LEGO NINJAGO Jungle Adventures (Review + Brickfilm)
NINJAGO 71740 Jay's Electro Mech
The LEGO Ambassador Network has asked me to take a look at the LEGO NINJAGO Spring 2020 sets, which release March 1. So, being a Bricks in Motion member, I thought, what better way to review a LEGO set than to make it into a brickfilm! After all, the best way to really test a LEGO set is to animate with it. What, don't you do the same with every new set you get?
This week's set review is LEGO 71740 Jay's Electro Mech. Even though this set is part of the NINJAGO Legacy line, and is from the Ninjago season when the ninja are on Chen's island, I thought it was a perfect start to a series of Jungle themed animations. So, introducing, Part 1 of what I'm calling the LEGO NINJAGO Jungle Adventures Series.
Check out a video review and behind the scenes look at the video here.
You might be confused, even perplexed about the style of this video. Well, if you have never played an old fashioned point and click game, this might be new to you. *puts on old man voice* Back in my day.... computer games didn't have fancy graphics, so they were limited to mostly still backgrounds, videos, and clicking. Obviously, I didn't have to replicate such a style, but I felt like its retro charm would be perfect for showcasing the new NINJAGO sets' functions.
What are your thoughts on this set? Personally, I found it a bit difficult to animate with, due to its 4+ nature, which means it didnt have many parts or tight joints on the mech. And what did you think about the video? I'll be making more, so your feedback is valuable.
NINJAGO 71748 Catamaran Sea Battle
In this video, I used the set LEGO NINJAGO 71748 Catamaran Sea Battle. Unlike the last set, this one isn't a 4+ set, so it was a marked improvement from my experience with Jay's Electro Mech.
The set comes with six minifigures. Zane, Jay, Kai, and three islanders.
I really like the new headband hair pieces for Jay and Kai. I've been putting the headband hair on other minifigures and it looks sweet as well. The islanders are also really nice minifigs. The bamboo hat and the masked minifigure are especially neat, in my opinion.
The set features two vehicles. The Kai speeder has a somewhat "transforming" feature where the "wings" of the boat extend for a sort of battle mode. It features missile launchers and and adjustable sail as well. The Islander's boat is actually three boats in one, because the sides of the boat come off for, again, a battle mode.
These are great vehicles. From a brickfilmer's perspective, I like them as well. They're well detailed and easy to animate with/on. I enjoyed using them in the making of the above brickfilm, and, if I had animated inside on a real set, I would have enjoyed it as well. Of course, I didn't animate inside.... I chose to animate outside lol.
What do you think of this set? Is there anything I missed with this review? Would you animate with it, or maybe use some of the parts to create something else? Lemme know below.
71745 Lloyd's Jungle Chopper Bike
Okay, so now that I've scarred you with that video.... let's get into the set review!
This set feels very classic. How can you go wrong with a LEGO motorcycle? I don't really think it's possible. The set is reasonably priced and comes with good minifigures too. The set comes with three minifigures. Two Ninja and one Rumble Keeper (whatever that is).
Jungle Lloyd is not one to be trifled with in this set, and neither is Jungle Nya (which isn't much different than normal Nya, aside from the attire). Lloyd's headband hairpiece is a favorite of mine, just like I mentioned in my last review. The headband hairpieces are a really good addition to my collection.
Both ninja come with double sided heads, which I like. More options for posing and animating. The "Rumble Keeper" (again, what's that mean?!) doesn't have a second face on the back of the head.
The bike itself "transforms" into two sections. First is a motorcycle with a sail. And second is a motorcycle... and a flying speeder (with a cool sail). The speeder has stud-launchers on it.
Unfortunately, the cycle itself didn't really stand up. I was slightly disapointed in this fact because it had a killer suspension. I had to prop it for all these photos. But as you can see below, the rounded wheels caused it to fall to one side no matter what I did.
