Lego Ninjago (70753) Lava Falls Modification.

Ninjago

So in my review of the original set, I criticised the length and height of the bridge for the Lava Falls set.

Even as I did that, it struck me that I had a spare version of the set waiting to sell on Ebay… When I have the time and energy to deal with non payers.

Instead if selling it I’ve decided to combine the two sets allowing me to add a modest amount of length to the bridge. And height to the platforms.

These pictures are the result. While I think it looks better. There is room I think for a longer bridge still. Another 4 links would be perfect. Sadly I have non free at present in my Lego spares stash.

Off topic for a moment. I’ve always thought Kai’s new hair piece was over the top. But looking back on this old molding, I now realise I prefer the new one.

My son helped to make the Lava patterns that extend from the pillars. He got very cross with me for not letting him help more… I mean it’s not as if Lego is a toy.

The existing techniques axle wasn’t long enough to support the bridge. Then I found this flexible red axel which is from the bridge on the Temple of Airjitzu set. This works nicely and being flexible, means the bridge can bow a little.

Now when pulled back a minifigure can comfortably fall to their Doom. Rather than get stuck as it did in the original set.

We built the brown pillar up to double its original height. Maybe a touch over the top. But subtle, Ninjago is not. It’s seems to have added an appropriate amount of height to the model.

Finally, I have been shamed by how much batter every other blog I follow is at photography.

I already have too many hobbies. Adding in learning to work a camera is one too many.

But I did recently see this tip on providing a background to your photos. Apologies I don’t remember who’s blog it was. It was one of you Lego legends though. Remind me and I’ll give credit.

Conclusion

Adding height and length to this model ended up being tougher than I expected.

Hopefully it has given me a little humility when reviewing Lego designer’s work in the future.

Lego Ninjago (70753) Lava Falls

Ninjago

Continuing my journey into all things Tournament of Elements, I have dusted off this nice little set.

The original set had no base plate and less lava at the bottom. These are just embellishments I have added for display.

When new, the set came with a Kai and Sleven minifigures. Sleven can be seen on the far right of this picture. I popped three Anacondrai goons in at the front for a bit of depth.

In the cartoon Kai battles the master of Smoke on a much larger bridge over bubbling lava. The master of Smoke seen here came from an ealier minifigure pack called : ELEMENTAL MASTER ACCESORY PACK 853687. This blister pack gave us Smoke, Shaddow and Skylor.

The set features Kai (and originally) an Anacondrai goon racing to be the first over a rickety rope bridge to get a Jade Blade.

Besides being a nice small set. And presumably mid to entry level price originally. It also has a cool play feature. Pull the techniques axle on the right and the bridge collapses.

This play feature isn’t without problems however. The bridge is too short and the gap below it too small.

This means that the minifigure doesn’t properly plunge to their Doom. But all too often just gets stuck.

As I write this I wonder if it would be worth trying to mod this set further to make the bridge higher up and slightly longer.

I will have a go at that and post the results some time soon(ish).

That criticism aside, this was a small set at the time and clearly aimed at young children. My son had great fun playing with his version of this set when I gave it to him.

And I still enjoy it for capturing a moment in the cartoon and for its visual and display worth.

So here is a very poor photo of the three tournament of elements battles in my display case. Unfortunately my poor photography skills combined with the reflections from the glass case don’t make this the most useful picture.

Conclusion

The plusses for this set include: Small size, cheap price 2nd hand, two minifigures, visually appealing.

The downsides are that the original set included an Anacondrai goon rather than Smoke. And that the main play function while cool doesn’t really work that well.

Because of this I’m taking off two points and giving this set 8/10.

Despite this potentially not being the most appealing of scores, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this set or to recommend it to Ninjago fans.

Lego Ninjago Tournament of the Elements MOC Bolobo Vs Neuro

Ninjago

Mid week update, because my last post was a small one. Also because I’m off work poorly 🤧😷 and I need a distraction from feeling rubbish.

