Review: 41343 Heartlake City Airplane Tour

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The new Friends sets are out! There are quite a few interesting looking sets in this wave. Today we'll take a look at one of the medium sized sets, 41343 Heartlake City Airplane Tour. I was attracted to the plane in this set, since there's only been a few other planes in the Friends world. Let's see where the Friends can fly off to with this set.

The front of the box shows the set in a rural looking airport setting. Olivia is flying the plane (while holding a walkie talkie. I'm not sure that's the way to do it?) with Rumble the hamster as her co-pilot. We also see that Zobo makes an appearance in this set. The back of the box shows different features of the set which we'll talk about over the course of the review. It wasn't until after opening that I noticed that this box has one of the annoying (to me) tab openings, which I thought was unusual for a set of this size. Inside the box there are three numbered bags, a 6x16 bright green plate, a small sticker sheet and a instruction book. Things were pretty crowded in the box so fortunately the instruction book wasn’t crumpled.

Olivia is the minidoll in this set, which makes sense since she's the character who has the bent toward more technical subjects - so of course she would pilot the plane. She comes in a new outfit with this wave - she's wearing white pants with silver boots with a racing motif on the front. Her jacket is a wonderfully detailed print in fuschsia and blue, with fuschia on one epaulette/sleeve and blue on the other. The pattern on the torso looks like it could fit in with either the racing motif or a flight jacket with alternative fuschsia and blue stripes on one side of the off center zipper, and a solid blue on the other. I particularly like the gear symbol included on Olivia's jacket, again reinforcing her technical side. She comes with a flying helmet and goggles (her hair is also included in the set for those down times between flights). Rumble (not pictured) is the requisite cute Friends animal in this set, and comes with a rosy pair of goggles.

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Zobo makes a welcome appearance here, one of three or four appearances in this wave of sets. As always, Zobo is pressed into several duties, for this set not only can he/she serve as an air traffic controller, but also as tarmac personnel to help with takeoff and landing.

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A few accessories are included, in this case the paddles for Zobo to use on the tarmac and some fluorescent orange cones to mark the runway.

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It's also not a Friends set without food or snack of some kind, and this set doesn't disappoint, with a table laden with a gargantuan sandwich for Olivia along with a can of soda, plus some simple chairs.

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Another ancillary build is a refueling station complete with tools as well as a small windsock.

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The small air traffic control tower is packed with features. The front of the building shows this is a gathering place for flying aficionados with the "club" sticker as well as a sticker that shows a bulletin board with the latest news and awards. A couple flowers complete the landscaping. A ladder off to the side allows access to the top level of the control tower. I particularly like the small brick built airplane that shows the purpose of the building.

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Turning the building around, there's a spot for Rumble to stay refreshed with a snack, a cookie and some water.

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Climbing to the top of the ladder, there's the air traffic control center. There's a control panel with an impressive collection of dials and graphics, a post-it note, a walkie talkie (surely there are better forms of communication these days), as well as a mug. I'm guessing the mug is for Olivia, as liquid would be very detrimental to Zobo's health.

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In case Zobo can't navigate the ladder very well, there's an express way for them to get back to the ground - take the conveniently placed slide! I haven't seen this feature on any other air traffic control towers, but it works here. The tower is topped by a revolving radar antennae.

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The set is completed with a rather nice vintage biplane. For those who don't like girl colours, the colour of the plane will be disappointing as the plane is bright purple accented with dark azur and white. I'm a fan of purple so this works for me, plus I don't think the bright purple is all that out of place. I like the addition of the gear motif on the tops of the wings. There's a rotating (of course) propeller on the front of the plane.

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There's room in the cockpit for Olivia and Rumble. There's supposed to be room for Zobo but I'm not sure where they would fit, though I didn't spend much time looking.

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As is not unusual with the old biplanes, it pulls advertisement banners behind it. The banners are provided by stickers, and feature two Friends subthemes: the racing subtheme from this year and the amusement park from last year.

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Overall thoughts

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This is a solid Friends set for the price (323 pieces, $29.99, £29.99, 29.99€). It offers several opportunities for play, and I really like the addition of another plane to the Heartlake landscape. There are some new parts, as you can see by looking at the parts inventory here, and I always welcome the addition of new pieces in one of my favourite LEGO colours, cool yellow.

I enjoy that Olivia is continuing to leverage technology in the sets where she's featured. I like the new outfits for the minidolls, and like that the designer has been able to use the outfits from the racing theme to be used as a flight jacket. I even like the colour of the plane, while I do understand that others might not.

Do you like the new Friends sets? Which ones would you like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.

Many thanks to the LEGO Group for providing Brickset with a copy of the set. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

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24 comments on this article

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By in Canada,

Looks like a fun set. Personally don't spend money on the theme but if I did would certainly be a set I'd pick up. Got to have a few limits when it comes to Lego spending.

