The latest series of Collectable Minifigures, 71019 The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, was revealed last month and I have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. The range of characters includes heroes, villains and citizens of NINJAGO City so covers all aspects of the film and each figure looks brilliant in their respective official images.
This series consists of twenty minifigures so we have decided to divide the review into two parts, the first of which concerns the six heroic ninja and their consistently faithful allies.
Kai appears in nine sets based on The LEGO NINJAGO Movie but this Kai Kendo variant is currently exclusive to the Collectable Minifigures range. He wears a detailed helmet which features a golden face mask and red lining to match Kai's ninja garb. A corresponding chest armour component fits around Kai's neck and protects both sides of the torso which is printed with red robes and a black belt.
The shiny insignia on the back looks great and I like the subtle lettering on the front which reads 'FIRE' in reference to Kai's element. A diamond pattern continues the red detail onto the legs but the figure lacks armour printing which is a bit disappointing. Removing Kai's helmet reveals an angry expression and his dark brown hair piece is also included. I was pleased to find that this is made from a hard plastic, as are all of the new hair components.
Kai is armed with two shinai, represented by reddish brown 6L bars. Tan would probably have been more appropriate as a shinai is traditionally made from bamboo, although I think reddish brown looks alright. It is worth noting that kendoka rarely use a pair of shinai and one is always shorter than the other but Kai is evidently sufficiently skilled to wield two!
Spinjitzu Training Nya is also equipped with wooden weapons and sports a brand new hair piece. Many of the updated hair designs have divided opinion but I like this one very much as it includes some nice texturing and a metallic silver hair band which looks splendid. This smiling face is only available here, although a very similar one appears on a couple of the other Nya minifigures in the range.
The white training robes are highly detailed, with black and gold designs along the edges as well as some gold lettering and the symbol of Master Wu's dojo. Unfortunately, the same uniform is worn by the other training minifigures which are found in various polybags and sets, thereby reducing the appeal of this figure. Perhaps the legs could have been decorated to reflect Nya's element of water rather than simply reading 'NINJA'.
Nevertheless, I think the minifigure looks pretty good on the whole and I like her wooden katana which are traditionally known as bokken. These have not appeared in reddish brown before and are intended for use as training weapons, although they could also serve as decorative elements if you prefer.
Lloyd is the only one of the six ninja to appear in his standard combat fatigues. A unique version would have been preferable from my point of view but I am sure this figure will prove popular given Lloyd's status as the main character. His green and black attire looks brilliant and I love the new hood which consists of two pieces, one of which attaches around the neck while the other fits on top of the head. The green band continues all the way around the hood and is decorated with some more golden letters.
The torso features some golden details and a green symbol on the reverse but I am more impressed by the subtle armour weave which is printed on the arms and both sides of the torso! This is only visible in certain light conditions but it looks very realistic and the arms also feature green wrist bands to match those on the knees.
Lloyd wields a unique pearl silver dao with a golden tassel attached to the pommel. He also comes with a new tan hair piece which looks superb as well as a blueprint for the Green Ninja Mech Dragon. This 2x3 tile includes some more NINJAGO lettering but the symbols are indistinct, even when viewed under a magnifying glass. However, we can read the designation 'L910' in the corner which also appears on the dragon itself.
The new Master Wu minifigure appears very similar to his original design from the LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu television series, sporting a traditional conical hat which includes some nice texture and a flowing beard. The torso, on the other hand, features a new printed design and I like the grey trim and white fastenings which run down the centre.
This design continues onto the fabric element wrapped around Wu's legs and the wrists are similarly printed with some striped detail which is notably absent from the minifigure found in sets such as 70608 Master Falls. There is no printing underneath the robe but I like the reddish brown sandals on the feet. Wu's head includes a kindly expression, some white facial hair and a few wrinkles, although these are only partially visible due to the beard.
Wu is without his wooden staff but does come with a box of cereal, formed using a printed 1x2x2 brick and a 1x2 tile. I like the generic design on the front and the inclusion of a chicken is particularly pleasing as a reference to The Master, an animated short which was released last year. I will certainly be purchasing a couple more of these printed cereal boxes as they will go very nicely beside that found in 10684 Supermarket Suitcase.
