~~~~~~~ Lego lover ~~~~~~~ My little girl is a massive Lego fan and has a few basic sets that she loves to use. For her birthday, my sister offered to buy her another set and I knew this would be a good idea. Looking online, I discovered the Lego Friends kits. These are squarely aimed at female Lego fans, and there is a set of five female Lego Friends characters. They live in Heartland City and there are all sorts of sets to collect to help you build the city, including a cafe, flower shop, vet and so on. Sets vary in price from around £5 up to a rather staggering £90, so there is something to suit all pockets. All of the sets are fully compatible with other Lego sets, which was very important to me as I wanted to ensure that my daughter could still enjoy her other Lego alongside this set. The Lego Friends sets are aimed at ages five and over but I was happy for my sister to buy this for my daughter even though she was only three at the time. I told her to buy any set she wanted as I had no real preference, and thought this was a good way to get to see if my daughter liked Lego Friends before purchasing any further sets. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Taking the stage ~~~~~~~~~~~ My daughter was very pleased with the set she received - Andrea's Stage. The set comes in a small and colourful cardboard box, and inside is a full set of instructions to make a full stage for Andrea. As well as the stage itself, there is also a piano and a stage entrance, as well as other small bits and pieces such as a boombox and microphone. Also inside is the character herself - Andrea. ~~~~~~~~~ Easy to build ~~~~~~~~~ My nieces - who are a few years older than my little girl - had to help her construct the different parts of this set, and the instructions were really clear and they found them very easy to follow. My daughter, in the meantime, was happy playing with the female character! She is similar to other Lego characters in terms of construction, with the jointed arms and legs, but is much more detailed, with a flowery halter-neck top and lots of nice curls. Again, this is definitely one for female Lego fans, and my daughter enjoyed making the character 'talk' and play with other small dolls she has. Once finished, this set looks really nice. The main colours are black, pink and purple, and the set as a whole is not at all childish looking - instead it looks quite smart and grown-up. Andrea has her very own dramatic entrance with her name emblazoned at the top, a grand piano with a stool, and a small stage for her to stand on to sing. ~~~~~~~~ A lovely look ~~~~~~~~ My favourite part of this set is the piano. Looking at the pieces laid out it is hard to imagine how it will look when finished, but once it is all put together it is really lovely and quite a realistic looking little grand piano, complete with a stool for Andrea to sit on. Unlike the other Lego sets we have, this has a lot of pieces with a smooth, shiny finish so it makes the items, once complete, look a bit more special. The other nice things about this set are the small bits and pieces such as the stage lights and the microphone - they give this set a bit more interest than if everything was completely static. Since the first time we put all this together, I have made it myself a few times (for my daughter of course!) and I can state that it is all pretty easy to construct (and quite enjoyable if I am honest!). However it is definitely too advanced for my daughter to do at this stage. ~~~~~~~ Limited fun ~~~~~~~ This is a really nice set and it looks very good when it's all put together. However I do find it is a bit limited in terms of what you can do with it. Other than making exactly what is stated on the box, there isn't that much else you could really do with this set as the pieces are all designed quite specifically to go together. I also haven't mixed this with the other Lego we have, because if a few pieces of this got lost then the set wouldn't really work. I think the problem with this set is that you really need other Lego Friends sets to go with it, so the characters can interact. Although you have to put everything together like with other Lego sets, once it is all put together it is made to be played with as it is, rather than taken apart to make something new. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Not really a fan ... ~~~~~~~~~~~~ My daughter loves playing with her Lego and asks to get it out frequently. But this set is one that she doesn't really ask to play with that often. I think when she is older she will get more use out of it, but I do think once it is all made up then there isn't that much that can be done with it really. I am unsure whether or not to buy more sets to go with this as I am concerned that we would have the same problem - that once it's made there isn't much else you can do with it. She does, however, really like the little Andrea figurine and she plays with this frequently alongside both her normal Lego characters, and some of her other toys. I have in fact tried to see if I could just buy a set of Lego Friends characters, as I think this would be ideal for her - but have had no joy sadly! I think unless you are willing to splash out loads on the massive sets, then these smaller sets are a little bit limiting. And I think I would probably prefer to buy a normal Lego set, which would work better with the others we have, or possibly just the girlie characters which my daughter definitely likes. ~~~~~~~~~~ In summary ... ~~~~~~~~~~ This is a lovely Lego set that looks great when it is all made up. But on it's own, there isn't much you can do with this really and my daughter loses interest in it quickly, unlike with her other Lego. So I would say this is a good buy, but is best alongside other Lego Friends sets. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Price and availability ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Looking online the current cost of this set seems to vary quite a lot, with it currently costing £19.99 on amazon - but a much more reasonable £9.97 from Tesco. I would say that around £10-12 is the right amount to pay for this so it is well worth doing a through search online before making your purchase.