LEGO Friends Heartlake Shopping Mall
By Claire and Amelia (age 9) Paye
There is SO MUCH to do at the Heartlake Shopping Mall and so many detailed accessories which are clearly not supposed to be part of the LEGO police chase set where they are languishing incongruously but are rather designed to bring life and authenticity to each of the different shops.
For LEGO Friends novices, the Heartlake Shopping Mall is a recent addition to a whole LEGO Friends Heartlake village. The LEGO Friends girls can be found exploring the jungle, on a ranch or even at school, but I suspect that this Heartlake Shopping Mall is really where they feel at home. In common with some of the other sets, the Heartlake Shopping Mall is packaged in a series of individually wrapped plastic bags, each containing a standalone part of the set. The instructions are beautifully clear and easy to follow. When assembled, the shops can be rearranged, so if you prefer your pizza food court to be next to the bridal salon and the sports shop to be under the café, that can be arranged.
The fun doesn’t end when construction is complete. There are revolving doors to go through, photos to be produced from the photo booth and a rotating stage to feature the favourite Friend. If you are defeated by all the options, make your way to the LEGO website to be reminded that you’ve forgotten to open the boot of the convertible car (yes, it is included in the set, although it doesn’t feature on the instruction booklet photo) to put your shopping bags away. The website also provides a handy list of accessories, to make it easier to reunite them with the set, as well as an online set of instructions in case yours is destroyed by the visiting toddler.
The Heartlake Shopping Mall is big enough for two real life friends to construct, if your little one can bear to share it. Otherwise, it will provide literally hours of fun for your (probably) daughter as she assembles the nine shops and concessions around the central DJ and catwalk. LEGO never fails to please and each time I think we’ve probably reached our limit, and have enough LEGO unassembled and back in its boxes to re-assemble (never as much fun as first time round, though), LEGO bring out another brilliant set and we find ourselves whisked off into another world (apparently the magical world of LEGO Elves, according to our latest LEGO Club magazine)