Do you want to earn some extra money for allowance? Be creative. Make yourself a stand, bake the cookies, squeeze some lemons and make a fresh lemonade. It’s not as complicated as it may sound, and it offers a nice refreshment to LEGO citizens on a sunny day!
Basic info of the set
The box is a standard size of Friends 10 EUR sets. 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 suburban setting of Mia’s lemonade stand. The houses in the background and the tree in the front left corner complement the set really nicely. The stand fits really nicely in this green environment, although it could be easily placed anywhere in town.
The back of the box has only three pictures of various features of the set. It looks as there’s not much action going on, but it’s only because Mia’s customers are not there yet. Nevertheless, the box art reveals some of the more exciting parts of this year, but more on that later.
The side of the box has the aviator helmet presented as measure of scale. It’s not a new mold, only the colour, but it stands out really nicely, and offers safety while riding the scooter.
There’s two polybags and an instruction booklet in the box. Similarly to my other Friends review, Andrea’s Bedroom, I had the same feeling of a full box. This time I made sure to document it, as it’s really nice to see a full box for a change.
One of the downsides of a small full box is the fact that the booklet has to be folded and the crease is not so easy to get rid of. The art on the booklet cover is the same as on the box, but we get a wider view of the area.
A random page from the instructions reveals a typical Friends background in lavender and two of the smaller builds. On the right bottom corner there are silhouettes of a butterfly and a heart in lighter lavender colour which is another Friends characteristics. The parts needed for each step are pictured in light blue boxes, and are easy to follow.
When you’ve finished building Mia’s Lemonade Stand, you can see that the model in the booklet differs slightly from the model pictured on the front of the box or as seen on the front page of the instruction booklets. The changes are not so obvious – it’s a nice game of find the differences. (A hint: objects on the stand are arranged in a different order.)
The larger polybag has most bricks in 4 different colours (lime, yellow, white and medium dark flesh). For a Friends’ set, there’s not a lot of pinkish colours included. The parts standing out here are the scooter, aviator helmet, and the white dome bottom. These three parts are also new in this year. The helmet is not a new design, but it’s the first time it appears in magenta in a set. It’s actually a nice addition in a ”friendly” colour. Both the scooter and the dome bottom are new molds, and new colours as well. We saw them for the first time in another great set of 2014, the Parisian Restaurant, in red and dark red, respectively.
In the smaller polybag are small parts in many different colours, including three shades of pinkish colours, typical for Friends. The useful and exciting parts here are yellow, green and dark pink flowers, trans-clear cups, and of course the cookies.
The special parts in this set include the light aqua scooter, magenta aviator helmet with a trans-clear visor, white dome bottom and the cookies. In addition, worth mentioning is the 2×4 printed tile with a lemonade in a jug. It’s great to have a print instead of a sticker, and this part could be easily included in any juice bar or even a coffee shop. Another printed part are the cookies with ‘frosted cookie pattern’ according to Bricklink. I like to think of them as chocolate chip cookies with zero calories. There’s 4 of them included in this set, and you can get more of them if you buy any of the other four sets with this part (Merida’s Highland Games, Rapunzel’s Creativity Tower, Stephanie’s Bakery Stand or Sunshine Ranch). It seems as the part is specific to the Friends/Disney Princess theme, but I’m sure it’ll find its way in other sets soon as well. The LBG angular handles are another part almost exclusive to Friends, but surprisingly they can be found in a Ninjago set Thunder Raider.
There’s only one minifig in this set, Mia. Luckily for her, she’s got a new outfit to wear. The bright pink skirt and white shoes are not new, but it’s the first time we see it on Mia. On the other hand her top design is new. The olive green shirt with flowers looks lovely. It’s always nice to have a variety of tops and bottoms to choose from. When Mia doesn’t wear her awesome magenta helmet, she has a magenta ribbon pinned to her hair. Although the ribbon is a nice accessory for the minifigs, I don’t think magenta fits with her dark red hair. But then, I’m not a fashion expert.
The set is meant for a target group of girls aged from 5 to 12 years, and it consists of several small and relatively simple builds.
The first mini build, which I found very exciting, is the assembly of the light aqua scooter. The body of the scooter is a one piece, and we have to add the wheels, a trans-clear stud as a light, a pearl gold bucket handles for stand support and a luggage rack to complete it. The result is lovely, but mostly due to the amazing design of the scooter’s body. The luggage rack is handy for storing Mia’s helmet, and for transport of small luggage.
More details of the scooter can be seen here. I intentionally removed the luggage rack. It was bothering me initially as it felt too big for the scooter. I can find only one minor flaw of the design, and that’s a missing stud on the back of the scooter, where a red break light would fit. Another flaw might be the inability of the scooter to stand up without the support of the bucket handle, but having the handle to support it is actually a fantastic detail.
With this picture I wanted to compare the new scooter mold with a previous version of a motorcycle. The white motorcycle‘s design is from 1987-1996, and it was my favourite up till now. It was meant for the classic minifigs, so it’s impossible to sit a Friend on it (their feet is too big). A plus of the new scooter design is the exchangeable handle. Different handles, suitable for either minifigs (the black version in the middle) or for ladyfigs (the grey version on the right) can be attached to the clip. Minifigs have an advantage to use both handle types, because they can move their wrists.
