LEGO Friends has its own unique aesthetic, with cute designs and no desire to make everything completely realistic. Buildings can incorporate huge slides, elephants are blue and the rabbits have eyelashes longer than most models. Over its first decade, LEGO Friends has introduced a lot of new elements.
1. Friends horse
A staple throughout the Friends sets over the years is anything horsey. The first wave from 2012 included 3185 Summer Riding Camp that introduced the Friends horse. Bigger than its minifigure counterpart, the mould may be static, but there is a lot more personality in the printed detailing, plus there’s the opportunity to customise the horse’s mane and saddle.
2. 8×8 half-circle plates
These will be very familiar to anyone who has built a Friends model, as the plates often make the bases or balconies for most Friends sets. The theme has introduced them in no less than 14 colours, including lavender, purple and lime, which are found in other themes and are great for MOCs.
Blocks celebrates 10 years of Friends with an exclusive interview in the next issue. To get the LEGO magazine for fans every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Hot dog bun
Although it first appeared in Angry Birds, the hot dog bun was developed because in 2016 came the rather ingenious and very fun 41126 Amusement Park Hot Dog Van. Sausage elements have been around since 2013, so it was the perfect complement and meant that mini-dolls could avoid getting their C-shaped hands greasy.
Another animal that has a blocky counterpart for piratical minifigures, the Friends parrot design is a lot more stylised. Large expressive eyes are combined with brightly coloured feather printing for a tropical effect. What makes the Friends parrot extra special is that it actually crossed themes to cameo in 21317 Steamboat Willie.
5. Heart shaped tiles
You can’t have Heartlake city without actual hearts. Friends has come up with plenty of heart-shaped pieces, but the little 1×1 tile is probably the sweetest and most useful. It’s perfect for creating patterns or adding to a Valentine’s build.
If there’s one element that’s synonymous with LEGO Friends, then it’s slides. Over the years there have been several sizes in many colours, added onto boats, pools and most recently incorporated in 41703 Friendship Tree House. Heartlake doesn’t think stairs are half as fun as slides!
7. Decorative swirls
While these pieces may have a fancy name, they’re basically the Friends answer to a cupcake icing swirl. However, what makes these 1×1 elements noteworthy is that they are now everywhere. Sometimes they’re chocolate, other times raspberry muffins and the pearl-gold ones even add some architectural interest.
That’s our list of favourite Friends parts, but do you think there’s a special piece we’ve missed? Come tell Blocks on our social media channels and check back regularly for more Friends articles celebrating this special milestone.