April 29, 2022

Review: 41709 Vacation Beach House

 

Summer can't come soon enough to Heartlake City. Mia and Stephanie meet up with Elijah and Sebastian at the Vacation Beach House to catch some sun, sand, and surf during Spring Break.



This modernist beach house has a fun vibrant design, with bold colors. The friends enjoy plenty of space for relaxing and direct access to the beach. Let's take a closer look at how it's constructed.



Before we start building, here's a quick look at the sticker sheet. It's clear backed, so watch for dust and bubbles when placing them. Like most Friends sets the stickers are used to add a lot of smaller details. While I'm not a huge fan of stickers, I do enjoy how they enhance the look of the build. 



We start our building with Mia, Sebastian, and a cute new kitty. The kitty, who is not named on the box, is dark orange with green eyes and white patches of fur. This is a new color for this cat mold and is so far exclusive to this set. 

Mia is wearing a lime green jacket vest with pockets over a dark azure shirt. This torso was first used in set 41392 Nature Glamping (2020). and again in 2 more sets in 2021. Her orange cropped pants with dark purple sandals are new. She comes with both her usual ponytail hair piece and a dark azure helmet. 

Sebastian is a new character for 2022. He appears in set 41701 Street Food Market and set 41702 Canal Houseboat. Sebastian has a nougat skin tone, reddish brown eyes, and tan hair with a front curl. He wears blue glasses. So far exclusive to this set are his torso and legs. He is wearing a white tank top that features a pattern of bright pink and bright light orange flowers and palm trees. His shorts are dark turquoise, and his shoes are yellow with dark turquoise soles and white laces. 



Sebastian picks up a basket of fresh fruit, while Mia takes the orange kitty, and they head off to the beach house on their new scooters. We also get new white handlebars, which look so much better with the dark turquoise and magenta scooters than grey would. The white handlebars are also used in set 10294 Titanic, while the scooters are so far exclusive to this set. Both scooters are electric powered as shown with the new 1 x 1 round electric plug tile. This tile is also used in set 41704 Main Street Building (2022), and set 41707 Tree-Planting Vehicle (2022). I'm sure we will be seeing it a lot more as electric vehicles become more popular in Heartlake City. 



At the beach, Sebastian hops on his personal watercraft, while Mia hooks up a cute banana float and gets towed behind. The banana float is a clever little build that uses an axle piece to allow a change of stud direction. The float is connected to the watercraft with a medium nougat hose (zipline) that has only been used in two previous sets in 2020. The hose was loose in the box, and not packed with the rest of the bag 1 parts



That brings us to the end of bag one and all the small side builds. Time to start building the beach house. 



We start off bag 2 with Elijah. He is another new character for 2022, who also appears in set 41702 Canal Houseboat with the same outfit. Elijah has reddish brown skin and dark tan eyes. His hair is dark brown with a close cropped curly texture. He is wearing a white shirt with orange stripes, bright light orange cropped pants, and sand blue shoes. 



We use 1 x 1 x 5 lavender bricks to create the corner columns of the first section of the beach house. These columns are a new color for 2022, and have also been used in set 41699 Pet Adoption Café.



From the back you get a better look at the 8 x 16 light aqua plate used for the floor. This is not new, having been introduced in 2017, but it has only be used in three other sets. Two of these plates are used in the beach house and came loose in the box with the hose mentioned above. 



Bag 3 continues working on the fist section of the beach house. The addition of furniture shows us that this is the living room. Several newly recolored or rare colors are used in the furniture. 

The bright light yellow 2 x 4 oval tile is a new color for 2022. It gets covered with a sticker to create a fun area rug. This piece is also in set 41702 Canal Houseboat.

Two bright light orange 2 x 2 round, dome bottom bricks are used for planters. This color was introduced in 2020, but has only been used in two other sets. 

Bright light yellow 1 x 2 round plates are used for the legs of the foot rest. These were also new in 2020, and have been used in three other sets. 

The dark pink game controller was introduced in 2021 and has been in three other sets. We get two controllers here so two people can play the racing game shown on the tv with a sticker.

