Competition winning model turned into Friends set

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Heartlake City Playground

Heartlake City Playground

©2017 LEGO Group

Earlier this year LEGO ran a competition to design a Friends model with the prize being having it turned into a boxed product, complete with a mini-doll representation of the winner. A dream prize for kids, for sure!

The winner was 8-year old Sienna from the UK whose submission was a playground, complete with slide, swings and roundabout, something that was missing from Heartlake City.

I'm not sure when the resultant set, 41325 Heartlake City Playground, is being released but official images have been published and you'll find them over at Heartlake Times, along with an interview with Kristel, an AFOL who was involved with judging the competition.

What luck that the winner has a name not already used in the Friends universe...

 

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42 comments on this article

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By in United States,

This isn't something missing from just the Friends line but the City line should come up with something similiar.
Edit: congratulations to the winner and hope she turns into a talented designer that works for the betterment of the planet.

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By in Netherlands,

This is awesome.

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By in United Kingdom,

That's brilliant! Just imagine being that 8 year old and having that happen. Pure joy! :-)

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By in Norway,

This is really great! Especially the window with the purple and orange frame. The swings and the climbing wall* are also smart. Very impressive from an eight year old!

*Direct translation from Norwegian.

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By in United Kingdom,

Just me or is this a fair bit better than some of the officially-designed sets from the Friends line? (and the whole of Lego?)
Props to the designer!

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't like minidoll themes but, pwoar! Lego's been outdone by an 8 year old!

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By in United States,

Awesome set! The most complete LEGO playground I think Ive seen. Congrats to the winner!

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By in United Kingdom,

Awesome.. well done that 8 year old...

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By in United States,

@Lordmoral What do you mean? The Friends theme has had playgrounds in the past, but they have only been for animals, not children. I think this is a great addition to the theme, and ties in more with the youthful elements in the same vein as the Heartlake Performance School.

The City theme has come close in recent years with Fun in the Park, which has a carousel and football goal. City isn't really for anything besides churning out Police Stations and Fire Stations these days. Subject matter that would have been found in the Town theme in years past tend to come from Friends now. I would much rather see this in Friends than City, as City sets tend to be oversimplified, whereas the Friends builds tend to be more detailed and feature more exciting accessories.

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By in United Kingdom,

The finished design is only loosely based on Sienna's submission which you can see over at Heartlake Times.

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By in United States,

"A dream prize for kids, for sure!"

Don't act for one second like that wouldn't be a dream prize for every adult on this site.

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By in Netherlands,

Um, I would encourage some of the commenters to actually look at the page @ heartlake times. The picture is the final design, not the one the girl came up with. Which is also there. And it is good, and they kept lots of elements from the original design, which is great to see. But this design is a lot tighter.

Still, Sienna had a solid idea, and executed it well, and then the set designers made it into a really great lego set. Everybody wins.

Also interesting to see that some the other designs shown there are a lot more 'finished', especially the flower shop.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Yes, it wouldn't surprise me if some of the other designs had 'help' from parents...

I like that although the design has been changed, it's still recognise when you look at the two side-by-side.

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By in United States,

The final model looks great! LEGO City really needs a set like this.

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By in United States,

That's a really nice set, there haven't really been much in the way of LEGO playground sets before and the color scheme really makes sense. If you swapped in some child minifigures and added a couple of trees, this would work extremely well in a normal LEGO City setting.

Other commentors are quite correct, it is clearly the same basic design as the original submission but compacted onto a smaller space... frankly, the original actually makes more sense as a playground with space between the different things, but this is a better set. Love the little glass bubble spot, that's clever.

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By in Netherlands,

So, is this the end of Lego Ideas as the only mean (so far) to have your MOC turned into an offical LEGO set?

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By in United States,

How cool! I agree this would be nice to have in a City offering.

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By in United States,

Sienna actually went to LEGO HQ to design her submission as a set with the LEGO Friends designers in person. I'm sure Sienna was given the chance to add as much as she would like, while still following the standard limitations that every LEGO set has.

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By in United States,

Really miss the old Paradisa theme. It is so much better than Friends imo.

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By in United States,

Hey, and the name "Sienna" already ends in -a so she's good to go! Kidding aside, this looks like a great little set, I'll definitely pick one up for my 5 yo daughter who loves her Friends sets :)

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By in United States,

@vader11: Can you name even one way that Paradisa was better than Friends? Because the way I see it the builds were more simplistic, the subject matter less varied, and the color schemes utterly bland and "pink-washed". Even the minifigures were very "samey", without much variety or detail (though I understand this was the norm back then across many themes).

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By in Norway,

Had lots of fun debating ideas and play-building with the kid earlier this spring, so need to pick one up to support the concept - well executed contest across so many locales.

