The Friends line has been divided into two halves this Summer, with one based on Livi, a pop star visiting Heartlake City, and the other focusing on tourism. 41098 Emma's Tourist Kiosk is the smallest of these, priced at just £9.99 and containing 98-pieces as well as one minidoll.
41101 Heartlake Grand Hotel might be the most visually impressive Friends set of the Summer, but this set offers a fantastic parts selection for the price and looks great as a stand-alone model or as part of a larger scene.
Box and Contents
The small box shows the tourist kiosk situated in the park, with the Grand Hotel and airport visible in the distance. The back simply shows some potential play scenarios with Emma working at the kiosk, posting a letter or relaxing on the bench.
Inside is a single instruction manual and two bags. I very much like the Heartlake city map which features at the back of every Friends instruction booklet, which shows where the model is located within the city.
Emma is one of the five original Friends characters and this is her only appearance in the tourism subtheme this Summer. Her hair piece and head are the same as ever while the torso is printed with a large flower and has only appeared before in a couple of the larger sets. The purple skirt and magenta shoes have been featured in four earlier sets, including the recent 30204 Wish Fountain polybag, which I suspect is intended to accompany this model.
A number of accessories are included which can be attached to Emma's hair and she also comes with a pair of orange roller skates, allowing for some customisation.
The Completed Model
This is only a small model but it offers a great deal in relation to its size. The parts selection is what drew me to it initially as most of the new Friends pieces for this Summer appear in this inexpensive set. For me, the 'capital' brick is particularly interesting as it is naturally very useful for adding some nice detailing to the interior or exterior of buildings. The ionic design is very versatile and the addition of a stud to the top of the protuberance makes it even more useful as not only a decorative brick, but also a structural one.
The newspaper and postcard tiles are also very nice, but the 1x1 round tile with pin is unique and therefore stands out. Five of these are found in this set, including a spare, as attachment points for Friends accessories. The hole in the pin is only large enough to fit one of these tiny pieces but the pin itself is the diameter of a standard bar so can be held in a minifigure's hand or a clip. This makes it an incredibly useful piece, more so than the 'capital' brick or any other I can think of to be introduced this year in fact!
I would like to talk in greater detail about the parts, but I will move on to the set itself and leave that for caperberry and The New Elementary. The rotating accessories stand is a simple build but it looks nice, as do the bench and post box. The bench is dark orange rather than reddish brown which was a welcome surprise as I think this brighter colour suits the Friends vibe well.
The tourism kiosk itself is also a lovely little model, with a nice colour scheme of tan, medium dark flesh and medium blue. There is room for one minidoll to stand behind the counter and various wares for sale, including a postcard, a newspaper and a lolly.
Whether or not you are a Friends fan I think this is a worthy purchase for the parts alone, perhaps even in multiples. The 'capital' brick and the 1x1 tile with pin are both fantastic new pieces with lots of potential for incorporation into your own models.
For the price of £9.99 I think this is an excellent set, even if you choose to keep it together and add it to your City layout. There really isn't anything not to like about it in my opinion and I absolutely recommend it.