January 17, 2017

Review: 41312 Heartlake Sports Center




Happy New Year. 2017 is the 5th anniversary of LEGO Friends. To start off 2017, Robert is going to the Heartlake Sports Center (41312) to work on his New Year's resolution with Mia's help. Let's get active.


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.


The front of the box shows the front of the sports center with Mia and Robert. There is an insert showing the inside and back of the sports center.



The box has the familiar purple flanges and ribbon wave across the top indicating this set is part of the base theme.

The back of the box highlights the many play features and accessories included with this set.




January 16, 2017

Review: 41308 Stephanie's Friendship Cakes






2017 is LEGO Friends’ 5th anniversary! To celebrate the occasion, Stephanie has baked a special cupcake for each of her 4 best friends and herself! 

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 the Hobby sub-theme, and as previously seen, each of the five sets has special pictures of the Friends character and her favorite pet on the front of the box.


The back of the box shows a few play features of the set as well as the other four sets in the Friendship Collection.


On the top of the box, the actual size of the best friend charm is shown. Yes, it is too small for your baby brother, and no, don’t let him eat it!

January 15, 2017

Review: 41309 Andrea's Musical Duet



2017 is LEGO Friends’ 5th anniversary! To celebrate the occasion, Andrea goes on stage with her new singing partner, Cleo the parrot! 

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.



The overall box front design is the same as last year’s, but it also has the pictures of Andrea and her pet friend, which is unique to this new “Hobby” sub-theme. 

This set is one of the 5 in the sub-theme also known as “Friendship Collection”.


Each set in the Friendship Collection features one of the 5 main Friends characters and her favorite non-human friend. 

It also comes with a buildable heart (“best friends charm”) in the character’s favorite color.

It is shown on the box top for the size reference.

January 14, 2017

Review: 41305 Emma's Photo Studio




We know that Emma loves all things fashion and design, so it's no surprise she is also into photography. Let's see how Emma's Photo Studio stacks up!

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.

The front of the box shows Emma's Photo Studio located in a building with large windows that let in lots of natural light. 



The set box carries the familiar purple flanges on the sides and ribbon wave across the top, indicating that this set belong to the base theme and not a sub-theme. 

The back of the box highlights the three main playing features - the grooming station, the backdrop and the printer. It also shows the small sets for the other four Friends, which I don't recall seeing on set boxes previously.



The sides of the box show the usual warnings in various languages.

   

January 1, 2017

Happy 5th Birthday LEGO Friends!

   Today we celebrate the 5th anniversary of the global launch of the theme LEGO Friends.  January 1, 2012 a dynamic shift in building options began.  It affected playtime for millions of girls.  It affected LEGO fans.  It affected other toy companies.  LEGO Friends inspired a whole new world of imagination building.
A look back:
   The number of girls building with LEGO products in 2011 was only 9% and after only one year of the release of LEGO Friends, that number had tripled to 28%.  LEGO Friends went on to become the second highest selling theme in the LEGO product array.

   How that shift began:

December 30, 2016

"Be a LEGO Designer" for ages 6-12

   The LEGO Friends Design team has launched a building contest to stir up some creativity in the fandom during the year of the 5th Birthday of LEGO Friends.  The chosen Heartlake City "place" creation will be released as an actual 2017 LEGO set and one of the mini-dolls will be of the winning builder!

https://friendsdesigner.lego.com/en-gb

   Kids aged 6-12 can design and build a creation with their bricks (or create using LDD) and submit it, along with their parent's consent.  There are prizes (such as 2017 sets) for semi-finalists, in addition to other "local" prizes tailored to and offered in various countries for this worldwide contest.
   A trip to Denmark for a week to spend time with the LEGO Friends Design team to perfect the winning creation is the culmination for the builder and family.  See the terms & condition for all details. (Please click through and then select your country to read the page for location-specific details, as there are variations in prizes and ways to enter.)
What will the new Heartlake City place be?

   The winning design will be released as a set sometime in August or September 2017, as an exclusive to Toys'R'Us stores.

It's exciting to think that LEGO Friends begins their 5th year in 2017!

Friends Bricks is proud to have one of our admins, Kristel, as a Judge.

December 1, 2016

2016 LEGO Friends Advent Calendar Reveal

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar
#41131
Piece Count: 218
Year: 2016

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.



It's December 1st, so the time is finally here to open the advent calendar!

Let's flip the box to see the back!

The box has the playmat and backdrop for the fun holiday scenes you create.


LEGO Friends started in 2012, so this is the 5th LEGO Friends Advent Calendar. 

I thought it might be fun to show you what we got in the advent calendars in the past. Do you remember these?