All in all, I enjoyed the set. It's useful for animation (just add a couple bricks to the bottom and right under the suspension and it stays still for animation), and it seems fun to play with if I were a kid (and I might be playing with it anyway hehe).
NINJAGO 71746 Jungle Dragon
LEGO Ninjago 71746, Jungle Dragon, is a really neat set. The first thing you notice about this set is undoubtedly its "dragon" (which, honestly, it looks more like a lizard to me, but hey, they're all related, right?). Quite the stand-out build!
The dragon is mostly articulated, with ten articulation points, plus a tail, mouth, toe-nails, and wings. The legs are clicky-joints, the wrists and neck are mini-ball-socket joints, and the tail has a series of rotating "hinges". I think it's a pretty cool tail, definitely fun to play with.
Speaking of the legs, I did mention they were "clicky joints." While this is undoubtedly better for longer lasting posing and stability, it's not so useful for animation. This makes it difficult to have a smooth walk cycle.
The clicky joints also seemed to aggressive for this model in general. It's somewhat fragile where the parts of the body connect (the tail/back legs and the front half are connected by eight studs). This part (on both sides) fell off quite a few times while I was testing this product and even while I was just photographing it for this review.
Many other decorative parts tended to fall off as well, but the structural part was my main issue. With this piece holding the dragon together, it was hard to play with it in one piece without constantly rebuilding.
That said, the details in this set are fantastic. It also comes with four minifigures and one mini-flying speeder (with stud launchers). The dragon is the main attraction, but without the minifigures, I would have been disapointed. As mentioned previously, the Jungle Ninja are quite detailed and a great look.
All in all, great set. Lots of fun to be had, even if it would need to be motified and reinforced slightly for any serious animation. I'd recommend replacing the clicky leg joints with large ball-socket joints and adding some more connections somehow to keep the back-end on the dragon.
What do you think? How's this set look to you?
71747 The Keeper's Village
Wow! The last review of this series. It's been a good run, all. Don't worry, we'll have more reviews coming right up! But first.... let's get to this one. The Keeper's Village! Apparently, the ninja have made the trek through the jungle and finally have stumbled upon their final destination. They're going to grab the final dragon emblem and rescue Cole (how'd Cole get captured in the first place?).
This set is built upon two main "islands." They both include sand and light blue plates on the bottom to simulate the look of what I assume to be some type of structure on a beach, perhaps. Each island contains a lot of details. Floor details and play details. The smaller island includes this sort of see-saw-type contraption, which I assume is supposed to catapult a minifigure. It doesn't have as much leverage as it needs to adequately launch a minifigure into the air, though, so it more or less just causes the minifig to fall over.
It also has a stud-launcher which can hold three smooth-top 1x1 rounds at a time. I personally have an unreasonable hatred for stud launchers. I guess I lost too many parts when I was a kid even without stud launchers, so the thought of giving a stud launcher to a kid is basically like giving them vacuum fodder. They're way too easy to lose.
The other island's play features are great as well. The tower of faces is creepy and ominous, but fun. It comes apart and has mini ball joints for arms (I love mini ball joints, so this is great!).
It also has an area for play (or animation! We are on Bricks in Motion after all :P ). The details of the prison and the lava mouth structure are great as well. I only regret that I don't have time to properly light this bad boy up and animate and epic jungle battle on it. (But hey, if you get this set, you can do that and let me know! I'd love to watch it.)
Finally, the minifigs. We've seen all these minifigures in the sets before this... except for Cole. I guess it's part of the story that Cole was captured. He was in prison on the back of the box after all. Cole also has a headband, this time in orange. Cool choice to give him some color by using orange. It fits.
Wow! That was a lot of reviewing! I had a lot of fun with these sets, and I hope that if you decide to buy any of them, let me know down below and we can discuss them together!
Come back later, we've got more reviews on the way. (They're not all NINJAGO, I promise ;) )
Join the conversation on the forums: