Not such good friends?
My daughter really loves Lego, and a few Christmases ago she was given a Lego Friends set. For those of you who don't know, Lego Friends is Lego specifically targeted at girls - there are five female figures and a range of different sets from a treehouse and a cafe to parks and a vet.
The set my daughter had been given before featured the character Andrea on her stage, with a small piano, spotlights, microphone and so on. Although the actual set, once made, looked great I found it lacked a bit of playability as you couldn't really use the items independently, and while it was fun to make, you could only really play with it on its own rather than alongside other Lego.
But despite my reservations, last Christmas I purchased another set as a small stocking filler for my daughter. It was £4.99 on amazon, and for under £5 I figured I couldn't go too wrong - and if nothing else I knew my little girl would love the figurine, as this was certainly a hit with her from the last set. The character that comes with this particular set is Stephanie.
There are around 50 pieces in this set, and all of them are fairly small. Using this set, you can make a little bakery, complete with oven, cakes, a sink, table, umbrella and - a bit randomly - a carton of milk.
Fiddly for four
As the pieces are small, this is a little bit fiddly to make, and my daughter, who had just turned four at Christmas, definitely needed help to do this. But, as I expected, she was so happy just to have the little figure that she was content to play with this, and introduce her to Andrea, who came with her other Lego Friends set, while I put this together. As with the other set, I was surprised at all the detail in this, and just how nice it all looked once put together. It's all in nice cool shades of green, blue and white so not too girlie. The little over door really opens and you can put the little Lego cakes inside, there is a small bowl and a glass, and you can put the umbrella into the table as a parasol.
I feel this is a set you can really play with. It is interactive as there's a lot you can do, and it is the kind of role play my daughter enjoys. You really can get Stephanie to run her little bakery, although it useful to have a few other Lego characters to use as customers! I also find it much easier to use this set alongside the ordinary Lego that we have - the table and stool, for example, can easily be used if we're making a house, park or whatever. This is good as I did find this was a shortfall with the other set we had, so I was pleased that this was a bit more usable, and we've definitely used parts of the set more than we did the other.
Overall, for just under £5, I'm going to give this a big thumbs up. This is a lovely looking set that is fun to play with, and works well alongside other Lego. This has actually encouraged me to look at other Lego Friends sets, and I suspect my daughter may receive some more of these in the future!
Age: 5-8 Years / Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts - Choking Hazard