March 30, 2021

Review: 41446 Heartlake City Vet Clinic


A busy day for Dr. Donna at the Heartlake City Vet Clinic by the Lake!


Meet new Friend - Savannah, who along with her guide dog Goldie, offers training for service and support animals. Having grown up on a ranch outside HLC, she loves horseback riding. Mia is helping her train Bella, as other animal friends pay attention.

Let's take a closer look at building this newest clinic set:

First we build the small road section for a Turtle crossing to the Lake.

A core directive of Friends sets is to have an "instant" play feature build first. Research revealed a "Build, Play, Build" sequence activity of the study participants when developing LEGO Friends.

The triangular sign with clip is somewhat rare. Even though neither the baby turtle nor eggshell/crown are new or rare -- it's still exciting to get to build with them.


Mia is the first mini-doll we build and she's wearing the sub-theme's Vet Logo top and vest, which Stephanie wears in 41692 and Emma in 41445.
The back print of gathered short belt with buttons below the heart-paw-vitals Logo is nice; plus realistic for medical crew to be identified even when facing away.


The new-for-2021 horse with moveable head, here in medium nougat with dark brown 'rubbery' mane and lovely tail, is also white and aqua in Disney's Cinderella's Royal Carriage.
Instead of a typical 2x2 bow brick with knobs to fill in the back, we use a 2x2 plate with 2 coral outside bow bricks, which forms an under-saddle blanket.
The product description's name is Bella, although there as been a previous horse with that name (box does not name it, as with past animals).
The special saddle attachment is similar to a BlindSight device, which emits sounds to help the animal train for blind riders, or blind animals.


Everything we build from bag 1: Turtle crossing, bottom floor begins, the new horse, and spares.


Bag 2 starts with building Savannah. She is a new character in mini-doll form with the same skin tone as 2nd Generation Olivia [2018], which is LEGO color nougat. Her torso is a new print of a blue vest with a bright pink and magenta floral adornment over sand green.
Her head is also a new print with glasses, as she is visually impaired. Her hair piece called "wig wavy" mold is not new, although it's new in the color black. It's the same style as Aurora's in cool yellow, and appeared in new dark red in the 2015 HLC hair salon. We get wonderful back printing of the same floral design as the front of her vest.
The sand green skirt/salmon shoes combo is what Olivia wore in the Jungle sets.

Her guide dog is a tan version of Dash, except with a service vest print.


Goldie is the name of Savannah's dog. The vest has a shiny silver heart.


A few rare or newly recolored parts for 2021 in this set are: Vibrant coral 1x1x3 1/3 with arch brick (only otherwise in 41381 Rescue Mission Boat), 1x4 tile; Aqua barn door; and 2x4 smooth tile in Vibrant coral.


Bag 2 parts get added to the clinic. We have the reception area with computer and pet treats.
I've highlighted the white cheese slopes because it's nice to see effort made to ease reaching into bottom floors of set builds. Since there is a one-stud width dimension difference to the top, this smooth method saves hand scratches from brick corners. AFOLs can build with less pain risk.


The bottom is finished with the rest of bag 2 parts, plus nice array of spares. At this point we can realize it's not a modular clinic, in that we won't be able to remove the top floor once built.


Bag 3 starts with building our Veterinarian: Dr. Donna. She is also known as Mom to Andrea. Her hair is pulled up into a bun with braids, unlike her hair in 41449. This rubbery hair piece is not a new mold; it first appeared in dark orange and black in 2016, yet is new here in dark brown. It's also worn by Sophie in 41450.
She's wearing medical staff attire with the Vet Clinic logo over teal pants -- which are the perfect "scrubs" color first worn by Dr. Maria in 2019's Heartlake City Hospital 41394. Just like Mia's back print, a gathered tab belt and Logo.


The white 2x3 plate with horizontal shaft is not new in general, yet may be to some Friends fans. It works great for mono-slope roofs. The light pink 1/2 circle tile is rare; otherwise only in DOTS 41931 Extra Series #4 bag. The 1x8 Vibrant Coral plate is also rare -- only otherwise in 41381 Rescue Mission Boat.


Once the bag 3 parts have built up the upper floor of the clinic -- you get to hinge the roof. This is nice for access to install equipment and aqua tools in the exam room.


With the hurt doggy sign built separately and attached via Technic bush/pin, our Vet Clinic is built. I like the way Aqua and Vibrant Coral look together. We also get a good selection of small spare parts.


A closer look at our adorable Kitty and Puppy! New for 2021, they come in several sets, if you're interested in getting them ... they are tiny!


Box front shows Savannah arriving at the Vet Clinic for a check-up of Goldie. The clinic is near the Lake, so that's why we have a turtle crossing and binoculars on the deck. Contents are 3 numbered bags of parts, one 8x16 white baseplate, instructions book, and loose sticker sheet.
So far Friends boxes still have the curvy flanges, although they aren't purple, or contain sub-theme graphics any more; just the background scene artwork.


The back of the box opens with push tabs. It shows all the medical equipment and Dr. Donna weighing Goldie as part of the check-up, as kitty waits under the exam Lamp. While I've shown new, rare, and newly recolored parts -- the full inventory is on the last instructions pages pdf via LEGO's site.
Although LEGO has begun adding audio building instructions for the visually impaired, as well as Braille bricks for schools through a separate program.  There isn't an audio version for 41446 yet -- hopefully the Audio and Braille instructions page will be updated.


Stickers: the Ladybug one is cute -- yet I would love to have one as an actual element to place on the lovely hanging flower vine by the front door. I don't think we've had any since 2012.


The three mini-dolls in this set: Mia - Savannah - Donna

Friends are represented in three skin tones: light nougat, nougat, and medium nougat LEGO colors.

Summary:

This is a solid, basic structure in the mono-slope roof style. It's a straight-forward build; no new techniques to note -- except for the use of white 2x3 plate with horizontal shaft as a roof hinge -- instead of the typical hinge snapped into its rocker. This method provides room for access and ease of movement; I'd like to use it more -- for larger roofs.

However of note is getting 4 animals plus a turtle, and three mini-dolls in a set this size. Especially a new character mini-doll, as fans have been asking for "more" than just the core five for years. Of course we do get one of the original five, Mia, in this set -- since animals are her passion.

Blending aqua, coral and azure with tan has created an inviting clinic by the Lake. If you don't need another clinic in your LEGO layout, I would recommend building it as a Lake House, or Beach House. It shouldn't take very many modifications. The barn can house a beach buggy. The reception room could be a small kitchen, with an upper floor bedroom with balcony.

Either as a new clinic or rebuild opportunity -- it's a fresh addition to Heartlake City!


Disclaimer:
This set was provided by 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.


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2 comments:

prrbrix said...

I love the new animals and getting a new Friend. It seems like a big miss for LEGO to not have visually impaired instructions for this set. Hopefully, they will be added soon.

Anonymous said...

Love the Savannah and Donna figures, and am absolutely thrilled to finally get a new feline mold; the new kittens are adorable! Also, so happy to finally get a feline in a vet set (it seems like it's been a long time).

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