theme BFF heart insert in the upper right corner shows all our friends in their new rescue attire. The bottom right character insets let us know that Stephanie and Emma are included in this set. And the bottom left corner shows that this set supports National Geographic Explorers.

The back of the box features the simple mechanism for rescuing the baby elephant. It also shows Stephanie and Emma caring for the baby elephant post rescue. Emma is featured in graphic form, painting the jungle scenery. All 5 friends are illustrated in their new jungle attire on the bottom left corner. Typical doodles are scattered across the layout. We also see the half-moon knockouts for opening the set as this box is glued rather than being sealed with tape. 

May 26, 2020

Review: 41427 Emma's Fashion Shop

Fashion Friends indeed! Andrea scoots over to Emma's new shop to see what cool capes and other clothing designs she's come up with in her upper-floor studio!

Box front shows Emma's Fashion Shop situated near downtown HLC. Lovely trees and green-space behind it.
The BFF heart and flange doodles indicate it's a standard, non sub-theme set; and our mini-doll cameos are the previous Lavender circle frames.

Box back shows the garment rack rotates to offer more selection. Of course Emma is featured in graphic form in her classic purple polka dot ruffled blouse.
We get to see inside this Cool Yellow modular shop.

May 23, 2020

Review: 41424 Jungle Rescue Base

*Red alert* No time to be slow -- there's a tree about to catch fire! Water buckets and spray to the rescue! Get ready for a medic check, and to fly that Zobo Drone for an aerial view too!

Box front is full of activity in the Jungle! The new sub-theme BFF heart inset upper right has Friends in their new jungle attire. We see a mountain in the background, and lower left indicates support for NatGeo Explorers. Three mini-doll cameos are framed in Jungle vines.
This is a big box!

Box back continues with more activity insets, with Olivia garnering the upper right in graphic form with a Zobo Drone!
We also see there are functions for interactive play after we build.

Box top has brick collage and let's us know 41424 will be in the Instructions Plus database. Our 3 mini-dolls with some lush jungle graphics; Olivia is the 1:1 size ratio rep.

May 21, 2020

Review: 41425 Olivia's Flower Garden

Olivia rides her garden scooter to a spot where she built a solar-powered-light growing station.

Box art shows she's just outside HLC scooting along with her pet hamster Rumble -- while her robot Zobo waits for instructions.
The flanges are printed only and we know this is a standard set based on the BFF heart inset.

Box back has some cute images of them gardening together and that you flip up the solar panel.
The upper right graphic of Olivia features her flying heart robot from the MidWinter Night's Dream Science Fair episode. I would love to build it someday.

May 20, 2020

Review: 41426 Heartlake City Park Café

Mia loves waffles -- so this new eatery in the park is perfect for breakfast, or any time, to fuel up for the day's activities!

Box front has the standard BFF heart inset, so we know this is a Heartlake City setting, rather than any sub-theme. The purple flanges have the art doodles that started in 2018.
It shows this new, updated version of a Park Café with doors open wide, ready for customers.

Box back shows Stephanie preparing the waffle batter. It's great that she still has her baking interest after the 2018 reboot.
A few funny insets of Mia :-)

May 19, 2020

Review: 41423 Tiger Hot Air Balloon Jungle Rescue

Emma: "Ready for liftoff! Tiger Cub is secure in the crate, over ..." Andrea: "Roger, ready to add hot air ... rescue on the way! ... over and out."

This tall box shows the hot air balloon aloft, carrying one of the white Tiger cubs. The flanges are only printed, yet have new doodles of compass, map, and other exploring and rescue elements.
The upper right new BFF heart inset shows all 5 Friends with their new Jungle attire. Emma and Andrea have their cameos in a jungle vine frame. This Jungle Rescue sub-theme is in support of National Geographic Explorers.

Box back shows the Waterfall rescue in progress, and all the really nifty interactive functions in this set.

May 18, 2020

Review: 41337 Underwater Loop

Sea life fans will be laughing out loud while riding the clown fish on this loop ride at the amusement park!

The box cover shows a fun amusement park ride on the pier in front of the Heart Lake City skyline.  The upper right corner shows a standard HLC setting, with the 5 BFFs heart motif.  The wooden boardwalk and the the hanging festival lights let you know this set is part of the sea life themed amusement park sets.  In addition to highlighting all of the fun creations you get to make, the bottom right shows the names of the two mini dolls included, Vicky & Mia.

The back of the box clearly shows that the loop ride can be animated.  In addition to the ride itself, this set also includes a stairway to get on and off the ride, a ticket booth, a cotton candy cart, and two mini-dolls.  There are also many smaller inset images suggesting other play ideas!

Review: 41376 Turtles Rescue Mission

Zobo and Olivia rescue turtles so they can be safe in the sand under the rescue hut!

The front of the box shows the rescue center's beach hut where the Friends take care of turtles in need of assistance. This set is part of the Friends Sea Life sub-theme.  These sets can be identified by the water activities inset on the upper right corner of the box.  The main image om the box shows that Olivia is on her way to a turtle rescue in her new amphibious car, and a baby turtle is getting some much needed sustenance from Olivia's assistant robot Zobo.

The lower left inset shows some detail at the back of the rescue center.

The back of the box also has a wave graphic with a cameo showing Olivia and her rescue robot Zobo .   There are many activities depicted here suggesting lots of different play activities. 

May 14, 2020

Review: 41380 Lighthouse Rescue Center

Hey! That Dolphin is telling you something Mia -- there's a Seal trapped in an old Island shack!

Box front shows islands off HLC's coast and we know this is a sub-theme by the sea life doodles on the flanges, and the water activity outfits on the Friends in their BFF Heart inset upper right.
The wave graphic behind them is nice! The center show Lighthouse activity and that we get a "Light Brick" for making real working beacon! Plus water-reactive textile of a map.
The lower left inset shows that we save a Seal. The coral reef is shown underwater behind the Lighthouse (cool!), and our mini-dolls get the Gilligan's Island treatment of life preserver cameos.

Box back has that wave graphic continues above the Friends logo and that looks like a water portal behind Mia's feature cameo upper right.
Lots of activities in this Lighthouse -- even though most are pretty quiet -- this serves as a Rescue Center for sea animals in distress. The light can be rotated, just like a real lighthouse.

May 10, 2020

Review: 41374 Andrea's Pool Party

Make a splash into the pool or a splat off the wave machine. Either way there will be giggles.

The box front shows the pool by the beach behind a wall of shrubs with Heartlake City in the background. We have the 5 BFFs in the heart insert to indicate it is a core HLC set. We see the Stephanie and Andrea are the minidolls in the set. There is also an insert to show how to work the wave machine.