Review: 41181 Naida's Gondola & the Goblin Thief

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The Elves theme has been of consistently high quality during its first two years, offering some tremendous large sets as well as an impressive range of smaller ones. 41181 Naida's Gondola & the Goblin Thief contains just 67 pieces but is a worthy addition to the world of Elvendale despite its small size.

The two figures included are currently exclusive to this set and I am very pleased to see another nautical vehicle as 41073 Naida's Epic Adventure Ship proved to be one of the highlights of the first wave. Hopefully this tiny gondola will be similarly impressive, particularly since it incorporates a new golden scroll element which looks splendid.

Mini-dolls

Naida the water elf wears a new blue outfit this year and this is accented by some metallic silver jewellery printed around her neck. I like the contrasting shades of blue on her dress and the dual-moulded hair looks great, with a hole for an accessory at the back and pointed ears on either side. Naida's skin is adorned with some blue markings and the water symbol on her left shoulder is a particularly nice touch.

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The Elves are opposed by a small army of Goblins in 2017 and Roblin is one such creature. Most of these figures have spring yellowish green skin and I like the contrast this offers against Roblin's magenta clothing and hair. He wears a reddish brown belt which features the Goblin King's emblem, a pouch and a bar of chocolate. Unfortunately this does not continue onto the back of the torso but he does include a pin hole for an accessory.

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Plenty of accessories are included, the most notable of which are two new printed tiles. The 2x2 tan tile shows the route to Emily Jones and the Goblin King's fortress while the 1x2 tile is cast in trans-bright green and features the Goblin Eye and some crystals. These crystals provide a source of power for the Goblin King's portal and two of these trans-bright green crystals are included along with a printed compass and a basket.

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The Completed Model

Naida's gondola is fairly simple but includes some charming details and an attractive colour scheme of blues, reddish brown and pearl gold. The bow is not as sharp as I would like but the rest of the model is quite impressive, with deck space for storing the basket of crystals and a seat for Naida between two decorative pink flowers.

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A trans-medium blue head represents a lantern and this element has only appeared in four previous sets, all of which have been much larger than this one. The golden scrollwork at the rear is a brand new piece and it looks marvellous, although the scrolls do not fit the diameter of a bar which slightly reduces its versatility. I think the front of the gondola would look a little better with a matching design but the colour scheme is pleasingly balanced.

View image at flickr

Roblin, meanwhile, occupies a small island and is equipped with a rotating catapult which launches evil seeds. These seeds include printed ball components in 41185 Magic Rescue from the Goblin Village and it would have been nice to see those included here, although they would not have fitted entirely within the small catapult bucket.

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There is space for Roblin to stand behind the telescope and watch for intrusive elves. Luckily he is also equipped with a chicken leg to maintain energy during even the longest lookout periods and there are some lime green berries hanging from a nearby leaf. The combination of curving green slopes and angular light bluish grey rocks looks splendid, as do the lime green elements which represent moss on top.

View image at flickr

Overall

The Elves range continues to impress. Mini-doll based sets are often criticised for including relatively few figures but this tiny offering includes two opposing characters and therefore offers good play value given its price point of just £8.99 or $9.99. The models are perhaps not up the standard we have come to expect from Elves sets but they are certainly satisfactory and the island matches the existing style of the Elvendale environment.

View image at flickr

These figures are exclusive at the moment but Naida will be available in 41187 Rosalyn's Healing Hideout in the summer so the appeal of this set is slightly lessened. Nevertheless, the Goblins are highly collectable and I think this is a worthy purchase, particularly if you are not intending to buy the larger sets.

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

15 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I just built Aira's airship yesterday, so I agree that it is indeed a shame that the goblins lack back printing, especially since a belt is a part of every single one of their outfits!

This set is one of the least essential of this year's sets but it's also the cheapest. Depending on what Roblin alone ends up going for at conventions I may end up picking this one up just for him, though.

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By in United Kingdom,

The goblin icon looks like the eye of sauron from the Lord of the Rings films :)

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By in United States,

@CapnRex101: one man's "spring yellowish green," is another man's "baby diarrhea" ! regardless, i don't buy usually Elves sets, but this might just tempt me...

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By in United States,

@AD 2003: With the three triangular eyelashes it's also really reminiscent of the Sheikah eye symbol from The Legend of Zelda, albeit without the teardrop: https://zeldawiki.org/File:Sheikah.png

Naida's new outfit in this set is really stylish! I love the dual-colored skirt and her fashionable sandals. It's kind of a shame she doesn't have a new face print, though, especially since many of the other characters got new face prints last year and she did not. The goblins are pretty cute and funny in their own right. I love their pallid pastel skin colors and brightly-colored hair.

It's nice to get more vehicles in the Elves theme again this year, although this one is not as exciting to me as Azari's chariot in the summer since it's so small and Naida has already had a much more impressive vehicle. I do like the styling of the gondola, though — it looks about how I'd expect a LEGO Elves boat its size to look.

This set does somewhat disappoint me in terms of its lack of exciting play features, though I know that's pretty normal for sets this size. The catapult is alright but doesn't feel as "magical" to me as the features of many previous LEGO Elves sets. Maybe it would feel more impressive if the evil seeds being flung were the bigger ones with printed faces, though I know those wouldn't fit as neatly in this catapult piece.

The piece count of this set is also surprisingly low for a set this size without a lot of big or specialized parts. I'd normally expect at least 80 pieces in a $10 set like this. Overall, this is probably the new Elves set I'm least excited for, although it still seems like a pretty nice playset as a whole.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Aanchir: Thanks for the link, it really does look like that!

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By in New Zealand,

Nice review @CapnRex101, but may I ask when we are getting an A-wing review? :)

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By in United States,

I was eyeballing this in the store today because of those gold pieces. Gonna be working on something that could really benefit from those so may be picking it up just for that. Elves sets in general just look very appealing, all the color and style.

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By in United Kingdom,

I like this set I only own azari, emily and farran so I,d defiantly love this as its naida who I really like as a character and its the cheapest set she,s been featured in..
Gondola is cute too.

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By in United States,

I think the similarity between the Goblin King's eye emblem and the Sheikah eye motif might not be a coincidence—don't forget that Wes Talbott, who is currently a designer for Lego Elves, was also the one behind the Legend of Zelda Iron Knuckle Encounter project on Lego Ideas (one of the first Zelda projects to reach 10,000 supporters)!

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By in Poland,

Love these new ornamental pieces, but IMO the Flying ship is just MUCH better.

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By in United States,

@lordofdragonss: I think most people would share that opinion. :P Pretty much any time you compare a $10 set with a $40 one, the $40 one is going to come out on top. Sets like this one are largely there to offer a cheap entry point for buyers who have less to spend on sets, to hopefully make theme fans of the theme and encourage them to consider following it up with the bigger and more impressive sets.

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By in Canada,

The lack of back printing on the goblin is really disappointing but the rest of the set is pretty good. I'm still excited for the whole theme in general.

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By in United States,

Great review! I just got this set last week, along with the Water Dragon Adventure set.

Not all of the goblins have the yellow-green skin, though. Some actually have skin colors that match with their hair & outfit colors; while others have different color combinations.

Also, Naida comes with Rosalyn's Healing Hideout set [#41187] in the summer, actually. Not the Breakout from the Goblin King's Fortress [that set has Emily and Sophie Jones; The Goblin King Cronan, and Tufflin the Goblin].

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By in United States,

Gremlins and goblins!

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