2013 Friends Advent Calendar Day 1: Stephanie

Did you miss out on getting your Friends Advent Calendar this year? They sold out extremely quickly from every retailer this year long before the winter LEGO Shop@Home catalog came out featuring the calendar. Total bummer. But we’re here to virtually help. LIke last year, Heartlake Friends will be doing a daily reveal of each day’s sets for the next 24 days. It may not be the same as having your own calendar to build through, but hopefully you’ll at least get a little enjoyment out of it.

Today’s set: Stephanie

Day 1: Stephanie

The first item of the Lego Friends Advent Calendar features blond-haired Stephanie sporting cute navy blue lace-up boots, white leggings, a lavender cardigan, a light blue pleated skirt with a matching blue scarf.  She is certainly ready to frolic and play in her holiday wonderland.  The figure consists of four total pieces – hair, head, torso and legs.

More Friends 2014 Set Images

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

41039 Sunshine Ranch 1 41039 Sunshine Ranch 2

 

41037 Stephanie’s Beach House

41037 Stephanie's Beach House 141037 Stephanie's Beach House 2

41035 Heartlake Juice Bar

41035 Heartlake Juice Bar 141035 Heartlake Juice Bar 2

41026 Sunshine Harvest

41026 Sunshine Harvest 141026 Sunshine Harvest 2

LEGO Disney Princesses

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

41050 Ariel's Amazing Treasures 1 41050 Ariel's Amazing Treasures 2

41051 Merida’s Highland Games

41051 Merida's Highland Games 1 41051 Merida's Highland Games 2

41052 Ariel’s Magical Kiss

41052 Ariel's Magical Kiss 141052 Ariel's Magical Kiss 2

41053 Cinderella’s Dream Carriage

41053 Cinderella's Dream Carriage 141053 Cinderella's Dream Carriage 2

41054 Rapunzel’s Creativity Tower

41054 Rapunzel's Creativity Tower 141054 Rapunzel's Creativity Tower 2

41055 Cinderella’s Romantic Castle

41055 Cinderella's Romantic Castle 141055 Cinderella's Romantic Castle 2

Amazon Discounts LEGO Friends Video Game for Nintendo 3DS

LEGO Friends Nintendo 3DSAmazon currently has the LEGO Friends for Nintendo 3DS handheld game console on sale for $29.96, a 25% discount off of the regular price of $39.99.

Based on the game trailer, it doesn’t seem to be doing much to break the gender stereotypes that the Friends line is infamous for, and in fact probably perpetuates them more than anything. There aren’t any reviews online yet that I could find, and it’s not surprising considering the game and the market it’s aimed for. Not to say that girls don’t play video games, but that it is a smaller market and plus it’s based on a niche product line. The game play doesn’t seem to be very deep. The game feels like a collection of mini games you traverse your way through. In any case, take a look for yourself and decide if the game is even worth picking up.

Friends Insert In LEGO Club Magazine

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:

dropdown

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.

Amazon Discounts 41015 Dolphin Cruiser by 20%

Amazon is applying a pretty nice discount to the recently released 41015 Dolphin Cruiser. It is 20% off of MSRP at $55.99, down from $69.99 MSRP.

Get it while the gettin’s good!

I also noticed that they’ve put a few of the smaller sets on sale with a 20% discount off of MSRP. They’re $7.99 each before any taxes and any shipping charges. If your order reaches $25 or more, you’ll get free shipping. A quick note: Amazon’s base price on these sets are slightly higher at $11.99 which makes the savings seem even greater, but since MSRP is $9.99 the actual discount is less, but still pretty good at 20% off. Anyways, here’s the list:

And finally, from last week’s post, 3315 Olivia’s House is still 21% off at $59.31 and 3184 Adventure Camper is down 23% off at $27.09.

Friends-style Power Loader From Aliens

One of my favorite films of all time, other than Star Wars, is James Cameron’s Aliens. Great action, great story, great acting (yes, I’m including Bill Paxton’s performance when I say that), and it still stands up to the test of time. It may be a bit violent for this site’s younger readers, but there is a great underlying message of girl power with its strong female lead, Ellen Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver. I’m going a bit off topic but the whole point of me bringing that up is this MOC by Simon Liu:

Get away from her you ...

If you’ve seen the movie you’ll immediately recognize the resemblance to the Power Loader used during the climactic fight scene at the end of the movie. He used the MOC in another shot to tease a big project he was working on, which is even more reminiscent of the movie:

Opening BW2013/Brickfete WIP

Great stuff all around.

Before The Dolphin Cruiser, There Was…

The Friend Ship

The “Friendship”. Flickr user Okay Yaramanoglu built the above Friends-themed yacht. Unfortunately, there aren’t any additional photos of the yacht but it would be interesting to see if there was any sort of interior like 41015 Dolphin Cruiser has. Okay built the Friendship for the Summer of Friends building contest hosted by Eurobricks last year. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can browse through the various categories to see some more great entries.

Amazon Discounts LEGO Friends Sets

Amazon is discounting a handful of LEGO Friends sets, all at least 20% off. The sets are a bit older, but it would be a good time to fill the holes in your collection before they’re retired and harder to find.

3315 Olivia’s House is one of the few Friends sets that has a male minidoll, and it was the ONLY set to have a male minidoll before 41005 Heartlake High and 41015 Dolphin Cruiser came out.