Review: 70639 Street Race of Snake Jaguar

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There's only two types of biker in this world – those who've had an accident, and those who are about to have an accident. Fortunately, 70639 Street Race of Snake Jaguar is here to let you have the thrills and spills of motorcycle madness, incorporating some ninja fighting along the way, and all without resulting in a trip to A&E.

With an RRP of £24.99 / €29.99 / $29.99 we're looking slightly above entry level stuff here, so it needs to shape up with some good play opportunities and fun builds. 70638 Katana V11 impressed me and it set a high bar so this one needs to follow suit. Let's open up the throttles to find out if it can.

Here’s how the box looks front and back with a teenage human for scale. It feels a decent size for the money, and it contains 309 pieces.

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View image at flickr

Opening it up we find two bags and two instruction booklets – one per bike. That’s useful if you’re building with somebody else so you can have one each without squabbling. All the minifigures are in bag one though. For the main builds, Book 1, Zane’s Bike has 59 steps and Book 2, The Oni Chopper has 68 steps.

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Sticker-wise, I’m pleased to say there’s only 13 of them and they’re all easy to apply, the smallest being for 1x2 cheeses.

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The Minifigures

There's two (well 2 and a half) minifigures and we'll start with Zane. He is nicely printed featuring metallic silver on both sides. The belt crossover between his legs and torso works far better than Kai's did in 70638 Katana V11 and the printing continues downwards to his knees again using silver.

Is there enough here to make him stand out against previous versions? I'm not so sure, but this is up there near the top I think. This figure isn't unique as it is also available in 10755 Zane's Ninja Boat Pursuit

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

If we take off his quiver we can get a good look at his back print. It's almost a shame to hide it. The rear of his head also gets some printed detail.

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He is equipped with a bow and arrow, but there is a spare silver sword in the box for him if you prefer.

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Over on the villain's side, we have the wonderfully named Mr E. He gets a set of black leathers detailed with metallic silver and red. I was surprised to learn that the red visor on his helmet is only in 2 other sets (one of which is 70643 Temple of Resurrection where he appears again.) The new shoulder armour piece is used here and looks perfectly menacing with his black body and his head is printed with two eyes and nothing else. This could prove a useful head for Halloween and horror MOCers.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Turn him around and he has the Sons Of Garmadon backprint on his leather jacket. They haven't gone over the top here – he looks just right from behind.

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Now, what about that “half” I mentioned. Well here it is. There is a brick built stand which holds a pair of red swords, a demon torso and The Oni Mask of Vengeance. The mask simply attaches to the visor mounting points of a helmet piece. The torso has some great printing on it with the reds leading the eye up to the mask itself.

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View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Once acquired by Mr E he can transform into a four armed sword wielding maniac. It looks fantastic even if getting the four swords to sit right at the same time can be a bit of a fiddle.

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The Build

Getting into the build, both bikes have a sturdy central core on which all the other pieces sprout from. Zane’s bike has a rather nice Pearl Gold 2x2 Round Tile with a white and silver print on it but that is the only stand out piece I noticed. Once these lumps are complete it’s on to the rest.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Both bikes use technic elements on which to mount the wheels, and because of the overall length of the bikes they have a bit of ”give” in them to form a slight suspension. To stop heavy hands pushing too hard, both of the bikes have a boat stud fitted under their engine bays to act as stops, thus preventing any stretch damage. The length and lowdown stance of these bikes very much reminds me of Top Fuel Drag Racing Bikes and I wonder if the design team have taken a few cues from them. The results are certainly interesting.

Let’s look at Zane’s bike first. In a colour scheme to reflect his own it’s got some nice details such as the Gold rims and Dark Azure lower fairings. The flag adjusts up and down and the gold blades help to create the flow and shape of a more conventional motorbike, hanging over the rear wheels like a mudguard would.

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Moving over to the dark side, The Oni Chopper has a menacing colour scheme of black, red and purple. It features red horns, or teeth, set in the front wheel hubs that act as tyre shredders, and are also mounted on the large black blades to the rear. Again the flag is adjustable back and forth, but it does move the seat back with it.

The red flag is an odd choice, as it uses a tile 2x3 with 2 clips. This means that the sticker can only adhere to one face so the bike has a “best” side to be viewed. Admittedly the size of the 2x3 looks right, but if a 2x2 flag was used instead the emblem could have shown as double sided.

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So far, we've seen the bikes without minifigures, and the proportions look good. Look what happens when we stick the minifigures on them – completely bonkers.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The bikes are massive powerhouse machines and my brain says that this concept shouldn't work – but it does. They are ludicrously oversized and all the better for it. They are still bikes though and that must limit the play features surely? Let's see what the designers have come up with besides racing each other.

For Zane's bike, note the stud shooters mounted on the lower fairings each side. To use them to the best of their ability....

