Review: 41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

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41007 Heartlake Pet SalonOne year on from the initial launch of the Friends range and my own favourable opinion of City Park Cafe 3061, Heartlake has now expanded to include various buildings such as a marina, vet’s office, large stables, among others. After a summer focusing heavily on equestrian activities, the third wave of sets, featuring a broader range of themes, was released on 26 December.

I’ve kindly been asked to write another review for Brickset; this time of 41007, Heartlake Pet Salon, which is a mid-sized set priced at £29.99/$29.99 and has 242 pieces and two ‘mini-dolls’.

Box

As you can see from the pictures below, the Friends boxes have retained their distinctive rounded sides, though the design of the five Friends at the top-right has been updated since the initial launch. As is usual, the front of the box shows the finished model with all minifigures while the back emphasises the multitude of accessories that are included with the set.

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

Parts

The parts are divided into two bags, and the box also contains two unbagged large light blue plates, one instruction manual and a small sheet of stickers.

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

There is a wide range of colours in this set, including some plates in one of my own favourite colours dark (or earth) blue, and it contains a few rare parts: arch brick 1 x 3 x 2 with curved top, modified brick 1 x 4 x 1 1/3 no studs, curved top, and round corner brick 3 x 3 x 2 dome top, all in magenta; 1 x 1 plate and slope 30, 1 x 2 x 2/3, in bright pink; brick 1 x 2 x 5 in aqua (yes, aqua despite my inexpert photography!); and finally a rather nice white round sign.

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

Mini-dolls

The two mini-dolls are Emma (one of the five main characters), in dark blue top and pink skirt, and Joanna, in a magenta and orange ensemble. Joanna’s braided hair is unique to this set and includes the usual hole for adding a hair decoration. Also included in this set is a very cute little white poodle, obviously the ideal customer at the Heartlake pet salon. I’ve lost count of all the new animals that have been introduced with the Friends range – some are ridiculously twee but this poodle counts among my favourites along with the hedgehog, squirrel and turtle.

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

Model/build

The build is not difficult and does not really include any interesting techniques. At the end of bag 1, the structure of the building is complete and is surprisingly sturdy.

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

The parts in bag 2 add the interior details to the set. The finished model includes a grooming area (with a plume of dark blue grey feathers, which judging by a picture on the back of the box are supposed to represent scissors!), a display of cute pet foods, a stand filled with pet accessories, a till counter and a small bath.

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

Overall opinion

I have to admit to feeling rather lukewarm about this set, though I am finding it hard to put my finger on why exactly. Visually, I find the colour scheme a little jarring; the mix of aqua, magenta, dark blue and bright pink is just one colour too many for me, so I may well replace the aqua parts with white instead. Also, the set seems to lack a well-defined function. As a pet salon, I expected the grooming area to be larger and more detailed (maybe my expectations were wrong – I’ve never been in this kind of establishment!) and yet half the interior was more along the lines of a pet shop. I also think the inclusion of another animal would help to improve the playability, so that each character could take care of an animal.

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

I placed this set alongside two earlier Friends sets in roughly the same price point (3061 and 3817) and in a similar style, with the glass frontage and curved roof, and in my opinion the pet salon came out the loser in terms of aesthetic appeal and charm and character.

41007 Heartlake Pet Salon

In both earlier sets, the colours seem to complement one another better and the buildings have a clearer identity and function, which I think is absent in the pet salon. In conclusion, I think 41007 may well be the weakest set in this wave of Friends, and possibly one of the weakest of the theme so far. However, other sets from the current wave have continued to impress me (e.g. 41001, 41002) and I am looking forward to the summer releases (in particular 41005 and 41006), so I think the Friends line as a whole is still going strong and will continue to be a success.

12 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I haven't built this set yet, but I do have to say that from the pictures, I, too, am under impressed and I consider myself to be a huge Fan of Friends (espeically with the boys coming in August). I agree that the function of this set is limited especially with the pretty spectacular vet from last year.

The colors don't bother me as much as the colors of the beauty shop do. I think that the roof is rather under-developed especially when compared to the beauty shop and cafe. I may have to change my opinion after I build the set (this review has inspired me to do it tonight), but that's my opinion from the pictures.

The standout set from this last wave is most definitely the karate class, and the sleeper surprise set for me was the rehearsal stage. We almost didn't buy it for our daughter (cough, cough), but I'm glad that we did. It's a pretty basic but fun build with some pretty good playability. The biggest disappointment out of the sets that we have built is the pool. It's fun and all so the playability is great, but from different angles, and you get loads of them when playing, the set looks rather messy, and it really has some stability issues. Now, my three year old daughter is not gentle on her toys, but I'm rebuilding the pool much more than any of her other LEGO sets.

