REVIEW: Heartlake City Pool

Set number:
41008
Release year:
2013
Theme(s):
# of parts:
423
# of figures:
2
RRP
GBP 39.99 / USD 39.99

Promotional image
41008 Heartlake City Pool promotional image

The summer fun never ends at the Heartlake City Pool!

The Heartlake City Pool is the hottest spot to spend a long summer day in the sun. Put on your swim shorts in the double-door changing room and rinse off in the shower before you head to the big blue pool to hang out with Andrea and her friend Isabella. Climb the ladder up to the spiral pink water slide or diving board to make a splash! Play basketball in the pool or go grab an ice cream cone at the snack bar with a cool umbrella table and chairs. Then wind down on the lounge chairs or soak in the bubbly hot tub. Lots of realistic accessories include: shady palm tree leaves, an ice cream cone, money, a cash register and drinks. End a perfect day at Heartlake City Pool by splashing around under the waterfall. Includes Andrea and Isabella mini-doll figures.

  • Includes Andrea and Isabella mini-doll figures
  • Features pool, diving board, hot tub, water slide, waterfall, changing room and toilet with opening double doors, shower, 2 lounge chairs, speakers, shady palm tree leaves, basketball hoop, ball, snack bar, café table with umbrella and chairs
  • Accessories include ice cream cone, drinks, cash register, money, basketball that fits into the basket, bow and bag
  • Slide down the water slide!
  • Rinse off in the outdoor shower with changing room!
  • Relax in the hot tub!
  • Have an ice cream cone at the umbrella table!
  • Order a frosty drink at the snack bar!
  • Play basketball in the pool!
  • Relax on the lounge chair!
  • LEGO® Friends pieces are fully compatible with all LEGO bricks
  • Collect all of the LEGO Friends sets for a whole world of LEGO Friends fun!
  • LEGO mini-dolls are LEGO figures made especially for the world of LEGO Friends that can be customized and combined in thousands of ways
  • Measures over 3″ (8cm) high, 7″ (18cm) wide and 13″ (35cm) long

LEGO Shop@Home

Well look who it is…

It’s been a hot minute, but it’s time for a late review of the largest third wave Friends set, the Heartlake City Pool. The whole third wave has been an interesting affair; Friends sets are still generally improving, and we’ve been blessed with unique minidolls all round, but there have been a couple of misses along the way. Let’s see if we can end this wave (no pun intended) on a high note.

This is the first time I’ve bought all the boxed sets in a wave, mainly because I wanted to make sure I have all the unique minidolls.

The Box

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(had to warp this picture a little)
As usual, the background makes it look like there’s more going on than there actually is – but the main draw seems to be the giant slide Andrea is enjoying. The one attached to the pool, thank you.
Yes, Andrea makes her triumphant return in this wave, being the only main cast member not to have a GBP 9.99 set this time. She’s also accompanied by Isabella, another supporting character.

Back of the box

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As well as showcasing some of this set’s other play features, LEGO reveals that Andrea’s friend Isabella is capable of walking on water (middle right panel), giving her an unfair advantage in water netball. Other goings-on include her wanting Andrea to pass the soap, and brandishing a long sausage during lunch.

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Speaking of which: today’s scale reference is indeed Isabella, wearing a Lavender bow.

The Contents

The box is very well packed, and I wasn’t able to fit everything into one shot. Here goes:

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First we have numbered bags 1 and 2, with the first expectingly containing our precious minidolls. We also know from previous experience that both bags contain the necessary parts for individual sections of the build.

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Bag 3 contains a seemingly equal number of parts. It’s accompanied here by two Medium Azure plates (both exclusive to this set), a large Magenta slide piece (a brand new piece for 2013 and exclusive to this set), and the usual DSS.

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You may be surprised to find two instructions books, and that the first one is the smallest. Unfortunately they were packed in the box so they’d curl up like this, but otherwise they’re intact.

Girly colours

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As well as the exclusive Medium Azure plates and the brand new Magenta slide piece, we’re introduced to another new part for 2013: a 6×6 round plate with hole. This set has it exclusively in Medium Azure, but a Light Bluish Grey version exists in four other 2013 sets. All of these sets contain only one.
We’re also graced with the presence of Bright Light Orange flower accessories, as seen in a few other sets.