On the old motorcycle, the minifig has to move forward a bit to reach the handles, and it looks like a natural position. On the other hand, a minifig on the new scooter can reach the handles in a normal straight position. This doesn’t look as natural as you don’t usually ride your scooter standing up. I tried bending minifigs legs at an angle, but that made the minifig look even more awkward, because its waist level was below the seat level.
Mia looks more elegant on the scooter than a classic minifig and the luggage rack acts really nicely as a seat as well. With slightly bent legs, Mia can lean on the seat and still have a torso in natural looking position. This gives me a filling the scooter was primarily designed for the ladyfigs (but I might be wrong), nevertheless classic minifigs will also be able to enjoy joyrides on the new scooter.
The second, the simplest, and the least exciting build is a white and yellow chair. Mia can sit on the chair, but it’s a bit tricky to position her. If she’s not balanced right, she easily falls off the chair. This is a common thing with the Friends minifigs, but it gets easier to sit them down with some practice.
The third mini build, and again more exciting than the simple chair design, is the crate with lemons and limes. There’s not much building here either, but the inverted slope on the bottom of the crate is a clever addition to make the crate stand at an angle. I was actually surprised with this part as I thought that the angled crate was just pictured angled on the box art. Although the lemons and limes are a bit too big for the minifigs, Mia doesn’t need many of them to squeeze enough juice to make the lemonade.
The forth and the largest build is the lemonade stand. Here you can see more colours. The yellow and lime are standing out more, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more muted colours for the stand. But, this is a Friends’ set, so the bright colours are a must. The stand has two parts, separated with a hinged brick. This gives you more options to position the stand either in straight line or angled. I prefer it angled, as it gives more depth to it.
More than the stand itself, it’s the contents on the stand that are interesting. On the left side under the ‘Lemonade’ sign, there’s pink plate with the frosted cookies next to some cupcakes with lots of cream. Not (so) visible are the hundred dollar bill and some coins (round flat silver tiles). I wonder who bought a 1 dollar lemonade with a 100 dollar bill. The right side of the stand features a juice squeezer, so Mia doesn’t have to do the squeezing herself, and a large jug for the lemonade. It would be nice if a trans yellow minifig head would be included, so the jug would look half full with the lemonade. If you’re lucky enough to own it, you can try how a half full jug of lemonade looks like. Flowers are planted in a white dome bottom and are an accessory, that’s not necessary for lemonade business, but it’s nice to have. I think it’s great that the new dome was included in this set as part of the stand decorations (a big thanks to the designer).
The finished product
At last, here’s how the set looks like. All four small builds create a nice scene together. The center of it is the lemonade stand, and the accessories such as the lemon and lime crate, the chair and the scooter add to playability of the set. There are no flick missiles included in this set, so majority of the play is based on your imagination. Mia can drive herself to the stand with her scooter, pulls of her helmet, takes some fresh fruit from the crate, and voila, makes a fresh glass of lemonade. In addition, you can always make a good bargain buying some of the sweets from her stand.
The Final Verdict
The overall design is fantastic. There are several mini builds simple enough for the beginner builders which is accepted as the set is targeted at the age group of 5 and above. There are some lively colours, characteristic of Friends theme, included. One of the best hallmarks of this set is also the fact that the designers chose to include accessories not necessary in a lemonade business, such as the scooter and the dome bottom as a flower pot. This is definitely a plus, as a small set like this offers you some interesting parts. 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 MOCs. The parts standing out as something unique to the set are the above mentioned light aqua scooter, printed cookies, magenta helmet, and white dome bottom.
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 town layout – it looks great in a suburban settings, in a park, or on a large city square.
Playability is a very important feature of this set. Girls are the target audience for this set, but I’m sure boys will love the set too. There are no missiles in the set, but the play can be based around different situations (squeezing the juice using the machine, picking up a new stock of lemons and limes with your new scooter, buying some sweets or enjoying a glass of lemonade). In addition, this set can be added to the existing Friends’ sets, such as the Downtown Bakery, City Park Cafe, or Stephanie’s Outdoor Bakery to complement the line of various catering services in Heartlake.
Mia has a unique top design, seen for the first time in this set, which is a great detail. Her skirt and white shoes were used before, but they’re not very common, so Mia from the Lemonade Stand is a nice addition to other figures.
It’s a small set, yet it offers a lot for the price. The most outstanding part is definitely the light aqua scooter, unique to this set. Considering you can get a red version in the Parisian Restaurant for a much higher price, it’s wonderful to have this fantastic part included in a small and relatively cheap set. The fact that at the time of this writing this set is already out of stock on German S@H is a nice indication of the popularity of the set.
Overall: 57/60 (95%)
As the overall score implies, this is a set worth having. The simple builds are still enjoyable to build, but the true value of the set lies in its design that offers a lot of playability and some great parts specific to this set. This is a set I enjoyed building, although my initial interest in the set was to just to get the new scooter. It’s a set that can be easily combined with other sets or MOCs. And all this you get for a relatively low price. This is a set I’d definitely recommend to buy to anyone.