41075 The Elves’ Treetop Hideaway is where Emily Jones’s adventure in Elvendale begins. Unlike 41073 Naida’s Epic Adventure Ship which I reviewed previously, this set is more focused on slice-of-life play than adventure play. However, it still gives a great taste of how strange and magical this new world is. Fittingly, it includes lots of new parts in quite an exotic selection of colors! Without further ado, let’s take a look!
Parts and minidolls
70747 Boulder Blaster from LEGO Ninjago and 75060 Slave I from LEGO Star Wars, but all three are new elements for this year.
In Medium Lavender this set includes two 4M 45-degree angle plates (Design ID 15706 | Element ID 6074919), previously exclusive to 41058 Heartlake Shopping Mall, and a wooden washtub (Design ID 64951 | Element ID 4651908), which appeared in just two Friends sets last year.
In Medium Nougat [TLG]/Medium Dark Flesh [BL], the set includes five brand-new 5x1½ Technic track elements (Design ID 88323 | Element ID 6097524) and a rare 1x6x2 arch brick (Design ID 15254 | Element ID 6106193). And in Reddish Brown the set includes seven (eleven, counting extras) carrot tops (Design ID 33183 | Element ID 607860), and two rare 1x12x3 arch bricks (Design ID 18838 | Element ID 6096379).
41074 Azari and the Magical Bakery And in Transparent with Glitter [TLG]/Glitter Trans-Clear [BL], the set includes a 2x2 crystal ball (Design ID 30106 | Element ID 6093747), which is otherwise exclusive to 41063 Ariel’s Undersea Palace.
41076 Farran and the Crystal Hollow but fewer than the new 10247 Ferris Wheel, which includes ten of them!
The sticker sheet in this set includes nine stickers: six ornate circular cushions, an ornate circular pattern to mark a hiding place in one of the trees, and two rectangular scrolls: one with a soup recipe, which will hang next to the fire pit, and one with a portrait of the four elf friends, which will hang in Farran’s bedroom. These two scrolls and four of the cushions go on rare parts I’ve mentioned previously.
My brother has already discussed the Farran Leafshade and Azari Firedancer mini-dolls in his reviews of 41074 Azari and the Magical Bakery and 41076 Farran and the Crystal Hollow, but this set offers another option to get them, albeit without the corresponding magical keys. Each of them carries a transparent 1x1 round tile to represent their elemental magic. I like both of these figures, although I wish that Azari’s belt had been printed with metallic gold ink, since her torso seems a bit plain with just two colors of printing and no metallic accents. On another-note, the bottoms of Farran’s shoes are the same Light Nougat [TLG]/Light Flesh [BL] as his skin. It’s not a huge issue, but he’s the only one of the Elves with this issue — the others all have colored soles.
Currently exclusive to this set are Emily Jones and Enki the panther cub. Emily is the theme’s main character, an interloper from the human world who needs help from her new elf friends to get back home. Compared to the elves, however, her outfit is very modern, with Bright Yellow sneakers, a striped tank top, and Sand Blue jean shorts. A nice detail of her design is her medallion, which she inherits from her late grandmother at the start of the story. Emily is equipped with an unprinted Sand Blue backpack (Design ID 11245 | Element ID 6106043). She will also appear with a new cape in 41078 Skyra’s Mysterious Sky Castle, which is due for release this August.
Enki is Farran’s pet panther cub, though it did not appear at all in the LEGO Elves TV special “Unite the Magic”. It shares a name with an island in the Izdur Ocean, so perhaps that’s where it hails from. Its forehead is printed with an Earth elemental icon and other decorations, identifying it as a creature of Elvendale. The same mold has previously been used for lion and tiger cubs in the LEGO Friends and LEGO Disney Princess themes, but this is its first appearance in Sand Blue.
On to the build!
The seats at the table have nice cushions, but they don’t feel as organic as the seats at the table in front of the Magical Bakery. Perhaps they’re made from rocks or mushrooms? However, the three sparkly mushrooms in this set have Bright Reddish Violet stems instead of white ones like the mushrooms from the Magical Bakery.
