Visiting Heartlake City – Reviewing the 2021 Friends Sets

A number of friends sets were released in June this year and I’ve slowly been working through them with my 4 year old daughter. I’m happy to say we’re done! Time to take a look through them.

41677 Forest Waterfall
AU $15.99 | 93 pieces | 2 minidolls

The smallest (and cheapest) of the bunch, it’s rather cute – a little waterfall made out of a windshield, and a couple of very nice (and rather Friend-esque) trees.  It’s not the biggest waterfall, or it’s a massive waterfall with massive trees and it’s forced perspective. It’s not just those though. There’s a little campfire with some roasting marshmallows, a very strange looking scooter without tyres, and a bridge over the river. There’s even a little squirrel for good measure.

The minidolls are Andrea and Olivia, with some nice torso and feet prints. I hope they have some sunscreen though – their clothes aren’t very outdoorsy.

41682 Heartlake City School
AU $89.99 | 605 pieces | 3 minidolls

A stereotypical school, this is a little more of a repetitive build, but I feel it’s an important inclusion. The fact that kids can play with a school set is good, as school tends to be a bit more of a topic that’s not often synonymous with play, more so for older kids. The repetition is not fantastic, but the parts are good inclusions – windows and masonry bricks being the most included. Either way, I quite like the facade of the building. It’s a classic style of architecture often seen in media. For good measure it’s got the Friends colouring in there, so it’s not mistaken for another theme.

There’s classrooms inside dedicated to performing arts, science, sport and art. It’s a nice way to kit out a school set. There’s also a lunch table and a basketball hoop, and even a bathroom and a kitchen inside.

The minidolls include Olivia, Julian and Marisa. Marisa might be the teacher, as she’s the only one not wearing a school uniform. There are 13 stickers throughout the build, which do add some necessary detail to the set.

41683 Forest Horseback Riding Center
AU $119.99 | 511 pieces | 3 minidolls

This is my favourite set of the wave, and was a favourite of my daughter’s too. It’s got a lot of great features! The stables are excellent, and contain two adult horses and a pony. Upstairs there’s a kitchen, entry and beds in the attic. It feels more like a house with horses than a Riding Center, but it’s still cool.  The horses are really nice, and there’s also a dog included too. I love that the horses come with bridles, but it’s a shame that the minidolls have to stand in the saddles. It just looks weird.

Speaking of the minidolls, let’s take a look -there’s Mia, Savannah and a kid, Kevin! I’ve only ever seen the minidoll kids used as elves, so a normal kid is great. I have also got a hunch that Savannah is blind? Having not seen the series at all,  this is purely a guess, but it’s a cool inclusion. Seeing disabilities included in toys is huge, so well done LEGO.

41684 Heartlake City Grand Hotel
AU $169.99 | 1308 pieces | 4 minidolls

The biggest set of the bunch, and some really great detailing included! The colours are a little gaudy, but that’s Friends. There’s intricate window frame detailing, a bold dark blue roof, and I love that large round window at the top. Extra builds include a very nice water fountain at the entrance, and a picnic area under some trees that can be changed depending on the season of choice. It’s a nice feature, but the instructions get really weird. It’s like they gave up? It becomes really vague, and I caught myself checking the page numbers to make sure no pages were missing!

The other extra build includes something I’m a bit excited about – the bag trolley, with a fancy looking suitcase!

Inside the build there’s a hotel lobby (that looks great) and a grand piano on the other side. Up a level (I can’t say upstairs because there aren’t any stairs), there’s rooms 101 and 102, with different colours, but mirror images of each other. There’s also another level, with room 201 being the penthouse suite. Bigger bed, make-up room, spa, and outdoor entertaining area, this is rather grand.
The four minidolls included are Stephanie, Emma, Amelia and River. I know River is the male, and I guess he’s the bus-boy? The rest look good, with the long dresses seriously impressing my daughter. A fun set that’s sure to have lots of play in store.

41687 – Magical Funfair Stalls
AU $49.99 | 361 pieces | 3 minidolls

This is an interesting one. It’s got some fun  play features in it, and some cute little build elements, plus the minidolls are fun. Emma, Camila and another kid – Henry, are included, with Emma scoring some facepaint, and Camila being the magician. The facepaint on Emma is great, and I won’t spoil how to levitate minifigures – it’s very clever though. One little thing about the set is Camila’s cape. It’s too loose and can easily rotate around her shoulders! It’s very annoying. It’s a shame, as it’s a beautiful cape.

I really like the little stalls – there’s the ticket booth, entrance gate (with large bunny head over the top), ice-cream stand, face-painting cart, and levitation stage. There’s clips to attach each stall to the rest, so they can be connected together. It’s much more of a basic set, but I did like the fun colours – very appropriate for a fun fair.

41693 – Surfer Beachfront
AU $119.99 | 685 pieces | 4 minidolls

The last set in the bunch, this is another fun one, with some really great details and features. The colours are very Miami (from what I can tell), and there are some nice elements included, like the umbrella, turtle and dolphin, to name a few. The convertible is a nice inclusion too. The four minidolls include Mia, Andrea, Nora and child Ava.

There’s an ice-cream shop, surf shop and a tea room? I think that’s what it might be? I love the colours, and the large signs! The ice cream uses the melting cake topper element really well, and that large surfboard looks great on the corner. The interior of the stores are all very sparse, but that’s understandable given the size of the rooms.

The little beach scene looks great, with the  breaking wave and the dolphin, and the deck chair and drink is a nice touch. This one was impressive.

All in all some good sets included! Let me know what ones you’ve picked up.

A special thank you to LEGO for sending me copies to review. All thoughts on these sets are my own and are not influenced in any way, shape or form. The provision of sets for review does not guarantee a favourable review.