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By in Canada,

Perhaps the reason for the lukewarm response is the fact that the bathtub build and that are not actually attached to the Baseplate? Initially I was against picking this up, quite frankly it just doesn't hold as much appeal to me as an AFOL collector, although there is potential there for some decent MOCing I think and also despite already owning three Emma Mini-Dolls and no doubt winding up with so much more as time progresses that top she's got on just screams cute. Also I enjoy the unique Mini-Dolls on offer in these types of sets.

Most of the Friends sets as a whole suffer a bit from Dollhouse Syndrome, the sets are designed for playability first and foremost with functionality second... Or so I believe. Anyway this still looks like it would be a great set piece, just modify it a little bit, perhaps add those Pet Booster Packs (Or whatever they're called) and instead of calling it a Pet Salon change it to the Pet Shop where you can find and purchase all manner of pets and see them groomed on the side. Who can say.

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By in United States,

The dark blue portion of the roof seems to clash with the rest of the shop and really kills it visually. The outside front reminds me of a strip mall shop that goes out of business after a few months. And when sitting with the cafe it looks even worse. My daughter loves the cafe and Olivia's house and has shown no interest in the pet shop at all. That says it all for me.

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By in United States,

^I agree with that, legodaddy. But, in the picture comparing the three sets (pet store, cafe, and the other I don't know the name of) I would definitely say the the pet salon ranks second, because the "unnamed one" as rather 'sharp-edged' for a Friends set. But, that is judging from a glance. Maybe in real life, oh, whatever.

>BIONICLE4EVER~UNITY, DUTY, DESTINY!<

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By in United States,

Thanks for the review LostInTranslation, as I recently acquired this set and it's always good to see other fans' take on the set builds & parts. I'll be building mine as an "Alternate" build before parting out for MOCs. Having been to a Pet shop IRL where they give doggie baths, an outside wash area could be considered easier on clean-up! I did think it was more the size of BBS, so am glad I stopped by for this :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

Good review - just wish it was possible to get some of the "friends" theme sets in city. Stables, vets, cafes, etc would be great additions like the olden days instead of just fire, police and more fire/police! As much as the friends theme appears to be a success, I wish it wasn't at the expense of a broad range of city/town sets.
The minifigure will (hopefully) live on long into the future after all these friends figures have been and gone and I hope we don't look back on this era as a black hole as far as town building goes. Where is the next cafe corner....

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By in United States,

I just finished building this set, and I have to say that my opinion has really changed. It's way better than I expected. There are a few issues. The roof is still the mess that I originally thought it would be. It really looks incomplete especially on the interior. The way that the front of the interior roof is fitted with studless plates almost makes it seem like this set should be compatible with modular building, but the lack of support on the sides kills the idea that a second story could be added (with a little modification, it could work quite easily though).

On the plus side, the colors don't bother me as much in real life as they do in pictures, but the absolute turning point for this set that makes it pretty amazing is that it's a 2-for-1. The interior is fitted with three areas with a 2x2 plate that has a single stud in the center. This allows for easy switching of plate structures on top of them. There are two 4x6 areas and one 2x4 area.

There are four 4x6 plate structures like the one that LostInTranslation shows in the review- a display of pet foods. There is a second display rack structure featuring the bones, stars, and hearts. Then there are two more 4x6 plate structures that feature the bathing tub and grooming table (complete with turntable to stand the pet on to groom easily from all sides!).

There are two 2x4 brick structures that can be swapped easily in the interior. The first is the birdhouse brick seen outside of the model. The second is a pet accessory bin featuring bows, sunglasses (for the diva pet...), and such.

What does this mean? By fitting the two displays racks plate structures and the birdhouse brick structure inside of the model, you have a pet store. By fitting the bathing tub, grooming table, and pet accessoriy bin inside of the model, you have a pet salon. Or you can have a mash-up of the two for a little of both. I think that's pretty clever, and it makes me a bigger supporter of this set.

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By in Australia,

I just wish somebody would put some roofs on these buildings.

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By in United States,

@AlexWeston - I have been buying these Friends sets specifically for my city. With a few modifications, they fit in well and add much needed variety to my streets. I set the figures aside (except for the hair, which I use on minifigs) and don't think twice.

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By in United States,

Not my favorite Friends set but my daughter thinks its great. This set is actually quite colorful in person. A City Pool review would be great. That is a super set

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By in United Kingdom,

^ good spot - I think I had that set!!!
^^^ fair point and the friends cafe my daughter has been put into the "town" but I feel it still looks out if place somehow. Maybe it's the colours or the deliberately "girlie" feel/soft edges
Anyway she's gone off friends and is back onto city/town
She's a real connoisseur of the my old 1980s sets and prefers them to her newer "noughties" city sets....

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