Review: 70605 Misfortune's Keep

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The Ninjago team is taking to the skies this year and the largest set belonging to the Skybound subtheme is 70605 Misfortune's Keep, priced at £69.99 and containing 754 pieces as well as six minifigures, including three ninja and the exclusive Djinn Nadakhan!

This set stood out to me at once, combining the ramshackle nature of a pirate galleon with a steampunk vessel of some kind. The essence of this design is prevalent throughout all of the pirate craft in the latest wave and they therefore look fairly uniform despite their cobbled together appearance.

However, that has resulted in some issues which I had not anticipated as a few areas of the vessel are rather fragile and the space is not always used to its fullest potential in my opinion. Read on and see what you think...

Minifigures

Three ninja are included: Kai, Jay and Lloyd. They all appear in smaller sets but these versions are exclusive as Kai features a new scabbard element, Jay is wearing an eye patch and is without his mask while Lloyd wears some bulky armour by which he can be clipped to his booster jet.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

The new ninja outfits are my favourite yet, combining black designs with the signature colours of each character perfectly. Their respective elemental symbols are printed on their chests alongside some nice metallic gold straps and there is additional printing on the backs of the torsos which can be seen below. The legs feature similar detail which is fairly simple but compliments the rest of the figure nicely.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

The updated scabbard is rather impractical as reaching across to draw both swords from one shoulder would be a bit of a hassle. However, it looks fantastic and I very much like the textured armour which stretches over the left shoulder. It would have been nice to see masks included for Lloyd and Jay as an alternative to their respective hair pieces, although that would mean Jay's eyepatch would not be visible. The presence of this eyepatch leaves me very curious. Perhaps Jay loses an eye during the new series or maybe he is simply trying to infiltrate the pirate horde. We shall have to wait and see.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Djinn Nadakhan is the leading antagonist in the Skybound range and is one of the most complex minifigures of the entire Ninjago theme. His hair piece is brand new and is the same as that used on Macy in the Nexo Knights theme, but in black rather than dark red on this occasion. The rubbery material used for this element means that it is not held in place very tightly which is a little disappointing, particularly since the hair piece used for Aurra Sing back in 2011 was made of a hard plastic despite being very similar to this one.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Nadakhan's head is printed with a moustache and a grimace which are hidden when he is wearing his bandana. Conversely, you can hardly miss his elaborate eyebrows which look rather spectacular! The torso consists of two pieces, a standard torso which forms the lower half and an attachment which supports the genie's two upper arms. The upper section features some green armour as well as the skull and cross bones insignia while the lower half shows his exposed chest and a nicely detailed belt. It would have been nice to see the printing continue onto the back of the upper torso but it still looks alright.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

The ghostly element introduced last year appears for the first time in trans-red and orange here which is appropriate since Djinn Nadakhan is a genie. He is armed with a Djinn Blade which represents Sensei Wu and features an excellent hilt piece which is brand new and includes plenty of moulded detail.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Two sky pirates, Bucko and Flintlocke, appear in other sets but they are a welcome inclusion here as at least two pirates are required to man the pilot's seat and the rear turret. The entirety of each figure is printed with lovely designs and the scruffy nature of the traditional pirate is represented very effectively.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Flintlocke's epaulettes noticeably obstruct his helmet in the image above and it is surprising that this slight design flaw has made it into the set. Despite this I still like his attire very much and the moustache definitively completes his aviator appearance which is accented by the scarf which is printed on the front of his torso along with the parachute on the back.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

The monkey which first appeared in 1989 was seemingly retired in 2011 but it makes a spiritual return here as Monkey Wretch. The piece has been very slightly updated since then but is still faithful to the original. Presumably this is the pirates' pet on board and it is therefore appropriately attired in orange and pearl silver to match the general colour scheme of the faction.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

I think this monkey would benefit from some printing. At the very least the eyes, nose and mouth should have been highlighted. Nevertheless this is a fun character and I can only imagine what kinds of mischief he might get up to with a rifle and a hammer in his hands!

The Completed Model

This set consists of three models, a small pirate flier, Lloyd's booster jet and Misfortune's Keep. This combination offers a great deal of play value but there is room for improvement, particularly with the two supporting craft. Finding an appropriate balance between the rickety design of pirate equipment and creating a sturdy model is important but that has not been achieved here unfortunately. The wings look fine and I like how they fold up for landing but the tail is a bit delicate and it is not easy to hold the model without knocking bits off or causing them to move inadvertently.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

