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Best LEGO® Friends Sets

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Published: 4 August, 2023
Updated: August 4, 2023
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The legacy of LEGO® is one deeply rooted in the power of play and creativity. Since its inception in 1932, the LEGO® brand has been the cornerstone of many childhoods, embodying the spirit of innovation and learning. The company has built its ethos on the premise that ‘good quality play’ enriches a child’s life and lays the foundation for lifelong learning.

LEGO® sets are interactive tools that stimulate imagination, foster creativity, and enhance problem-solving skills. Parents are encouraged to follow instructions, developing patience and attention to detail. A single LEGO® brick can be part of thousands of different structures.

An Introduction to LEGO® Friends

In 2012, LEGO® took a groundbreaking step in its mission to foster creativity. Recognizing the gap in the market, they embarked on a journey to design a product that would specifically appeal to young girls and cater to their unique ways of play. This initiative led to the birth of the LEGO® Friends sets.

The LEGO® Friends series is a testament to the vibrancy and energy of young girls. With its colorful bricks, intricate design possibilities, and a focus on narrative-based play, it’s a line of sets that mirror the real world while allowing space for the magical and fantastical. Each set in the Friends series tells a story featuring five best friends—Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Stephanie, and Emma—in a bustling, imaginary city.

These characters have unique personalities and interests, mirroring the diversity in real-life friendships. The characters and the settings in Heartlake City—from animal hospitals to amusement parks, cafes to treehouses—invite girls to create stories and scenarios that reflect their interests and experiences, making the play more engaging.

What truly sets the LEGO® Friends sets apart is their focus on empowering girls. This line of toys breaks down traditional gender norms by showing girls that they, too, can build complex structures. The narrative structure of the Friends sets also encourages girls to envision themselves in various roles, be it a scientist, a baker, a veterinarian, or an entrepreneur.

The Journey of LEGO® Friends Sets

The development of LEGO® Friends sets was not a whimsical decision. It was based on four years of in-depth, global research involving 4,500 girls and their mothers. This initiative represented LEGO®’s commitment to understanding how girls play and creating products that would resonate with them. The research unveiled some fascinating insights into the playing habits of boys and girls.

While boys often focus on the end product and the functionality of their creations, girls tend to immerse themselves in the entire creation process and the narratives surrounding it. They seek role-play and storytelling experiences, which make their playtime more engaging and meaningful. This groundbreaking revelation led to the conceptualization and eventual birth of LEGO® Friends sets.

LEGO® Friends set offers an experience that extends beyond the act of building. Each set introduces five best friends—Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Stephanie, and Emma. Each character is uniquely crafted with distinct personality traits and interests, which are deliberately diverse to reflect the variety found in real-life friendships.

For example, Olivia is a tech whiz who loves science, while Andrea loves music and performing. Mia is an animal lover and environmental activist, Emma is a creative artist, and Stephanie is a social butterfly who loves to host events. This diversity presents multiple facets of femininity and allows every girl to identify with at least one of the characters, making the play more relatable and immersive.

These friends inhabit Heartlake City, an imagined universe as vibrant and diverse as the characters themselves. This city teems with various establishments, from cafes, stores, and medical centers to performing arts schools and treehouses. These provide an assortment of backdrops for the endless narratives that children can create, allowing them to explore various real-life scenarios and situations.

LEGO® Friends Sets: Key Benefits

LEGO® Friends sets provide far more than an entertaining activity; they offer a host of developmental benefits that help shape the minds of young girls. Through building, playing, and storytelling, these sets help build confidence, promote teamwork, enhance creativity, and encourage narrative play.

Building Confidence

One of the core benefits of assembling LEGO® Friends sets is enhancing spatial awareness and fine motor skills. Spatial awareness is the ability to understand and interact with the environment around you, which is crucial for many everyday tasks. Building LEGO® sets helps girls develop this ability, as they need to figure out how various pieces fit together to form a complete structure.

On the other hand, fine motor skills involve using smaller muscle groups, like those in our hands and fingers. These skills are improved as girls handle and connect small LEGO® bricks.

As girls complete each LEGO® Friends set, they realize they can create intricate structures and designs. This realization significantly boosts their confidence, making them believe in their capabilities and encouraging them to take on more complex challenges.

Promoting Teamwork

LEGO® sets inherently promote teamwork. While assembling these sets, girls often collaborate with their friends or family members. They communicate their ideas, listen to other’s suggestions, and work together to complete the build. These activities foster teamwork and communication skills, crucial for personal and professional success in later life.

Enhancing Creativity

LEGO® Friends sets are not just about following instructions to create a predetermined design. They also encourage creativity and customization. Each set comes with a range of accessories and vibrant colored bricks, allowing girls to modify their builds according to their preferences. This freedom to create and innovate helps enhance creativity, a skill that is increasingly being recognized as critical for success in the 21st-century world.