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…. the front of the bike comes off to reveal a drone providing the set with a swooshability factor. It's a really cool touch and very well thought out. The wings are adjustable and the nose can pivot up and down as well.

View image at flickr

It's Mr E's turn to impress, and The Oni Chopper also features a pair of stud shooters mounted each side of the headlight. There are places to clip a pair of swords prior to his transformation, and as mentioned the wheels have revolving teeth fitted to them.

View image at flickr

To go one better, a quick turn of the technic gear wheels on each side of the engine bay moves the big black blades forward. These rest on the teeth elements in the hubs and when you push the bike along, the teeth make the blades bob up and down to give a cutting and shredding motion. It's quite fun.

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Not to be outdone, Zane can move his blades forward too. They actually swing a little further forward than my photo shows and also rotate in the holders a full 360 degrees.

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Here's the whole package, and in this photo you see can The Oni Chopper from it's worst side. That flag is just a detail that's... that's... well a little bit annoying. It's the wine stain on new carpet, a coffee ring on the table, a turd on the pavement. Apart from that small niggle though, it's a good looking set – and this is coming from a car man and not a biker.

View image at flickr

Once Mr E has transformed into his super evil state, he looks brilliant on top of his machine. Kids will love this with two bikes to chase and fight each other. It makes more sense than in the 70638 Katana V11 where it is boat vs bike.

View image at flickr

Overall

I think this is another decent set and the price isn’t that bad at all. In UK money we're looking at a tenner for each bike, and a fiver for the minifigs and mask set up, that's your £24.99 RRP right there. Ninjago sets always see a bit of discount after a short while and researching Amazon price history it's already been down to £19.99 during February.

The play opportunities here revolve of course around the age old “Good Vs Evil” scenario, and the features of each bike are well conceived. Before I built it I didn’t think there’d be much to the bikes but it was great to discover the features and be proved wrong. There’s enough here to fuel the imagination for one person and it’s a fine set for two people to build and play with as well.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

If you're a Ninjago fan, you will love it and it's another set that gets a recommendation from me. As always, please let us know your own thoughts in the comments.


Many thanks to the LEGO Group for providing Brickset with a copy of the set. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

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18 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Very great review! Also, your lighting and photography is GREAT! Keep up the good work, iso3200!

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By in Canada,

Wish there was a little bit more substance. Feels more like a $25 USD set and the lack of a proper 3rd fig feels lazy

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By in Belgium,

Great review and wonderful pictures. You made me laugh too: "That flag is just a detail that's... that's... well a little bit annoying. It's the wine stain on new carpet, a coffee ring on the table, a turd on the pavement". Thanks!

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By in United States,

As you put it, the annoying one-sided flag is "a turd on the pavement." I appreciate the attempt at humor, however there is an abundance of humorous metaphors that would be much more appropriate. There is enough crudeness of this sort in the world without extending it to toy reviews. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I've come to expect more elegance from Brickset.

That aside, enjoyable review. I do quite appreciate your unique voice, and how it differentiates you from the other Brickset reviewers. I'll have to make sure I pick up that Mr. E figure--he looks great!

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By in United States,

I got this set a month ago and agree with your thoughts completely. Mr. E is really the highlight as well as his bike. It goes great with the Nightcrawler (I purchased that January 1st)

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By in United States,

Great review! How do you do your photography? Seriously? How do you? Is it all on a green screen? Or masks?

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By in United States,

The red visor has appeared in a lot of other sets, they're just not listed in the database I guess.

Good review, great pictures. These aren't necessarily my favorite Ninjago bike designs, since they've release many variations over the years, but it's cool to get two solid vehicles in one relatively affordable set.

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By in United States,

This is just a re-skin of Desert Lightning and Ninja Bike Chase. Do we have to have one of these sets in every Ninjago wave? Figures are good, I guess, but I feel like Lego could have done better here. The ninja bikes they've been pumping out lately have not been very good imao (many of them feel kind of unfinished, so I have to mod them)

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By in United Kingdom,

@Isaac. Oni Masks of course ;-)

@xccj You know, when I wrote that I had a feeling something was amiss. It looks like the design id has changed somewhere along the way, perhaps on a later production run? It was design 2447 previously but for 2017 onwards the design is 35334. I'll strike it in the text. Thanks for jogging me into more research.

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By in Jordan,

I really like this set, but the thing that that really bugs me is the brightly coloured Technic pieces. Are those axles and axle connectors available in less obvious colours?

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By in Canada,

Great review, a-ma-zing photos as always!

Question for the knowledgeable community here.

"There's two..." or ”There are two..."

I'm not a native English speaker, but I always thought the former was incorrect.

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By in United States,

Good set review, nice bikes and figures.

