The second Elves set I’ve been lucky enough to build is 41074 Azari and the Magical Bakery. And boy, is it a doozy! I knew it would probably be a great set for parts given its vibrant and novel magenta and orange color scheme, but even I wasn’t prepared for just how many of those parts would be new, rare, or otherwise noteworthy. I’d be willing to say that this may well be one of the best sets of the year if you’re looking for a mid-sized set with an interesting and diverse part selection. Let’s take a look!
New or Noteworthy Elements
Two large Dark Green [TLG]/Green [BL] plates are used for the base of this set. The 16x16 plate (Element ID 4626702 | Design ID 91405) only appears in eight other sets, only about half as many sets as the more frequently used Bright Green variety. And the 6x16 plate (Element ID 6032912 | Design ID 3027) is even more rare, only recently appearing in 21301 Birds, 60025 Grand Prix Truck, as well as two pre-2000 sets (with a different Element ID).
Firstly, the sign for the bakery is a Black 1x5x3 Round Sign (Element ID 6070733 | Design ID 13459), which debuted in 2013 but only appears in four sets in any color and has only previously appeared in Black in 10245 Santa’s Village. It’s no small feat to get the stickers for both sides of the sign aligned properly on the first try, given their round shape. Secondly, a menu board attached to the outside of the building uses a Medium Nougat [TLG]/Medium Dark Flesh [BL] 2x3 plate with clips (Element ID 6022075 | Design ID 30350), which has only previously appeared in 10236 Ewok Village and 41022 Bunny’s Hutch. The good news is that both elements, particularly the round sign, are likely to become cheaper on the aftermarket thanks to their appearance in this mid-sized set.
Building the Magical Bakery
With one instruction booklet and three numbered bags, this mid-range set’s construction is made simple enough for younger builders while remaining an interesting and varied build. Bag 1 builds Azari the Fire Elf, the groundwork for the bakery, and the indoor and outdoor furniture.
Azari Firedancer appears in this set, the Elves’ Treetop Hideaway, and the gift-with-purchase set Azari’s Magic Fire, making her the most commonly available character at least until the summer wave debuts. She’s a very distinctive figure, to be sure.
Unlike the other Elves, her skin tone is Medium Nougat [TLG]/Medium Dark Flesh [BL]—while her canon ethnicity is of course sourced from the fantasy land of Elvendale like most of the other characters, her name is derived from the Persian word for fire, suggesting that her skin tone might be meant to resemble an Arabic or middle-eastern complexion. This choice of skin tone does render her unique elf-eared hairpiece harder for fans of traditional figs to utilize (since there are no traditional female minifigure heads in that color), which is a shame—its Dark Red and Flame Yellowish Orange color scheme is quite distinctive, and I can only hope that more women of color appear in future licensed themes so that this hairpiece can be of more use to fantasy builders.
Azari’s outfit, unlike those of the other main Elves, does not include any metallic printing, but its Flame Yellowish Orange and Bright Reddish Violet colors, unique fiery skirt piece, and asymmetrical single-strap top help it to stand out anyway. In fact, those two colors define the majority of Azari’s color scheme—her face and shoulder tattoos are also Bright Reddish Violet, while Flame Yellowish Orange eyes help to set her apart more from traditional, realistic Friends figs. Her sandals are the only parts of her with metallic printing—and they might also have also looked better in Flame Yellowish Orange, since the metallic gold straps can be hard to distinguish printed directly on her similar skin tone.
Also included in Bag 1 is Flamy the Fox, who unlike Miss Spry from my previous review is in fact an entirely new mold. I’m sure many Friends fans are hoping for a more generically printed fox to appear in the Friends theme, but in the meantime Flamy’s Dark Red coloration with fiery printing makes him an awesome animal companion for Azari.
