Hello and welcome to another guest review by Greg McDonald from the For The Love of Brick podcast. Greg runs a fantastic LEGO podcast, where he interviews plenty of interesting guests from all across the LEGO spectrum. He recently interviewed brick artist Nathan Sawaya and yours truly.
Please enjoy this guest review!
Special thanks to LEGO for providing this set for review.
41683 Forest Horseback Riding Center Set Details
Name: Forest Horseback Riding Center
Set Number: 41683
Price: AU$119.99 | US$69.99 | £59.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK] [Amazon] [Amazon Australia]
Exclusive to: N/A
Release Date: 1 June 2021 (Rest of World) / 1 August (North America)
Today I am reviewing the Friends 41683 Forest Horseback Riding Centre. When Jay asked me to review a Friends set I thought I would be reviewing a set featuring Chandler and the gang. Only joking.
I actually have never built a Friends set before and I was keen to build one. The main reason I never went down the Friends path is mainly because I am not a fan of the figures, but that’s my hang-up and a terrible reason to miss out on some of the awesome colours and pieces, as well as the animals that grace these sets.
This set comes with six bags and stickers that are packed in with the booklet to help protect the stickers from getting scrunched.
A simple yet cute fire scene with two Mini-dolls: Mia (who looks like she is in her teens), Kevin (a young child), a pony Kevin rides and two horses (Melody and Rhapsody).
I liked the tree and the fact that part 6345196 was used as the foliage of a pine tree. My only gripe would to be to use three of those pieces instead of two, that way it would be a little more to scale.
This bag features the dog house, the entry to the stables, the stairwell to the first floor and a female mini-doll (Savanah).
Savanah, has a vision-impairment and she is such a great addition to the set as it sends a strong message about inclusivity and all abilities. I am a massive fan of this addition.
This bag features the ground floor and stables. This section is fairly simple – I did like the addition of the hooks to hold the horses reins, but it did take me a while to figure out what their purpose was.
It also contains four stickers: two are the horses’ name tags for their respective stable doors and the other two were shelving for the equipment.
At this point, I was left wondering if it would have been better to brick build the shelving, but more on that
This bag includes the entryway for the second level that leads to the living quarters. This bag also includes three stickers; one is a floral pattern for the door, it’s a nice detail.
The inside of the wall looks ok as the stickers cover the blandness of it. But the outside of the wall is quite dull, screaming out for some definition; even a single brick pattern sticker would have broken it up. That is my only real criticism of the actual look of the building’s aesthetics.
The second sticker is a map and the third is a scarf and coat; I actually wondered to myself are stickers cheating? The answer to that question is in Bag Five. One thing I didn’t particularly like in this section is the use of 4 x 2×5 (6036236) to build the wall.
Now the build experience kicks up a gear as it adds the second level of the house, which contains the kitchen and the dining area.
This section has three stickers including a shelf with a tea towel. I again started to question whether using stickers was cheating, but by using the other two stickers – a heart cushion and a sun bed couch with cushion – I came to the realisation the whole idea of this set and figures is not purely for the build, it’s actually all about the playability.
If you were to brick build instead of using the stickers, the house would be cluttered thus losing its playability. I really enjoyed the build experience of this bag, the house was finally coming together.
This bag features the top floor with its sleeping quarters, and finishing off the overall build. Two stickers are included in this section; they represent the doona covers for the beds. You also get to add the finishing touches to the building and the stables.
Things I liked
- I like that the build is super playable as everything is easy to access and well thought out from a playability standpoint
- I like the colour choice. It’s cute and looks like a wooden lodge.
- I wouldn’t display it but I know think any child would love this on their shelf.
- My son loved playing with it, he especially loved the Mini-dolls and horses. It wasn’t until I saw him playing with this set that I truly appreciated it. It isn’t so much about the build, as it is about the play and in that, it certainly delivers.
- One thing I love about Friends sets – and I think a lot of people agree with me – is the animals and this set has some real cuties.
- Last but not least, the inclusion of a Mini-doll with a visual impairment. Because representation matters.
Things I didn’t like
- I did not like the use of the 2x1x5 in the wall. It would have been better to use bricks to add some texture or even a sticker on the outside to break the bland patten up.
- The Mini-dolls – I understand why they have made Mini-dolls instead of Minifigures and I think they suit the theme but they just don’t sit well with me. I think it is the fact they just aren’t that posable, for example the hands don’t turn. But that’s me just nitpicking and my son clearly did not have a problem with it.
About Greg McDonald and For the Love of Brick
For the Love of Brick is a podcast for people, young and old, who love LEGO. Join Greg McDonald, a fellow LEGO enthusiast, as he interviews people from all over the world about their love of LEGO and explores the different ways it features in people’s lives. We will meet builders, artists, health workers, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between. For the Love of Brick celebrates people and their unique connections with LEGO.
For the Love of Brick is currently on hiatus, but you can catch up on past episodes wherever you get your podcasts from.
Thanks for the great review, Greg – it was great to get a different perspective on sets, and I hope you enjoyed this guest review. Be sure to go check out the For the Love of Brick podcast!
Would you like to see more guest contributions? Perhaps you’d like to try your hand at reviewing LEGO sets? If you’d like to submit a guest review, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Special thanks to LEGO for providing this set for review.