Now let's open this year's advent calendar!


November 25, 2016

Heartlake Holly Days Building Challenge

 
Heartlake Holly Days Building Challenge

Challenge yourself to build your favorite Holiday activity ~ maybe it's decorating your house, wrapping gifts, or cooking tasty treats ~ imagine you are doing it in Heartlake City!
- Use only authentic LEGO pieces
- Mini-dolls encouraged, yet optional
- No digital builds or photoshop backgrounds
- Post images of your creation on Flickr
- Add your photographs from now until January 25th, 2017
- Create what you plan to do this season, or build what you did using sets you get as gifts over the Holidays
 Be festive and share your annual traditions through Friends bricks!
~~~

November 18, 2016

2017 LEGO Elves

The first of the 2017 LEGO Elves set images have been found ... 
and it looks like evil is continuing to challenge our friendly Elves!
Take a look at them if you dare!


November 8, 2016

2017 LEGO Friends sets

Olivia's Creator Lab
Stephanie's House

Andrea's Musical Duet
Emma's Photo Studio
Heartlake Gift delivery
Heartlake Pizzeria
Heartlake Sports Center
Heartlake Summer Pool
Puppy Championship
Puppy Parade
Puppy Playground
Puppy Salon
Puppy Tricks and Treats
Stephanie's Friendship Cakes
Mia's Beach Scooter

Hedgehog Storage 40171

-----
January 2017 release
~~~~~ See full set descriptions and additional images on Friends Bricks 
and check out the *special* Friendship designated sets! ~~~~~
~~~

October 17, 2016

LEGO Friends 2017

LEGO Friends will celebrate their 5th Birthday coming in January 2017 See all new sets on Friends Bricks here's an early list of some of the sets to be released then >> click "Read more" if you don't mind a bit of a spoiler :-)

July 30, 2016

LEGO Friends Advent Calendar 2016

Winter is coming!
Although it may still be hot in many parts of the world, we now get to look forward to counting down until the holidays and cozy winter activities with Friends.  This year it's Emma and Naomi enjoying a cuppa cocoa near a small bonfire.
LEGO Friends Advent Calendar (41131) 2016: The box front shows indoor activities for this year, including Emma getting creative with making holiday ornaments, while Naomi wraps gifts.
Back of the box shows how we open the flap to reveal more of the inside details, allowing for a build/play mat too.
   The daily "surprise" builds mostly feature indoor fun, with a few classic outdoor winter activities.  It looks to be a nice balance of crafts, music, gifts, food, pets, and typical holiday fun -- such as mailing gifts!
   Spoiler alert >> If you don't want to see the daily small builds, then don't click the "Read more" link below that leads to the rest of this post ... if you can resist :-)

July 28, 2016

Design nuance

Design nuance is the capture of the slightest details in color or form to connect the visuals of an object to the mind's cognitive awareness of a specific category.  Let's take the watermelon, for example.
We can see Mini-doll clothing, especially tops, as a blank canvas for the Design team to blend colors, shapes, activities, seasons, themes, and correlate to a set's aesthetic appeal.  Watermelon is a favorite hot weather fruit for sure.  Although it first appeared this January in the Heartlake Supermarket, the slices came with the Amusement Park sets a few months later.  Fairground food often offers watermelon for a quenching snack.
Having Mia & Olivia's tops be a graphic representation (motif) of a watermelon not only ties the look to the sets' activities (fun in the sun), it crosses the realm of play into real-life.  Lots of kids, especially girls, wear shirts with some graphic variation of the watermelon's curve, seeds, and colors.
The designers used the darker green rind color, layered with the paler green inner-rind, then an exploding array of watermelons seeds.  Considering most are "spit out" during consumption, it's fitting!  The lime-green color of the torso section "eludes" to watermelon, without having to be red or pink.  That would be too obvious.
Although many fans gush over new pieces offered by the Friends theme -- of which there are many lovely colors and elemental uses for 3D expression -- some of these more subtle cues go un-hyped.
You can see the various bricks, pieces, elements, and design styles in the Amusement Park sets.  In case these are just now appearing in your local stores, our detailed reviews (linked from the page this graphic above ^ opens to) can give you insight into which aspects will help make your choice for collecting and building.  Whether it's a building technique, a hue array, a specific brick, or for the "action" functions of a set, browsing through a review can always give more information than just a product listing.  This wave of sets certainly does have surprising moving parts.
The Heartlake Riding Club set review is also linked, under the Heartlake City sets.  It also contains the watermelon slice, as well as the lattice-top cherry pie quarter-tiles.  The traditional sets stay close to Friends love of animals -- notably, the horse!
We'll be horsing around more later on ...