Saturday, 14 December 2013

When tigers chillax



The Friends 'Collectables' range launched one year ago and since then nine cute, small and affordable bagged sets have been released featuring animals in little environments. I've mentioned them once or twice in the past thanks to the appearance of unique elements, and indeed the new one that I am discussing today - Tiger’s Beautiful Temple - got a mention in a recent post (so I'll try not to repeat myself).


I was ogling the interesting new parts I could see in 2014 Friends and Disney Princess sets, and noted many of them were contained in 41042 Tiger's Beautiful Temple which means you can get them at a low price (hopefully US$4.99/GB£2.99, as previous Collectables have been). I love it when a tiny set is stacked with never-before-seen elements, and thanks to LEGO®'s Community and Events Engagement Team I've now got my tiger paws on the actual set in advance of official relese in January. It has an inventory of 42 parts and just over a quarter of these are new. Ignoring multiples though, it boils down to three new parts and three new elements (i.e. existing parts in new colours).

1x1 Decoration Top No. 1

Element ID 6050916 | Design ID 15470

Colour Pearl Gold [BL]/Warm Gold [TLG]


For their internal categorisations, TLG have listed this under "foodstuffs" and, as regular reader Aanchir pointed out, it will appear as a pink ice cream in 41037 Stephanie's Beach House. Doubtless it will also make a great cream pie or cupcake. But here, as in Disney Princess sets, it is used as a decorative architectural finial and a rather posh one it is too. But what else could we get up to with it? A chef's hat for a microfig? I'm struggling to think of what else it looks like, perhaps objects with swirls aren't really all that common in the real world. Nevertheless as an interesting decorative piece I'm sure it will find homes in all kinds of builds. But as it has only one point of connection, its applications are limited.



Grass w/ tube& Ø 3.2

Element ID 6050929 | Design ID 15279
Colour Bright Green

Another decorative part, but this one does have a second point of connection. Once again it was the eagle-eyed Aanchir who posed the question amongst the comments on my previous post, "I wonder if a 3.2mm bar piece like a lightsaber blade will fit in the curl of that plant?" Indeed it does! Just a couple of arrangements are pictured here but given that you can use most parts containing bars with it, possibilities are enormous. The clutch is a little weaker than the usual bar/hole connections, which feels just right for this part.

In the current shades of Bright Green and Olive Green (as spotted in a 2014 Star Wars set), usage of this part will largely remain stuck in the flora department. I hope it comes in a neutral tone at some point... for example it could have been used as an Art Nouveau decoration in Parisian Restaurant. A metallic shade would be great for fancy ironwork - this vintage overhead luggage rack would work a lot better, for example!


Lion Young w/Hole Ø 1,5 No.1

Element ID 6052284 | Design ID 15633

Colour Bright Light Orange [Bl]/Flame Yellowish-Orange [TLG]


Whilst I tend to focus on useful parts in this blog, I'm not averse to cooing over charismatic megafauna. Awww. This tiger is adorable!



Unfortunately the poor thing may have an identity crisis as she got assigned as a lion in TLG's database... she definitely has stripes. Lovely little printed stripes down her head and back, and there are delicate claw prints on her front paws. She's one of the larger Friends animals, and the spaces for studs are situated towards the rear of each pair of paws. Her tail must be close to the 3.18mm diameter standard, as a clip attaches quite well, despite the curve of the tail. Why you'd want to attach something to a tiger's tail is a question I leave to you.

Plate 1X2

Element ID 4619511 | Design ID 3023

Colour Medium Azure


Yippee! As I've said before, Medium Azure is my favourite "Friends colour", so how superb to now have our smallest basic plate yet. Sadly there's just one in this set but hopefully plenty more will feature in 2014 Friends sets. The 1X2 joins these existing Medium Azure plates: 1X6, 2X2, 2X3, 2X4, 4X6 (of which one comes in this set), 8X16 and 16X16.

A quick diversion whilst I'm discussing 1X2 plates; you can now get them in Dark Brown in The Hobbit 79012 Mirkwood" Elf Army, which went on sale this month. It has a healthy six of those, and it has the other elements shown here which are also still quite rare - each only appears in one other set so far.


Palisade Brick 1X2

Element ID 6056283 | Design ID 30136

Colour Lavender


The 'log brick' has been around since 1996 but this is its first appearance in a stereotypical 'girly' colour. Sure, you don't see purple logs often but given it's a piece that gives such nice texture to models, it's perhaps surprising we're only seeing it appear now. Note that it is Lavender rather than the more common Medium Lavender.

Brick With Bow 1X3X2

Element ID 6056972 | Design ID 88292

Colour Lavender


This half-arch brick does much of the work in making Tiger's Temple so Beautiful; it lends the requisite exotic touch to the architecture just as it did with the Prince of Persia sets back in 2010 (when the part was introduced). Generally it has appeared in neutral tones suitable for architecture, but we did get it in Medium Blue in Creator 7346 Seaside House.

Given I've been sent a preview copy of the set, it would be churlish to limit my description only to the elements, so here are some thoughts on the set itself. Obviously it's very small and an incredibly basic build (aimed at 5+), and perhaps the only thing I can mention that isn't immediately obvious from pictures is that the white dome sits on a 2X2 jumper plate rather than a regular plate. This gives the benefit of being able to rotate the notches to the front, which looks much nicer to me, but I suspect the reason this was included was to reduce the production cost of the set a little - there's already another white jumper in it, so by using the same element again they have avoided including an extra type of part.

