Review: 70608 Master Falls

Posted by ,
View image at flickr

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie seems to borrow certain aspects of its characters and plot from earlier seasons of the existing animated series. 70608 Master Falls is particularly representative of such a trend, depicting an epic battle between Wu and Garmadon while Kai, the show's original protagonist before Lloyd's arrival, watches on.

The presence of such vital characters is very appealing, particularly since this version of Garmadon is only otherwise available in the larger 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon. In addition, £24.99 or $29.99 seems like good value based on the size of the bridge and the apparent importance of this scene.

Minifigures

Kai appears in a total of seven sets so is among the most common minifigures in the first wave. However, this variant is a little rarer as we wears his ninja garb without the head wrap, thereby exposing a flame-like hair piece. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this component is made from a hard plastic rather than the rubber which has been used for Kai’s similar hairstyle in the standard NINJAGO sets since 2014. The head is printed with a scar, a plaster and two different expressions, one happy and the other angry.

70608 Master Falls

I love the robes which have been introduced for The LEGO NINJAGO Movie and Kai's red outfit looks particularly good, striking a perfect balance between bright and muted colours. The torso printing is fairly simple but includes an attractive floral symbol on the reverse and the word 'FIRE' written in NINJAGO script along the edge of the shinobi shozoku at the front. A decorative diamond pattern adorns the legs but this might also serve as armour.

70608 Master Falls

Kai wields two pearl silver katana and these are stored in a pearl dark grey sheath which fits around the minifigure's neck. The blades are arranged in parallel which looks splendid and I like the ribbed pauldron which covers the left shoulder. This element was introduced in 2016 but I think it looks better than ever in this new colour.

70608 Master Falls

The design of Master Wu has remained fairly consistent throughout the seven year history of NINJAGO and that trend continues in the movie. Wu continues to sport a conical hat and a white robe, although the fabric component which wraps around the legs is new. This features a grey lining which continues onto the front of the torso while the back is decorated with a red symbol similar to that seen on Kai.

70608 Master Falls

It is difficult to imagine Wu without his beard so I am very pleased to see the traditional rubbery element in use here. The head underneath includes some wrinkles and an angry expression which seems suitable for this combat situation, as does Wu's wooden staff. This is simply represented by a 6L bar cast in reddish brown which is fine but I would love to see a unique bamboo bo staff at some point.

70608 Master Falls

Jungle Garmadon only appears in two sets at the moment, the other being 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon. The villain is appropriately dressed for the heat of the jungle, swapping his armour for an olive green camouflaged cape which hangs over the shoulder and his enormous helmet for a dark brown coolie. I expect the cape will find extensive use in military-based MOCs, of which there are many.

70608 Master Falls

Garmadon's torso is completely exposed, revealing some impressive muscles which surpass even Batman's in The LEGO Batman Movie! The curly hairs on his chest are a nice touch and I like the hint of his standard dark blue attire through the belt around Garmadon's waist. He comes equipped with four pearl silver katana and an angry expression worthy of someone about to participate in an epic duel.

70608 Master Falls

The box also lists the Skeleton as a minifigure which is not entirely surprising given the tendency for skeletons to become animated in the world of NINJAGO. The head is decorated with a simple skull print and includes hinged arms rather than the flailing ball jointed shoulders which are present on some skeletons.

70608 Master Falls

This figure is more notable for its accessories which are a blade and a new map printed on a 2x2 tile. The design seems to relate directly to the film, depicting a trail which leads from the Destiny's Bounty, across the rope bridge found in this set and terminating at the Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon. The same piece appears in 70618 Destiny's Bounty but I am pleased to see it here as well.

View image at flickr

The Completed Model

This set is focused upon a rope bridge which hangs precariously over a river filled with jagged rocks. Such locations are not uncommon in ninja-based films or even in NINJAGO as the small 70753 Lava Falls featured a very similar scenario and employed a few of the same building techniques. This set is far larger and therefore includes much more detail, with rocky cliffs on either side of the river and some aged structures which suggest that the crossing has been in use for many years.

