LEGO Elves – Skyra’s Mysterious Sky Castle
Review by Claire and Amelia (9) Paye
Designed to appeal to girls who may be growing out of the LEGO Friends universe, LEGO Elves introduces a level of mystery to the world. Not just the mystery of where a particular piece has disappeared to, or how the opening portal will fit together, but the mystery of flying horses, lava kitchens and spa rooms.
Initial reactions to the Sky Castle set ranged from ‘looks cool, and very different to the LEGO Friends sets’ (Amelia) to ‘awesome’ (Charlie, age 6). The set features a series of tasks that the non-elf girl (Emily Jones) has to complete to reach the portal. This idea of a journey with obstacles to overcome appealed to Amelia.
The tasks include making it through the overgrown entrance, finding the spa behind the waterfall with its secret door and, our favourite, pulling out the enchanted staircase to ascend past the lava kitchen. The whole set is a whirl of features on hinges which slide back and forwards.
For those of us who aren’t entirely sure quite what is going on, a quick look at the video on the Lego Elves website makes it much clearer, and even more so if you watch the trailer video which sets up the whole premise of Emily’s quest.
The suggested difficulty level is age 8-12. As a seasoned Lego assembler, Amelia has found it suitably challenging but not too difficult (I generally find the Lego sets featuring Star Wars or Chima products, ie, usually the boys’ sets, trickier).
- Amelia’s top tip to make it easier to put the tricky capes on the people is to assemble it in reverse, ie put the neck up into the head rather than the head down onto the body.
The Sky Castle has some fiddly features to assemble, and looks very impressivewhen completed but the instructions are crystal clear, as always with Lego. Each component or room is assembled separately then attached, which is where the hinges come in. This is what makes it easier to make than a Jedi Interceptor, for example, even if there are more pieces in the LEGO Elves Sky Castle.
In terms of value for money, the set does take a number of hours to assemble, and if your child has the imagination to enter into the story, there is plenty to keep her (probably) occupied. In our experience, our LEGO boys’ kits get played with much more as they generally involve mobile transport, often featuring cops and robbers, so they can be wheeled or flown around.
The more girls’ focussed sets are pretty static but, as the Sky Castle demonstrates, have various features to spark the imagination, and a wealth of accessories to be played with/lost under the sofa, such as a magic map, four keys (I fear for their continued co-location with the set) and cookies – the edible form rather than the IT version.
Personally, I’m a massive fan of LEGO. I love the attention to detail in the sets and the clarity of the instructions. They are a premium product but are worth it for the fact that they are generally robust (even if they break apart/are thrown across the room, the individual pieces are durable) and can absorb my children’s attention and provide at least minutes, if not always hours, of fun away from the dreaded screen.
As Amelia’s main interest is in assembling the kits rather than playing with them, I do feel there should be a LEGO library where kits can be exchanged. But there is always a great thrill in a new kit and the hours of fun ahead. The Sky Castle is a very welcome addition to our world of LEGO.