Friends Summer 2020 sets

By Barry Kay (SAFOLs Brick Boss, CapeLUG EXCO, Batman … Ssshhhh!)

I have never really been into the Friends sets but have always like the parts and animals that came with them. I was privileged to get my hands on some of the summer 2020 range and have to say these builds have some great techniques and part usage. The sets are also designed in such a way that they are very playable and not only meant for display.

The target audience is definitely young girls who love to play with a dolls house type environment.

As with the new City sets, we see some of the great collaboration between LEGO® and National Geographic in this range.

Expert from the LEGO® press release

Billund, Denmark, 25 June 2020: Today, the LEGO Group and National Geographic unveil their most recent partnership. New LEGO® City and LEGO® Friends sets have been developed to create awareness about exploration and the protection of endangered species in the world’s jungles and oceans. To support the launch and engage children even further, a campaign has been developed in collaboration with National Geographic to encourage children to explore the world and maybe even develop their own creative ideas on solving the real-life challenges our world is facing. The campaign site is now live in English on LEGO.com/exploretheworld and will launch July 1st in additional languages. The LEGO Group is also announcing a contribution towards the National Geographic Society to fund grants in ocean exploration and species conservation.”

Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue (41421) – 203 pcs / R349.99

The first of National Geographic sets in this range. In this set we have rangers Stephanie and Emma who need to rescue a baby elephant trapped in some rocks. The set has a charming little car and trailer that is nice and sturdy with great play / driveability. The rock trap is designed to slide open and closed so that the team can rescue the baby elephant. It is a fun and easy set to build.

Panda Jungle Tree House (41422) – 265 pcs / R549.99

This NG set features rangers Olivia and Mia and some really cute baby pandas. The tree house is a solid enough build that a child can play with the characters in and around it. They will have fun letting the pandas slide down the slide and having the Mini-doll wash the dirty panda that is cleverly printed with muddy patches. There is also a little seesaw to build that works nicely for the pandas to sit on and play. The set has some other clever details such as a pull cart, chains holding a tyre swing and computer with tea station in the treehouse. All in all another fun and very playable set.

Tiger Hot Air Balloon Jungle Rescue (41423) – 302 pcs / R699.99

The next set in the NG line has rangers Andrea and Emma rescuing white tiger cubs from a waterfall in their hot air balloon. The waterfall build is simple and elegant but still a solid play build. The curved trans-light blue parts give it a very unique running water look and feel. The balloon is very much like other we have seen. Easy build with a round basket and attachment box for the tigers being rescued one at a time.

Jungle Rescue Base (41424) – 648 pcs / R1,399.99

Another NG set with rangers Andrea, Mia and Oliva. This set has similar aspects to the 41422 Treehouse with great details and play ability with the ranger stations and fun slide for the animals. This set introduces a cute sloth to the mix of Friends animals. There are two included. The two treehouses are connected by a cleverly designed rope bridge that has 2×2 modified plates so the mini-doll can be played with walking across or standing on it. With more “technology” being used in the latest LEGO® sets, we see some solar panels and also get to build a drone with this set. It must be one of Olivia’s creations. There is a lot this set has to offer with regards to building and playability.

Olivia’s Flower Garden (41425) – 92 pcs / R169.99

Here we have a quick and easy build. It has a growing station with small potted plants. There is a unique quad scooter to build that Olivia can ride and transport her plants. A cleverly designed but simple to build farmer bot adds some extra character to the set. What would a friends set be without including an animal? We get cute squirrel in this one.

Heartlake City Park Café (41426) – 224 pcs / R349.99

This set is your basic dolls house playable type set. We have pastry chef Stephanie selling her goods at the café and Mia with her skateboard coming to buy. The shop setup it easy to build with some nice details like an ice-cream machine, waffle maker and display rack. The shop has large “glass” doors that can swing open and closed, and there is an outdoor eating area which allows for extra game play ideas.

Emma’s Fashion Shop (41427) – 343 pcs / R549.99

This set will go very nicely next to the City Park Café in the Heartlake shopping district. Also a dolls house type set, we have an easy to build shop structure with lots of extra details such as a changing room, upstairs lounge to play tea party with Andrea and Emma before shopping and trying on the clothes, which are provided in the form of additional torsos and capes.

Beach House Building Kit (41428) – 444 pcs / R859.99

Lovely easy build of a typical Friends dolls house type set. You can vacation with Mia and Andrea. Take them surfing or boating along with a friendly baby dolphin. They can relax in the hammock under the palm tree after a lovely burger and fries lunch in the kitchen. At night flip up the roof to reveal Andrea’s DJ station and party until morning. Other pieces of interest in this are the flamingo and buildable sandcastle.

Heartlake City Aeroplane (41429) – 572 pcs / R1,199.99

While Mia and Andrea are partying it up at the beach house, Stephanie and Oliva are jet setting elsewhere. This easy to build aeroplane has a removable cockpit, Cabin and storage area covers, so you can get Captain Ashely the pilot (who is also the ticket sales lady) into the cock pit, settle the girls into their seats in the main cabin, load the cargo hold, close up and jet off into the sky. The plane is quite solid when all closed up and has very nice swooshability.

