As you can probably tell by my horrendous posting frequency (sorry), I struggle with finding time (or headspace) for LEGO these days – Covid-19 and the world being flipped on its head certainly hasn’t helped.
With all this extra time spent at home with my 3-year old daughter, and with the new wave of 2HY 2020 hitting shelves a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been spending a lot of time reconnecting with LEGO Friends.
My daughter is obsessed with all things LEGO Friends, Trolls and Disney Princess, and I’m more than happy to indulge her interests. I now also understand why LEGO creates the Friends TV series that’s showing on Netflix – my daughter can’t get enough of it.
To add to her ever-expanding LEGO collection (and because I’m also a big fan of LEGO animals), we picked up the new Baby Jungle Elephant Rescue set from our local Kmart (for a low low price of AU$20) and we had a blast putting it together.
So here’s a super quick review of the set!
Name: Baby Elephant Jungle Rescue
Set Number: 41421
Price: AU$29.99 | US$19.99 | £17.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AU] [US] [UK]
Exclusive to: NA
Theme: Friends National Geographic Explorers
Release Date: 1 June 2020 [AU/UK] / 1 July 2020 [US]
To create awareness about exploration and the protection of endangered species in the world’s jungles and oceans, LEGO have partnered with National Geographic for the Explore the World Campaign.
There aren’t dedicated Nat Geo sets, but the tie-in is loosely referenced in the new wave of Friends and City sets which have a conservation and zoological focus.
Kids are curious about the natural world, and with everything going to shit thanks to climate change, I think it’s a fantastic idea to tie-in the importance of conserving our planet’s natural beauty.
The set comes with 2 minidolls – Emma and Stephanie, but the biggest draw of the set is clearly the new LEGO baby elephant.
Emma’s overalls and purple boot combo is simultaneously stylish and functional. Stephanie has an olive vest and shorts combo to blend into the jungle’s hues.
It took us long enough, but we FINALLY have some new LEGO elephants. This little guy here is a blue baby elephant and she’s so damn cute. I actually don’t know it’s gender, but I’m just gonna guess female.
I like the baby’s elephant design, even though it has the trademark Friends cuteness and soft features to it. It has a hole at the top of its head for accessories, and a single stud on its back, and neatly occupies a 2 x 2 footprint.
It’s compatible with most LEGO Friends accessories, so you can dress the baby elephant with cool little pieces like this crown.
In the set, you get a purple 4-WD truck, which comfortably sits both minidolls. It has enough rugged features to make it look like it could survive a trip into the dense jungle, and I like the grill and bullbar at the front.
It also has a trailer that you can hitch on the back, to transport the baby elephant and carry equipment such as food, syringes and a shovel.
Here’s a look at the back of the jeep, which has a small box to store green shoots for the baby elephant to feast on. It also has a hook that you can swap for the trailer attachment.
The set, as its name suggests revolves around the rescue of the Baby Elephant. She gets stuck in some mud, and it’s up to Emma and Stephanie to come rescue and rehabilitate the calf before she gets reunited with her mum.
The “swamp” area is made up of a tree, and a muddy bit which the baby elephant gets stuck in.
It doesn’t really look like a swamp, if not for the warning sign which suggests that you can fall in and get stuck in the mud.
The tree is simple, but I like the use of palm fronds, and the vegetation surrounding it. On the tree is a small brown spider.
To “free” the baby elephant, you can hook the truck to a handle of the swamp, and just yank it out. It’s not groundbreaking, and I really didn’t like how fiddly the mechanism is – the section where the baby elephant occupies almost always gets dislodge during play.
What I liked:
- New baby elephant is a really great addition to the LEGO animal menagerie
- Set is affordable and self-contained
- Truck and trailer is well designed and sturdy
What I didn’t like:
- Fiddly swamp bit
- The swamp section doesn’t really look like a swamp, and looks like a bunch of rocks
Final thoughts: For an entry-level Friends set, me and my daughter managed to get a lot of enjoyment from it. My daughter is 3, and doesn’t have the longest attention span, but managed to (mostly) assemble the truck before I had to come in and finish the build of.
I do like the Nat Geo partnership, and LEGO animals are always a hit since parents mostly love teaching kids about the animal kingdom.
The contents are decent, the truck gets a lot of play, especially since it can fit both minidolls, and my daughter really enjoys the rescue mission and role-playing taking care of the baby elephant.
For an adult collector, the baby elephant is a big enough draw and this won’t hurt the pocket too much to add it to your collection.
As a parent, this set is great value, and if your kids enjoy LEGO Friends, is one of the better sets you can get on the market currently.
Thanks so much for reading this review! Here’s a peek at my daughter’s LEGO table, which is mostly made up of LEGO Trolls, Disney Princesses galore, and some Dots.
Let me know if you’d love to see more LEGO Friends reviews as we have a ton that we’re looking to build in the coming weeks!
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