Suggested Age: 7-12
Casual Build Time: 50 minutes
Dimensions: Dragon – over 3″ x 8″ x over 9″ / Waterfall – 3″ x 3″ x 3″
I’ve been avoiding the kits marketed as girls for reasons I’ll get into shortly but decided to give this one a try anyway purely because I love dragons. The box art is also very eye catching with beautiful character designs, bright colours and whimsical fonts.
The kit contains the necessary pieces to build Merina the Water Dragon and a magical Crystal Waterfall. There is also one mini doll (Naida Riverheart) and a selection of accessories for her to use, including a map, hairbrush, binoculars and perfume bottles.
Here are some photos of what can be found in the box:
The set was relatively easy to put together and, given that it took the better part of an hour to construct, I did feel that it was good value for money. The instructions were easy to follow and the only bits that a young master builder might need help with are putting on the stickers and clipping together some of the ball joints. The finished product looks rather impressive.
Merina is colourful and highly poseable as virtually every part of her body moves. There are multiple joints in her tail as well as two in each leg, her wings, her neck and her hinged jaw. She’s just lovely to look at with a rounded, friendly face. My only issue with her is that her jaws are difficult to open if you don’t have long fingernails. You also have to remove the flames to get her to close her mouth and so this small piece could easily get misplaced.
The Crystal Waterfall is a little less interesting. While it is at least brightly coloured, I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking at is it water or rock? Are the pink things crystals or little faerie houses? What on earth is the strange round object that sits along side it? Is it a lily pad? Another perfume bottle? I couldn’t begin to say.
At least the waterfall is fairly interactive. There is a small hidden compartment in its base, just big enough to hide a small item like the binoculars inside. There is also a catapult mounted on the top which is designed to fire small green studs to feed the dragon. The catapult is actually pretty cool as it can fire things with surprising force.
But finally, we have to come to my problem with these kits:
Hookay. I really don’t like the girly kits because of the mini dolls. Here’s the thing about LEGO. It’s supposed to be fun for all ages and genders. If that’s the case, what is the purpose of the mini dolls? Girls play with “ordinary” LEGO sets. I am one of them. One of the main draws of LEGO is that it’s gender-free. The existence of kits like this and the LEGO Friends range fly in the face of that.
Also, you can’t use the mini dolls with normal kits as they’re far too tall and their feet are the wrong shape. They have no diversity of shape as all of them have the same slender bodies and out of proportion limbs. Even their hair has an odd rubbery texture, unlike the hard plastic of a regular minifig.
The kit even plays into the notion that girls are just interested in fashion and looking pretty by having the Crystal Waterfall double up as a beauty table. At least the kit isn’t entirely modeled around this aspect and its easy to overlook them at a brief glance. This is far from my favourite set on the whole and I would only be tempted to buy more from this range to gain a few more of the dragons for my collection.