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By in United States,

Good review! My main interest in this set is Zane and his bike. I love that the drone sort of resembles Zane's falcon friend that we've seen in the TV show (and in #70724-1). I also really like the white and dark azur color scheme. In general the bright secondary colors of this year's ninja vehicles are pretty cool and help differentiate them from Ninjago sets of the past. I like that both bikes include a place for the characters to clip their swords, since neither character has a neck accessory with a sword holder.

Mr. E's bike has perhaps a somewhat harder time standing out, being yet another motorbike for a faction where practically everybody has motorbikes. However, it looks like a pretty fair match for Zane's, and has some really tasteful shaping. I also really love the bobbing feature of the rippers on the front. Those new blade pieces used for the rippers are pretty cool and it'd be awesome to see those used in other applications, like as the sword of a mech or the rotors of a helicopter.

The oversized nature of Ninjago vehicles doesn't really bother me… after all, I've loved other themes like Agents with oversized vehicles of their own. In fact, I think the scale adds to both the theme's characteristic level of detail and its fantasy appeal.

As for the minifigures, Zane's new design beautifully melds motifs from the movie and TV incarnations of the character. The black headband and Dark Azur emblem are a big improvement on the all-white mask with black emblem of the movie character. Although suitable for Zane, that one-colored mask was never as interesting as the two-colored masks of the other five ninja. It's a shame that none of the sets so far have Zane's new hairstyle in silver metallic, though! It brings back memories of how the year after we finally got hair for all the ninja, Zane got his titanium upgrade and suddenly we had to wait another year for LEGO to release his hair in what was now the correct color.

LEGO is definitely getting better about not spoiling the identities of mystery characters in the first set they appear in. The original Samurai X's emblem and face betrayed their identity as Nya, and the Green Ninja was revealed as Lloyd as soon as we got the first images of the figure's eyebrows (not to mention that the sets that included him outright named him as "Lloyd ZX" on the box). But the identity of the new Samurai X only became obvious in their design a year after the first set that included them, and Mr. E's design is as mysterious as his name implies. He's certainly a cool-looking figure, and it's neat to see Zane getting a new rival.

@dRevan: I wouldn't necessarily say it feels like a $25 set… after all, each bike looks pretty similar in size to the $20 #9441-1, even if they don't have quite so cool an action feature (wondering when we'll see another Ninjago bike with a feature that exciting).

@Psychic Tempest Zero: I've watched or read at least one Ninjago designer interview where they talked about sets with a pair of bikes being really popular, hence why the theme keeps revisiting them. But I wouldn't call this a reskin any more than I'd call a LEGO Speed Champions car a reskin of a LEGO City police car or a LEGO Creator sports car. It's the same general category of set as those two you mentioned, but neither the same size nor the same style.

@M.Jibril: As of a couple years ago, all the odd-numbered Technic axles are available in both grey and yellow, and all the even-numbered Technic axles are available in both red and black. LEGO usually likes to alternate these colors, so for instance, if a set has 2 or 6 module axles in red, it'll have 4 or 8 module axles in black (or vice versa). So if LEGO had colored the 5M axles grey, they probably would have also colored the equally or more obvious 3M and 7M axles to yellow.

Thanks again for the review, @iso3200! Looking forward to more Ninjago reviews here on Brickset!

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By in United States,

I quite like this set. Aside from the fact that the Actual "Snake Jaguar" figure appears in another set. It is one of the better set interpretations of an on screen event from the TV show, with the perfect 2 characters selected for a 2 fig set. These 2 characters were "made" to battle each other. Mr. E's mask enhanced figure is fantastic and may be the best of the 4 armed figs in the entire line rivaling even some of Garmadon's best. I love the simplicity of the helmeted figure with theglowing red eyes. Just incredibly effective.

The bikes are good by annual Ninjago motorcycle standards. Zane's is by far the better of the two. But they are nicely balanced and provide some good conflict play. The Falcon Drone is also great.

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By in Greece,

Ninjago never fails to amaze me! Although I am not into bikes, this is a rather nice set due to the exquisite bad guy (Mr E), the Oni mask and the Zane Drone! All these techno/futuristic/neo-tokyo sets TLG is producing these years, will definitely make me build a MOC or two in that theme ;-)

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By in United States,

Initially, I wasn't going to pick up this set. But things changed, and I am very pleased to say it is better than you would think. It's a very well designed and thought out set with very detailed figures, especially Mr. E who now is my favorite member of the Sons of Garmadon. Great review!

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By in Jordan,

@Aanchir Thanks for the info! I just wanted to know if those axles were readily available in grey so that I could bricklink them. I was under the impression that the certain black and grey axles had been completely phased out by yellow and red, making the older ones more expensive. I'm glad that isn't the case!

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By in United States,

It's pretty good, but definitely not the best S.O.G. set.

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