Summer Fun Water Park (41430) – 1001 pcs / R1,699.99

Join Mason, Olivia, Emily and Stephanie for some water park fun. This set has a very fun design of a large swimming pool with different slides and the base is nicely rounded off. I especially like the trans-light blue tube slide which is quite different to your standard slides that they have in this set. There are lovely underwater details such as the coral decorations, fish tanks, a flamingo and sea horse. Along with the park itself you also get a little ice-cream van to serve the characters on the hot day. As with the other sets in this range, it is very easy to build and has great playability.

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10273 – Haunted House

PREPARE TO BE SPOOKED WITH THE BRAND-NEW LEGO® HAUNTED HOUSE SET

The LEGO Group has announced the LEGO Haunted House, a hair-raising new fairground build for adult thrill-seekers – available from 20th May from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores

[13th May 2020] Gear up for a spooky ride and bring to life the ultimate ghostly fairground experience, with the brand-new LEGO® Haunted House set. This latest addition to the LEGO Fairground collection is jam-packed with exciting features to surprise and entertain even the bravest of thrill-seekers.

Modelled on Manor Von Barron, the spooky home of one of the world’s greatest villains – Samuel Von Barron, the new LEGO® Haunted House model is full to the brim with spine-tingling details. Its clever design features a fully functional free-fall ride with automatic doors at the top of the tower, giving brave riders a glimpse of the thrilling plummet to come, as well as intricate ghoulish details such as haunted doors and a cursed painting to warn off any trespassers.

To enhance the spooky experience even further and unlock special features, such as a moving elevator, fans can also add LEGO Powered Up components (available separately) and control and amplify the set as they build via LEGO’s Powered Up app.

The 3,231-piece LEGO® Haunted House model not only makes an impressive and creepy display piece, standing at over 26.5” (68cm) high, 9” (25cm) wide and 9” (25cm) deep, but also gives fans the chance to get hands-on and immerse themselves in the ghostly world. LEGO builders can open the model’s exterior and enter the ultimate haunted house to discover the features hidden inside – revealing Von Barron’s extensive collection of stolen artefacts which nod to LEGO brick sets of the past, including the Organ of Catarino and the Orb of OGEL.

This brand-new set has been designed specifically with adults in mind – providing an immersive, creative experience for them to re-focus, re-charge and get creative, whether they’re enjoying alone or as a challenging build with friends or younger builders.

The new LEGO® Haunted House™ construction set is the latest example of how the LEGO Group aims to inspire builders of all ages to build, rebuild and get excited by the process of creation. It’s also the first set from the LEGO Fairground Collection to feature the new stylish packaging designed to make it easier than ever for adult fans to find their new build challenge based on their individual passions.

Addressing the new packaging, Senior Marketing Manager Anders Hellegaard Iversen said: “So many of our older builders love the Creator Expert products, as they allow them to show off their passion for the bricks. Whether it’s their favorite film moments, sport icons, travel destinations, buildings, fairgrounds or vehicles, LEGO sets help to bring these to life in brick form. That’s also why we have decided to stop using the Creator Expert branding and, instead, use the new adult-focused packaging design to make it clearer which hobbies or brand products they can relate to. We hope this will make it easier for fans to track down models they would be proud to display once completed. Of course, our product range will continue to include the same advanced-build, collectible products that guarantee hours of building enjoyment for fans.”

The brand-new LEGO Haunted House is available to VIP members from 20th May and for remaining LEGO fans from 1st June, direct from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores.

10273 – LEGO Haunted House

  • RRP £209.99/ €229,99 / $249.99
  • Aged 18+
  • 3,231 pieces
  • Product available direct from LEGO Stores and at LEGO.com/Haunted-House-10273

About the LEGO Fairground Collection 

The new LEGO® Haunted House™ construction set is the latest example of how the LEGO Group aims to inspire builders of all ages to build, rebuild and get excited by the process of creation. The new LEGO® Haunted House, designed for those aged 18+, will be the first set from the LEGO Fairground Collection to feature the new stylish packaging designed to reflect the sophisticated nature of the creative process. 

All new products in the LEGO Group’s ranges that appeal to adults will now feature the sleek, minimalistic new design across related packaging, building instructions, exclusive content and in-store and online store design.

76139 – 1989 Batmobile™

By Allan Taylor (SAFOLs Member, CapeLUG Member)

DAY 1

Black… All important builds start with a bag of black bits. And music! Edgy, scary music that would make a parent, or studio executive, nervous. And thus… with Danny Elfman’s brilliant score for the original 1989 Tim Burton classic setting the correct, sombre tone, I reach for my knife and open the huge box of shiny new LEGO® that has been haunting my dreams this past month. Welcome to my review of LEGO® set #76139!

