NINJAGO focuses upon two new locations during season eleven, those being the Never-Realm and the Desert of Doom. 70671 Lloyd's Journey takes place within the bitter Never-Realm and includes an interesting new wolf piece which has inspired significant attention.
Moreover, two fantastic minifigures are included beside an unusual outpost structure. This seems to capture the architectural style of the Never-Realm, incorporating four dark red shields and medium azure spikes that decorate the exterior of 70678 Castle of the Forsaken Emperor too.
The ninja frequently update their attire and the new Lloyd Garmadon minifigure looks superb, wearing an intricately detailed green robe with dark green highlights. I love the leather pauldron printed over his right shoulder and this is decorated with the NINJAGO character for 'L' which identifies its owner. Lloyd also features worn kneepads and a tousled hair piece from The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.
Moreover, the minifigure wears a new scabbard accessory. This element features some lovely textured detail and offers room for a katana. Its pearl dark grey colour also looks marvellous, contrasting with Lloyd's colourful attire. He carries a wooden torch and his standard dao is included too, albeit now cast in pearl gold and frozen within a 2x2 round brick!
Blizzard Samurai inhabit the Never-Realm and this set therefore contains a Blizzard Warrior, wearing dark red armour which looks absolutely fantastic. I like the dual-moulded trans-light blue highlights and those on the chest armour are particularly impressive in my opinion as the ice crystals appear irregular while ice on the helmet forms a horned crest.
Similar designs are printed beneath the chest armour and continue onto the legs. The aqua highlights look superb and match the Blizzard Warrior's unusual skin tone. He appears somewhat reminiscent of the White Walkers from Game of Thrones, featuring wrinkles alongside petrifying pale blue eyes! This minifigure is armed with a medium azure katana which has not appeared in this colour before.
Lloyd is accompanied by a mysterious lupine creature which looks fantastic, featuring intricate moulded detail and three tails. These have inspired comparisons with kitsune, supernatural foxes from Japanese folklore that can take human form. The red highlights are excellent and I like the stripes across the face of this animal, reflecting its connection with Akita from 70768 Castle of the Forsaken Emperor.
The articulation is limited which is unfortunate, although the position of the legs appears reasonably natural and you can raise or lower the head. Furthermore, two studs enable minifigures to ride on its back but I think this majestic wolf seems more like a travelling companion than an animal that carries passengers, especially given its apparent ability to transform into a human!
The Completed Model
Lloyd's destination within the Never-Realm is currently unknown, although his target here seems to be the pearl gold sword which is frozen in a 2x2 round brick. This accessory slots nicely into the brick and looks impressive, including a golden tassel on the pommel. The neighbouring fortification is fairly small but includes delightful detail, especially around the roof where four dark red shields are attached using clips.
The walls are equally detailed, including two decorative shuriken beside frozen spikes. A stud shooting crossbow is mounted on top of the outpost and clips are also provided for some accessories. However, the interior is completely empty which is disappointing. A simple table or an armoury would have been welcome here but the space is easily adaptable.
Figures are frequently the highlight of smaller NINJAGO sets and this example is no exception. Lloyd and the Blizzard Warrior are both brilliant, although they are available elsewhere. The brand new wolf, on the other hand, is exclusive and looks absolutely fantastic in my opinion, striking a perfect balance between ferocious and adorable design.
The fortress outpost is attractive too, incorporating several appealing elements and corresponding with the larger 70678 Castle of the Forsaken Emperor. The price of £12.99 or $14.99 feels rather expensive to me, although the unique wolf justifies that price to some extent. I would therefore recommend 70671 Lloyd's Journey to any NINJAGO fan and look forward to learning more about the role of this animal in the animated series.
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