Review: #42639 Andrea’s Modern Mansion
Let’s find out how new parts, new colors, and new techniques combine to make this brightly colored contemporary home into one of the most up-lifting sets in recent history (literally).
Vibrant hues of red, orange, and purple draw your eyes to #42639 Andrea’s Modern Mansion and the complex architectural form and landscaping holds your attention — this set is definitely going to stand out on store shelves! The LEGO Group has put a ton of energy into the Friends lineup and it shows. In the past 12 months, Friends has given us some of the most beautifully designed LEGO sets across all themes, such as the wildly popular #41757 Botanical Garden. This set has similarly lofty ambitions.
The LEGO Group leaned on their top designers to design this set. Wes Talbott led the effort — he is a notable LEGO designer responsible for iconic sets like #10316 Rivendell, #21325 Medeival Blacksmith, #41747 Heartlake City Community Kitchen, and #41748 Heartlake City Community Center. In this review we will explore some of the great design decisions and real world techniques that bring this set to life.
I explored this set with an objective lens as I have limited experience with LEGO Friends and am not well-versed in the characters and history.
About the set
Releasing on January 1, 2024, #42639 Andrea’s Modern Mansion headlines the spring wave of LEGO Friends sets. Priced at $199.99/£169.99/€199.99, this set sits below $0.10 per-piece, at $0.088/£0.075/€0.088. As we have previously highlighted on this site, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to value with one of the factors being the weight, and will explore other metrics of value later in the article.
- LEGO Parts Weight: 2116 grams
- Price per piece: $199.99 / 2275 pieces = $0.088 per piece
- Price per gram: $199.99 / 2116g = $0.095 per gram
- Dimensions: 11.5 in (29cm) high, 17.5 in (45cm) wide, 7 in (18cm) deep
The set is split across 17 different bags and two instruction manuals. Despite so many numbered bags, multiple bags are used to build each section of the model which simplifies the part finding process. It’s up to you if this simplicity is a good thing or not, you can always open up multiple bags at once to slow down the build process. While many LEGO friends sets are targeted at ages 7+, this set is aimed at ages 14+ — the highest recommended age we have ever seen in LEGO Friends series. This allows the designers to use more smal parts and more advanced building techniques.
Factors that LEGO consider when deciding an age category include: complexity of building process, level of cognitive development required to complete the set, the size of the model and expected time to complete. These age categories are curated from years of product testing with differing age groups.
After 10 years of the LEGO Friends themes, The LEGO Group continues to shape the sets to reflect changing social norms and expectations from their customers. The re-imagined Friends characters are more representative of the real-world, with a focus on the neurodivergence, mental health, physical conditions, gender, culture and ethnicity that is representative of diverse worlds that children find themselves in. While I am not deeply familiar with the Friends line and characters, they included a couple of pages of the evolution of the characters over the years in the instruction manual. (To learn more about how LEGO used real-world feelings of children to influence set design you can read this press release.)
Despite a wide selection of vibrant colors, and diverse selection of parts (including some new elements), there are a lot of of stickers. The stickers are used to add detailing that one cannot achieve through bricks alone, and stickers are more cost-effective than printed parts. While it is easy to critique the use of stickers, the stickers in this set are highly specific to this story, and would not make sense in other sets. It’s understandable that they chose to use stickers to add lots of personality without increasing the cost beyond $200, which is already a lot for a set nominally designed for teenagers.
Keeping the intended audience in mind it was important to look at this set both from the lens of an AFOL and that of a child, although an older child given this is a 14+ set. Comparatively sets such as those in the Ninjago City line are 16+ and Modular line are 18+. The immediate draw as I opened the bags was the rainbow color palette and the scale of the box. I knew that this was going to be a big build and leverage a large number of diverse building techniques. In the build process section we will explore some of the techniques that were used and the reasons designers picked the elements they did to achieve the details of the section. This set is split across 17 bags, however some of the bags have been combined in this review based on what they intend to build. A set that was normally split across 4-5 builds nowadays is covered in 15-20 bags, providing for a very different build experience.
