Review: 41365 Emma's Art Studio

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Before the summer wave of Friends comes to the U.S. (I know the new sets are already available in Europe), I wanted to do one more review of the wave from earlier in the year. I wasn't all that excited about much of that first wave, but on a recent visit to the LEGO store 41365 Emma's Art Studio caught my eye. The outer décor reminded me of 41340 Friendship House. It would be nice if the designers had a little store for each of the Friends that complemented the Friendship House in the coming years. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it…..but let's take a look at this cute little set.

Minidolls

The two minidolls in this set are Emma (of course) and Andrea. Emma is dressed casually in jeans and tank top with spaghetti straps. Her dark pink top has a lovely intricate pale pink pattern on it. She also wears a pair of necklaces; a string of beads and a chunkier necklace with a pink jewel. She carries an artist's palette and a paintbrush and looks ready for some creative time in her studio. Andrea has an absolutely fabulous outfit on, very befitting her musical performance interests. She wears a gold shirt with cutouts beneath the neck, and a denim vest with gold fringe. She pairs that with a short dark blue skirt, and her outfit is finished by absolutely amazing gold boots with blue stripes. She looks ready to take the stage in this outfit.

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The obligatory cute Friends animal in the set is Chico the cat. Chico is a blue grey colour and has white detailing, including a white heart patch on her chest. For the purposes of efficiency I included one of the auxiliary builds in this picture, a sign posted outside the shop showing the upcoming time for an event at the shop.

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The completed model

The art studio has two floors. The ground floor is an arts and craft shop. This compact space features a wall of supplies just inside the front door, along with some jars of paint (I'm assuming) as well as some scissors.

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Behind the register we see a couple examples of Emma's work also for sale.

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The next floor is Emma's studio, where she conceives and creates her art. One side of the room is dedicated to the potter's wheel. True to many Friends sets, there's a basic gear built into the set so you can turn the potter's wheel. The addition of a nanofig here is a nice touch. There are also more paint supplies on the window ledge.

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The other half of the room is dedicated to a large easel. There's a water reactive textile included; when the cloth is dampened Emma's artwork is revealed! I've purposely taken the picture prior to dampening so as not to ruin the surprise.

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The rooftop of the studio also serves as a small café, with table, chair, umbrella, and (of course) a snack. Creating art is hungry work!

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A bonus for decorations on this set are the large murals on the side of the building. I like that the graphic designer has taken advantage of stickers to make this area interesting when in many sets this would just be a blank wall.

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The completed building looks attractive from both the front and back.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Overall thoughts

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I overlooked this set earlier in the year, so I'm glad I had a chance to circle back and look at it again. I really like the décor on the outside making it look similar to the Friendship House.

The footprint is quite small for the set but there are a lot of great details included in this small space. I enjoy this type of set as it really shows off one of the Friends' interests (in this case, Emma and art), and I like that there are two minidolls included. I also absolutely love Andrea's outfit! I find it surprising she has such a terrific outfit in this set as opposed to a set that's dedicated to her, but I'll take it nonetheless.

For the price (235 pieces, $24.99, 24.99€, £19.99), it's a nice little set for a small present or to save up some pocket money.

I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the summer wave of Friends sets here in the U.S. Which ones are you looking forward to? Which ones should we review first? Let us know in the comments.

16 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

cool review! the graphic designs on the wall are good! I like 41378-1: Dolphins Rescue Mission it looks good!!

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By in United States,

This is definitely a cute little set! I like the little "P+E" (Pranksy and Emma) graffiti.

As for what summer sets I'm most looking forward to seeing reviews of, a lot of them look great, but in particular one of the ones I'm most excited for is the Heartlake Restaurant!

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By in United States,

That water reactive element is super cool- I don’t think TLG has done it before.

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By in United States,

Thanks for the review! This was my first Friends set and is a great building for my city. A 2nd one is on my wishlist for creating something a bit larger. Looking forward to the August releases in this theme, especially the boat and restaurant.

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By in Latvia,

That's a cool set! I thought the interior was bad, but then I saw your images and understood that this will go well with my other buildings! I might convince my little sister to buy it)

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By in Finland,

I wish city would get something like this

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By in Netherlands,

If the stickers were prints, it'd be perfect.