Bag 3, as I mentioned, builds up the walls of the bakery and adds the finishing touches to the model as a whole. Keep in mind that all the stickers in this set are applied in this section—while one of those stickers is attached to a common 1x2 brick, the other three go on somewhat rare sign elements, as mentioned earlier, so if you do decide to apply those stickers, apply them carefully.
Anyway, with the completion of Bag 3, the set as a whole is finally complete. Let’s take a look at what all those interesting parts look like put together!
The Finished Set
The completed bakery looks pretty amazing as far as I’m concerned. The Flame Yellowish Orange and Bright Reddish Violet used for the peaked “roof” make this one of the most vibrant Elves sets as far as its color scheme is concerned. And nestled between a tree and a lava flow, the bakery looks incredibly solid and integrated with its environment, despite the front wall being little more than a façade.
Inside the bakery, there are enough accessories to act out the day-to-day operations of food service. The ball of dough (represented cleverly by a Bionicle “Voodoo Ball”) can be placed into the bowl to represent it being mixed or removed so that it can be kneaded, while the 2x2 round tile can be used to represent the dough being rolled (although it’s tricky to do so with the included rolling pin, thanks to the lack of articulated wrists on mini-dolls). A spice rack off to the side features an assortment of colorful jars, and a hook high on the bakery wall provides a place to hang Johnny’s hat when it’s not being worn. The bakery also offers a wide variety of assorted baked goods to sell at the window, including both common single-piece pastries like the baguette, croissant, and printed cookies, and brick-built items like a berry pie and cupcakes. And as mentioned before, all of the fixtures in the set can be removed to allow more space for play.
The inside of the bakery also offers a simple function in the form of the bread oven. Nestled behind the lava flow from the front of the bakery, a large bread pan can be inserted into the open oven and slid through to the other side on a tiled surface. This is a neat function for representing the bread being baked, and a nook on the rear of the oven (also used to store a bag of flour) provides just barely enough of a view inside to observe the loaf as it “rises”.
The lava flow outside (which looks quite distinctive with a few Trans. Medium Reddish Violet tiles accenting the more typical Flame Yellowish Orange and Trans. Bright Orange lava) also hides its own secret function, representing the bakery’s primary role in the story. By pushing the gray rocks at the end of the flow (helpfully marked by an elemental symbol like the function in Farran and the Crystal Hollow), the lava falls actually fold down to expose the key hidden behind them. While this function is less impressive than the Crystal Hollow’s moving crystals, and less realistic than the parting of the lava falls as shown in the TV special, it’s still effective, with only a slight push required to reveal the key with a satisfying “click”.
Having built the bakery as my second Elves set, I have to say I’m quite pleased with the finished product. A wide assortment of interesting parts comes together to form a fantastic little model—if I ever do choose to take the set apart to try building something else, it should offer plenty of options, but given how amazing the base model is I can’t help but think that it might still be a long time before I get to that point.
I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the Elves theme pointed at this particular set, by people who worry that subject matter like spas and bakeries celebrate female domesticity and/or a consumerist culture. But of course LEGO can be whatever you want to make of it. Depending on how a child chooses to act out a scene, Azari can be a customer at the bakery, or she can get a part-time job there, serving other Elves. She can even visit solely to obtain the hidden key that opens the path to further adventure. Personally, I’m very impressed with the sheer variety of play options offered by the set, which in my opinion eclipse the somewhat generic battle scenarios typically offered by sets in my other favored themes like Bionicle and Ninjago.
With this review, my brother and I have covered half of the sets the Elves theme has to offer. I hope you stay tuned for what else we have in store!
Our thanks to the LEGO Community & Events Engagement Team for providing this set.
41074 Azari and the Magical Bakery retails at GB£24.99 / US$29.99 / €29.99. Consider using our affiliate links to buy it (or anything); this helps support New Elementary!
USA: Amazon.com | The Official LEGO Shop
Canada: Amazon.ca | The Official LEGO® Shop
Canada: Amazon.ca | The Official LEGO® Shop