Totally hilarious, I’ve just noticed that the Jade blade is missing from 2 of 3 pictures where it should be in focus.

Which means Bolobo and Neuro are fighting over nothing… Oh dear. Still, on with the blog, we must not fail.

This is my second Tournament of the Elements inspired mini MOC.

In the cartoon these two have quite an interesting battle, since Bolobo spends most of it under a kind of mind illusion that he’s winning when he’s not.

I pulled the bottom leaf and root section off of the new Legacy Tournament set and added more greenery. So that everything he touches sprouts leaves. 😋

Meanwhile Neuro has grim determination on his face. As he maintains the illusion and strives for the Jade Blade himself.

So here’s the whole mini model (as it should look with Jade blade in place).

As you can see I’m no set designer. Never will claim to be one. But I had fun recreating a scene from my favourite Ninjago season.

More Tournament of Elements updates to follow.

Ninjago Griffin Turner vs Gravis MOC.

Ninjago

So the new Tournament of Elements Legacy Ninjago set has inspired me to build a couple of new scenes from that season.

I don’t build my own stuff often. I like to collect and adapt and display. Still, occasionally I feel the need for a set or a scene that doesn’t exist.

I looked into buying a bunch of pink tree parts. Alas, I calculated I’d need to spend at least £10 for enough leaf parts to look OKish.

So instead, I used the leaf parts I already had. Then I ordered 70 odd pink dots to be blossoms. Which worked out at 99p.

I found a clip of their battle from the cartoon on You Tube. Then managed to pause said vid at the right point to try to recreate the rocky outcrop that the tree is perched on.

Although 70 pink dots seemed like a lot, looking at the tree now I think I could have gotten away with double that.

Griffin Turner on a big stack of see through dots to give the illusion of movement is not my idea. I’ve seen it online in several other people’s MOCs and shamefully copied.

I have one other Tournament of Elements MOC. And a couple of set reviews to follow. I will post them soon.

Meanwhile, peace out, Ninj-Nerds.

Lego Ninjago (70653) Firstbourne

Ninjago

This is a partial review. I do own the Iron Baron’s Helicopter. Which I LOVE, but at present it is in storage. So this review is just for the dragon itself.

Firstbourne is the mother of all dragons, and thus far, the mother of all Lego dragon builds that I have owned.

On my wishlist is the Skull Sorcerer’s Dragon. Which looks as if it might be bigger. But other than that I think even Morro’s Dragon is smaller. Making this the biggest Ninjago Dragon.

Once again with firstbourne, as we had with Stormbringer, Lego have given us these beautiful printed eye blocks. Also look at the lovely lower jaw design.

I found it hard to find enough space in my house to photograph this model given its size.

Still, I’ve tried to get close into my favourite feature of this model here. It has a huge bulbous chest which gives the model balance and weight. It also provides a stunning animalistic curve to the body shape, when viewed from the side.

I don’t often show the build of a model. But how the dragon’s chest is built impressed me so much that I needed to share it…

… Alas my wife is fed up to back teeth of me showing her Lego. So my lucky legions of follows on WordPress, you get to hear my nerd like ramblings.

Just look at all the brackets in this section of the build! I heard Lego had to build a new factory just to produce the brackets for this one set alone… Well that’s what I heard, honest I did.

I slightly prefer the fabric wings of Morro’s Dragon to these vinyl plastic wings. However one advantage they have is the ability to create creases that look like bat wings. Come to think of it they are also more robust than the fabric.

Well dang, in the space of two sentences I have made such a convincing argument for vinyl wings that I think I’ve changed my mind… Fickle soul.

The wings can be flapped by means of a techniques mechanism. This is controlled by these two handles at the back here. It results in a pleasing movement that looks quite life like all told.

Speaking of wings. Here’s the build of the wings. I found this construction to be both enjoyable to build and an innovative approach to creating the ‘bone’ structure for the dragon’s wings.