The box art for this set is just next level superb, and that’s saying something given that LEGO® has historically produced some pretty epic pack shots and box art. A matte black finish is embossed with glossy images of what many consider to be THE quintessential Batmobile. Also included are images and a logo indicating that this set is to celebrate both the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s rendition of Bob Kane’s creation and 80 years since Mr Kane first released images of the Dark Knight.

One of the first pleasant surprises is that there is nice art in the form of a schematic style rendering of the Batmobile on the (usually plain) white box containing roughly half the parts. I am always grateful for these boxes as not only do they add support for the bigger boxes but they also help to keep manuals and sticker sheets from being misshapen or deformed open opening. I am pleased as punch that mine are in perfect nick!

Unnumbered bags include the rims and windshield (is this the most expensive piece I now own??).

The first bag is a hefty one to get us started.

The manual is super swish! Exactly what I would expect from a UCS build and it has info about the actual Batmobile as well as the creation of this particular LEGO® design.

Perusing the preamble it seems Burton himself had some final say in design choices with the work being submitted directly to him from the LEGO® design team.

The notes in the manual indicate that this build has over 3300 parts and weighs in at around 3.5kg. This is going to be EPIC!

Danny Elfman’s score for the original movie jamming, snoozing cat and a much bigger kitchen table secured! I’m finally ready to start.

The Batman minifig included with this set is simply mind-blowing! The new cowl element is first to be found as I snuffle through the pile like a hog hunting truffles! It does NOT disappoint! (THAT is now the most expensive piece I own!).

I can already tell that there will be a LOT of Technic support structure here, as with previous UCS vehicles, and this makes sense given the weight which will need to be supported by the final build.

SO many pins… my fingers begin to cramp.

Already this thing is almost longer than the manual and I’m still adding to the length with every step!!

End of bag one and that’s about as much excitement as I can handle on night one! I look at the start of this huge chassis and ponder where I could find an even bigger kitchen table.

DAY 2

It has quickly become evident that this is definitely not a build for amateurs. Having never assembled a steering column type setup before, getting this right was challenging to say the least.

So much of this shaping is truly next level! Such clever use of parts to sit seamlessly flush whilst creating amazing form.

Such ingenious use of jumpers and half stud offsets that I can’t even keep track anymore. Just following those instructions to a “T” and trusting that everything will work out. A mad man designed this I tell you, a mad man!!

There are modified plates used in strange new ways (to me anyway) helping to maintain a flush fit whilst keeping those half stud offsets in line, incredible!

Staring at the bones of the front end assembly I can’t even imagine how much thinking and rethinking just this part of the design must have taken.

As with the smaller version, creation of the wheel wells is just outstanding, fascinating to watch as the shapes all come together.

I keep glancing at that functional steering column and wondering about the possibilities for Power Functions. Might have to put a call into our good friend Alfred if I ever have the balls to rebuild this beast.

Awe inspiring detail with such clever use of freely available parts! The angled “gouge” on the side behind front wheel well!!

As the sun sets on day two, I find myself hopelessly addicted to this build now. Every time I tell myself “that’s the last step now, must go be productive” I find that I cannot help adding a few more bits as the excitement of seeing this beautiful piece completed grows.

Seriously classy having the Batman logo on the horn (Bat horn?), and… they give you a spare!

Six bags down and there are some very interesting mechanical systems built in.

Really love the gas and brake pedals, and I’m very excited to see the fully realized cabin

DAY 3

With my wife heading off to work and my child still sleeping, I get to work JUST like Batman! Alone… in the dark…

134 pages and almost 200 steps in. If you ever wanted a serious stash of silver roller skates… this is the set for you! Step 193 requires me to pick out 12.

There is very clever use of gunmetal grey in the form of some studs and ingots to add subtle contrast against the black.

Pondering the build so far I note that there are a fair number more new pieces in this build than the smaller version. New triangular tiles, modified brackets and the trusty 1x1x2 brick with studs on the side as well as 1×3 jumper plates in black. More variety of new pieces but not excessive use indicates this is still potentially mostly doable from sourced parts, but many more stickers add crucial detail which would need to be sourced to get the look right.

Despite one side effectively being a mirror build, it’s not repetitive or boring as they work through both sides with each step as opposed to having you build one side first then turning it around for the other. This is extremely challenging though as often the far side of the build is not clearly visible in the instructions and it is necessary to build and place parts on the right side to work out exactly how they should fit on the left. Gotta pay attention folks!

As I pass the 200 step mark officially, I’m not even sure what I’m building but I’m LOVING it! I can only hope that I retain a fraction of what I’m learning for future MOCs but there is a LOT of genius to appreciate here.

Outstanding use of macaroni curves in gunmetal grey to simulate parts of the exhaust system on the side.

Second cup of coffee, second cigar, quick BrickLink order, check on snoozing cat and then back to work in a style that would make Alfred smile.

