We have been fans of LEGO forever! Ever since my first son was born in 1988, we have loved the brand. I love how LEGO allows children to be creative but also how the sets can build into a specific toy which increases the play value. I am so pleased that the range has grown and developed over the years, appealing to a wider audience of children and catering to different ages and all their differing tastes.
LEGO Friends is a range of LEGO designed to appeal to young girls who love things that are feminine, who enjoy hanging out with their friends and having fun. I think the 'girly' LEGO Friends range is a welcome addition to the brand as it can be enjoyed by children who may not like the traditional and often quite masculine image of LEGO. The creativity and skills used are the same, but the theme has appeal to those who might prefer their toys that bit girlier. I love the little characters who are more doll-like than the traditional LEGO men. They suit the theme very well.
We were sent a LEGO Friends Dolphin Cruiser to try out, which is aimed at ages 7 - 12 years. Kizzy, being a 10 year old girl, is in the target market for this toy and was very interested in building the cruiser, helped by big sister Ella who is 17 and has never grown out of her love of LEGO and 4 year old Freddy. The last LEGO they built together was the Spongebob Squarepants Krusty Krab set so this was very different!
This is quite a big set but I was very impressed to see that the parts were bagged up into five individual packs which each corresponded to a section of the full colour instruction booklets. This made it much easier to tackle the building project, one step at a time. The booklets were very easy to follow, showing you what bricks were needed and where they needed to be put. There were 104 separate stages in constructing the model, each one being simple to follow, so it was never a daunting task. The job was made easier by the inclusion of the LEGO tool which makes taking bits off less fiddly, so if you make a mistake you can quickly rectify it.
The model took about two hours to build in total. I was impressed with how sturdy and solid the finished boat was. The attention to detail is brilliant. The boat features a captain's deck, a waterslide, kitchen, living room, bedroom with two beds, bathroom and sun deck. Accessories include a jet-ski with water-skis, two dolphins and a bucket of fish to feed them, sonar, furniture including a corner sofa and sun loungers, various items of food and glasses, plus some hair styling items for the bathroom. The roof of the boat lifts off so you can play with the rooms below deck, and it fits back on easily. It's a very clever design.
The people can be mixed and matched, swapping the interchangeable hair and body parts. The Dolphin Cruiser came with Mia, Maya and Andrew.
The LEGO Friends sets are all compatible so you can make a whole interconnected world and collect all the characters. The Dolphin Cruiser makes a great stand alone toy with lots of play value. Although it is a girl-orientated design, the construction was no different to building any other LEGO toy and it did not patronise girls with the instructions. It was a proper hardcore LEGO building experience!
Kizzy thinks the finished LEGO Friends Dolphin Cruiser will look good on a shelf in her bedroom (next to the Krusty Krab!) However Freddy is intent on playing with all the little people, putting them to bed and making them use the toilet! She may have a fight on her hands. Suffice it to say, the LEGO Friends Dolphin Cruiser did not disappoint. It is a lovely addition to our LEGO collection.
This would make a perfect present for creative kids - and for those who like to plan ahead, there are only 130 days until Christmas!
It is available to purchase for £59.99. You can find it along with the other sets in the range at the LEGO Friends website where you can buy them direct from their online LEGO shop.