Day: January 7, 2012

Fortnight of Friends – Day 6: Stephanie’s Pet Patrol

Published / by Bill

The sixth in the “Fortnight of Friends” series is set #3935, “Stephanie’s Pet Patrol”.

Having seen all five of the Friends main characters now, in Day 6 we return to the one we saw first in Day 1, Stephanie. She’s got a different print shirt and skirt, but the same mold as far as I can tell. The shirt has long sleeves, so the color difference between the legs is not as jarring relative to the torso, but still noticeable. Finally, we get a minidoll that’s easy to open both bags! Both torso and legs are packed in the easy-to-open plastic similar to most LEGO bags, not that annoying stretchy plastic.

This set continues yesterday’s pet house theme with a wee wittle bunny howse. Sowwy, this is getting too cute. But really, this rabbit is adorable!! I’m not sure yellow roof goes with tan walls, but wook at the bunny!!!!!!

Ahem. Next we get a vehicle. Stephanie may not be old enough to drive a car, but apparently this little ATV is legal. I guess if the cops ever hassle her, she can just show them her bunny and they’ll let her off the hook. This is a pretty standard LEGO design, just using more pastel colors. The light aqua we first saw in the VW van “Fillmore” in the Cars 2 sets (such as #8487, Flo’s V8 Café) returns, appearing in the fenders and a 1×2 tile with rail. There is a new handlebar piece, similar to one we’ve seen for years for minifigs, but with extended bars that can be gripped by minidolls with their wrists that can’t turn. Stephanie drives the ATV while standing, which doesn’t seem like a very good idea to me… but given the limited usefulness of her hands, I suppose it’s the only option the designers had. Still, I think it sets a bad example for kids.

The final build is a trailer for the ATV. On the box it is shown with white wheel hubs, but they gave us grey ones. The instructions have the color right, though.

Tomorrow brings the first week (1/2 fortnight) of Friends to an end with day 7, #3936, “Emma’s Design Studio”.

Fortnight of Friends – Day 5: Mia’s Puppy House

Published / by Bill

The fifth set in the “Fortnight of Friends” series is #3934: Mia’s Puppy House. Of the sets we’ve seen so far, this one is far and away the “pinkest.” All the sets so far have featured one unique minidoll, and there are five main characters in the Friends line, so we now have one of each.

The minidoll for this set, Mia, comes in two bags that are the difficult to open stretchy plastic. I’m surprised at the inconsistent packaging LEGO is using for these various parts.

Mia is the first doll we’ve seen so far that has a hair accessory. All of the minidoll hair pieces have one or more holes in them for attaching bows, tiaras, etc. The puppy in this kit also has the hole in its head for attaching a bow. This kit comes with a whole bag of accessories:

  • Eight head bows, four with hearts and four without
  • Two prize ribbons (marked “1” and “2”) – it seems odd that these are both dark pink, since “1” should be blue and “2” should be red, but I guess that would be too expensive to produce, or maybe they just do things differently in Denmark.
  • Two large oblong rounded brushes
  • One small round brush
  • One oval thingy (bar of soap, I guess)
  • One comb with heart
  • One spray bottle with heart

All these accessories are in dark pink, and are well suited to this set’s theme, where Mia is washing her dog, who has apparently won both first and second place in the dog show. My understanding from reading other blog entries about the Friends line is that there are other sets we will see with similar “accessory kits” which are apparently treated by LEGO as one part. The bows and ribbons all have small pegs sticking out the back which I believe is the same type of connection used in the past by accessories such as the tiara in Willie Scott’s hair in the Shanghai Chase Indiana Jones set. It’s also the same size peg used to attach flowers to stems. In addition, the ribbons have a stud-sized cutout in the back surrounding the pin, so that they can mount on a (hollow) LEGO stud. The other accessories are all sized so they can be gripped by a minifig/minidoll hand (or any 3mm clip).

The first thing you build after Mia is the doghouse, which is a basic 3×5 stud tan and white house with a dark pink roof. Building odd-numbered-sized models in LEGO can be tricky, because so many parts only come in even-sized parts, but it works pretty well for this model. It uses some basic SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques to attach the ribbons and the paw print over the door. A brief aside about the paw print – it’s a 2×2 round tile, which is an unusual part in LEGO because it has more attachment points than any other part its size. There are no fewer than eight points where you can attach a stud to the underside of these tiles, and this model uses one of the unexpected points – centered on the top of the piece.

After the doghouse, you build a simple lime table with yellow legs in only 3 steps on one page. Finally, you put together the tree, which cleverly uses a Technic brick to represent a hole, perhaps dug out by a woodpecker? The rest of the parts are more staged than built – fill the bucket with dog washing tools, put out the dog bowl with bone, etc.

Tomorrow, we revisit Stephanie, who we saw in Day 1, with #3935, “Stephanie’s Pet Patrol”.