I don't like the single wheel found at the back of the craft either as it looks out of place to me. It is somewhat effective in conveying the appearance of a salvaged vehicle but the small pirate models in 70604 Tiger Widow Island and other sets are better than this one.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Lloyd's craft is fairly large and occupies a reasonable chunk of the total piece count but the detail and play value is lacking in my opinion. It seems strange to include something so bulky for the use of only a single minifigure and I would have much preferred the size of this model to be reduced and more pieces to be devoted to Misfortune's Keep itself.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Nevertheless, the shape of the flier is unusual and I think it deserves some credit for that as well as the winch feature found underneath which works very nicely. By rotating the golden spinner element on top you can raise and lower a hook underneath. This is shown to be lowering a minifigure on the box but I think some cargo would be more appropriate as there is nowhere for that second figure to sit, unless they are just placed on top or hang from the underside while the vehicle is in flight.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Misfortune's Keep is an enormous vessel, measuring 44cm in length and with a wingspan of 45cm! Despite its large size this is a swooshable model which is light enough to be flown around with one hand but still feels reasonably bulky and therefore offers fair value for money in my view.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

However, the engine pods and wing tips are rather fragile and tend to twist during flight which is irritating. The skeleton on the front which acts as a figurehead suffers from a similar issue as it often rotate from side to side when the vehicle is moved around. The wingtips and skeleton could have been anchored very easily so it is a shame that they have been left to swivel more freely than they should.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

The runway which hangs beneath the main fuselage looks fantastic. I like the sticker at the end and the shaping of the bodywork around this is very striking, recalling the jagged teeth of a shark. Two of the new swords are clipped to either side which is a nice decoration and matches 70603 Raid Zeppelin which features a similar decorative style.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Unfortunately, the rear section of this runway is very bland. Presumably this area is intended for maintenance or storing the pirate flier, although there is no way of holding this in place. A simple weapons rack, some tools or a method of anchoring the smaller vehicle would have improved this part of the model enormously. In its current state this platform is almost useless.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Cannons are hidden on either side of the vessel and these can be revealed for battle by lowering the panels beneath the wings. These cannons fire 1x1 cylinder bricks and additional ammunition is included which can be stored on the deck beside the cannons or in the crate found on top of the vehicle.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

Also stored in this crate are a couple of swords and four printed discs for the shooters located on either side of the cockpit. These are activated remotely by sliding a Technic element on top which could be a little better disguised in my opinion, although it functions perfectly.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

The cockpit itself has room for a single minifigure to sit beneath the canopy. This is cleverly constructed using a pair of light bluish grey scimitars and a 4L bar and the entire assembly hinges at the front for access. I like the angled sides of the cockpit very much and the addition of mismatched wheels and some more wooden panelling looks great. The wheels almost give the impression of eyes, further zoomorphising the craft and making it look very menacing!

70605 Misfortune's Keep

A tattered flag is placed on the 'mast' and there is a rowing boat at the back which includes a turret mounted on the deck. This can be raised and lowered as well as rotating all the way around and the entire assembly can be removed to be used as an escape craft. There is nothing fitted to the boat to suggest that it could fly, so presumably it simply falls off and lands in the water below, assuming that the vessel is flying over water. I would have been pleased to see a launch mechanism included and there is certainly room for it, but instead you must remove it manually.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

A twin boom configuration supports the vertical stabilizers and a moveable elevator stretches between them. This is the sturdiest section of the entire model due in no small part to the fact that large masts are used to good effect.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

The main feature of the set is activated by switching the red Technic axle from right to left. This alters the orientation of the enormous engine pods mounted on the wings to assist in take off and landing, much like a real tiltrotor aircraft. I like the idea of this function but the mechanism is fairly rudimentary and the nacelles tend to wobble as a result.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

This sums up the entire set in some respects. It looks good and there are plenty of fun features but a few refinements are required in order to maximise the play value and improve the quality of the model as a whole.

Overall

My thoughts on this set are mixed. There are many aspects of the model which I like very much but it seems rather crude in places and there are a number of imperfections which bother me. By reducing the size of Lloyd's turbo jet the designer could have used some of the remaining elements to make the keep a little sturdier and add some detail to the rear platform which looks rather bland to me in its current state.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

On the other hand, the play value is very high and I like the rugged appearance of the entire model, particularly due to the mismatched wooden planks which form the hull and look fantastic.

70605 Misfortune's Keep

This set offers a fantastic minifigure selection as well as plenty of play value and a reasonably attractive main model. However, it has fallen a little short of my expectations on the whole while the quality of some other new Ninjago models far surpass this one and for that reason I would recommend 70603 Raid Zeppelin and 70604 Tiger Widow Island over this one.

JANGBRiCKS' Video Review

 

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23 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Well, I really like the idea of a steampunk pirate ship slash fighter plane, but this looks pretty bad in some spots... and that runway. Why, LEGO?

The VTOL feature is cool, but I don't honestly think this is worth the high price tag.

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By in Australia,

Looks crap. But has a lot of nice parts.

