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[REVIEW] 5004938 - NINJAGO Minifigures (Bricktober 2017)

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I have a confession to make. I am not a Bricktober guy and by that I mean I have never patronised any Bricktober sets. So, believe it or not, I got my very first Bricktober set today. Now that my confession is over, here’s my 12th RA review - set # 5004938 NINJAGO Minifigures (Bricktober 2017).

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Overview

Name: 5004938 - NINJAGO Minifigures
Theme: Promotional \ Toys R Us (Bricktober)
Year: 2017 (2H)
Pieces: 29 pcs
Minifigures: 4
Price: free with purchase

USA: Free with purchase worth 50 USD or more 
Canada: Free with purchase worth 75 CAD or more 
Europe (i.e.Germany): available at 14.99 EUR initially then became free with purchase worth 40 EUR or more
Singapore: Free with purchase worth 60 SGD or more
Malaysia: Free with purchase 199 MYR or more
Hong Kong: Free with purchase 450 HKD or more

Offers vary per country.

 

Introduction

Some people are apprehensive that this could be the last Bricktober due to the recent TRU financial restructuring. I'm not here to address that. Whether it will be the last batch of Bricktober or not, only time will tell. As for now, let me focus your attention on this little set that you can get free with purchase in most TRU around the world.

Now let's begin with the front panel of the packaging.

Front view
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The little box is protected with a slide-in plastic cover that is secured with seals at both ends. The seal goes around on top and bottom of the box. There is a potential that something inside could slip outside in case they got loose.

Speaking of getting loose, you can see that the 3rd minifigure in my copy is already loosened up. Even the accessory/weapon is not attached to the minifigure hand. Fortunately, there is no missing piece in my copy.

 

Back view
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The packaging seal / batch number at the back of my set is 24GH7. It's my first time seeing 2 letters in the middle. Usually it's just single letter. If someone knows what it means or if you want to know more what this is all about, there's a topic to know which plant your LEGO sets came from. I think most  of the components came from Hungary and China though.


Side view

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There are 4 Bricktober sets for 2017 and this is the first one of them all so "minifigure #1" is highlighted in white to make sure you understand there are 3 more. I think in Europe the order is different so this packaging detail could vary from region to region. On top of that, TRU and TLG really wants to make sure we understand that this set is limited edition. So much so that the top panel has the words "Limited edition, Exclusively at" in English while the side panels has the translated phrase in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and Mandarin.

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There's more space on the right panel. It would have been nice to see 1 more Asian language there like Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia. Seriously, what else can I comment about the box.It's just a box and this is such a small set.

Ok, moving on!

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The item below is a "Pop-up Card". It comes with the bricktober set from my local TRU. I'm just throwing this in the review because it's just display backdrop made out of laminated paper.

Again, this has the words LIMITED EDITION in all caps, underline (overline?) and bold. I think this message is very clear already.

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The back of the card shows the schedule of the next Bricktober set. Like other Bricktober promotions, there will be new set each week.

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When you open it, the card has a pop-up elements, hence the name. I think it's only good for one minifigure though. I did not even try taking picture of the minifigures using this display background because it is too small. Anyway, it's free so it's fine.

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Minifigures


I used a hobby knife to cut the seals from both ends and then freed the minifigures out of the box. 


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As the minifigures come pre-built, this set involves no building whatsoever. It's really just a minifigure pack. We have White Nindroid, Neuro, Krux and a new Golden Ninja.

One thing that I noticed immediately is the weaker clutch power of the torso and legs assembly. Let me know if your Bricktober minifigures also has a weak clutch power. It's very concerning but other than that, the quality of the minifigures are great.

 

Front view with all accessories and head gears / hair piece
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White Nindroid is way overdue. Here we get the White Nindroid General. If you can't remember what they are -- the White Nindroids are part of the Nindroid Forces who protect the Realm Crystal in Ninjago Universe. I'll go in more detail about the prints later on because there are several variants of nindroids and I want to show them side by side. 

