Thank you for reading this review.
(I apologise for the poor photography, I did not do well this time.)
(This will be photo-intensive as I will try to show the build progress of the set.)
Release: August 2011 (US),June 2011 (Germany and Spain)
Rating 4/5 on ninjago.lego.com
Price US $19.99 / € 19.99
This seems to be a mid-sized set and is probably supposed to one of the small/mid-priced sets of the Ninjago range. It really reminds me of the Blacksmith Attack from the Kingdoms range. Do you suppose one inspired the other? 2 Minifigs in that set too, with a selection of weapons, movable areas and the usual parts of a blacksmith shop.
In the Ninjago story, Kai was nothing more than a simple village blacksmith, and the shop is run by himself with the help of Nya, his sister. Lord Garmadon launches an attack on his shop, in attempts to steal the map hidden by Kai's father in the shop. This map reveals the locations of the golden weapons which are scattered in various locations of the world. However, brother and sister manage to fight off the onslaught with the weapons in the blacksmith shop. Sensei Wu then appears, explains the truth to Kai, and then recruits him into the Ninjago team. And so the story begins....
Here's the front of the box. Looks fun.
The back shows 2 movable areas of the set. The back wall of the shop rotates, and the roof flips upwards.
In comparison, here's 6918 Blacksmith Attack (picture from lego.com).
The side of the box shows 2 Minifigs, Kai and Kruncha, along with a new map tile.
<sorry about the overexposure>
A close up of the rotating wall feature shown on the box. It says "Hidden weapons rack".
The box is opened by pressing on tabs on the side. But I decided to cut it instead.
So here's the contents. 4 un-numbered bags, one small light tan baseplate, and 1 instruction booklet.
The cover of the instructions look the same as the box.
The instructions tell you to sort the parts in colours.
Here's how the parts look like.
Some interesting parts to note for AFOLS who like rare parts: dark brown (not reddish brown. also thanks to Aanchir for the clarification) arches, pearl gold fences, pearl silver spear.
A closer look at the map tile. It does has close resemblance to the map in the Ninjago story.
<sorry about the poor photography>
Here are the Minifigs, regular Kai and Kruncha.
Here's how it would look like halfway through the build. The back wall is done. The fences are used as a sword rack. This is quite creative of the designer. It allows you to easily remove the swords for play, but it also means they could fall out easily as they are not snapped fit into a clip or something like that.
The wall rotates. The other side is the regular blacksmith shop wall. There's an axe, which is supposed to represent a mallet, and a turkey drumstick, which I guess should be a club or maybe a sack? Anyone here knows?
In the corner is a dish filled with water, I presume for cooling off weapons during the blacksmithing process. It is very interesting in that it is created by a dish placed upon a modified brick with an arm (left dislodged to show the parts).
Be careful with the parts! They crumble easily! As I found out halfway. The build is not very stable, especially for clumsy builders like me. It is a small set, so certain parts are held only by one or two studs. I used too much force when inserting the technic pins into the long arm.
You can see the interior details of the shop. There's an anvil and a kiln as well.
During the build, you have to be very careful when following the instructions. It does not show very well which way to rotate the part and you may have to end up retracing certain steps if you get it wrong. (happened to me!)
Here's the roof completed.
Snap on the roof and you are done. I like that the chimney is made of a container/rubbish bin. Greenery and white lanterns are characteristic of Ninjago sets. The set is not a very long build.
Here's a closeup of the roof hinge for Technic lovers. The brown log modified bricks keep the roof from bending backwards beyond 90 degrees.
A photo showing the underside of the roof. In the story, the shop has a lot of concealed weapons which Kai and Nya use to fight off the skeletons. The right clip holds a spear but the left clip is empty?
But the box shows the left clip holding a sword, which the instructions omit.
I had to sacrifice it from Kruncha, otherwise it would look incomplete. I wish the set provided one more sword. In comparison, adding the sword makes it look much better.
Something else I noticed: the box art shows Kai carrying the Fire Dragon Sword. Well, I wish they really did include it.
The back view.
Best friends forever???
The blacksmith set looks really good incorporated with the Fire Temple!! (top right corner)
A few shots of the back pages of the manual follow. Here's a teaser for the Fire Temple.
A teaser page for the soon to be released 2254 Mountain Shrine. It contains a rocky shrine, Kai on a spinner, and a skeleton bowling pin (the same from Skeleton Bowling). It seems to be a spinner set for play rather than for display.
Of course, 2012 seems to have a Reptilian theme.
The Build: 6/10
I did enjoy building it, it has very fun details. But it requires delicate hands and some measure of care to ensure things do not come apart midbuild. Not recommended for younger children.
It looks good, but I thought that it could have been better. In comparison, the Kingdoms Blacksmith Attack looks better. I am guessing looks were sacrificed to allow for the movable mechanisms.
It is quite stable after the set is complete though.
The moving parts are really quite fun and unique for this set.
Overall score: 7/10
It does have the regular features of a Ninjago set and fun movable parts. It would be appealing to AFOLS who like weapons. I wish it had a Minifig of Kai in the original blacksmith clothes, as the battle took place before Kai became a ninja. It would not be my first choice for a Ninjago set, but it is a good addition to your collection.
Thank you again for reading this review.
Edited by Peppermint_M, 24 July 2011 - 10:44 AM.