26 June 2023

LEGO® Friends review + MOCs: 41759 Heartlake City Bus

Posted by Tom Loftus

Beginning our look at the June 2023 wave of  LEGO® Friends sets, 41759 Heartlake City Bus offers a modest range of new and recoloured elements. Today I'll be discussing them all, as well as the build itself and some MOCs I made inspired by the new moulds.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® Friends 41759 Heartlake City Bus
US$49.99/ £49.99/ 54.99€/ AU$84.99
480 parts
1 June 2023
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New elements in 41759 Heartlake City Bus

New moulds

This set treats us to two new designs: 

  • 1x Mudguard, With 3.2 Shaft in Orange (6445413 | 3400) which also appears in Red (6426668) in 60365 Apartment Building.
  • 1x Bar 3L with 1 Clip on One Side, 2 Clips on Other Side in Light Bluish Gray (6445414 | 3628) which is also available in Black (6445341) in 60380 Downtown and Red (6435505) in 60365 Apartment Building.

Phew, that was a lot of numbers, how about some new element eye-candy to recover from that numerical onslaught? 

Affectionately dubbed ‘Clippy McClipface’ by New E contributor Kev Levell, part ID 3628 doesn’t just have connection points, it's made of them! With the help of a jumper plate and some inkwells, it sits neatly on a 2x3 footprint. The clip spacing is quite handy for stud reversal but I’m sure the part will be equally loved for all things greebly too.

While not a direct analogue, T-Bar Holder Double with Stud Holder (84868), which featured in our Space Tools parts fest last year, has the same super-connector vibe as Clippy McClipface. My attempt to replicate the new element’s capabilities is shown on the right. It’s a partial success, the general layout and height is correct. However, the opposing clips are too far apart and it's much bulkier overall. 

Next, let's take a closer look at that brand new swoopy orange element:

Part 3400 is one of the least versatile additions to the mudguard family. It’s specifically moulded for use as a mobility scooter body, with a 3.18 bar embedded on its leading edge for mounting the handlebars. Specialised or not, it’s pretty neat that the bar can be accessed from below too. Not to mention the ‘nail rails’, that technically make it a jumper element. 

The arc of each mudguard is a close match for 2x2 rounded parts. Interestingly, the depth of each arc (indicated by the blue plate) is ever so slightly thicker than a plate - so strictly speaking, the above assembly is illegal by a few microns.

Odder still is that the overall width of the element isn't quite 3 modules either. I thought the size had perhaps been defined by a door frame’s aperture and yet, that doesn't add up either as even the skinniest of wheels protrude out either side. Puzzling dimensions aside, the part remains ripe for MOCing potential - more on that later. 

For now, let's take a look at the other parts of interest from the set.

Recoloured elements in 41759 Heartlake City Bus

There are two exclusive recolours in Yellow:

  • 8x Brick Round Corner 3 x 3 x 1 with Bottom Cut Outs (6439824 | 65617) 
  • 1x Slope Curved 2 x 2 Inverted 6439827 | 1750) 

I’m still waiting on the former to be released in regular red, but another primary colour is a welcome step in the right direction.

    Teal fans rejoice, as your favourite colour's SNOT selection just expanded with two more exclusive recolours: 

    • 3x Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 2 Inverted in Dark Turquoise (6439826 | 73825) 
    • 6x Brick Special 1 x 1 x 1 2/3 with Studs on 1 Side in Dark Turquoise (6439825 | 32952) 
    The set also features a modest selection of parts in lesser-seen colours, all of which appear in 3 sets or fewer:

    • 2x Tile 2 x 6 in Dark Pink (6381248 | 69729)
    • 2x Brick Special 1 x 1 Studs on 4 Sides in Dark Pink (6408050 | 4733)
    • 1x Cone 1 x 1 [Top Groove] in Spring Yellowish Green (6420918 | 59900)
    • 2x Plate 1 x 1 x 2/3 with Open Stud in Blue (6432005 | 86996)
    • 1x Tile Round 1 x 1 with Hollow Bar in Dark Blue (6429553 | 31561)
    • 1x Plate Special 2 x 4 with Groove and Two Center Studs (Jumper) in Yellow (6424448 | 65509)
    Each of the 3 minidolls included have some new and/or rare parts too.

