Review: 41350 Spinning Brushes Car Wash

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One of the more intriguing sets in the Friends racing theme this year is 41350 Spinning Brushes Car Wash. I really enjoy how the Friends designers have expanded the range of the sets offered in Heartlake City to include such practical businesses as the car wash. It's been a while since LEGO offered any kind of car wash as a full set, the last one being 2011's 5696 Car Wash in Duplo. Let's see if the set can hold water, or if it's a washout…..

The front of the box shows the car wash at the edge of a racing oval, with a grandstand (possibly from 41352 The Big Race Day) in the near distance, with the Heartlake City skyline in the background with a setting sun. The Friends are shown in the upper right all in their racing gear with a checkered flag incorporated in the background. A small inset in the lower left corners shows that there is moving functions included to allow the car to pass through the car wash. The back of the box shows the set as viewed from the back, including having Twister the bunny in the driver's seat as the go-kart goes through the wash. Since the go-kart is an open top, perhaps this is a car and bunny wash? Inside the box are three numbered bags, an instruction book and a sticker sheet.

Minidolls

The minidolls in this set are Mia and Zack. Mia is dressed for the races and has the same trousers that the rest of the Friends do in the wave; white paired with silver boots. Her racing colours are green and orange, so Mia's jacket has one sleeve in green and the other in orange. Her jacket is styled similar to what we saw Olivia wearing in 41343, with stripes of the two featured colours to one side of the off centre zipper and a solid colour on the other. I really like her orange racing helmet, which the mould for this helmet includes Mia's ponytail. Her companion, Twister the bunny, is also new this year, and has big green eyes to match Mia's.

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This is our first time meeting Zack. Zack is a pretty casual dude and is dressed appropriately for working at the car wash. He has a white t-shirt with a tropical print under a short sleeved shirt with what look to be a dinosaur print. He's also wearing long green boardshorts that have a quad heart pattern just over the right knee. Not surprisingly, his outfit is finished with flip flops. His accessories are a pail, a sponge and a spray bottle so he can make sure to do a proper job of washing the go-karts. I particularly love his ice blue eyes.

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Completed Model

The go-kart included in the set is built like the others in this subtheme. The colours match Mia's racing outfit with orange and green.

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Mia's go-kart has a spoiler that has the look of a solar panel.

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Suitably, the go-kart launcher is colour coordinated.

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The majority of the build is the car wash building itself. The first section of the building is dedicated to a fueling station.

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Since this doesn't look to be one of those gas stations where you can pay at the pump, it's necessary to go in the attached convenience store to settle up. There's a lot of detail packed into this small space, including a TV and cash register.

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Other details in the store include a stocked fridge, a coffee machine and - as no Friends set is complete without food - a small table complete with a croissant.

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The last section of the building is of course the car wash. I had wondered how the designer would make this work. As it turns out, a go-kart is driven onto a moving platform equipped with chocks so it doesn't slide around. I'm still stuck on the practicality of this car wash; with the go-karts being open running them through the car wash is going to end up with the interiors being pretty soggy.

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The platform is moved through the car wash by means of turning a gear on the outside of the car wash. Many Friends sets have been using Technic parts in order to add some moving functions to them.

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The gear mechanism is connected to a toothed bar, which allows the platform to be moved through the car wash.

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The namesake of the set, the spinning brushes, are suspended from the ceiling by some Technic pieces. The Technic pieces allow the brushes to raise and lower as the go-kart passes through.

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There's a station for suds and polish.

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Finally, the go-kart passes the drying station.

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Overall thoughts

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I was looking forward to building this set as I was curious about the mechanism used for the car wash. The solution that the designer chose is simple and effective, and offers a good opportunity for play. I really like how the Friends sets have been incorporating smaller Technic effects into them - it makes the builds a more interesting and gives greater play value.

For the price (325 pieces, $29.99, £24.99, 29.99€), this feels like an appropriate build and fits in well with the theme. It also has the bonus of being the first LEGO car wash in several years, and provides a good base. For those who don’t like Friends sets because of the "girl" colours, this set also has the benefit of having pretty neutral colouring, so would also fit in well in a CITY environment. There's also some new colours of some parts, as shown by the inventory page here.

What do you think of the latest car wash? Let us know in the comments.

Many thanks to the LEGO Group for providing Brickset a copy of this 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 United Kingdom,

I've never seen a go-cart going through a car wash before. Likewise, I've never seen a go-cart being filled with fuel at a petrol station before.

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By in France,

Even as a non collectioner of Friends sets (but a buyer, as my daughter really enjoys them and Elves) once again I am pleased to see that the play value over the range is still good, offering children nice buildings and playing experience. Another theme for HLC inhabitants with this kart sets which look overall pretty good. True that passing a non covered car in a car wash is a pretty dangerous thing to do but as it seems to be working well I'm sure it will find its audience. Another nice and colorful set with good details included, which is one of the thing I really like in Lego Friends. Thanks for the review.

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By in Canada,

I think as adults we overthink the play features to much sometimes. I thought as a theme this whole line looked quite fun. I'm just not really into Friends so I'll pass. To much other stuff on the list to buy.

It wasn't nearly as detailed perhaps but there was a very simple car wash in #60132 Service Station as the alternative build.

P.S. Any word on the future of Elves? They were removed from the shelves here locally at the LEGO store and put on sale. I was told the theme is done.

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By in United States,

very cool, might have to pick this one up. love Mia's color combination!

i think it's not a fuel station, rather it's a recharge station? the lightning bolt signs, plus the big one has what looks like a plug at the bottom of the bolt.

if so, then better be careful running the kart through the car wash!