View image at flickr

A sheer cliff face presents the first hazard as a minifigure approaches the bridge and only some rocky outcrops allow them to climb to the top. I like the earthy reddish brown, dark tan and green colours which are contrasted with the man-made sand green and black columns marking the end of the bridge. These decorative structures look lovely, with scorpions attached to each one and flaming cressets on top.

View image at flickr

The bridge itself is built using eleven medium nougat track links which are clipped to the rocks at either end and hang naturally between them. An identical technique was used in 70753 Lava Falls, but I think these medium nougat elements more suitable, giving the impression of textured wood and presenting a distinctive colour against the surrounding shades of grey and tan which make up the rocks and the buildings on top. Blue Technic pins allow minifigures to stand on the bridge. Such brightly coloured pieces look rather awkward but they are easily removed and placing minifigures will conceal them.

View image at flickr

Black strings follow the curvature of the bridge and form the suspension ropes. These are connected to the columns at either end and reddish brown clips are evenly spaced across the entire span to depict bridge supports, although they are actually not attached to the bridge at all. This design look superb and the handgrips underneath are great but it seems a shame that the suspenders are not connected to the bridge in any way, not least because it makes them quite difficult to space or angle properly while building.

View image at flickr

A large gateway dominates the end of the bridge, perhaps representing the entrance to another part of the jungle or even the ground belonging to the Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon. The walls are primarily tan which does not match the larger building, although the light bluish grey of 70617 may not have suited the dark bluish grey cliffs. I love the carved figures and the sand green accents look splendid but I think the 1x2 tiles above the door would have benefited from a printed or stickered design, perhaps saying 'BEWARE' in the NINJAGO script. It is worth noting that this set does not contain any stickers.

Cages made from natural materials such as sticks and vines have appeared in LEGO sets for many years, beginning with early models such as 6246 Crocodile Cage from 1994. 4182 The Cannibal Escape, a 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean set, brought about a significant change in how such prisons were constructed and this example is very reminiscent of the latter, using two 4x4 plates with frame at which are then joined using droid arms and bars. A large frond hangs over the top, suggesting that the cage is hanging over the abyss. In fact it rests on the cliff underneath and can be opened on a hinge to imprison or release a minifigure.

View image at flickr

A cave is found beneath the gateway and the instructions suggest placing the skeleton, presumably a lost explorer, inside. This area is reasonably well finished but a few more hidden details such as gems or a carving in the rock would have improved the playability. Nevertheless, the cave represents a good use of space and I like the idea of the ninja stumbling across another adventurer who searched for the Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon but perished.

View image at flickr

Overall

I had high expectations for this set and am definitely satisfied with the results. The minifigure selection is excellent but it is the bridge structure which stands out as the highlight. It is highly detailed and makes use of some interesting building techniques so would be worthy of display in my opinion, particularly alongside 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon which is situated nearby if the map is to be believed.

View image at flickr

My criticisms of this set are few. The absence of a collapsing rope bridge feature is perhaps a little disappointing, although that assumes that the bridge will fall in the movie. It would also have been nice to see an exclusive character included but once again that depends upon the scene in the film as the trailer suggests that only Wu, Garmadon and the ninja will be present. Regardless, this is an excellent set and it comes highly recommended!

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.

30 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Its a shame Kai lacks his ninja hood as bar the armour and face print he is the same as the cmf one.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I wish Ninjago did more terrain pieces like this.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Buy 2 sets, voila, collapsing bridge.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I don't know. It just doesn't seem up to the same standard as the other Ninjago movie sets.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm not that into Ninjago, but considering this set includes the three main characters I don't have I may need to get it.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Awesome set ! I wasn't going to get this one because I bought the cheaper spinjitzu training set to get Kai but this review has persuaded me to get this as the bridge looks cool and Garmadon looks awesome

Gravatar
By in France,

Good set, but I think this needs some extra minifigure like a Shark Army Gunner/Thug/General/whatever and maybe another ninja (Cole would have been great since he's the rarest).

