How the Minidolls Changed in 2013
The LEGO Friends theme debuted in 2012 and was an instant smash hit for LEGO. It doubled sales expectations and increased the LEGO Company’s revenue over 20%. That’s why it’s no wonder that in 2013 we got 30 new sets. 18 of which included these 24 unique minidolls:
Today we’ll look at how the minidolls evolved in 2013.
The five main girls still live in the delightfully colorful Heart Lake City. Emma, Stephanie, Olivia, Andrea, and Mia have kept their faces and hair pieces, but their wardrobe options have expanded significantly. Even though the city is yet to build a clothing store.
The 22 female characters have apparently grown up enough within the span of a year that they now acknowledge the existence of boys. The entirety of 2 of them. Their torso and head pieces are new moulds and the hairs are borrowed from minifigures.
Even though the total number of unique minidolls has dropped by 6, the number of Medium Nougat skin colored dolls has remained the same - 6. Unfortunately, the remaining 18 are all Light Nougat. Still no Nougat, Lavender or Aqua skin tones. Those will all appear in the not-that-distant future.
The changes in the hair style department are small but appreciated. We got a few recolors and one new hair mould. The black hair pieces expanded at the cost of brown and red. I’m presenting the color distribution using my LEGO color ellipse because a picture conveys color distributions better than a 1000 words.
The LEGO designers probably had to balance variety with character recognition here. It’s nice to have as many diverse hair pieces as possible. But if Olivia changed her clothes and hair cut in every set, she would become indistinguishable from any other amber-eyed girl.
The prevailing emotion in Heart Lake continues to be happiness. Could be the beautiful colors or the heaps of money they are making, either way, all residents are smiling all of the time. Not creepy at all.
The only novelty in face printing are the glasses on the schoolteacher. For the modern LEGO enthusiast that progress in expanding the minidolls’ array of faces might seem as very slow, but we must look at it from a historical perspective. The minifigures were 11 years old when they got their first non-classic face. In comparison, the dolls are collecting variation speeding tickets!
Now we need to talk about the weather. Heart Lake has the perfect climate. It’s sunny and warm most of the time and gets snowy and cold only in December. Luckily for us, that’s when the Advent Calendar comes out, so we once again get some minidolls in wintery clothes. The two per year will have to be enough until 2017 and the Snow Resort subtheme.
The rest of the girls’ wardrobe is more appropriately worn in the summer. That was clear even in 2012. But now they got swimming suit tops and new moulds for shorts and a wrap skirt. Assembled together, they create an outfit that screams “let’s go to the beach”.
Some torso printings and legs pieces are the same as in 2012, but the majority of them are new. None of the legs-torso-head-hair combinations, that make up a minidoll, have ever appeared in that way before.
In other clothing related news, the general color distribution hasn’t changed much. There are a few more white and green torso pieces, but fewer white and green pants. Less lighter blue and yellowish-orange torso pieces but more legs with the same colors. The proportions of pink, purple, and dark blue tones have stayed roughly the same. Black pants now exist. No new colors were introduced. The girls still avoid dressing in sad earthly tones, so the overall look of the theme remains cheerful.
In addition to the beachwear, there are other specialized outfits. Mia is a cook and a magician, and Emma takes karate classes. Stephanie’s shirt in which she plays soccer is also somewhat specific, but she doesn’t get to be in the photo as to not ruin this black and white harmony.
All of the 2013 clothing parts can be mixed and matched with each other and the ones from the previous year. So, the inventory of available outfits grows and we get more customizability! You might even be able to build a fairly accurate minidoll version of yourself. As long as you are a girl wearing modern colorful summery clothes.