makoy

Review - 70621 The Vermillion Attack

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The LEGO Ninjago Movie does not come out in theatres until September 2017. While waiting, let's look at the NINJAGO sets from the latest TV season, Hands of Time. This is my 4th Eurobricks review - set number 70621, The Vermillion Attack.

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Overview

Name: 70621 The Vermillion Attack
Theme: LEGO System / NINJAGO / Hands of Time
Year: 2017 (1H)
Pieces: 63
Minifigures: 3
Price: USD 9.99 / EUR 9.99  / GBP 8.99  / SGD 19.99 / MYR 49.90
Resources: Brickset and Bricklink

Quote

Stage a swamp battle between Kai and Vermillion warriors Rivett and Slackjaw to win the Forward Time Blade. This LEGO® NINJAGO® set features a Vermillion egg with an explode function that releases three red snake elements from inside, plus cool minifigure weapons to dial up the role-play conflict. Includes three minifigures.

  • Includes three minifigures: Kai, Rivett and Slackjaw
  • Vermillion egg build features an egg with a translucent red snake slime element, secret explode function and three red snake elements inside, plus various elements including swamp reeds and the detachable translucent-green Fast Forward Time Blade.
  • Activate the explode function to blast off the top of the egg and pop out the snakes.
  • Weapons include Kai's katana, Rivett's Vermillion axe and Slackjaw's Vermillion sword.
  • Accessory elements include Rivett and Slackjaw's Vermillion helmets, plus two extra red snake elements.
  • Recreate and role-play epic scenes from the NINJAGO® Masters of Spinjitzu TV show.
  • This set offers an age-appropriate build and play experience for ages 6+.
  • Vermillion egg measures over 3” (10cm) high, 2” (7cm) wide and 2” (7cm) deep.

Introduction

I’ll use the Forward Time Blade and I cut into the chase to tell you that the 2 main selling points of this set are the 3 minifigures and the usefulness of the parts that comes with it. This is essentially for army building if you consider Kai just a uniformed foot soldier ninja. Is this the best army building set currently out there? Read until the end to find out the answer.

How can you get wrong when you get Kai, 2 villains, 5 red snakes, a time blade and a small tree stump with an egg?
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Looking at the front box art cover, we see Kai fleeing the tree stump with the Forward Time Blade. The Time Blades are the main collectible items in the Hands of Time season. Two Vermillion warriors namely Rivett and Slackjaw are armed with their weapon of choice. Behind the box we see how a lever behind the tree stump pops the egg open revealing several red snakes inside.
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At the side of the box it shows Kai in his new suit.
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Inside we get 2 clear bags without numbers and an instruction booklet. There is no sticker sheet (yes!)

 

Build

All parts laid down before building
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Before completing the build, I want to show you the internal mechanism that makes the egg pop-open. The technic pieces push the bottom axle upwards, forcing it against another axle attached with the top egg shell. Twisting the lever opens up the egg. Simple yet ingenious play feature.

Popping mechanism
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Other than the egg, there is nothing to write home about the build. Admittedly, I find it so plain because it took me less than 10 minutes to finish the build. Obviously AFOLs are not the target market for NINJAGO so I asked my son for second opinion.

His first reaction is to pop the egg open; it mesmerises him because it has a metallic finish.  He also thinks that the snakes peeking out are "cute"... I think his playful reaction is due to his exposure to "surprise egg" toys. If your kids like surprise egg, then he/she will be amused with this set.
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Let's talk more about the egg. These are the same egg moulds used in Galaxy Squad sets but in metallic grey colour; instead of hatching alien buggoids, they hatch red snakes. In the show these red snakes merge together to form the Vermillion warriors. According to some interviews, the NINJAGO designers like to put easter eggs (pun intended) that connect the other LEGO themes with Ninjago. Perhaps this is one of those. They could have just used the new egg moulds used in Elves but they decided to use the Galaxy Squad eggs instead.

In the middle of tree stump -- a chainsaw blade is used to hold the time blade in the middle. Kai's mission is to take the Time Blade from the Vermillion army. This is not accurate to the TV show but kids can use their imagination for the role play.

The only thing that bothers me in this small build is that....

Tree stump is brown; the vines are dark green.
Some olives are nice, but why the plate is lime green!?

