Friends: a male AFOL's view

Posted by ,

3932: Andrea in concert!My wife's been at a football match today (soccer I think most of you call it) so I found myself with time on my hands for a quick trip to Argos. My youngest daughter is a keen piano player so I thought I pick up 3932 Andrea's Stage for her. Unfortunately, being 17, she showed no interest in it whatsoever so I had to build it :-)

However, I do know that if these sets had come out 10 years ago she would have loved them. When my daughters were younger they had both Scala and Belville and enjoyed them both. However, I think they failed as LEGO sets because of the scale of the dolls. Because they were much larger than minifigs, the sets were full of large, specialised, and probably expensive parts which meant the sets themselves had few parts in them and scope for reuse was limited.

Friends, however, are pretty much minifig-scale and the sets and accessories can be used interchangeably with regular 'system' sets. I'm prepared to believe that little girls don't like minifigs and will find these mini-dolls far more appealing, remembering what I do about my two when they were young.

3932: Andrea in concert! So, what about this set? Well, it consists of a 'stage' with a neat curtain-effect, a piano and another piece of stage with lights and mic. stand. All three parts are well designed but it's a shame they don't all go together with the piano on the stage and the fancy purple stage bit integrated into the main one. Still, I don't suppose it will be too much work to do just that with parts in your collection.

The magenta and medium lavender parts in this set are absolutely gorgeous and the tiles are printed which is always better than stickers, so there's nothing not to like about this set.

I'm going to end this by repeating what Lucy said below because I agree entirely: "I certainly will be buying more of the Friends range, partly for the new parts and colours which I know MOCers are drooling over, but also on the basis of their own merits." If you want to see what skilled MOCers are doing with the parts, check out this spacecraft at Brothers-Brick.

39 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Brickset is being overrun with these mini-reviews... :P

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ It'll come to an end now, it's back to work for me and school for you, tomorrow...

Do you not like them?

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@Huw: I do like them, it's just that I consider Brickset as a LEGO set database, not a review site. :P

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

You could always filter 'Review' out of your news preferences...

One reason for posting them is more news articles = more hits = more likelihood of hitting 6 million page views in a month! http://www.brickset.com/about/stats/

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

How odd, your wife was off watchin' the footy and you were at home playing with girls' toys :P

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@Huw: I know! It's that I consider these reviews a little "off-topic", so to speak. :P And I want to see everything that you guys post. :)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Yep, I'm a football widower. And Formula 1, speedway, tennis, athletics, snooker, darts, you name it, she's glued to the TV watching it...

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@George: Extremely odd, I would say. XD
@Huw: She's a sports freak. XD F1 too? I wonder what she said about the new BBC/Sky deal... :P

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Alemas: well I'm happy about the reviews, it gave me my chance at 5 minutes of fame :P
@Huw: I'm glad I'm quote-worthy :-) And it's definitely 'football'. The missus will be happy that Pompey won, won't she? My lot had a rare win today too. Wish I was at your house so I could be watching the darts :(
And all this is even more "off-topic" than the reviews... :-)

Gravatar
By in United States,

That piano looks so cool, so I think I'll build one with my own collection- not buy one! My parents might think there was something wrong with me. But wait! I have sisters! Ha ha ha.

Anyhow, I used to take piano lessons, but my teacher moved away to Idaho and I basically stopped them. I still play sometimes though, but all I know how to play are Axel F and Saria's Song (the Lost Woods theme) from Zelda 64. I should start playing again. :P

And I just noticed the Microphone...zuh. Microphones. That's it. I'm buying this for my younger sister. :P

EDIT: Forgive my crazy ramble (Weird, my longest comment is on a review of a girl toy), but I noticed the instructions at the end had not that weird "YEAAAAH" looking dude, but this smiling little six year old. Man, even the INSTRUCTIONS are female. XD

Gravatar
By in United States,

*First ON-Topic Post* haha :)

I am a male, a young AFOL to be more specific. The LEGO Friends theme was initially a theme that I thought I'd pass up on, however once I saw the sets in more detail, I became more interested in them! Furthermore, the price points for these sets isn't sky-high like some of the other sets.

So to sum it up, despite being a male, an adult male: I'm still going to buy these sets (When they go on sale!)... Borrowing a line from the show "Pawn Stars" (History Channel here in the USA) "They're cuter than hell" :P

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I like the reviews. Especially for the sets that I probably wouldn't buy. It's interesting to see people's opinions and the news pieces/prints etc.

