Review: 70675 Katana 4x4

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An outstanding selection of substantial vehicles have appeared within the NINJAGO theme since it started, including some that resemble fantasy tanks. 70675 Katana 4x4 definitely occupies this category and its powerfully armoured structure looks brilliant in combination with such striking curved bodywork.

Furthermore, the bodywork hides an enjoyable function which differs significantly from those found in other sets. The minifigure selection is similarly impressive so I have been looking forward to this set, although its price of £44.99 or $49.99 seems slightly more expensive than I was originally anticipating.

Minifigures

Among the six ninja, Kai appears most prominently within the latest range of sets. This version of the character seems fairly simple when compared with previous minifigures which is slightly disappointing, although I like the dark tan pouches printed on his torso and the dark red highlights look wonderful too. He carries two different katana into battle, keeping one in a pearl dark grey scabbard on his back.

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Nya FS lacks weaponry, instead harnessing Forbidden Spinjitzu which presumably removes the need for such accessories! Her pearl dark grey attire looks fantastic and the dark azure bands are excellent as well. Furthermore, this minifigure includes a new head wrap that features pearl dark grey and trans-light blue plastic, corresponding with other Forbidden Spinjitzu ninja. The trans-light blue section does not stand out very clearly but still looks good, especially when viewed from the side.

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Tornado spinners are provided for each ninja across the summer range and Nya's spinner is available here. This dual-moulded element combines pearl dark grey and trans-light blue plastic so corresponds with the Elemental Master of Water, including an attractive glitter mixture. The minifigure stands inside comfortably and the spinner works nicely, resting on a trans-clear 2x2 slider which has been removed for this image.

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Serpentine villains frequently challenge the ninja and another faction, known as the Pyro Vipers, has emerged during 2019. Char is among their leading members and seems particularly distinctive, featuring a prominent tail with predominantly black scales. This flexible component has appeared on numerous previous occasions but looks perfect here and I like the decorative NINJAGO script which reads 'Fire'.

70675 Katana 4x4

Char wears copper shoulder armour, thereby corresponding with the majority of Pyro Vipers. However, his head lacks the trans-orange hood that appears on other characters and the mouth is closed which seems unusual. Even so, I think this minifigure looks rather intimidating and he carries an impressive staff, denoting Char's superior rank among these villains.

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Two soldiers accompany their general, the first of whom is an exclusive Pyro Whipper. This character is appropriately armed with a whip and includes the same head as Char, albeit featuring reddish brown scales beside the trans-orange highlights. His copper shoulder armour looks marvellous and I love the flaming bandages printed across his torso and legs, befitting a minifigure that dwells within the Desert of Doom!

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Identical torso and leg elements form the Pyro Slayer, although this minifigure lacks shoulder armour. His dual-moulded head looks superb though, incorporating trans-orange eyes and flames along either side of the neck. Similar details are visible on both Char and the Pyro Whipper but they are much more prominent on this figure, who carries a copper shield and a bladed polearm weapon.

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The Completed Model

Scrolls of Forbidden Spinjitzu appear in several new NINJAGO sets, comprising an elegant naginata and the scroll. This plastic sheet is packaged with two others that are used in other sets and features an interesting flame design along the tattered edge. Its partial translucence is brilliant and the printed lettering reads 'The Forbidden Art' in reference to Forbidden Spinjitzu. The weapon rests on a simple plinth but I like the twin snake sculptures.

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Kai's impressive vehicle measures 31cm in length so appears reasonably substantial. Its streamlined exterior resembles 9441 Kai's Blade Cycle and 70727 X-1 Ninja Charger which seems appropriate as these models include the same driver. I love the consistent red colour scheme and the flame yellowish orange highlights look marvellous too, although they are partially reliant upon stickers.

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Four pearl dark grey swords form the radiator grille. Their elevated position looks slightly awkward but such dramatic flourishes are perfectly suitable for a fantasy vehicle, particularly given the exaggerated proportions of the Katana 4x4. Moreover, spring-loaded shooters are hidden beside the grille and they are activated together by pressing down on the bonnet.

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The wheels are unusually assembled, comprising two pearl gold components that fit together around each tyre. The resultant design looks superb though and matches other new vehicles, such as 70672 Cole's Dirt Bike and 70677 Land Bounty. I am particularly impressed by how these golden parts seem to narrow the width of the tyres.

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Heavy armour surrounds the cockpit and includes angled sections which may compromise the view of the driver. Fortunately, the cockpit has been designed to offer the broadest possible range of vision so includes a trans-clear canopy that lines up precisely with the windscreen. A similar building technique appeared in 76055 Batman: Killer Croc Sewer Smash and the interior is nicely detailed, featuring two printed control panels beside an angled seat.