Jay Walker is one of my favourite minifigures in this series. He features a delightfully unkempt hair piece as well as a brand new scarf element which is made from a hard plastic. It looks great in orange and is currently only available elsewhere in 70620 NINJAGO City so seems certain to make this a popular figure!
The torso and legs are a little less interesting, although I like the bright triangular designs on Jay's shirt which recall bolts of lightning so hint at his ninja identity. Unfortunately, the back is without printing and this trend continues on most of the other minifigures. However, the head includes a broad smile and some freckles which look great and seem to reflect Jay's traditionally cheeky personality.
The minifigure comes complete with a black selfie stick and printed mobile phone 1x2 tile. Selfie sticks have appeared in several 2017 sets but I think this is the best yet as the black colour is consistent throughout and you can alter the angle of the phone. The design on the screen limits its versatility to some degree but in this context it looks great.
Lloyd Garmadon also appears in his everyday attire, sporting a dark green hooded jacket and black trousers. The new hood component is tremendous, fitting around the neck perfectly but not hindering the rotation of the head. It is only available here at the moment and includes a shock of dark tan hair which does not quite match his tan hair piece. Perhaps the darker colour is intended to represent the hood creating a shadow.
The dark green jacket also appears in 70607 NINJAGO City Chase and appears identical from the front, with a silver zip in the centre and a white shirt underneath. However, the back of the torso is different as it does not include the folded hood seen on the other version. This makes sense but it seems a shame not to include some creases in the fabric.
Excellent though the minifigure is, his accessories are definitely the highlight for me! Both the pearl silver spoon and the bowl are brand new, only appearing here and with Volcano Garmadon. However, this bowl includes a unique design with a blue rim and a stylised dragon on the side. The blue and white colour scheme looks marvellous and recalls traditional Chinese porcelain which is very satisfying.
Cole sports yet another brand new hairstyle with detailed texturing which looks very untidy so contrasts with the neat topknot he is seen wearing in a few other sets. His thick eyebrows look great and closely resemble previous versions of the character while the mouth is open and shows a sliver of Cole's tongue, as though he is singing!
He is certainly dressed for such a musical occasion, wearing a sleeveless AC/DC tour vest with the rock band's name, printed in NINJAGO lettering, on the front and the world tour schedule on the back. This is a terrific detail and the dark blue vest matches up perfectly with the continuing design on his hips and legs.
Cole is appropriately equipped with a black boombox which includes some golden decoration on the front. This accessory first appeared with the Rapper from the third series of Collectable Minifigures in 2011 and appears unchanged at first glance but it now includes an iPod dock rather than a cassette player.
Most characters have undergone some fairly significant alterations between the animated series and the movie but Misako is particularly distinct. The new design has proven controversial among fans but I think it looks splendid and have no issue with her comparatively young appearance as Lloyd, her son, is just a teenager in the film.
Misako is only otherwise found in 70620 NINJAGO City so this minifigure should prove popular, especially since she wears a unique outfit consisting of a sand green jacket, a white blouse and reddish brown trousers. I like the shiny flowers towards the bottom of the jacket but the back is not printed which is a shame. However, the vivid orange hair piece looks tremendous and includes two red hair sticks to hold the bun in place.
This handbag was introduced in the Friends range and has not appeared in dark red before. It includes some attractive moulded details such as zips and a handle but a printed design would have been a welcome addition, perhaps featuring a few golden flowers to match those seen on her jacket.
The last of the ninja is Zane. He is dressed for hiking and wears a charming knitted jumper over a blue shirt along with a pair of white trousers. The jumper is decorated with two aliens on the front which resemble the Alien Clingers introduced in the Alien Conquest theme, although they might simply be generic aliens. Once again, the back of the torso is left plain but that is covered by a rucksack on this occasion.
Zane's head is printed with straight eyebrows and bright blue eyes, presumably confirming that he is a Nindroid in the film, just as in the existing animated series. I like his manic grin and the hair printed on the back and sides of the head looks great, lining up with the separate hair component. Zane comes with a large rucksack which features a new dark bluish grey and red colour scheme but he has no handheld accessories.
This is shaping up to be another excellent series of Collectable Minifigures. The presence of all six ninja will allow everyone to collect the main characters and I think the updated designs are excellent, incorporating many new parts and plenty of printed detail. On the other hand, some of the figures lack back printing which is disappointing and I would have liked to see a unique training outfit for Nya. The second part of this review is available here.
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This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.