Best LEGO Friends Sets

Updated March 2021
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
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64 Consumers Consulted
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best LEGO Friends sets

For over 70 years, LEGO bricks have provided kids and adults with opportunities for creative fun and artistic expression. Over the decades, the Danish company has expanded its product lines, featuring series geared toward specific ages and interests.

In 2012, LEGO introduced the Friends series, a colorful collection of scenes focused on the exciting lives of five friends: Andrea, Olivia, Stephanie, Mia, and Emma. A variety of sets are released every year depicting various scenes and events that take place in and around the fictional suburb of Heartlake City. The series gained immediate popularity.

With so many LEGO Friends sets from which to choose, the options can be overwhelming. In this guide, we take a look at the factors to keep in mind when choosing a LEGO Friends set, from age ranges to price ranges. We also shine a spotlight on some of our favorite LEGO Friends sets for your consideration.

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LEGO Friends set1
LEGO Friends minidolls and scenes are compatible with other sets, so you don’t have to confine your characters to Heartlake City. For example, they can play with sets from Frozen, Ninjago, or Star Wars in a galaxy far, far away.

Key considerations

Background

As mentioned, the LEGO Friends line features five friends, each with a distinctive look and storyline. The sets feature bright, lively colors with interactive elements and details. There is a focus on both interior and exterior spaces in the sets.

Each character has a specific personality. Emma is creative and adventurous; Stephanie is athletic and loyal; Olivia is curious and generous; Andrea is confident and artistic; Mia is a nature lover and honest.

Minidolls

Instead of the articulated minifigures that are commonplace in the LEGO world, LEGO Friends sets feature minidolls. These are larger than minifigs and feature rounder, more realistic features. The legs do not move independently like minifigs, nor do the wrists turn.

At least one of the five main characters is included as a minidoll in each set, with various outfits and apparel incorporated depending on the set and scene. The specs of each set clearly identify which of the main five are included. The most elaborate and expensive sets include all five.

Sets

Since its inception in 2012, LEGO Friends sets have been released in waves twice a year, during the winter and summer seasons. Each wave consists of anywhere from 8 to 18 sets. As of the end of 2020, LEGO Friends comprised over 230 sets, with scenes and locales including a hair salon, lighthouse, vet clinic, race track, ski chalet, photo studio, and campsite, among others. The sets are diverse in subject matter and work to create an increasingly developed hometown for the five friends.

Age range

Most LEGO Friends sets are geared toward kids ages six and up. About half of the sets are best enjoyed by those who are nine and up. Some smaller options may be suitable for children who are four years of age and up.

The recommended age range typically corresponds to how many pieces are included, which dictates the level of involvement required. Most sets feature 500 or fewer pieces, with many options containing no more than 250 pieces. However, there are a handful of complex builds, including some with over 1,000 pieces.

LEGO manufactured and sold a set in 2019 based on the sitcom Friends with a scene featuring all the characters in their regular café. This set is not to be confused with the LEGO Friends sets aimed at younger users.

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Features

Junior sets

Friends scenes and characters are featured in LEGO Junior sets, which cater to younger users between the ages of four and seven. These sets feature larger pieces that are easy for younger kids to hold, and they include simple instructions to make the building process more accessible. Notably, in 2019, LEGO changed their marketing: instead of selling LEGO Friends under the Junior series, the company featured Friends sets that are designated 4+, meaning they accommodate users who are four and up.

Animal sets

In 2013 and 2014, LEGO released 18 animal sets under the Friends theme, each including a single animal and a related habitat or setting. These were small sets sold in polybags that were meant to be part of larger creations. Some of the animals included a lion, seal, turtle, hedgehog, parrot, and penguin.

Cubes

Cubes are travel-size LEGO sets that allow for creativity and fun on the go. Each character has their own cube with a specific color and pet animal featured on the outside. Each cube opens to reveal a small scene and accessories that their character can interact with. These are best used when a group of friends gather with their own respective Friends cubes.

Advent calendar

Every year, LEGO releases a Friends-themed Advent calendar that features a unique character or accessories across each of the 24 days in December leading to Christmas. These are highly sought-after gifts and are hard to find once the season has passed.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Heartlake City is populated with characters beyond the five friends. Sets often feature other named friends and family members as well as generic professionals.
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Accessories

LEGO Disney sets: Disney Frozen Arendelle Castle
Kids who love the LEGO Friends line may also love this larger build inspired by Frozen. It includes minidolls instead of minifigs for fans of the popular Disney animated franchise.

LEGO Duplo sets: Town Square
The Duplo line is aimed at toddlers to inspire creativity and foster an interest in building. We recommend starting off with this simple and colorful town square scene for kids between the ages of two and five.

LEGO Friends set prices

Inexpensive: For $10 or less, you can purchase small sets that are meant as accessories for larger builds. These typically feature one minidoll and a limited scene.

Mid-range: Most LEGO Friends sets cost between $10 and $50. In this price range, you will find scenes of many sizes that may include a number of minidolls.

Expensive: For over $50 and even over $100, you will find the largest and most elaborate builds as well as coveted discontinued sets. These are likely to feature three to five of the main Friends characters.

Kids who like building and creating adventures with the five LEGO friends may enjoy the animated TV series as well. There is also a mobile game kids can play on a smart device.

Kids who like building and creating adventures with the five LEGO friends may enjoy the animated TV series as well. There is also a mobile game kids can play on a smart device.

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Tips

  • Use the LEGO app. The free LEGO app includes Instructions PLUS, an easy way to build models that allows you rotate, zoom, and view progress as you construct. This option is available for select LEGO Friends sets.
  • Stay organized. Clear off a clean workspace, and keep pieces sorted so you can create without issue. This is particularly important for more elaborate LEGO sets.
  • Get creative. Friends sets, like most LEGO sets, are meant to inspire individual creativity. Once built, sets can be repurposed and experimented with to create new and exciting scenes.
  • Note 2018 changes. The Friends characters received a slight makeover, with some featuring different eye color or accessories. LEGO also sought to make the town they live in more inclusive, with increasingly diverse characters and scenes.
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Older LEGO sets from secondary retailers should be purchased with caution: they may be used or come from an unverified seller. Further, there may be a high price tag due to scarcity.

FAQ

Q. Why is it harder to find some LEGO Friends sets than others?

A. As LEGO makes new sets throughout the year, they retire older sets. Retiring a set means the company stops manufacturing it, and once their stock is completely sold out, it’s no longer available on the website. However, secondary markets may still have a plentiful stock for more recent retirees.

Q. What should I do if I’m missing pieces to a set?

A. If your new purchase arrives without certain pieces or has broken bricks, you can immediately return it to receive a complete one. If you lose or break bricks over the course of regular use, replacement bricks are available online. You’ll need to input the set number to find the appropriate bricks or browse the catalog.

In some cases, you may also be able to swap out bricks from other LEGO sets you already own.

Q. What’s the best LEGO Friends set to start with?

A. For kids who are new to LEGO, it may be best to start with a smaller, simpler set. Consider which of the main characters would be most relatable to your child, and find a set that includes that character. You may also want to look at a specific scene or setting. Some sets are geared toward science and exploration. Others focus on arts and crafts. Indeed, a lot of potential interests are explored by the characters in the LEGO Friends sets.

 

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