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By in United Kingdom,

That's a nice looking minidoll in a decent set.
I was wondering if she was on the walkie-talkie to Stephanie at the Flying Club. The old tech might make sense if it's a vintage biplane

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By in United Kingdom,

I wish they'd just come up with a set design for the robot. Changing it in every set just doesn't make sense. Also, anyone else seeing the pose for the driver on the banner as a reference to Sebastian Vettel?

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By in United States,

Every air traffic control tower should have a slide. Every time I see one now it’s going to look incomplete. It’s such a high stress job that they should be rewarded with some fun at the end of their shift!

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By in United States,

Never really been a big fan of the Friends sets, but I kinda actually like the biplane.

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By in United States,

That blue was very striking as I logged onto Brickset.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thankyou, Im still on the fence but I have to ask two questions. 1. Are they suggesting taking your pets on a biplane ride? 2. And what is that background... it is cloth? The photos make my eyes go a little nuts.

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By in Sweden,

Great review!

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By in United States,

^^ I can't bear to go anywhere without my comfort grizzly

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By in United States,

I'm continually impressed with the level of detail in the Friends sets--I especially love that bi-plane micro build! Definitely will be picking this one up "for my daughter"...

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By in United States,

The price is really nice. I love the slide, every airport should have one. I also love bi=planes.

However I feel like the last few years LEGO really got the Friends bright colors to work well together, and with this year's 'relaunch' the colors don't match as well as years past.

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By in Indonesia,

This looks lots of fun to me. I really appreciate the slide as a less-than-serious feature to decend from the air traffic control tower. The b-iplane model on the tower facade is absolutely spot-on. Pretty sure this will be a hit with my 3 little girls here!

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By in United Kingdom,

Why is this reviewed? This set feels not only small but juniorised as well. Just look at the control tower. :(

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By in United States,

I don't think you understand what the word 'juniorized' means.

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By in United States,

@Lego34s - I use coloured poster board for all my backdrops (or white, too, I suppose, but haven’t used that in a while).

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By in United States,

Oooo! I love the details on the friend sets. Reminds me of modular street sets. :) small hidden details everywhere.

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By in France,

I like details, colors, printings on minifig as usual on Friends and Elves sets. And this old style plane could be awesome... But I think the "steering wheel" is far too big, and the cockpit design also surprising... Too opened on the sides. So I really like the front and rear of this biplane, but its middle part is a bit odd and could be better IMO. Thanks for the nice review.

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By in United States,

This is a pretty nifty set and the price point is good (although a 2nd minidoll would have been nice to have). The colors are a tad 'loud' but that's the Friends theme and it works IMHO. Good set with plenty of playability. Thanks for the review, @MeganL

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By in Australia,

I agree that the cockpit could *look* better but the Friends fans in my house have trouble getting the figures in and out of vehicles if they are closed in. So I think it is a good design for the age group.

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By in Australia,

Once again, I'm wondering, how old are these kids? School by day, and travel the world by helicopter and biplane by night? Sounds very glamourous.

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By in United States,

@Speed champions fan: Other than his colors changing a bit (mostly the colors of his lights), Zobo's design has been pretty much standardized since https://brickset.com/sets/41116-1/Olivia-s-Exploration-Car two years ago. The smaller one in her bedroom set is Zobito, the baby robot who was introduced in https://brickset.com/sets/41307-1/Olivia-s-Creative-Lab a one of the "family members" Olivia created for Zobo. The similar-sized robot in https://brickset.com/sets/853774-1/Olivia-s-Satellite-Pod is identified as Zobo but probably meant to represent Zobito.

Great review @MeganL! I really love the design of the plane in this set. One slight correction is that the amusement park sets were two years ago, not last year. Some Friends sets I'm looking forward to seeing Brickset review are the car wash, the diner, and Emma's Deluxe Bedroom!

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By in Australia,

Personally I would have used the dark azure as the main colour, with a darker purple for the striping, it sometimes seems that TLG deliberately picks these things to limit it's desirability to the intended market. (I do get that I'm not the intended market). But for me the bigger issue is the weird fuselage design, with no second seat. A single seat plane is by definition going to be an aircraft rental, not a tour, as that implies paying someone else to take you up on a joy flight or sight seeing. The cockpit area should have used 1x4 panels to clear the yoke, and there are plenty of wedge pieces that could have been used to shape the transition from 4 wide to 2 wide. All up, a sub-standard design which I can safely skip.

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By in United States,

@Privatematrix: I suspect Bright Purple/dark pink was chosen as the main color mainly because that's Olivia's signature color, just as Emma's is Medium Lilac, Stephanie's is Medium Azur, Mia's is Bright Yellowish Green, and Andrea's is Flame Yellowish Orange.

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By in Canada,

In this day and age, I personally don't like to identify pink exclusively with girls, but it's clear that is why the designer picked that as the main color for the plane, this being a friends set and all. (Not to mention Aanchir's astute comment about Olivia's signature color being pink-based).

With that out of the way, I think this is a great looking set with a lot of value packed into it. I'm rather partial to Lego planes, personally and 2 out of the 4 non-polybag Friends set's I own are planes; so I definitely will be picking this one up!

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