2014’s Subtle LEGO Friends Minidolls Changes
The minidolls first appeared in 2012 with the LEGO Friends theme. The dolls lived in Heartlake City and consisted mainly of girls wearing bright summery clothes and smiling faces. In 2013 the theme continued the trend. Only in 2014 do we see the first noticeable changes to the dolls. The biggest is that the minidolls also became Disney Princesses in their own theme. Hurray for them and us! However, here we’ll solely focus on what changed and what stayed the same regarding the new 36 Friends dolls.
The five main Friends characters - Emma, Stephanie, Olivia, Andrea, and Mia - remain the five main characters. You can recognize them by their face and hair. Their faces obviously don’t change, because they’re happy with the polite smiles. Why would they ever want to express any other emotion?
Their hair pieces are a slightly different matter. For a character, they never change color, but they do morph into other styles. In 2014, Stephanie pulled her hair into a ponytail and put on a visor on 3 occasions. That’s the biggest hair related change and it doesn’t seem big until you consider an avid LEGO Friends fan. If you started collecting the sets in 2012, by 2014 you were guaranteed to have multiples of several hair pieces. At that point, every change is a welcome one.
And no, I don’t count the blue baseball cap and the white turban as new hair moulds.
In 2012 and 2013 the main girls were careful to never wear the same shirt another main friend wore. In 2014 they apparently stopped caring. Both Olivia and Stephanie can be seen in the same stripy green shirt Mia wore the year before. Shocking, I know. At least they remembered to put on different skirts. That averted a complete scandal and showcased how versatile a shirt can be.
2014 gave us a record braking 4 male figures. If that sounds low, you are correct – it is. But the previous two years combined put out 3 male minidolls. As I said, record breaking.
With regard to skin color, not much has changed. 28 Light Nougat, 0 Nougat, and 8 Medium Nougat skin colored dolls. This ratio is in accordance with the previous years. It’s interesting to note that to this point in time, there are only 3 different Medium Nougat and 10 Light Nougat faces. 10 of which are female and 3 male. All of them are smiling.
The only adult, Sophie, has also the only new face printing this year. Sophie’s enjoying her day off in a shopping mall spa with a face mask on. How can we tell she’s enjoying herself? Well, she's smiling.
While collecting all of the minidolls for this video, I made an interesting discovery. There are three Naya dolls. But one of them is not like the others. Do you see the difference? Have you spotted it? One of them has no freckles. Presumably, she forgot to put them on that day or something. On further inspection, it turns out that the minidoll in question only appears in a book. A LEGO Friends Character Encyclopedia. That comes with an exclusive minidoll outfit and a wrong face. Awesome.
Although the dolls primarily wear summery clothes, a Summer subtheme emerged in 2013 and continued into 2014. It focused on giving the girls swimsuits. And when I say swimsuit, I mean the torso has a swimsuit print and the legs have a wraparound skirt or short pants. Even with such low criteria for a bathing outfit, not every main friend got one during these 2 years. To get all five to the beach, you would need to wait till 2017 if you aren’t too picky, and till 2019 if you are.
The most significant changes to the dolls came from the new subtheme Jungle Rescue. The girls and boys helped rescue various animals from the local jungle. For that, they had to dress in earthly tones the likes of which Heartlake City has never seen before.
I’ll use my LEGO color ellipse to demonstrate the differences. In the prior years, the earthly triangles were completely devoid of any plastic, now they are not.
The color distribution changes were apparently innovative enough for the minidolls to omit any new clothing moulds. Or, all of the moulding capabilities ware used up on the skirt and tail moulds in the Disney Princess line.
The only warm clothes were included in the advent calendar. As usual, the two minidolls are a main friend and a friend’s friend. The novelty in 2014 is that Stephanie already wore Mia’s torso in 2013. In the previous years, both advent calendar torso prints were unique.
2014 is the year when the Friends first added earthly tones to their wardrobe. Alongside all of the clothes from the previous years, that added a lot of variety to their possible outfits. However, their winter department was still almost non-existent, and their emotional palette was lacking everything but friendly smiles. I guess that after three years, we can stop calling these flaws bugs, and start calling them features.
The video to this article