Colour me intrigued. I’ve watched the entire Hands of Time season already and the swamp is much darker than the vibrant lime green 6x6 round corner plate. It should have been olive or any dark shade of green. 

One more thing -- there are light bluish grey clips at the back of the tree which makes it attachable to the Iron Doom set. Nifty but not necessary in my opinion.

 

Completed build
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Parts

The only new mould in this set is the time blade. The other parts shown below are existing design elements in new colour. I'm surprised that the bar piece in metallic grey is only produced this year.

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Minifigures

The Ninjago minifigures are now on-par with Nexo Knights. All the minifigures in this set have fully-printed front and back torso as well as very detailed leg printing. You can even see that the latest Kai minifigure (right) wears a jika-tabi (tabi boots) because the leg printing extends at the very tip of the minifigure’s legs.

Comparison of the last 3 Kai design
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No armour, scabbard or headwrap is included in this small set but it comes with Kai’s hair and a bandana. I continue to believe TLG should always include the headwrap and not just the hairpiece. I guess you have to buy the bigger set (Dragon’s Forge) to get that, or borrow the headwrap from Kai minifigure in the Days of the Departed (centre) because that headwrap matches the new outfit.

There is no 2nd face print; same old Kai face with a  scar.
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Why can't I have these both? Tell me. Why do I have to choose?? -- Kai
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The two Vermillion warriors are Rivett and Slackjaw. Just looking at the design of the headgear and chain mail armour, I can tell that the designers really put a lot of effort on these minifigures. The chain mail armour has a stud at the back so you can put attachment for other weapons or anything you wish to attach at the back of the minifigure.

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Both villains have identical dual head printing. The leg prints are also identical. Fortunately, the torsos are different. If you buy a couple of this set then you can mix and match the armour and headgears to make the other Vermillion warriors since the foot soldiers are just permutations of these 2. However, you still need to get the 2 commanders and General Machia from the other sets to complete the Vermillion army ranks.

Fun fact: The Vermilions rely on their iron armours to hold them together in humanoid form so -- essentially they use them as exoskeleton. The 2 snake heads sticking out of Slackjaw’s headgear is a reminder that these Vermillion warriors are made of many red snakes that morph together.
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Ekkk!!  This is so gross!

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Below are pictures exploring the armour compatibility with hair piece and other head gears not included in the set.

The chain mail armour looks good for custom samurai warlords but you need to remove the face cover because it is held upwards by the throat guard. In fact, in order to fit the headgear, I need to slightly pull the headpiece upward by a few millimetres so that the studs will attach to the anti-studs firmly.

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Using short hair piece should be fine. Headgears that cover the entire face like all the ninja headwraps are not compatible because they won't attach to the head due to the throat guard.

By mistake I put the armour on reverse side and as you can see below, it still looks decent, reminiscent of the Chima armours with studs, but looks more badass.

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Conclusion

In the history of Ninjago sets, this is the first time 3 minifigures are included at this price range. Usually you'll get 3 minifigures from sets that are 2 to 3 times more expensive. Consequently, some bricks need to go. The build is small but there are many good parts that you can use for your own creations.

The premise of this set is that you'll stage a fight so that Kai can win the Forward Time Blade. Not show accurate but surely, the playability is a pass for kids. I just wish there is some kind of mechanism that entraps Kai or make some of the villains fly away to add more play features.

For adult collectors, this is the best Ninjago army building set so far. Compared to other non-licensed themes (except City), its overall value is better than most. If we consider City starter sets as "army builder" because they somehow fulfil the same purpose, then I wish TLG can also release a similar Ninjago set with 4 minifigures at the same price as the City Starter Sets.

I really miss the good old days when the army building sets like 4805 Ninja Knights have 5 minifigures included and it didn't matter if there was no build at all. Man, I wish the Time Blades are real. I need the Reversal Time Blade!

 

Review summary

Playability: 6/10 - The egg-popping feature is cool but that's about it
Design / Building Experience: 7/10 - Kids in appropriate age will enjoy the build. Design is very simple but is expected for the price.
Minifigures: 9/10 - the minifigures have top-notch prints. The villain armours and headgears are very well sculpted.
Price / Value for money: 9/10 - Comes with 3 minifigures; good assortment of parts you can easily re-purpose for other builds.
Overall: 7.5/10 - It's better than most army building sets but I wish there is 1 more minifigure & less fluff to make it a better army builder / army pack.

