October 17, 2017

LEGO Friends Super Pack 5-in-1

LEGO Friends Super Pack 5-in-1 box (66558) contains all the "Friendship" sets from January 2017 set wave and additional building instructions, plus a few extras.  It's a Target store exclusive.
Buildable bracelet included
Also included: Ticket to Legoland or LEGO Discovery Center

Bring out all the fun of Heartlake City with this Target exclusive LEGO® Friends Super Pack, featuring 5 LEGO Friends sets! Your child can discover each of the LEGO Friends characters’ passions:
   Emma, the artsy girl with Emma’s Photo Studio 41305; Olivia, the future scientist with Olivia’s Creative Lab 41307; Stephanie, apprentice chef with Stephanie’s Friendship Cakes 41308; Andrea, the lively singer with Andrea’s Musical Duet 41309; and Mia, the nature-lover-adventurer of the group with Mia’s Beach Scooter 41306.

• Includes Olivia, Stephanie, Andrea, Emma and Mia mini-dolls
• Each of the characters come with their own pet
• Great set for your child to start their LEGO Friends collection
• All elements are compatible with other LEGO sets
• Featuring lots of accessories and details for creative and imaginative play
• Each set includes a special heart charm for your child to collect and share with their best friend
• Each set offers an age-appropriate building experience for children starting age 6
• Perfect for a first building experience
• All 5 sets combined include 463 pieces
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September 27, 2017

Share ideas of a "Gift with Purchase" set

Do you enjoy "gift with purchase" sets?
Ideas for "Gift with Purchase" sets needed!!

The LEGO Community Engagement Team and Marketing Integration department are asking for adult fan communities to brainstorm concepts for future "gift with purchase" [GWP] sets (free items obtained with qualified purchase of a LEGO offer).

As an example:
*** For Friends fans, this Keepsake Box will be a GWP starting October 1st at S@H and LEGO Brand stores. ***


   Add YOUR idea of a GWP set that you'd like in a comment and our ideas will be collected and then put forth on the LEGO Ambassador Network.
    Even if your idea is already in a comment by someone else, add it -- because all collective ideas will be ranked to create a top 5 list.
    Here are the guidelines for considering a concept:

September 23, 2017

LEGO Friends at *the* LEGO House

LEGO Friends join other themes on the huge LEGO brick-built tree centerpiece in the new LEGO House!

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2sXBXkq4WB4/WcZwruCrFFI/AAAAAAAAFl4/ROCUITVscF49TyTP242mzc6XkCBGEjGRwCLcBGAs/s1600/LEGO-Friends-at-The-LEGO-House-Denmark.jpg










For more information, visit LEGO House - Home of the Brick!
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images courtesy of LEGO House and Miro
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August 28, 2017

Review: 41325 Heartlake City Playground




Earlier this year, Sienna’s playground was announced as the winner of the LEGO Friends Designer contest. Let’s take a closer look as to why this was a well deserved win for Sienna.

This set was provided by The LEGO Group in recognition of our involvement in the judging for 
the LEGO Friends Designer competition.
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 components of the playground and the two mini-dolls - Sienna and Mia - featured in the set.



The set box came in a post satchel instead of the normal sturdy cardboard box, which explains why it looks a little like it was put through the dryer.  

The set box has the same features as the boxes from the main theme, but with confetti on the flanges. It also highlights that Sienna is the winner of the LEGO Designer Contest

The back of the box shows the back of the treehouse and highlights the numerous play features packed into this set. 



The side of the box gives us the usual warnings and indicates the size of the pieces by giving us a 1:1 image of Sienna. 
 

One of the short sides reminds us that Sienna was the winner of the contest in a number of languages. Imagine how excited Sienna must be with her name on the set box and a mini-doll named after her!

August 18, 2017

Review: 41315 Heartlake Surf Shop



Surf’s up! Let’s head on over to Heartlake City’s newest outlet for aquatic adventure…

This set was provided by the Operations & Community Engagement 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.

2017’s mid-year releases have included a number of beach-themed sets. Emma and Andrea are partying by the shore [41316] while Stephanie and Olivia are sailing a catamaran [41317]. This leaves Mia on her own at the Heartlake Surf Shop. So, what is she up to? The lack of a second figure leads me to wonder if she may be working here, managing rentals and sales. But, perhaps she’s just stopping in for necessities, doing honor-system shopping by leaving her “100” bill on the counter. It’s all up to our imagination… 


I received this set fresh from Denmark, in European packaging. Your box might look slightly different if you shop somewhere else, like North America. The ribbon branding along the top is of the standard type, so we know this is not a special sub-theme. The front scene, with shiny buildings in the background, tells us that we are on the shore in Heartlake City. We also get a glimpse of Andrea’s new speedboat, on the road. Twice on the box (front and side) we are told that the “Kayak does not float.” It surely does not, with holes in its bottom! 