Bag 1 – Car
The first thing we build in this set is Andrea’s sports car. This vehicle’s color palette primarily leverages coral colors with 107Bright Bluish GreenDark Turquoise / Teal, 353Vibrant CoralCoral and 113Transparent Medium Reddish VioletTrans-Dark Pink being the standout colors. The undercarriage of the car comes as one large piece with all other details built on top of this foundation. As a LEGO builder who likes to focus on buildings rather than vehicles this set gave me an appreciation for the level of detail that can go into creating a car. Were this car released as a stand alone vehicle in the Speed Champions line of set it would be a worthy and popular addition. The vehicle is sized to fit both a Minifigure and a Mini Doll allowing it to be used in other builds should you not have an interest in figures included in this set. Where this build stands out from a detailing perspective comes from its use of angles and slopes. The angled headlamps are achieved through use of hinge pieces allowing them to be offset by 45 degrees, giving a rounded a finish. The main finish of the vehicle comes through its used of 9 different types of curved elements. These curves cover the entire chassis of the vehicle and allow the designer to really capture the sports car curves of this flashy car.
Bag 2 + 3 – Garage
As we begin to build up the mansion we start with the garagte. One of the first observations is the inclusion of a unique frame piece. Although this frame is not exclusive to this set this frame allows for rigidity that a brick built frame could not achieve. From a build perspective this section utilizes a lot of technic pieces to build the garage door mechanism play feature. Technic also comes with a secondary benefit of being a useful structural piece, something that is crucial for this build as the height and size needs to be built in a way to ensure it does not break apart. While 1White is the predominant color in this section the gradient accent at the front of the garage is very appealing. The designers make use of 21Bright RedRed, 106Bright OrangeOrange, 24Bright YellowYellow and the new color Reddish Orange to capture this gradual transition. A transition we will see elsewhere in this set as well as LEGO wants to highlight its new elements wherever possible.
On the other side of the garage we see the earthen tones of 312Medium NougatMedium Dark Flesh and 138Sand YellowDark Tan come through as this mansion is built into a rocky hill. Through use of varied slope pieces spaced at sharp angles we get the natural geometry protude along the base of the set. As highlighted earlier the garage door is built using a technic mechanism that allows the car we previously built to enter and leave the garage. While at first glance it may look like this mechanism just opens and closes the door there is an interesting sloping mechanism built into the ground that lifts the floor allowing the car to roll out when the door is opened. When the door is closed the foundation lays flat ensuring the car does not slide around in the set or apply pressure on the door itself.
Bag 4 + 5 – Mansion foundation
As the foundation continues to build up we see the same techniques used to build up the foundation that we saw earlier through use of 312Medium NougatMedium Dark Flesh and 138Sand YellowDark Tan in a variety of shapes and slope sizes. While this section is not completed the designers also make use of Studs Not On Top technique to build detailing horizontally rather than vertically. While the details don’t get added in this section this setup will pay off in later sections. Along the side of the structure we see the earth colors contrasted by a bright 1White retaining wall. These smooth curves juxtapose the rigid sharp edges of the rocks we build next to it. An appealing appearance.
When we turn the set around we start to see all the colors come to life. In the basement we build a room that doubles as a recording studio and a guest bedroom. The bed itself is built such that it slides under the pool and can be hidden out of sight. This simple technique takes advantage of the smooth surface of tiles to slide the bed in and out, with a brick at the head of the bed board locking it into place ensuring it only slides out so far. The floor is colored brightly with 42Bright Reddish VioletMagenta and 322Bright PurpleDark Pink which reinforces the contrasting colors in this set allowing it to pop right out to the builder.
Bag 6 – Pool
Creating a body of water that figures can be submerged in is tricky in LEGO due to the solid nature of its pieces but in this set the designers captured a pool spectacularly. Rather than having the water be the interior of the pool the designers used 42Transparent Light BlueTrans-Light Blue to simulate a glass pool with water inside it. From the side this illusion works as the partially cloudy pattern of layered transparent pieces helps give off the wavy water texture. Moving to the left of the building we see the second layer of the retaining wall be built up, this time utilizing the new 3×3 curved piece to great effect. This slightly smaller curve enables a layering texture while allowing for curvature which adds elegance to the build. This modern look albeit simple really accentuates the wealth of this mansion. Contrasting this 1White are the modern 26Black steps. The steps are built in a layered pattern that ensures that each step is only 2 tiles height difference as the traditional LEGO brick is too tall. This height difference follows the same height differential that traditional LEGO step pieces use for consistency across builds. All the small elements start to come together as we build up the structure, from the shapes to colors, helping accentuate the grand look that the mansion strives to project.
