14 December 2020

LEGO® Friends review: 41430 Summer Fun Water Park

A new-for-2020 family of parts we've not yet examined are the large tubes. Inthert (on Flickr) rectifies that today by reviewing one of the sets containing them: LEGO® Friends 41430 Summer Fun Water Park. Buying this set? Consider using our affiliate links: USA LEGO Shop at Home|UK LEGO Shop at Home. New Elementary may get a commission. The products in this article were provided for free by LEGO; the author's opinions are not biased by this.

Friends sets are well known for their abundance of vibrant hues, spot-on colour blocking and innumerable details. 41430 Summer Fun Water Park is no exception. This bundle of joy has 1001 pieces, four Minidolls and is priced at US$99.99/ £89.99 / 97.47€.

New Parts in 41430 Summer Fun Water Park

Cylinder Tube, Straight (part 49736) & Curved (49737) 

We’ll waste no time and get straight into the headline elements, which are the new waterslide pieces:

  • 4 x Tube, Slide Straight in Transparent Light Blue/ Trans-Light Blue (6286643 | 49736)
  • 3 x Tube, Slide Curved 45deg in Trans-Light Blue (6306045 | 49737)

The only familiar connection points here are found on the straight section sporting four studs and four antistuds – the interior surface of the tube is entirely smooth.


Both elements are mostly four modules in diameter though each has an enlarged socket with friction grips on one end that connects to the grooved edge of the next section in line.


The resultant joint allows any two sections to rotate a full 360° relative to each other. What I wasn’t expecting is the amount of give in each joint made possible by the generous size of the groove.


The effect is magnified as more sections are added. I suspect this might be problematic for those wanting a more rigid set up but I feel the elasticity will make securing the tubes off-grid far easier, especially for younger builders. 

Speaking of, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a system like this from LEGO®. In 1998, DUPLO got that bit more dynamic with the introduction of its own supersized modular tube elements. 


Comparing the new 45° curve section (49737) to its DUPLO counterpart, Ball Tube 45° Turn in Bright Red/Red (4562879 | 31195), reveals how similar the two systems are. Aside from the obvious size difference, both elements connect to others of their kind using similar friction grips and grooves. Surprisingly though, the DUPLO system exhibits none of the flexibility present on the new moulds’ joints.

I hope we’ll see more components added to this new family of parts over time. I’d certainly like to see an alternative straight section with no studs or anti studs at the very least.

Friends Seahorse (part 67392)


Only one of these cuties is exclusive but it just seemed wrong to photograph these two unlikely friends separately.

  • 1 x Animal, Seahorse with Black Eyes, Medium Lavender Spots in Lavender (6296637 | 67392) (New to 41430 Summer Fun Water Park)
  • 1 x Animal, Bird, Flamingo with Orange Leg, Black Eye and Beak in Bright Purple/ Dark Pink (6301351 | 67388) (introduced in 2020, in 2 other sets)

Out of the two, I think I prefer the appearance of the seahorse; the flamingo is a little too cartoonish for my taste.

New and Notable Recolours in 41430 Summer Fun Water Park


Making its first appearance in this colour, we have 2 x Tower Roof 2 x 4 x 6 Half Cone Shaped with Roof Tiles in Brick Yellow/ Tan (6306077 | 35563). Though it hardly matters what its  name is, as we all know it will be known as the ice cream cone.


It’s plates galore with Dark Azure! Three of which appear in this colour for the first time:

  • 2 x Plate 6 x 10 (6306038 | 3033)
  • 2 x Plate Round Corner 6 x 6 (6306036 | 6003)
  • 2 x Plate 8 x 16 (6306028 | 92438)

Leaving of course:

  • 2 x Wedge Plate 12 x 3 Right (6259087 | 47398) (Introduced 2019, in 1 other set)
  • 2 x Wedge Plate 12 x 3 Left (6259086 | 47397) (Introduced 2019, in 1 other set)

...both of which are making their second appearance since their introduction in 2019.