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Black truncated cones are situated beneath the bodywork and they activate the Katana 4x4's primary function, deploying a golden saw blade from between the front wheels! This weapon slots underneath the radiator grille and will rotate as the gear on top passes a rubber Technic liftarm. I am quite pleased with this function, although the blade could probably reach slightly further beyond the tyres.

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Incorporating this blade deployment function leaves no space for suspension which is disappointing, although the ground clearance is outstanding so the model can comfortably traverse rough surfaces. Little detail is focused upon the underside but the flanks look wonderful, including pearl dark grey 1L beams which form exhausts beside the engine. This element is only available in one other set.

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Twin turbo boosters are located behind the cockpit, presumably granting the vehicle bursts of sudden speed. These look reasonably simple but make effective use of stickers which form mechanical detail and include further NINJAGO letters, reading 'Hot'. Moreover, two enormous flames are connected to the angled exhausts and appear quite attractive.

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Accessories can be stored towards the back of the vehicle. Two clips are available on either side and several pearl gold blades are found inside a dark bluish grey box with an interesting hinged lid. Plenty more room remains though so I am surprised this was not exploited. Nevertheless, additional space is always welcome and might be used for passengers or transporting the Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu.

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Overall

70675 Katana 4x4 has exceeded my expectations. The focal vehicle looks absolutely magnificent on display and I love its aerodynamic shape, especially around the smooth cockpit canopy. Furthermore, some unusual functions are integrated with the Katana 4x4, the most notable of which is probably the deployable saw blade.

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Unfortunately, the vehicle lacks suspension and its price of £44.99 or $49.99 seems expensive when compared with other NINJAGO sets. However, five minifigures are provided which is rather generous and I am accordingly pleased with the set. Following a slight reduction in price, this would certainly be worthy of a place in any NINJAGO collection, especially if you are not hoping to purchase 70677 Land Bounty that features many of the same characters.

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 below.

21 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Good review. I love its aerodynamic shape. in the US the latest series of NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu premiere yesterday but we’re still waiting for the last series of NINJAGO here in the UK

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By in Canada,

Cool looking ride! Might look for this at a discount!

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By in United States,

That's the flashiest pickup truck I've ever seen ... probably not much good for hauling cattle. And for $50,000? Looks like a concept car from the Detroit Auto Show made it to production by mistake ....

Seriously, though, thanks for an informative review of a fun set. I like the styling, the concept, and the minifigure selection, but I'm not yet persuaded to buy it.

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By in Germany,

looks like a fake lego set with the new trans-clear

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By in United States,

I really like how you get the closed cobra hood on the Whipper, but an open one on the Slayer. It’s like one of the snakes is angry and the other isn’t so mad yet.

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By in United States,

I think it looks weird, but that's just me.

The figures look pretty cool though.

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By in United States,

Great review! I really dig the aesthetic of the ninja vehicles this wave—they share some really interesting motifs including not just these new wheel covers and giant spinning blades but also exaggerated grills like the one in this set (but formed with different parts in each vehicle).

Trucks and cars can often feel like some of the more boring/conventional vehicle types in Ninjago, so I really appreciate the way this one livens things up with sci-fi motifs like the dome-shaped windscreen, jacked-up wheels, and giant jet engines. The spinning blade function on this seems awesome as well—wish you'd included a video to better show it off!

The new "Forbidden Spinjitzu" spinners and costumes are also really neat. The new hood wreathed with elemental energy seems to pair great with the new spinner designs, most of which interestingly have glitter blended into them (as if the two-color blend weren't cool enough on its own). In the case of Nya here, the glitter at least sets it apart from the similarly colored spinner used for the Ice Samurai in 70604. It's interesting how this wave features spinners in almost all of the sets (not just the dedicated spinner sets) but I don't entirely mind it—not only does that ensure a wide range of colors, but for a theme subtitled "Masters of Spinjitzu" I've often been a bit miffed at how little Spinjitzu features in both the sets and story. The spinners featuring so heavily in this wave reminds me a bit of the first year's sets, especially in the case of set 70678 (which integrates the spinner into one of the set's primary action features). If they keep it up going forward they might ought to be wary of the spinners wearing out their welcome for long-term collectors like myself, but for now they're a really great addition to the wave.

Finally, as for the Pyro Snake baddies—what a great faction! Their color scheme (with Trans. Orange and heavy use of earth tones including Copper Metallic) and ancient Egyptian aesthetic are great and help them to set them apart from earlier snake baddies (while still conceptually tied to them in a way that makes them feel less repetitive and more foreshadowed). It's curious that the Pyro Whipper is unique to this set—his lack of a cobra hood makes him feel like a more mundane member of this new faction, and yet the hooded Pyro Slayers are ultimately much more common. I kind of wish they had evened them out a little more so that people who intend to get multiple sets could get a more balanced selection of figures.

