More Rooms with no View – 41328 and 41329 – Stephanie’s and Olivia’s Room

Buying stuff that is part of a series always triggers this weird “completist” urge in me, so ultimately I became a victim of my own OCD when I snatched up Mia’s and Andrea’s Room in that grocery store promo sale. I just had to get the other ones as well and that opportunity came when I was once again out and about for one of my many regular medical appointments.

LEGO Friends, Stephanie's Room (41328), Box

First, there’s Stephanie’s Room. She’s the sporty one, which in the set is visualized by a golden trophy and a mini golf field, the latter of which is complemented by a hockey (!) stick. This ultimately makes absolutely no sense in any way.

LEGO Friends, Stephanie's Room (41328), Overview

The failure here is the golf lawn being way too small to count as anything other than one of the carpet golf things that a kid may have in his nursery. Here it doesn’t add anything beyond getting frustrated about the missed opportunities that might have been. Yes, I clearly think there’s a simple idea here that would have made this an awesome play set if only they had implemented it.

LEGO Friends, Stephanie's Room (41328), Closed Position

For all intents and purposes, the golf course, which can be swung open, BTW, could and should have been at least a full 8 x 16 plate and should have come with some extra parts to build a ramp or sloped terrain with a hole on top with everything faired over with smooth tiles. Then throw in a little marble or “ball” and you have yourself a nice little 5-minute desktop put-put challenge actually trying to snip the ball in the hole with your fingers or the hockey stick. With a few extra parts thrown in it could even have been a reconfigurable course for more challenges. That would have made a nice distraction on a boring day at the office and might perhaps have led to some interesting competitions with colleagues during lunch break.

LEGO Friends, Stephanie's Room (41328), Open Position

Since we never got any of this, the set as it is being sold is as bland as it gets. It’s in fact even worse than Mia’s Room and offers nothing to play with nor any interesting details. most definitely stay away from this set or you’ll have to put up with a cranky kid that’s bored out of its skull – except perhaps for playing with the little doggy, but even this one and the dog house have been done to death in the LEGO Friends magazine, leaving nothing new to explore.

LEGO Friends, Olivia's Room (41329), Box

I got Olivia’s Room with a bit of discount, though I was totally unaware of this when I bought it. Only when I came back home and checked on the computer did I notice that I had saved two Euros from its suggested retail price of 15 Euros, so that put a smile on my face. You can get it even cheaper from online stores, though, if you don’t fall for it spontaneously like I did. Compared to the other sets this is much, much better in terms of play value and it really encompasses what I think those sets should be.

LEGO Friends, Olivia's Room (41329), Overview

Olivia‘s color scheme has always been borderline ugly and this becomes apparent here once more. The Bright Pink parts would certainly look much better in Lavender and while I don’t consider the pale yellow an issue per se, it really comes down to how much and where you use it and that balance seems off here. Perhaps it might have been a good idea to make the two large panels white, after all.

I’m still not entirely happy with the absence of the right-hand side wall, but the large computer desk does a good job of closing off the diorama on this side. As usual I didn’t apply any stickers since I prefer to keep everything clean and reusable for later projects,  which makes it look a bit barren, but at least the keyboard is a printed tile.

LEGO Friends, Olivia's Room (41329), Front

Similarly I omitted the stickers on the two large yellow wall panels, which perhaps is the weakest spot of this set. Having the large double-width slider rail as a shelf in conjunction with the panels is nice, there’s just nothing to put on it. they really should have included some varied color 2 x 1 plates and tiles to mimic a stack of books and some colored transparent 1 x 1 cylinders or something like that. Even another little flower-pot or vase wouldn’t have hurt.

For my liking the rocket theme could have been brought out more prominently. It would have been easy to add one of those missile-shaped lava lamps somewhere or include a bunch of 2 x 2 round bricks and a cone. There’s so much potential in this set that goes unused. I also think the bed could have looked even better had they built the “tip” of the rocket using some more curved slopes.

LEGO Friends, Olivia's Room (41329), Coffee Maker

To be fair, though, the set does include some extra stuff by ways of a coffee-making machine and a little Wall●E like robot, which put a smile on my face. The coffee brewer even includes the dairy product printed brick, which funny enough has been used in several friends sets already, but otherwise is a bit elusive. Always nice to have to put something in the fridge in your awesome LEGO kitchen.

LEGO Friends, Olivia's Room (41329), Robot

As per my previous article on these sets, they’re by no means essential nor do they have any longterm value if you don’t have any plans on how to use the flamboyantly colored parts on future projects. I just happen to have a weird liking for some of that stuff and some ideas in my head, so it’s okay with me. Everybody else will likely to pass on this and invest his money into other sets. It’s hard to even recommend this to girls of the right age, as there’s always something that they would find worthy of criticizing, be that just being put off by the sometimes really weird colors.