The sofa doesn't use any new or rare parts, but it is constructed with a hinged middle and attached with a couple of jumper plates. You an either have it with a full back as shown in the photo, or change it to an open back with arm rests. 



With the interior furnished, we move to the outside of the living room, where a ping-pong table is set up on the deck. Three 1 x 5 tan plates are used for the base of the table, while stickers are used on green tiles for the table markings. The 1 x 5 plates were in last year and have been used in six other sets. It's good to get more 1 x 5 plates. 

We also put a small umbrella out on the beach to provide a little shade. The dark turquoise 3 x 3 radar dish was new in 2019 but has only been used in five other sets. The 1 x 1 round tile in dark turquoise was new in 2021 and has been in three other sets.



A palm tree has taken root on a small spit of sand rising just off shore. The sand spit is created with a new 4 x 4 tan radar dish. This is a new color and is so far exclusive to this set. 

The palm tree is topped off with a 1 x 1 cone in bright green. This was a new color in 2021 and has been in six other sets. With the palm tree, we finish off bag 3 bag 3 and the first module of the beach house. 



Bag 4 will start building the second half of the ground floor and uses the second 8 x 16 light aqua plate.

The second house section will have the kitchen on one end. Stickers are used to create shelves of dry goods, and utensils are placed in the cabinet drawers. The flat silver fork was new in 2021. It has been included in six other sets. We also get a spoon and a cleaver. 



On the other end of this section is the front door. The door uses two trans-light blue 1 x 3 x 6 door pieces to create a double door entrance. This is a new piece for 2022 but has already been used in 8 other sets. More dark turquoise 1 x 1 round tiles are used for the door handles. 

On either side of the door, decorative pillars are created with 1 x 1 modified headlight bricks in dark azure and 1 x 1 yellow tiles. The dark azure modified bricks were new in 2021 and have been used in 2 other sets. The combination creates a fun graphic detail on either side of the door. 



Before we continue working on the house, we add Stephanie and a cute dolphin to finish up our cast of characters. 

Stephanie is wearing a magenta cowboy hat over her bright light yellow hair. This is the same head gear worn by Savannah in set 41704 Main Street Building (2022). but with a different hair color/style (same color hat). Stephanie also wears a new medium blue bikini top with white flowers and dark purple trim. Her dark purple skirt and silver shoes are also new.



The dolphin is also new for 2022. The eye print is slightly larger. It's a very subtle difference but adds to the typical cuteness of Friends animals. 



We finish up the kitchen with a range, and Stephanie starts chopping up some watermelon for a snack. The watermelon (dark green minifigure head with stripes) was new in 2021 and was used in two other Friends sets. We also get the older watermelon slice. 



Outside the kitchen we build a small dock, and put a pair of bright light yellow flippers in a holder on the wall. These were a new color in 2021 and have been used in just two other sets. It's a great color for the flippers.

On the end of the building, we add another palm tree. A lime technic pin with friction ridges is used to secure the tree to the side of the building. This was a new color in 2020. It has been used in five other sets, and I'm happy to see it used again. I hope we keep getting technic connectors in colors that match where they are being used. We also get another bright green 1 x 1 cone for the top of the palm tree.



With the palm tree in place, that finished up bag 5, and we can put both sections of the first floor together with technic pins. The image shows the suggested connection, but you can swap them if you move the palm tree. 



With bag 6, we start on second floor of the beach house. First we create a little bathroom. Orange 33° 1 x 3 inverted slopes will support the roof. These are surprisingly rare. I could only find reference to them in two other sets despite being around since 1998. 



On the exterior of the second floor, we get new 1 x 4 x 6 windows in magenta. These are separated by new orange 1 x 1 x 5 bricks. Both are so far exclusive colors, but I'm sure we will see more of them in future sets. They create a very vibrant exterior for this section of the beach house. 



We finish up this section of the house with a few final details. 

In the bathroom we add a light bluish gray 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 2/3 round dome top brick for the shower. This color was first introduced in 2019, but it has only been used in four other sets. 

