Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 2:08am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
The new LEGO Elves sets have been out for a couple weeks now, so it's about time we reviewed one. BZPower Reporter Xccj has taken a look at 41073 Naida's Epic Adventure Ship. Will this set indeed take you to magical places, or will it sink as soon as it leaves dock? Read on or watch the video review to find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The front of the box features the main ship, as well as Naida using her elemental powers to get to the clam underwater, and Aira using her wind powers to fill the sail. The right side also has character art of all the elves and Emily Jones, the lone human character, and the background is a very detailed portion of Elvendale. When you flip the box over, you get more character art and the set's various features pictured, as well as an advertisement for a free app. The background is again interesting in that it features a rough map of Elvendale, complete with the key locations.
When you open the box, you get three bags of parts, some stickers, and the sail piece, along with instructions. The most interesting part of the instructions is some more artwork in the back, which again features the landscape of Elvendale. It's fun picking out the various Elves sets in the scenery, and the artwork is much appreciated. (And, you know, it makes you want to collect them all.)
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build is rather fun. It's not overly complex, but it uses some more advanced techniques than I usually expect from a Friends set, including some nice parts usage, lots of studs not on top, and even a gear box. I found it very satisfying.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
This set comes with 312 pieces, and there are a lot of good ones here. The prominent colors are dark blue, medium azure, dark purple, gold, tan, and brown. Better yet, there are a fair amount of rare pieces and a few that are currently exclusive to this set. There's so many that I'll just list them out below.
Parts that currently only appear in this set
Aqua Elves Key
Dark Blue 1x2x3 arch
Dark Blue 2x3 inverted slope
Dark Blue 2x6 brick
Dark Purple 1x3x2 curved arch
Dark Purple Sail
Medium Azure 1x4x2 arch
Medium Azure 1x2 brick with clip
Medium Azure 1x4 tile
Parts that appear in five or fewer other sets
Aqua printed tile with Elves water symbol
Dark Blue 1x3x2 curved bricks
Dark Blue 3x8x2 Wedge, right and left
Dark Pink 4x4 tile with one row of studs
Dark Purple 1x4 tile
Gold 1x3 curved slope
Gold ornamental fence
Gold grass piece
Gold wing piece
Gold 1x1 round brick
Lime Green leaf piece
Magenta 1x2 curved slope
Medium Azure 1x4 plate
Medium Azure 4x4 round plate
Medium Azure 1x2 curved slope
Medium Azure 1x4 curved slope
Medium Azure inverted arch
Medium Azure 2x2 tile
Tan tile with printed map of Elvendale
Tan 6x8 plate
Tan modified slope
Yellow 2x6 inverted wedge, left and right
Trans Light Blue 1x1 round tile with Elves water symbol
Trans Purple 1x1 brick
Trans Purple 1x1 round tile
Still, there are a few parts worth mention. The gold ornament fence is a new design that is currently exclusive to the Elves line, and features a cool design that Castle builders, among others, will likely find useful. The key piece is also new for the Elves, and shows up in a few of the other sets in different colors. It can be gripped by a fig hand on the middle and on the handle, plus has a stud attachment for the printed 1x1 round tiles. The keys are the main collectibles for the Elves sets, being the main objects of their search in the story. This set also has two flavors of printed round tiles with the Elves water symbol on it, which is a nice design. There is also a neat sail design, which is printed on cloth-like material used in standard minifigure capes. Finally, the most interesting piece is the new clam shell element, which has excellent detailing and stud connections to allow for easy integration into models. It currently only appears in this set and Ariel's Undersea Palace, but I hope that it soon appears elsewhere too.
This set comes with two of the five primary characters as mini-dolls, which is nice. First we have the owner of the ship, Naida Riverheart, the Elf of Water. She has a primarily medium azure and aqua color scheme going for her. Her torso has a lot of detailed waves printed on it, complete with the water symbol on her belt. The water symbol also shows up as a tattoo on her left arm, and she has some blue tattoos on her forehead as well. Her hair piece is aqua but transitions into blue on the back, which is nice. Unfortunately, the elf ears limit the usability of the hair piece on other models, but it works on Naida. She can also hold a trans light blue round tile in her hand, to stand in for her elemental water powers.
The next character is Aira Windwhistler, the Elf of Air. Her color scheme is primarily white and lavender, complete with some wing-like designs on her torso. The air symbol is again printed on her belt and tattooed on her arm, and she also has lavender tattoos on her forehead, although it's a slightly different design. Her hair piece is more of a ponytail, and it transitions from lavender to white on the back. Her elemental air powers are represented by a trans purple round tile.
