NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu has featured an eclectic range of characters over the course of seven seasons, some of whom have not been produced in physical minifigure form. I was therefore very pleased to see 5004938 NINJAGO Minifigure Collection revealed as this Bricktober pack includes four exclusive figures based on past episodes of the animated series.
Furthermore, each character originates from a different season so the set feels to me like a celebration of the entire series which is very welcome, particularly in such a significant year for NINJAGO! Hopefully the minifigures themselves do not disappoint.
The Nindroids are among my favourite NINJAGO villains based on their design alone and I think this White Nindroid looks brilliant. These robots made their first appearance in the sixth season and were programmed to protect the Realm Crystal from those who might want to steal it. The minifigure bears a strong resemblance to General Cryptor and uses many of the same parts, including a head wrap with a bionic eye and a shoulder armour element.
I like the combination of traditional ninja garb with mechanical details, especially where the figure's torn robes reveal its robotic interior. The purple highlights on the torso look superb and match similar details on the Nindroid's head and shoulder armour. It is worth noting that the dots on the eye are red in the animated series but I think purple is more appropriate to reflect their alignment with good rather than evil. A pair of pearl silver katana complete the figure, replacing the unique laser rifles wielded by White Nindroids on screen.
The Tournament of Elements introduced a group of Elemental Masters, each of whom exerts control over a particular element. Neuro is the Elemental Master of Mind so is capable of telepathy and fulfills a fairly significant role during season four, allying himself with the ninja after realising that Master Chen planned to steal their powers. He may therefore prove to be one of the more popular figures in this pack given his prominence within the series.
Neuro's hair piece from the animated series does not exist in physical form so a more softly textured element is used instead. In addition, the black stripe should be dark bluish grey based on its colour in the show but I think this dual-toned hairstyle looks good too. The rest of the minifigure looks perfect, featuring a bearded face with some wrinkles over the eyes as well as a grey robe. This is fastened using an intricately detailed belt and Neuro also wears a necklace which continues onto the back of the torso.
As the Master of Mind it is unsurprising that Neuro does not come with any conventional weapons. Instead he uses his powers to control others and anticipate the combat style of those he faces. These powers are depicted using a printed trans-purple dish which was originally created for Antimatter from Ultra Agents, hence the swirling electricity, but has since appeared in Dimensions, Super Heroes and NEXO Knights sets.
Krux is one of the major antagonists in the most recent Hands of Time storyline but was once the Elemental Master of Time, alongside his twin brother Acronix. This minifigure depicts Krux in his original form so contrasts with the villainous version from 70626 Dawn of Iron Doom, although they share some elements of their design. For instance, the armoured torso and legs are identical but for the partial removal of an hourglass strapped to the figure's waist. In fact, you can still see a sliver of the hourglass on his hips and part of the chain to which it was attached on the back of the torso.
This is disappointing as I think a couple of new prints could have been created to replace the old but these details are hardly noticeable. The snakes fitted to Krux's helmet, on the other hand, are very prominent and are not present during flashbacks in the show. Faithfully recreating the helmet would have required a new piece which is perhaps an unrealistic expectation for a promotional set, although it certainly would have been nice! Krux's head looks great though and I do like the red glow of the snakes, even though they should not be there. He comes armed with a pearl dark grey sai.
Golden Power Kai makes only a very brief appearance in the Digiverse during season three. Nevertheless, it is nice to see such an obscure version of the character as a physical minifigure and I like his golden robes which include a few red details to identify the ninja as Kai. Furthermore, his unique fire insignia is printed on the back of the torso and another icon adorns the centre of the figure's chest.
Removing the pearl gold head wrap reveals Kai's scar and a smile. It is a shame that none of these minifigures include an alternative facial expression, just to increase their play value a little. Kai is armed with a pair of golden katana which slot into sheaths on the back of his bulky shoulder armour as well as a golden staff with a trans-blue gem at the end. I would have liked to see his spiky hair piece included too as the ninja do not wear their headgear while in the Digiverse but this is a very minor omission.
I often enjoy seeing obscure characters depicted in minifigure form, be that from NINJAGO, Star Wars or any other story-driven theme. 5004938 NINJAGO Minifigure Collection certainly qualifies as such a set so really appeals to me. There is a little room for improvement to Krux and Neuro but on the whole I think the figures look superb and I appreciate the broad coverage of different seasons, stretching back to 2014's Rebooted subtheme.
There are perhaps a few other characters which might have been more desirable than these but that is entirely subjective. The price of £14.99 or $19.99 is quite difficult to justify for just four minifigures but if you are a big fan of NINJAGO then I think it is a worthy purchase. Of course, it is even better if you are able to get it for free as the Bricktober sets are now available with purchases of over £55 in UK Toys R Us stores.
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