     From left to right we have:


    • 1x Minidoll, Head, NO. 393 in Warm Tan (6434983 | 103298) - Exclusive
    • 1x Minidoll Torso Boy with Dark Azure Striped Shirt, White Shirt, Dark Blue Trim print, Warm Tan Arms and Hands in Warm Tan (6444579 | 73161) - Exclusive
    • 1x Minidoll Hips and Trousers with Back Pockets and Dark Red Legs, Black Shoes print in Dark Red (6334081) - Available in 3 other sets


    • 1x Minidoll Torso Girl with Lavender Shirt, Dark Pink Strap print, Light Nougat Arms and Hands in Light Nougat (6426650 | 73141) - Available in 1 other set, 41724 Paisley's House
    • 1x Minidoll Hips and Wide Pants with Dark Blue Shoes print in Light Aqua (6416494 | 101159) - Available in 2 other sets


    • 1x Hair Short Tousled with Side Part with Dark Orange Streak in Black (6288031 | 66180) - Available in 3 other sets
    • 1x Minidoll, Head, NO. 394 in Nougat (6434985 | 103300) - Exclusive
    • 1x Minidoll Torso Girl with Dark Blue Uniform, Yellow Trim, Dark Azure Shirt, Tie print, Nougat Arms and Hands in Nougat (6444606 | 73152)  - Exclusive
    • 1x Minidoll Hips and Trousers with Back Pockets with Black Shoes print in Dark Blue (6398363 | 35584) - Available in 2 other sets
    The final 'element' of interest is the sticker sheet.

    Sticker N0.3 has a nice reference to the furniture in 41732 Downtown Flower and Design Stores. I believe N0.4 is an advertisement to 41729 Organic Grocery Store. Finally, Paisley's book cover (N0.14), which also appears in 41740 Aliya's Room, is another sneaky Elves reference - although some fans theorise it could also be a nod to the Legend of Zelda games.

    Assembling 41759 Heartlake City Bus

    As expected for a 7+ set, the build was enjoyable but nothing to write home about. My favourite technique is the way these 1x1 corner panels neatly hide the unused click hinge of each windscreen.

    The completed bus is a nice, chunky looking vehicle. Some well-placed curved elements go a long way in preventing it from looking too boxy. The bus stop/charging station is surprisingly effective for a small side build, it's single band of yellow forming the seat, walls and roof is a great look.

    While I admire the windscreen connection point, the sizable chunk of transparent blue behind the headlights a bit distracting. Perhaps a shaped plain yellow sticker could've helped to smooth out that transition a little? Overall though, the colour blocking is done well. The bright shades typical of the theme mean the stickers supplied aren't too sorely missed for those like me that don't wish to apply them.

    A simple lift-off roof and hinged side makes accessing the interior convenient - almost too convenient. Some sort of lock for the side wall would've been appreciated as it does tend to swing open a bit too easily. Inside there are seats for a diver and 3 passengers, with ample room in the centre for Stanley and his mobility scooter. 

    MOCs using LEGO 

    With the set complete, I was free to build some creations of my own. For these I returned my attention to the new moulds: mobility scooter body (3400) and Clippy McClipface (3628).

    I started small with this space-age chair. The scooter body's 3.18 bar came in handy for attaching it to the stand. It's not the easiest chair to seat one's anti-studs on but I'm told its comfy once you're up there!

    Next up, my prediction that Clippy McClipface would make a good greeble made a reality. I think it looks pretty good embedded amongst the other mechanical bits and bobs. 

    What's with the blue paint? It might have something to do with this overenthusiastic Paint-pod operator but who am I to point the finger of blame? 