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By in Ireland,

I like the return of the monkey, I've fond memories of it appearing in the Pirates line from the 80s/90s. I think it looks great! I like printing but I think some of it has gone overboard (wink, haha) and sometimes it's nice to see basic unprinted elements still being used, they remind me of simpler times and look more Lego-y, if you know what I mean. :)

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By in United States,

I think the monkey is actually an updated mold. If you put it side-by-side with the classic monkey you'll see some differences.

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By in United Kingdom,

I personally love the way this thing looks. I won't bs getting it however.

Also, are those lightsaber hilts around the cockpit of the mini-flyer dark brown?

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By in United States,

I like the new sets, and especially some of the accessories, but the hilt of the Djinn Blade seems a little short- it barely fits in a minifigure's hand.

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By in United Kingdom,

@pagani88 - Yes they are. The piece appears in dark brown in most of the new NINJAGO sets.

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By in United States,

Huh, Monkey Wretch's eyes aren't printed? They looked printed in all the review photos I've seen including this one, but I guess it must just be how they catch the light. In any case, it's probably worth noting (as TeaWeevil mentioned) that this is a new monkey mold, with a less abstract face than the previous version.

Anyway, good review. I love the ramshackle look of this set, though it's a bit of a shame to hear some parts are fragile or wobbly. Still, I think it's got to be the most imposing enemy vehicle the Ninjago theme has had! I agree that Lloyd's vehicle is a bit mediocre on a functional level considering its size, and could have at least benefited from some spring shooters or something in the wings. The figure selection in this set is very good, although I wish it included both hoods and hair for the ninja figures like #70738 Final Flight of Destiny's Bounty.

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By in United Kingdom,

@CapnRex101: Yes! It's always nice to get that piece in new colours. If I don't get any of the sets that include it I'll have to pick some up off Bricklink. I'm sure I can use them somewhere :)

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By in United Kingdom,

I absolutely love the sky pirates and the whole steampunk look they are going for. I am trying desperately to encourage my son to get back into Ninjago so that I have a decent excuse to pick up some of these new sets. Well done Lego and thank you CapnRex101 for the comprehensive review.

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By in United Kingdom,

I liked the look of Misfortune's Keep as soon as I saw it. There's a lot of scope for improving and MOCing this and so it's gone on the wanted list.

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By in Puerto Rico,

Looks great, hope we can get the monkey in a cheaper set.

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By in Poland,

This ship looks like something that Space Orks could fly (Warhammer 40k, anyone?)

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By in United States,

I love the idea of the large cement mixers on either side for engines (npu), but having them not flush (closed) has bothered me ever since I saw the initial images. It makes them look like they are about to fall off (maybe this was intentional); I can't help but think this would have looked more flight able if they had been closed together.

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By in United States,

Seems like most ninjago vehicles are pretty fragile.
It is also funny how ninja outfits have gone from Japanese ninjas to Chinese Kung fu outfits (I actually like the variety).

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By in Poland,

That monkey just BEGS for printed eyes. You gave us new sharks and crocks -Dot-molded eyes days are over Lego!

Yeah just like always - Big ninjago sets have great figs and pieces, but builds are very not well thought ( or overthought) and basicaly unplayable.

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By in Netherlands,

Thanks for the review!

@Aanchir, although it is imposing, I think it's not the most imposing enemy vehicle. IMHO, that goes to the Mechdragon. This ship is 'we're going to pillage or destroy wherever we land'-imposing. IMHO, the mechdragon is 'see this and you die'-imposing.
And yes, the mechdragon is technically a vehicle.

But come to think of it, there have not been that many large enemy vehicle sets. They are usually mid-range or second-largest of the wave. Larger sets are usually buildings, dragons or ninja vehicles. Off the top of my head, only the skullkin truck and morro's dragon (not really a vehicle) push themselves past mid-range.

And on the monkey mould, I think it's a compromise. It's updated but not dissimilar to the old mould. Although personally I think printed eyes would have been wiser in the end.

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By in Ireland,

I absolutely love that "ghostly element" that's used instead of legs, it looks like some took regular legs with two colours, mixed something else in and subjected the parts to a magnifying lens in the bright sun. :D

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By in Canada,

At first sight I wnted this, but the more of it I see, the less interested I am. Think I'm just going to get the Skyshark for this subtheme.

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By in United States,

I really like the look of all the Ninjago Sky Pirate sets this year... except this one. Looks like too much of a mash up. Certain elements are done well, but I prefer the designs of the smaller models a lot more, and at a cheaper cost too. Although I do want eyepatch Jay... Thanks for the review!

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By in Germany,

It reminds me of the air pirates from the Disney animation "TaleSpin".

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By in United States,

Brickat I came here to say exactly this. That show was amazing and loved the flying gas stations and the pirate planes that were in so many episodes. Baloo and crew even battled a Panda civilazation called Panda-la which had a flying pagoda.

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