Let's get the elephant out of the room, yes this is a Friends set, and I know that's going to immediately turn some of you off, but before you stop reading please give me a few minutes to tell you why you should buy this set. I've revealed the conclusion at the start of the review (a big review no-no) but I want you to love this set as much as I do. Hailing from the busy streets, tranquil meadows, adventure-filled jungles, and sleepy suburbs of Heartlake City, LEGO have opened Heartlake City's Amusement Pier, grab your fanny-pack, we're going to the seaside!
Heartlake City has everything, if you think Bricksburg (or whatever variation LEGO City has been known as) is jam packed with adventure Heartlake City will blow you away. In less than a decade this up-and-coming City has had a development explosion, you can now fulfill every desire without leaving your zipcode. The newest addition, The Amusement Pier, consisted of 3 sets, all great in my opinion. They were released alongside 4 other sea themed sets, those concerning Sea Life Preservation (See Toby's review of set 41381-1 here).
This is a review of the largest of the Amusement Pier sets, 41375-1. It has two rides (a ghost train and swinging chair ride), an ice cream stand, a spin-the-wheel game, and a ticket booth. Everything you need to have a great time.
Before I get to the nitty-gritty I wanted to take a moment to talk about those controversial Minidolls. Fellow reviewer Toby was kind enough to do some research for me. What you are about to read is all him, Thanks Toby!
With the introduction of the Friends theme came something else new: The Mini Doll. The figures are about 5mm higher than the standard minifigures. Mini Dolls consist of 4 parts: Hair, Head, Torso (or Upper Body part) and Hips & Legs (or Lower Body Part). As you can expect from the name, these figures are more stylized, making them look like little dolls.
There are some important difference between Minifigs and Minidolls:
- The heads have a smaller connection to the torso. The size is the same as a standard bar.
- The torso and Hips&Legs have a never before seen (at least by me...) connection. It kind of resembalse a micro-USB plug.
- The arms on the torso can be moved, but the hands can't rotate.
- The legs can't individually be moved.
- There is no anti-stud on the butt. So it can't connect to a standard seat. Instead, often the feet are wrapped around the central divider of a 93095 - Panel 1 x 2 x 1 with Rounded Corners and Central Divider.
- The hair is usually made out of a more rubbery material. The hair also often has small holes, the same size as a 20482 Tile Round 1 x 1 with Pin, so items like glasses, flowers and other asseccoires with a small pin can be connected.
The MiniDolls were not unanimously welcomed into the LEGO community. There are the purist, who don't like anything besides the original MiniFigure. Also there is a large group that say using a MiniDoll in sets target at girls is stereotyping. All I know: My daughters, also known as the target audience, love them. They grew up with them, so they don't know any better than that they always have existed. They also easily mix them with minifigs in their builds and play.
Fun pic I took at The LEGO House: These are some prototypes from the design process
The Minidolls are used in more themes than Friends alone. In 2014 Disney Princess was introduced. In 2015 came Elves, and in 2017 Super Hero Girls. In 2019, the first sets appeared with both MiniFigures and MiniDolls in 1 set, in the The LEGO Movie II theme.
The MiniDolls are very more diverse than MiniFigures. There are a lot of mold versions of heads, torsos and hips&legs. I've made a list of all versions I could find. Please let me know when you know any more.
There is no 1 clear numbering system. Rebrickable uses the first number LEGO has ever assigned to the mold. I'm not sure where BrickLink bases their numberd on. BrickOwl uses an unique number for every part, like usual. (RB = Rebrickable mold number, BL = BrickLink mold number)
There are 2 types of Heads:
There are 4 types of Torsos:
Seems like BrickLink doesn't distinguish between Boy and Man, and Girl and Woman, while they are fysically different.
Hips & Legs
I've been able to find 16 different Hips & Legs
There are also babies in Friends, but these are not unique to the MiniDolls. It first appeared in 71011-5 - Tribal Woman in 2016. In 2017 came the first Friends set with a baby 41318-1 - Heartlake Hospital, with 2 others following in 2018 and 2019. In 2019, a baby appeared in 75965-1 The Rise of Voldemort.
Thanks Toby, see, lots of reasons to love Minidolls, so stop being a purist and let your minifigures have some inter-mold relationships! Onto the set.
Roll up for the fun of the fair with LEGO® Friends 41375 Heartlake City Amusement Pier. This amusement park toy set allows your little builder to immerse themselves in the excitement of a theme park experience. It includes a ticket kiosk and turnstiles where the friends can enter and exit. There's a spin-the-wheel stall where fairgoers can try to win treats. The carousel ride features 3 chairs, which fly round in a blur thanks to a spinning, twisting function. The star attraction, however, is the pirate ghost ship where your young Friends fan can enjoy chills and thrills as they whizz round the pirate shipwreck. As the car travels through the amusement park ride’s spooky textile foils, it plunges into a world of bats, skeletons and scorpions. This building toy for kids includes 5 mini-dolls, plus 2 animal figures and 2 skeleton figures for hours of imaginative play.