Greenery

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A reasonably good look if you like Green. There are only six sets with Green 8×8 plates, and this set contains the maximum quantity of two, along with the more expensive Mini Modulars (10230) and King’s Castle (7946).

Tileage

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More great news, as most of the tiles in this set are in Bright Light Orange. Only one other set, Laval’s Royal Fighter (70005) has the 1×2 tiles, but this set has nine of them. There’s just one more 1×6 tile than in the likely unavailable Emma’s Design Studio (3936), for a total of seven.
Another record is set with this set having the most Magenta 1×2 tiles (four) of all the sets that have them.

Best of the rest

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As there are so many parts in this set, I decided to show only the more interesting ones here.
The set has two more new and exclusive parts with the Orange soccer ball (a new mould with a hexagonal pattern) and the new White basketball net – older basketball nets came in two separate parts in the old Sports sets, and this new one – as well as having a different net design – incorporates the hoop with the Technic axle for attaching to a surface.
Very surprising is the introduction of Trans Neon Green/Yellow parts, which was completely unexpected.
But the stand-out piece is the new ice cream cone (bottom left), which appears in this and Ice Cream Stand (30106). Unfortunately they’ve only provided one, when I had expected a spare. I was disappointed.

Girls gone wild

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Here are Andrea and Isabella, up close and personal. You’ll immediately notice both the new pairs of legs, where Andrea has on shorts and Isabella has a short sarong or whatever you call those loose skirts. We also have a nice pair of bikini top torsos to go with the one found in Water Scooter Fun (41000), although for now the lighter minidolls are forced to wear a lei.
As you can see, Isabella has a blonde version of Emma’s usual hairstyle, along with two other minidolls.

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Take off the hairpieces and you can see the bikini straps, which are a nice bit of detail.

The Build

As usual we start with the smallest builds first, progressing to the main model.

Deckchairs

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We start things off with this pair of deckchairs, which make use of the 1×2 Magenta and Lime tiles. These are reminiscent of Emma’s Splash Pool (3931), except without the attached table that I liked so much.
Placing minidolls in a lying-down position on these deckchairs was a little more difficult this time for some reason, but it works well.

Table with stools

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Another simple build, using the rod threaded through the hole in the circular plate to support the parasol. An annoying giant ladybird graces the table along with a cool drink, and is accompanied by two very simple little stools.

Bar and grill

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In building the base of the City Pool’s café bar, we encounter some clever usage of grille and round bricks to create textures. The Friends-themed cash register also takes its place on the bar top.
Much like the carrot in Stephanie’s Pet Patrol (3935), the singular ice cream cone in the set is stood upright – this time with the use of a flower plate. We can also see it’s strawberry flavoured.

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Some decorations are added once we’ve finished the base: an external lamp and some decorative lights hanging over the bar for that party mood.

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The bar is finished with a partial Magenta roof, with a sign (one of the stickers would go here), a garnish of flowers and another bug. We also have a sign to accompany the bar, where another sticker would go. The hole in the roof provides ample space to position minidolls behind the bar, and is quite a clever design.
You’ll also notice there’s a small grill right on the bar top, where fried cheese and sausage is cooking. I’m not sure how logical it is to have a hot grill and (assumingly) cold drinks so close together, but that’s venturing into the world of nitpicking.

Now we move on to Bag 2…

Public restroom

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We’re simultaneously building the shower area and the lavatory; you can tell which is which by the presence of the cold and hot taps. Before we know it, we have a fully furnished toilet complete with sink, housing a single tap and a complimentary jar of SweetBreeze™.

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Done with the interior, we add some much required shutters to the lavatory, as well as some more roof slopes. The shower head and yet another sign (where the last sticker goes) is added as the last step.
Not sure how I feel about a plant and a bug being so close to the public shower, but that’s how it goes.

And now for the main event:

The Pool

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Here’s where the first of the Medium Azure plates comes into play. You’ll see the pool being divided into two sections, and even at this stage it looks very pool-like.

