Today is the penultimate day in the “Fortnight of Friends” series, with the second largest set in the line, #3188, “Heartlake Vet”. This set builds an animal clinic, with both pet and large animal (horse) sides, and features two minidolls, Mia (last seen on Day 6) and the veterinarian Sophie.
The minifigs come in a mix of packaging: one leg piece came in stretchy plastic, but both torsos and the other leg came in the regular LEGO bags which I find much easier to open.
This is another multi-step build, the first with 4 bags. The first step however uses both bags 1 and 2 along with sky blue 8×16 and 16×16 plates, to construct the main building. I love the curved pieces forming an awning attached to 1×4 SNOT (Studs Not On Top) bricks. The main building will be the pet cilnic.
Bag 3 adds the sign to the building and interior details. It includes a bag of flowers and bugs (the same assortment as seen in Olivia’s Tree House in day 10) but this time in light orange (an odd color for roses…). The flowers and bugs are used to build strange mutant plants that produce 3 different types of flowers from one plant – some shaped like bugs! Some of the plants are placed on Plate, Round 1 x 1 with Flower Edge (4 Knobs), which grips stud below it very well (almost too tightly), but doesn’t grip flower stems well at all – they fall off almost as readily as MegaBloks do. I like the fishtank (though since I don’t apply stickers, it wasn’t nearly as effective “empty”) but it seemed to me that the trans-light-blue panels are a little darker than old ones from my collection (It’s also a new mold – they have side reinforcements the old ones lack).
Bag 4 builds the livestock vet annex with a new door piece and new medical utensils (syringe, thermometer, ice bag, etc.). Inside, just over the door, is a clear cylinder whose purpose mystifies me, unless someone is playing a prank and it’s supposed to fall and dump some liquid on whomever is passing through…? The use of 1×2 bricks with grille patterns as hay might seem a little obscure to some kids.
All the decorations are done with stickers, sadly, except for the paw print 2×2 round tile, envelope tile, keyboard tile, and a strange 1×1 round cylinder with paw prints and a heart.
I love all the new animals though. Mia’s puppy is adorable, and the horse and hedgehog that come with this set are precious. However I am surprised LEGO failed to make the horses rideable – the old style horse has a 1 stud wide cutout, which a minifig can stand in, but these have a 2 stud cutout. However a minidoll’s legs are too long even for that to sit in, and they would look strange standing in it. It’s useful because the curved-top 2×2 brick can be used to fill in the opening, but still strangely unrideable. You’d think that the way young girls can obsess about horse riding, they’d have done a better job with this. It’s also disappointing that the horse’s necks aren’t hinged like the old minifig horses (and cows).
Tomorrow is the final set in the series, #3315, “Olivia’s House”