The box measures 264 x 375 x 89 mm. Inside are 10 bags numbered 1 to 10, 2 unnumbered bags, 2 instruction manuals, a sheet containing the 4 sails, and a sticker sheet.
Instruction manual 1 measures 195 x 126 mm. With 71 pages and 67 total building steps.
Instruction manual 2 measures 270 x 190 mm. With 242 pages and 267 total building steps.
The pdf can be downloaded here.
The set contains 1266 parts and 62 spare parts, in 49 different colors, and 45 different categories, with a total of 451 unique parts/color combinations.
Main colors are:
- White: 73 Parts, 220 quantity
- Reddish Brown: 53 Parts, 142 quantity
- Bright Light Orange: 26 Parts, 105 quantity
Main categories are:
64982 - Sails and Curtains, Ragged with Pink and White Stripes Print [Complete Set of 4].
49595 - Animal Sea Life [Complete Set]. Their second review appearance this year. Introduced in the all the ocean themed Friends set released in the 2019 Summer wave. Thanks Toby for the photo.
49577 - Sea Weed. A truly new (and awesomely odd looking) part.
New Prints of Existing Parts:-
Parts in new colors: So many parts in new colors, another reason Friends sets are so great, the theme expanded LEGO's color palette massively.
Parts in rare colors:
This set comes with 7 minifigs. Olivia, Emma, Chloe, Stephanie, Zack, Skeleton Pirate, and Skeleton Chef.
Bag 1: The Ticket Booth is built, it uses some nice stickers and hinges for some reason, not complaining just not figured out why.
Bag 2: The Carnival Game and Ice Cream Stand are much better than the ticket booth. The game has a prize wheel, and should your minidoll be lucky enough to win the prizes are provided too. It's bright and fun.
The Ice Cream Stand comes fitted with all the food, equipement, and accessories you need to run a successful stand. The waffle iron looks perfect, and the string of lights really adds to the carnival atmosphere. As if all that's not good enough, it plays into my love of buildings that look like food too!
Bag 3: The Swinging Chair ride tower rises, it is massive. It has some nice touches like a bag check, and a phone and coin that has clearly been dropped from the ride, when will they people learn, no ride-selfies!
Bags 4: I'm immediately excited opening the bags, seeing part 24121 Technic Gear Rack makes me think i'm in for a real treat. I eagerly build this stage, and as I near completion I realise my early excitement was unfounded. The technic beams come far too close to the teeth for them to be utilized. But I have to wait for Bag 5 to be sure.
The facade is really cool looking though.
Bags 5: The umbrella looking canopy is built and its obvious the rotating technique is a lot less sohisticated than I was hoping, you spin it with your hand. While it is disappointing I don't stay mad at the set long because things really pick up from here. The swing seat are great little builds, (with enough chains to satisfy Mr Grey). The completed ride looks impressive, and even though it's done by hand the spinning motion is smooth and great fun.
Bags 6: We finally get to build some track. The base (as usual) is not that interesting. You've got to build the foundations strong. It gets more interesting, I promise.
Bags 7: Now we start building up the ship and adding some of the spooky detailing. Theres a light brick that's actually a little useless. I'm not a huge fan of light bricks, not being able to just leave them on annoys me. What am I gaining haveing to hold the button? Even if it stayed lit for a few seconds that would be more useful. I thought maybe when the car comes along the track it might trigger it but it doesn't. Love everything else here though. The Skeleton Chef is my kind of odd. We also hang the first curtain, the ragged look really sets the tone.
Bags 8: Very quickly does the ship come together. With the imposing mast (wish we got a new color for that part) and a bow that really over extends, the overall look is impressive. Lots of little details to be found too.
Bags 9: Lots of fun little ocean builds from this point onwards. The jellyfish is my favourite. The track is built in sections, these small 'bases' help add to the stability.
Bags 10: And lastly, we build the station, and the boat. Shame we didn't get more than 1 boat.
The final set is really big. Lots to layout and play with (I actually had a hard time fitting it in one photo). Kids are always my barometer when it comes to the playability factor and this rated very high. It IS fun, and it IS bright and colorful. It fits the theme, nails it infact, and I'm just gonna say it, is up there with some of my favourite sets. The build was fun, contained surprises, and wasn't too simple (or too complicated). The Minidolls are great, you do get a lot but there is a lot to do with them.
Things I'd change: A second boat, first off. Seems like that wouldn't have added too much cost (lose the light brick!). Secondly, I will have to work on a mod so I can motorize the swing. The biggest issue however is how hard it is to move the ghost train/ship. Building the tracks from little platforms definately adds stability for play, over just using a 2x2 plate, but it makes it no easier to actually move the thing. I have had to lift and move the model a handful of times and without exception it has all completely collapsed, only takes a couple of minutes to rebuild but that make it no less annoying.
Even with my opening statement I understand my review has probably had zero effect on hard critics, and the price of this set will probably put off those tempted to dip their toes in the Heartlake City water, but I do highly recommend this set. At the very least, please don't rule out Friends sets as a rule.