This week’s review is a little out of sorts for me. A while back, I acquired Andrea’s Accessories Store (41344) on liquidation. I do not normally collect Friends sets. This marks the third set from the theme that I have purchased, and the second that I have reviewed. The first Friends set I bought was before True North Bricks, so I never reviewed it. In truth, I never even built the set. I needed windows for a MOC. The set was on liquidation at the time and contained a lot of large windows. My second set was the Amusement Park Hot Dog Van, which I modified into a food truck in my LEGO® city. This Accessories Store was also on liquidation. However, I also saw some MOC potential in the storefront. It inspired me, so I bought it. The set is now retired, but we will look at it anyway.
ACCESSORIES STORE (41344) SUMMARY
- NAME: Andrea’s Accessories Store
- SET #: 41344
- THEME: Friends
- COST: $39.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 294
- MINI-DOLLS: 2
- RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2018
ACCESSORIES STORE (41344) QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 79% (Average cost-per-brick, and satisfactory build time.)
- BUILD: 70% (Nice façade and interesting idea, but poorly executed interior.)
- MINIFIGURES: 91% (Well designed characters, lots of accessories, average brick:fig.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 70% (Not immediately useable in my city, and not my niece’s first pick.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 78%
ACCESSORIES STORE (41344) REVIEW
Once upon a time, Andrea’s Accessories Store retailed for $39.99 in Canada. The set contains 294 pieces. Consequently, the cost-per-brick of this set at full price was $0.14. This is right on average based on all the sets that I have collected over the last few years. As a result, I rate the cost-per-brick of the Accessories Store at 80%. Incidentally, I bought my copy on liquidation. The set was 28% off at the time, so my cost-per-brick was $0.10. At that price, the score goes up to 94%.
Additionally, the Accessories Store took 45 minutes to assemble. At full price, that equates to a cost-per-minute of $0.89. I rate that at 77%. However, based on the liquidation price that I paid, the cost-per-minute was $0.64. That earns a score of 95%. Averaging the cost-per-brick with the cost-per-minute yields an overall value score of 79% at full price, and 95% on liquidation.
I confess that I bought this set for the exterior design. A long time ago, I started a MOC shopping promenade for my LEGO® city. However, in the ensuing years, no new shops opened. Currently, only the LEGO® Store and men’s wear store sit on the lonely boulevard. This store inspired an idea for the third shop that might occupy a vacant lot next to the LEGO® Store. I also liked some of the small interior builds. Namely, the sunglasses stand and glass display case. Ceiling speakers are another nice touch. All that to say, I like the idea behind this building. Sadly, that is where my enjoyment of the Accessories Store ends.
Essentially, the Accessories Store is little more than the façade. The side walls are a mere 4 cm thick. There is a shop interior, but it does not have much substance. Stickers represent many of the items on sale. I opted not to place most of the stickers since my aim is to repurpose the bricks in a MOC. The rest of the products seem like a random assemblage more suited to a costume shop than an accessories store. For kids, this is a fine build, but not so much for AFOLs. I will go lenient on the Accessories Store for the simple reason that I am not its target audience. It still loses marks for the stickers, lack of depth, and mismatch of products. Overall, I rate the build at 7/10 (70%).
Strictly speaking, the Accessories Store does not contain any Minifigures. However, it does have two Mini-dolls. My usual rating system falls a little short in that regard, since it was designed for Minifigures. All the same, we can rate these characters as having all the standard Mini-doll parts. While I have little use for Mini-dolls, I do like their hairpieces. They offer new variety for my own Minifigures as the hairpieces of Minifigures and Mini-dolls are fully compatible. Additionally, these characters feature detailed printing, and have numerous accessories. My favorite is the suitcase, which is not available in other LEGO® themes to my knowledge. Otherwise, you get a pug, a camera, a scooter, a heart gem, scissors, a hairpiece with cat ears, two cloth outfits, and a pen. I rate these designs at 29/30 (97%).
Two figurines in a 294-piece set yields a brick-to-fig ratio of 147:1. Comparatively, my current average is 149:1. Therefore, the Accessories Store is normal and earns 80% as a ratio score. Averaging the ratio and design scores gives an overall Mini-doll rating of 85%.
As an adult, I have little use for this set as is. However, it has inspired me to make a new MOC. I will preserve elements of the façade in my design, but not the whole thing. Turning the whole thing modular will also require considerable work. While this presents an amusing challenge for me, I rate sets on their out-of-box ability for my city in this section. Therefore, I rate the AFOL entertainment score at 3/5 (60%) in this case.
Kids will enjoy this set more than me. While I do not like the narrow design, kids might find this easier to play in. Additionally, it provides a storefront for a growing city or town. The set will appeal to LEGO® Friends enthusiasts for those reasons. However, when I showed the box to my nieces shortly after buying it, one of them stated it was not one of the sets she wanted. Because of that expert opinion, I will rate the KFOL score at 4/5 (80%). Averaging the KFOL and AFOL scores gives an overall entertainment rating of 70%.
OVERALL SCORE: 78%
In terms of price, the Accessories Store is average. Additionally, it comes with nice characters, and the accessories included are transferable to regular Minifigures. I liked the exterior design of the building, as well as some of the smaller interior details. However, overall the interior was not well designed, and I felt including stickers to represent products in the shop was a copout. While I think Friends fans will like this kit, it was also not the first pick of my nieces (who are the biggest Friends collectors that I know). In the end, Andrea’s Accessories Store is a satisfactory set with some MOC inspiring potential. What do you think of this set? Be sure to comment below or shout out on social media.
Until next time,
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