@huw they've said September earlier, and hidden almost behind one of images at HT it says; "To be released September 1, 2017 ~ list $39.99"

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By in Sweden,

The only Friends set I'll be picking up this year has been (partly) designed by an 8-year-old. Lol.

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By in United States,

This detailed set has lots of playability. Very nice design from a very creative model by Sienna. Congratulations!

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By in United States,

@Vader11 I'd agree with Aanchir, everything Paradisa has Friends as and does better.
But nostalgia rules..

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By in Slovakia,

This is the best friend set! :) Congrats to the winner.

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By in United Kingdom,

Lovely set. Well done to young Sienna!

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By in United States,

great concept and execution! its great how many features of the original kid's design made it into the lego redesign.

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By in Italy,

Oh wow the actual original design was insanely good given the age. I much preferred the string swings and brick built tree, plus many other elements of the original design. Even the tyre swing was imaginative. I'm sure Sienna had a little help from likely a very knowledgeable Lego parent but I'm still impressed with the creativity all the same.

Is one of those mini dolls in the image meant to represent Sienna now then, or a future set? I lose track of the mini doll characters.

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By in United States,

@vader11, I really don't think that there is a bigger Paradisa fan than me, and setting nostalgia aside which must be done to compare the two, Friends is the better theme.
Paradisa was a one-note resort town with water events and horseback riding alternating through its run being peppered only lightly with food sets, a playground, and a carnival set. The buildings relied on 1x1x5 bricks and arches to form "walls" that left the buildings open to the air, which worked wonderfully for the beach resort theme, but there was very little build to these sets.

Heartlake City has all of that, more than one house, plenty of varieties of food and shopping, a hospital, schools, a full amusement park instead of just a merry-go-round and one game, summer camp, and ski resort. The Friends have also visited the jungle in some of the best designs sets to include scenery, vechicles, and buildings.

Paradisa was wonderful, but it does not compare to Friends in design or playability.

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By in Australia,

If you read the Heartlake Times article you can see clearly on the box image that the set includes Mia and Sienna.

The fact that the 8-year-old got to work with the LEGO designer to turn this into a set is the best bit IMO.

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By in United States,

I just noticed this on the U.S. Toys R Us web site listed as exclusive to them. 326 pieces, U.S. $39.99, in stock.

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By in United States,

I'm looking forward to reviewing this set!

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By in Sweden,

Congrats to a good idea by a worthy winner. Sadly, the Friends range nowadays represents a city better than the neglected and uninspired City theme (with those jungle and volcanoe subthemes and rehashed police sets).

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By in United Kingdom,

Looks like a nice little set.

From the names, I'm guessing all ten finalists were girls - although I guess Teagan might be a boy. I wonder how many boys entered? They could have got another (sorely lacking) male minidoll this way!

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By in United States,

Congrats to Sienna, the finalists, and all of the competion participants! A playground is something that has been sorely lacking across both Friends and City Themes for years. Hopefully we'll see a City representation soon, although this can easily fit into a minifigure size/style city with little modification. Several of the finalist builds were fantastic as well, especially that Astra Theater, which was my personal favorite. Perhaps because it reminds me of the theater from 10184 Town Plan; a set I've always longed for.

PS. I also noticed a bowling alley among the finalists... can we get one of those please as well!

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By in United States,

I like the simplicity of paradisa and their use of baseplates. Imo they are more realistic than Friends integrated much better with town/city as it is a sub-theme of town. You can use paradisa sets as the countryside and beach and as a vacation spot for your Lego city citizens. Friends sets don't look right next to city sets. Plus I prefer minifigs than minidolls. I also like the design of paradisa sets more. Overall, I just think paradisa is much better than friends, everyone has his/her own opinion and u don't have to agree. That's my view. And of course nostalgia!!!

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By in United States,

CCC, I can attest that Teagan is a girl too. She's my daughter.

And LegoSolo77, glad you liked her theater. it is now a permanent fixture in our Lego Friends city.

Teagan's prize for being in the top 10 is all 25 Friends boxed sets from 2017. They just arrived last week. Plus two of the Performance School for being in the top 20. She has already built the Fitness Club and the Catamaran... with much building left to do. We're both eying the Hospital to do soon.

The whole process was amazing, with over 27,000 entries. For an 11 year old, the whole month of March was a whirlwind... including expediting passports, just in case she was the winner. Very cool experience. Our local news outlets even did a few articles...

https://duboiscountyherald.com/b/in-lego-lovers-basement-its-a-block-party
https://www.duboiscountyfreepress.com/block-block-teagans-town-set-expand/

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By in Germany,

@ ra226: I asked Stephanie, Nicole, Danielle, Marie, Kate, Chloe, Sophie, Livi, and Lily, and they said names that end on -e, -i or even -y are okay as well.

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