When the first rumours of a new ‘girly’ theme started, I was thinking about what could be new and ‘girly’ about LEGO. I never considered bricks as a gender related toys, and I was pretty surprised when I saw the first pictures. The Friends theme introduced new and exotic ladyfigs, very much different from the general minifig population. Luckily for those who weren’t enthusiastic about the appearance of these ladyfigs, their lifestyle was more appealing. Many of their activities and hobbies taking place outdoors and indoors were presented since the beginning of 2012. In addition to Mia’s bedroom, Andrea’s bedroom was revealed in 2013. If you want to know what her bedroom looks like, you can find the highlights in this review.
Basic info of the set
The box is a standard size of Friends 10 EUR sets and measures approximately 15.5 cm x 14 cm x 4.3 cm. It’s in standard bright colours with dark purple round sides. A cartoon of all five main characters is presented on the top right corner. The set art reveals a room in an attic with a light yellow and pale blue walls. Andrea is standing in the middle of the room on a bright carpet. If the walls and the carpet were added to the set, this would be a great bonus.
The back of the box usually presents different features of the set, and this set is not an exception. Again, a cartoon image of Andrea is placed on top right. As seen from the box art, Andrea obviously loves to do her hair in front of a mirror and most likely surfs the internet for tips and tricks for hairdos.
One side of the box has a warning sign about the choking hazard with small parts, while the other side has a lovely detail of a vase with flowers as a measure of parts size. At least to me, this is an appealing feature, and I’m always wondering how the designers select this little detail.
Inside the box we find two polybags, instruction booklet and a small sticker sheet. I was surprised to see that the inside of the box looked very full, which doesn’t happen often, and it gave me an optimistic feeling about the set even before I started building it.
There’s only one booklet due to the set’s small size. There’s a crease in the middle of it, as it’s packed in the box bent in half, and the crease is pretty hard to remove. After storing the booklet in a binder, it gets better, but when you’re trying to build a set straight from the box, the twisted pages can be a problem.
This is how a random page from the instructions booklet looks like. It has a light lavender background, characteristic of the Friends series. Despite the bent pages, it’s easy to follow the building process. The colours are bright, and a chance of mixing them is very close to zero.
In the larger of the two polybags we can find Andrea’s body parts and 28 bricks in 9 colours and a smaller bag with medium azure hair accessories. What’s standing out here are the medium lavender cupboards and the laptop. The black laptop, specifically, you can find in 13 different sets, 4 of them being from the Friends series. The girls seem to use the computers often at work, at school and at home.
In the other polybag, we can find the smaller parts. Similar to the larger polybag, bricks are very colourful. My favourite parts are the flower stems (you can never have to many of those), the transclear minifig head/vase, lipsticks, and bright light orange flowers. An interesting part (and not that common) part is the golden fez. It’s a useful part and can be used as a decorative stand or a minifig accessory. The parts are quite common and are used to create various details around the room.
Besides the two polybags, you can find a small sticker sheet in the box. To me, this is one of the best parts in the set (I know, stickers are usually less welcomed parts of the sets). When the set came out, I bought extra stickers to use them in MOCs as they are very versatile. The sticker can be used as a mirror in a bathroom, bedroom or just as a wall decoration.
Andrea wears a bright light orange mini skirt and a white top with a magenta necklace. Both the skirt and the top are unique so far, and the bright skirt nicely complements her medium dark flesh complexion. For special occasions, you can add various hair accessories to the side or top of her hair.
The set is meant for a target group of girls aged from 5 to 12 years, and it consists of several small builds.
The first mini build is a small table with a crystal vase. The flowers in the vase are the standard sort, and I wouldn’t mind to have more exotic flowers in the vase. I’m missing the flowers with six- and seven petals from the first Friends wave in 2012.
The second mini build is a sofa bed with a small stand for perfume bottles and a lipstick. I find it a bit unusual to have an open lipstick on a stand, but I guess it’s some super kind that has to be kept open for everyone to see. Her perfume bottles are a nice collection.
The sofa bed is designed interestingly. It can be extended into a double bed, and bright orange decorative pillows can be used on both beds. I was a bit sceptical if these beds would fit two minifigs, so I tried it, and it was easy.
The ackward space where the hinges are is the right size and the Andrea and Olivia are barely touching with hands. The top side of the sofa bed (or the left on the picture) even has tiny legs on the back, which is a nice little detail. Lying down is not a problem for this girls, but sitting unfortunately is.
It took me several minutes before Andrea decided to finally sit steady on the sofa bed. Sitting seems to be a common problem for these girls, as it’s hard to balance them correctly. I’m not sure how younger population sees this problem, but I got annoyed with it and didn’t try any other pose.
The third, and last minibuild of this set is the makeup vanity and stool with hair accessories. This is where the sticker is applied, and the set looks better with the sticker. The mirror is large and reflective, and the colourful lights above it are probably just a decoration. I can’t imagine putting on makeup in pink/blue light. Her makeup corner looks tidy, but it’s actually far from it.
Andrea has so many different hair accessories, that she hardly finds enough space in the cupboards. Maybe adding another cupboard or a basket would be nice to keep her accessories more organized.
Before heading out to a party with her girlfriends, Andrea need to brush her hair. The mirror is a nice playful feature, as you can position Andrea in various poses to catch her reflection in the mirror. In my opinion, the sticker is a nice addition to this set.
The Finished Product
Despite the small builds, the set as a whole does not look small at all. The mini builds are simple to put together even for beginners, and you can play with Andrea in lots of different situations (in front of the mirror, choosing the right hair accessory, surfing the net on the laptop. For intermediate or even more experienced builders, this set is handy when you need some furniture for town houses or just ideas of how to decorate rooms.
The Final Verdict
The design is great overall. There are several mini builds simple enough for the beginner builders. The shapes of the furniture are very realistic, and the colours are lively as expected in the Friends theme. I can’t point out a single weakness of the set.
Similarly to the design, the parts in the set are a nice selection of various bits and pieces, that you can use to play with in different situation. None of the parts stands out as something unique to the set, yet there are several that are more interesting. Laptop is a nice addition, and seems quite common among the Friends. There’s a sticker included in the set, and in my opinion, the set looks much better with the applied sticker. I’m also a fan of mirror-stickers, and this one was my favourite part in the set.
It’s a simple and straight forward build with no special or advanced techniques. I like it for what it is, it’s simple enough for inexperienced builders, but offers playability also to more advanced builders. In addition, it can easily be incorporated in any larger room – it looks great in a tight space and in large rooms.
Playability is definitely the most important feature of this set. Girls are the target audience for this set, and they can play with Andrea in different situations. You can help Andrea with her beauty routine at the makeup vanity, surf the internet on her laptop or host a girls’ sleepover party.
There’s only one minifig, Andrea in the set. Her clothes are unique to this set, which is a great detail. Andrea has a medium dark complexion, and because of that she can’t borrow clothes from her friends.
It’s a small set, but not the cheapest in the series yet it offers a lot for the price.
Overall: 55/60 (92%)
This is a set I really enjoyed building, and the individual builds were satisfying despite simple building techniques. The true beauty of the set is its design. It looks great as a whole, yet it can be parted in two sections easily, and each of them retains enough playability to enjoy it. It’s a set that can easily be shared to play with a friend or it can be combined with other sets or MOCs. Another great aspect of this little set is the furniture. It’s nicely designed and realistic, and can fill empty rooms in many LEGO houses. This is a set I’d definitely recommend to buy to anyone interested in Friends or Town.
Andrea and her girlfriends Olivia and Mia are gathered in Andrea’s bedroom, enjoying hot drinks and cupcakes.