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By in United States,

Yeah I gotta agree with Denn, that looks more like a recharging station to me. Eco-friendly Lego City vibe I guess.

Admittedly I don't know how many real go-carts are electric... all the ones I have seen are actually ran on a gas motor!

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By in United States,

I think the set is rather awful. The washing part itself looks fun and different and clever, the minidolls are good, but the rest of the building is really bad.

It's a great value for parts and new minidolls, but that's about it.

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By in United States,

The main image, at the top of the page, when maximized, turns into a different image.

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By in United States,

It's pretty cute, but feels very incomplete even by LEGO standards. This may have benefited from a $10 price bump for some slightly deeper walls and detailing. I'm not a fan of there being a sticker to represent a drink cooler either, since brick built solutions have been made for this piece of decor time and time again. Even something as simple as a cabinet or box with a trans-clear door on it would look better, and would only add a few pieces more than what they went with here.

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By in United States,

To me, those 'girl colors' that you mention might turn people away from Friends are the most interesting part of the theme. I have very few Friends sets, but I always jump at the opportunity to acquire parts in those colors. They're very useful.

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By in United States,

My princess 2 of 3 (1 of 3 is the tomboy and 3 of 3 is a Tasmanian devil) really wants this set for her birthday. Often she gets the majority of the summer wave but she wanted Polly Pocket this year. She had enough birthday present money left for one or two LEGO sets, and this is THE ONE she keeps picking, so there much be a lot of appeal to its target audience. I keep trying to steer her towards Andrea’s Accessory Store—which is basically LEGO’s version of Claire’s, her favorite store—but she insists that she wants the car wash.

I think it’s pretty awesomely designed. I like the small convenience store because it’s compact to help keep the set more portable—very important in our house—but has everything it needs for imaginative play. I’m completely fine with the sticker vending machine because the kids are going to play much more with the coffee station and the stickers vending machine fits in the corner well. Sure, it’s small, but it’s true to life; at least in my area, car wash convenience stores are extremely small.

My two nitpicking gripes about a pretty great set:

1. We’re meeting Zack for the first time and he’s wearing a cap? I want to know his hair color!

2. I don’t like the blue on Mia’s car. It’s not too bad (I just went back and told another look) but it looks a little out of place.

How long before Creator or City has a more streamlined car wash now that Friends has figured out a way to make it work?

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By in Puerto Rico,

A solar car yet it needs fuel (might be for other vehicles). City kinda made a carwash last year as an optional build for the gas station but I am not paying $90 again unless it is on discount.

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By in United Kingdom,

@xboxtravis7992
I've been on a couple of different electric gokarts, as well as the regular ones. And wow, the electric ones are quick! It's quite weird being in one, putting your foot down, and there being no engine noise. Just fantastic acceleration :)

The venue is free of fumes too. A massive advantage in my books.

And again, as a spectator, the only noise is of the tyres screeching. Takes a wee while to get used to.

As for a kart going through a car wash, yeah, it's weird. But at least most karts have hard plastic seats, so would dry off quickly.

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By in United States,

I have a Go Kart and it can go FAST. It's super fun

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By in Australia,

Wait, the open-seater go-kart is electric, but you wash it by running it through a car wash?

That doesn't seem practical.

Or, safe.

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By in United States,

All the indoor go-karts that I've seen and experienced have been electric.

As far adults over analyzing play features as usual, Formula E and Formula 1 get along fine with fully electrified or hybrid battery power units in wet weather conditions. Mil spec electrical connectors and component weatherproofing certainly make it plausible.

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By in Australia,

All cars have electrical systems, and are expected to to operate in rain, and be washed in a car wash. Several road cars are fully electric. I think the bigger issue is go karts are small enough that you would be very unlikely to run it through an auto car wash. But most kids will likely put all their cars through it.

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By in Australia,

"All cars have electrical systems, and are expected to to operate in rain, and be washed in a car wash."

Even when there isn't a roof or windows protecting the interior?

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By in United States,

Geez you guys. It's a toy. Surprised I haven't heard grumblings that the go kart doesn't steer. "Every go kart I've ever driven had steering. Grumble grumble. Not safe without steering. Grumble.. "

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By in United States,

Looks awfully cute to me; my four year old granddaughter is totally into Friends, so I'm guessing that she will own a copy of this set very soon. And it certainly beats another beauty salon, cafe, or pet care store. Yup, cars and go carts do get dirty in Heartlake City, so bring it on! (Is it tall enough to run another of the Friend's cars through the wash?}

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By in Poland,

@ericjohn
Blue, lime and orange is Mias colorsheme. I don't like it either. And why they haven't updated Mia's hair yet?

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By in United States,

One thing I am always impressed with the Friends sets are the details they really put into them, though the reliance on stickers is always troubling, regardless of the set.

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By in United States,

I think it's actually an electric car charging station, hence the lightning bolt signs :) And I'm no more a fan of stickers than your average AFOL, but my daughter - the target market for the Friends line - much prefers sets where she also gets to use stickers to secondhand or printed sets. You can actually see Lego's awareness of that preference in some of their web ads, where the girls describing the sets excitedly point out the presence of stickers. I guess they know what they're doing, even if I'd prefer no stickers!

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By in Germany,

Anecdotal evidence, but my girls, even though they love stickers in general, hate them on LEGO sets.

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By in United States,

This is a fabulous little set!

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