If you’re still looking for presents to put under the tree, you probably have a lot going on in your life and you’re so busy that you’re looking for shopping ideas on December 20th. Well, if the person you’re shopping for is a Disney Princess fan, then have no fear. Just head on over to your local Target brick and mortar store and check out the LEGO Friends aisle. I was there earlier tonight and picked up the Frozen set, 41062 Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle. It was $39.99 plus tax. I did not get a picture of the other ones, but they had all of them there: 41063 Ariel’s Undersea Palace, 41061 Jasmine’s Exotic Palace, and 41060 Sleeping Beauty’s Royal Bedroom. My daughter has no idea they were even making a LEGO Frozen set so this should blow her mind. The only problem is trying to contain my own excitement and not give it to her earlier than Christmas Day.
There is a German online retailer catalog on LEGO’s site which you can see right here. It shows off what we can expect to see in the first half of next year. There’s a bunch of new Friends sets and it looks like we are moving away from the jungle theme back to Heartlake City.
Elves is a brand new girls theme. They use the same minidolls as the figures for the sets and use somewhat the same colors as Friends. The hair pieces have pointy ears that stick out much like how elves are portrayed in LEGO minifigures. I’d say we are about one or two years away from having a LEGO Fairies theme.
And Disney Princesses are expanding their line up with four new sets and adding some new castles to the mix: Ariel’s underwater castle and Elsa’s frozen ice palace.
I saw these sitting on the shelf at a Toys’R’Us store the other day. They are the exact same size and dimension as the other half-sized LEGO minifigure display cases but just in prettier colors: purple, light blue, and a plum red. They don’t come with a figure, just a sticker of Stephanie to represent what it would look like with a minidoll inside. Each case holds 8 figures and according to the sticker on the shelf will run you $17.49. I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else in a store or online either. If you do happen to find them at a Toys’R’Us, they are running a promotion right now where if you buy one case, you get a second one at 40% off. Now’s the time to stock up! These would make a great gift for the Friends fanatic that has every set. Give them a display case or two to organize their minidolls!
If you’re still doing some Christmas shopping and are having a hard time finding a good gift for that LEGO Friends maniac in your life, keep your eyes peeled for some of the 2014 sets. They sometimes trickle out onto store shelves early depending on when they get their shipments. 41037 Stephanie’s Beach House is new for 2014 and was found at a Toys’R’Us. We went ahead and purchased it and will be doing a review of the set real soon.
If you do venture out to a Toys’R’Us store in hopes of finding some new sets, please be aware of the “TRU tax”. Toys’R’Us stores typically add an additional markup on top of MSRP, and this markup increases the closer it gets to Christmas.
We’ve reported before on new Friends sets for January 2014 so take a look at the images in that article to know what to look out for.
Some more January 2014 sets have been revealed, and if you’re a fan of horses then you’re in for a treat. One of the sets revealed is 41039 Sunshine Ranch and it sounds just like what the title says. It’s the largest set for the January line, weighing in at 721 pieces, and it features 2 horses, a foal, some rabbits and other animals. The building seems a little weird. It’s neither a barn, a stable, nor a farmhouse, but looks like a little of each. It’s only a facade, so don’t expect any sort of structure. That’s too bad, because a full-sized barn that opens up down the middle would have been awesome. I suppose that something you can build on your own and knowing the LEGO community, it will be done.
The set is augmented by a second “Sunshine” set, 41026 Sunshine Harvest. It has me curious to know if there will be other Sunshine-themed sets to add to the ranch.
41039 Sunshine Ranch
41037 Stephanie’s Beach House
41035 Heartlake Juice Bar
41026 Sunshine Harvest
The Brothers Brick posted photos of LEGO’s brand new Disney Princesses line. Based on the Friends scale and minidolls, there are a total of six sets to collect and based on piece counts, expect them to be priced from about $15 for 41051 Merida’s Highland Games on up to about $70-$99 for 41055 Cinderalla’s Romantic Castle.
Expect these sets to have a street date of January 2014, which means with some luck you’ll be able to find them on store shelves right around Christmas time. We’ll keep you posted with any further developments, but for now, enjoy the pictures.