Bag 7 – Recording Studio and entry way
As the first floor comes to a close we can see all the details put together. The foundation itself is 48 studs wide making it larger than the traditional 36 stud wide base plate that modular sets come on but due to its irregular shape this set feels larger. The rainbow of colors begin to come together and harmoniously blend together. While building this and comparing it to my other sets I noticed that unlike traditional LEGO structures the designers went all out to incorporate as many different colors together. Something that in your mind may not come out looking aesthetic but works for this build. Although a very minor detail, the mailbox sitting at the top of the steps is built indented into the wall to ensure that the 2×2 frame does not jut out. This subtle inlay makes ensures that the mailbox is built directly into the structure allowing it to blend in with the flat surface surrounding it.
Of all the builds so far the rocky outcrop and flowers to me captures the beauty of what LEGO is all about the most. This entire section is built on a 8×8 plate which is attached to exposed studs on the side to build up a Studs Not On Top construction. The various 2×2 sloped wedge pieces are positioned in a way such that they continue the slopes of the sloped pieces but adds and additional gradient that is difficult to accomplish with vertical construction alone. The 312Medium NougatMedium Dark Flesh and 138Sand YellowDark Tan blend in seamlessly with the foundation we built earlier hiding the plate effectively. To top off the beauty of this is the simple flowers built simply using a 1×1 brick with various colored leaf elements attached to the side. By offsetting the leaves at an angle it creates a spiral pattern that gives the flowers a swirl that is not accomplished were the flowers upright. Continuing the emphasis on varied colors, 324Medium Lavender and 212Light Royal BlueBright Light Blue are used for the flower petals adding yet another shade of color to the build which blends into the already large symphony of colors in use. Very simple yet effective.
The recording studio utilizes stickers effectively to capture details that otherwise would not be accomplished. Everything from the mixboard to the screen capture iconic sound mixing elements. The fact that a bed is hidden in this room feels like a weird addition but is a fun piece. Unfortunately due to there being a shelf on the side of the room the bed can sometimes get stuck making it difficult to remove. The bookshelf leverages studs on side construction built with layered 1×2 bricks to emulate the various colors of book spines on a shelf.
Bag 8 + 9 – Ground level
As we build the second level we see the interior details of the building come to life. A lot of care was taken to ensure that the modern elements of this structure are captured. While the 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray concrete beams give an unfinished look it also captures the charm of a modern manufactured structure, only missing the exposed piping in the ceiling to accomplish some of the aesthetics we see in modern buildings. While the building itself uses a rainbow of colors, the designers made sure to utilize core colors that are used in modern construction, these being 1White, 26Black and 40Transparent Trans-Clear. Through the abundance of windows and open space the structure ensures that ample light can light capture the beauty of the space. As this second level includes a deck and to not hide any of the detailing the designers made the railings be built out of glass, captured through use of 40Transparent Trans-Clear panes with a modern 26Black metal frame to hold it in place structurally. As a fan of everything glass I am glad LEGO used these rather than traidtional fencing pieces as this simple part choice makes such a large difference from an architectural perspective. This modern level blends in very seamlessly with the stairs and retaining wall that were build in the other sections, allowing the structure to come together beautifully. From a building technique perspective nothing out of the ordinary is done, leveraging a lot of standard techniques, but where it falters there it excels in great parts usage.
While not a new piece this was the first time I have seen a 1×1 stud piece that has a wide lip. In this set it is used as glass plates on the dining table. Through use of a variety of glass pieces, whether for the chairs, wine glasses or plates, the scene has a very regal feel to it. While this set could have included these pieces in any color, the use of 40Transparent Trans-Clear ensures the scene has the grand elegance and wealth that it tries to convey.