Ninjago dragon tails have been around for some time. This one is standard farye. Being quite similar in design to the Earth Dragon and the (original) Ultra Dragon. It has a techniques cog that allows you to whip the tail back and forth.

Here’s some close ups on the legs. Built around A-Frames and ball joints with nice chunky thighs.

Overall this set is huge. And it’s secondhand price often still reflects this. As a result I bought this set in Chunks. Getting first the Helicopter, then the various minifigures and finally the dragon.

You get a great array of minifigures in this set. Particularly the colourful characters of the dragon hunters. Chew Toy, Muzzle, Faith and Jet Jack pictured above. And Kai and Cole in their Hunted robes. Cole’s robe having sustained damage from the Bounty’s cross dimensional crash.

I will at some point review the Helicopter when I get it out of deep storage. A quick line here would be to say that it is a beautiful steam punk triumph.

Conclusion

Although a partial review. I will score the set as a whole. I’m taking off a half point because of the huge size of the dragon. It is simply too big for me to display.

I did manage to get it in my display case. I used it to recreate the scene where the Ninja ride the dragon back to Ninjago to fight the Oni Titan Mech.

However I had to pull apart its wings to fold them in enough. Even then, while I could shut the case door. The dragon then swamped the scene.

Still it’s hardly fair of me to buy a huge Lego set then blame Lego for the set being huge. Hence only a half point docted. Its worth also noting that the dragon had to be big to fit scale of the cartoon. So I’m not saying these things to be churlish. Rather that size is a consideration when you’re choosing to buy a kit or not.

I’m taking a second half point off because of the inclusion of a Kai minifigure. ‘The dragon is red so let’s put the red ninja on it.’ It would have made more sense to have Wu in his full golden armour.

So I’m scoring the set 9/10. Which is arguably unnecessarily harsh. Since the dragon and the helicopter are visual sucesses and enjoyable to build.

It’s hard to give a set 10/10. It would by definition be perfect. This set is darn near perfect. Alas I suspect it will spend most of its life in storage since I have no room to display it.

Ninjago City Gardens (71741) part 1

Ninjago

What arrives in a big brown box 9 days after you order it?

x1 free gift x2 children old enough to play with Lego. How will I split this?

☹️ Oh dear 2 of my sticker sheets and my free poster arrived with creases in them…. Not the first bad packaging I’ve had from Lego this year…

Box graphics

A quick estimate I’d say there are roughly 3 million bags and 30 billion pieces to this set.

This is a quick excited update. Apologies for poor spelling and grammar. Proper updates to follow as and when built.

Looking forward to combining with Ninjago City and Ninjago City Docks.

Lego Ninjago (71731) Zane Vs Nindroid

Ninjago

Great packaging. Love the artwork. Screams buy me. Superb marketing.

Box contents prebuild.

Overall I like this new Zane minifigure. I approve (with the exception of Cole) that Lego took real chances with these minifigures and made fun playful designs. Sole criticism is the legs. The switch from torso to legs looks like they belong to two different minifigures and that Jars. Making this my least favourite Ninja minifigure from these sets. Which sounds harsh except when you consider that overall I think these have been a great set of minifigures.

Zane comes with the ice blue weapon pack. It’s worth noting here that my kids love these new transparent weapons. I forget sometimes that Lego is aimed at children and not me.

The two build elements are what seems to be a nindroid charging station. Perhaps for after the ninja knock out the power supply to Ninjago City? And a gangway on legs. They certainly have an industrial feel to them. And the colours, while a little garish, do fit the colour scheme of the original season.

As I’ve said on a previous post the Legacy Nindroids are a triumph of design. They take the original design and improve it with extra fine detail.

So here’s Zane standing by the industrial walkway. And the Nindroid plugged in to get some electric eel power, (makes sense if you’ve watched the cartoon).

Here’s the whole set built and laid resplendent upon my living room carpet. You have to admit of all the recent small entry price sets these ‘Vs Battle’ sets have the highest brick count of recent times.

