Sunday, May 24th, 2015 at 2:03pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we review another LEGO set, this time going back to LEGO Elves and taking a look at 41071 Aira's Creative Workshop, the smallest boxed set in the line. How does this little fantasy playset stack up? Is it worth adding to your shopping cart or is your hard-earned money better off being spent on other sets? You'll have to read on to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Of course we start out by looking at the box. The Elves artwork definitely has a fantasy theme going on, with the characters showing off their elemental powers on the right side. The set is front and center and shows Aira taking off with her personal flying machine. There's a nice background showing what appears to be a castle with a portal (one of the summer Elves sets). On the top is a plastic tab that allows the set to hang on pegs at stores rather than sit on shelves. It's interesting because the only other sets I can think of (other than small polybags) that do this are Hero Factory, Bionicle, and the Mixels. Coincidence?
The back of the box shows Aira doing creative stuff in her creative workshop, like building a flying machine, writing a letter, and having her bird friend mail it. There's also some more nice artwork of the Elves characters as well as a map that the callouts are superimposed over.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build for this set was very straightforward. With only 98 pieces, it goes together quite fast and doesn't offer many challenges. It's pretty much a studs-up affair, although there are a couple interesting attachments like using the plant stems to connect the curved slopes over the archway. One interesting thing is that your time won't be bogged down by applying stickers; this set has none! All the parts with designs are printed.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Unique to this set are:
- 4x6 Medium Lavender plate
- 2x4 Bright Reddish-Violet tile with the map printing
- 1x3 Medium Lilac curved slope
- Warm Gold wings (first seen in Chima in other colors)
- White bird with Elves printing
- 1x4 White tile with ruler printing
- 2x2 Medium Lavender round tile with wing printing
There's some other pieces that don't appear in many other sets too, like the 2x4 Bright Reddish-Violet plate, the 1x2 and 1x1 Transparent Bluish-Violet bricks, the White feather, the 1x1 Transparent Bluish-Violet round tile, the scissors, the 2x2 White round jumper plate, and the 2x2 Brick Yellow tile with Elves map printing (not pictured). The new jumper plate is awesome, and I can't wait to get more of these, personally. Aside from the above, there's a good selection of bricks, plates, and other pieces in a variety of colors, with some nice purples, pinks, tans, and browns. Nothing in it made me want to buy the set for the pieces, but there's definitely some useful ones in here.
One of the two main parts of the set is Aira's desk/workbench. She has her map spread out across the surface with her quill within easy reach. There's a couple of bottles of what might be ink on the top, or maybe they're magic potions! On the left side are a ruler and scissors - key parts of any creative endeavor - to round it out. The drawer in the base actually opens and there's another bottle inside. It's a simple little design but I like the way it looks; it's a solid little desk.
The other main part of the Creative Workshop is a window in Aira's room with a perch for her bird friend. It appears that the bird is her courier, and can pick mail up out of the box or drop it off inside. There's also a little cookie there, for what purpose, I'm not sure - perhaps it's to entice the bird to return with the letters instead of turning them into a nest. The build here is similarly simple to the desk, although I like the accents on the top with the curved slopes. It makes me want to see Aira's entire room to see what decorations and architectural details it might have.
There's not much to say about the stool. Aira can sit on it or rest her flying machine on it to work. The flying machine itself has a bit of a steampunk vibe to it, with the gold color and the pneumatic tee being used as a clockwork crank. I like the design and think it's a cool little vehicle, certainly not what some might expect from a fantasy line.
Aira herself is a great-looking minidoll. The air or wind motif can be seen throughout, from the wings on her sandals to the feather pattern on her dress to the tattoos on her cheek and shoulder. All the printing is top-notch, even the ears on her hair piece. I just wish her legs could move independently and she could sit securely on studs, but at this point those aren't really valid complaints, since the minidolls have been out for a while now.
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?
This set doesn't offer much in the way of action features - the drawer in the desk opens and you can push the cookie through the window sill to lure the bird in. I think the real fun of this set is in the role playing aspect of things, where kids in the target demographic will spend hours upon hours coming up with stories and places for Aira to adventure with her flying machine. Thus is the beauty of LEGO, even if it's not as fun to show off in a review.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Nice variety of pieces
- Quality minidoll
- Lots of role-playing opportunities
What's not to like?
- Boring build
- Few action features
If you're not sure about the Elves line, for $10 I think this set offers enough value that it's worth picking up to find out. While it's nothing amazing, I definitely like the set and after buying it would consider picking up some of the larger Elves sets as a result. The line seems to offer a lot of creativity and inspiration that I look forward to checking out!
Thank you all as always for reading and watching our review. Please let us know what you think in the Talkback and feel free to ask any questions you might have there as well. Of course, we encourage you to keep checking back on BZPower for more LEGO set reviews and news!
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