LEGO Friends 2024

A new year, a new part of life to explore!

Zooming into 2024 comes a lot of new and dynamic LEGO Friends sets. I’ve always been a big fan of how the reboot of the LEGO Friends line has been going, and with each new release comes some new set of passion from the designers. In this instance, I expect no less! As a father of two girls, we are diving in and seeing how this wave holds up in 2024.

Available from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores from 1st January 2024.

LEGO Friends Stargazing Camping Vehicle – 42603

The Friends Stargazing Camping Vehicle is a nice little set that that I feel like some might overlook. Not only is it a nice simple vehicle design and backdrop, but it also includes some long awaited elements – stars in white!

Yes, the backdrop of the set can be interchanged with many celestial interests and moved around, allowing all sorts of adventures to be seen! I’m also a huge fan of the Stargazing decal and the rooftop tent that folds away.

There’s also a Classic Space decal on Nova’s shirt and a screen with an astronaut’s picture, which is a reference to another set in this lineup.

LEGO Friends Heartlake City Shopping Mall – 42604

LEGO Friends is well known for having a slew of buildings in their line-ups, so a mall set is no surprise here. A lot of the shop decals are high quality and a lot of fun, but some of the shop interiors feel a little bare. I’m a big fan of the plantwork/escalator parts of the build on this one. This set also gives us a map for navigating each of the floors of the mall.

I do love that we are getting more games representation with the Friends theme, as now we have a video game store. There seems to be fun collectables, game discs and even a try-before-you-buy play area too. This set also has a new dropped banana mould, Mario Kart style!

This is also our first LEGO Friends set to have a character with a prosthetic leg!

LEGO Friends Mars Space Base and Rocket – 42605

Probably one of the wilder sets that I didn’t ever think would happen, we get ourselves a Friends Mars Mission! Yes, that means that the little green alien are coming in LEGO Friends, and that aliens to exist within this world.

Our Mars base is completely modular, allowing us to remove parts of it for easier access. There are many good highlights here, such as the shuttle docking bay, greenery, cat command tower and tearoom.

It is here on the screens we can see what is the receiving end of Nova’s earlier call in the above set – she’s talking to astronauts!

And not only just astronauts, but Olivia and Julian from the original LEGO Friends theme that debuted back in 2014. This is an awesome bit of detail here, and I love that Olivia put her robotics skills to good use.

This set also has lots of elements in the new Flamish-Orange colour too!

LEGO Friends Tiny Accessories Store – 42608

Definitely one of the less ambitious sets of the wave, the Tiny Accessories store is just that – tiny. This store is perfect for kids who are just getting into the hobby and love LEGO Friends, as well as debuting the new shoulder handbag accessory.

The choice of Paisley for this set was also great, as I really love the figure and her hairpiece, as others should too. A cheap set, but not low in value for new builders.

LEGO Friends Olly and Paisley’s Family Houses – 42620

Olly and Paisley’s Family Houses gives us canonical proof that these two characters are neighbours, and how different family life is to each of them. Paisley’s house is a bit more a country meets modern aesthetic, with lots of greenery and life to it. Olly’s house, by comparison, is a lot more city suburbs, with designated garden beds and garden gnome.

It’s a fun insight into how these characters live, as Paisley shares a bedroom with her sister, and has older styled furniture. Inside her house you can also see a family portrait of her with her sister and mother in grey, who has passed away, and an updated photo of her family with her dad. Olly’s home has cleaner and more modern furniture, with what seems to be designer cushions too. His entire room eludes to his passion in photography and design.

One thing to note is the TV at Paisley’s house, which is asking about the identify of a mysterious teenage punk rocker. And, just in Hannah Montana Fashion, Paisley is revealed to be that person in another set.

We also get some new moulds for tree elements in this set, with a bush-like tree piece in purple.

This is a set that is the best of both worlds when two kids can’t decide one what they liked but still want to play family together.

LEGO Friends Heartlake City Hospital – 42621

The LEGO Friends Hospital is another set of this wave to include a throwback character, being Mia – although not her first ever appearance.

The hospital is packed full of medical equipment and decals that make it feel like a kid appropriate way to broach the medical world. Rather than focus on injuries, here they showcase bone fractures, pregnancy and giving birth, emotional support animals and even prosthetic replacements.

Yes, after many confused parents contacted LEGO about Autumn not having an arm, LEGO made an adjustment to the character in the best possible way – doubling down. We get a new mould for Autumn, which shows us this is likely not the only time we will see this going forward. I expect the usability of the piece means it will appear in modern LEGO City too.

I’m a big fan of all the decals on the set, as well as the splash of colour that is strewn throughout. The only thing I have a gripe with however is the helicopter. Why is it here? It doesn’t even carry anything.

I also love how well the elevator hides away in this set. It isn’t jarring to look at and blends well.

Verdict

As always, LEGO Friends makes strong headway in pushing barriers for children’s toys.

There is a lot love. I’m a huge fan on LEGO leaning into LEGO Space and connecting the smaller sets with the larger ones. Seeing a LEGO hospital showcase more than injuries and finding subtle nods to character backstories really show that designers care about their work.

I really wish that there was an affordable way for everyone to be able to experience these things in the sets, but alas, we can’t buy all of them. Some sets, like the Tiny store are an easy miss, but I really enjoy the angle of stargazing, space and medical advancements a lot.

 


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