Review: 40342 NINJAGO Minifigure Set

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NINJAGO sets frequently contain references to retired themes and characters, such as Galidor and Jack Stone. 40342 NINJAGO Minifigure Set surpasses previous sets in this regard, actually including an exclusive minifigure that portrays Clutch Powers!

This heroic character was originally introduced during The Adventures of Clutch Powers, almost ten years ago, but has not appeared in physical minifigure form before. The other figures look excellent too, although I think many LEGO fans will be drawn to this minifigure pack by Clutch Powers alone.

Minifigures

Components from a previous Kai minifigure have been combined with a new head wrap to create this version of the ninja. The red and dark red colour scheme looks perfect and I like the golden dragon on his chest, especially since this attractive design continues onto the back of his torso. Furthermore, this hood element is excellent, integrating the NINJAGO character for 'K' to denote its wearer.

40342 NINJAGO Minifigure Set

However, the absence of unique elements for this minifigure is disappointing. A new head would have been particularly welcome as the same double-sided head has been used for Kai since 2017. I do like Kai's pearl dark grey scabbard though and this character is suitably equipped with a silver katana.

40342 NINJAGO Minifigure Set

Clutch Powers was introduced as an animated character during 2010 but his appearance has altered significantly since then. Nevertheless, the black hair piece remains the same and features some lovely texture while the reddish brown jacket appears somewhat familiar too. His facial hair and eyepatch are new though and I like how Clutch is evidently wearing the patch as a fashion accessory rather than out of necessity!

40342 NINJAGO Minifigure Set

Metallic gold symbols are printed on each side of the torso and this hero has presumably encountered some dangerous situations as his jacket looks extremely shabby. Unfortunately, there is no printing on the legs but Clutch does wear a black utility belt and wields a reddish brown whip. I expect this makes reference to the notable points of comparison between Clutch Powers and Indiana Jones.

40342 NINJAGO Minifigure Set

Two disparate villains oppose the ninja during this series, the first of whom are represented here by a Pyro Destroyer. This minifigure incorporates an unusual reddish brown head component which looks brilliant, featuring trans-orange flames and glowing eyes. I love its copper chest armour too, especially since this element includes sculpted snakes which cover the shoulders!

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Linen strips wrap the Pyro Destroyer, much like an Ancient Egyptian mummy. These are appropriately dirty and the flames emerging from beneath are excellent. A frozen Blizzard Archer accompanies the Serpentine villain and takes inspiration from samurai, wearing an attractive dark red helmet and faulds around his waist. The intricate detail is impressive and I like the archer's aqua skin tone as well.

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Trans-light blue spikes decorate the helmet and this minifigure also includes a matching arm that looks beautiful. However, I prefer the Blizzard Warrior which has appeared in other new sets and features an attractive chest armour component. Unusually, the archer carries an ice spear rather than a bow which seems odd while the Pyro Destroyer is armed with a flaming spear and a brilliant copper shield.

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The Completed Model

Minifigures are certainly the focus of packs like this one, hence the model is fairly plain. This weapons rack is divided between fire and ice, representing the dual villainous factions. I appreciate this idea but am not satisfied with its execution as the accessories appear muddled. Nevertheless, further weapons for the minifigures are always welcome.

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Overall

Clutch Powers has elicited considerable attention and is undoubtedly the highlight of 40342 NINJAGO Minifigure Set. This minifigure looks fantastic, borrowing certain features from his original design while updating his appearance where necessary. The other three minifigures are individually impressive but none are exclusive which is slightly disappointing when compared with previous minifigure packs.

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The weapons rack also seems rather bland in my opinion. However, this set costs £10.99 or $12.99 so appears to offer reasonable value, particularly since the villainous minifigures are only otherwise found in more expensive sets. Clutch Powers offers the most substantial appeal though and I am certain that fans of The Adventures of Clutch Powers from 2010 will appreciate his return here!

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your opinion of the set in the comments.

26 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Good review

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By in United Kingdom,

cool review!