My return to “work” is rewarded with the inclusion of a new minifig in bag 9. Miss Vicky Vale now joins the Dark Knight to supervise construction. Just like the original actress, this minifig comes with a fairly standard hairpiece in blonde and a face print that borders on generic, but the sand green outfit is accurate and the telephoto lens on the camera is very clever!

Simple but effective use of aeroplane support struts to create fins.

Some of the smaller parts are so hard to place with my fat fingers that I find myself reaching for my tweezers on the regular.

The exhaust vents are not only an incredible design, but the mounting points and angles are almost incomprehensible to my mere mortal brain.

Opening bag twelve there is a very real sense of accomplishment at having made it halfway. I take a moment to reflect on life and then get back to detailing the cabin.

The dashboard detail is utterly jaw dropping! Good use of stickers but excellent use of curved slope 2×2’s “backwards” to get that sleek, flush curve and slight overhang, amazing!

Completion of the cabin detailing yields spectacular results! The entire console and dash is perfectly accurate and has me gagging to build a Batman figure which would be the correct scale to pilot this beast.

By the end of bag twelve the shape and volume of the model is starting to really become apparent, this is one beautiful behemoth!

Another indication that this is not a build for amateurs is that I MUST check the parts list for every step.  Usually I just “spot the difference” and find the parts I need but there is so much going on here that my usual method is clearly ineffectual.

This mechanism at the back that raises the guns is BLACK MAGIC I tell you!  Also… did I mention? The guns pop out of the bonnet, discarding the panels that hide them completely just like in the movie!

Bag 14. After mucking about with various support elements in garish colours, this bag seems to have us “back in black”

Modified 1 x 3 Inverted Black Tile with a Hole ?!?

16 black arch bricks anyone?!? And all this only for one step (365)

Turns out those 16 arches make up the bulk of the rear wheel well arches… and it is truly beautiful to behold.

Back on the front end and those classic lines are starting to show as I clad the support structure with smooth curved slopes.

As the front end comes together and the turbine is installed the effect is awe inspiring.

The lights are in and they deliver perfectly given the parts available and concessions that needed to be made for the format. The curvature on the front end as the final panel sub builds are installed is a LOT more sleek than it appears on the box art, natural light makes the progression between the slopes a lot less noticeable than the heavy spot effect evident in the pictures.

Having prepped the surface area of the bonnet, I excitedly begin construction on one of the most recognizable and key elements of this movie vehicle recreation!

The bonnet quickly takes shape and looks exquisite.

Taking the windshield element out of its plastic is almost a holy moment. Is that a choir of angelic beings chanting softly? Nope, still just a bunch of gargoyles having a smoke while they natter on a nearby rooftop.

Assembling the windshield and roof I start getting that feeling of awe deep in my bones as I slowly realize that this thing SLIDES open! It also appears at this point to flip back to open as an option but only completing the final bags will tell if there will be enough space left to retain that feature.

Day three was by far the most productive day to date. With a large portion of the build now under my belt, I decide to rest my head and my throbbing fingers for the night. Tomorrow shall be the final day, and I seriously cannot wait!

DAY 4

Like a kid on Christmas morning I awake and my excitement levels are off the charts! Grabbing a fresh coffee, I eagerly head to the table to finish this amazing build.

Getting myself ready for the day I see that I have seven bags left to get through and that elusive little trickster, the Joker, seems to be my prize for getting to the final bag. Holy holidays Batman! Let’s get to building.

At this point it’s worth noting that manoeuvring the main build around to match the orientation of the instructions is getting trickier and trickier. Whilst stunningly beautiful, this behemoth is most unwieldy so I would really recommend a LOT of space for building.

The headrest design is surprisingly a highlight. Simple yet effect use of parts once again, and such beautiful end results!

This build has been challenging the whole way through, but as the model nears completion I seriously cannot stress enough how this is NOT a set for beginners. Some of the sub assemblies are quite fragile in places until they are in position on the main build and the construction of them is often devilishly clever and mind bending. I say this as someone who has many hundred hours of experience building both with and without a manual, so you know… use it, don’t use it.

Working on the back end and it seems there could be enough of a cavity to fit a motor for the real axle, my mind is a flutter as I have almost no experience with power functions, but for this guy I’d be willing to learn!

The back end of the canopy is a pleasure to build. As more of the sub assemblies are fitted I realize now that the ability to flip the hood and windshield up is definitely no longer an option. This saddens me slightly but honestly if I had to choose one method of opening the cabin area it would be the rail system with the more authentic sliding action, amazing work from the designers.

Excellent use of sideways construction for the panels leading from the back end to the lower elevation either side of the cabin.

Once the petrol cap stickers are applied there is only one of the 13 left, and it’s the big‘un.

The rear end still seems to have enough clearance inside to take a battery pack and motor, and the panels creating the various shapes are elegantly genius.

I really like how the rear carapace takes shape!

Bag 22 exists JUST for wings. The wings are cleverly constructed from two main sub assemblies, one being built completely upside down and then clipped in with 1×1 modified bricks with bar protrusions.

