The recent paucity of original content on this blog has been contributed to somewhat by picking up LEGO Friends: Heartlake Rush and allowing it to distract me from writing for a week or so. In return for this, I feel obliged to review it.
Inspired by the ‘Design a Friends Go-Kart’ competition running on LEGO Rebrick, I downloaded Heartlake Rush, an endless runner game. Here, you can take the residents of Heartlake City out for a drive: dodging obstacles, accumulating studs and gathering prizes to complete missions. Heartache Rush is available on both iOS and Android platforms for free. As a bonus to parents being nagged to the point of exhaustion, there are no in-app purchases!
You start the game by selecting your character: there is the range of the five friends: Andrea, Stephanie, Olivia, Mia and Emma, as well as Liam, Stephen, Ethan, Daniel (trapped here in his Hot Dog Suit) and Emily jones, on sabbatical from Elvendale! Each character has their own specific car. The figures depicted are shown following the 2018 design update.
Further characters can be unlocked after gathering an ever increasing number of studs. You can take any unlocked car out with any unlocked character, and apply any set of decals. Unfortunately, this is the extent of customization.
The race is on to create your own LEGO® Friends GO-KART racing scene! What sort of GO-KART can you create for Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Emma, Stephanie, and their other friends in Heartlake City? Create the ultimate scene for a chance to win!
After visiting the Melbourne Toy Hobby and Licensing Fair last week, I was really excited to see the new Friends GO-KART sets due to be released in the second half of the year. Now LEGO Rebrick has announced a competition to win all of the second half year’s Friends sets (with just the Go-Kart sets for the runners up…), as well as a LEGO Shopping Spree.
Ready… Set… Go…
To enter, build a vignette depicting a racing scene – no more than 8×12 studs, and include a GO-KART. Your entry should fit into the Heartlake City universe, and not include any mini figures, or cross over into any other IP licenses from 3rd parties or LEGO (so… no Superheroes, Disney Princess, Star Wars, HJarry Potter, NEXO Knights, LEGO Elves, Ninjago etc.
You have until May 5th to take photos of your model, and submit up to 5 of the best to the Rebrick Website.
Recently, we have seen images of the new LEGO Friends Sets for 2018, and there have been a few interesting surprises. Not only the presence of teal, but our protagonists have had a bit of a makeover. In fact, this is possibly the most obvious aspect.
All sorts of theories have been bandied around: colored contact lenses, eye damage due too much time in the tanning salon, extreme perms, but perhaps the most simple answer is that after five years, the line is getting a bit of a refresh…
Here is the official word from the Friends Design Team about the new looks that we are seeing in 2018:
Every year we strive to innovate and make our products even better for children all over the world. A lot of effort has gone into the development of the LEGO characters and universes across our entire product range, so it makes us very happy when changes are noticed.
LEGO Friends in 2018 looks a bit different than what it has in the past. To be specific, the 5 main characters have a slightly different look but also the city and the citizens of Heartlake City have changed.
But what are the reasons for the change?
Firstly, we want to assure you that all 5 friends are still there in 2018.
Andrea, Mia, Emma, Stephanie and Olivia – they all still exist! Also the character’s main interests and personalities remain mainly unchanged.
What you will see in 2018 is an evolution of LEGO Friends, a progression of the story and characters to make sure children get an even greater play experience. Every year more than a million children and parents reach out to us and share what they love and what they would like to change. In the LEGO Friends range children told us that they would like even more differentiated characters and also suggested improvements to Heartlake City.
We always take great care to listen to input from children, and the LEGO Friends team has worked hard to make even more engaging and relevant experiences for children – and also make the LEGO Friends universe more true to the actual world children live in.
Taking a starting point in reality, we’ve made the characters more diverse in their appearance and have added more depth to their personality. And of course, they still live in Heartlake City. But just as the characters have changed, Heartlake City has become more differentiated and rich. There are different districts and there are other citizens that play a more active role in the story.
The changes we have made does not change the fact that previous and new LEGO Friends sets will cater for great building and play experience in 2018 and beyond, and we hope to inspire even more stories and play opportunities for children in the future.
While we can think what we like about the changes, it will add to the ongoing diversity in our characters. For the last five years, Heartlake City has been a relatively homogeneous town- it will now go on to reflect more closely on the world that the target market wish to play in. For those of you who who have a Minidoll based city layout, you have a whole new collection of faces for the town.
Personally, I like the fact that we now have vintage Friends Minidolls to collect. What do you think about the new look? Why not add your comments below, and follow the Rambling Brick for new stories, updates and random opinion.
When we last met, we caught up with Fenella and Ricardo, from the LEGO Friends design team, and we spoke in part about the preliminary models from Stephanie’s house, and how some things came and went during the design phase.
Today, I thought we would put this set together, and look at some of the features that make these sets so popular with the target demographic.
This is one of the larger sets in the first wave of Friends sets to be released in 2017. It has 613 pieces, and a recommended retail price of $AUD99.99/£64.99/$US69.99/€69.99. It comes with 3 minidolls: Stephanie, her mother Alicia and father James. It is laden with accessories and play features, as one would expect with a Friends set of this size. Continue reading →
At the start of June, as part of the LEGO Fan Media Days, I had the opportunity to meet Fenella Charity and Ricardo Silva, who are both part of the LEGO Friends design team. Fenella’s back ground is in industrial design, and Ricardo came to work at LEGO via the fan community. Our conversation rambled over a variety of topics relevant to the Friends line: including storyboarding the sets and animated stories; stickers vs printed elements; gender balance; designing Stephanie’s house and starting the trip down a slippery slope by using tan walls in the pizzeria. But before we started on that path, I had to ask something…
The LEGO Friends sets have be inspirational for introducing buildings around town that aren’t fire stations, banks being robbed or police stations, as are de rigour in LEGO City. But something I have been wondering… Are we going to see a police station?
It’s changed a lot over the last 70 years since it was first introduced to Melbourne. In Australia it was a generated by post war migration from
Italy, however pizza has evolved in different ways in different markets. Not necessarily to the taste of everyone. Perhaps the only thing an Australian pizza has in common with an American pizza or indeed and Italian pizza is the presence of a bread like pastry, baked with stuff on it. Some of this stuff is probably cheese. And possibly tomato. But not always.
When I was at school, pizza delivery did not exist. If you needed a pizza, you would find it at your local Italian bistro on a Friday or Saturday evening with your family. It was a food to share, and it brought us all closer together. Continue reading →