Monday, 25 February 2013

Lego Friends Brickmaster - Treasure Hunt in Heartlake City (Dorling Kindersley)

With Lego Friends quickly establishing itself as one of Lego's most successful ranges of all time, it's great to see a range of accompanying books in the 'Brickmaster' range complimenting the other sets. If you're unfamiliar with the previous 'Brickmaster' books (such as the Ninjago or Lego City ones) you're in for a bit of a treat.

The fairly huge box contains enough Lego (and a couple of the Lego Friends figures) to act out the various scenes and stories in the book - so as children read they can build the mini models from a pretty generous collection of bits.

We picked this book up for just under £10 and it seems prices vary wildly and a lot of reviews seem to moan and grizzle that there aren't enough bricks or enough variety in the models. We've seen various other Lego Friends sets for the same price and we strongly disagree. For the price, this is an excellent value product which encouraged Charlotte to build the models herself and get used to following Lego plans for the first time (previously we've always built the models for her but since she went through this book on her own, she's become quite an adept Lego builder - even better than Daddy!)

I'd be the first to admit that it's not a literary work of genius, and I'm sure a lot of parents will think the Lego Friends range is a horrid travesty - why should girls have to have a range of cutesy girl characters specifically designed for them when most of them have been quite happy playing with 'normal' Lego for years?

Yet, I do think the Lego Friends range has a certain something - great design flair (the buildings and vehicles are every bit as stylish and cool as the 'boy' equivalent) and some positive role models for girls (no footballer's wives here, though some parents might baulk at things like the Pet Pampering Salon or the Pop Star set). If you spot this book-and-brick set for the same price, snap it up, it's a bargain!

Charlotte deep in concentration, these castle ruins won't build themselves!

Charlotte's best bit: Building the various items of furniture at the start of the story, and a great introduction for her to the wider world of building with lovely lovely lego

Daddy's favourite bit: Actually thought this was awesome value and a great addition to the Lego Friends sets Charlotte already has.