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By in United States,

I was trying to point my 10 y/o daughter in the direction of buying this set on Monday, which was her birthday. She opted for 41344 Andrea's Accessories Store instead, which also has some nice curb appeal. I wish they would do more buildings like this for the City theme; easy to modify into more substantial structures. The little one and I are definitely looking forward to the restaurant, all of the sea animal rescue stuff (especially baby sea turtles!), and the amusement park additions... basically the whole summer wave, lol.

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By in Singapore,

Thanks for reviewing this set! What a gorgeous building, but then again, I'm biased because lavender is my favorite LEGO color! Unfortunately, the set is rather low priority for me budget-wise, and so I probably won't be able to get it anytime soon.

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By in United States,

I too wasn’t very excited by the first wave of sets from 2019, but this one was a favorite (We’re pretty excited for all of the Summer wave minus the pool, horse trailer, and 4+ sets.). It’s a great little size but packed with play possibilities. I’d very much like to see complimentary sets to this one so as to create a downtown street (but I won’t be holding my breath).

I always thought that a Friends Creator set with a simple two story rectangular building exactly like this and then a colorful assortment of pieces with instructions to make different pieces of furniture so you could style the building your way would be a perfect Friends set.

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By in Australia,

No, there wasn't too many Friends sets, this year, that grabbed my attention, but I saw this one and I just had to have it. It's such a gorgeous little building. And, to my eyes, it seems really different to a lot of Friends buildings that are just facades. The walls and functional roof actually make this feel more like a Creator set than a Friends set, which is the main reason I picked it up. This fits a Lego city street *perfectly*. Oh, sure, it's a bit lavender (like most Friends sets), but it's an art studio, it's *meant* to be colourful and bright. I would've preferred a 6-wide plate for the roof (as opposed to 4-wide), but that minor quibble, this is a gorgeous building (with a lovely style) and I adore it.

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By in Puerto Rico,

I get that LEGO is nearing what AFOLS want, complete buildings but it is stuck in a children market unless, unless they started making Creator Expert sets for the Friends line. Building like this could then be incorporated ala Modular buildings style.

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By in United States,

Very charming! It is a bit of a bummer that LEGO Friends house/shop sets are moving away somewhat from the mix-and-match play potential that a lot of previous ones had due to their more uniform 8x16/16x16 modules, but on the other hand sets like this or Mia's House do illustrate how more varied structures (at more varied price points) are possible without that degree of uniformity.

It is sort of peculiar to me that so far, the sets which include pottery wheels have all used them for sculptures rather than actual pottery! This isn't to say that there's no use for them in sculpture, but I think that focusing on sculpture and not on more functional art pieces like bowls and vases might reinforce the widespread stereotype that functional or decorative household products are "craft", and thus lack the credibility, prestige, or value of "fine art".

Avoiding that message seems like it would be of particular importance in LEGO Friends, considering how often this hierarchy has been employed to devalue creative skills because of their reputation as "women's work": https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/womens-textiles-crafts-female-skills-sexism-not-seen-as-art-anni-albers-tate/233457

Back on the subject of this particular set's design, I love the art nouveau signage, paintings, and cat mural, as well as the tasteful architectural style and colors. Those and the compact size and shape definitely give this more of a Parisian vibe than many previous Friends sets, similar to how #41108-1, #41311-1, and #41379-1 have more of an Italian vibe.

LEGO Friends designer David Tauzia mentioned in an interview (https://brickarchitect.com/2018/interview-lego-friends-with-david-tauzia/) that he and his team try to map out the sets they create and design them in accordance with whichever district they belong to, and I can't help but think that approach may have played just as great a role in this set's design as Emma's own signature colors and motifs.

I would love to see more little two-story shop sets like this one in the future!

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By in United States,

I've been thinking about getting into actually building a town, and the price of this set makes it attractive. I just wish LEGO would start putting the concepts in Friends in other sets--it's a pain getting rid of the pink; but a lot of bakeries use pink, so the shell of the building could be used as such.

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By in Poland,

YESS! Great to see one of my favorite Friends sets reviewed!
Everyone with a city should get at least one! It's aslo great way to learn how to build small modulars!

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By in United States,

Really? You don't want to "ruin the surprise?"
I (and many others, I'm sure) are curious about how the water-reactive fabric works as it's completely new to Lego. If you were really that worried about "spoilers" just put a spoiler alert in.

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