"Haven't seen in you in a while, Megan," a colleague greeted me the other day. "Are you still building LEGO sets?"
(Of course, we all realize that's a rhetorical question, but my coworkers generally don't.) "Of course!"
"You know, when we first met (several years ago) I hadn't touched LEGO in years. Now I have kids, and my entire house is taken over with LEGO. We just got the Frozen palace. Do you know that one?"
"Of course. I'm just doing a review on that set now……"
41062 Elsa's Sparkling Ice Castle was the best selling LEGO set of 2015. It's not a surprise then that LEGO would re issue the set in a larger and more grandiose form a couple years later. The result is 41148 Elsa's Magical Ice Palace
The box art shows the front of the set displayed with the front doors of the palace just starting to open; we see Elsa on the second floor balcony. The lower left has Marshmallow with the Snowgies with the Snowgies' playground; Anna and Olaf are nearby on sleds. The back of the box shows the palace from the rear, with insets of many of the features of the set, including the moving portions. There's an inset that shows all the accessories included.
Inside the box we have six numbered bags, a small slide in pale blue, two baseplates in white (8x16 and 16x16), one baseplate in pale blue (8x16), a perfect bound instruction booklet that comes with a strong piece of cardboard and a very sparkly sticker sheet.
Both minidolls are new to this set. I really like the dual colour of Elsa's dress with the blue bodice and shoulder less purple sleeves. Her skirt appropriately has a snowflake design on the front in silver. She comes with some ice shooting out of her hand, demonstrating her cryokinetic powers. Elsa is also wearing a long cloak of a different style than I've typically seen in Elves or Friends sets - it's longer and drags on the ground behind her. The fabric is a plain blue on one side and sparkly blue on the other. Anna's torso has a nicely detailed green vest with gold trim and buttons that also has a printed design on the back. Her long green skirt is slightly more plain but has some gold detailing at the bottom. Her hair is swept up in a bun; I'm not sure I like the style but I do like that we have something new.
Olaf comes with a special moulded head but even if you added a minifig head I think this would be a better representation of a snowman than we've seen in a while (I'm looking at you, advent calendars). The new 1x1 tile with dots to represent buttons is a really nice touch.
Marshmallow isn't a minidoll, but is one of the first things that's built. I think the colours are used to great effect and while I will still bemoan the grey ball joints, I don't find them all that annoying in this case. The Snowgies, which aren't seen in the first film, are included in the set for some extra fun.
A toboggan is also provided to allow for some snow fun for Olaf and the girls. This goes quite well with the playground for the Snowgies.
The main build starts with putting together the base of the ice palace, the slide off to the side as well as the beginning of the structure of the front doors.
As the build continues the front door is finished with translucent blue pieces with sparkly stickers applied. Translucent fans with sparkle are used on either side of the elevated walkway that leads to the front door. Much to my delight the BURP pieces that make up the front wall are not only translucent blue, but have sparkles as well. The side staircase is also completed and can be furled and unfurled at will that to a revolving mechanism topped with (what else) some more pretty translucent blue pieces.
The front door is the same mechanism as used for the front doors in 41180 Ragana's Magic Shadow Castle. Pull the lever toward the fans, and the doors will open and provide steps to the elevated walkway to get into the castle.
It's a very elegant mechanism and my complaint with 41180 is that the mechanism took up a large portion of the room inside when the doors are closed, taking away from play value. That is accounted for in this set as the build continues, as some structural elements are added: a sideboard with a small sink and a very tiny cupboard underneath. Also included is a table set for tea, complete with fancy cake (though no plates) and a curious choice of glassware with goblets as opposed to tea cups. Some snacks are also provided on the sideboard. The dining area isn't the only detailed area; on the other side of the door there's a music stand with sheet music.
The grand staircase takes you to the second floor, which includes a balcony with swinging gates, with some inside furnishings including a mirror, bed and mat. There's a suitably impressive balcony off the bedroom.
Adding the roof with a bright blue snowflake as the top decorative feature as well as the chandelier finishes the build. Even though it's not in the instruction booklet, the way the chandelier is designed it's very easy to push down on the top rod to have the chandelier crash to the floor, like it does in the film. I rather liked being able to crash the chandelier relatively easily.
All put together, the palace makes for a rather impressive structure.
Much like my coworker's daughters, I quite liked this set. I wasn't prepared to; I thought re-imagining a set just two years after the original was a bit too soon. I like the opening door mechanism, while it's the same as the front door in Ragana's Magic Shadow Castle, it's a great mechanism and does provide the grandiose entrance that the palace deserves. I also like that the designer has added some play features on the first floor such as the music sheet and the dining area for some extra detail.
I really enjoyed the colour scheme of this set - obviously very fitting with the story. The only problem with it was in deciding what background colour to use for the pictures that didn't wash the details out!
The second floor also has some nice details for the bedroom and the balcony from which Elsa can view the ice countryside. The chandelier is not to be missed - again, I'm not sure if the ease of "crashing" was purposeful, but I found it a nice detail.
I think this would be a great set for anyone who enjoyed the movie. Even if you didn't, it's a good source of translucent blue pieces, including those sparkly blue BURPs.