Also, TLNM sets are available since today on FR [email protected] Didn't look at other countries. They also added the Movie Maker Set and all keychains available.

Gravatar
By in Finland,

I really like this set, definitely getting it! I think Ninjago should have more landscape-based sets like this and less vehicles.

Gravatar
By in Puerto Rico,

This set looks great but a stairs on the other end site of the bridge would have been welcomed.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Dark Yada 5 minifigs wouldn't really fit in a set like this. Heck, there is barely any room for Kai.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

The name can be spoilery, I think wu will die in this scene, cause he isn't in the temple of the ultimate ultimate weapon, so the master "falls" (maybe literally). Maybe the chicken from the short dies?

Gravatar
By in Sweden,

This is on my wanted list. The ninja vehicles of this wave are impressive, but the location-based sets (this, NINJAGO City Chase, Temple of the ultimate ultimate weapon and NINJAGO City) really stands out. Personally I think this set would look even better if was far from the ground, and the bridge was a little longer. If it's on clearance I'll certainly but two.

Gravatar
By in France,

@Boredom Supreme if we can call the skeleton a minifigure... It has not any specific details or thing on it, so it's more three minifigures. But I would like habit someone else than Kai at least, since we get it almost everywhere (7 of 14 sets...)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@CapnRex, Thank you for another great review and set of pictures!

I realise that the official image of the box is already available in the BrickSet database, but feel that the review should open with it. It would make the piece feel more complete.

Incidentally, the flaming dishes mounted above the columns are called cressets.

@Coson, The same characters - though not identical designs and weapons - are available in the movie's CMFs.

@WESTRO, Good idea! Or you could mod two sets back-to-back to extend the bridge.

@Dark Yada, TLNM sets, as well as other August releases, are available from today at [email protected] UK as well. I'm postponing any purchase until the second week of August when I'll be visiting a LEGO store, getting TLNM and DC sets, and receiving the cave-people promo ( https://brickset.com/sets/5004936-1/Iconic-Cave ).



Gravatar
By in Ireland,

Very nice set, will get this and turn into pirate island.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I see a nice set of rusty bulldozer or excavator tracks! Cool to see them in a new color.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I don't collect ninjago, but I can use almost every piece in this set for some customs I'm working on, so this is a must buy when it goes on sale.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Zander - Thank you for your comment. We do sometimes include images and discussion of the box where we consider it warranted but to show and comment upon the box in every review might become repetitive. Thanks also for the reference to cressets; the review has been updated accordingly.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I agree- this is more of a set you get for the build. While the minifigs are pretty nice, they're not too exclusive. Look forward to getting it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Your first picture makes the set look much more appealing to me than any I have seen so far.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Today's "Across the Pond" moment: A "plaster" = a "band-aid" or "bandage"....

#neverstoplearning

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thanks for the review. I like these land based structures, as these seem very rare and natural sights in the theme. This is one of my favorites from the line

Gravatar
By in United States,

I think this might look good with the City jungle sets too

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thanks for the review of this new set. I really like this one - the bridge, landscaping, and cage are very attractively done. I'm not particularly into Ninjago really, but will definitely get this. It would fit into a standard jungle/explorer scene too, not just Ninjago.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I love the wave of Lego Ninjago movie sets. This set reminds me of the Cannibal scene from Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mens Chest. this set is very well detailed and its just the perfect size! My rating: 9/10

Gravatar
By in United States,

Definitely the best set of the series (aside from Ninjago City and Destiny's Bounty, of course)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Picked this up today as part of Argos 3 for 2. Set looks really nice. I am not into Ninjago but intend to use it for Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbean photos.

I'm in the UK not Germany

Gravatar
By in United States,

Garmadon's cape could also be applied to Endor Rebel Troopers.

Gravatar
By in France,

"highly recommended!"
LOL. Fanboy

View more reviews »
Return to home page »