Today is day 11 in our LEGO “Fortnight of Friends” series, and we tackle #3187, “Butterfly Beauty Shop”. This is the first LEGO Friends set I’ve done that has more than one minidoll in it… in this case, one of our main characters, Emma, and a new character, Sarah. Sadly, all the sign printing is done with stickers, which I didn’t want to apply, so the picture isn’t quite what is shown on the box…
Like the last few sets, this set comes in two bags. Bag #1 starts with a cute little water fountain and bench, then starts building the main building. It’s built on 8×16 pink plates, which is a new color/part combination that is nice to have. The architecture of this building reminds me of the old Paradisa sets from the 1990′s, which I’ve always liked.
As I mentioned above, this set comes with two minidolls. In bag #1, we get Emma. After a long drought of only getting minidoll parts in the stretchy, hard-to-open bags, Emma’s legs are in nice easy-to-open bags. But her torso, and both parts of Sarah (who comes in bag #2), are sadly in the stretchy plastic. I’ve gotten pretty good at opening the stretchy bags, by forcing the sharper corners of the dolls through the plastic, but I don’t think this packaging is good for kids to have to open. Most multi-part LEGO sets that have multiple minifigs give you all of them in bag #1, so this is a bit of a change.
With the second bag, you build up the top and interior of the shop. The interior features a bunch of new accessories. There’s a bag of light orange hair decorations and styling tools, and two little bags of lipsticks. There are four colors, and the two bags are identical. The lipsticks are in stretchy bags, but unlike the minidoll parts, the lipstick bags have easy-tear weak points and open easily. Why can’t they do this for the minidoll bags? The lipsticks are made of a rubbery material – grey rubber handles molded around colored rubber middles, which is a little weird. I would have expected the grey parts to be hard plastic.
As I mentioned above, almost all of the printed details are shiny metallic stickers (such as for mirrors, etc.), but there is a computer keyboard printed tile at least. I guess LEGO doesn’t have the technology to print shiny parts, at least in a cost-effective manner. I hate applying stickers.
I must say I have some qualms about this set overall though. I know they’re trying to win over girls to LEGO with this theme by putting construction sets into the “pink aisle” at toy stores. But I’m much more of a fan of something like Olivia’s Invention Workshop, which encourages girls to think about science, than the Beauty Shop, which just reinforces traditional stereotypical gender roles. I’m also a little uneasy about the racial message it sends, since it shows a white girl being waited on by a person of color… maybe I’m overthinking things – I dunno. What do you think?
Next up tomorrow is #3061, “City Park Café”.