Not to be outdone, Bright Purple/ Dark Pink has a wealth of scarcely seen recolours too:

  • 2 x Plate 6 x 6 (6267536 | 3958) (introduced in 2019, in 1 other set)
  • 1 xPlate 8 x 16 (6211411 | 92438) (introduced in 2018, in 1 other set)
  • 1 x Bar 7 x 3 with Double Clips (Ladder) (6097710 | 6020) (introduced in 2020, in 2 other sets)
  • 2 x Plate Round Corner 3 x 3 (6249120 | 30357) (introduced in 2019, in 2 other sets)
  • 3 x Plate 1 x 10 (6293403 | 4477) (introduced in 2020, in 3 other sets)
  • 1 x Plate Special 2 x 2 with Groove and Center Stud (Jumper) (6134285 | 87580) (introduced in 2020, in 3 other sets)
  • 1 x Plate Round 4 x 4 with 2 x 2 Hole (6258671 | 28620) (introduced in 2019, in 4 other sets)


Next, a small selection of parts that are impossible to miss on account of their virtually luminous Vibrant Coral/Coral colour:

  • 2 x Animal Body Part, Clam / Scallop Half Shell with 4 Studs(6287639 | 18970) (introduced in 2020, in 1 other set)
  • 3 x Animal / Plant, Coral / Sea Weed (6292823 | 49577) (introduced in 2020, in 5 other sets)
  • 2 x Tile 2 x 2 with Groove (6275802 | 3068) (introduced in 2019, in 1 other set)


Feeling blue? Two more oceanic hues get some recolours:

  • 9 x Slope Inverted 45° 2 x 1 in Aqua/ Light Aqua (6306030 | 3665) (New to 41430 Summer Fun Water Park)
  • 1 x Slope Inverted 45° 2 x 2 [Ovoid Bottom Pin, Bar-sized Stud Holes] in Light Aqua (6300588 | 3660) (Introduced in 2020, in 2 other sets)
  • 1 x Brick 1 x 3 in Medium Azure (6223734 | 3622) (Introduced 2020, in 1 other set)
  • 1 x Brick Round 2 x 2 with Axle Hole in Medium Azure (6224282 | 6143) (Introduced 2020, in 4 other sets)


Rounding off the recolours we have these miscellaneous elements:

  • 1 x Animal Body Part, Cat Tail in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6259037 | 37993) (Introduced 2019, in 1 other set)
  • 10 x Plant, Palm Leaf Small in Bright Yellowish Green/ Lime (6298821 | 6148) (introduced in 2020, in 3 other sets)
  • 1 x Tile 6 x 6 with Bottom Tubes in White (6307467 | 10202) (introduced in 2020, in 1 other set: 43179 Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse)

One final heads-up (sorry) parts-wise, the Minidoll head mould (37291) has been updated, as shown on the right. Despite not receiving a new Design ID, they now feature a vented stud with two tiny holes instead of a solid recessed stud. I can only assume this change has been made to prevent choking though it seems odd that the standard minifig head, which has received several design tweaks over the years, currently has no vents (BL/RB ID 3626c). However, a new mould with 2 vents (28621) has been appearing in sets since late 2019 but only for transparent colours so far. Perhaps we can expect a similar change for opaque heads in the near future?

Building 41430 Summer Fun Water Park

The assembly process follows the usual smallest-to-largest approach as we begin with the brick-built accessories, then move onto the side builds and finally the waterpark itself. 


I was pleasantly surprised to find the latter not built from the ground - or water - up but instead split into two major sections. I should’ve known better since modularity is commonplace in sets but the resultant rapid colour palette hopping made each consecutive step feel like significant progress nonetheless.

As expected for a build intended for LEGO fans aged 8 and up, there aren’t a whole lot of especially challenging techniques to cover, but the build is not without its highlights.


Firstly, as if to prove the new waterslide elements are definitely 4 modules in diameter, we see one of the straight sections (49736) gorgeously integrated with some arch elements.


Shockingly this water cannon uses a Technic half pin (4274) inserted into the base of a 1x1 brick with four side studs (4733) to create a pivot point. It’s the first time I’ve encountered such a connection in an official set, though I have to assume it’s appeared elsewhere. 