 

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Thanks for the review, I think the set is a great deal because of the Vermillion figures and useful parts. I wish it came with another Vermillion instead of Kai for army building purposes. 

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1 hour ago, Vorkosigan said:

Thanks for the review, I think the set is a great deal because of the Vermillion figures and useful parts. I wish it came with another Vermillion instead of Kai for army building purposes. 

That would have been nice too. I like the dark red suit of Kai this time so I will keep as many of that like the Vermillion as it is. 

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Thanks for the review, Makoy. The set is alright, I like the inclusion of two Vermillion but the lime green plate is garish and the build is nothing special. 

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Thank you for the review of a pretty nice little set, @makoy

I really love the minifigures. They absolutely look great, and their armor is useful for castle guys. I in particular love the dual molded helmet, which can also be combined with both types of vermillion armors, which was kind of suprising thanks to the high neck guard of the armor. It even fits with long beards.

Their prints are very detailed, and the way, how vermillion bodies are formed is creepy. I really love the snakes bursting out of every hole. The dark pearl grey spears are always wellcomed additions to the arsenal, and the built hammer is simple, yet quite effective. A fairly cheap army builder and armor source.

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3 hours ago, BrickJagger said:

Thanks for the review, Makoy. The set is alright, I like the inclusion of two Vermillion but the lime green plate is garish and the build is nothing special. 

Yeah.. that lime green plate is oddly included. The set is average at best. The score of the small build pulls down the overall rating.

Thanks for adding your thoughts on my review. 

2 hours ago, josykay said:

Thank you for the review of a pretty nice little set, @makoy

I really love the minifigures. They absolutely look great, and their armor is useful for castle guys. I in particular love the dual molded helmet, which can also be combined with both types of vermillion armors, which was kind of suprising thanks to the high neck guard of the armor. It even fits with long beards.

Their prints are very detailed, and the way, how vermillion bodies are formed is creepy. I really love the snakes bursting out of every hole. The dark pearl grey spears are always wellcomed additions to the arsenal, and the built hammer is simple, yet quite effective. A fairly cheap army builder and armor source.

Thanks. I agree the minifigs carry this small set more than anything. If I rated this set before seeing the new army building sets with 3 minifigures I could have been more forgiving with the score... But at the same time all the minifigs included in this set is not unique so in the end it is fair.

I'll personally wait for clearance sales before getting more of these for army building.

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Thanks for the review @makoy. The value in this set is amazing. And the Vermillion are quite cool ;)

Also, in this image,

32637575360_ab4ec7543b_z.jpg

The axle appeared in the Rey buildable figure.

I enjoy your reviews. Do make more please!

Edited by VaderFan2187

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57 minutes ago, VaderFan2187 said:

Thanks for the review @makoy. The value in this set is amazing. And the Vermillion are quite cool ;)

Also, in this image,

-snip-

The axle appeared in the Rey buildable figure.

I enjoy your reviews. Do make more please!

I put the wrong axle length in the picture. It should have been part 15462 in reddish brown. Supposedly that part appears in reddish brown for the first time in 2017.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Value wise, this is truly better than most of the sets of the same price that's why I bought it.

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The highlight is definitely the figures, especially the vermillion. 

If the vermilllion snakes are mass produced by those shells, doesn't that mean armor would have to be inside it as well, to speed up the transformation? Once the shell bursts, the snakes get into the armor immediately. I mean, these guys are an army, they can't just go looking around this swamp for armor, it has to be near if they want to be a threat.

Edited by gamejutzu

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4 minutes ago, gamejutzu said:

The highlight is definitely the figures, especially the vermillion. 

If the vermilllion snakes are mass produced by those shells, doesn't that mean armor would have to be inside it as well, to speed up the transformation? Once the shell bursts, the snakes get into the armor immediately. I mean, these guys are an army, they can't just go looking around this swamp for armor, it has to be right there if they want to be a threat.

True that... but I can't really follow the story 100% on the new season yet because I watched the story in foreign language so perhaps they have a reason that I just didn't understand. I'm not going to elaborate further as I am not keen to bring the TV show discussion here otherwise we're bordering spoiler territory here.

Anyway, thanks!

 

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12 minutes ago, gamejutzu said:

The highlight is definitely the figures, especially the vermillion. 

