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Although thinking about it, don't friends sets usually have tiles to make smooth seats, due to the lack of holes in their bums.
Edit: I've just realised what I have written, that sounds so wrong. :-)
Now what would be new and novel is if they did have a specific app one could load on devices to make a background or play music for the modeling show. Then it becomes the first Friend item to add a tech feature to play, and considering how critical tech is with kids, I could see them doing that, and this being a hit. Of course if they did not do that, then it is a crazy missed opportunity.
Even in this case, though, as a "phone stand" I can see why they did not include ladyfigs, but if they are going to sell it as a tech toy instead, it would be a missed opportunity not to include them.
Set the stage for a fantastic fashion show!
Create the stage for a fabulous fashion show with the LEGO® Friends Model Catwalk! Build a colorful entrance arch and catwalk for the models to walk down. Use the pretty backdrop included or play a LEGO Friends music video on a smartphone or MP3 player. Arrange the seats and then invite your friends to watch your stylish show!
So they do seem to be promoting it as a toy with a tech feature, but still strange no minidolls
"Includes a QR code linking to a LEGO® Friends music video at LEGOFriends.com"
I would assume that the music video would feature the animated friends characters and I guess TLG are assuming anyone buying it will already have mini dolls to make up the audience. It's a really odd thing though.