Review: LEGO 4002022 10 Years of Friendship (2022 LEGO Employee Gift)

Today’s a very special day, and I have a very special set to review – 4002022 10 Years of Friendship, an ultra-exclusive LEGO Employee Christmas gift set.

If you’re unaware, LEGO creates special exclusive sets that are only available to LEGO Employees for Christmas, and each year there’s a specific milestone or anniversary celebrated that is the subject of the set.

2022’s LEGO Employee Christmas Gift celebrates 10 Years of LEGO Friends, a huge milestone for the theme, which is now a core pillar of LEGO’s offering, and has been responsible for welcoming (mainly) young girls into LEGO. It’s also the perfect send-off for the original 5 main characters – Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Stephanie and Emma as 2023 welcomes a brand new generation of LEGO Friends and main characters, and explores all-new facets of Heartlake City.

I usually keep my employee gifts sealed (I know, I know), as these are among my most treasured LEGO possessions, but made an exception with 2022 as I have absolutely adore LEGO Friends, and I’m quite sad to bid farewell to the original 5.

As these sets are quite rare, I would also like to share the contents of the set in this review, especially for those that love LEGO Friends to appreciate this sendoff.

If you’ve received this set, and want to avoid spoilers, close this review immediately!

Special thanks to the LEGO Group for gifting this set for being a part of the LEGO Ambassador Network

4002022 10 Years of Friendship Set Details

Name: 4002022 10 Years of Friendship
Set Number: 4002022
Pieces: 1,209 pieces
Price: N/A
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Friends / LEGO Employee Gift
LEGO Designers: TBD
Release Date: December 2022

The Unboxing Experience

Here’s a look at the packaging, where the 10 Year of Friendship anniversary logo is displayed prominently, as well as the original 5 girls.

One of the aspects heavily promoted by the set is the Build Together concept where some sets can be built in groups, with separate instructions and bags to allow for independent building.

Opening up the flip top box, is a large promotional flyer on the new LEGO Builder app, which enables multiple people to build together, if there aren’t enough manuals to go around.

It’s a weird coincidence and I wasn’t aware of this when I wrote my editorial on LEGO looking to further promote digital instructions, but the image was quite striking as it’s a family building with the app instead of paper instructions. I only opened the box and started the build AFTER penning that piece.

That said, the dystopian instruction-less future isn’t quite here yet, and the set does indeed come with instruction manuals. There are 5 booklets which allow up to 5 people to build simultaneously.

Here’s a look at the plastic bags on the inside. Curiously, LEGO are back to using plastic bags again for the parts, and there are 7 bags in total.

Last year’s Ninjago-themed employee gift set, 4002021 The Temple of Celebrations had paper bags in them, so I was expecting paper bags to make an appearance again.

Here’s a preview of what paper bags in sets will look like, with the first sets slowly becoming available in 2023.

Here’s a look at the sticker sheets. I don’t mind sticker sheets in LEGO Friends sets, as they feel more natural here. LEGO Friends always has fantastic illustrations and graphics, which are made possible by stickers, so this doesn’t seem jarring at all.

In each manual, are these prominent graphics of each Friends main character, and in the next page, are lovely descriptions of each character, written from the perspective of another Friends character, which are simply lovely.

The completed build

So here’s the completed build before they all snap together. Each component comes together to form a festive fireplace with some surprising play features baked into them.

Voila, the completed model – a brick-built fireplace that’s decorated for Christmas. There’s a large prominent fireplace, with logs and flames, 8 Christmas stockings (possibly a nod to the incoming 8 new 2023 Friends main characters), and candy canes and a present perched above the chimney.

Right at the front is the stickered Friends 10 Years of Friendship logo.

There’s also a spot to place a minidoll. Stephanie is suggested, but you can put anyone here in the most prominent location. Love the background of fire and the translucent bricks!

There are some logs on the left to feed the fire.

The back of the fire has this lovely pattern, brought to life by transparent 1×1 bricks that make it look like the fire is lit.

There’s also a light brick which illuminates the fire.

The light brick is activated by pressing the top knob from the back. The bottom knob can be swivelled to make the flames in the fireplace dance and swing from side to side!

So there are plenty of secrets hidden within this Fireplace, with it opening up, like a dollhouse to reveal plenty of awesome compartments and chambers filled with homages to LEGO Friends history!

On the ground level we have a mini version of the Space Shuttle from 41713 Olivia’s Space Academy, as well as a stickered set on the floor.

On the right, we have an ode to 41703 Friendship Tree House, the location where the LEGO Friends hang out and use as a base in the cartoon.

Above the fireplace, we have a little ledge with some more references.

We of course have Zobo, a robot invented by Olivia in a corner, who is widely regarded as the 6th Friends character.

Over on the other side, we have a micro version of 41106 Pop Star Tour Bus!

Also, check out how gorgeous the wreath is. This is one of the best-looking LEGO wreaths at this scale that I’ve ever built, and just oozes festive vibes.

