Sunday, April 29th, 2012 at 9:40pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
It's time for another set review from the quite popular Ninjago theme. Forum Assistant Sisen takes a look at Jay's Storm Fighter to see if it's up to snuff. Should ninjas be flying around in jets or is this a set that should have never taken off? Read on to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Ninja! Go! This installment of the ever popular Ninjago line features Jay's Storm Fighter. Right off the front of the box, you are drawn into an attention grabbing scene. Jay is piloting his Storm Fighter in an effort to prevent Snappa from obtaining a mystical snake staff. While the box art features the high paced action scene, the regular mumbo-jumbo regarding the set information is also included on the box. You have your age range of 7-14, 242 piece count, and a small image teasing that Jay's Storm Fighter converts!
The back of the box further depicts the conversion that Jay's Storm Fighter can undergo. Jay and Snappa are located next to the landed Storm Fighter, in the ancient combat pitting ninja against snake. The top right corner of the box is adorned with nice minifig artwork of Snappa. Although, he is depicted holding a golden spear which is not in the box, it is always great to see some variant figure art. The rest of the box focuses on the plane's features, mainly the cockpit and conversion mode. One of the mystical four snake staffs is showcased on the back of the box along with Jay's personal ninja tools used to combat Snappa.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Once you delve into the depths of the deep dark box, you return with two bags and a book. All the pieces are bagged up, thus there are no loose pieces to lose. When you tear open the bags and inner bag, there are four main piles of pieces you are going to pick a brick from. Blue is the main color of the set with some black and pearl gold highlights.
Assembling the minifigs of a set is always the easiest part, but it is always fun to see how they come together. Plus, who does not love having a little fun playing with the minifigs before assembling the set? Jay and Snappa are a nice combination, at least when Snappa is not trying to sneak attack.
You start off building the set by constructing the shrine, which houses the mystical and ever sought-after Snake Staff. There is not much to the shrine; it is your everyday fire-torched, vine-growing, golden-adorned shrine for a mystical object of power.
Finally, we arrive at the Storm Fighter itself! The ship is a fairly straightforward build. The bulk of the construction goes into building up the rear of the plane, which supports the conversion mode the Storm Fighter can enter. As the blocks go together it becomes obvious how the ship converts into the alternate mode, but it does not take hold until it has been fully assembled. Once you add in all the pieces Jay is ready to enter the cockpit and take flight.
Here's a little sneak peak at the mechanism behind the Storm Fighter converting.
Throw on the windscreen and Jay's Storm Fighter is ready to go!
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
This set has a lot of blue. Da ba dee da ba die. There are a lot of wedges and slopes within the set and that makes up the bulk of the construction. The use of slopes is subtle in the design, but they are added in nicely. The use of the blue wing wedges is interesting because they are not jetting out like wings. If the wedges had been used as wings in a standard format, there would be no opportunity to implement the conversion mode.
The amount of blue pieces in the set is what I really like, but there is one other piece I particularly enjoy. The pearl gold propellers that are used for the conversion mode really stand out. Having the conversion mode really makes the set, but it is the underwing blades that make it what it truly is. There is a lot of potential for the blades. I keep envisioning them as swords in the hand of a Toa or even some Hero from a Factory of sorts.
There are some other exclusive pieces to the set you do not see in many others though. The dark blue tails and the blue curved slopes in between them are not pieces you see in other sets. The trans-red, trans-green, and pearl gold round tiles are newer pieces too, but they are making appearances in other sets.
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?
Jay's Storm Fighter is a ton of fun to play with. When I saw this set, I thought it was just another airplane. Now that I have built it and played with it hands on, it is so much more awesome. There really is nothing wrong with the set and I had a fun time playing with it. The mechanism to convert the Storm Fighter is simple, but there is a downside: you have to manually open the wings fully. That is a very minor thing and having control of the wing opening gives you more options. You might only want to open the conversion part way instead of all the way.
Snappa is relentless and will stop at nothing to get the mystical Snake Staff!
Jay is quick to act, but will he recover the mystical Snake Staff before Snappa can get away?
All in all this is an awesome set.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Lots of blue!
- Da ba dee da ba die
- Super-duper awesome cool fighter ship
- Conversion mode
What's not to like?
- Not much for Snappa to do in the set
- No landing gear?
Generally speaking you do not see high powered airplanes and such used by Ninjas. The ship design has me in mindset of some anime, scifi, high-tech future type deal and not Ninjas. The fact all those things are combined in this set is a-okay in my book though.
And that wraps things up for this review. As per usual leave any questions, comments, or feedback you might have in the Talkback and be sure to thank Sisen for this review while you're at it. And of course, keep checking back on BZPower for more set reviews and LEGO news!
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