Through use of elbow curve pieces a simple two person hot tub is built. Unfortunately the only jets that were included are at the bottom of the tub rather than the sides, a minor detail that does not detract much. Ice cream scoop pieces are used for the jet streams, a piece that is very versatile for a variety of application. While the jet streams add a nice detail, its placement in the centre of the tub can lead to inconvenient limitations to where the figures can be placed, especially with Mini Dolls having long legs.
First introduced in 2023 and currently exclusive to only #10788 Gabby’s Dollhouse is a piece which may have the longest official name that I have ever seen, Brick, Modified 2 x 4 x 5 with Hole for Gear Worm Screw 6L, Runners for Grooves, also known as the Elevator Platform piece. This piece is a single piece mechanism that allows you to raise and lower an elevator platform up a grooved elevator shaft. The introduction of this piece is phenomenal as no longer will designers need to create custom elevators or use stairs as the only means to provide a means for figures to travel between levels. A stand out aspect of this piece is how simple and compact it is, taking up a 6×6 space, ever so slightly smaller than the 7×6 space that the traditional Stairs 7 x 4 x 6 Straight Open piece takes up. I am sure LEGO will start using this piece more and more in their sets which means it will be introduced in more colors than the two currently available.
While a very minor detail, the design decisions taken to build the pool earlier in this set is accentuated through the use of floating pool ornaments. By hiding some of the construction elements to build out the water and leveraging transparent pieces to raise a float we capture the watery texture of the pool even further. The size of the float is built in a way such that a figure can fit in and float in the pool.
Bag 10 – Elevator shaft
The centerpiece of the build is immediately noticeable due to the curvature of the elevator shaft covering. With one half utilizing a 40Transparent Trans-Clear Panel 4 x 4 x 6 Corner Round, Quarter Cylinder piece to create a large open window for the characters to look out through as they ride the elevator. On the other side we once again see Studs Not On Top technique utilized to create a layered brick pattern. Due to the nature of the tile in this case being ever so slightly narrower width wise than a LEGO piece tall we are able to create an effective indentation effect between the stacked pieces. By once again using both 1White and 26Black, we are greeted with the strong contrasts we see elsewhere in the set that accentuates the detailings of each. I plan to utilize this indentation techniques in my other builds as this added depth accomplishes details that a flat surface would not be able to do.
Alternating triangular checkered tile in 325Lavender and 322Medium AzurMedium Azure make up the interior foyer of the mansion. This pattern utilizes only two pieces but adds an additional layer of detail that enhances the build. I always love when builds add floor texturing rather than just leaving exposed studs as it highlights the focus and attention the designers have on finishing the build. This does however come at the cost of more pieces which drives up pricing, so the decision needs to be used sparingly. The ability to pose figures on this can also be tricky as tiles do not allow figure connection points to connect to them.
A large number of pieces is not required to make detailed mini builds and the Grand Piano highlights this. This mini build looks like it comes straight out of a LEGO City themed advent calendar and shows how mini builds can add a lot of details. Through use of curved tiles and just a single printed piece this grand piano is immediately recognizable. The designers went all out with detailing, even including foot pedals underneath the pinao.
Bag 11 + 12 – Second level
As we move up to the second level we see the vibrant colors continue. The same color choices we saw with the garage are reintroduced here with 21Bright RedRed, 106Bright OrangeOrange, 24Bright YellowYellow and the new color Reddish Orange adding accent detailing to the structure. To help capture the modern look the designers used 113Transparent Medium Reddish VioletTrans-Dark Pink tinted window panes to add a warmth to the glass texturing, something when placed beside the other colors adds character. While the colors provide accent the designers’ decision to leverage Studs Not On Top techniques to add a series of rows of 1White 1×2 tiles on the side of the structure provide an eye catching layered brick look. Due to the nature of the tiles being slightly smaller than the 26Black brick underneath we are able to see the heavy contrast exposed which adds more gravitas to the surrounding colors.