Nifty LEGO geometry always piques my interest and the waterpark’s angled midsection is no exception. The dark azure left and right 12x3 wedge plates (47397 and 47398) dictate the overall angle but what amazed me is how the white 2x6 plate with rounded corners (18980) is made to sit perpendicular to it. Accommodating subtle off-grid construction like this makes any model more dynamic in appearance but it’s especially effective for structure-based builds which can sometimes look rather uninspired when everything is set at 90°.


I’m sure this won’t be new information for many since the element in question has been around since 2014, however something else that ticks the ‘satisfying things’ box is how the inner edge of the curved yellow slide (11267) perfectly hugs the 4x4 rounded elements. It’s just nice when the designers draw attention to the fact that even the most unusual parts are still wonderfully in-System. 

The Completed 41430 Summer Fun Water Park

The finished water park stands an impressive 31cm high and 33cm across - a very generous size for a LEGO set of this price point.


However, a mixture of spindly extremities and the practical but plentiful open wall spaces mean that you’re looking at just as much background as brick.

There appears to be a great deal of bulk to the set’s disassembled state though. So where are all these parts going? 

Well a closer look reveals all - the entire park is literally awash with details, both purely cosmetic and those intended for play. In fact, there are so many it would be impractical to list them all individually. Instead I’ll point out the major and most interesting but will trust you to spot the rest as we take our tour of the park.


We start on dry land with the side builds; some miscellaneous built up accessories, a small lifeguard tower and a compact ice cream van. I like the colour combinations for the sleeping bags/sun loungers and repurposing regular stud shooters (15391) as water pistols is a great touch. The guard tower is simple in design but looks the part – though seating a Minidoll atop the perch is quite the balancing act with it lacking any connection points. 


The van’s exterior relies heavily on stickers for details like head lights and signage but the vibrant colours and roof mounted ice cream cones provide just enough visual interest for those like me who prefer not to apply stickers. 

Inside the van we find only the bare essentials needed for driving, refrigerating and assembling some frozen treats. The interior could be considered a little lacklustre but I’m glad the focus was kept on detailing the main build. 

Speaking of which, it’s time to leave the side builds behind, grab that wetsuit and head for the pool!


The park’s decorative finishing touches are numerous but well considered. Plenty of coral and seaweed adorn the rock face; their busy outlines contrast nicely with the smooth surfaces of the slides. 


Remember that delightful new sea horse? It clearly has a head for heights as it gets pride of place way up on the left-side turret. 


The right-hand side waterfall is the one aesthetic detail I feel the set falls short on (pun intended). Compared to the well-integrated one on the left, its appearance just sitting atop the dark pink plate is a little crude. 


Shifting over to the more interactive features, the treasure chest is a small but welcome one. As a child, hiding and ‘discovering’ items inside these small containers was often the catalyst or finale to many grand adventures.


Another fun inclusion is this water shower thingamajig. And what’s that in the bottom-right you ask? 


There was one more side-build I neglected to mention. But in my defence, it is best viewed in situ here in the main pool. It’s an ‘inflatable’ unicorn! – need I say more?

Situated high above is a rudimentary yet effective mechanism that sends a small handful of transparent studs cascading down into the pool below. 


The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted those guilty feet under the billboard; while not essential, I do like that a Minidoll can be made to trigger the release function. 

Of course, the main play features are the slides which really don’t need much explanation. Releasing a figure and watching in delight as they descend a predictable downward path is quite frankly the pinnacle of entertainment for any age group.


Sadly, there is one slight flaw with regards to one of the slides. Worse still, it involves the new 4-wide tube system.


More often than not, Minidolls use rubberised hair pieces - very stylish but liable to bring the waterslide fun to a standstill. I attempted to improve the situation by putting their legs and arms in other positions but nothing seemed to match the performance of a figure with a regular hairpiece. Even so, it takes only a small nudge to send the figure flying down the remaining near vertical tube, perhaps we can just explain away their hesitation as nerves?

As we make our way around the back, the only expansive interior space is this a jacuzzi/sauna area.


Without the large 1x6x5 wall panel sticker, detail is a little sparse in here but the crystalline decorations and padded seating are nice.

If we zoom out a little, we find the aforementioned open wall spaces allowing plenty of access to the upper walkways which no doubt become queue lines during peak season.


I really appreciate the inclusion and logical positioning of the ladders too. 

