41073 Naida’s Epic Adventure Ship from Scott Barnick.
41073 Naida’s Epic Adventure Ship offers a great taste of the theme’s design as well as its adventurous spirit. Like all the Elves sets, it is aimed at a slightly higher age set than LEGO Friends or LEGO City — in this case, 7–12 years. And not only is Naida’s Epic Adventure Ship a stellar set design, but also a treasure trove of new and rare parts in various colors.
In Aqua [TLG]/Light Aqua [BL], we have an exclusive new accessory: the magical water key (Design ID 19118 | Element ID 6097247). Andrew discussed this new key element in his review of 41076 Farran and the Crystal Hollow. It has a lot of potential for both decorative and functional applications. Currently, it comes in three colors in one set each: the summer wave will bring both a fourth color and a set that includes all four keys.
41075 The Elves’ Treetop Hideaway. The four Warm Gold 1x1 round bricks (Design ID 3062 | Element ID 6060800) are not entirely new but have only previously appeared in two Disney Princess sets. This year they appear in this set and 70413 The Brick Bounty from the Pirates theme. Finally, this set is only the second to include Warm Gold 9M wings (Design ID 11091 | Element ID 6024604), after 70201 CHI Eris from the 2013 Legends of Chima constraction range.
People are often surprised to hear that there are actually four mini-doll torso styles: “girl”, “boy”, “woman”, and “man”. The differences are mostly in the shape of the chest, although the rarely used “man” style has thicker arms as well. Naida and Aira both use the “girl” torso style, which is by far the most common. Their torsos are decorated with metallic silver and metallic gold accents, respectively. Naida’s skirt has previously been used in various LEGO Friends sets, but Aira’s is a brand-new design with a beautiful diagonally cut hem. Further reinforcing their elemental motifs, Naida’s sandals feature a seashell pattern, and Aira’s feature a wing pattern. And finally, each character carries a 1x1 round tile. Naida’s is Tr. Blue to represent her water magic and Aira’s is the much rarer Tr. Bright Bluish Violet [TLG]/Trans-Purple [BL] (Design ID 98138 | Element ID 6065505) to represent her wind magic.
The hull of the ship features a sticker representing a downward-facing porthole. Through the porthole you can see a starfish as well as an oyster — possibly the same oyster Naida is looking for! The clamshells on the sides of the ship function as seats, and are attached via ball cups so that they can fold to the sides. There are also two more seat cushions and a diving board on the sun deck at the stern of the ship.
As this section of the hull comes together, it’s already apparent just how solid and streamlined its design is, and it only gets better as the build continues. Even the underside of the ship looks beautiful!
Bag two builds Aira, completes the hull, and builds the ship’s cabin/galley. The ship’s elegant curved prow comes together in this section, using some clever SNOT building to lock it in place and a combination of bricks and stickers to add a horizontal Medium Azur stripe. Also in this bag, the gearbox for steering the ship is constructed. That’s right, this ship has a gear function!
The ship’s decorations include climbing plants on the deck and the archway leading into the cabin, which like most of the plants of Elvendale grow both flowers and gemstones. The Legends of Chima wing elements and two blue lanterns are added to the sides of the cabin, and the Warm Gold reeds with attached Tr. Light Blue gemstones are attached to the sun deck (I’m not sure of their significance, though I assume they are a low railing).
The ship’s mast is constructed from basic Technic axles and angle connectors, making it very sturdy. The sail makes a nice billowy sound as the mast rotates. The rotation of the mast is controlled by the ship’s wheel via the aforementioned gearbox.
When the ship is completed, there is plenty of space for all five main characters on board. As the ship’s captain, Naida can helm the wheel as Aira uses her wind powers to propel the ship forward. Meanwhile, Farran can cook up a meal in the galley, Azari can keep lookout from the quarterdeck, and Emily can help navigate using the magical map. The interior of the cabin is very simple, with just a small stove and skillet on the starboard side and a hairbrush and mysterious purple jar on the port side. You’d be hard-pressed to fit more than one character in the cabin at any one time, but the windows help it to feel more spacious.
One drawback of the set is that it lacks any cute animal friends — the only animal in this set is the giant clam, which is hardly as cuddly-looking as the animals from the other Elves sets. By contrast, buying 41071 Aira’s Creative Workshop and 41072 Naida’s Spa Secret, which add up to more or less the same price, will get you the same two mini-dolls as well as two animal friends — Pluma the bird and Delphia the dolphin. On the other hand, neither of those sets will get you the magical water key.
Another thing the ship lacks is dedicated sleeping quarters. Naida is officially stated to live on board, and sleeping quarters are shown in the “Unite the Magic” TV special. But that is inevitable in a set this size, and even as a $30/€30/£25 set it still manages to seem a lot more livable than the Destiny’s Bounty from Ninjago (either the original, which cost $80/€80/£60, or this year’s, which will be even more expensive).
Overall, this set really showcases this theme’s defining values: non-violent fantasy adventure, otherworldly design sensibilities, and a balance between the creature comforts of civilization and harmony with the environment. It might very easily be the best playset of this theme’s debut wave! I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in this theme, or even just a taste for fantasy adventure on the high seas!
Our thanks to the LEGO Community & Events Engagement Team for providing this set.
41073 Naida’s Epic Adventure Ship retails for £24.99 / $29.99 / €29.99. Consider using our affiliate links to buy it (or anything); this helps support New Elementary!
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