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Review: 41161 Aladdin's and Jasmine's Palace Adventures

Posted by xccj , in Review Jan 19 2019 · 192 views

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Aladdin is one of my favorite Disney movies (making Jasmine one of my favorite Princesses) but I’ve been disappointed that she hasn’t appeared in more than one Lego Princesses set. Well, this year she gets to be in a couple, likely hoping to capitalize on the live action Aladdin movie coming out. The biggest one of the Palace Adventure, so I picked that up. It’s $29.99 with 193 pieces.

The main draw is the characters. Jasmine has appeared in one set before as a minidoll (included in the picture in the lower right). In this set, she gets some printed upgrades on her pants, torso, and face, and I like the details. It looks like her hairpiece is unchanged. Aladdin appeared once in the Disney CMFs, so this is his first appearance as a minidoll, and the details totally fit the character. I think they also reuse his hairpiece, but the rest of the printing is new.

We also get the magic carpet; it was included in the Jasmine set as a simple build, but it’s a bit more detailed here. It uses a wavy wall with a decent sticker on it showcasing all the details. (Sadly, it’s not visible in my picture, and I didn’t quite get the sticker on straight, but it still looks great.) The bigger deal is the use of the gold tassels, which are a major part of the character. In theory, there is room for both characters to ride on the carpet, but minidolls aren’t really built to sit side by side like that. I added some studs to Aladdin’s feat, pushing him back just enough so their arms aren’t colliding, so it kind of works, but I think the set just wants you to use one character at a time.

There are some interesting parts, including some lavenders, golds, tans, magentas, and teals (although those aren’t quite the colors I picture when I think of the palace from the movie.) Some of the big white / lavender wall / window pieces are fairly new, and it could be useful for some builders. Some of the rare or exclusive parts include the teal 1x1x5 brick, teal 2x2 round corner brick, teal 1x4 arch, lavender 8x8 plate, magenta 1x4 tile with 2 nobs, medium lavender doorway, medium lavender 6x6 round plate, purple wavy wall, gold 3x3x2 arch, gold 3x3x2 fence, and the new white bird piece.

The build is. . . well, basic. The Lego Princess builds have never been anything to really call home about. You build two levels with some furniture and accessories on each. On the bottom level there’s a table with some seats, as well as a market stall. The top includes the balcony section with a domed room, and them a small patio with a chair, birdbath, and small tree. The big action feature is that the dome is built on a swivel and had a beam that can attach to the flying carpet, so you can spin it around and have the characters fly over the palace. I like this bit. There’s also a small Cave of Wonders build included, with a hidden compartment for the golden lamp, and a sticker with the Genie on it. The set comes with a lot of sparkly stickers, but I only included about half of them.

One feature that I wasn’t aware of until I read the instruction was that all the Disney Princess rooms this year are semi-modular. You can mix and match them together, and the example picture shows that you can create quite the impressive Disney Castle when you combine most of the sets. I obviously can’t do this because I haven’t bought any of the others (and don’t plan to) but it’s a neat idea and gives the infectious “collect them all” mentality to this line of sets too.

In short, I like the character designs and the flying magic carpet, and I really like the function that lets you spin them around over the palace. The rest of it is pretty bland, and I consider it an okay parts pack, since it does have a few interesting and rare elements. Worth the $30? Probably not, but I was impulsive. Maybe wait for a sale if you’re also a fan of the movie. (Or if you’re buying for somebody in the target audience; there’s plenty to like, but I’m a jaded AFOL who doesn’t appreciate that kind of stuff.)

:music:

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I love the construction of the magic carpet in this set, since one of my first thoughts when seeing both the Ninjago tassel piece in 2016 and the Joker Manor funhouse mirror panel in 2017 was "this would be great on a new version of Aladdin's magic carpet!"

 

I agree that the LEGO Disney Princess sets are often pretty basic and underwhelming as far as building is concerned. It's kind of understandable with this year's in particular, since regardless of size/price, they all have a 5+ age range (aside from the 4+/Juniors ones). In other themes like Friends and City, it's more typical for the target age to scale a little more according to the size of the sets, so medium-sized sets might have a 6+ target age and bigger sets might have a 7+, 8+, or even 9+ target age.

 

Perhaps LEGO feels like older kids will be more drawn to the new or recent Disney IPs, rather than the classic princess movies and toys associated with them. After all, I feel like a lot of sets from other Disney subthemes like Frozen, Moana, and Tangled: The Series have done a better job in terms of both accuracy to the source material and impressiveness of the finished build than the ones with Disney Princess or Whisker Haven branding.

 

I think the redesign of the Jasmine mini-doll and the new Aladdin mini-doll look quite good! Both use the Nougat skin tone that first appeared as a mini-doll skin tone on the redesigned Olivia from LEGO Friends, whereas the old Jasmine mini-doll used Medium Nougat. This seems to compare favorably with many of the movie's more brightly lit scenes. This also means that Medium Nougat can be used as the skin tone for the new Tiana mini-doll in 41162.

 

Compared to many animals in the Disney sets, the bird in this one is rather generic, and a part of me preferred how the previous set featuring Jasmine used a LEGO Friends tiger cub as Rajah… even if he was way smaller than he ought to be! That at least was an animal that felt more distinctive.

 

But I do approve of this new songbird element, which because of its small size and minimal printed detail will be equally suited to minifigure and mini-doll themes… much like other animals often shared between those themes like the spider, or baby bunny.

 

The "collect and swap" feature of this set is a carry-over from last year's Disney Princess sets. I'm not too enthused by it myself, as it doesn't seem to mesh as naturally with the source material as the modular designs of the early 2000s Harry Potter sets, or offer as much versatility as the Creator 3-in-1 modular houses. But it does help seed the sets with some cool building elements.

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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke

Silver Lake, Mercury Mining, This Mistake, No Silver Lining.
~ Alkaline Trio

Always a Pleasure, Never a Chore
~ The Wombats

:music:

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I now control your mind.

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