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Review: 2509 Earth Dragon Defense


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#1 SpyFlops

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:09 AM

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Hey everyone. It's-a-me, SpyFlops, and I've decided to review the one one of the many 2011 summer Ninjago sets that have yet to be reviewed: 2509 Earth Dragon Defense! This is my first review, so I apologise in advance for any blurriness!

EDIT: Flickr gallery:

First, some basic info:
#:2509
Name: Earth Dragon Defense
# of pieces: 227
Price: US $34.99 / € 34.99
# of minifigs: 2

Box Art

The front:

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In my opinion, this scene is much more interesting than the one displayed on the front of 2260 Ice Dragon Attack's box. Perhaps because of the more colorful background.

The back:

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...which shows the many play features: you can swing the dragon's tail, shoot 'earth balls'  :look: , and move the frills on the dragon's neck.

Now, let's hurry up and get to the actual set!  :hmpf:

Box contents:

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As you can see, the parts are separated into three bags (not counting the special 'made in China' bag). Only one manual is needed.

Here's the back of the manual, showing the 2012 teaser I'm sure most of you have seen already:

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Bag One Contents

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As always, the first bag contains the minifigures, accessories, and 'extra bits' (in this case, the rock that the Scythe of Quakes sits in).

The Minifigures:

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And what lovely minifigures they are!  :wub:  Wyplash features a uniquely printed head, new armour, the new skelly body, and a straw hat. Cole DX has some excellent gold printing of the Earth Dragon him(her?)self on both the torso and legs.

Minifigures sans headgear:

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Cole's face is visible... intimidating, no?

Backs:

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No back printing for Wyplash... Cole, however, has his name and logo printed on his back.

Here's one of my favorite parts of this set:

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...Wyplash's head printing! There's a tiny worm coming out of his skull! He even has two little eyes... how precious!  :wub:  

*ahem...*  :blush:

The accessories:

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Left to right: Cole's sword, the Scythe of Quakes (tremble at its power!  :oh: ), three jewels (to go inside the boulder), Wyplash's sword (kind of a shame - I was expecting a whip), and a torch (to burn down the forest?).

The extra bits:

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There's the Scythe in its pedestal and the boulder w/ jewels.

Okay, we're past the extra, trifling parts! Now for the main build!

Main Build

Body (first part):

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In case you couldn't tell (I couldn't, for a few minutes), the back end, where the tail attaches, is on the left. Kind of weird-looking, but we're not finished yet!

Moving on to bag two!

Bag Two Contents:

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This bag contains the parts for the dragon's legs and the front part of his(her?) body.

Back legs:

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These legs are attached by technic pins, so they don't move.

Here's something interesting: TLC used dark green on this joint. I'm not sure why...  :look:

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Now the front part of the body:

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Once again, pretty strange-looking. (oh, and by the way: those flaps on the sides are supposed to lay flat.  :blush: )

The front legs:

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These are attached to sockets; they have a wide range of movement.

The body & legs:

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Not so shapeless now, is it?

Bag Three Contents:

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This bag has the parts for the collar, flags, head, and tail (I tossed the special bag in for order's sake).

The head:

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What beautiful printing!  :wub:  

The tail:

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Attached:

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The tail is attached loosely so one can grip the tail and whip it viciously back and forth!  :devil:

The frills:

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Attached:

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The flag tile:

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This also appears in the Ice Dragon set. Can anyone translate this? Does it actually mean anything?

Flags attached:

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The finished dragon!

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And what a lovely thing she is, too!

~Ratings~
Playability:9/10 Plenty of action features.
Design:7/10 Some gaps, but innovative all-around.
Price:6/10 Inflation + special molds + printing = $$
Minifigures:10/10 Cool skelly and gold-printed ninja... plus the lil' wormie!  :wub:  
Parts:8/10 Who doesn't like a lot of brown?
Total:8/10

In conclusion, this is a really amazing set. I'm kind of biased, given my love of dragons and ninjas, but I think, despite its gaps, this is a must-have.  :thumbup:  Depends on your tastes, but that's my opinion.

Parting shots:

Dragon battle!

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Showdown!

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Thanks for reading!  :sweet:

Edited by Peppermint_M, 02 September 2011 - 07:03 PM.