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By in Canada,

The set would be better if the Blizzard archer had the new dual molded shoulder armour and helmet in the Lloyd's journey set.

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By in United Kingdom,

I love how Lego is willing to make references to its own history, especially when those references are hilariously obscure or unfavourable. I’m willing to bet most Lego fans today don’t know who Junkbot is, for instance, but his appearance in the Ninjago Docks set was a lovely touch.

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By in United States,

I might get this just because we happen to have The Adventures of Clutch Powers DVD. Thinking of which, my son hasn't seen it yet, and my daughter probably only vaguely remembers it. Might be time to wipe off the dust and watch some classic LEGO cheese :) Also the Pyro Destroyer's snake head looks magnificent. I'm thinking about putting it in a zoo exhibit poking out from under some foliage pieces, to hide the lack of it having a body... Great review and consider me inspired!

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By in United States,

I’m on the fence about getting this although I probably will simply because of the Clutch Powers minifigure. However this seems to suffer from the same issue that plagues the Star Wars minifigure sets with the inclusion of named minifigures; I think that LEGO could sell more of these were it not for that one problem. On the other hand it is nice to get Clutch Powers in such a cheap set.

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By in United States,

"I love how Lego is willing to make references to its own history, especially when those references are hilariously obscure or unfavourable. I’m willing to bet most Lego fans today don’t know who Junkbot is, for instance, but his appearance in the Ninjago Docks set was a lovely touch."

And now I am looking at photos of the Ninjago City Dock's sticker sheet on Bricklink... thanks...

No really, the Junkbot references, the map of Mata Nui and the Mask of Ultimate Power from Bionicle, the Johnny Thunder stickers... wow I had not realized that set was such a treasure trove of Lego easter eggs.

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By in United Kingdom,

I’m pretty sure the Rocket Racer logo for Lego Racers appears in Ninjago City, too. And there’s a picture of Johnny Thunder in the Scooby Doo museum set!

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By in France,

I have built Katana 4X4 a few days ago and must say that those new Snakes are very good. Dual molded colors are of great effects, and I like this copper color used for weapons and armor pieces a lot too. But even if Kay minifig is nice, the selection is not so interesting for me, but for Clutch of course. I prefer last Ninjago accessory set with three different and new characters which offered a very good minifig selection.

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By in United States,

@dRevan that's technically a Blizzard Warrior, though admittedly the Archer and Samurai are identical except for accessories in most sets. The Archer here is actually different, as he comes with the Blizzard Sword Master/General Vex torso. Kind of wish we could have gotten the Pyro Whipper head instead, as that only appears in one set while the Destroyer had has appeared in three besides this one. Also wish we could have gotten a different Ninja, Wu, or even some other ally character instead of another Kai; he's overused as it is.

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By in Australia,

Clutch Powers is ... who?

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By in United States,

@Zordboy: He was the starring character in "The Adventures of Clutch Powers", a direct-to-DVD movie released in 2010. To my knowledge it was the first official, feature-length LEGO movie besides the four Bionicle movies. It was kind of shallow and cliche, without super impressive animation, but it did have a pretty cool voice cast and a few fun jokes to keep things entertaining.

Clutch Powers was previously referenced in LEGO Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu Season 1, Episode 9: The Royal Blacksmiths (which aired in 2012), as an explorer who had successfully retrieved one of the four Fang Blades from a Serpentine pyramid, but at that time it was more or less a throwaway name-drop/shout-out to a previous LEGO animation project, and not anything with tremendous impact on the storyline other than explaining how a relic like that ended up in civilian hands.

This new story arc is the first in which Clutch Powers actually appears as a character and interacts with the ninja. The tattered, grizzled look, with stubble and eye patch, are an amusing update for a character who we previously saw as a young, spirited treasure-hunter, and I wouldn't be surprised if it were inspired by George Hall's portrayal of an elderly Dr. Henry Jones, Jr in the frame stories of "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" TV series.

Of course, here an additional touch of humor by giving him an alternate expression with the eye patch flipped up to indicate that it's not an injury sustained during his adventures, but presumably just a fashion statement.