It’s taken four days to get to the final bag, and it seems it was definitely worth the wait! Not only does the first representation of Nicholson’s Joker in minifig form await my grubby mitts, but it also looks like there is a stand yet to be built! And just like the smaller version I built earlier… this one seems to rotate as well.

As I croon over the final build, silently gliding around in a 360 arc on its stylish base, I feel blessed just to have it in my life.  The price point, as I’ve pointed out before, is relatively high but I can say without a doubt that whether or not you are a Batman fan it is worth every single cent.  This set is jaw droppingly gorgeous both for the exterior shaping as well as the underlying form which keeps it structurally sound and accommodates all those tiny offsets and interesting angles.  There is a little something here for everyone, from the amazing minifigs to the clever use of Technic parts and techniques.  I feel very confident in my recommendation that this is a LEGO® set of the highest quality currently possible.

Press Release Images.

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21319 – Ideas Friends™

Review by Troy Chelin (SAFOLs Member, jhbLUG Member)

Set number 21319 FRIENDS™ THE TELEVISION SERIES is #27 of the LEGO® IDEAS range and was released on the series 25th Anniversary. The first LEGO® Ideas or Cuusoo as it was known was released on the 17th of February 2011. This is not the first television series Ideas set to be released the first was The Big Bang Theory set number 21302 which is #10 of the LEGO® Ideas range.

If you are new to the LEGO® Ideas range it basically works as follows, you build your own LEGO® idea and share it on the LEGO® Ideas webpage, if it gathers over 10 000 supporters, it will then go to the review panel for approval and if your project is approved it becomes a new LEGO® product of which you get a 1% share of the sales.

Background

The American sitcom had 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004 following the lives of 6 friends who spend most of their spare time hanging out in a coffee shop. This set has many Easter Eggs hidden around the set. An Easter egg is an undocumented reference to popular culture or in the case of friend’s fans favourite television moments.

Box Art Work

The cardboard box is the standard LEGO® ideas box that flips open showing you the contents inside. The front of the box has the iconic friends TV series name with the full set pictured in the centre and the minifigures pictured below with their accessories. The sides of the box have fantastic graphics and drawings drawn in black depicting iconic sayings and images for the TV series with splashes of orange, yellow and blue on a white background and in the centre is the Central Perk coffee shop logo. The art work folds around to the inside of the box which is black inside. On the other side of the box you see the minifigures pictured in windows and again the white background with the black graphics and iconic sayings like “How you doing” a pick up line used by Joey with coffee cups, umbrella’s, Phoebe’s guitar, the fountain and taxi cab with the iconic orange couch randomly displayed in the foreground.

What’s in the box?

There are 6 bags in the box marked 1 to 6, 155 page instructions manual and with 5 stickers. This set comes with 1067 pieces and includes 7 mini figures. On page 4 of the instructions you will find a brief overview of the friend’s television series. On page 5 you will see photos of the 6 main characters in the set with background descriptions for each character unfortunately Gunther is not mentioned. On page 6 & 7 Meet the fan designer Aymeric Fievet from France who was full of joy and pride when his submission which he altered several times reached 10 000 votes. On page 8 & 9 you get to meet the LEGO® designers Milan Madge the designer and Crystal Bam Fontan the graphic designer and they share their thoughts via a question and answer session. On page 10 and 11 you get to see the how many bags there are and what bag completes the section of the build. From page 12 onwards the instructions begin all the way to page 149. Pages 151 to 153 are the piece counts and part numbers.

The Minifigures

In bag one you build: GUNTHER

Gunther is the manager of Central Perk coffee shop and a great inclusion in the set, he has a bright lime green torso with a colourful tie and black pants. He has a white hair piece and face prints on both sides which have been used before on Luke Skywalker mini figures. His accessory is a reddish brown push broom.

In bag two you build: RACHEL

Rachael is in her waitress outfit with a sleeve less light blue blouse with an apron print on the top half of her black pants. I do wish the apron was a cloth piece. The torso has nice lines for the back of the blouse. Her hair piece comes from series 17 the Veterinarian CMF mini figure series and it does justice to Rachel’s character. Her head has two different facial expressions, the first being her normal face and the other an annoyed smirk.  Her accessory is pearl silver serving tray and white tea cup.

In bag three you build: JOEY

Joey is wearing a red button up collared shirt with a very light red shirt underneath and it has pockets on either side which is a really good torso print with plain black legs. The black hair piece really captures Joey’s character well and the two different face prints are keeping with Joey’s attitude. His accessory is a reddish brown “mans bag” and it’s a reference to one of the episodes in the series were Joey carries the bag in hopes of it helping him get an acting job. The set includes food items for Joey of a pizza slice and box, which is a fan reference in the series. The pizza box is a white 2×2 tile with printed red and green stripes on either end with pizza printed in the centre. The pizza slice is a quarter round 1×1 stud tile piece with printed pizza toppings.

