There are very few toys which are universally loved by everyone – it’s without doubt that LEGO (and LEGO DUPLO) is one of these. Check out some of these mind boggling stats from The Wall Street Journal – (1) there’s 102 LEGO bricks for every person on Earth, (2) 3 million LEGO elements are made per hour at the HQ in Denmark – which is 52,000 per minute, and (3) in 2014, 550 million minifigures were made. Crazy, eh?
Like most preschoolers, it’s no surprise that Toddler L has a growing collection of LEGO DUPLO after getting her first set last year. Since then, she now has a number of sets from the different collections, including Airport, Backhoe Loader, Savanna and My First Farm.
As such, it was hardly a difficult decision when Tesco got in touch to see if we wanted to review a couple of new LEGO DUPLO sets. We were offered the Disney Junior Minnie Mouse Bow-tique (10844) and Fun Family Fair (10841) – both of which only came out in June 2017 – in exchange for this lil ole review. Check out what we thought of these two new sets below:
LEGO Duplo Disney Junior Minnie Mouse Bow-tique – 10844
As a big Disney Junior – particularly Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – fan, I instantly knew that Toddler L would be made up by this set. For those not as knowledgeable about kid’s TV as me (!), one of the Clubhouse episodes saw Minnie start her own Bow-tique. This spawned the spin-off show called Minnie’s Bow-Toons, which followed the adventures of Minnie and Daisy Duck as they run a shop which sells bows – I know, not the most in-demand business ever created.
As such, this LEGO DUPLO set containing 70 pieces depicts the Bow-tique and includes the familiar characters of Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and even their talking, yellow bird friend Cuckoo-Loca. For ages 2 to 5, there’s no getting away from the fact that this is targeted towards girls with the choice of colours.
Sure, it’s just following the colours used in the show, but there’s a definite ‘this is pink so girls will play with it’ mentality. Unfortunately, this is a theme with all Disney DUPLO sets ‘for girls’, e.g. Doc McStuffins, Cinderella and Sofia the First. It doesn’t need to be pink for girls to enjoy it. Anyway, rant over.
When you get over the colours, it’s actually a pretty cool and detailed set. Obviously the beauty of LEGO is that you can build whatever you want, but this comes with simple to follow instructions on how to build the Bow-tique. This has been the most involved set Toddler L has had to date, but she coped with it fine under my Master Builder mentorship.
We followed the instructions, she found the pieces and then put them where I told her to. There’s 19 steps to the build, but she was engaged and enthused throughout, which slightly surprised me as it wasn’t quick to make (when assisted by a toddler).
When built, you have a separate picnic area outside (chairs, umbrella, baguette), then a building consisting of the Bow-tique downstairs with dresses to sell and a bedroom upstairs complete with bed. Obviously there are lots of different ways that the set can be rebuilt too. There’s a couple of other suggestions on the box, but Toddler L prefers to go freestyle and just do what she wants. I don’t pretend to understand, but she’s obviously having fun and playing ‘something’!
As with all DUPLO sets, this is great for imagination and role-play. Since Toddler L got it, Minnie and Daisy have been on all kinds of (mundane) adventures ranging from picnics through to going to bed and heading off to work. It’s great to see her imagination blossom based on everyday things she sees and this is definitely a set which allows her to explore those concepts.
This set retails at £39.99 and can be bought directly from Tesco here.
LEGO DUPLO Town Fun Family Fair – 10841
This new LEGO DUPLO Fun Family Fair play set is from the existing ‘My Town’ collection. As the name suggests, this is a range which gives kids a snapshot of everyday life through things like the Preschool, Town Square and Family House. This newest play set adds a bit more fun and excitement for the locals living in the town with the addition of fairground activities like a carousel and twin slides.
This set is for ages 2-5 and consists of 61 brightly coloured pieces, including four figures and four horses for the carousel. The set comes with an instruction book to follow in order to build the various elements of the Fun Family Fair. The entire build took 11 separate steps, which again Toddler L helped throughout. She was able to find the individual bits I asked for, then put the elements together with a little bit of assistance. This is not only great for actual building, but also the likes of shape and colour recognition.
Following the instructions, the first bit of the build is the cafe, which consists of chairs, table and what looks like a coffee machine. Following that, we tackled the twin slides, which came with flags and various fair related treats like sweets and ice-cream to give you that authentic fair ground experience. All that’s missing is the sweet smell of candyfloss and donuts.
The main part of the build is the fairground carousel which is pretty cool. This involves using a gearwheel at the bottom to be able to make the carousel spin around. Although a very simple thing, it adds an extra dimension to the set, i.e. introducing the concept of gears and getting the positioning correct for it to turn.
As you’d expect from an iconic fairground carousel, it comes complete with four individual horses. This allows the figures to sit on the carousel and have fun day at the fair. Or, more worryingly, see the horses come alive, break free from the carousel and run amok through the town as she sings “horsey, horsey”.
As with all LEGO DUPLO, the set comes with plenty of ‘teachable moments’ which allow your little one’s imagination to run wild. So, this could be things buying an ice-cream, having a picnic, taking photos (the set comes with a camera), taking turns to go down the slide and having fun on the carousel. It obviously connects with all other sets too, so their imagination and playtime fun knows no bounds when combined together.
This set retails for £39.99 and can be bought from Tesco here.
What’s not to love about LEGO DUPLO? The Minnie Mouse Bow-tique and Fun Family Fair are two great additions to Toddler L’s DUPLO collection and she’s enjoyed playing with them individually and as a collective with her other sets.
The sets are colourful, ideal for small hands and come with a lot of different pieces for your kid to play with. Obviously, this can involve using the instructions to build the kits as designed or alternatively letting your imagination run wild to build whatever you want. Either way, there’s hours and hours of fun to be had and limitless number of role play scenarios which can be undertaken, all of which target your kid’s creativity and imagination.
N.B. This is a commissioned post written in collaboration with Tesco. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the products. The LEGO DUPLO sets were sent to me by Tesco with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange for the products.