Drum roll… first LEGO Friends review! Well actually if i’m truthful it’s not that dramatic, I actually buy quite a lot of LEGO Friends for my daughter and you only have to see our house to see the pink, purple and all shades of pastel influence on the LEGO stockpile. For my first Friends review I decided to jump in with the LEGO Friends Amusement Park Hot Dog Van 41129. In this instance I actually bought this set for myself with ideas to tone down the colour scheme and set up a foodie van park for my Modular city – watch this space.
Based on my daughter’s reactions to boxes, LEGO must have got their marketing spot on with the colour palette and curved design of the boxes. Ironically talking to a family member that works at BIG W they stated the box is a nightmare, as it’s unbalanced and falls easily off the shelves compared to more standard box designs found with other LEGO themes. Keeping on focus I guess this is a blog on the brick not the box!
The set includes 243 pieces, 2 x minifigure dolls and retails at AUD $44.99 / USD $29.99 / GBP £24.99. Note – prices are based on the LEGO online shop and it’s worth noting with Christmas sales you should be able to pick this set up a lot cheaper – I picked one up at K-Mart for $38.00.
The box contains 2 x numbered bags, instruction booklet and disappointedly a scrunched up sheet of stickers (maybe due to that poorly designed box falling over all the time?). The reverse of the box also has the standard storyboard design highlighting some of the playability of the set.
If you watch the TV show you’ll already know the characters, if not we get Stephanie (kinda the leader of the group of 5 female friends) and Nate (has a crush on Stephanie?). Both minifigure dolls are unique to this set. The torso printing is good, but isn’t as intricate as you would find with LEGO Elves minifigure dolls.
Interestingly Nate also comes with an alternative option by removing his hair and adding the hot dog dress up sleeve. The hot dog sleeve made its first and only appearance (until now) as part of the collectable minifigure series (Series 13). One point to note on first appearance they look the same, however Nate’s hot dog sleeve is glossier (I prefer), but the printing isn’t as sharp and actually sloppy which is a shame.
Before we start on the main build we also get a series of nice little inclusions to set the scene and add a little imaginative flare to the play. First off the rank a simple but effective fairground mirror to confirm what a tool Nate looks in his hot dog costume!
Every fairground has to have a goofy photo board prop. This one has been thought out to perfection. It sounds obvious but the sticker is designed to frame the minifigure dolls head when the doll is fixed on the reverse. Amazing how simple things like this have been missed in the past. Thanks to Stephanie for showcasing the photo board prop.
Keeping with the photo theme we also have a selfie photo booth.
Of course we also need some seats and a sign to ensure we capture anyone who struggles to see the van or what it might be selling hehe!
The remainder of bag 1 starts the main van build and sets out the foundation ready for bag 2 and completion of the set.
Bag 2 and just like that it magically completes the build. In a nutshell we have a very cleverly designed foodie van in the shape of a hot dog and even incorporates some comfy seating on the roof. The interior is kitted out with all the requirements needed to cook, present and sell quality hot dogs!
The reverse of the hot dog van reveals a convenient ladder to get to the roof (Health and Safety will have a fit – 3 point harness!). Also worth noting that the roof has been designed for easy removal and reattachment.
Well that’s another wrap – I grabbed a few friends for the final shot including Mr Pizza head (a creation of my daughters I randomly found in our LEGO Christmas village, she made me promise to put him in the photo). Overall I love this set and can’t wait to change the colour palette and experiment a little.
Final Rating: 8 out of 10
If anyone else has had a play and altered the set would love to see some pictures and hear your ideas? Feel free to comment on my Facebook Page or on the Blog.