Day: January 11, 2012

Fortnight of Friends – Day 9: Heartlake Dog Show

Published / by Bill

The ninth day in our “Fortnight of Friends” series brings us the first “big box” set, #3942, “Heartlake Dog Show”.

Like all the $20 and larger sets, this set comes in a box with a new shape for LEGO. Instead of being a plain rectangular prism shape, the front of the box is curved, bowed outward, and in the front sides there is a bevel that produces this curvature. The clerks at the LEGO store hate this, because you can’t stack the boxes easily. You can see it in the photo of the box below.

Friends box, showing the beveled edge that produces the curved front

This set features a return of Mia, last seen on Day 5 (Mia’s Puppy House), showing her prize pet at the dog show. (Both parts of Mia’s body were in the stretchy plastic bags.) Did you know that you can fit the spray bottle into the torso of a minidoll? Well, you can. I think someone mentioned it on a mailing list I’m on (though I can’t seem to find the email right now to give them credit, sorry), and I tried it out with Mia and sure enough it works! It makes her look kind of like a mermaid. Also, since I noticed that in this set, you’re told to put the spray bottle between two studs of a 1×2 plate, that you can also put the minidoll’s legs the same way. It’s not quite as good of a connection as a regular LEGO stud grip, but it’s not bad.

Alternate ways to connect minidolls to other parts.

Anyway, on to the set. This is the first multi-part build Friends set. With the first bag, we get Mia and the two dogs, the accessories, and parts to build the small models. First up is the holding/grooming pen, which has a trough full of water (1×1 round trans-light-blue plates in an aqua colored rectangle made from short panels) with water spigot, a bowl with two bones, fencing, and a cabinet for storing stuff. Those cabinets, lime with white hinged doors, will be very handy. You also build a hurdle for the dogs to jump over, with a bar that can be knocked down if they don’t jump high enough; a catapult seesaw thingy for the dogs to walk along, which I guess tests their obedience in the face of losing balance (though as a boy, it screams catapult to me, and LEGO included the “don’t shoot into the eye” icon in the instructions that they always use for projectiles); and a prize stand with giant trophy.

Bag #2 is the main part of the build, which is a stage and catwalk for the dogs to show off on. There’s a camera on a stick with a telephoto lens, two spotlights, and flowerpots made from white plain minifig heads. There’s a sign above it all, a printed 2×2 round tile with a paw print, just as we saw earlier in Mia’s last set.

Parts-wise, this is a pretty good set. I like all the lime green and aqua parts. The dogs are adorable, and the trophy is nice – though I’m disappointed that it’s not chromed. We get the same accessories as in Day 5 but this time they are in light purple. I noticed that as I mentioned in Day 3 (Andrea’s Stage), the antenna piece has been changed to have a squared-off tip instead of the rounded tip it’s had for over 30 years.

Tomorrow the series continues with Day 10: #3065, “Olivia’s Tree House”