Clarifying Friends place in the LEGO world

 My copious reply to a comment on an article on which a person asks for clarification, due to the commenter not owning any Friends sets of their own -- to evaluate first-person -- yet relying on some images online, which appear to show Friends as over-sized/pre-built:

"While I don't know which pictures online you looked at (there are a lot of distorted images & data regarding Friends) I can tell you the bricks are System bricks (meaning *not* DUPLO) but in fact, the same type/size which exist in *all* other LEGO sets and brick buckets.  I own several Friends sets, so this isn't me merely reading it somewhere.

What is sadly being over-shadowed by this myopic "backlash" is how innovative this theme is, in relation to overall LEGO products.  If you watched the robotic sorting machine in the LEGO factory on National Geographic channel this weekend, you would have a glimpse into the mind-boggling, complex packaging process for these sets.  The current trend in building structures has gone toward what it called "modular" -- which *does not* mean pre-fab, yet, each 'section' is build brick-by-brick and 'then' can be combined in several different configurations.  The most well-known modular LEGO set is the Grand Emporium

Olivia's house was designed and packaged the same way.  Rather than randomly dumping all the bricks into a bag into the set box, groupings of individual bricks are sorted into various bags -- so the owner can *choose* to build one specific section of the house -- *brick-by-brick* -- and/or continue on building the entire house in one sitting.  Due to the anthropological research TLG garnered, being able to "build" with a several bricks -- along *with* imagination play -- is offered for the purpose of keeping some girl builders attention long enough to continue interest in building.  In today's busy lifestyles, this may also be a practical application; building the entire house in one sitting takes even experienced adult builders a couple of hours.  Also, the modules are meant to be rearranged to owner's taste.  Also, the owner can re-build the entire house into something completely different.  What you may think of as "limiting" by TLG producing sets, most LEGO fans thrive on because it is a chance to obtain new colors and pieces.  Also, since Olivia's house is LARGE, so for *stability* purposes, there are a few 1x5 bricks -- which are the *same size* as found in Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and several other sets!

Please take time to answer your questions visually with this meticulously photographed, detailed review of Olivia's House  -- for a much better understanding of the actual build and the way it's packaged, plus, it is written by a female, Pandora:
It is *very* long, as it is a large set (695 separate pieces) and it provides analogy of this set in relation to other sets of equal degree in building challenge.  Pandora has added in a nice mini-doll analysis in comparison to the traditional MiniFig :-)

The kids who build Friends (kids = boys who also appreciate real-life settings) will definitely build spatial, math, and engineering skills while engaged in play!"

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