The upper level swings open to reveal a party room, where the Friends are celebrating and having cake!

On the left door, we have a nod to 3315 Olivia’s House, the very first Friends character house in the 2012 wave, 41130 Amusement Park Roller Coaster , and 41340 Friendship House.

On the right door, we have one of the most baller LEGO Friends sets, 41015 Dolphin Cruiser, the first fan-designed LEGO Friends set, 41325 Heartlake City Playground and 41395 Friendship Bus, which among other things, has a swimming pool and slide!

There’s no better way to celebrate 10 Years of a LEGO theme than with a giant party, and the girls are hanging out here in this room, with drink glasses and a decadent chocolate cake. Chico, Emma’s cat is also here – we can’t have a Friends celebration without Chico!

Here’s a better look at the room, which has 2 large stickered panels, which showcases a snow-covered Heartlake City. Along the walls are plenty of mementos, such as a Sepia portrait of all 5 Friends (a nod to the 2018 soft-reboot), and trophies for Equestrian, Music as well as a racing flag for the Go Kart sub-theme.

Looking at these references does fill me with plenty of nostalgia, and this is a wonderfully poignant set of graphics.

Speaking of the 5 girls… here’s a look at the 5 main character minidolls. We have Stephanie, Olivia, Andrea, and Emma, who all find themselves in the same set for the first (and likely) only time ever, making this an even more special set.

Well technically, we did have kid versions of all 5 girls in the 2021 LEGO Friends Advent Calendar, but these are full-sized minidolls as opposed to microdolls!

Oh, and we have one final surprise, given its Christmas. Here’s a look at the 2 candy canes on the snow-covered chimney, and a large conspicuous present.

What’s in the present?

Santa!? What are you doing in there!

Rounding out the minidolls is this lovely Santa minidoll, the first male one, and which I believe will also be in the 2022 Friends Advent Calendar! It’s still a little early, so you might want to pop him back in the box (don’t worry, it’s breathable), until Christmas.

And that’s it for 4002022 10 Years of Friendship set.

I won’t finish this off with my usual review format, because there’s really no point “reviewing” this in an academic fashion as it’s so hard to get, and you can’t just buy it off the shelves.

Which is a bit of a shame, as this is such a lovely tribute to the legacy and 10 Years of LEGO Friends, as well as a bittersweet farewell to the original 5 Friends characters.

I love this so much, and LEGO Friends has been a relatively huge part of my LEGO journey. In fact, one of my earliest reviews on the blog were 3936 Emma’s Fashion Studio and 3183 Stephanie’s Cool Convertible.

They’re a little rough as the reviews are 10 years old… but I’ve always been a fan of LEGO Friends since Day One, which is what drove me to open and share this review.

4002022 10 Years of Friendship is definitely one of those sets I’ll treasure forever, and will likely get permanent display privileges from me.

If you want to get this set, you’ll likely need to head to ebay or Bricklink. They’re much cheaper on Bricklink, and because this is a LEGO Friends-themed Employee Gift, I don’t foresee these to be exorbitantly expensive, given some fans just don’t get Friends and minidolls, so collectors won’t go crazy over these.

If you have the means to do so, I really would recommend picking one up on the secondary market as this is just a lovely tribute to LEGO Friends and such a great festive celebration of the theme, and the original 5 girls before we move on to an all-new generation of LEGO Friends in 2023.

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed seeing the 2022 LEGO Employee Gift in more detail!

Special thanks to the LEGO Group for sending this gift over for Christmas.

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3 responses to “Review: LEGO 4002022 10 Years of Friendship (2022 LEGO Employee Gift)”

  1. Daniel says:

    Nice and heartfelt review, Jay.
    I have 2 daughters so I know and appreciate the Friends line. I believe more love and creativity is applied to the Friends theme than most other LEGO themes, and the sets are more colourful and interesting than most. Plus, I quite like the Minidolls – my youngest certainly LOVES them!

    When I first saw this employee gift set, I was quite nonplussed about it – it just looked like a boring fireplace with some colourful Christmas stockings!
    But I’m glad to read and see it is SO much more!
    A light brick, all 5 original minidolls plus a Santa!, and it opens up like a dollhouse with some great tributes to classic Friends sets!
    I’m tempted to find this one on Bricklink and enjoy it with my girls!
    Thanks as always for the review, Jay!

  2. Andy says:

    Wow! what a fantastic set! It really is such a shame that it’s so limited.

    I’m all for Lego doing exclusive gifts for their employees, but man… do they have to be so good?! 😉

    As you’ve said, it’s a very fitting send off for the original 5. My Daughter has grown up with Lego Friends, and adores Emma. She is a bit perturbed that there will be more friends now, as she’s worried there won’t be any more “Emma” sets.

    I’m hoping the original 5 will still make appearances in some of the larger sets, as mentor/teacher types.

  3. CARMEN COLLIN says:

    Its good lego are using normal bags which the people like and have no problems with!

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