All in all, the rest of this accessory pack is nothing to write home about — they make decent additions to an army of either of the new factions, but because those are pretty generic figures that appear commonly in other sets, they're not much reason to seek out this set on their own. Likewise a mix-and-match Kai figure is something I could just as easily do without.

Still, not a terrible value as minifigure packs go, and certainly more interesting to me than many previous blister-packed minifig/accessory sets that ONLY reused parts that appear in other sets, without any unique contents.

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By in United States,

@Mister-Jonny omg I loved junkbot! It was such a great game! Do du do du doo du doo Junk-Bot!

I built many a junkbot as kid with my cousin!

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By in Canada,

I really dislike these 'accessory sets' that include specific characters, ESPECIALLY when the character is yet ANOTHER version of one of the ninja characters. Like we don't get enough of them in the normal theme sets. I'd much rather they go back to the old 'army builder/battle pack' type of 'accessory packs'. I'm sure Clutch could have appeared in a regular set, too.

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By in United States,

The Gurenki figure is cool.

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By in Poland,

@Aanchir the first one was Jack stone. No. Im not joking

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By in Australia,

^^ So a really clever Lego in-joke, and more Lego White Walkers?

I'm sold.

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By in United States,

I like lego having these weird refrences to past things, like in the Other Side diner set there is a character with red hair and a pizza shirt named "Roni" It's really neat.

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By in United States,

The eyepatch recalls Ace Speedman from the Atlantis theme: “I just think eyepatches are cool!”

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By in United States,

@lordofdragonss: Growing up, my family actually had the Jack Stone VHS tape, but it couldn't really be described as a feature-length movie. In total it only included around 20 minutes of footage.

Even before the Jack Stone videotape, there were other LEGO direct-to-video features: a roughly 12-minute videotape about the LEGO Technic set #8457 Power Puller (included with that set), the Fabuland "Edward and Friends" stop-motion shorts, etc.

But all of these were shorter than the 40 minute minimum threshold for being considered a "feature-length film". As such, "Bionicle: Mask of Light" was the first LEGO movie to meet that requirement (with a 70-minute runtime), and "The Adventures of Clutch Powers" was the first non-Bionicle LEGO movie to do so (with an 82-minute runtime).

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By in United States,

IMHO
Clutch Powers > The LEGO Movie
It was a fun, simple movie with good characters, including a REAL villain. (why oh why does the villain always have to be redeemed in every LEGO movie since 2014, it has gotten so cliche after 4 movies!)
It has no divine intervention at the end that breaks your immersion in the fantasy world. Some of the humor is really dumb, I know, but at the end of the day it screams "LEGO" more than the new LEGO movies. The new movies are great (except for Ninjago) but seem to resemble other movies, such as The Matrix, put into a LEGO format. I just feel like a movie that seems to epitomize simple fun and a team of heroes "building on each other" is a better reflection of the LEGO Group's values rather than a near-future dystopian movie with toys, a superhero movie about relationships, a bottom-of-the-barrel cinematic dumbing-down of a TV show, or a sci-fi dystopian/action movie.

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By in United States,

Clutch Powers was my childhood favorite movie. I still like to watch it sometimes, and I will absolutely buy this set just for the figure.

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By in Germany,

Apart from The LEGO Movie I have not seen any LEGO related media yet whatsoever, nor do I intend to do so. Therefore Clutch Powers doesn't mean anything to me.
That said, his surname is Powers, so perhaps a distant relative, and therefor interesting ;-)

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By in United States,

So Clutch Powers is now Snake Plissken? Wowsers!

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By in Canada,

Just got this yesterday in the mail and, even the packaging is cool (blister-packed on a card in a clear minifigure shape). Of all of them I really like Clutch the most, but funny enough: I thought it was version of 'Future Jay', until someone stated that it was Clutch Powers. I read that, looked across the room at my DVD of "The Adventures of..." and sat there thinking 'Oh, WOW...it is too...'...wonder if they'll cover what happened to Artie Fol and the rest:)

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