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By in Germany,

Even though I have quite a few Ninjago sets there is nothing about this one that I find attractive. Overpriced as well. Will rather save my money.

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By in United States,

I typically don't say anything if I can't say anything nice, but I have to admit, this truck is UGLY!

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By in France,

This is so colorful and bright next to many of my star wars sets. After Lloyd's green Mech dragon and Destiny's Bounty, it's my third "big" Ninjago set. And I have no regrets about it. So many colors and amazing parts, as told before the Snakes minifigs are awesome, and the vehicle in itself is a great toy and a great display piece IMO. The only thing that is a little off to me might be the lack of thickness of the car body, which I would have preferred a bit more consistent. The best part is the cockpit, I like the way it's hidden in the vehicle's hull, with the thin windscreen that still enables the driver to see the track. Now Jay's Lightening jet is on its way to complete the little Ninjago display at home which is growing with my love for the range. Will follow Zane and Cole's bikes, Nya already having her little - but nice - Samurai X mech. I have always been fascinated by these original and so creative designs. Overall I think that this Katana 4x4 is a very good set.

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By in United States,

Set looks great, would make a perfect $30 set.

$50? For god’s sake, Lego.

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By in United Kingdom,

The vehicle itself is quite funky with some nice details, but the size of the wheels and their position relative to the body make this look quite unappealing. Also the gold pieces on the tyres are not easy on the eye!

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By in Australia,

Does anyone else think Kai needs to see a doctor?

I mean, that cut on his forehead (that's had a bandaid on it, for about three years now) just is not healing, and that's a real concern.

Or there's a piece of ornamental sculpture, in the Ninjago characters base, and Kai just keeps banging his head against it every time he gets out of bed in the morning.

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By in United States,

Brickset: "Similar details are visible on both Char and the Pro Whipper."

Me: "Yes! I'm so excited to pick this set up just so I can get that exclusive Pro Whipper!

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By in Latvia,

When I first saw this set, I wasn't interested in this set. Now I'm still not interested in it. I'm not saying it is bad, it's just not my cup of tea

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By in United States,

@Zordboy maybe it’s just that he’s in more dangerous situations than the other Ninja, judging by how many more sets he appears in.

@Mr. Yolo it would have been nice if the Whipper head were more available.

Still wish Nya had gotten a vehicle instead of Kai this wave; she needs more love.

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By in United States,

This could make a cool speeder if the wheels were removed.

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By in Costa Rica,

Love your review. This is an amazing set. Char minifig is certainly the highlighted point of all.
I am looking forward to buying this set just because of it.

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By in United States,

Surprised to see so many negative comments about the price. While it's definitely a high price per piece compared to the many Ninjago sets with a PPP of less than ten cents, that's probably at least partly on account of the many big and/or new pieces like the tires, gold wheel/rim pieces, and giant gold shuriken/saw blade — communicating very clearly just why price-per-piece is not often endorsed as a foolproof measure of value, even if they're one of several useful points of comparison.

It's easy to tell even from the pictures in this review what a massive vehicle it is, and I'm not the least bit surprised at the cost when you compare the sheer size and weight of this set to the much scrawnier 70652-1 Stormbringer, which received much more positive feedback on its value in both the Brickset review and the comments that followed it: https://brickset.com/sets/70652-1/Stormbringer

For reference's sake, even though Stormbringer had a higher piece count even at 10 dollars/euros/pounds sterling less than this set, BrickLink also lists it with a weight of merely 636 grams compared to this set's nearly 23% heavier weight of 780 grams!

As accurate as your comparisons with the Blade Cycle and the X-1 Ninja Charger, the streamlined shape constructed from hinges and curved slopes, color scheme, and flame motifs actually reminded me more of last year's similarly named 70638-1 Katana V11!

It's neat to see that Ninjago designers are still so good at coming up with new ninja vehicles that clearly maintain the theme's recognizable design language while still looking much different than what we've seen before.

As frustrating as it that Nya and Jay (who have had no new vehicle in the past couple years outside of the Legacy sets) don't get vehicles this year while Kai (who's had new vehicles for four consecutive waves now) does, this set's unique look makes me feel very interested in adding it to my collection! Great review overall!

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By in Australia,

@Teriyaqi. Interesting idea. I was also thinking of rebuilding this without the Ninjago elements. Maybe Agents style?

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By in Philippines,

Thanks for the detailed review!

This set is awesome except for the price but I think the price is justified by the new elements we’re getting like the minifigs, snake heads, armors / shoulder pad, trans tornadoes, ninja head armor, naginata, etc.

For those who wants it but are hesitant bec. of the price (like me) maybe we can wait for it to be on sale by thanksgiving / Christmas / early next year. :)

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