Conclusion

I think the whole Vs Battle sets have been a triumph. They look great, there’s lots to build, lots to play with and plenty of fun in their designs.

This Zane set is no exception. Interestingly I think the sets from the original rebooted season are my favourite. The designs were just plain cool. These structures are a little bit plain and awkward, by comparison. But they certainly nail the industrial look. So I think overall they will fit in with the old designs.

I’m going to be tough on this score and take off 1 point for the Zane minifigure and half a point for the slightly plain look of the builds. This gives the set a throughly respectable 8.5/10.

That tough score aside I have not fear recommending all these battle sets. My hope is that they will release both a Nya and Master Wu version of the battle sets.

Final thought

It’s clear that the World press Ninjago blogging community demand more Nya. She deserves equal respect. To not make a Nya set would raise questions about the sexual equity in series sets.

Nya is much loved, super cool and worthy of her own verses set. What about Nya Vs Dogshank? That would be cool.

Hopefully there are battle sets in the offing for Nya, Wu, Lloyd and PIXAL. Because I love these little battle sets.

Peace out Ninj Nerds

Lego Ninjago (71733) Cole vs Ghost

Ninjago

Well established, I love the design on the packaging for all these vs sets.

Here’s the box contents tipped out.

Dear Lego, what is this? I’ve stared at it for hours. Is it a Ghost sausage on a BBQ? Perhaps a Zombie Bratwurst in a baby’s crib? A severed length of garden hose on a four-legged robot dog?….. Nope I give up. I have no idea what the set designer had in mind with this. Nor what their manager was thinking approving it for release into a set. I MEAN WHAT IS IT?

… Reviewer pants, calming down from the rage of the green sausage… Quick move on to reviewing the minifigures.

Let’s face it Cole is why we are here. I would argue that of the four battle sets this cole minifigure plays it the most safe. The orange hands and mask are a great detail. And the printing and design of the minifigure is beautiful. Great old school Ninjago.

And now alas… This set let’s me down again. The original possession sets and minifigures were epic. The Ghosts in particular always looked great.

Here we have what I think is the Legacy version of Ghoultar. The much loved, ever hungry, dim witted side-kick of Moro.

Sadly the minifigure is a bust. The design on the torso is thick and boring. Lacking in the greater detail of the original Ghosts. While the Ghost leg pieces are always welcome this one feels and looks cheap. There’s too much solid purple and not enough transparent neon green. The head piece is an interesting variation on the original, but, not as good as the original. Shame. I had great hopes for the Legacy Ghosts.

The pergola, street food cafe is clever in that with very few bricks it convays the styling of the possession season. I will certainly be incorporating this in my Possession display when I make one later in this year.

Despite the lantern being of a strange proportion I still like it. Its different from other Ninjago lanterns and that alone gives it merit.

Less merit is due to the unfinished look to the top of the pergola. The light gray hinge plate to house the lantern spoils the colour scheme and seems like lazy design. (Black would have stood out far less). And the top of the pergola has an unfinished look to it. Some tiles or slopes may have made it look nicer.

Here’s the whole set built.

Conclusion

I left this set till last to build as it struck me as the next most exciting one after Jay. (My Zane set is built, review forthcoming). I made a poor judgement there.

This is in my estimation the weakest of the verses sets. It’s rescued only by the Cole minifigure and the overall appeal of the pergola Street food shack.

Design, beauty and appeal are deeply personal things and I must take care to point out that these are my opinions only. Someone else looking at this set may see a beauty that I would otherwise miss and that is good and right and proper. We don’t all have to agree.

To the score. I’ll be blunt this set looses 1 point for the poor Ghost design. 1 point for the weird hot dog table. And 1 final last point for the top of the pergola and it’s unfinished desgin.

That’s 7/10, which is perhaps not the best score, but certainly makes this set still worth buying. Its cheap. Its small, it has charm. Its just misses the potential it had. But still, I don’t regret buying it.