    For my last build I returned to the scooter base, using it as the impetus for this sci-fi redecorating vehicle. Matching up the narrow edge of the mudguard to a 1x2 panel informed the shape of the diver's station and the rest grew from there. 

    I originally envisioned it as some sort of crane or winch vehicle but once I spotted the paint roller piece, there was no going back. 

    Closing thoughts

    41759 Heartlake City Bus adds a touch of realism to a city whose inhabitants go horse riding at 11:30am and are cleaning the oceans by noon. Are all LEGO fans as concerned about the logistics of navigating Heartlake City as I am? I'm sure some are, so having a green public transport option is appreciated. 

    The price? Less so. The surprising heft and size of the bus lessens the blow a little. However, I feel similar play value could've been achieved with a smaller vehicle, especially as Stanley still has to contend with a sizeable step, despite the nifty ramp feature.

    It's a shame because the parts selection is pretty good, the new elements are great and -despite some flaws- the design work is solid. Still, overall I feel one of Heartlake City's new destinations from this wave would be a better use of your money. 

    READ MORE: LEGO® Disney™ parts review: 43222 Disney Castle

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    1. Depending on your mindframe, that clippy part might also look somewhat like an elephant head... or... you know... a somewhat down gelding...

    2. Nice review! The analysis of that awesome clippy bit is much appreciated. Do those yellow 3x3 curved slopes remind anyone else of the curved "chin" of a minifig?

    3. The new clip and bar is somewhat phallic...

    4. Great review!

      While the mobility scooter fairing may be specialized compared to other mudguard pieces, that still makes it considerably more versatile than the frame/chassis pieces for other "personal conveyances" like minifig scooters, bicycles, motorcycles, and mopeds.

      Besides mobility scooters, I think some other fairly straightforward uses for it as a mudguard could include ride-on lawnmowers, go-karts, Mars rovers/ROVs, baby carriages, or child-sized toy cars like the iconic "Cozy Coupe":

      And the handlebar rod is of course the sort of basic connector piece that could have all kinds of uses, especially since there aren't a whole lot of parts with two clips as close together as the two this one has at the top.

      Your idea for it as greeble is quite clever, but truth be told my mind jumped to how useful all those hinge connections in close proximity might be for functional applications like folding chairs, grabber claws, desk lamps, rooftop TV antennas, or plumbing fixtures (e.g. a shower fixture with knobs for hot and cold water attached to the two-clips end and a shower head attached to the end with just one).

      If it gets released in a color like Reddish Brown, it could also be great for forked tree branches!

      The bus design itself is excellent, if a bit large compared to many LEGO City buses, and it pairs nicely not only with this set's bus stop but also the one from earlier this year! And I appreciate that both this set and use larger steering wheel pieces than the classic LEGO steering wheel, which to me always felt too small for either minifigs or mini-dolls to believably hold in both hands!

      The deployable entry ramp is a neat feature, and really shows that the designers are really continuing to think about accessibility beyond just producing parts for wheelchairs and other mobility aids. The adjustable destination sign is also a great play feature that I'm surprised we haven't seen in a previous transit bus set. The EV charging station and cord (a feature we've been seeing more and more in recent Creator, City, and Friends sets) also adds some nice play value.

      All in all, it's far from the most exciting of this year's sets for me, but it does continue to show the sort of creativity that the Friends theme is known for. And it's certainly a great resource for Heartlake citizens!

    5. That scooter looks like it could be adapted to Mini-figure use. Which would work nicely in my next version (Season 25) of the Lego Church Project.

      1. Doesn't really need adapting even—it's already due to be used with minifigures in 60365 Apartment Building!

      2. I'll have to have one of the bricklink vendors keep an eye out for it. Mind you I already have a scooter of my own design and two power chairs in the current build. (you won't see me featured in any of the LEGO blogs).

    6. That paintpod is wonderful!