The smallest set of the Friends marine rescue subtheme is 41376 Turtles Rescue Mission. Based on the set name it's not hard to guess what's happening with this set. How do the Friends save turtles as well as dolphins? Read on to find out.
The front of the box shows the Turtle Rescue Mission on an island off the shore of Heartlake City, seen in the background. We see several turtles around the mission and Olivia whizzing around on an amphibious craft while her robot Zobo takes care of one of the turtles on another small island. The back of the box shows other features of the set. One of the graphics shows Olivia with Zobo with Zobo wearing a snorkel mask - something I really hoped I would see in the set, but alas, was not meant to be. Inside the box are two numbered bags, an instruction booklet and a sticker sheet containing only three stickers.
This set also features the Instructions PLUS option. If you have the LEGO Life app downloaded on a smartphone or tablet, you can use Instructions PLUS instead of the regular booklet. Instructions PLUS walks a user through every step of the instructions, but with the ability to zoom and rotate parts, and zoom and rotate the build to that point. I think this is a great add for several reasons. It helps the builder discern what colour part each step requires, and since you can rotate the build, you can make sure that your build so far is correct. I really hope LEGO continues to provide this options, especially for more complex sets.
Olivia is featured in this set. Olivia is wearing a sleeveless zip-up fuchsia wetsuit with a blue shirt. Similar to Stephanie's wetsuit in 41378, the fuchsia colour of the torso and legs don't quite match, which is disappointing. Olivia wears the same badge on her wetsuit as the rest of the Friends - a seahorse with a heart shaped tail. As is often the case in sets featuring Olivia, Zobo is featured here. This version of Zobo has it wearing some orange floaties on its "arms", and it also has a solitary flipper to allow it to swim. Though I'm a little confused on the swimming part - I think water would be detrimental to Zobo. One of the cute Friends animals in the set is the adult turtle, which we've seen before.
The completed model
A small island with some rocks and greenery also has some extra features - an unhatched turtle egg as well as a newly hatched turtle. There's enough sand provided to allow Zobo to spend some time with this youngest rescue. This is our first look at a cute baby turtle in this set.
The amphibious vehicle carries Olivia around on her important missions. It's very striking in bright yellow and navy blue. It has four wheels for getting around on land and a propeller in the back to allow the craft to move between islands. There are brightly coloured signal slights in the rear, and a megaphone is handy to communicate with nearby watercraft.
Most importantly, the vehicle allows Olivia to transport some precious cargo - another unhatched turtle egg and another newly hatched turtle. It's the second baby turtle in this set.
The most substantial part of the build is the main rescue building. It's perched on a larger island on stilts. There's a small sand bar off to the side where we find yet another baby turtle playing. A life vest and life preserver are quite handy by the front door. The awning is built with a great combination of teal and coral pieces. I think my favourite part of the building is the brick built turtle found over the main entrance.
Turning the building around, we see details that Friends sets are known for. There's an examination area with a couple medical tools available for when they're needed. Under the building there's another play area for the turtles, including an orange ball. And because it can't be a Friends set without food of some kind, there's a slice of watermelon and a carton of orange juice, though I suspect that's for Olivia moreso than the turtles.
I'm quite partial to Olivia, so I was happy to see her (and Zobo) featured in another set. I like how this theme is developing with each of the Friends demonstrating how they're able to rescue adorable baby animals. The use of the amphibious vehicle is terrific. The main building, while relatively simple, is very effective and has a wonderful tropical colour scheme.
This feels like a pretty substantial set for the money (225 pieces, $19.99, 19.99€, £17.99). Olivia and Zobo are included, and I'm impressed that there are four animals included in a smaller set. Both the main rescue building and the amphibious vehicle are decent builds and the entire set offers a lot of play value.
I wasn't expecting to like this set that much, considering there are times when the smallest set sometimes feel like filler to complete the wave. That's certainly not the case for 41376, and is a good addition to the theme.
Many thanks to The LEGO Group for providing a copy of this set for review. All opinions expressed are mine.