If anything, reviews aid collecting, not detract from it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Alemas and Huw - I like these mini reviews, they are good for seeing what to purchase now I have the Superheroes and Star Wars sets. I am looking forward to your mini reviews of the X and Y-wings so please don't stop before you do those (I still have two weeks off school :) which is what you get for an 8:20am to 8:30pm school day I suppose). You wouldn't want me to get bored would you?!

Gravatar
By in United States,

I am not as thrilled about "new colors" or "new pieces" or new "doll figures". Hey, I'll stick with Lego's classic minifig.

Gravatar
By in United States,

That spacecraft built out of the friends sets is awesome. Wait for some sales.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I'm really close to just giving in and buying the whole theme. Aside from it targeting girls it has a lot of stuff collectors like me love. Since I'm in Canada I'll probably need a good sale, but that law usually applies for every purchase in this country!

So far I'd say this is the most appealing theme in Jan 2012. City, NinjaGo, Dino, and Batman sets are jokes.

Friends also has some decent summer sets lined up... although by then the other themes (minus City) will be up and kicking with some real collector quality sets. I might just hold my cash until then.

Gravatar
By in United States,

But...I...still....no. Just no. The sets are great, they really are, but those darned dolls....

You UK-ers aren't alone today in the Football & Soccer world: the Pasadena Tournament of Roses was today, bringing with it the Rose Bowl, a popular nation-wide US Football event. :P

@CapnRex, WHAT? I go back to school this Wednesday! Not cool! D:

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Jonbuddy - I have a long day at school, I still spend more hours at school than most schools here in the UK despite the long holidays.

I have one of these sets now, the Olivia's tree house one and it is nice, there are loads of great pieces so I might pick up a couple more of these.

Gravatar
By in United States,

wow I'm 16 and will be 17 in a few months, and I still LOVE legos. (I am a MFOL). and I still havent lost my intrest in Legos.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

You guys in the UK have to go back to work/school today? So you only get 1 week off? I get another week.

Great review, Huw. You just might have convinced me to buy some of the Friends line.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Huw, nice 'reason' to get the sets :P Too bad I don't have an excuse- I mean reason, to get these :P Is the Microphone CM quality or genuine? I started School today... (And they say Home school-ers are lazy! :P

Gravatar
By in United States,

As much as I don't have a reason to dislike the theme and how much I support the reasons behind LEGO's doing, I don't think the theme is going to last all that long. A year or maybe two, and then it will completely flop or get discontinued. LEGO will see that they didn't reach their target audience and then discontinue it and/or see that it's a waste of their time making the sets and might as well just throw random exotic colors in a box to satisfy the MOCers and discontinue it despite the love from TFOL and AFOL MOCers. Unfortunately it has been getting a ton of hate, just look at the ratings on this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEbJQmiZlEk and I don't think it will last all that long. My comment still hasn't been approved and I posted it a week ago. I was completely considerate and respectful and supportive. To me, it looks like LEGO isn't even feeling so optomistic about the theme anymore. I guess people might as well just make them sell out of the things in an attempt to keep the MOCing love going strong. It's not in any of my plans to get a set, but perhaps I would get the car. Purple is a lacking color in my collection and could be a nice addition to the collection of the weirdest colors in small amounts like Teal, Violet, and Magenta. Honestly, I don't even know where I was going with this comment so I might as well end it by saying Friends is the best thing for MOCers but is most likely a total flop. Sorry to be a bit of a downer.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@MCLegoboy

Never let messages or comment posts on the Internet sucker you into thinking that the Buying Public is going to HATE on something just because the vocal fan-base of any given thing wants to detract, denounce and just plain be rude about something they don't even fully understand.

The LEGO Friends Theme may surprise you in it's longevity, we as a whole, be us MAFOL, FAFOL, MTFOL, FTFOL or... well you get the point, we may not all agree that LEGO is making a good move. We might even think some of these new Friends sets are utter tripe, or worthless, but that doesn't make us the Last Word on the subject.

I strongly disagree with your statement, this Theme will not simply die out from lack of support. The children will have the final say on the matter, the children, be they boys or girls who have never touched a LEGO set in their lives, or ones who've been collecting since they met the age requirements on that box of DUPLO they've had since they were 3, they alone have the power to make or break this Theme.

I have long held the belief that any adult fan of a given toyline is in the minority. Children are the bread and butter that these toy companies live on, it's been that way since we were children. Growing up I saw a lot of crazy toy ideas make it into the popular trends. (Remember Army Ants, Creepie Crawlers? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?) Those toys were highly collectible for the children, the school yard gossip was all about the latest thing. The newest figure you bought, the greatest bug you made. (Or so I gather, personally I was already too old when Creepie Crawlers was first introduced, but it was popular enough for my younger brother to be 'In' with the 'Hip New Thing'.)

