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    Set Review: 41043 Penguin's Playground
    ReviewWednesday, May 21st, 2014 at 3:41am by Jason, BZPower Reporter

    It's time for another BZPower Set Review. Today, BZP Reporter Xccj goes over the LEGO Friends polybag set 41043 Penguin's Playground. Should you dive down deep for this set, or should you leave it out in the cold? Read on or watch the video review to find out.

    Presentation
    From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.

    Image of Bag Front Image of Bag Back

    This little set is part of the fourth series of the Friends Animal Polybag sets. The front of the bag shows the penguin hanging out on its icy landscape playground. Found here are also some statistics for the set, like the ages range and the piece count. This set has 46 pieces, plus a few spares. It costs $3.99 USD, which is actually a dollar cheaper than the previous Friends Animal Polybag series. The back of the bag shows off an interesting alternative model, an actual-size image of the penguin, and a shot of the other animals in series 4, including the leopard cub and the purple turtle.

    The package is pretty difficult to open by hand, so I would definitely recommend scissors or something. This is because the material is tougher than other polybags, which I suppose helps make sure that the bag doesn't rip in store and lose pieces.

    Building
    Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?

    The build is pretty straightforward. So instead of going on and on about it, instead I'll present some facts about penguins!

    • There are at least 17 different species of penguins.
    • The largest is the Emperor penguin, which can be up to 3 feet and 7 inches (1.1 meter) tall and weigh up to 77 pounds (35 kilograms).
    • ,li>The smallest is the Little Blue Penguin, which only get to be 16 inches (40 centimeters) tall and weigh only 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram).
    • All penguins live in the southern hemisphere, including Antarctica, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, South America, and even as far north as the Galapagos Islands.
    • Penguins cannot fly, but they are excellent swimmers. Them can reach speeds of 7mph (12km/h) and can dive to depths of 1800 feet deep.
    • Most penguins feed on krill, fish, and squid.
    • The penguin's black and white feathers actually act as camouflage when they're swimming. From below, their white feathers look like the sky, and from above their black feathers look like the ocean floor. This makes it harder for predators like Killer Whales or Leopard Seals to find them.
    • This has been facts about penguins!

    Set Design
    Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.

    Image of Pieces Image of Penguin

    There are 46 pieces here, in addition to a few extras. There are a fair amount of white elements; none of them are too unusual, but the 1x2 curved slope is still relatively new and worth mention. We also have a healthy amount of transparent dark blue elements, including 1x1 round tiles, cheese slopes, 1x1 bricks, and a 1x2 plate. In addition to that, you get two 4x4 blue plates that act as a base. Rarer colors include medium azure tiles and light pink tiles, plates, and a dish.

    The star of the set is obviously the penguin, since there aren't any minifigures included to steal the limelight. The penguin seems to be a new mold, and has fantastic printing, especially with the beak and eyes. The set also includes two magenta bows that can fit onto the penguin's head, if you insist on doing so. There's also a fish included, who is not the star of the set, and is most likely going to get eaten by the penguin.

    Image of Playground Front Image of Playground Back

    It's an interesting little model. The blue and white certainly invoke water and ice and make for a great penguin habitat. The trans blue tiles help form a stairway to go over the arch and lead to the top of the slide, which nicely fits the penguin. If you lift up the slide, you have a little hidden sanctuary for the penguin to rest in, complete with some pink tiles to make it feel cozy.

    Playability
    The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?

    Image of Slide Image of Alcove Image of Stephany and Penguin

    There's not a whole lot of playability in this set, but there's some worth mentioning. The landscape construction isn't just for looks, but does sort-of function like a playground. The penguin can fit under the arch, jump up the tiled stairs, and go down the slide, and then repeat the whole process! Plus, the hidden alcove is a great little feature! It's okay for playability, especially when compared to some of the other Friends Animal polybag sets. You can also throw in a Friends mini-doll to play around with the penguin. The Friends mini-dolls can also hold onto the penguin.

    Image of Ice Temple Front Image of Ice Temple Back

    Another nice feature is the alternate build, which you can find instructions for online. This is more like an ice temple, where the penguin can go out and command her underlings. The coolest bit of this design is the use of the clips and tiles to give the medium azure background in the temple. The fish is also on the plate, ready to be gobbled up by the penguin when she gets hungry.

    Final Thoughts
    Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?

    Pros
    What's to like?

    • Adorable penguin!
    • Some decent pieces in white, trans dark blue, light pink, and medium azure
    • Fun little landscape playground, with a cool slide.
    • Hidden alcove is a nice touch.
    • Alternate model is well done.
    • At a very affordable price.

    Cons
    What's not to like?

    • No other characters for the penguin to play with (the fish doesn't count; he's supper!)
    • Nothing is very substantial due to the low cost
    • No exceptionally rare pieces.

    Honestly, I cannot find much wrong with this set. For its price, it's a great value. Plus, while the cute penguin easily fits in with the Friends theme, I could also see it working well with other LEGO themes like City or (Ant)Arctic Explorers. (Well, it doesn't have a clip on its hands to hold a pistol, so I guess it wouldn't exactly fit in with Batman sets.) I would highly recommend this set. However, based on my experience, these polybags have been flying off shelves, which is ironic because penguins cannot fly. If you want to pick up this set that's in high demand, I would recommend doing it sooner than later.

    Thanks again for reading and/or watching this review. Stay tuned to BZPower for more LEGO set reviews and general news!

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