#2 Juppy

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:00 AM

it means dragon god

#3 Legocrazy81

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 03:36 AM

This is the other summer wave set I was considering getting. I like the lightning dragon, too, but a helicopter...really? Although that's another set. I like this dragon. It's nice to see a bit of variety in them, instead of the likes of the Ice, Fire and Lightning dragon being the same. I like those 'cracked' leg pieces. I suppose this dragon lives up to it's name by not having wings.

Edited by Legocrazy81, 15 August 2011 - 03:37 AM.

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#4 Arigomi

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 10:26 AM

The dark green joint for the tail was a result of production streamlining. A lot of them are produced for the Creator set 5868 Ferocious Creatures. It is more cost efficient to manufacture more of the dark green joints than to set up a separate production line so that a handful of that element could be made in a different color. You can't see it most of the time anyways. The designer probably had to cut costs somewhere to accommodate the new rock slopes in the budget.

Edited by Arigomi, 15 August 2011 - 10:28 AM.


#5 horizon

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 11:39 AM

Nice review. Kids are collecting money for this now. Their purse is empty after buying the fire temple last saturday. heh

I do notice that their are lots of scythes in the serie...

#6 Abu Dun

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:14 PM

A nice review which makes me want this little fellow even more. I love dragons and they're the sole reason I'm even interested in Ninjago in the first place. This one here has to be the most unique one and he'll be a great adversary to Fafnir and Co. :devil:

#7 LandShark

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:05 PM

Thanks, I've been waiting for a review of this for a while!  :wink:
I definitely like the way that he's unique (the other three use the same basic design).
He should look great in my Medieval Kingdom. :thumbup:

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he'll be a great adversary to Fafnir and Co. :devil:

Good to see someone else liked/remembers the Viking dragons. I miss that theme. :sadnew:

#8 SpyFlops

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:47 PM

View PostJuppy, on 15 August 2011 - 02:00 AM, said:

it means dragon god

Thanks!

View PostArigomi, on 15 August 2011 - 10:26 AM, said:

The dark green joint for the tail was a result of production streamlining. A lot of them are produced for the Creator set 5868 Ferocious Creatures. It is more cost efficient to manufacture more of the dark green joints than to set up a separate production line so that a handful of that element could be made in a different color. You can't see it most of the time anyways. The designer probably had to cut costs somewhere to accommodate the new rock slopes in the budget.

I see... thanks for clearing that up!  :classic:

View PostAbu Dun, on 15 August 2011 - 01:14 PM, said:

A nice review which makes me want this little fellow even more. I love dragons and they're the sole reason I'm even interested in Ninjago in the first place.

Yeah, same here... I love Japanese-style dragons!

Thanks for all your kind comments!  :sweet:

#9 The Iron Knight

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:19 AM

I was never too interested in Ninjago, but this set (and the other dragons) looks really great, so I'm hoping to pick this set up at some point.

#10 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:49 AM

Nice review, SpyFlops.  Could you maybe add a couple more shots of the dragon from different angles and poses?  I really like the looks of him so far.  This looks like a great set, but I'm afraid of the old "looks great from one angle, full of holes and ugliness from the rest" problem.

I love that Ninjago is giving us all the dragons Kingdoms is missing.  This one really looks like he could be a good foundation for the ultimate beastie to ravage my fantasy kingdom.
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#11 prateek

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:51 AM

Nice review. I really think this is the best dragon of the Ninjago series, but the price isn't worth it IMO despite the awesomeness.

#12 r1chard

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 01:09 AM

Great review eh. Thanks for sharing!

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I like the details on these 2 minifigs.

This reminds me of 'adidas'

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#13 Masked Builder

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 01:20 AM

Not bad at all!  I've been trying to decide if I want this set.  I think I'll get it now.  When you said the pictures were blurry I prepared myself for the worst.  But your picture were fine!
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#14 Nightshroud99

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 02:10 AM

Great review! I love this set and it's a must buy for me  :classic:
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#15 vexorian

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 02:41 AM

View Postprateek, on 16 August 2011 - 12:51 AM, said:

Nice review. I really think this is the best dragon of the Ninjago series, but the price isn't worth it IMO despite the awesomeness.
I was giving it a serious consideration, then I saw the price. Uh, hope to find it in ultra discounted state.

#16 SpyFlops

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 03:12 AM

View PostGryphon Ink, on 16 August 2011 - 12:49 AM, said:

Nice review, SpyFlops.  Could you maybe add a couple more shots of the dragon from different angles and poses?  I really like the looks of him so far.  This looks like a great set, but I'm afraid of the old "looks great from one angle, full of holes and ugliness from the rest" problem.