So children are going to be the ones who mean the most to LEGO when it comes to any new Themes.

LEGO Children buy up anything their friends have. If one of their group suddenly shows off her or his new Friends set, they will all start clamoring for one. (Well most of them will, there might still be the one or two hold outs that refuse simply because it's just not what they like.) It is also too soon to even think about this being a One Hit Wonder kind of deal.

I'm certain there are even some kids that loved to death their LEGO Ben-10 Aliens or LEGO Galidor Action Figures, they just weren't in the high enough majority to keep those ideas floating around because the sales flagged. (I of course am basing this on the fact that I don't see Ben-10 anymore on the shelves and assume it's another canceled Theme.)

These Reviews from other adult collectors are quite informative, the look of the sets are really neat to be honest, I don't have much against them, aside from the fact that even as an MAFOL who likes other girl brands/branded items, well I just don't see myself picking up anything from this Theme, because I'd rather spend that 25-40$ on a LEGO set out of the Themes that attract my interest more due to multiple factors, not just the colors of the bricks or unique new parts that are included in the set.

But just because I'm not going to 'support/buy' this product from LEGO doesn't mean that I'm the straw that broke LEGO's Market Research Department's Back. It all boils down to the kids, the teens who refuse to give up their love of a product as imaginative as LEGO and we older generation who clamored for that late 80's early 90's Pirate Ship every Christmas and Birthday. All of us combined make up the sales, and sales don't necessarily reflect popularity.

If that were the case I'm sure there are any number of 80's Fad Toylines that could still be around today based on their Sales Alone back in the day.

So I guess ultimately what I'm trying to say is...

If you like Friends, great. Then you'll love what LEGO's offering.
If you can't stand them just from pictures alone, at least find someone you know who has a set and take a look at them in person before forming such negative spiteful opinions of it.
And if you're luke warm/neutral on the subject, that's what you are. No shame in admitting it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Odeinoichus - That has to be the longest comment I have ever seen!

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@CapnRex: Wrong, there was an even longer one before. :P

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Alemas - Well it's in the top three!

PS. Are you on the forums?

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@CapnRex: No, I'm not in the forum... :(

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Alemas - Are you not old enough? I only joined a couple of days ago (my birthday is only just after Christmas :().

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^
^^
Being a Senior TFOL(16-18) is an rare acomplishment, mainly due to a lot of people our age go into their dark ages, but all my friends in college are 'in the closet' lego fans! :P

Gravatar
By in United States,

@TheCahleySlash - It is. All of my friends know about it though and they don't mind. If someone has a problem with me collecting Lego then that's their problem, I find they all tend to get bored in school holidays etc. whereas I never do! Lucky me!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@CapnRex101 - I love Lego but my family find me buying tremendous amounts of Lego i.e to them 20+ sets, then they think its some obsession, but little do they know that my collection is worth thousands on retail value, never mind ebay!

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@CapnRex: I'm under 16... :P

Gravatar
By in United States,

Typo - colors, not colours.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@padinch: "colours" is the British spelling. :P Huw is British, so...

Gravatar
By in United States,

As a father of 2 girls who love Lego's ( city type sets).
These have been all my oldest (7) has talked about since seeing a early release picture.
She has been saving her dollars to get them.

We were lucky enough to get "Mia’s Puppy House" from a local store a few days prior to the official release on 1-1-12.

She loved it, especially the new figure type. All the new "bugs", "butterflies" are a big win.
I think once we a get a few bigger sets, the play factor will go up. The set we got was "boring" in her words on it's own.

The treehouse, vet center, and bakery seem to be her most wanted, along with the doll house.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Alemas

Sorry! I'm a 13 year old student in the US, so I thought it was odd for someone much older to spell something wrong. Apparently he spelled it right.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@vamproe unfortunately, the set you got - the puppy patrol one, is in my opinion one of the worst of the bunch, even among those at the same price point.

Like you said - play-ability will go up once you get some of the others. At the same price point the Workshop and Design studio are both excellent, and the even less expensive outdoor bakery is a steal IMHO.

Both my girls (6 and 10) LOVE these sets - both the new figures and all the accessories are a huge hit with them and their friends.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I actually liked Mia's puppy house, the tree was nice and it comes with loads of hair accessories, and a puppy, but olvia's workshop is my favorite.

I took my daughter on Sunday to get 2 sets and we got 3 (she is quite persuasive, which is of course my fault ;)

My wife actually wanted Emma design studio after seeing the ones i got, so i got her it yesterday, and it too is a nice set.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I do really like the robot in the inventor set. :-)

Commenting has ended on this article.

Return to home page »