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Kadabra

REVIEW: 9444 Cole's Tread Assault

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So I was at Wal*Mart the other day browsing their selection of LEGO sets when I spied this. They had an aisle endcap full of Cole's Tread Assault. No other 2012 sets, just this one for some reason. Of course I picked it up, and then decided "Why not? I'll make a review for it." So here goes.

Set Name: 9444 Cole's Tread Assault

Theme: Ninjago

Released: January 2012

Piece Count: 286

MSRP: $39.99

Purchased At: Wal*Mart

THE BOX:

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The front of the box supposedly shows Skales attempting to use his mind control powers on Cole, but to me it looks more like he's about to get run over by a giant car-type thing.

Box Back:

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The back of the box shows off the features such as the shooter and both conversions. Yes, I said both. More on that later. It also has some snazzy character art for Cole ZX and Skales.

THE CONTENTS:

Pretend there's a picture here of three numbered bags of parts and a DSS. I forgot to take that picture and the bags have been dsiposed of and the DSS is used.

Instruction Manual(s):

The instrucion manuals both have the box art on the front, and the second manual has that odd advertisement insert in the middle:

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The insert does have part numbers for the weapon list:

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I seem to recall someone asking for the set number the dynamite comes in in a different topic - as you can see, it's 9445. If you want other set numbers, ask in the comments. :classic:

http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/8827/ninjagoreviews007.jpg

Here's a random page.

Interesting Parts:

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The most interesting parts, for me, at least, were the "spinner crown" (you get two of them), the gold Hero Factory blades, the large gold Ninjago blades, the gold grill pieces, and the gold clips. We also get two gold katana and 4 black engine pieces. Not sure if those are new, but I only had 'em in silver before.

Minifigs:

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We get Cole ZX, Skales, and a dark blue snake. Both minifigs have back printing. Skale's hood piece covers his up, but the way Cole's sheath is designed allows the Earth Spinjitzu symbol to be seen:

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THE BUILD:

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We start off building the base of the vehicle. Look at those smooth brown tiles near the front, we use those in an interesting way later.

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Then the cockpit.

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We add the cockpit on a friction-less pin and an axle and add the green detailing to the bottom.

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We build this Technic doodad.

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We slide in the Technic doodad and attatch it with rubber bands. It can slide freely.

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Here's that interesting mechanic. We use a hinged plate and a gold stud to create an interesting angle, then add a 1x3 tile with click hinge to hold the whole thing in place.

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Then we add those Exo-Force thingies and the wheels and we're all set. Cool!

Spare Parts:

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Nothing special, but the Hypnobrai pattern round 1x1 tile might come in handy.

PLAYING WITH THE SET:

The set has three main "play features." The first is the launcher, a Technic blunt shooter. Nothing we haven't seen before. The other two are much more interesting.

Conversion 1: Blade Attack

The first conversion is similar to the conversions in Kai and Jay's vehicles: A "surprise" blade attack.

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You push this transparent button...

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And the Exo-Froce flaps pop out. You have to push them back down manually, though.

Conversion 2: Snake Mode

The second conversion we all knew about before the set was released: You can flip it over to make it green. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be camouflage or if it's Cole's vehicle while he's mind-controlled or what.

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The curves and slopes make it look fine, but it could've been better.

THE VERDICT:

Playability: 7/10

There's plenty of play features, but any conflict is a bit one sided. Either Cole slaughters Skales or Skales hypnosis works. Not much to do... until you get a second set. Playability would be better if there was a small snake vehicle in here, as the prcie per piece ratio on this one is a bit high anyway.

Design: 9/10

The design is fine, but "snake mode" leaves a bit to be desired. plenty of good parts in black and gold.

Price: 5/10

Here's where the set falls short. 30 or 35 dollars would've been fine, but 40 is too much, sepecially considering you don't even get a shrine for the staff like in other sets. A small vehicle for the Serpentine and a second minifig would've done wonders for this set.

Overall: 8/10

I think you should get this set, but maybe wait for a sale before buying it, as the price tag is quite hefty.

Thanks for reading, please comment and criticize!

Edited by Rufus
Indexed! Set number added to title.

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Excellent review! :classic: I saw this set at my Walmart today, too. Like your situation, there were no other 2012 sets. :sadnew:

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Thanks for the review 'Kadabra', interesting vehicle with an original feature too ! :wink:

Has anyone noticed the new part.....2x2 plate with clip hinge tongue on it ? :grin:

The new look Cole looks ready for a TV series eh ? :grin:

Anyway, I wait now for the next review of the new series of sets......Spin On ! :wink:

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Thanks for the review 'Kadabra', interesting vehicle with an original feature too ! :wink:

Has anyone noticed the new part.....2x2 plate with clip hinge tongue on it ? :grin:

The new look Cole looks ready for a TV series eh ? :grin:

Anyway, I wait now for the next review of the new series of sets......Spin On ! :wink:

I believe that part came in last years sets too, I have one from the Fire Temple on the dragon's back. Nice review, bro.

Edited by Bioniclover

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Picked up this set today, and love it from a feature standpoint, and I think it's pretty well done from a design perspective. My only issues are the slight gap in the cockpit sides (presumably to accommodate the rotating feature), and the lousy price/piece ratio.

I don't really understand why this set is $15 more than 9442 with only 42 more pieces. It's especially hard to swallow when there are so many small bits in the set (technic pins, etc). I think this set is great, but I recommend waiting for a sale down to about $32 or less to pick it up.

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