The first build here is the clam, which I suppose can be considered the main antagonist of the set, even though the model isn't really built around conflict. The clam is holding the water key, and the elves need to find a way to retrieve it. The two clam shell pieces come together wonderfully, which is kind of expected. There's plenty of room inside to house the water key too, although it's not actually connected to anything. It's a nice little build.
Naida's Adventure Ship is the main focus of the model, and it is spectacular. It has a nice layering of the various colors, and some amazing SNOT designs(studs not on top... although I've always found that acronym unfitting for the girl-oriented themes). Particularly, the bow of the ship uses some nice SNOT techniques to achieve some smooth curves, and it flows pretty well. The stern of the ship features the cabin, which has a little kitchen build inside it. There's a little deck on the far back, which uses the new grass elements attached to a bar to create a nice angled design. That particular technique is new to me, so it's nice to see its creative use here. The roof of the cabin is removable, and also features a platform with a telescope attached to the back, which I imagine the Elves make use of on their adventure.
Attached to the sides are two more of the clam shells attached via Mixel joints. This way they can be folded down as a platform for the elves to sit on. (I would say plank, but I don't think Naida would use it the same way Pirates would.) And there's plenty of other nice detailing on the ship, from the plant decorations to the blue lanterns on the side. But all the various features aside, the ship seems really well put together, with a great organic flow that comes from the design and colors, and even the large sail. I suppose if you look at the bottom of the ship, it looks a little plain, but who was ever interested in what the bottom of a LEGO watercraft looks like?
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
There's plenty of play features involved with this set. The foremost is role-play; it comes with two prominent characters with a clear mission in mind: get the water key. So there's lots of adventures you could take the two elves on. But beyond that, there's a bunch of cool functions built into the set too.
The first function involves the clam shell. There is a hinge that allows it to open and close; the round tile on the top allows for an easy grip to open the shell, but the rubber stopper on the back keeps it from opening too far, and then snaps it shut when you let go. It's a simple but effective build that really works.
The next big one is the rotating sail. The base is built into a gearbox, which attached to a steering wheel, so when it is turned, so is the main sail. However, since it is a little deep inside the boat, it can be tricky to turn the wheel, so perhaps you're supposed to just rotate the sail and the steering wheel will follow the motion. The sail itself is a lovely print on the one side, and the size is perfect for the ship. However, when it is rotated around, you get a blank side with the rigging visible instead, which is less appealing. I can understand the reasons for this design, but it would've been nice to get a sail on both sides.
I mentioned the gold clamshells on the side of the ship earlier. They have a lot of mobility thanks to the Mixel joints, so they can be lifted up for decoration, brought down for a platform next to the water, or even get turned into paddles to help power the boat! (I don't think that last one is canon, but that's how I imagine it.)
There are also plenty of accessories for the two Elves to use, like a chalice, a bucket, a frying pan, a brush, and the telescope. There are also two dark pink tiles with stickers, which I think apply to the placement of the Elves. A nautical themed sticker is on the inside of the cabin, where Naida lives. Meanwhile, a more wind-like design is on the top deck, where Aira can stand and either look through the telescope or use her wind powers to blow into the sail. There's quite a bit to do on this ship.
I guess one minor complaint is that the figs don't attach to the ship very well. This is more due to the mini-doll's feet designs, which doesn't have as much clutch power as standard minifig feet. However, I've found that it's been especially difficult to attach Naida or Aira to studs on the ship, because they fall off quite easily when it's moved around. Maybe this isn't as important for a girl-oriented theme like Elves, but I find it annoying.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Awesome collection of rare or unique pieces, like the clam shells
Two of the main characters in fig form
Clam looks great, plus it can open and close
Ship's design is very smooth and flows well
Color scheme is great
Lots of playability
What's not to like?
Sail is only printed on one side
Steering wheel is hard to get to
Fig feet don't attached to studs well
I think that Naida's Epic Adventure Ship is one of the standout models from the new Elves theme; it has lots of rare pieces, two fun characters, a great ship design, and lots of playability. There are some minor issues, like the one sided sail, but they can easily be overlooked for all the rest this set has to offer. And for 312 pieces for $29.99 USD, it's worth the money, both as a play set and as a parts pack. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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