The realism continues with this corner which depicts what I imagine to be a changing area.


I say imagine’ as I’d like to hope a water park of this size has more than two lockers and one changing booth. I also find the placement of the shower a little too exposed but I’m glad to see one included all the same. But just visible cleverly tucked away under the smallest slide is my personal favourite detail in the entire park.


I’m glad I took a snap of this during the build as it’s quite difficult to photograph on the completed set. It’s quite possibly the most unexpected part usage I’ve seen from LEGO. Who’d of thought a clam (18866) would be perfect for a lavish toilet seat? - genius! (and again, pun intended)

One final note; I mentioned stickers a few times above so it feels only right that I show you what’s missing:


Despite its considerable size, I really don’t feel omitting the stickers significantly impacts the look of the finished model a great deal. Granted, a few select areas suffer like the prominent billboard and the ice cream van, but the vibrant colours, varied textures and innumerable decorations provide more than enough visual interest in my opinion.

Conclusion

Overall, I feel the ratio of positives to negatives is clear – this is a wonderful set. I didn’t expect to find so much to talk about beyond a handful of interesting parts and yet another striking Friends colour scheme. But here you really get the sense that every element is used efficiently, no space is wasted and (almost) every play feature is well thought out. In short: given my biggest complaint is that the Minidolls don’t go down the big slide fast enough, the set is doing pretty well.

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18 comments:

  1. "Technic half pin (4274) inserted into the base of a 1x1 brick with four side studs (4733)"

    This connection also appears in the 2017 creator set "31064: Island Adventures", and its still really weird to me that its legal

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    1. The holes in the sides of the brick give the end of the pin just enough room to snap into place, instead of being forced into compression, like they would be in an ordinary 1x1 brick. I remember a lot of Exo-Force sets using this technique.

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    2. This technique was used as far as in 2006, in 7899 police boat. It was used to allow the radar to turn. IT's just a very underused technique I think!
      -Evans

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    3. It was just used in the Friends Advent Calendar this year, for the feet on the little penguin. Interestingly, other 1x bricks often have ridges formed into the sides that are placed just right so that the tip of a Technic pin can lock into them.

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  2. I wonder if the holes in heads are/have been really there for safety reasons, as we all know that they make things worse (makes it harder to cough out, but still way too small to be able to breathe through).
    Could it be there simply for the air to pass through when inserting it? There's quite some room inside a head hole and it's a tight seal, the air has to go somewhere or be compressed, making it either hard to push in or pull out. I'm testing with old/new minifig heads and hollow ones appear to be easier to insert, but it could just be because of the plastic.

    About the pin-in-brick, I wonder why bricks haven't been accomodated for that, adding a slight groove inside for the pin to release. Or maybe it's time for Lego to finally give us a "1x1 plate with studs on both sides" that clone brands have.

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    Replies
    1. I think the most likely reason for the groove is some kind of manufacturing consideration, since the new mini-doll heads no longer seem to be pre-assembled like the old ones. Previously, the top stud was a separate component from the rest of the head, as can be seen from the deep groove around the top stud in the review pictures.

      The reason other bricks can't have a slight groove like that is that they come off a simple two-section mold, so there's no way of making the interior diameter of the part wider than the diameter of the base which is sized to hold a stud. The only reason that the "Travis Brick" (1x1 brick with studs on four sides) is an exception to this is that the holes on each side give the ridges at the end of the pin room to expand outward just enough that they aren't forced into compression.

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    2. Well, when you can manufacture that travis brick in the first place, it should be as easy to manufacture a brick with a groove inside. Are they really more costly to produce?
      It could also be a new part, pretty much what 18654 is, but square and with the height of a brick.

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    3. Scratch that, I realize that a proper groove would have to be visible from outside the brick, so it would have 4 visible holes on them (a bit like headlight bricks have at their base). Well.. it'd work, probably wouldn't be much more fragile, but would be ugly I guess.

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    4. @Skye:
      Some 1x bricks actually do have a ridge formed inside of them. I remember one year at a show our LUG was doing, we were comparing transparent 1x6 bricks. The ridges ran in 2-stud sections with a little gap at either end. We found a few different combinations, but there wasn't a single example that had ridges along all six studs, nor any that had no ridges at all.