If the vermilllion snakes are mass produced by those shells, doesn't that mean armor would have to be inside it as well, to speed up the transformation? Once the shell bursts, the snakes get into the armor immediately. I mean, these guys are an army, they can't just go looking around this swamp for armor, it has to be right there if they want to be a threat.

Spoiler

I don't remember exactly, but either the snakes turned the shell into armor or there was armor inside. I think it's the latter.

 

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Being an armor fanatic, I appreciate the multiple angle views as well as the fit experimentation. That armor piece looks mighty nice.

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1 hour ago, BubbaFit45531 said:

Being an armor fanatic, I appreciate the multiple angle views as well as the fit experimentation. That armor piece looks mighty nice.

You're welcome. I like the Vermillion armour too so it's nice to show it in different angles.

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Another excellent review. Very extensive, with very good photos, leaving not really any open questions. I find the set pretty interesting, thanks to the characters and the pieces, which should do well in a classical medieval fantasy context. The armour-piece looks quite good too. but adds so much bulk to the minifigure... its almost a small exo-suit :wink:

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18 minutes ago, Littleworlds said:

Another excellent review. Very extensive, with very good photos, leaving not really any open questions. I find the set pretty interesting, thanks to the characters and the pieces, which should do well in a classical medieval fantasy context. The armour-piece looks quite good too. but adds so much bulk to the minifigure... its almost a small exo-suit :wink:

Thanks. I  also fancy this set being useful in medieval fantasy. If TLG also release a recolour of this armour in tan or dark tan then we can make a terracotta army.

I think the added bulk is exaggerated but not too much. It's on par with other "bulk" armours.

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After reading your review, I'm warming up to this set. The egg popping feature is pretty cool and the minifigures have good detail. I look forward to reading more of your excellent reviews!

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Posted (edited)

45 minutes ago, JACKATTACKS said:

After reading your review, I'm warming up to this set. The egg popping feature is pretty cool and the minifigures have good detail. I look forward to reading more of your excellent reviews!

Thanks. Just compare this set with any minifigure blister pack and it instantly becomes more desirable for its price alone.

Edited by makoy

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Excellent review and thanks for adding some more besides just showing parts and minifigs! My thoughts on that set MOC-wise:

Excellent minifigs with great acessories and prints. Especially the new full armor can be easily fitted in statue guarding some sort of entrance or stuff like that. Egg can be used in some moc for the "Alien" movie and best of all, the build has some really useful parts for a change. A great set all in all!

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Not bad for less than a tenner and a very nice review into the bargain !!

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4 hours ago, blackdeathgr said:

Excellent review and thanks for adding some more besides just showing parts and minifigs! My thoughts on that set MOC-wise:

Excellent minifigs with great acessories and prints. Especially the new full armor can be easily fitted in statue guarding some sort of entrance or stuff like that. Egg can be used in some moc for the "Alien" movie and best of all, the build has some really useful parts for a change. A great set all in all!

You're right. I can imagine having a dozen of this set and you can make a nest of alien eggs. 

27 minutes ago, r5-j2 said:

Not bad for less than a tenner and a very nice review into the bargain !!

It is indeed for bargain hunters (myself included) :grin:

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Thank you for an excellent review! Ninjago is not my cup of tea, but reading your review and seeing that great assortment of parts (especially the armor), I think I will be getting this one. :wink:

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Posted (edited)

You know what..I think your review just convinced me to get it. 
i recognize your photo style ...were you in LOM previously? 

Edited by ultiminutes

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On 3/9/2017 at 9:13 PM, -obelix- said:

Thank you for an excellent review! Ninjago is not my cup of tea, but reading your review and seeing that great assortment of parts (especially the armor), I think I will be getting this one. :wink:

 

You're welcome!

36 minutes ago, ultiminutes said:

You know what..I think your review just convinced me to get it. 
i recognize your photo style ...were you in LOM previously? 

 

Good for you. It's a good little set. :sweet:

I'm still in LOM LUG; just more active here lately.

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Great review, I bought this set for the Vermillion warriors, but wasn't into the set itself. Your review made me like it more   :)

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10 hours ago, Killian said:

Great review, I bought this set for the Vermillion warriors, but wasn't into the set itself. Your review made me like it more   :)

 

Thanks for liking my review. As I have expressed in my review - the set is a very good part donor. If I see this set on clearance, I will surely grab several for army building & MOC.

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