Narrative Play

LEGO® Friends sets stand out because of their emphasis on narrative play. Each set is part of a larger story set in Heartlake City, where each character has a backstory, hobbies, and passions. These narratives provide context for play, allowing girls to immerse themselves in the stories they create. Narrative play promotes language skills, emotional understanding, and social awareness, making LEGO® Friends sets educational as well as entertaining.

LEGO® Friends sets offer a multitude of opportunities for immersive, narrative-driven play that can inspire young girls to reach for their potential. Here are eight sets, including the three you mentioned, which we recommend:

LEGO® Friends Sets

LEGO® Heartlake City Organic Café (41444)

Set Number: 41444
Theme: LEGO® Friends
Year Released: 2021
No. Pieces: 314
RRP: £24.99 / $29.99 / €29.99

This set allows girls to step into the shoes of a café owner, manage their own organic café, and serve customers. It instills business acumen and promotes creativity, encouraging girls to dream big and step into leadership roles.

LEGO® Heartlake City Hospital (41394)

Set Number: 41394
Theme: LEGO® Friends
Year Released: 2020
No. Pieces: 379
RRP: $49.99

This set invites girls into the caring profession of healthcare, allowing them to role-play as doctors, nurses, and patients. It can nurture empathy and understanding and inspire interest in the healthcare profession.

LEGO® Heartlake City School (41682)

Set Number: 41682
Theme: LEGO® Friends
Year Released: 2021
No. Pieces: 605
RRP: £59.99 / $59.99 / €69.99

This set allows girls to recreate school scenarios and appreciate the importance of education and school life. It’s a great way to understand the dynamics of a classroom and can even encourage a passion for teaching.

LEGO® Heartlake City Shopping Mall (41450)

Set Number: 41450
Theme: LEGO® Friends
Year Released: 2021
No. Pieces: 1032
RRP: £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99

The Shopping Mall set promotes entrepreneurship and management skills, as girls can act as store owners, customers, and managers. It encourages imaginative play and can introduce concepts related to economics and business.

LEGO® Heartlake City Horse Training and Trailer (41683)

Set Number: 41683
Theme: LEGO® Friends
Year Released: 2021
No. Pieces: 148
RRP: £24.99 / $29.99 / €29.99

This set allows girls to explore equestrian hobbies, learn about horse care, and enjoy outdoor adventures. It nurtures a love for animals and could inspire girls to consider careers in animal care.

LEGO® Heartlake City Grand Hotel (41684)

Set Number: 41684
Theme: LEGO® Friends
Year Released: 2021
No. Pieces: 1308
RRP: £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99

With this elaborate set, girls can role-play as hoteliers, guests, chefs, or event managers, introducing them to the hospitality industry. It offers a chance to enhance management and interpersonal skills, promoting creativity and problem-solving abilities.

LEGO® Heartlake City Bakery (41440)

Set Number: 41440
Theme: LEGO® Friends
Year Released: 2021
No. Pieces: 99
RRP: £14.99 / $19.99 / €19.99

This set lets girls explore their culinary interests and run their bakery. It fosters creativity and can instill a love for baking and culinary arts, promoting entrepreneurship and business acumen.

More Info

Are LEGO® Friends sets suitable for boys as well?

Absolutely! LEGO® believes in ‘inclusive play.’ While the Friends series is marketed towards girls, boys can also enjoy building these sets and learning from the narratives.

What age group are LEGO® Friends sets designed for?

Most LEGO® Friends sets are suitable for children aged 6 to 12 years, but there are also sets designed for teenagers and adults who enjoy building.

Do LEGO® Friends sets interconnect with other LEGO® sets?

Yes, they do. All LEGO® sets are designed with standard brick sizes and can be combined with other sets for more elaborate builds.

Conclusion

LEGO® Friends sets are much more than toys; they are tools for empowerment, creativity, and learning. They break stereotypes and help young girls understand that they can build and create anything they set their minds to. These sets offer an exciting fusion of play and learning, inspiring young girls to dream big and aim high.

At Belle-Ve Bricks, we celebrate creativity, innovation, and individuality. We understand that every LEGO® enthusiast has a unique vision, and we’re here to help you bring that vision to life. Our team of expert LEGO® designers is skilled at turning your ideas into a custom LEGO® model that will amaze you.

Whether you’re seeking to customize an existing MOC or create something entirely from scratch, we’re ready to collaborate to make your dream LEGO® creation a reality. We treat every project with the same enthusiasm, passion, and attention to detail, regardless of size or complexity.

Let your imagination soar with Belle-Ve Bricks. Contact us today and watch as we transform your dream into a tangible LEGO® masterpiece.

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Written by Matthew Mitchell
Hey, I am Matthew Mitchell and I am an AFOL from the UK. I have been fascinated by LEGO® since I was a child. My two children are in love with LEGO® and it's because of them that my interest continued to grow, this is how I fell in to the rabbit hole of MOCs (my own creation). 

With every new MOC I saw I became just a bit more addicted to the endless possibilities that LEGO® offers. This led me to creating Belle-Ve Bricks, a platform where talented designers can share their work with the world.

And where we can create together with you, custom models.
About Matthew Mitchell
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