Emma’s Art School (41711) is the second largest Friends set revealed in summer 2022. Emma’s Art School and Andrea’s Theatre School (41714) appeal to more than just fans of the Friends theme. Both sets appear as though they might integrate nicely with other buildings such as buildings from the City theme and even the adult oriented modular buildings. The more realistic colours used for Emma’s Art school certainly helps. Let’s take a look to see if the hype is worth it.

NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use the usual True North Bricks rating system (click here for more information) and provide my honest opinion.

Emma’s Art School Summary

  • NAME: Emma’s Art School
  • SET #: 41711
  • THEME: Friends
  • COST: $89.99 CAD
  • BRICK COUNT: 844
  • MINI-DOLLS: 3
  • RELEASE DATE: May 29, 2022
  • COST/BRICK: $0.11 (good value)
  • BRICK-TO-FIG RATIO: 281 bricks/fig (poor)
  • DIMENSIONS: 25 cm (h) x 23 cm (w) x 8 cm (d)

Emma’s Art School Quick Review

  • VALUE: 90%
  • BUILD: 90%
  • MINI-DOLLS: 69%
  • ENTERTAINMENT: 90%
  • OVERALL SCORE: 85%
Emma's Art School (41711) compete model
What I LikedWhat I Didn’t Like
Variety of art studiosFinal model is very small
Awesome sand green rooflineCramped interior for large hands
Functional pottery wheelBike helmets without hair
Lots of details/accessoriesCould use a few more mini-dolls

Emma’s Art School Review

Value: 90%

The retail price of Emma’s Art School (41711) is $89.99 CAD for 844 pieces. At the regular retail price, this set is $0.11 CAD/brick. When valuing this set against all other Friends sets reviewed by True North Bricks, this translates to 94%. However, when compared to all sets reviewed by True North Bricks, this slips slightly to 90%. Averaging these two scores provides a final price per brick value of 92% (very good value). Emma’s Art School took me 2 hours and 17 minutes to complete. The value per minute translates to 87% compared to all Friends sets and 90% compared to all LEGO® sets. The average rounds up to 89% for the value per minute. When averaging both value metrics regardless of comparing to Friends or all sets, the overall value lands at 90% (very good value).

Build: 90%

Emma’s Art School (41711) comes with seven labeled bags, an instruction booklet, and a sticker sheet. There are no unlabeled bags in the box.

Emma's Art School (41711) set bags

The sticker sheet features a number of stickers that portray artwork. Most work well enough but I would have liked the four stickers that go on the sand green wall on the front of the building to have a sand green or translucent background.

First Floor

The first floor is built on dark tan plates. I really like the use of the half circle plates nestled between the inverted 1 by 3 by 2 arches. The addition of a few dots and quarter tiles adds a nice decorative element for an art school. I also love the use of the minifig hairpiece in green as the potted plants on either side of the door. Speaking of the door, Emma’s Art School comes with the relatively new 1 by 6 by 6 double door frame and two translucent blue 3 by 6 doors.

The construction of the easels is quite good and utilizes a piece (1 by 2 modified plate with tow ball) typically used as a hitch. Inside the first floor of the art school is a small lunch room with an espresso machine and a few snacks. On the other side is a sink and two stack lockers. I am not entirely sure why there is a sink in there as it clearly isn’t a bathroom and is open to the front entrance. If you have any ideas, let us know!

Second Floor

The second floor features a fashion studio and ceramics studio. The fashion studio features a sewing machine that makes clever use of a skate blade as the serger. There is also a mannequin that spins on its stand so your mini-doll can perfect any outfit. Across the floor is the ceramics studio with a working pottery wheel. I love the use of the rock element in dark orange as the hunk of clay that is yet to be fully sculpted. This element only came in the Lunar New Year Ice Festival previously. Behind the table is a drying rack with a teapot and bowl that have already hardened and turned white.

Third Floor

The third floor of the art school features two more studios. the 3D printing studio features a computer station and a minifigure trophy as the 3D sculpture. Once you have created your 3D sculpture you can take photos of it in the photo studio. The camera has two lenses to get the perfect image. One of the largest stickers is used as the background image. It would have been nice to have a second image on the other side so you could flip the background around to get a different look.

In addition, a second sticker would have been a nice way to hide the damaged 6 by 4 flag. I have seem similar damage to windscreens but this is the first time I have seen it on a non-translucent element. Once side had scratches while the other side had a couple of fairly deep gouges.

Roofline

One of the main reasons I was first drawn to this set was the roofline and all the beautiful sand green elements. I particularly love the use of the sand green cat tail element on its side. Other notable elements in sand green include the relatively new 1 by 3 inverted arch brick, the inverted mudguard, and the inverted 1 by 3 by 2 arch. There are also a variety of bows, arches and plates to complete the French-style roofline.