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As we near the end of Bag 2, the other Medium Azure plate is brought in to complete the large swimming area, surrounded by a Bright Light Orange trim. We even have an area at the back for a small waterfall, and an isolated section that could be a hot tub or just a small pool.
Personally I would be content with leaving the swimming pool like this, and letting the minifigures and minidolls do their thing…

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…but noooooo, they had to go and add this girly detail. Fortunately it’s not too hard to place them correctly, as the instructions give you a top-down view of the pool as a reference. It’s also not too difficult to take them off, or not put them on in the first place. 🙂

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The basketball net is attached to the near side of the pool using a series of Technic parts… I guess our list of building techniques incorporated into the Friends theme is complete!

That concludes Bag 2, and now for Bag 3.

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I got to here in the instructions, along the way becoming disappointed that the small pool wasn’t left as is; instead it’s been elevated to make a jacuzzi, with little bubbles included. I guess it makes sense, seeing there’s a small set of steps leading up to it. The palisade (log) bricks are a very nice touch, although I’m not sure Reddish Brown fits with the rest of the pool.

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See that waterfall at the back? It’s been turned into some kind of interior secluded area, because a section has been added on top for the big exclusive slide piece, which has now become the main play feature. The transparent panel also separates the jacuzzi from the interior space.

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Here’s an alternate view of the pool, showing off the interior section, with the slide secured in place by the Bright Pink plates.

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We get to another play feature, which is this diving board. Instead of being a makeshift diving board, this one uses a rubbery Technic piece underneath to provide springing action – so it works just like a diving board should!
However I was confused when I first got to it: the instructions had the usual warning about flicking objects into yellow people’s eyes, so I assumed it was for launching the soccer ball into the basketball net. You can try doing it if you want, but it’s very difficult (I managed it once!).
So in short, it’s definitely meant to be a diving board. Over a pool with such small clearance. Yes.

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Some Reddish Brown elements are employed to cover up some of the mechanics. We also add some loudspeakers, similar to the ones in Rehearsal Stage (41104) except with hooks at the back to be able to hang them. In these positions they can be rotated to direct the sound; one points over the jacuzzi while the other provides ambience to the pool.

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At the back of the pool, some ladders are added to access the diving board.

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Finally, someone had the grand idea of putting a palm tree next to the diving board – so here it is. The last of the insects graces the thick curved trunk.

And there you have it!

The Completed Set

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Unfortunately the studio wasn’t big enough to space things out properly, but the Heartlake City Pool would look something like this. For the time being it serves as a private hideaway for Andrea and Isabella as they prepare for the busy summer season.

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Isabella once again demonstrates her ability to walk on water. What many people don’t know is that she’s manifesting her “woman power”, as learned at Summer Riding Camp (3185), with the help of the heart-shaped octagram.

Leftovers

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More small parts than I’m used to seeing are left over, including no less than three stalks. I completely forgot about the Lavender bows, so they’re considered spares too!

Near the back of the instructions

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This picture of Andrea signing her heart out straddles the line between inspiring and creepy…

Fun with the set

So why has Andrea been missing from the action for so long?

Why has she made the fewest unique appearances to date (four compared to Olivia/Mia’s five, and Emma/Stephanie’s six)?

The answer: she’s been hanging out with her real BFF Isabella to help further her singing career. Together they decided to open Heartlake City Pool: a gathering spot for hip and trendy young women, where boys are strictly not allowed.

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Radio announcer: “The phones have been turning red-hot for this one! You’ve asked for it so we’re gonna play it again – here’s Stephanie with ‘Easy Lover’!”
Andrea: “hrrrr! Again?! Like, I can’t believe she even got a record deal!”
Isabella: “That is what the kids are listening to, I think…”
Andrea: “This is so, like, totally unfair! Why does she get all the attention?”

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Isabella: “Relax, you’re stressing too much! Let her have her moment; they’ll get bored of her soon enough.”
Andrea: *sigh*
Isabella: “I have an idea: we can have a music contest! We can invite some music people, set up a stage next to the pool, and you can perform there!”
Andrea: “… You think that’ll work?”
Isabella: “I don’t see why not…”

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Andrea: *squeal* “Like, let’s totally do that! I’m, like so excited now, I’m gonna use the slide!”
Isabella: “That’s the spirit!”

