Friday, September 22nd, 2017 at 1:02am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
With The LEGO Ninjago Movie just premiering this weekend, it's time for us to take a closer look at some of the sets. Today BZPower Reporter Xccj reviews one of the smaller of the LEGO Ninjago Movie sets, 70607 Ninjago City Chase. Is this worth darting through downtown Ninjago City for, or is it best to leave it be and avoid the traffic? 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 shows off a chase scene currently in progress. The Ninjas and the police are chasing after a Shark Army thug as he runs through the marketplace in Ninjago City. The image does a good job at showing off the various models, and the cityscape background hints at an even larger, thriving community. The back of the box shows off some alternative scenes to give you a better look at the models.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
There are three primary builds here; the police rickshaw vehicle, the marketplace stands, and the lampposts with hanging lanterns. None of the builds are super substantial, but they're quick and easy.
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 comes with 233 pieces, plus the usual extras, which is a pretty decent value. Most of the colors seem to be black and white (for the police rickshaw) with some brown thrown in (for the marketplace stand) while a few other bright elements do stand out. There are a few rarer elements included here, such as the round gold plate with a bar, Thor's hammer, two lampposts, black paint rollers, the half box tan panel, the rope piece, the light blue fish, and trans red minifigure heads. Additionally, the hairpieces for Lloyd and Nya and the straw hat for Ham are new elements too.
You get five minifigures in this set, which is a decent amount. First off is the movie's protagonist, Lloyd Garmadon in his civilian clothes. He comes with a nice green hoodie and some black jeans. His accessory here is a soft drink can with the printed tab tile on top; I guess he likes his drinks. He has two facial expressions, two variations of a smile, and both show off his new bright green eyes. The hair piece is a new mold for the movie, but it is quite similar to the mold they introduced with Lloyd in 2014. Although this is overall a cool fig, civilian Lloyd does appear in a couple of other places, so he's not too unique.
Next you have Nya, the water ninja and only female in the group. She's also wearing her civilian clothing, which includes a nice black jacket and some well-worn jeans of her own. It is cool that we're getting civilian outfits for the Ninjas; it's something they've had in their previous television show, but none of them have been released in set form before. This version of Nya is exclusive to this set, while the other Ninjas appear in their civilian clothes in either the line of Collectible Minifigures or the massive Ninjago City Square set. This Nya shows off her new hairpiece, which is quite different from the design that originated with her character in 2011. Her head has two expressions, smiling and serious, and both include a distinct beauty mark. Her assessor is a nicely printed cell phone tile.
The sets villain is the generic army builder called Shark Army Thug. (He doesn't even get his own name, which is a bit odd since a lot of other civilians and bad guy characters are getting names.) He has a cool combat ready uniform on, with nice details on his torso and legs, but these also appear on many of the other Shark Army characters, so they're far from unique. He has a patch eye and a dark orange hoodie, which puts him in the criminal category, but probably not master criminal. His weapon is a hammer sticking out of a fish. This seems to be the common theme for all the shark army's weapons, and the fish is new in this light blue color.
Next we have Officer Toque, showing that Ninjago City has a thriving police force in addition to its band of vigilante ninjas. Toque is quite similar to The LEGO Movie's Badcop, in part because he uses the same torso and helmet piece, but comes equipped with a new mustached face. His accessory is a pair of handcuffs to slap on the criminal when he catches him.
Finally, we get to the set's civilian in distress, Ham. His dark blue robe design is reused in some of the other Ninjago Movie sets with the other civilians, so it seems to be a pretty standard outfit. It has some dirt spots on it, so he probably just got into a mess thanks to the Shark Army Thug. He has a single distressed facial expression, and uses the new straw hat mold to shade him in the Ninjago sun. He has a fairly basic design, but it works. In addition to being recognizably Asian, his outfit also closely resembles the civilians from the first season of the Ninjago television show.