In bag four you build: Chandler

Chandler has a black waste coat over blue collared long sleeve shirt for his torso and tan pants for legs. He has a very Chandler face print and the alternate face print is of an annoyed Chandler. The brown hair piece has very good detail. Chandler comes with a black laptop which is difficult to open and close and I have a feeling if you open and close the laptop to much it will end up in two pieces. In my opinion this is my least favourite mini figure out of the 7.

In bag five you build: Phoebe and Ross

Phoebe has a lovely gold leafed vest torso with which sparkles in the day light. The vest design is based off an episode called ‘The one with the blackouts’. She comes with dual face prints, one of shock which really looks fantastic with her blonde hair that flows down from a pony tail and the other is a just breaking a smile. Phoebe comes with her guitar.

Ross features an exclusive dual printed head that really depicts his character well, with a concerned and smiling expression.  His torso print is a tan jacket with a striped tie with light brown legs. His black hair piece has good detail. Ross comes with a. Ross comes with a piano which was in one of the episodes that included Phoebe singing together.

In bag six you build: Monica

Monica does not have an exclusive head piece but it does justice to her character, she is wearing a white shirt with suspenders which also relate to her back with dark tan legs. The mini figure design relates to the very first episode of Friends where Monica reconnects with her childhood best friends while getting ready to go on a date and wearing a pale yellow jacket with suspenders and khakis, hey it was the 90’s. Monica has a chocolate brown cup cake piece for her accessory.

The Build

Central Perk is a coffee shop and what do you expect to find in a coffee shop but coffee and coffee mugs and this set does not disappoint with 15 in total, 3x yellow LEGO® mugs, 2x white LEGO® Mugs, 2x red LEGO® mugs, 2x pink LEGO® mugs, 2x transparent LEGO® mugs, 1x transparent pink LEGO® mug and 3x white tea/coffee cups. If you like the iconic LEGO® coffee mugs this is the set to buy. It includes 2 umbrellas a pink and a black one at the entrance of the shop and above the umbrellas is a red city workers cap.  

The coffee machine built with the gold pieces is very simple but very effective and fits in well with the well angled shop front counter with nice build for the cash register and the biscuits in the glass bowl are a cool addition. There is a print of the golden gate bridge in the back of the set which was also included in the Big Bang Theory set I think that’s a good way of linking Ideas sets.  

I like the carpet modules that you can pull out (look like islands) and place your mini figures where you want them and you can put it back or leave it in front of the set. You build the carpet inserts like a wall and lay them flat to place the furniture and figures where you can in relation to the studs that are placed in convenient places, you can customise this for better placements if you would like.

The iconic orange chair is a good build but you can only fit three figures and Phoebe’s mini figure’s blond hair protrudes out so you cannot sit her flush against the couch she has to sit one stud section out. The table that is placed in front of the orange couch as a nice use of tan and bright green with inverted studs to be able to put a newspaper, coffee cups, flowers and the reserved sign with black background and white writing is a sticker which is placed on a angle transparent piece and looks exactly like the TV series sign. Now we know how the Friends characters were always able to sit around the same table in busy New York City, maybe Rachel placed the reserved sign at the table?

The set has great angles and at the outside of the front entrance is a sticker placed on a 2×4 tile showing a advert that Joey worked on for a lipstick advertisement.  On the opposite inside of the wall is a sticker on a black 2×4 tile promoting Phoebe Live tonight! I like the arrow pointing to the coffee counter with a printed service tile. Another printed piece is the coffee menu with great pastel blue, pink and yellow colours which is representing chalk. The Central Perk logo is printed on a window piece and is a very nice addition.

In the area where Phoebe usually setup to sing is another section that can be removed and is secured in place by two black 1×1 clips. A red chair with brown sides and a round table with flowers are placed in this area and it includes a black microphone and stand for Phoebe to sing into.

My pick from the pieces for this set is #6289117 the dark green 2x2x7 lamp post.

Final thoughts

I really appreciate the time and effort the fan designer has put into the build of the set, he has really captured the iconic Central Perk coffee shop scene and has included many memorable moments from the ten year running series. I have read a number of other reviews where the reviewers are complaining about the lights on either side of the set; however you can remove those lights and the lighting grids if you don’t like the inclusion of the lights. You have to remember this was a TV series filmed in a TV Studio but I don’t think that this distracts from the set as they can be removed. This is a play or display set either way it’s well worth the money.

I did find one alternative build for this set which I thought was very interesting you can copy the link to find out more. https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-33700/beewiks/LEGO®-frame-friends-central-perk/

4095 Room Copenhagen

By Rakesh Gosai (SAFOLs Brick Deputy)

If you didn’t know by now, LEGO® has a division called Room Copenhagen.

www.roomcopenhagen.com

They are a specialist within brand extension, who design and produce home, storage and lunch solutions on behalf of LEGO® and a few other companies.

This particular storage rack #4095 has three drawers in three different colours, which are semi-transparent. Each drawer has a 3032 black plate 4 x 6 in front, which if used for storage, can display the part in the drawer.