A glittering light fixture hangs from the branches of the tree above — perhaps a naturally bioluminescent flower of some sort. The leaves at the base of the trees are Bright Purple instead of Lavender or Medium Lilac, which gives the trees a nice layered effect — the more subdued leaf colors of the canopy resemble old growth, while the brighter leaf colors near the base resemble new growth. The use of Dark Red and Reddish Brown for the trunks of the trees also adds a lot of life and color. One design decision I question is that the space behind the window frame in this tree trunk is completely unused.
The bucket lift can be used to bring apples, carrots, or Enki the panther cub up and down the tree. It’s a bit peculiar that the chain on the bucket is purple, since that’s a color you might more readily associate with a wind elf like Aira Windwhistler, but since Farran’s earth powers include control over plants and most of the trees in Elvendale are purple, I suppose it’s still thematically appropriate.
Down at the base of this tree is a campfire. A recipe for carrot soup is attached to the base of the tree as a sticker. Wouldn’t you know it; the chief ingredient is carrots! I suppose Azari the fire elf can stoke the fire as Farran cooks. Some people have questioned the logic of having a campfire so close to the base of a tree, but the fire is small and having a fire elf handy probably helps to keep it controlled.
I can’t so easily explain away the illogic of a panther cub subsisting on apples, though! And that’s clearly the impression we’re meant to get, since the instructions ask you to place an apple in Enki’s food dish. A cushion next to his food dish gives him a place to relax, and there’s also enough floor space for him to run around or for the Elves to visit.
Emily and the elves can climb up and down the tree using the magic ladder bridge. As a ladder, it connects to a small spiral stair at the base of the tree. The mini-dolls can grip it by the Bright Reddish Violet flowers that decorate it, but it’s rather tricky and it’s easier to just guide them up to Farran’s bedroom with a little “Hand of God” intervention. A switch on the back of the larger tree can then convert the ladder back into a bridge to allow access to Enki’s room. This function works more or less the same as the collapsing bridge in 70753 Lava Falls from this year’s Ninjago range.
At the base of the tree where Farran lives, there is a secret compartment where he keeps letters from Aira the wind elf. It’s pretty roomy, so other trinkets and treasures could easily be hidden there as well. However, as I mentioned before, there’s a hollow space above this compartment that is more or less wasted. If the two spaces had been connected it would be easy for Pluma the bird from 41071 Aira’s Creative Workshop to drop letters into the window on the other side of the tree, so this secret compartment could function as a sort of mailbox.
Farran’s room is nice and spacious. Its focal point is Farran’s sofa-bed, which converts from a bed to a sectional sofa with a hinge plate in the center. It sits on top of a nice white and green rug. The four circular cushions are very similar to the ones out front, and look very plush. Farran also has a side table with a mysterious Transparent Bright Green jar or bottle, and beside it, a wall scroll of him with his three elf friends! I always love heartwarming details like this, though as I mentioned when discussing the parts, some people might opt not to apply the sticker to the relatively rare 2x2x3 roof tile.
Farran’s room also includes a wide balcony with a decorative railing. The leaf curtains around this balcony can be closed or opened with a simple Technic function on the top of the tree. The movement is not completely controlled, but I actually think that’s nice as it allows the leaves to rustle a bit as they move from side to side. Many of the leaves on this part of the tree are attached to more joints from the Mixels theme, so the angle can be freely adjusted.
Overall, a lot of the magic in the LEGO Elves sets comes from their “secret” play features — hiding spaces, things that convert to other things, etcetera. And this set is packed with these sorts of magical features, from its leaf curtains to its magic ladder bridge to Farran’s sofa-bed. Despite the set being fairly compact (its footprint is just 16x32 modules / 5x10 inches / 12.8x25.6 centimeters), it manages to include a LOT of play value.
What’s more, most of the set’s play scenarios are not especially linear or scripted (a criticism often leveled at LEGO play themes in general by parents). It may not be as fleshed out with livable detail as a LEGO Friends dollhouse, but it is a great starting point for fantasy adventures in Elvendale, and a reminder that even adventurous heroes and heroines like the LEGO Elves deserve a place they can call home. That’s a lesson I wish other themes like LEGO Castle would take to heart!
Our thanks to the LEGO Community & Events Engagement Team for providing this set.
41075 The Elves’ Treetop Hideaway retails for £39.99 / $49.99 / €49.99.
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Canada: Amazon.ca | The Official LEGO® Shop