As requested:

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And, because I just now remembered it  :blush: , a shot of the spare parts.

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View PostMasked Builder, on 16 August 2011 - 01:20 AM, said:

Not bad at all!  I've been trying to decide if I want this set.  I think I'll get it now.  When you said the pictures were blurry I prepared myself for the worst.  But your picture were fine!

*whew* Thanks!  :grin:

Thanks for the other comments!

#17 horizon

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 04:14 AM

hmm, I believed the dragon to be more closed. The tail is not such a problem but that the back is broken up like that. hmm...

#18 LuxorV

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:27 AM

Nice review, especially for a first timer. Thanks for sharing :thumbup:

On the set, I like it a lot, but I'm not sure I'll be picking it up. Anyway, I'm not bothered by the gap/break in the back/waist section, as it is not a design fault, but a play feature to add mobility :wink:

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#19 KristofBD

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:08 AM

I actually have the feeling that LEGO is really getting better in designing these brick-built dragons.  The molded ones were sometimes too detailed and lacked the LEGO feel, but for instance the Viking dragons were hardly recognizable.  This earth dragon is really an excellent example of a good brick-built dragon.
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#20 Aanchir

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 01:41 PM

My brother and I built this guy yesterday. I have to say, he's very nice! He has the best color organization of any of the dragons we've got so far (the Fire Dragon, the Ice Dragon, and now the Earth Dragon), with those extremely tasteful dark tan (sand yellow) stripes on his legs. A couple things do bother me about him-- for instance, the silver spines on his head (they don't match any of his other parts in color or shape, being way more curved than his rocky contours), or the tiny gaps in his sides as seen from above. But these are minor faults, I think, and the set definitely ends up being both a nice display piece and a fun set to play with.

Another thing that bothers me a bit is Cole DX's torso. It just doesn't feel as colorful as the other DX torsos. Kai's has a yellow stripe on the dragon's face and yellow flames, Zane's has a blue stripe on the face and blue ice breath, and Cole's has a grey stripe on the face. That's it. I understand that grey was needed to continue the belt pattern onto his torso, but I still wish there were a more vibrant color for the dragon's face-stripe, like possibly sand green. Essentially, something that would stand out more from the gold and the black background color.

General Wyplash is cool. I have some devious ideas of what I might be able to do with that skull...

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#21 Brickviller

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:36 PM

Great review, have been reading it several times now :thumbup:. This was the only set of this theme that I remotly liked, and it still is. The only thing is that the price seems too steep (as ussual :hmpf_bad:), and I just have no display space left. At least that gives me a clear choice of what not to buy :tongue:

#22 horizon

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 09:01 PM

28 euro isn't too bad for it.

#23 Legocrazy81

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 04:16 AM

View PostAbu Dun, on 15 August 2011 - 01:14 PM, said:

A nice review which makes me want this little fellow even more. I love dragons and they're the sole reason I'm even interested in Ninjago in the first place. This one here has to be the most unique one and he'll be a great adversary to Fafnir and Co. :devil:

Same here. I love dragons, so I'll be collecting the 4 elemental dragons, only Ice Dragon left. I like how all the dragons( minus our beloved Earth Dragon) all the same pieces/design, yet are their own identities. The Lightning Dragon is probably my favorite of 3 I have.
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#24 Abu Dun

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:40 PM

View PostLegocrazy81, on 21 August 2011 - 04:16 AM, said:

Same here. I love dragons, so I'll be collecting the 4 elemental dragons, only Ice Dragon left. I like how all the dragons( minus our beloved Earth Dragon) all the same pieces/design, yet are their own identities. The Lightning Dragon is probably my favorite of 3 I have.
Collectin all 4 would be a great thing, but unfortunately the lightning and fire dragon only appear in really expensive sets - those two alone cost nearly 200€, which is quite a bit above my current budget, especially since they have to compete with the yet-to-be-bought sets from Kingdoms :cry_sad:

#25 horizon

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 09:29 PM

You should check the good sites, Fire & Lightning should be around 180 euro together. So that is a saving of 20,- ;)

Kids are now collecting for the earth dragon.

I think I'll order the lightning for Christmas. How long are exclusives available normally?



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