Saturday, June 9th, 2018 at 11:11pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
The latest wave of Elves sets may now be available, but we still have time to look at the winter wave. Today BZPower Reporter Xccj looks at 41191 Naida and the Water Turtle Ambush. Is this set worth braving the waves for, or should you just let it sink? Read on or watch the video review to find out.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The front of the box depicts the various builds and how they work together in the scene. There are three main builds here; a small landscape bit, a small boat for Furi, and the elemental water turtle Cory. The top corner also shows off some of the other characters facing off against the primary antagonist, Noctura, although the two characters featured in this set are Naida the Water Elf and Furi the bat. The back of the box shows off some different scenes that showcase some of the sets action features, like Furi's chain launcher and Naida's ability to ride Cory the turtle. I also like the cool artwork at the bottom, showing Naida and Cory on their way to free the other elemental creatures from Noctura's chains. This set retails for USD $19.99.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The builds are fairly simple, even by Elve's standards. The brick built turtle, in particular, is not quite as complex as some of the other animals and dragons we've seen from the theme. Still, a lack of complexity doesn't mean they don't look cool; the boat in particular is a small build that works rather well.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
The set comes with 205 pieces, which make it a pretty decent value. The color schemes vary quite a bit between the three builds, but the whites and blues (dark azure, medium azure, aqua, blue, trans blue) from the turtle dominate the part selection. In particular, there are a couple of rare elements that appear in dark azure in this set, like the 1x1 round corner tile and the 2x4 wedge elements. Also included are a couple of surprisingly rare gold elements, like the tooth and tail / horn pieces. Another new element for 2018 is the five pedal flower studs, and you get a couple of those in lavender here. The Elves theme is also bringing back the teal color, although this particular set only includes one tooth piece in that shade. Other rare elements include the golden staff, the black rod element, the trans neon green chain, and the trans green bat wing. Cory's turtle head is also a new mold, with some nice printing and a pinhole connection in the neck. All the previous animal heads have been dragons, so it's nice to see a gentler turtle design. This set also includes the new diamond element in trans blue with the Elve's water symbol printed on it. These elemental pieces appear to be the collectible of the wave, and then can be combined together to form a cool four point star, and also attach to the heads of the various animals via pin. It's a neat part, and I hope to see this element reused in other colors in the future.
This set comes with one minifigure and two mini animal molds. Naida returns in a snazzy new outfit, with combinations of dark blue, dark azure, and aqua flowing together nicely. It actually reminds me of some of the water bender uniforms from "Avatar the Last Airbender" cartoon. The head and hair are reused from previous incarnations of Naida, but the new thing is her staff. Most of the previous Elves sets had shied away from weaponry, but this year all the Elves come with new elemental accessories, and in Naida's case it's a nice staff. It utilizes the gold Egyptian staff and the black rode piece to highlight her water symbol, and looks fitting for the character. We also get a recolored turtle element to form Calypso, with some nice lavender printing on her shell. The main antagonist for this set is Furi the bat. To me, he appears to be some sort of mini fox with bat wings, and he comes with an angry face and trans green wings. I think this design works better than the Goblins from last year, and you can create an colorful army of bat creatures if you collect all the sets. Furi is exclusive to this particular set.
The first build is a small landscape piece detailing a mini waterfall. These sorts of landscape designs are quite common in the Elves theme, and this even includes the transparent crystal structures that seem to clutter up their world. There are some nice designs placed here, including the mini lily pad, the jumping fish, and the clever use of the flower elements to create colorful reeds. The main feature is the launcher situated at the top of the waterfall, but it still blends in with the small scenery design.
The next build is the clever little boat for Furi. The use of dark blue and trans neon green work well together, the simple SNOT curved slopes the bat wing works perfectly for the hull and sail, and the whole thing looks quite good at this scale. There's even room for Furi to sit on the teal stern of the boat, as he guides it around the swamp in search of the water turtle. (He also has a cherry snack for when he gets hungry, even if it does sort of mess with the color scheme.) I very much enjoyed the clever and concise build of this boat.
The main construct in Cory the water turtle. (She is female in the story, which I didn’t realize when I first started this review.) The Elves theme is very familiar with animal builds, but after a few years the dragon designs were starting to get a bit stale. As such, the turtle design is a refreshing departure from the dragons, and brings us a new style of animal to construct. (Turtles wouldn't necessarily be my first pick of an elemental water creature, but it still does work.) The lower body design is fairly simple, and the short limbs are a bit underwhelming compared to the other creatures. Her front legs have some extra azure detailing on then which is cool, but otherwise they're fairly basic. Even more disappointing, while she has a neck extension piece, the design still has restricted side to side movement. Her head is designed to have the blue diamond piece attached, and a clear 1x1 round tile in put in place to hide an unsightly gap.
The better design elements involve her shell. The front end uses some hinge pieces to angle the round plates, and the build cleverly locks it into place with the technic plate on the top. The back is a bit more simplified, where it utilizes the dark azure wedge pieces, but it also includes a seat for Naida when she waters to ide the turtle. The gold horn pieces also form a nice perimeter circle around the shell. Her color scheme also works nicely, with an aqua head and legs, a blue shell, and gold highlights. Although multiple shades of blue are used on the shell, they work together to make it more crystalized, which I think works well. In the end, although the limbs are a bit lackluster, the shell's design more than makes up for it.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
This set offers plenty of play value, and the inclusion of a small antagonist certainly adds to the conflict. The two main action features are the tile launcher on the waterfall and the chain launcher on the boat. For the waterfall, the launcher is connected to a rod, and when you pull it back it triggers the tile to shoot out. This projectile launcher is now quite common, but it works here, and fits in nicely to the scenery. You get two round tiles as projectiles, so there’s plenty of ammunition to use to defend the swamp. The boat includes my favorite style of stud shooters due to the attached chain. I'm not a huge fan of losing the stud ammunition on my sets, but the chain allows for short shots without the chance of actually losing the pieces. Cory herself isn't exactly the most posable of figures, but on the other hand turtles aren't generally super mobile either, like lions or foxes, so the stubby legs fit right in. And you can always attach Naida to her back to go on an epic aquatic adventure.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Decent amount of pieces in nice colors
Nice details on the landscape bit, including the lily pad and the reed design
Furi’s little boat works really well for its scale
Refreshing to have a non-dragon animal design
What's not to like?
Turtle’s legs are a bit stubby
The neck also doesn’t have much side to side articulation
The turtle, while different, is still a bit tamer than some of the other creatures we’ve seen
In the end, this set has a lot going for it, including a couple of neat characters, some nice action features, and a cool brick built turtle. And there's also a bit of a collectability aspect to it, since you know you're going to want all four elemental creatures eventually. Naida and Cory do deliver by being the cheapest elemental creature available. That said, this isn't my favorite set from the latest wave of Elves, as some of the other models have more interesting animal designs and other cool builds. Cory wouldn't be my first choice, but it's a good set to get if you're on a tighter budget. The various blue pieces also make it a decent parts pack too.