Review: 41148 Elsa's Magical Ice Palace

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"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.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

All put together, the palace makes for a rather impressive structure.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Overall thoughts

View image at flickr

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.

20 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Nice review. I personally think this is better than the original.

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By in United Kingdom,

I absolutely abhor this film but I like to buy sets I hate so I can find creative ways to destroy them (for this one I set up a rig with a lot of spring loaded shooters and a launch like the 2015 speed champions start lights). It's the same reason I got the original (and for that matter the kylo ren's command shuttle).

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By in Netherlands,

You made a fan right here Mr. Speed champio fan,.... :)

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By in Canada,

@VaderFan2187 but very playable. It's perfect for my six year old to actually play with the castle, and gives her more room than Arrendelle Summer Castle.

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By in United States,

This castle is just begging to be attacked by my SnowTroopers legion and Darth Vader I mean, it looks cool but my interest rests elsewhere although a Castle for the Star Wars line wouldn't be a half bad idea now that I think about it.

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By in United States,

@Speed champions fan, I wish I had as much extra money as you : )

The set looks neat, but I refuse to buy it simply on principle. No Frozen for me!

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By in Australia,

Just ordered this one for the little one, which was discounted to £43.54 and on triple VIP points
She will be very excited to build it.

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By in United States,

One thing I love is that I'm pretty sure that the notes on the music page are the first three notes to the chorus of "Let it Go"! If it is (assuming my music reading skills haven't just completely decayed since I last played an instrument), it's a great sort of in-joke!

Altogether I think this set is a great update and I can only hope that in a couple years Moana (which had decent but not perfect sets) might get a similar "second pass".

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By in Germany,

Our girls love both Frozen as well as Lego. Strange then that up to now we don't have a single Lego Frozen set. That might change with this set though ;-)

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By in United States,

It looks good overall. I wanted the set, but then after this review, I think I will actually pass. I do want to build a giant Elsa ice castle and this has some interesting things to take away, but I don't know if I should get this as a starting point and expand or just recreate my own. For the price, I will likely just buy pieces and see what I can come up with. My daughter has the main figures already, so I'm not too concerned with the updates.

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By in United States,

It seems kind of puny for an $80 set. And the off-colors and random items not seen in the film still irk me, but that's nothing new to this model in particular. It improves a great deal upon the original castle, to be sure... love the aqua Nexo Knights slope, they've been finding loads of uses for that this season, and the trans-blue looks fantastic.

Also, why do they keep making the facades of the top of castles just one wall that is barely a brick thick and makes no attempt to be three-dimensional?! It looks really stupid!

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By in United States,

*reads intro*
THIS IS GETTIN PRETTY META

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By in United Kingdom,

Great review Megan, I'm unsure of whether it actually persuades me to buy the set but there's certainly something enjoyable about reading into this type of evaluation - plus a great dollhouse format if you're for example, a girl and want to be able to get right into it for play. And this is solid content that keeps trolls and raging users from complaining about other things, so there's always a plus...

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By in United States,

The Palace...it's a magical place.

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By in Germany,

Nice review! Nice set! I like it. :)

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By in United States,

Thanks for the good review. I had my eye on this, but might pass unless i see it heavily discounted. I do love the trans blue pieces, but the overall design is just too boring for me. It's very flat, square, and facade-y. Also the interior details are pretty meh. I might buy one to get the pieces and try to make a better ice palace from it.

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By in United States,

Great review! As I said when this set was first revealed--this was the set that Lego should have put out in 2015! If only they and everyone would have known the Frozen fever that was coming! It's arguably a better castle in every way compared to the previous version, but that said, although I love Frozen, and I had initially intended to pick this newer version up too...I may end up passing. $80 is a lot for what is essentially a scaled up version of a previous set and one that doesn't really and anything "new" in a sense, it only adds "more"...for more the price obviously.

Although I can see myself picking this up, I think I'm going to wait for a sale. Still though--great set!

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By in Poland,

For sure its better than original but the door mechanism is much better in original set where it appeared- Ragana castle!

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By in United Kingdom,

Is it just me or is Anna's head misprinted? Her face is lower down (and slightly off-set) on the minidoll head than Elsa's is, and it's kinda creeping me out.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for the great review - I reviewed #41062 on the set page a while back and admit that I didn't really 'get it' until I saw my young daughter play with it. Even then, apart from the lure of some sparkly parts, its not going to offer much to an AFOL who isn't already sold on the idea of owning a (clumsy) representation of Elsa's castle. This set seems the same, albeit scaled up (as arguably it should have been in the beginning) and with a few extra play features.

My daughter has moved onto Moana now, so unless she spots it on the shelves or in the catalog, I think I can skip this one :)

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