Serpentine characters frequently challenge the ninja and larger snakes sometimes accompany these villains. 70674 Fire Fang is an impressive example, including 463 pieces. Its construction methods appear fairly unusual though, relying upon several pliable plastic components which form the creature's hood.
Such assembly techniques are not consistently effective but this example looks brilliant. Furthermore, an excellent collection of minifigures are found here, including Aspheera who only otherwise appears in 70677 Land Bounty. The exclusive Kai FS minifigure is similarly appealing, hence my considerable interest in this set.
Numerous versions of each ninja have been produced and Kai FS looks marvellous. This minifigure has harnessed the Forbidden Spinjitzu so features a dual-moulded head wrap which combines trans-red plastic with the standard opaque material. I definitely appreciate the resultant effect, although the contrast between these two colours is relatively subtle.
Kai's double-sided head was introduced during 2017 and I would accordingly appreciate an updated design. Nevertheless, this head looks reasonable while the torso and legs are perfectly detailed. The reddish brown straps and dark tan pouches are particularly pleasing. Furthermore, I love the dark red border across his attire and the elemental symbol on his back is a delightful detail as well.
This minifigure lacks weapons but comes with an enjoyable tornado spinner. Its trans-orange and red colour scheme looks great and I appreciate the decorative glitter which is mixed with this trans-orange plastic. The spinner rests upon a trans-clear 2x2 slider, not shown below, so functions nicely and there is room for the minifigure to slot inside.
Aspheera commands the Pyro Vipers and this minifigure looks absolutely spectacular. Her pearl gold colour scheme stands out within NINJAGO sets and separates this character from other Serpentine. The head looks superb and fits perfectly beside the chest armour which features decorative serpent sculptures over each shoulder. The torso is similarly detailed and I am particularly impressed with the intricate pharaonic collar.
However, I find the golden design to be slightly overwhelming, especially when combined with the dual-moulded piece that replaces standard legs. Its orange and trans-orange colour scheme is undoubtedly attractive, although there is little contrast between this component and the golden torso. Nevertheless, this villain appears suitably majestic in relation to her subordinates.
Collectable items appear prominently across the NINJAGO theme and the latest wave contains three Scrolls of Forbidden Spinjitzu. This example features an excellent flame design along its edge and the lettering reads 'The Forbidden Art' which is a fun detail. The naginata is new and looks fantastic, due in particular to a trace of trans-orange on the blade.
Pyro Viper soldiers appear in numerous new sets and two such characters are included here. The first is a Pyro Slayer, whose reddish brown head features some brilliant trans-orange highlights. They look wonderful but I believe the eyes could be improved as these only become visible when lit from the side. The torso and legs, on the other hand, are both perfectly decorated with dirty bandages.
Similar components are found on the Pyro Destroyer, although this minifigure wears copper shoulder armour which fits neatly around its neck. An exposed stud on the reverse may be used to connect this soldier to the Fire Fang and the accompanying Pyro Slayer includes a reddish brown neck bracket for the same purpose. Both characters are heavily armed with bladed weapons and shields.
The Completed Model
Collectable accessories have appeared in numerous NINJAGO sets and three Scrolls of Forbidden Spinjitzu currently occupy that role. However, a golden sceptre with a red crystal is included too and rests on a decorative plinth which looks quite nice. This item certainly provides some additional play value, despite its reasonably simple design.
Gigantic snakes are remarkably abundant across the NINJAGO theme. This example measures 21cm in height and 29cm long so its size is comparable to the Great Devourer from 9450 Epic Dragon Battle. The tail offers extensive articulation but there is little movement in the upper body, thereby maintaining balance. Unfortunately, that also precludes certain options for displaying the model.
Four black spoiler components form scales which form an elegant curve across the belly of this lethal creature. The surrounding trans-orange elements look superb and I love the golden letters found here. Some loosely resemble the existing NINJAGO alphabet which is fun, potentially suggesting that these letters are its ancient equivalent. Two minifigures guide the Fire Fang from chains on either flank.
Cobras have undoubtedly influenced the Pyro Vipers and two substantial plastic sheets form the Fire Fang's distinctive hood. These are partially translucent which is exceptionally effective and I love how its orange, red and black colours correspond with those across the body. Sand blue elements provide assistance in shaping the hood and partially conceal the ball joints which keep it in position.
Opening the mouth reveals another flexible sheet, representing the tongue. This enables the mouth to close completely which is pleasing, although its appearance could probably be improved. Furthermore, the red eyes seem excessively large when compared with the remainder of the head and I am inclined to remove a 1x1 quarter circle tile from each side, creating more proportional eyes.
Aspheera commands both her armies and the Fire Fang from an elaborate throne on its back. This tan structure is decorated with four pearl gold swords and Pyro Viper banners are mounted on either flank. It has been cleverly positioned at an angle, although Aspheera cannot sit down and therefore appears rather awkward when standing on her throne.
However, I am satisfied with the Fire Fang's tail which includes three points of articulation. Turning the black gear beneath its hood will cause the tail to swing back and forth, thereby rattling white 1x1 round tiles which are concealed inside the final section! Auditory functions are quite unusual but this example works perfectly and was a pleasant surprise.
Moreover, the trans-orange rock elements situated along its tail look tremendous and I appreciate the segmented shape of the rattle. Two stud shooters are located alongside the rattle while small dark tan spikes deter attackers approaching from the side. Ideally, these would continue for the whole length of the tail but the black curved slopes are a reasonable alternative.
NINJAGO sets have become increasingly impressive in my opinion and 70674 Fire Fang is definitely an enjoyable addition to the range. The model features numerous trans-orange pieces which seems appropriate given its association with the Pyro Vipers. Furthermore, I like how flexible plastic sheets have been integrated with standard elements, surpassing earlier sets in that regard.
Unfortunately, this set costs £39.99 or $39.99 which seems quite expensive. It contains 463 pieces so offers reasonable value from that perspective but the model is smaller than I was anticipating and four minifigures does not necessarily justify that price either. However, those figures are appealing and the serpent offers considerable play value, despite its upper body being relatively static.
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