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Andrea: “Weeeeeeeeee!” SPLASH
Isabella: “Hey, want to play a quick game?”
Andrea: “I wanna get started on this idea, like, right now!”

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Isabella: “Okay, let’s get lunch!”

The Verdict

It took a while for me to get around to reviewing this set, because I initially bought it solely to complete my minidoll collection. It remained unopened in case I decided to make time to review it, which I obviously did in the end.
I wasn’t sure what to make of the set initially, mainly because of the presence of the huge slide piece, which seemed like a gimmick more than anything. As is usually the case, it took finally opening the box and assembling the model to appreciate it.

Anyway, a big plus for the set is the variety of parts included, and there’s likely to be something for everybody. If you like parts in regular colours, there’s something for you. If you like the newer Friends colours, there’s something for you. There’s even a little bit for Technic-heads. As well as many of the more sought-after parts being in greater numbers than elsewhere, we also have a good number of (currently) exclusive parts, such as the Medium Azure plates, the slide and the basketball net and ball.
The minidolls are noticeable by their unique outfits, in particular the legs with new clothing. They’re not my favourite of the minidolls released so far, but they’re both very good quality, and you’ll definitely notice if they’re missing from your collection. Even if Andrea has been missing in action, she has another interesting outfit to add to her collection.

The set lends itself well to being reworked rather than built upon. The pool layout (before the flower plates are added) makes an excellent starting point for building your own, whether intended for minifigures or minidolls.
While the 180 degree twist of the slide works with the design, I would have liked a straight slide piece leading into the pool from somewhere else – although I like the interior effect made with the diving platform. I can live with the jacuzzi being elevated as it is, and the rest of the set (the public shower/lavatory, deckchairs and bar) works very well as additions and extra bits to add to a display.

Unfortunately I have one major gripe with this set: that I was anticipating finally getting hold of that new cone piece, and expecting there to be more than one. Seriously LEGO? Seriously? Two girls, one cone? I can’t tell you how disppointed, and perhaps disturbed, I was about it. It poses a problem right now, at least, because the cone only appears once in two Friends sets; fortunately grey market prices aren’t too bad at the moment, and could be a lot worse

Weighing everything up, this was definitely a one-time purchase that I don’t regret, mainly because of the parts selection and the bounty of exclusive pieces. Any extra minidolls would go well towards making a populated beach-themed scene, and extra parts could go towards building an even bigger city pool, with an even longer twisting slide.

Rating breakdown

Design: 8 out of 10
Even if the slide didn't have to be Magenta, it was very well incorporated into the model. A lot of smart building techniques can be found in this set, including the spring mechanism for the diving board, the basketball net and the jacuzzi.
Build: 8 out of 10
I wanted to get to building the pool area as quickly as possible, but everything was simple to put together right up until the diving board, where the Technic bricks became tricky to place in the right spot.
Parts: 9 out of 10
For those looking for parts for their MOCs, there's something for everybody - especially if you like the Friends colours. The number of exclusive parts in this set is a big bonus, increasing the set's desirability... just a shame about that one cone, where a spare could replace the grill, sausage and "cheese".
Playability: 6 out of 10
The basketball hoop and the slide provide the greatest amount of interactivity, along with the diving board. The set also serves as a pleasant-looking display piece, but watch out for the loose Yellow tile and sausage. Why not try using the diving board to dunk the ball? It would greatly help if the minidolls were able to easily sit in the water - not on the water - but an easy solution would be a cup full of 1x1 transparent round plates.
Price: 7 out of 10
Even with all the exclusive parts, the number of desirable parts in the set and the minidolls, it seems just a little expensive - but it's one to watch out for if discounted, especially for the Medium Azure plates and Bright Light Orange tiles.

We end up with a 7.6 out of 10, which means my arm has been twisted into giving this set my seal of approval. I guess I’m content with having a complete minidoll collection for now.

Thank you for reading!

Dat Cone

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Isabella: “Oh no, I only have one ice cream left! Do you want to share?”

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EvilMode:NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!