The best LEGO Friends sets span across a range of sizes, budgets, and complexities. The good thing is that they’re incredibly versatile, fit for audiences of all ages and types.
The theme was kickstarted in 2011, and immediately faced controversy as it was perceived to succumb to typical gender stereotypes. Since then, though, change from LEGO’s branding has made classic LEGO sets much more accessible to girls, while sales for LEGO Friends has also boomed.
The Friends theme (not to be confused with that show from the 90s) features LEGO figures that break away from the typical minifigure form. Instead, the characters are slightly more life-like and are much more detailed. In some ways, this is much easier for children to take on the narratives of the characters, and engage in thoughtful play.
Here’s a few of the best LEGO Friends sets we’ve seen to date
There’s over 500 LEGO Friends sets to choose from, so this wasn’t an easy task by any means. We’ve decided to pick the top five, considering budgets, playstyles, complexities and age ranges, while also trying to choose options that stand out in 2023. As is always the case, the latest sets tend to have the most innovative narratives and design choices, so you can expect many modern sets which are also easier to get hold of nowadays, compared to extremely early releases.
1. 41727 LEGO Friends Dog Rescue Center
For us, the most versatile LEGO Friends set out there has to be the Dog Rescue Center. It only released in 2023 and though it’s not been around all that long, it’s had enough time to make its mark.
The set features many of the motifs that LEGO Friends is known for: bright pastel colours, serene environments, and playful creativity. Alongside that, it’s also great for any animal lovers who are looking for an outlet for their compassion for pets.
Included in the set are Autumn, Zac and Dr. Gabriela mini-dolls, alongside three puppies in need of some care. The characters included in LEGO Friends sets are just as much the centrepiece as the construction elements themselves, especially since this theme is tailored towards crafting a compelling narrative. If this is what you’re after, then you might also consider the best LEGO DREAMZzz sets too, all of which have spellbinding stories to tell too.
You can find the LEGO 41727 Friends Dog Rescue Center on Amazon or The LEGO Store.
2. 71749 LEGO Friends Newsroom Van
Another fantastic LEGO Friends set that’s worth considering is the Friends Newsroom. Characterised by a stunning narrative detailing an environmental protester campaigning to prevent a tree from being cut down, a news van is close-by recording the story as it unfolds.
The set features three mini-dolls, alongside a vibrant set packed full of detail. It’s not too large, either, meaning it’s a great choice for anyone who’s looking for an introductory set for their kids. The fact that it’s got 446 pieces makes it quite a bargain, though, considering that there’s a decent amount of constructive complexity for the van itself.
The set also features refreshing diversity which – as a PoC myself – is extremely refreshing to see. LEGO Friends is one of the most forward thinking LEGO themes out there, and while the other themes are slowly introducing a wider range of characters, the Friends theme is exceedingly exemplary.
Another aspect that I really enjoy is the emphasis on journalism and news reporting. The whole set is focused on storytelling, and focusing on things that are important. Though I write mostly about LEGO, a pretty lighthearted topic, I consider myself a journalist above all else. There’s no chance this set would go without a mention thanks to the themes and tone it brings to play.
You’re going to be able to find the 71749 LEGO Friend Newsroom Van on Amazon.
3. 41730 LEGO Friends Autumn’s House
One of the larger LEGO Friends sets out there, Autumn’s House is a great gift idea that’s going to impress all children. The large scale means there’s going to be plenty of imaginative play opportunities on the cards, and it’s going to include four mini-dolls for your kids to engage with.
The house is packed full of colour and opportunity, and the autumnal tree on the side is a welcome seasonal touch. There’s quite a lot going on here, with outdoor furniture, a balcony, and a horse’s trough outside too.
There are 853 pieces included, so your children are going to be preoccupied for a while as they construct the set, and the end result is going to really be worth it.
There’s plenty of hidden accessories tucked away throughout the house: binoculars, notebooks, food for the horse, and even cooking ingredients. Plenty of little features give the set some much-needed depth, especially against the rest of the LEGO Friends theme which can be quite barebones at times.
Find the 41730 LEGO Friends Autumn’s House on Amazon.
4. 41756 LEGO Friends Holiday Ski Slope and Cafe
The 41756 LEGO Friends Holiday Ski Slope and Cafe is a complex set that’s going to require an adept level of construction. While it might take a while to get through the 980 pieces, the end result is a compact, detailed, and simply stunning breath of fresh air.
While a lot of the LEGO Friends sets feature Summer, Spring, and Autumn settings, the Ski Slope looks to the Winter with its snowy landscape. Architecturally, it’s a beautiful set with nature bound to structure. One of the motifs of the LEGO Friends theme is the smoother surfaces, lending themselves to the more realistic form of the mini-dolls, and the snowy landscape certainly benefits from this.
Alongside the main attraction, there’s also mini-dolls for Liann, Zac, and Aron – all clad in snow proof clothing, while there’s a snow fox too for added immersion.
This is definitely a set that’s going to have your children begging for a ski-trip, so you’ve been pre-warned.
Find the 41756 LEGO Friends Holiday Ski Slope and Cafe on Amazon, currently discounted.
5. 41737 LEGO Friends Beach Amusement Park
The LEGO 41737 LEGO Friends Beach Amusement Park is the final inclusion on our guide to the best LEGO Friends sets. It seems fitting to finish it off with one of the most impressive features in the theme, and the most fun, no doubt too.
The main attraction has to be the Technic elements which give the set a dynamic spin. The fact that the fairground rides actually rotate is a fine example of how this set is really worth the odd £75 you’re going to spend on it.
There’s 1,348 pieces included in this set, making it the largest of the one’s we’re spotlighting here. It’s a little bit more of a complicated build, though it’s certainly one of the most eye-catching builds that the LEGO Friends theme has to offer.
It’s suggested that this set is saved for those 12 and over, so this is also something you should note.
You’re going to be able to pick this set up from Amazon, currently discounted too.
That’s as much as we have on the best LEGO Friends sets, all of which vary in size, budget, complexity and target audience. We hope we’ve helped you find what you’re looking for, though if you’re still in need of any more advice, you might consider looking at the best LEGO Icons sets, or even the upcoming Technic sets we’re really excited about.
Amaar began Bricka after a lifelong passion for LEGO.
His time building and collecting LEGO has influenced every aspect of his life, and he’s not stopped creating since.
Having played too many games growing up, Amaar is also a writer for Videogamer, where he reviews hardware and talks about handheld consoles.
When he’s not writing about nerdy things, he’s drawing graphic novels and tattooing at his Manchester studio.