Two views of the surf shop are shown here: a large exterior shot and a smaller inside view. What caught my attention immediately was the large wave atop the roof. This special signage is fun and reminds me of some whimsical original creations I’ve seen from young people in the official LEGO galleries. It’s classically “Friends” and makes the set memorable. The main scene foreground highlights a new animal friend and sporty Mia looks ready for outdoor activity.

At this point, I feel obligated to mention the LEGO Town Surf Shack [6595] of 1993. It really can’t compare here in any way, but I did love it for showing me how to build a cool hang glider (alternate model on box). 



Scenes on the box back show Mia presumably doing self-checkout at the store, waxing a board, showering, surfing, and taking pictures. Diagrams illustrate mini-doll construction and indicate that this is a 2-bag build.

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.

Favorites:
  • 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! 
THE DESIGN CONTEST
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:

Review: 41320 Heartlake Frozen Yogurt Shop



There are several options for frozen treats in Heartlake City, but when you want to pick up something yummy quickly, Heartlake Frozen Yogurt Shop is just the place! 
With the city’s first drive-thru window, even the busiest of the Friends can satisfy their sweet tooth on the go! 


This set was provided by the Operations & Community Engagement 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 standard Friends box design indicates this set is part of the main Friends theme and does not belong in any special sub-theme. 


On the back of the box, you can see what the store looks like inside. 


August 12, 2017

Review: 41323 Snow Resort Chalet




What better way to relax after a full day on the slopes than with a hot chocolate in your own resort chalet? Let’s take a closer at the features of the Snow Resort Chalet (41323)!

This set was provided by the Operations & Community Engagement 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 chalet and the two mini-dolls - Andrea and Amy - featured in the set, as well as a snippet of what’s inside the chalet.



The set is part of the Snow Resort sub-theme, as indicated by the ice patterns on the purple flanges and the ribbon wave, as well as the winter gear worn by the Friends shown at the top of the box.

The back of the box highlights the numerous accessories and play features packed into this set. 



It also highlights that the chalet floors can be separated.



August 9, 2017

Review: 41317 Sunshine Catamaran



Ahoy, friends! Pack your bag; it’s time to leave the city and embark on a fabulous marine adventure…

Imagine yourself on a luxurious yacht, gliding over dazzling waves with your friends... You bask in the sun with a good read, sipping cool beverages until reaching your destination. Then you venture out on a jet-ski, towing your pals behind, as a pair of laughing dolphins swim alongside. After dinner, it's a soak in the hot-tub, with a summer soundtrack playing under the stars. When you finally settle into your cozy bunk, you're lulled to sleep by the gentle motion of the sea. …I can't imagine anything better! And this is where we find Olivia and Stephanie today, out with Friend Liam, on the Sunshine Catamaran. I dare say, I'm a bit jealous of their exotic lifestyle! Come along, as we investigate this set further...

This set was provided by the Operations & Community Engagement 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.

Now, I’m guessing that your first impression of this set could be one of nonchalance. Perhaps you're thinking, “Meh. It's a remake of the Dolphin Cruiser. …just another party boat with a pair of marine mammals and a waterslide." But I would disagree! This is no “oh-hum" pleasure craft. It's a sailing catamaran – an elegant piece of engineering with a very special place in my heart! So, I could not wait to see what LEGO had included for features and how they'd be modeled. Such an unusual interior space would make for an interesting design challenge.

The LEGO company began promoting the Sunshine Catamaran prior to its availability via videos and social media. I even spotted it used as the setting for a comic in my son’s LEGO Life® magazine. …Heh, I do love Olivia here.



Incidentally, this is not the only catamaran set released this year. LEGO City also offers a little bare-bones "cat," towed by a 4x4 for pair of minifigures [60149]. And in the past, there have been many LEGO catamarans, including ones for Wookies [7260] and Islanders [6256], and even a floating speedboat version [7244]. But I'm happy to see one join the Friends line.

In case you don't know much about them, a catamaran's distinctive trait is its twin hulls. (Typical boats have just one, while a trimaran would have three.) Cats can be large or small, and powered by motor or sail. But they'll always feature two long floats with a joining deck. Even a modest catamaran will make use of the space inside each hull, adding a lower level for “the head” (a toilet) and a bunk or two. A larger one may include a lounge and upper-deck seating. And a super high-end yacht may even have a “tender garage” (storage for a small water craft). 

Well! Today our lucky Friends, Olivia and Stephanie, find themselves on just such a posh three-story transport. Exactly how this came to be, story-wise, I have no idea. But, for the sake of fun imagining: we'll say that Stephanie's parents have arranged a skippered yacht charter as a special treat for her and a friend. Thus, Liam is meant to help with operation and navigation. By the end of their trip however, he’ll undoubtedly become a member of the "Friends crew," so-to-speak.

