LEGO has produced an impressive array of promotional items in 2017, among which are four brand new pod polybags. 5004916 Kai's Dojo Pod is the only one based upon The LEGO NINJAGO Movie and includes a Kai minifigure as well as a plastic case containing some weapons.
The pod is quite familiar as the same element appeared in 5004929 Batman Battle Pod which was released in the UK earlier this year. However, this example features an unusual lenticular design on the front which contrasts with the embossed sticker found on The LEGO Batman Movie pod.
Several variants of the six ninja have appeared among the products released so far, including a few characters sporting their Spinjitzu training attire which are distributed throughout the range. This polybag includes Kai who comes complete with a dual-scabbard on his back and two pearl silver katana. Unfortunately, an identical figure appears in 853702 Movie Maker Set, thereby reducing the appeal of this example to some degree.
Nevertheless, the brand new hair piece looks splendid in dark brown and the head features matching eyebrows as well as some scarring and two different expressions. The white training attire is nicely detailed and I like the black and metallic gold accent colours. However, seeing the same outfit on the ninja is disappointing and I would have liked to see their unique elements reflected in the text on the left leg. Instead it simply reads 'NINJA' so is totally generic, as is the Wu Cru insignia on the reverse of the torso.
The Completed Model
The pod is made from a slightly flexible plastic and comes packaged as a single piece, although you could lever the two halves apart around the hinge is you wish. It is moulded in red to match Kai's elemental power of fire and an appropriate lenticular sticker is placed on the front, the design of which changes as you view the pod from different positions.
Initially the pod features the eyes of a ninja wearing a red robe so matches the branding of early NINJAGO sets. This has not appeared on any other items associated with The LEGO NINJAGO Movie but it still looks good to me, as does Kai's fire symbol which becomes visible from other angles. It is worth mentioning that eliminating the alternative image entirely was almost impossible when taking these photographs, although the lenticular printing seems to be of a reasonable quality and certainly compares favourably with many similar toys.
Opening the pod reveals an ornate weapons rack for storing a golden katana and a sai along with a jungle background for the minifigure. The rack is very colourful and the weapons certainly stand out, as they should, but the light bluish grey 6x6 round plate on which it is built looks odd to me. However, the other side is great, displaying the minifigure nicely against a green background. Even the white copyright text is mostly obscured by the figure so improves upon 5004929 Batman Battle Pod.
I like these pod polybags on the whole but 5004916 Kai's Dojo Pod is a bit disappointing when compared with 5004929 Batman Battle Pod. The absence of an exclusive minifigure considerably lessens its appeal and I think the vivid contrast between black and yellow on the exterior of the pod is more effective than this entirely red design.
That being said, this is still a good little set and is fairly readily available with purchases of any The LEGO NINJAGO Movie products from LEGO stores and shop.LEGO.com, at least where stock is available. It certainly seems more appealing than 853702 Movie Maker Set which contains an identical minifigure but costs £15.99 or $19.99. I would recommend adding this polybag to your collection but it would undoubtedly be much more interesting with a unique character or an exclusive outfit for Kai.
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