On the inside we build a child’s bedroom. While stickers are used to create details I think the designers went a little overboard here, especially when it comes to the bed. Where earlier in the set we see some great brick built beds the designers here instead opted to use a 2×3 sticker on a tile to represent the bed. A lazy design decision. Similarly we see stickers used for cushions and other details in the room. Where the bedroom stickers falter the bathroom stickers succeed. Given the space constrains in a 4×8 space the designers used stickers to add texturing for the bathroom shelves and mirror allowing us to focus on building an amazing brick built toilet in the space. The interesting contrast between poor and good sticker usage in these series of rooms highlights how instrumental stickers can be, while also showing how it can cause lazy detailing.
First introduced in 1981 we still see the Garage Roller Door Section without Handle piece used three decades later. Rather than using it a garage door we instead see them used as styalized window shutters. Introduced in two new colors:182Transparent Bright OrangeTrans-Orange and 44Transparent YellowTrans-Yellow they fit the color aesthetic that the rest of the set is aiming for. While installed open they can be closed but will only cover up half of the window space in the room. These pieces are simply installed by utiziling the bars at the end of the roller door and connecting it to vertically oriented clips. Such a simple design but creative part choice. While the builds so far in this set are not complex the designers have done an amazing job at using the right parts to achieve visual goals that have not been seen in other sets.
Bag 13 – Interior details
Of all the bags 13 is the smallest, focusing on the construction of the second floor hallway and interior detailing. From a brick building perspective there is nothing new here that stands out. From the front we see the same curved glass and white brick technique used to cover the elevator shaft that we built in the floor below and on the inside we use stickers. A lot of stickers. While not the biggest fan of stickers its application here is understandable as LEGO would not realistically print these hyper focused images. Were these prints I would see LEGO have to make detail concessions elsewhere, while not having them at all removes some niche detailing.
Bag 14 + 15 + 16 – Lounge and roof top deck
As you get to the top floor everything comes together beautifully. The level of detail in parts choices, shapes and colors are thought out and makes this set in my opinion one of the nicest sets to look at from an eye catching point of view. The contrasts between the colors are immediately noticeable and imprints a positive feeling of warmth on the space. Through the irregular shapes and lack of uniformity the structure has character that feels very in line with what LEGO stands for. The attention to detail in this structure is meticulously thought out with small items such as the continuity of 24Bright YellowYellow across the middle elevator shaft adding a lot to the space. LEGO could have made some design concessions and cut corners to drive prices down but as the main set of this wave of sets I am glad LEGO didn’t hold back. I look at this set as a architectural piece rather than a set in the Friends line and it only stands to reinforce that LEGO Friends has become one of the best sets in the past few years with details. I look forward to adding minor upgrades to this structure as I fit it into my line of modular sets. As I look at this set come together what makes it special to me is how abstract and different it is. When compared to other structures you see a lot of great design choices which make it stand out, almost too much next to other sets, which can be a strength and a weakness.
Probably my favorite space is the lounge space on the roof top. Everything from the small gas fire pit, to the sleek 1White loveseat and chaise to the glass table all fit together beautifully in this space. The rattan wood floor rug in 312Medium NougatMedium Dark Flesh is a nice touch as well, with the
Tile, Modified 1 x 2 Grille with Bottom Groove / Lip piece doing its job beatifully by allowing the colors of the floor beneath to flow through. Whether an intentional design decision or due to parts limitations it is odd that the deck does not continue a uniform color between the seconds with a 5Brick YellowTan abruptly changing to 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray only to continue again later. I feel had it just been 5Brick YellowTan all the way through it would have looked nicer. Another small but fun addition is the Karaoke machine nestled in the corner. While not a needed addition it adds character and story to the space and serves as another piece of thoughtful decorative touch to the space.
Mirroring techniques used on the other half of this building we once again see the vibrant colors bring the space to life. As modernity often leans towards the over use of glass and windows to bring in light we see the same technique used here. Rather than just having glass panes however the designers added depth by having the window sit one stud into the room allowing for a 26Black sill to sit outside the space. This depth is accentuated further through studs on side construction to allow for a thin tiled rim in pronounced colors, most notably 322Bright PurpleDark Pink. To ensure that this rim flows across the angled space the designers ensured that the side window is indented one plate less, allowing for the bottom of a plate to begin where the side of another one ends.
