Motorcycles are a consistent feature across the excellent NINJAGO range and have appeared in nearly every wave since 2011. 70672 Cole's Dirt Bike is the newest such vehicle and this striking model definitely elicited my attention when the official images of these sets arrived a couple of months ago.
Its impressive half-track design seems suitable for Cole and I love the rocky textured elements. In addition, three interesting minifigures are included, the most notable of whom is probably the new Pyro Destroyer which continues the enduring trend of serpent-themed villains emerging across the NINJAGO theme.
Many different versions of each ninja have been created and the latest examples seem comparatively bland in my opinion. Cole sports black robes so matches previous versions of this character and each element looks good, although they lack the tiny details that appeared on the ninja last year. However, I like the orange bands and the design on the back of Cole's torso is great, including a pouch for holding cutlery!
Kai incorporates numerous similar features but still appears distinctive, featuring his own colours and different straps. I appreciate consistency between these ninja and the dark red highlights look brilliant, although I think the bright red overwhelms smaller areas of colour. Nevertheless, the minifigures are often updated and I am sure many people will like these versions of the ninja.
Cole wields his traditional hammer while Kai comes with a pearl gold sword. Both accessories feature sculpted hilts which appear remarkably intricate and they also wear pearl dark grey scabbards to hold katana, as exhibited below.
The ninja have encountered many serpent-themed villains and this Pyro Destroyer is the latest such character. These creatures appear quite intimidating and I love the combination of reddish brown and trans-orange plastic on their head, forming glowing eyes and flames that resemble the hood found on certain snake species. The copper shoulder armour looks wonderful as well, including two decorative snakes!
Ancient Egypt has evidently inspired the Desert of Doom, hence the Pyro Vipers are wrapped in linen strips like an Egyptian mummy. The sandy residue looks superb and flames continue across the torso and legs, conveying the intense heat of this arid desert. This minifigure features a copper shield and a curved sword that was initially designed for Pharaoh's Quest. Both accessories are new in this colour.
The Completed Model
Cole's motorcycle appears extremely robust, including numerous rocky pieces that feature some light bluish grey printing. I like the orange and pearl gold highlights while the half-track configuration seems especially appropriate for Cole, the Elemental Master of Earth, given his association with rough terrain and considerable focus upon strength.
The vehicle looks impressive from any angle but I am particularly satisfied with its angular side profile. The contrast between the forward track and the enormous back wheel is striking and the entire model appears nicely balanced. Furthermore, the shape of the track is reflected in the surrounding bodywork so the motorcycle feels absolutely cohesive, thereby improving upon earlier NINJAGO half-tracks such as 70501 Warrior Bike.
Technic elements provide support to the tracked section and these are hidden quite well beneath dark bluish grey panels, although a couple of blue pins remain visible. The track rolls with notable ease and its substantial width removes any need for a kickstand, leaving enough room for two stud shooters that are located beneath the central superstructure.
Handlebars are included for Cole and there is adequate space to seat him, even with a sheath across his back. A decorative banner is suspended behind the driver, featuring a distinctive shuriken icon that appears on several ninja vehicles across the Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu subtheme. This design is black so corresponds with Cole's dark attire.
The rear wheel is very interesting, lacking a conventional hub but instead featuring two golden pieces which connect through the centre of the tyre and protect its rubber sidewalls. This unusual component has been designed for the latest wave and its attractive blade design matches an orange sticker which is applied on the front wheel.
NINJAGO motorcycles have become somewhat repetitive throughout the duration of this theme. They are evidently extremely popular with children but many seem fairly similar. 70672 Cole's Dirt Bike is an exception. Half-track motorcycles have appeared previously but this model is exceptional, conveying a sense of speed alongside the strength that one would expect to see in any of Cole's vehicles.
The minifigures are also excellent but none are exclusive which is slightly disappointing. This set costs £17.99 or $19.99 and seems to offer reasonable value, although other sets of a similar size have contained two models so a small structure for the Pyro Destroyer to protect would have been welcome. Nevertheless, I would recommend this set, especially following a discount.
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