I received my copy of this set directly from LEGO headquarters in Denmark. Although it had been well packed in an undamaged outer box, I found my sealed set with a bit of crush on one corner. Otherwise, it looked mint. Here it is with a 12-inch ruler for scale.



The front shows the traditional Friends branding and picture of the five girls. The set is nicely depicted and includes an inset picture revealing the boat's interior. Background art shows Heartlake City and, if you look closely, you'll see two other 2017 summer sets: Andrea's Speedboat Transporter [41316] and the Heartlake Surf Shop [41315]. Three minidolls are presented in a line-up: Olivia, Stephanie, and a new character, Liam. Because this is European packaging, there is no piece count or set name. But the suggested age range and set number are included. Also, in tiny white print, we are informed that the "Catamaran does not float." Your fearless reviewer tried it (so you don't have to), and... Indeed, it does *not* float.

August 7, 2017

Review: 41324 Snow Resort Ski Lift



Are you in for some cool fun at the ultimate winter sports resort? Come join Olivia and Mia at the Snow Resort Ski Lift.

This set was provided by the Operations & Community Engagement 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 box design has a new wintery look for the Snow Resort subtheme. The five Friends have new wintery outfits. You can see Heartlake City in the distance. It is not far to go skiing from Heartlake City.



The back of box shows the play features and accessories. That downhill launcher looks like fun.


August 4, 2017

Review: 41321 Snow Resort Off-Roader



Time to get away from the sweltering heatwave at Heartlake City, and go snowboarding!  I don’t know what’s going on here with these winter themed set’s being released during the summer time ...  However I’m not complaining, because when its hot, it’s cool to pretend you’re some place chilly!

This set was provided by the Operations & Community Engagement 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.

Below is the front of the box. It has the Friends Winter themed design, with five BFF's at the top right.

This set includes one mini doll, Emma, her snowboard and Jeep, and a snowy play area with a rail to grind on and a flag indicating this is a snowboard park!

The back of the box has a few good pictures of the off-road vehicle and Emma riding her snowboard! Their is a cute close-up image of Emma with some earmuff’s on. While this set includes an all important snowboarding helmet, there is no alternative hairpiece included with those green earmuff’s, drats!

This is a fun little set and provides all the things required to imagine traveling to the local ski hill for an action packed snowboarding day!

August 1, 2017

Review: 41316 Andrea's Speedboat Transporter



   As you can see from the above image, this set includes much more than just a car, a trailer, 
and a boat!  There is a whole beach themed area to explore.  I especially love the juice bar!  It's completely unexpected, and is integrated very well here.

This set was provided by the Operations & Community Engagement 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.

Below is the front of the box. It has the typical Friends themed design, with five BFF's at the top right.

This set includes TWO mini dolls, Andrea and Emma!  There is also a small green turtle included, easily missed, as it is poorly positioned just to the left of the boat dock in the above image.

The back of the box features the vehicles very well.  It also shows a number of beach worthy activities like keeping well hydrated, enjoying the shade, roasting hot dogs over a beach camp fire, and listening to a friend play guitar.

The sides of the box do not contain anything unexpected, so lets just skip those images.  All of the good stuff is on the front and back.

This set exceeded my expectations for playability. 

The main focus of this set is Andrea's Convertible, Boat Trailer, and the Speed boat.  If these were the only items included in this set it would be enough to keep kids engaged for hours.   However, this set also comes with a boat dock, juice bar, lounge chairs, hotdogs, fire pit, and a cute green turtle!  Imagine all the additional play possibilities!

I am sure that the Lego company considered releasing a smaller set with just the car, trailer, boat, and perhaps a single mini-doll.  This configuration is an obvious choice and would have retailed for a lower price.  I don't think Lego chose to go this route, as there are already many other vehicle focused Lego sets at about the same size, and already available.  Instead, they chose to include a "beach themed" area, complete with many interesting features, to suggest a wider range of play options, rather than just moving vehicles around.

July 30, 2017

Review: 41318 Heartlake Hospital




With so many winter sports on the go, it's lucky Heartlake Hospital is nearby to take of all those sprained wrists, bruised egos and broken legs. Lets have a closer look at the standard of service you can expect at the Heartlake Hospital.

This set was provided by the Operations & Community Engagement 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 hospital, and the mini-dolls and baby(!!) featured in the set, as well as a snippet of what’s inside the building. At three levels high, this is among the larger of the Friends buildings.


The box design with the standard purple flanges and ribbon wave across the top indicates that this set belongs to the base theme.  

The back of the box highlights the numerous accessories and play features packed into this set.