I think the purpose of this storage rack was to make it easier to build a set with the pieces being kept in the drawer, that way no pieces would fall on the floor. The storage rack also comes with a loose baseplate 32×32 which slots in on top of the rack.

I really like the idea of having this, but LEGO® could have made these stack-able, then you could have a few on top of each other. Perhaps they would look at this in future. Available in red and blue, though I have only seen blue available locally.

70423 Hidden Side Paranormal Intercept Bus

By Rakesh Gosai (SAFOLs Brick Deputy)

I was fortunate to get some of the LEGO Hidden Side sets, the Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 being the first I chose to build.

The set is an American Style School Bus with a twist. Even before getting these Hidden Side sets, I was looking forward to including it in a scene with my other Monster Fighters sets. These two themes will work so well together, I wonder if that was the idea for this wave.

Onto the build, firstly, the colour scheme is perfect!

Bag one has the portable toilet which changes into a brown-tile spitting haunted ghost monster and the pull out pull out command centre.

Bag two until five contains the bus build. There are many ingenious ways of using pieces for items like the mirrors of the bus and the massive exhausts. I can only imagine how cool it would be to drive a school bus with a turbo and these massive exhausts!

This set has five minifigures, two of which have ghost heads. The minifigures are: The two heroes Jack Davids with a smart-phone and girl minifigure Parker L. Jackson with a smartphone. Tech genius J.B., workers Nanna and Bill, and David’s ghost-dog figure, Spencer.

Three things that I would change on this set, is to make the bus a right hand drive, more space for the bus driver and a way to access the pull out command centre from inside the bus. One thing that I did not like at all was the bus driver’s door, on a normal bus, the door folds into two, whereas this is just a normal trans-clear door.

I have not installed the augmented reality app on my mobile, but from the video’s I have seen, this looks to bring a whole new play experience to these sets. I also have not applied the stickers to this set as I plan to make some of the above changes before applying them. Overall this is an amazing build, the internal space in the bus has not been used effectively but the accessories on the bus make up for this.

Looking forward to reviewing the next set in this wave.

40433 Limited Edition 1989 Batmobile™

By Allan Taylor (SAFOLs Member, CapeLUG Member)

As a serious enthusiast of MOC building I am always hesitant to drop large amounts of cash on sets for display purposes only, my thinking being that I have so many projects that require bits and funding that it seems crazy to spend a large amount for parts that will never see the inside of my spares drawers… and then every now and then a set like this comes along and just blows my mind (along with my “budget”)!

Now, as if the heart stopping awesomeness of the larger UCS 1989 Batmobile (set #76139) wasn’t enough, our good friends at LEGO® have added a little extra magic to drive both fans of Batman as well as AFOL’s everywhere into a frenzy!

As part of the celebration of 80 years of Batman (thank you Bob Kane!) and the 30th anniversary of the original Tim Burton reimagining of our beloved Dark Knight for the big screen, LEGO® has released a smaller companion set (#40433) as a free gift when purchasing the afore mentioned budget destroying behemoth.

Being blessed enough to have gotten one of these at launch, let me share my thoughts and findings as I work through the unboxing and building of this great little companion whilst Santa (AKA my long suffering and very understanding wife) keeps a beady eye on the larger box under the Xmas tree. I have specifically avoided any videos or sites which cover the intricacies of this set so that it would be nice and fresh for me, and you, dear reader are invited along for the ride.

Looking firstly at just the box art of both sets, it immediately becomes apparent that LEGO® has hit exactly the right notes to achieve perfection of the “in universe” look of the Batmobile at both scales. Some interesting differences in parts usage is clear (and would be necessary considering the much lower part count of this smaller set) but I am personally quite keen to see how they have gone about recreating this masterpiece… TWICE!

My first impression as I open the box and lay the contents out is that it comes with a standard manual (as opposed to the swish manuals which come with the Ideas sets or other UCS releases for instance), a few numbered bags of mostly black bits and it seems very much like business as usual.  The only real unique “piece” in this set is the single large sticker which indicates some stats for the Batmobile, ala UCS style!  As I get started with the build I quickly get the impression that this model is intended to be used with a minifig, yet no minifig is supplied with this set (just saying).  Glancing back at the larger box and drooling over the three minifigs supplied with THAT set I must admit that they more than make up for the apparently “missing” figure.  Possibly this is intentional as the larger build is not minifig scale at all, and those minifigs are in fact meant to be used with the companion vehicle whilst leaving the larger model for display purposes only? Ahh LEGO®, how you amuse us with these distractions.

After the first few steps the genius of the LEGO® designers already becomes apparent, making excellent use of many small plates and brackets. Every single part is positioned to maximize structural integrity for the completed build.

Clearly these brackets exist purely for griebeling! Awesome!!

Bag 2 begins… and right away there is excellent usage of some of the newer parts in the form of black 1x1x2 modified bricks with studs on the side.