Officially this room is listed as a bedroom but it feel more like a lounge space with a 24Bright YellowYellow chaise lounger in the corner. Unlike the stickered bed built in the other half this is brick built which reinforces that brick built detailing reigns over pure sticker based texturing. To add more character a turntable piece sits beneath the bed allowing the bed to sit at an angle rather than face forward. In the corner of the room is a small open bird perch. This build is super simple but add character to the room through its irregular branches and colors. The dark colors of this contrast heavily against the brighter colors in the rest of the room.
Bag 17 – Finishing touches
While the exterior excels in leveraging fun colors and build techniques to build a abstract yet affluent structure the interior instead focuses on compact mini builds to add details. As you look up all the levels, from the basement to the rooftop deck, every room is unique. Whether it be through the colors or shapes a lot of mini builds introduced give each room its own character. My favorite space of it all has to be the two decks, these being the second floor deck and the roof top deck. The sleek builds and colors used capture the vibe that this set is striving for very effectively. While a lot of great detail is included to ensure that the characters can travel between the floors through the elevator it is interesting to see that the top level is not accessible. Even though this may only be a small factor it detracts from a realism point of view.
The introduction of a new 1×2 fern piece allows for the creation of palm trees that emulate those that are commonly found in areas of affluence like Miami or Hollywood California. An aesthetic that this building is trying to go for. The subtle curvature of the fern pieces combined with existing 1×1 fern piece allows for elegant layering which rests atop a very thin and tall step. This will be yet another tree technique that I will need to introduce in my builds once the pieces become more readily available. While an existing palm leaf element exists I feel this new construction captures the California Fan Palm better, allowing for a more compact shape.
A variety of plant elements both on the deck and on the water add plant detailing to the deck. In this section you begin to see how many different foliage elements have been created over the years as such a large number are used in this section. The water surface uses techniques we see in the Ninjago City line of sets with 42Transparent Light BlueTrans-Light Blue tiles placed atop of colored plates beneath to add a varied color. Printed tiles for Koi fish add an additional level of detail for this pond. While the Koi is a nice addition I question the design of this pond as a waterfall flows off the side of the building into a pond below posing as a hazard for the fish. Aesthetic but impractical. Through use of 1×2 rounded tiles a cobblestone edge to the pond is created, simple yet a touching feature.
This set highlights the some of the original LEGO friends cast but in adult form and also allows room for the new generation of figures. Of the included figures 2 are new characters, firstly retired K-pop star Ji-Won and Andrea and Ji-Won’s daughter Imani. From the original cast we have Andrea, Stephanie, Olivia and Emma reintroduced in adult form, each coming with new prints for their head, torso and legs. Mia, who is also a member of the original cast is included in this set, however she reuses prints that have been seen in previous sets. As members of the new cast we have Leo, Autumn and Paisley, all of whom use pieces we have seen elsewhere. The cast of characters in this set are very diverse and represent the diverse set of people one would interact with on a daily basis, allowin children playing with this set to see a piece of themselves or their daily life in the characters. By ensuring that the included characters do not all belong to a monolith adds fresh perspective, something that is not often the case with traditional toys.
One of the highlights of this set is the handful of new parts and colors are introduced with this set. The most notable addition is a new color; Reddish Orange. This set gives us 3 new parts in this color. 1×2 Tile, 1×4 Tile and 1×2 Plate. Alongside new colors we are also introduced to 3 new molds, the first of which is a standout fern piece. Unlike the fern piece we saw introduced in 2023 this fern piece is a two stud wide fern allowing for larger foliage builds. This piece has been designed to follow the curve of a traditional arch allowing you to effectively recreate curvature that we already see in other sets, but in plant form. Another new mold that is easy to miss is a 3×3 rounded corner brick. While the 4×4 and 2×2 variants have existed for a long time this is the first time we see the 3×3 introduced, and boy does it allow for some elegant curves in this set. While new molds are exciting so are elements in new colors. This set contains a variety of new colors for existing pieces, many of which are introduced in a transparent color. The most notable recolor is the Garage Roller Door Section without Handle pieces that are used for window blinds. This piece has been in production since 1981 so it is always great to see old pieces get the love they deserve. A important piece introduced in 2023 that comes in a new recolor of 26Black and is currently exclusive to only one other set is Brick, Modified 2 x 4 x 5 with Hole for Gear Worm Screw 6L, Runners for Grooves. This intricate piece is great for both play features and for saving space through the use of 1 piece. While there are too many pieces to highlight in this section, something that could be an article of its own, it is evident that the designers put a lot of thought into this set, so much that they were not afraid to introduce new parts to capture the level of detail they were targetting.