      You can get away with forming a limited amount of detail inside. It's going to cause a lot more wear on the mold, but if you design it right you can still get the part to release after its cooled. But if you go overboard with it, you'll have to cut the part so you can pry it loose in chunks. Once you hit that point, you have to start making a more complex mold with sections that retract in a certain order, or with hinged sections that lift up out of the way as the part is ejected.

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    5. For whoever is still reading here, I just realized that you could insert pins inside minifig heads. Frictionless pins do release inside and free-float, meaning the base of a minifig head is narrower than its inside (I guess it can still be ejected because the plastic deforms). It would thus be quite possible to manufacture bricks with enough room to release pins, but perhaps not exactly at the top.

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  3. Good review! This is a fantastic set—my sister and I don't collect Friends sets religiously but this is one of those that I had to get my hands on. I love the details and the use of color, with the aesthetic transitioning from a sand castle at the top to progressively darker "underwater" scenery near the bottom.

    I'm also unsure whether the holes in the mini-doll head are actually for breathing. Other changes I notice include the removal of a "seam" surrounding the stud on top, implying that the previous version of the head was actually an assembled piece rather than molded as a singular element. The change in the mold might therefore have to do with simplifying the molding process, or for orienting the part reliably in the printing machine, or both.

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    Replies
    1. If the studs were added after the fact, they would either have random orientation, or they'd have to be made in such a way that they fit in only a single orientation, like a key. Minifig heads have no reason to do this as they have uniform wall thickness except at the top and bottom, and a large cavity inside where the neck post goes. Minidoll heads...not so much. The neck post on a minidoll is a quite a bit thinner, and a little bit shorter, meaning that the noggin is a solid mass of plastic. That's not a good thing with injection molded parts (look at the early version of the semi-auto pistol from the original Batman theme to see how the surface of the part can pucker if there's too large a mass of plastic that cools differently than the rest of the part). So, it's entirely possible that the minidoll head was originally formed with an empty skull, and the stud was clipped into place after the parts were produced. Adding small holes in the stud could be a way too create a chamber inside. If the chamber is big enough, it would effectively reduce the thickness of the wall from the full mass of the head to just what surrounds these air chambers. I'm not suggesting that anyone try it, but the only way to know for sure (besides having a chat with the people who designed these elements) would be to cut a few open and see what's inside.

      Or, yeah, it's also possible that they needed a way to index the rotation of the head because there's actually shapes that the print has to line up with.

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  4. "Who’d of thought a clam (18866) would be perfect for a lavish toilet seat?"

    For a second I thought it was a Demolition Man reference in a Lego Friends set ;-)

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  5. I think the technic pin in the brick connection is actually "legal" - but only for the 1x1 brick with 4 side studs. The fully hollow studs in each side basically function like the groove @anothergol mentioned; providing just enough extra space inside the brick so the technic pin isn't being pinched at the end.

    That's actually why the connection here is loose - if you did the same thing with a regular 1x1 brick, the connection would have a lot more friction, and would actually be "illegal" by LEGO's standards because it would squeeze and deform the pin over time.

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  6. The shower could be just a poolside rinse, and not the kind that involves soap. In places where the water is salty or chlorinated, it's not uncommon to see a freestanding shower that you can use to rinse the chemicals off after you're done, and they don't always have privacy screens built around them.

    As for the toilet...that heart is _in_ the bowl, not resting on top of it. It may not be a seat at all.

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    1. My choice of the word 'exposed' probably wasn't the best. It's more a quibble about it's placement than the amount of privacy. I realise access to the toilet and ladders requires a similar suspension of disbelief but I feel since the shower represents an actual activity it's over-the-edge spot isn't the greatest. Then again, if the choice is this or no shower at all, I'm more than willing to accept it.

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  7. I can see so many GBC's in the future with the new waterslide tube parts.

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  8. Fikir tamamen doğru düşünüyor. Daha küçük boyutlu özelliklerin çoğu, çok sayıda dosya eğitimi ve öğrenimi yoluyla yapılmıştır. Ben onaya bayılıyorum. su arıtma cihazı

    ReplyDelete

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