By the time I had worked through about half of the bag and had completed what is honestly a fascinating sub assembly for the front end, the true scale of the model is both very evident as well as somewhat surprising.  Even though it has been designed at a much smaller scale than its big, black, Batbro, this is no Speed Champion either!  Whilst most of the front end is a fairly standard 8 stud wide construction (my preferred width for doing movie cars personally) it does widen out to 10 studs for the back third, but this is balanced out perfectly with the surprisingly lengthy chassis which comes in at over 28 studs long!

Whilst installing the diff to the rear wheel axle, I glanced at the diff and then at the flame shooting out of the exhaust on the box art and realised the intended function.  MUCH excitement!

Once bag number two is complete, what you are left with is almost like a detailed cross section of the Batmobile with a lot of complete detailing running all around the thin slice of awesomeness that has been built.  At this point I am eagerly awaiting getting stuck into bag number three to start fleshing it out (or rather… up and down).

Spreading the contents of bag number three before myself, I scrutinise the parts and note that only one or two new elements have been used so far.  This is great news for anybody planning on building their own Batmobile with sourced parts.

Approaching the midway point of the third bag I am now so enamoured with this build that even thoughts of the future, larger build are temporarily pushed aside… more or less…

Even though there is a lack of a custom print for the 1×4 printed tile representing the dashboard, the standard print used does a fine job. As the cabin is more fully realised it becomes apparent how incredibly robust the structure is whilst achieving flawless angles and detailing.

My excitement mounts as the bonnet comes together with just a few cleverly used curved slope pieces and that legendary and iconic shape starts to reveal itself!

The conclusion of the instructions for bag three leaves an interesting little pile of spares.  I’m not sure what exactly is up with the hinge… but I’m not complaining.

With my fingers all atremble, I reach for the fourth and final bag of shiny black bits. Finally! The GOOD stuff! Wheels and fins and bats… oh my!  Mid way through bag four all those classic lines start coming together in spectacular fashion.

While building, I mentally review some of the highlights of the construction so far, such as the extremely classy execution of the mechanism driving the rotating flame and the sub assemblies for the wings and…WHEELS! Is this extended rim a new piece?

The completed vehicle looks excellent and feels like it was designed to be played with.  It’s a rugged design which is exceptionally close, if not hundred percent, to minifig scale.  After a quick inspection Batman approves, and then it’s done… or is it?

Eyeballing the pile of remaining parts I realize that they must be for a stand. The curious little LBG dish which I have been trying to place throughout the build seems to indicate that the stand will have a rotation function. Even more excitement is greeted by confused looks from my wife and cats as I whoop like a mad man and cackle to myself. The construction of the stand is quick and easy. It makes superb use of Nexo Knights shield elements in LBG (Light Bluish Grey) to create an interesting texture and pattern to the underside.

In closing, here are some final thoughts…

Going in to this build I was very excited, assuming that it would be epic but thinking that at the very least I would be getting a little pre Xmas treat to tide me over until the “main event” when I build the larger version.  I am however very pleased to report that the mini Batmobile surpassed my expectations.  This build was both extremely fun and educational.  It certainly makes the perfect launch gift accompanying such an iconic vehicle. 

If I had to nit-pick, the only cons would be the “missing” minifig, but really, who doesn’t have a thousand spare Batman minfigs if you’ve collected any Batman LEGO® before?!?

Also, the price point is extremely high and not much of a heads up was given at all to the public, with the reveal and launch being so close together. This gave no time for fans to budget or save for this set. However if you are fortunate enough to claim this bonus set I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

If you enjoyed this review, then watch this space!  I’ll be documenting my unboxing and build of set #76139 once I’ve been given the all clear to unwrap it on Christmas Eve.  It may take several days as I intend savouring every moment, but I assure you the end result will be worth the wait.

10267 Gingerbread House

By Rakesh Gosai (SAFOLs Brick Deputy)

Just in time for the festive season, LEGO released this Creator Gingerbread House. I received this set for my birthday and I was excited to start building it!

Book 1 contains all the wrapped gifts and toys. These are small enough for the minifigures to enjoy. The gifts and toys consist of a rocking horse, four wrapped gifts, and a toy train. There is also a detailed Christmas tree with a lovely star at top of the tree.

Book 2 contains the Gingerbread House. I really enjoyed building the house because of all the lovely details inside and outside of the house. A few interesting things that stood out in the build were the gingerbread baby, the frosted candy-like roof. The interior has amazing coloured glitter 1×1 bricks, which really come to life when there is light shining through them. The upstairs section has a cosy room with a cute bath and toilet. The downstairs section has a cosy kitchen and lounge area complete with a fire-place with a light brick, comfortable sofa and kitchenette.

This set is definitely a favourite of mines. I was just a little disappointed because the set was smaller than I anticipated.

I also had a lot of spare pieces left over. From the official pictures, there was no red plate 1×1 on the door, however I put these on the door and it suited the theme perfectly.

Get it while you still can!