The first and main build is the police rickshaw vehicle. It's certainly a new style for a LEGO police vehicle, and the rickshaw design is very fitting for the Asian themed Ninjago city. That said, it's still a pretty basic design. There are seats for two minifigures, and it feels pretty empty on the side without any doors. (I suppose he could use the back seat to transport criminals, but it seems like it would be too easy for them to escape. More likely, it's there to help transport civilians and Ninjas around with the police force. There are some stickers to apply here, including a top banner and a back license plate which both read "Police." These titles are actually in English, which perhaps means that Ninjago City is multi-lingual. The P and the E are different designs. . . but they don't actually translate into the Ninjago script for those letters. The P is too stylized to be the Ninjago P, and the E actually translates into the Ninjago number 6, so I'm guessing it was intended to be completely English letters here. You also have two stickers on the sides with the stylized P in a police badge. Some other features of the rickshaw include side mirrors, a storage clip for the handcuffs, and an easily detachable roof. There are handlebars inside, but they are very tricky to get the minifigure to grab onto without disassembling the entire model. Overall, it's not my favorite design, but it gets extra points for being a new vehicle design.
The marketplace stand is the second build in the set. It has a fairly simple design which isn't very substantial, but it works for a small stand. I do like the placement of the clip bars on the sides, which help stabilize the structure and also give a useful angle for the food baskets to connect to. The baskets themselves just let the fish and cherries sit in place loosely, which means they'll fall out easily if the stand gets bumped. My favorite part of the design is the clip pieces that help make a solid angle for the red flags, which provide a small cover over the front of the stand. You also have two small lanterns held out using the gold round plate with a pin. For some translations, the top sign reads "SHOP" while the fish sign reads "96" and the cherry sign reads "59." The latter two are clearly the prices for the food, but the image still does a good job conveying the idea without the translation, even if you can't guess the exact amount. You can also add a basket of apples to the scene, and the basket is angled up using an inverted slope.
The final build is the lampposts with a rope of lanterns hanging between them. The actual lamppost pieces are extended using an antenna, a lightsaber hilt, and then a paint roller piece. The string is attached via the paint roller pieces, and comes with five small lanterns, two of which use a trans red minifigure head. The added benefit of the rope is the extra connection points to allow the Ninjas to swing from it like a non-licensed Spiderman. Of course, the most interesting details are in the colorful signs that are attached to the lampposts. For translations, the green sign reads "NEWTOWN", the yellow sign reads "ARLO" in a more freehand version of the text, the blue sign reads "HOTEL", and the orange sign reads "UPTOWN". While the design is basic (and the signs are all stickers applied to tiles), they still give a nice touch of flavor to the Ninjago City scenery.
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 is actually a rare Ninjago set that doesn't really have any action features built into it. The police rickshaw is fairly mobile with seating for two, so that's a nice touch. The marketplace is pretty solid, but you can move the food items around to help Ham sell stuff. And you can make the Ninjas swing on the rope between the two streetlights. But mostly what this set excess at is roleplaying, since you get a large cast of characters to supposedly reenact an exciting chase scene from the movie. Beyond that, the models do a good job of supplementing the look of Ninjago City. (Or perhaps you could add them to your Ninjago District of LEGO City.)
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Five great figs
Unique police rickshaw design
Gives a cultural flavor to Ninjago City
What's not to like?
Individual designs a bit lackluster
A modest selection of parts, nothing too new
Lloyd's civilian design is reused a lot elsewhere
Difficult to get rider into the rickshaw without complete disassembling it
The models are pretty basic for this set; they look good, but aren't too exciting in my opinion. The main draw is the characters, including a couple of exclusives. This set does a good job of complimenting your Ninjago City display. It's also fairly affordable at $19.99 USD. However, because the models are somewhat lackluster, if you only want to pick up a single Ninjago product, I might recommend going for some of the more expensive vehicles, and only pick this set up as a secondary purchase.