41690 Friends Advent Calendar Review

As per usual, with four of the 2021 Advent Calendars, I’ll be updating this post daily. Each day will have an image of the day’s build, a quick comment, with a final overall review at the end of the month. If you want to keep up to date with the post, use the link to the right of the page – it’ll be there for the duration of December. I won’t be posting any pics on social media, so it won’t get spoilt by me!

Theme: Seasonal; Friends
No: 41690
Release Year: 2021
Cost: AUD $49.95
Pieces: 370 (with five minidolls)

If you’ve been along on this journey with me for a while now, welcome back! If you’re just new to the Advent Calendar season, then welcome. Each day I’ll open the new window and provide an image or two and my thoughts on the build, with a big wrap up at the end. I’ll post them at night, so there’ll be no spoilers during the day. This post will be updated each day (Perth, Australia time (GMT +8), so it’s all in the one spot. I’ve not seen any yet, so these are all raw thoughts!

I’d also really appreciate if you gave us a thought by using the affiliate link if you’re shopping for Christmas LEGO on LEGO.com. I get a very small commission if you buy something using the link, which really helps paying to run the site. I didn’t receive any of these sets for free this year – they were all bought by either me, or Cam in the case of the Star Wars one.

The display stand for the Friends set is a really nice build, showing the porch and interior of a house, presumably where the Friends are staying for Christmas. I’m not sure why they went with microdolls instead of minidolls? Maybe so we get all five?

To get to each Day’s build, click the link to go straight there.

Day 1: Olivia, Present and Stocking

Day 1 is straight away with a microdoll – of Olivia. She’s got a gingerbread themed outfit (which looks a lot like pyjamas). There’s also a bow she can hold (because she can’t hold much else), a present and a stocking. It’s an interesting start. I wonder what will be behind Door number 2?

Day 2: Remote Control Snowman

This is actually kind of cool. We get snowmen in each calendar of some sort, but this one is on wheels and a game controller in pink, which is easily the best part of the whole set so far. It’s a low bar, I know, but still…

Day 3: Emma, Present and Stocking

I’ve got a feeling we’ve got 3 more of the same with this style. This time it’s Emma in a Christmas Tree top (still reckon it’s pyjamas), a stocking and a present. She’s also got a flower, with two spare in the bag too. Hopefully we get a bit of mix up with the other microdolls. I somehow doubt it.

Day 4: Easel and Paints

This morning was a pretty basic easel and paints. it’s pretty nice, and comes with a painting of a kitten. I’m wondering if we get a cat tomorrow? The easel is actually pretty cool. Chunky, but cool. The paintbrush is also nice, but it would have been good to include some green paint?

Day 5: Snowglobe and Holly

I’m not really sure what this is, but I’m going with what my wife said – a snowglobe. It’s kind of cool, but if it’s not a snowglobe, I don’t know how festive it is without the holly? It is always good to have another of the clear dome elements. Bring on Day 6!

Day 6: Christmas Tree

We’re going full festive today with a Christmas Tree. It’s nice, but the middle is a little strange with no leaves? Aside from that the shape is nice – very Friends-esque.

Day 7: Stephanie, Present and Stocking

We’ve had one of these on days 1 and 3. Time for another Friend. Stephanie is wearing a blue pyjama set with a reindeer on the front, and she’s carrying a bow. Two of these to go…

Day 8: Snowboard and Snow Pile

Today we’ve got a snowboard, helmet and pile of snow! I’m not sure if the board is meant to be ridden down the pile, but the proportions are all off – the microdoll would be absolutely dwarfed by the board! A bit of a weird one today.

Day 9: Mixer and Chef’s Hat

Today’s build (albeit a bit late! Sorry) is brilliant. A mixer, with bowl and spoon, and a chef’s hat on the side. This build is really great, and quite appropriate for all the Christmas cooking that would normally come in most homes. The colours are a bit odd, but work ok for a Friends set.

Day 10: Cookie Making Table

We’re staying in the kitchen today with a cookie making table, complete with a teacup, rolling pin and a chair. Not a lot of exciting building here, but I do like that little rolling pin!

Day 11: Oven, Milk and Cookies

A much more simple build today, with an oven and frying pan, some milk and some cookies – perfect for Santa. It’s always good to get another milk carton!

Day 12: Puppy, Kennel and Bone

My daughter loved this one this morning – a cute puppy, festive kennel and a bone. This puppy is fantastic – it’s only been seen in one other set – 41663 Emma’s Dalmatian – a play cube from this year, so seeing it here is really exciting.

Day 13: Andrea, Present and Stocking

Rinse and repeat. Today we’ve got Andrea in a snowflake pyjamas, with another stocking, present and flower. My daughter put the stocking together, but she did like the microdoll!

Day 14: Piano

An interesting looking piano today – it’s a shame the keys aren’t on a 1×4 tile! it’s a nice build, but the proportions are all over the place. Especially as the inhabitants of the house are microdolls! They can’t even reach the keys! It’s a nice effort though.

Day 15: Cat and Scratching Post

I love that my daughter picked this build before I did! It’s a brilliant little scratching post and a cat! Very cute. I love the colours in the scratching post, and the cat is also another rare one, only being seen in one other set – 41445 Vet Clinic Ambulance.

Day 16: Armchair, Coffee table and Book

Today we’ve got an armchair, coffee cup and table, and a book. They look great, but again, the scale is off as the microdolls can’t sit on the chair properly, can’t hold the mug or the book and the book is also as tall as they are! I’ve got a feeling that’s going to be a theme for the whole calendar – not a lot is to scale to a microdoll.

Day 17: Toy Soldier and Ballerina

I absolutely love these! The ballerina is stunning – such a clever use of parts. Those dishes as a dress is so great! The soldier is instantly recognisable too, although I’m not sure about the star face? These are fantastic.

Day 18: Fireplace

It’s a larger build today, with a fireplace. Very Friends appropriate colours, and there are 6 SNOT studs available for the stockings from the previous day! It’s not easy hanging them all up though. I really like this one.

Day 19: Mia, Present and Stocking

Today we’ve got our last remaining Friend – Mia! She’s got a star and candy cane top, and purple accessories. We’ve finally got all five, so all the stockings can be hung, presents can be under the tree, and celebrations can begin! Man the fireplace is crowded…

Day 20: Sled and Hill

An uninspiring build today with a basic sled and a small hill to go down. At least the sled is suitable for a microdoll, with a jumper plate for them to stand on!

Day 21: Lamp Post and Mailbox

These are a pretty common sight in City builds, so it’s nice to get one here, and with a printed dish element at that! It’s a nice build. Very festive. The 4 year old loved this one.

Day 22: Dessert Table

Day 22 has gone big, with a fantastic looking dessert table, complete with a new for 2021 candelabra! I’m very excited about this element. We’re finishing strong!

Day 23: Sled

It’s the second last day and we have a very Santa-esque sled to ride on. It’s a funny looking one, and appears to be able to tow something. Tomorrow’s build maybe? The ice skates are a nice touch, but it is rather blocky and bulky.

Day 24: Sled Trailer and Presents

Finishing off today we’ve got the back end of the trailer. It’s festive and has a couple of presents and a teddy bear! I like the round tiles on the edge, and my daughter loved the teddy bear.

This is without a doubt the best Friends Advent Calendar we’ve seen. It even tops the tree ornaments one we had a few years back. It’s cohesive, there’s a good parts count, and we get all five Friends, even if they are microdolls. The best ones for me were the toy doll and soldier from Day 17 and the desserts on Day 22. It’s been a fun one, and now my daughter is thrilled that she can play with the set!

Merry Christmas everyone!