An obvious must for Cole fans and collectors.

Lego Ninjago (71730) Kai vs Skulkin

Ninjago

Continuing my reviews of the ‘Vs battle packs’ we come to Kai. Once again outstanding artwork on the packaging.

Here’s the contents of the box tipped out. Note the chewed up instructions? (looks worse in real life, the picture doesn’t do the damage justice.). It feels like either the person or machine that boxed this set did it on a Friday afternoon at 5pm. Shame really. Lego should equal unrivaled quality at all times.

Here’s why I’m here. This Kai minifigure is beautiful. It’s playfull, a little silly and also powerfully cool all at once. I’m utterly in love with this minifigure. His hair is a bit over the top. (Spot the jealousy from a balding old man). I love love the flames on his leg.

The Wyplash minifigure is great. The silver in the printing is quite vivid it real life.

This shrine arch is gorgeous. The yellow leaf part. The curves on the top. It’s just looks great. I have of course several Ninjago arches from other sets. But this is one of my favourite designs.

The side build is a little practice dummy. It’s a different design from other ones I have so far. Which is a plus, but there’s not much more than that I can say.

So here’s the whole set built and laid out resplendent on my kitchen floor.

Conclusion

I enjoyed this battle set slightly more than the Zane one. If only because the styling is more traditionally Ninjago.

It feels like this is the Vs set with the fewest pieces. It doesn’t seem as substantial as the others.

The Kai minifigure and the ceremonial archway are the highlights of the set.

The score? I’m taking off a point for the fact that the kit seems a little sparse. And another point for the damaged instruction booklet. It shows a lack of care which is disappointing.

So this set gets a respectable 8/10. A must for Kai fans and indeed a visually beautiful little entry level set.

Lego Ninjago (71732) Jay VS Serpentine

Ninjago
My boi Jay. He is the greatest ninja, don’t even bother trying to argue with me because I’m right and nothing will ever change my opinion

Great job on the packaging. Lego have really gone all out on the innovative box shape. I’ve tried to photograph it, but it’s hard to get a good angle when you have the photography skills of a one legged frog.

Here’s the whole set. These entry level cost Vs battle sets are all amazing.

The contents of the box before you start building.

Jay, Jay Jay, he is so amazing (Imagine me singing that, I have the voice of an angel). Seriously though, I adore the new Jay training outfit. And the design on the Snake is beautiful.

The printing on the back of the torsos is mighty fine too. And Jay dual head. I’ve just wondered for the first time if the wind whistles through the holes in minifigure’s legs? Tumbleweed, prolonged silence, aaaand moving swiftly on.

The snake head statue is a triumph. Its design is so sleek. I also adore the new style bamboo with the tilt on one branch which just sets it off perfectly.

Here’s the spares and extra weapons. The weapons would be better in electric blue to look like Jay’s lightning energy. The Ghost green yellow is an odd choice. Oh well.

The side build is a little stack of bamboo that sits on a hinge so your Ninja can chop it down with one masterful stroke of his blade, hi-ya! (that’s my masterful Ninja chopping sound, (You’re welcome)).

One last glimpse of the whole set.

Conclusion

So this is a nice cheap entry level set. There are 4 ‘Vs battle’ sets. Which also makes them collectable. I love the new Serpentine minifigure. He is sufficiently different to the older snakes to add more variety into snake builds in the future.

I adore Jay’s new Gi. Its just such a great fun playful design.

What really makes this set is the snake statue and the bamboo side build. All to often Lego side builds and incidental buildings have left me cold. But these look great.

If I had 1 criticism of this set its that’s Jay’s weapons aren’t the colour of his energy power. Its possible this will make more sense when the new cartoon comes out. But who knows.

Is that criticism enough to damage the score for this set?

… (suspense filled silence)…

No, it’s not. I love it. Its my first 10/10 since I started rating Lego Ninjago sets. Totally recommended this as a purchase.