Exterior

In addition to the fantastic roofline, there are other elements on the building’s exterior worth noting. The sign for the art school is very cool. It uses Technic pin connectors in dark turquoise for the paintbrush and Technic cross axle connectors in yellow for the pencil. Behind the sign on the second and third floor are stacks of the new 3 by 3 curved window frame. On one side of the building there are two panels with different designs using different configurations of quarter tiles for a neat effect. You can even customize your own look! The windows on the second and third floor also feature nice architectural detailing using mudguards, stacked candles, and modified bricks with scroll.

Final thoughts

I enjoyed building Emma’s Art School. It is probably the most enjoyable Friends set that I have built so far, but then I quite like architecture. It is a fairly simple build, but it does use some interesting techniques, especially for the Friends line. Overall, I rate the build experience for this set at 90%.

Mini-Dolls: 69%

Emma’s Art School (41711) come with three mini-dolls. This works out to 281 bricks per mini-doll and a dismal 57% when compared to other Friends sets reviewed by True North Bricks. The score is fairly similar (58%) when compared to all LEGO® sets we’ve reviewed.

Professor Beatrice has a light skin tone and long nougat-coloured hair in a pony tail. She has blue eyes, pink glasses, and a smiling expression. Her orange outfit looks really sharp. I am glad to see mini-dolls starting to come with pants. I found it really hard integrating mini-dolls into many of my MOCs (My Own Creations) that were not set in the summer as most mini-dolls have shorts or short skirts.

Emma also has a light skin tone and wavy black hair that cascades down her back. She has brown eyes and is also smiling. She is wearing the ubiquitous mini-doll skirt and her outfit is finished off with gold shoes. In contrast to Professor Beatrice and Emma, Felix has a slightly darker skin tone (nougat). He has short brown hair, green eyes, and is also smiling (I wonder if mini-dolls ever have other expressions?). Felix has black pants and a nice two-tones white and purple hoody.

Emma's Art School (41711) 3 mini-dolls with easels

Lots of accessories

The mini-dolls also come with a pair of red roller skates and a dark pink bike. I find it a bit annoying that both Professor Beatrice and Emma have to shave their heads in order to ride the bike. LEGO® makes a bike helmet with hair so I am not sure why it wasn’t included in this set. I also find that mini-dolls don’t fit the standard LEGO® bike very well. If they use the foot pegs intended for minifigures then they can only ride while standing. And if they don’t use the foot pegs then they end up sitting too far back.

In addition to the roller skates and bike, there are lots of accessories in this set. These include paintbrushes, mugs, scissors, bows as well as all the other accessories I mentioned in the “Build” section of this review. Overall I rate the mini-doll design at 80%. Averaging the scores for bricks per mini-dolls and the mini-doll design score gives a final mini-doll score of 69%.

Entertainment: 90%

Emma’s Art School features a lot of nice architectural elements and the inside has some fun details. However, it falls short of my hopes of seamlessly integrating it with buildings from the modular line as it is a lot smaller than I expected. The building itself looks too small both in height and width. I would suggest buying two sets to create a larger school that would fit better with the modular line, if that is what you are after. The façade would certainly fit in.

In addition to the exterior, the interior also feels too small and cramped. With all the furniture and details, it is tricky to play with the mini-dolls in the tiny space. I struggled to put a mini-doll in the ceramics studio and there is little room for them to stand when accessing their lockers or the lunchroom. It reminds me of my recent experiences building both the Holiday Main Street and Motorized Lighthouse.

That said, I appreciate the variety of art studios and the different functional elements that are included like the working pottery wheel, the spinning mannequin, and the 3D printer that opens and closes. I also like that you can customize the panels on the side of the building using the various dot elements. Overall the building looks great even though it is a bit small. Kids should have no problem playing with it since their hands are smaller. And there is certainly a lot of detail to create lots of different stories and inspire play. I give this set 4/5 AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO®) points and 5/5 KFOL (Kid Fan of LEGO®) points for a total entertainment value of 90%.

Overall Score: 85%

Emma’s Art School is a nice build with some great architectural elements and fun details. Unfortunately, it has a low brick to mini-doll count and could use a few more. It is a bustling art school after all. The set would benefit from being a bit bigger. However, kids likely won’t notice. Averaging the scores for the different sections gives an overall score of 85% (good, respectable score). Have you tried combining two Emma’s Art School sets or modifying it to make it fit with the modular line? We’d love to hear about it and see your photos in the comments on social media.

Play well folks,

-Krista (she/her)

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