LEGO addresses 2018 Friends character redesigns by Bricking Around [Guest Post]

Here at The Brothers Brick, we tend to specialize in certain kinds of news, LEGO creations, and reviews, but thanks to our partnerships with other LEGO websites, we’re able to bring you more kinds of content. Please enjoy this excellent observation of the expansion of diversity within the 2018 LEGO Friends line, which originally appeared on Bricking Around, an Australian LEGO fan blog.

When the first images of the 2018 Friends sets started appearing online I noticed that Olivia looked odd. I sent off a message to LEGO to find out what was going on and they got back to me tonight. You can read their full statement in full at the end of the article.

Essentially the visual changes to the characters are actually only one part of the change. Heartlake City will be undergoing changes as well. The town will become more realistic, with different districts and other citizens.

With regards to the five main characters the LEGO Friends team assures us that they will each still have the same personalities and interests as before. Their design changes are just to diversify their appearance.

What are those design changes? Here is a rundown, starting with the most different…


The most obvious difference is that new Olivia has a darker skin tone and now wears glasses. Her hair style is also slightly different, with a braid in the front.


Emma’s eye colour changes from a deep green to brown in the redesign. It could just be me but it seems that they have also changed the eye shape slightly.


New Andrea also gets an eye colour change from green to brown. The lip colour has been darkened too. The new hair style is longer and looser than current version.


While Emma and Andrea switch from green to brown eyes, Mia’s eyes go the other way changing from brown to green. Her lips also have been changed to a more subtle tone.


Stephanie seems unchanged. What do you think of the changes?

You can read the LEGO Friends team’s statement below.

Every year we strive to innovate and make our products even better for children all over the world. A lot of effort has gone into the development of the LEGO characters and universes across our entire product range, so it makes us very happy  when changes are noticed.

LEGO Friends in 2018 looks a bit different than what it has in the past. To be specific, the 5 main characters have a slightly different look but also the city and the citizens of Heartlake City have changed.

But what are the reasons for the change?

Firstly, we want to assure you that all 5 friends are still there in 2018. Andrea, Mia, Emma, Stephanie and Olivia – they all still exist! Also the character’s main interests and personalities remain mainly unchanged.

What you will see in 2018 is an evolution of LEGO Friends, a progression of the story and characters to make sure children get an even greater play experience. Every year more than a million children and parents reach out to us and share what they love and what they would like to change. In the LEGO Friends range children told us that they would like even more differentiated characters and also suggested improvements to Heartlake City.

We always take great care to listen to input from children, and the LEGO Friends team has worked hard to make even more engaging and relevant experiences for children – and also make the LEGO Friends universe more true to the actual world children live in.

Taking a starting point in reality, we’ve made the characters more diverse in their appearance and have added more depth to their personality. And of course, they still live in Heartlake City. But just as the characters have changed, Heartlake City has become more differentiated and rich. There are different districts and there are other citizens that play a more active role in the story.

The changes we have made does not change the fact that previous and new LEGO Friends sets will cater for great building and play experience in 2018 and beyond, and we hope to inspire even more stories and play opportunities for children in the future.

This article originally appeared on Bricking Around, and is reproduced here with permission.

5 comments on “LEGO addresses 2018 Friends character redesigns by Bricking Around [Guest Post]

  1. sadpnd

    They did change the eyes of Emma. She’s meant to be asian now, though it’s more obvious if you look at the new packaging.

  2. Håkan

    It also looks like the head mold has been changed. It’s pretty subtle, but it looks as if the nose has been tilted upward, and the shape is more rounded. (Although that could depend on the photography.)

    It also looks as if Stephanie’s eyes and lips have gotten slightly larger and brighter.

  3. Johnny Johnson

    Pretty confident that the head mold is shared between all characters, and has remained unchanged. I’d be fascinated to learn otherwise, but as it stands, it seems clear that people are just misunderstanding slightly different camera positions and slightly different figure poses.

    Olivia now looks like she might hang out on a Californian beach all week. Or perhaps her intended heritage has changed. I enjoy the mystique and have no intention of over-analyzing it.

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