3315 Olivia’s House [Review]

Hi there. I’m Caylin, and I am an AFFOL—a female adult fan of LEGO. And I might just have a new infatuation with the LEGO Friendsicon line. It looks serious.

As a kid, I grew up with the typical “girl” toys like Barbie. Oh, I had plenty of Barbies—and my favorite was the ballerina. I had a Joey doll, too, from NKOTB. I played with Kenner’s original Littlest Pet Shop, I had My Little Ponies. And I had LEGO. Now, granted, I taught myself to tie a noose with my Barbies and my Littlest Pet Shop iguana went head to head against the Jurassic Park velociraptors. So my play habits might not have been fully in line with maybe the norm.

But oh, the Friends line. My inner child is laughing with sheer glee.

I built 3315 Olivia’s House.icon I really quite enjoyed the build. I’m impressed on a number of levels with the model itself. It’s not parts intensive, of course, like the Café Corner and comparable sets. But thankfully it’s NOT Belville. The walls are some of the larger pieces, but I think that’s okay. I wouldn’t be buying this line for the bricks, anyway.

The accessory builds are pretty nifty, too. I love the blender design, and the barbeque gets the point across without getting too overly bulky. The shower door is simply but effective.

What I liked most about this particular set is that it’s modular. Each room is a completely separate build. And they’re quite detailed, too. I do, however, want a word with whoever is the interior designer of this house because purple furniture is terrible, and the resale value has to be in the hole with that lime-green kitchen. But again, my inner child is squealing with glee over the fun colors. So I’m torn.

The adult me, however, is asking who sleeps where because there’s only one double-occupancy bed for a family of three. I can’t say I understand why you’d sunbath on the roof, but that I think is a question for the architect of the house.

This house is completely designed for interaction and customization, and certainly not with the silly levers and numerous catapults from some of the other lines. There’s nothing to pull to make a mini-figure drop, and nothing to fling. And it’s totally fine. I don’t miss any of that. I’d describe it best as a “build your own dollhouse” with the LEGO edge to it. It is definitely ALL LEGO, though. I think the best description I’ve seen is that the Friends line is most definitely a “gateway” line. Some of the other lines are definitely marketed towards boys, which is fine. But this line is for their sisters, which is ultimately bad news for the brothers, since now there’s competition for available brick during playtime.

Now, I get that this line has caused something of an uproar with certain groups. I’m going to tell you that I do not feel marginalized or stereotyped at all by this line. I am offended that the color choice for the bed is blue and yellow, which are not complementary colors and one is a warm color and the other is a cool color — NOT the fact that there’s pink and purple and lime green and whatever other color the set designers put in the sets. It’s a complete non-issue for me that the mini-dolls made more of an attempt at a general human design rather than a flat block. The vibrant colors are for accent, but the bulk of the build is white and tan. I’m 26 years old and I sat down and played with the set after I built it. And once I was done, I made alterations to it. Because it’s LEGO and that’s what you’re supposed to do.

6 comments on “3315 Olivia’s House [Review]

  1. Toni

    I am also an adult female fan of LEGO. I was 50/50 on these sets and was mostly interested in some of the parts and didn’t really want anything to do with it. After seeing this post and what the actual insides look like (and what I plan on doing with those pieces) it seems wonderful. I am now excited. Thank you for a wonderful post.

  2. brickfrenzy

    I was at a Toys’R'Us a couple of days ago checking out some other stuff and a 9-ish looking girl and her mom saw the Friends end-cap and she started squealing like she was at a Justin Bieber concert – “oh these are so cute I want one can I have this one mom can I huh huh please!!!!!!!”

    Judging by that anecdote of 1, Lego has a hit on its hands here. Good on them.

  3. metcalf4

    Being a mom of an 8 yo (male) fan of Lego, I’ve become quite interested in what Lego has to offer. On numerous occasions I have tried to orchestrate my 6 yo daughters interest in Lego and failed. Friday, her birthday, she received several sets of the new Friends line. I waited anxiously for her request to open the box. Within an hour the Butterfly Beauty Shop was assembled and she LOVED it. The colors are perfect as are the details. The build is not so intricate that she lost interest. I would definitely say Lego has a hit! I’m waiting patiently for her to ask to open the other sets, the Vet and the ATV. I’m looking forward for a reason, other than my own desire, to purchase Olivia’s House. Thank you for the review, Caylin.

  4. jwouellette

    As a long time fan of LEGO (over 30 years), I’ve tried to share my interest and pass my enthusiasm for LEGO down to my daughters (5.5 and 2.5). Several DUPLO, City, Kingdoms, and assorted other sets later, Friends arrived. My oldest has been excited about them since seeing them in the catalog, just before Christmas. This Christmas she got two 3367 City Space Shuttles. So we went to exchange one for a different set and she chose the Café. I watched her put it together all by herself and enjoy playing with it since. She loves the Friends line (so does her Mom). I see more positives from it than the nit-picky little quibbles some hardcore enthusiasts have. The LEGO universe and real world are big enough, and diverse enough, to support Friends (the best attempt so far, by far to appeal to girls and girls-at-heart), just like the other lines do. I, for one, am more impressed by Friends than Hero Factory/Bionicle. I say give it a chance and give it to your favorite girls….

  5. Kactus

    My only worry is that they will use this as an excuse not to put more women in the LEGO sets that I prefer.

  6. eilonwy77

    On an impulse I hit the LEGO aisle while I was shopping, and came home with five of these sets. Now I want to go back for more! I love the colors, the accessories, the themes. Wow, I must be such a girl. But my kids love them too, even my son (who is almost 3, so bear that in mind). They played and played with them once they were built… My 4-yr old daughter especially loved the dog show and the cafe. She loves to take figures and have them role-play, and she loves to help me build things, and with Friends she does both. I think I’ll be buying all of them, eventually. I think it’s the first time I’ve found a theme and just wanted it for being it, and not for any specific pieces that it had…

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