The finished effect is pleasing and tranquil... rather Zen. To me the blue elements suggest the temple is built by a waterfall, with lily flowers floating in a pool. Little girls (and others) will like to display this I'm sure. I'd put the success of this set design down to the harmonic colour scheme and use of curves, but above all, the symmetry. It would have been all too easy for the designer to have made the pool or the arrangement of flowers and plants asymmetrical, and that would have detracted from the overall effect for me.

Perhaps my favourite thing about this set is the concept itself; giving a tiger a little temple was a charming idea. I won't delve into the troublesome questions of whether this is a religious temple, or what race of tiger she may be, or what religion she may follow, because this is a plastic toy for five year-old girls. A temple is simply a far more imaginative and interesting choice of habitat than, say, a bit of jungle. At that level, it appeals to me much more than the other two offerings in this coming series of Collectables, and the elements are definitely better.

That said, one of those has a penguin! Squee.


41042 Tiger's Beautiful Temple: parts inventory

Parts inventory for LEGO 41042 Tiger's Beautiful Temple

19 comments:

  1. As I commented on Facebook, one excellent new use of that swirl piece is in Silver Metallic in Heartlake Juice Bar as a juicer!

    The tiger is probably identified as a lion in TLG's database for the same reason the cap from the Minifigures Series 9 Plumber is identified as a "painter's cap" — it was DESIGNED for the use given in the name, and just happened to show up in sets for an alternate use first.

    That grass piece does make great decor! A color in an earth tone like Sand Yellow (Dark Tan), Dark Brown, or Reddish Brown would be ideal as it could be used for either metal ornamentation or as dry foliage.

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  2. Very cool. I'm thinking that the swirly part could also be used as an ornate doorknob. Then those swirl parts with some SNOT could make an Archway with the way you've got them pinned together. Thanks for highlighting these parts Caper.

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  3. Dang it I mean "curly parts" The curly flora parts could be arches. Damn autocorrect. >:(

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  4. you could attach an obnoxiously cute pink bow to it's tail.

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  5. Ooo, another really nice one - recent I picked up Hedgehog's Hideaway and I'm really tempted to buy a few more. This one is a definite buy, and maybe even a few.
    That new swirl piece has so many good uses - just need it in black, and any other color would be very nice.
    @Aanchir, nice to see the 'ice cream swirl' coming in metallic silver. Hopefully it'll become more widely available because I'm guessing at two per set in one set it's going to be spendy on Bricklink.
    Ah, yes and it seems that, ever though I was already planning on getting it, I might have to pick up two 79012s, maybe three if I could get a good enough deal and talk myself into it... While I'm on Hobbit sets- you wouldn't have happened to have spotted any new pieces/elements in 79013 would you? I'm looking for more reason to buy an already beautiful set. :P

    Too lazy to sign in, -The_Creator

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  6. Still in the food category, but the swirly part to me just screams 'iced gems' (UK). I can see them placed on the centre of a tan 2x2 round plate. The pink will be great for this straight away, but we could do with the in white and some other pastel shades to make a nice plate of almost human-scale food :-)

    http://www.britishcornershop.co.uk/jacobs-iced-gems-6-pack

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    1. I see what you mean that might actually work for larger scale figures. How about a Gundam mech with some Ice Gems? How big are Iced gems in real life?

      BTW what are they like a little cookie with some frosting? Biscuit=Cookie right? Aren't colloquial terms fun. Lol

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    2. I have never come across those in my 20 years in the UK, Kitty! I may have to sample the delights.

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  7. These are fantastic sets for parts I think. The series 2 sets had the carrots and leaf parts which I love and I think I must have bought a dozen in total just for this.

    I can see these being the same.

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  8. In red, one could use the swirl-top on the front of (Original Series) Enterprise warp nacelles...

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    1. I have no idea what that is, yet am so glad you thought of it.

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    2. It's a Star Trek thing.

      http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/star-trek-enterprise/images/4002999/title/enterprise-schematics-wallpaper

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  9. If you look closely at the friends set with the pink swirly there's also a reddish brown one in there making 4 colors so far.... Tim did they happen to use the extra depth of the swirly to allow a bar to sit inside of it like the end of a telescope?

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    1. Not sure what you mean about telescopes? - but yes, the swirly is hollow inside and a bar goes further in than it does a round 1x1 plate - about 5mm. A swirly is about 7-8mm high overall.

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  10. I imagine the swirly part (in some kind of metallic grey) being used as one of those rotating 'things' you see on top of those tube-like chimneys. Example on this picture:

    http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/598063/598063,1305226846,1/stock-photo-a-rotating-steel-chimney-over-a-green-background-77085226.jpg

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    1. Yes, it would be perfect for one of those.
      I used this part http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=2907 as a whirlybird in the past.
      Or was it this one http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=32060
      I forget which one (and dont have my pictures handy to remind me :)

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  11. Thanks for always being so positive about the LEGO Friends line. This may be the best of the pet series so far, it is so well designed. --cj

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  12. The swirly part can be used as some kind of bullet for a big gun.

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