With the other rooms already being part of my collection there was only one left and it didn’t take long until I got my hands on Emma’s Room (41342) as well.
Bought from the same drugstore chain I got it two Euros cheaper just like Olivia’s Room, but of course you can get it for an even lower price of around 10 Euros in most online stores, so it could be a perfect option for padding out your purchase to be entitled for free shipping when you buy something else.
Of the five room-themed mini sets this is in my view easily the best. There’s several reasons for this. The most apparent is that for once it feels like an actual room. The four-poster bed with its hinted-at canopy overall occupying a good chunk of the room provides a nice framing that almost makes you forget there’s no genuine second wall. This also makes the room feel crammed, but in the positive, “homely cave” sense. The only shortcoming is that the bed’s dressing is perhaps a bit too simple. This would have been the perfect opportunity to build it from rounded slopes like in so many other sets just to make it look like one of those high box-spring mattresses.
The second reason why I think this set is nice are the many cutesy details. The old-style dial phone made me giggle right away. The little bed chest is also lovely and can actually be opened to throw in some stuff. As someone who occasionally still dabbles in the traditional arts I don’t quite agree on the drawing table, as you wouldn’t necessarily use it for paintings in this manner. To me it would have made more sense as a drafting/ sketching table with a pencil and a ruler instead of some paint jars and a brush. At the very least they could have included the scissors as an element instead of printing it on the sticker (which of course I never use, so you have to check other photos than mine to verify it).
The separate external details consist of a bust on a workbench and a kitty play area. The sculpture again doesn’t really make sense from an artist’s point of view. Is it supposed to be a clay model or a marble statue being chiselled out of a block? The details could indicate both, but for a clay model you don’t use a hammer and you can’t add back lumps of clay onto a marble/ sandstone/ concrete torso. It’s inconsistent. Also in both cases there would be a bucket of water nearby to either keep the clay moist or wash of dust and cool down tools. That is to say I appreciate the good intentions, but the details are perhaps a bit wrong. 😉 Of course this won’t be much of a concern to kids and I’m being nitpicky, so I guess it’s okay, after all.
Finally, and that’s my third point for liking this set quite well, the elements themselves are very reusable. While there’s still a bit of the typical Friends vibe with some Dark Purple and Lavender, these colors tend to be much less annoying than e.g. Magenta or Bright Pink and have much greater potential for integrating them in “normal” sets. There’s also the White and Tan parts that fit a lot of use cases. The only part that really stands out is the Pink 4 x 4 plate used as the blanket on the bed.
Overall this is a lovely set – within the restrictions and limitations of any Friends set of course. It’s pleasant to look at, offers some good play value and will provide some useful parts to be used elsewhere if you so desire. It doesn’t save the series as a whole, but perhaps this set together with Andrea’s and Olivia’s Room can provide a good basis to build something that halfway works for you.
For me personally it also reinforced the desire that LEGO would actually do a big “Emma’s Art Studio” or something like that one of these days instead of always only doing bits and bobs reflecting Emma‘s artistic inclinations scattered across many smaller sets. Compared to the other girls’ activities this would be a total no-brainer and you could fill even a big house to the brim with all sorts of arts and crafts.