In the main bedroom, we add a bed and dresser. The dresser uses two colors for the drawers, one of which is dark pink. The dark pink drawer was new in 2021 and has been used in three other sets. On top of the dresser is a lamp, which uses the new light aqua cupcake liner for the lamp shade. It was a new piece last year and has already been used in six other sets. Using it with the white 2L bar (which was also new last year) makes a cute and compact lamp. Next to the lamp, we set a dark turquoise boombox. This was new with the 2020 CMF series and then included with two of the random Bandmates. This is the first time it has been used in a regular set. 



We add a few graphic elements to the exterior of this section, and then place it above the kitchen and entry. As this is a modular building, you could also place it on the other side, but we will follow the suggested position for now. 



Bag 7 is the final bag of parts. We start with a second module for the second floor. Dark turquoise 1 x 1 x 5 bricks are used for the accent colors on this sections. This was a new color in 2019, but has only been used in three of the Disney Princess sets. 



Half of this section is used for a second bedroom. The two bunk beds take up most of the space, but there is still room for a small side table with a model rocket. Is this an Easter egg for the upcoming set 41713 Olivia's Space Academy?



The other end of this section includes a second floor patio. The views are great and perfect for snapping a few photos of the beach. 



This section is added on top of the living room and completes the second floor. Just the roof sections are left to build.



The roof above the second bedroom features a roof top pool, where Stephanie is lounging with a couple of beverages. 



Over the main bedroom and bathroom, we add two smaller roof sections. One features some plants, while the other has a solar panel.



One last touch before it's done. We just need a few potted plants on the patio. These use three more of the bright light orange 2 x 2 round, dome bottom bricks that were also used for the indoor plants. 




The vacation beach house is complete, and our friends are ready to enjoy their spring break. 



With seven bags of parts and lots of small pieces for build details, there are plenty of spare parts. I was surprised to get an extra bright green 1 x 1 cone. I don't know if that is intended to be an extra, but it's not missing from the build. Also, of note are the extra fork and spoon, and the three printed tiles (the stump, the watermelon slice, and and the EV charging port). 



The box front shows the front of the Vacation Beach House with Mia and Sebastian having fun with the personal watercraft and banana float. The dolphin enjoys playing with them. The image wraps around to the sides of the box with the typical beveled edges. In the top right corner, where the BFF heart used to be, we get a call out image showing that this is a modular house. The bottom right corner highlights the included mini dolls and provides us with their name. 



The back of the box shows the back/interior of the beach house. It has another call out image showing how each module of the house can be separated. There are also multiple boxes showing the friends enjoying their vacation. These are great images to showcase how imaginative play can be enjoyed with this set. In the bottom right corner, Stephanie, Mia, and Elijah are shown in a cartoon style where the mini dolls have more realistic motion. 



The top of the box shows the four mini dolls with one of the scooters, the new cat, and a few of the other accessories. Mia is used for the one-to-one scale image. On the bottom of the box, more of the small accessories are highlighted. 



As mentioned, the house is a modular build. It has two sections for the ground floor, two second floor sections, the pool, and two roof sections. Some combinations work better than others. 



You can easily split the module in half, move the palm tree, and swap the left and right sides. This puts both of the water areas together in the middle. I think it's a little awkward, but it works. 



Swapping the two second floor sections from side to side, while leaving the ground floor in the original orientation, is an easy variation that works well. 



As does stacking the dark turquoise module on top of the magenta module. The stack works on either side of the ground floor. 



The least successful arrangement is trying to balance the magenta module on top of the dark turquoise module. It has an interesting flow, but it's not very stable. 



However you arrange the modules, each section provides plenty of space for imaginative play.



Summary:

The Vacation Beach House is first of all a fun play set. With the module design, there are plenty of options for play. It also has a lot of newly recolored and rare parts that are a great addition to anyone's collection. 

The house looks much better in person than in my photos (my apologies for suboptimal color balance). The color blocking works well with the modernist architecture, and gives the set a bright, summery aesthetic.  

I personally appreciate the additional cast of mini dolls. It's great to have more diverse skin tones and the addition of more male characters. I personally think the Sebastian mini doll could be male, female, or non-binary. 

Kids and adults will both find inspiration and enjoyment with this set. 

Happy Building!
-prrbrix

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 FriendsBricks and are not directed by TLG in any fashion.



1 comment:

Xyra Silverleaf said...

Love it! thank you for the overview!

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