41050 Ariel’s Amazing Treasures
41051 Merida’s Highland Games
41052 Ariel’s Magical Kiss
41053 Cinderella’s Dream Carriage
41054 Rapunzel’s Creativity Tower
41055 Cinderella’s Romantic Castle
During one of my daily travels across the internet reading up on (or at least trying to read up on) all things LEGO, I ran across this article on The Learned Fangirl, LEGO Marketing Sex Change: The Follow Up, where Heather, the blogger, describes a follow-up email she received from LEGO Customer Service. The blog post itself is a follow up from a previous post, Dear LEGO®, In Regards to Your Marketing-Imposed Sex Change For My Son!, where she expressed her dissatisfaction about how LEGO handled the distribution of their Friends insert in the monthly Club Magazine. Friends insert what?
According to the article, depending on how you or your offspring were flagged in their subscription database, you would receive either the normal Club Magazine if you were marked a boy or the Club Magazine with a special Friends-themed insert if you were marked a girl. After reading this, I called up LEGO Shop@Home and inquired about the insert, and the rep verified that there is a special Friends insert and that anyone can receive it if they so wish. I signed up my daughter for the Club Magazine right then and there. I was told my daughter should expect her first issue around January so until then I really have no idea what to expect. I’m not expecting much, maybe some sort of loose story tying some of the sets together to basically act as an advertisement. We shall see.
Going back to the articles themselves, they’re an interesting read and worth the few minutes of your time. Heather’s six-year-old son is a fan of LEGO and also has an affinity for all things pink. She objected to having to identify her son as a “girl” in their database in order to receive the Club Magazine with the Friends insert, but beyond that, she touches upon a bigger overall picture about gender equality and the controversy that the LEGO Friends line introduced when it debuted. I agree with a lot of what she stands up for; however, there is one inaccuracy she states in the “Dear LEGO” article:
I won’t do it, LEGO. First of all, it’s illogical when you insist LEGO Friends isn’t for girls, but your database says otherwise.
LEGO has never denied that LEGO Friends isn’t for girls. Perhaps she left out the word “only”, so that bolded sentence should have read, “First of all, it’s illogical when you insist LEGO Friends isn’t only for girls” because she alludes to that sentiment earlier in the article.
Whatever the case may be, I applaud Heather for sticking to her guns. I’d like to believe that the changes presented to her by the LEGO representative are real, but the LEGO Club Magazine subscription sign up page still has the gender drop down menu:
If the child’s gender is no longer used to identify which subscribers receive the Friends insert, what other purpose could it serve? It sort of flies in the face of their gender-neutral stance, but without any proof of the gender being used for targeted marketing purposes, it’s only conjecture at this point.
Ah well. I just look forward to January to see what the insert will be like.
Hoth Bricks posted a few hours ago some images of new Friends sets for 2014: 41027 Mia’s Lemonade Stand, 41028 Emma’s Lifeguard Post, and 41029 Stephanie’s New Born Lamb. These look to be in the $10 price range of sets given their piece count. The most popular one would have to be 41027 Mia’s Lemonade Stand, pictured above, for two reasons. One, it has cookies. And two, it’s a cheap way to get the new scooter in a new color that until now was thought to be exclusive to the recently announced modular building, 10243 Parisian Restaurant. More pics below:
I was cruising around YouTube when I noticed that there is a Friends TV show? I’ve never heard of anything airing on television, so this may have been produced exclusively for the web. The above episode is 22 minutes long, which is about the running time of a 30 minute show with commercials, so who knows. It may have been shopped around to networks but ultimately passed on. There seems to be only two episodes uploaded to LEGO’s channel, the one above and another one here. And that’s not counting the mini movies of which there are seven episodes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). And the strangest thing of all other than the way their eyes are animated? The Chinese characters following the titles. I’ll send an email to LEGO to see if I can get any official word back.
Don’t forget that the Friends building event is today at your local Toys’R’Us store from 12noon to 2pm. The frame looks super simple, but there may be a stand of some sort in the back. In any case, you should be in and out and still make it to lunch in a timely manner.