Thursday, July 23, 2020
Review: 43176 Ariel's Storybook Adventure
Stories of adventure under the sea await to be told with Ariel's storybook.
The box follows the same format as the other ones in the Storybook Adventures series. The box front shows the open and completed storybook, with the closed book in the lower left corner. The LEGO and Disney Logos are in the upper left corner, and the the Disney Princess logo is at the bottom next to a movie-style image of Ariel. The background color fades from pink to blue with magical sparkles and swooshes.
Like my box for Anna and Elsa's Storybook Adventures, this box uses stickers to provide the US appropriate labeling.
The back of the box continues with the same color scheme from the box front. The open book is shown from the other side with call out circles showing details of the build. Another movie illustration of Ariel shown under the LEGO and Disney Logos. Below that is an image of all four books in the series. Next to the book collection is an image showing how the book closes. This is the same layout as the other books.
My box is glued rather than taped and has the half-moon knockouts for opening the box.
The top of the box shows a small boat build and the characters included in the set. From left to right: Sebastian, Flounder, Ariel (in human form) and Prince Eric. Ariel in mermaid form is shown as the 1:1 part ratio example.
The left side of the box shows the same image from the box front. There is also a sticker with the USA distribution information.
The right side and bottom of the box have more stickers for the labeling requirements. The LEGO Life logo is on the right side of the box.
Opening up the box, we have similar contents to the other books in the series. The book covers and spine are exclusive to this book. There are two unnumbered bags of parts, and two sticker sheets. The larger sticker sheet in my set has a slight curl to it, but is otherwise in good shape for being loose in the box. The instructions are a fold-out sheet like the other books.
There are only two stickers on the smaller sticker sheet that will be added to the book covers. The larger sticker sheet has a wide variety of sea life for decorating the finished build.
Opening the smaller bag of parts first, we have the pieces for micro Prince Eric (we'll look at all the micro dolls a little later). The printed 2 x 2 music tile is new. I was surprised to see that it was not the same tile that has been used in other Little Mermaid sets. The music tile only appears in one other set, which is a magazine gift foil pack: 302002: Aurora's Rabbit (2020).
In addition to the new printed tile, there are a few other new pieces in this bag. The dark bluish gray 1 x 2 jumper arch is currently exclusive to this set, and there is only one included. I hope these will be showing up in larger numbers in other sets soon.
The 2 x 2 jumper plate with 1 stud in the center in coral is new. It is currently only in this set and set 43175 Anna and Elsa's Storybook Adventure.
The pearl gold 3L technic pin with stop bush is also a new color for 2020. It is used in set 43174 Mulan's Storybook Adventures and set 43177 Belle's Storybook Adventures. It is also used in set 43179 Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse and three other sets.
The 1 x 1 round plate with horizontal swirl (the poop piece) is new in white for 2020, and appears in four other sets.
In the larger bag of parts, have another new pearl gold 6 x 8 oval tile. The Ariel silhouette print is exclusive to this set.
The gold clasp and keyhole print on the pearl gold 2 x 3 modified tile with 2 clips is new for the adventure storybooks. This print is used for Mulan's Storybook Adventures (set 43174) and Belle's Storybook Adventures (set 43177).
Also new and shared with the storybook adventure sets is the white 2 x 2 modified plate with 1 stud in center with a gold lace pattern. There is only one in this set, but more in the other three storybook adventures sets and set 30554 Cinderella Mini Castle.
In addition to these new parts for the storybooks, there are other new pieces. The clam/scallop shell with 4 studs is exclusive to this set in coral.
The coral thallus/seaweed/coral plant is new for 2020 and only appears in two other sets.
Finally, the satin trans-light blue 6 x 2 x 2 windscreen with handle is exclusive to this set. The color has a lovely shimmer to it.
Before we take a look at the new micro dolls, let's put the book covers and spine together.
The exterior of the book is decorated with the two stickers from the smaller sticker sheet, the silhouette tile, and the lock print.
Only a few things are added to the inside of the covers as most of the building will be placed in the spine of the book. There is very little added to the sandy beach side of the book, and just a few pieces to give the impression of the seabed on the other side.
Before we flip the instructions over to keep building, we have the micro dolls to assemble. They are so cute. I love that we get Ariel in both mermaid and human forms. As a human, Ariel wears a bright pink dress. As a mermaid, she has purple shells and a dark turquoise tail. Identical hair pieces are included for both figures; it is the same hair piece used for the mini-doll version.
Prince Eric wears a white shirt and sand blue pants that match his mini-doll version from set 41052 Ariel's Magical Kiss (2014).
All three figures have unique head pieces. I especially like Ariel's singing face. She looks so happy.
Sebastian and Flounder are the same molds that have been used in past Little Mermaid sets. There is something fun about them staying the normal size while the other characters are super-deformed.
Here's a comparison photo of the three figures with their mini-doll versions for comparison. All of my mini-doll Ariel's have green tails, so I find it interesting that the micro-doll has been changed to turquoise. On the other hand, dark turquoise was used for the tail on the Ariel BrickHeadz.
I couldn't resist a comparison photo of my various Ariel figures, just for fun: BrickHeadz, mini-doll, mini-fig, and micro-doll.
Let's finish up building the book scenery.
Like the other storybook adventures, the main build along the spine is broken into three sections. First is a bit of underwater castle, with sheet music, trident, and a slide. How exactly do slides work under water with things that swim? Best not to think about the physics in Atlantica and just enjoy the story.
In the center, we have an archway under a coral clamshell.
The final section is a bit of coral and the sunken statue of Prince Eric.
All of the sections have a definite front and back. This represents Ariel's undersea world, and it doesn't read as well from the beach side of the book. After building Anna and Elsa's Storybook Adventures, these feel really simple and less interesting in comparison to the Arendelle castle.
The last thing we build is a simple little boat. For this scale, I think it works just fine.
The finished build with everything in place. I really feel like this one needs the extra stickers for decoration. The ocean is really plain with out them.
Here are the leftover pieces, and the decoration sticker sheet. So let's get them in place and see what a difference they will make.
Ah. That looks better. Now the ocean is teeming with sea life.
And the beach is also more interesting for the addition of the stickers.
Here are a couple more views of the finished build. There are more tiny stickers in this set than the other storybooks, but also more space for them.
Getting ready to close up the book was a little challenging. The micro-dolls will not fit on the jumper under the arch, as their hair pieces make their heads too wide. But the boat fits nicely in the arch. There are jumpers for two figures in the back.
Using the jumper at the top of the slide, I realized I attached the music tile incorrectly. It should be attached in the corner and not the center of the tile. Everything fits better when you get this right.
I chose to leave Sebastian in the clamshell and close it so he wouldn't fall out; however, the book will close with the clamshell left open. The slide folds up for storage.
The finished book already to add to my shelf. I really like how these books look.
Final thoughts? Like the other storybooks, this is fun. The micro-dolls are super cute, and it would make a good travel set for a Little Mermaid fan. Personally, it is my least favorite so far. The central build doesn't work well from both sides, but is fun from the ocean side.
Overall, I'm happy to add it to the collection.
This set was purchased by me, and was NOT provided by The LEGO Group.
Opinions provided here solely mine.
Photographs are mine and are not directed by TLG in any fashion.