As LEGO is not a cheap product it is always important to look at the value of this set. A variety of factors affect value, whether it be price per part, number of minifigures, build experiences or even price per gram. Here at Brick Architect we try to ensure that you have a plethora of data points available to you to help you make an informed decision about the set. As this set is not a licensed set this gives the LEGO designers more wiggle room with price flexibility as a percentage of their sales does not cover licensing fees. From a price per part point of view this set sits comfortably below the 10 cent per piece guideline that is the gold standard for LEGO sets, sitting at 8.8 cents per part. While this is favorable it is also important to understand that small pieces can skew this number so we also want to compare its weight. This set weighs 2116 grams and comes at a 9.45 cents per gram which is comparable in pricing to other major unlicensed sets at this price point. The set also comes with 10 Mini Dolls which is a large number of figures for a $199.99 set. While all the numbers highlighted are favorable what stands out from this set is its scale with its size of 11.5 in (29cm) high, 17.5 in (45cm) wide, 7 in (18cm) deep. At this price point this set feels a lot larger than traditional modular structures as the designers make great use of open space to open up the set.Due to the nature of this set being a doll house a lot of pieces are saved by keeping the back open, pieces that can be used to to accentuate the set elsewhere. One of the spotlights of this set is also the great number of new parts and colors that are introduced in this set, a great addition to the LEGO piece palette. From a value perspective, albeit still a pricy set, you are getting a lot of value for what you pay.
To compare this set and its metrics to other sets you can refer to the table below.
|#31203 World Map
|#21056 Taj Mahal
|#21058 Great Pyramid of Giza
|#10278 Police Station
|#71741 Ninjago City Gardens
|$0.052 per piece
|#71043 Hogwarts Castle
|#10292 Friends – The Apartments
|#10297 Boutique Hotel
|#42639 Andrea’s Modern Mansion (this set)
|$0.088 per piece
|#10312 Jazz Club
|#10282 Adidas Originals Superstar
|$0.081 per piece
|#10305 Lion Knights’ Castle
|$0.089 per piece
|#10303 Loop Coaster
|#75290 Mos Eisley Cantina
|$0.126 per piece
|#21343 Viking Village
|$0.062 per piece
#42639 Andrea’s Modern Mansion is a great set, even if you are not the intended audience of younger builders. It is exciting to see LEGO Friends has grown-up: the sets are amongst the strongest when it comes to attention to detail, creativity and use of parts.
Thanks to bright colors and a striking composition, this will stand out when displayed in you LEGO collection. It also has the open “doll house” back which allows children (of all ages) to interact with the play features easily. While the $200 price tag is expensive, it offers a comparably good value based on price per-part or price-per-gram, lots of minidolls, and some interesting new parts. The build experience is very varied and unique compared to other sets, with a healthy mix of pieces, colors and design decisions. You won’t get bored building this set.
As an adult LEGO builder, I am mostly interested in intricate detailing and interesting building techniques, which is where #42639 Andrea’s Modern Mansion shines. I expect that many people will convert this set to a modular-style building, which should be possible without buying a lot of extra parts, especially if you shrink the model (which is 48-studs wide) to the standard 32-studs wide baseplate. That said, the vibrant colors make it shine as a stand alone set, but it may clash when sitting next to the muted colors of existing sets.
Even if you do not keep it assembled or convert it into a Modular, #42639 Andrea’s Modern Mansion offers parts in a nice variety of colors to add to your collection. Looking at this set from an AFOL perspective, it earns 4/5 (Excellent) rating — well deserved for a beautiful set that highlights The LEGO Group’s continued investment in making LEGO Friends succeed.