Review: 41318 Heartlake Hospital

LEGO Friends has the advantage of being set, for the most part, in a single fictional town. This setting gives the designers a lot more room to play around with what is needed in a city, and build sets around that. It has made for a theme with a surprisingly diverse selection of locales. The latest addition to the city is a building that every town needs – a hospital.

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Style

All of the LEGO Friends sets have an unmistakable colour palate and overall feel to them, and that is also true for the Heartlake Hospital. The building features splashes of bright colour all through the interior and exterior. The pinks, purples and blue all visual hallmarks of a LEGO Friends set.

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The set features two emergency services vehicles, as well as the main hospital. There are also a few little accompaniments – A simple trolley that holds some of the various medical tools; A minidoll sized wheelchair, that doesn’t really look like a wheelchair; a stretcher that can be lifted by the helicopter and a simple stroller for the baby.

The first of the vehicle builds is the helicopter. With LEGO making so many different helicopter variants I have to say that this is one of the least visually appealing ones I’ve seen. It’s small and odd looking. If it was left out and the parts replaced with ones used elsewhere I wouldn’t have minded not having the helicopter at all.

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While the helicopter is a bit of a disappointment I can’t say the same for the ambulance. This is instantly recognisable in terms of both shape and features. The stickers on the outside provide some great detailing, while ones inside the rear doors add some medical aesthetics. The rear is also large enough to fit a stretcher inside.

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The bottom level of the hospital features the entrance, a foyer/waiting area and doors for the ambulance to bring patients in through. The exterior features both stairs and a ramp, which is a nice inclusion for a hospital set. Planter boxes are present outside the large glass windows, adding some additional colour.

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On the inside of this level are some really well done little mini-builds that add character. The coffee and chocolate vending machine is fairly simple and uses stickers for a lot of detail but with the scale of the hospital it’s a solid representation. The water cooler is another simple but recognisable build.

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The reception desk features some flowers, a computer, sticky notes pad and a mug.

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Other details include a fish tank and wet floor sign. Both made possible with the use of stickers.

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The next module is the nursery/maternity room. This room is split in two, with one half dedicated to a bathroom.

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The bathroom side of the room features some large stickers that add a lot of the detail to the wall. Other details in the bathroom include a fold down change table, toilet and scale.

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The nursery side of the room features a small cot designed for the included baby. Above the cot is a colourful mobile, and the walls feature several decorative elements. The outside of the module features more planter boxes with flowers. This module also has the helipad on top.

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The next module is a consultation/treatment room – in particular for the treatment of broken bones. The room features a desk with tools for doing casts, as well as two X-Rays on the wall. There is also a minifigure skeleton on display. The presence of a minifigure skeleton in a Friends sets raises all sorts of questions, but with no minidoll skeleton you kind of have to overlook it. The bed is well designed, in terms of shape, for the minidolls.

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The room also features a cabinet with jars and what appears to be a portable defibrillator. The exterior is essentially the same as the previous module with large windows and planter boxes.

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The final module has a mix of lab and operating theatre. There is a sink and microscope on one wall, while another features a magnifying glass looking at germs. The operating theatre style side of the room features a bed similar to the one in the previous module, except this time with a large dual overhead light. There is also a drip and heartrate monitor.

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The exterior once again features the same planters. With this module being the top it also features a small section of roof with the blue bandage sign.

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Substance

The build is split up over 7 numbered bags, each one producing essentially one part of the set. For example bag 2 contains all of the parts for the ambulance. None of the building is particularly complex, and it should be easily handled by younger builders.

I quite like the overall modular nature of the design. It means that it would be really easy to modify the set with additional rooms or sections.

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The only downside to the sets being modular is that basic ‘frame’ of the three small modules are essentially the same. It’s a little bit repetitive but there is enough variance inside the rooms to make sure the build isn’t boring.

The biggest issue with this set is a problem common to a lot of Friends sets – a lot of the decoration or detail comes from stickers. While I am getting better at accepting stickers some of the ones included with this set are a pain. Putting a sticker on a 2×2 plate isn’t too bad, because you have lots of edges to line up. This set features round stickers placed in the middle of large panels. I found it really annoying trying to get them centred. I stuffed up the position of the sticker on the ground level awning and it still bugs me.

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Characters

The set features 3 minidolls as well as a baby.

Olivia

Heartlake Hosptial Olivia
As you’d expect from a Friends sets, one of the main friends is included – in this instance Olivia. It makes sense that Olivia would be the one working in a hospital setting as she has always been the most science orientated one of the group.

This version of Olivia features a white vest over a pink top. The vest features two pockets with an ID badge on one and a pen in the other.

Dr Patel

Heartlake Hosptial Dr Patel
You can’t have a hospital without doctors, and this set includes Dr Patel as the sole one. Dr Patel is wearing a white outfit comprised of a top and skirt. The top features a name badge and the hospital logo.

Scrubs are probably a more practical hospital worker outfit, but probably wouldn’t look as nice as this option.

Dr Patel is also given a stethoscope accessory, but it does cover some of the torso detailing.

Henry

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The patient in the set is Henry, who has a biking accident and finds himself with a broken hand/arm. The fact that he fell off his bike isn’t a surprise, as minidolls can’t hold the handlebars.

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Henry’s torso is a red and white t-shirt with pocket and his legs are a fairly uninteresting blue pants.

The cast element is really interesting and clips over Henry’s hand to give the after treatment look some realism.

Baby Ola

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The baby element is not new or exclusive to Friends, but it is well used here. The baby looks cute and fits nicely in the included stroller build. My only complaint would be that I would have liked an extra minidoll to represent the baby’s mum.

Overall Opinion

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While LEGO City struggles with no modern hospital Heartlake City not only gets one, it also happens to be great.

I will happily tell anybody that listens that the LEGO Friends theme contains some of the best designed general release sets. The designers consistently produce not only interesting subjects but they are always well executed.

Heartlake Hospital is no exception to the consistent quality that I have come to expect from Friends set. The overall look fits perfectly within Heartlake City and the internal detailing is fantastic. Despite some annoying stickers, I really enjoyed building this set and think the end result looks great.

As of the time of publication the best price for the Heartlake Hospital set is from Big W for $98, which is 35% off RRP.

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