The next minifigure is Neuro who is the elemental master of mind. His face print is spot on from the TV show and I cannot complain about his torso print either. The hairpiece is not new. It is just an old white hairpiece with black printed on top. It's always good to get another elemental master. We may see all elemental masters released one day. Keep them coming TLG!

The 3rd minifigure is called Acronix on LEGO sets but his name is Krux on the TV show. TLG messed up the names of the time twins big that from time to time I need to check if I am citing the correct name of the twins. I'll just go with Krux because I follow the TV show and I consider the names wrong on the Iron Doom set. For starter, the face print is unique for this minifigure because it is the young version of Krux. It also has a slightly different armour. The hourglass is hidden away, almost unrecognisable as hourglass unless you know it is an hourglass in the other version of this minifigure. The leg prints do not have the chains which makes this entire minifigure unique  despite looking seemingly similar.

Then of course we have a new Golden Ninja which I will go in detail soon. 

 

Back view with all accessories and head gears / hair piece

Let's view the back of these minifigures first with accessories. Not much to say except the back of Krux's torso shows the chain, (also present in his old version). However, there is no battle damage/scratch on his right shoulder armour plate yet, since this minifigure is his young version. 
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Front view without the accessories and head gears / hair piece.

Remove all the headgears/ head wrap  -- and there's a PLOT TWIST! The Golden Ninja is Kai!?

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I did not notice this when the images came out online. The emblem in the middle of the torso is Kai's emblem. I have written some information about these emblems just in case you're not familiar with these Ninjago emblems and symbols.

I don't know if this is an alternate universe where Kai became the Golden Ninja or this version of Golden Ninja only lives within Kai's imagination. 

Look at the forced smile on Kai's face. No matter what the backstory is, this Kai Golden Ninja version was totally unexpected.

If you don't believe it's Kai then the back printing as seen below will remove all doubt. It shows Kai's original "fire" animal symbol at the back of the minifigure.

 

Back view without the accessories and head gears / hair piece.
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Only the White Nindroid has dual head printing. The rest of the head pieces don't have dual face prints. Nonetheless, excellent torso back printing for all minifigures.

 

Golden Ninja (Kai) vs Golden Ninja (Lloyd)

Don't get confused with these other minifigures below. They are not included in the set. I am just doing a comparison of other Kai and Lloyd minifigures againts Kai Golden Ninja minifigure (3rd from the left). The Lloyd Golden Ninja is 4th from the left.
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Kai Golden Ninja design closely resemble the Techno Robe (2nd from the left) with a mix of similar leg assembly design from Elemental Kimono Robe (1st from the left)

 

Now let's put on Kai's hair just for the sake of comparison again. 

 

Old hair on the new face

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Probably the most Kai-looking face similar to the TV show.

 

Just heads

Without the torso and legs, we can focus on the minifigure heads as seen below. The most common Kai face is in the middle. On the left is the face used in Stone Armour Kai (Target exclusive) while the right one is the new head used in the new Kai Golden Ninja version. I really wish they could have removed that scar permanently already. However, without the scar, Kai's face will be very close to Lloyd's face -- and that's probably why I was confused from the beginning that it was Lloyd. With the scar covered by the head wrap, it's hard to see whether it is Lloyd or Kai. The Ninjago Movie movie had addressed this issue easily by changing Lloyd's eye colour to green which I don't mind having in future version of Lloyd so that it's easier to distinguish Lloyd from Kai.
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White Nindroid General vs General Cryptor

Surprise surprise. It's the same old mould but the printing is not just a lazy re-colour. The details are quite different if you look closely. Starting on the armour, the print details are different.

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The printing on the head gear is slightly different also with different sizes of purple dots. Not much difference at the back of the head gear except the silver paint covers more area.

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Good vs. Bad

There are many variations of nindroids torso. None of them are identical to the new white version. Even the two variants not shown here, which appears in Titanium Ninja Tumbler and Samurai X Cave Chaos sets, have different print designs.

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Even at the back, it's all different.

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Parts

Here is a quick recap on what those 29 pieces are. You should could the head, torso and legs assembly separately (counted as 3 pieces per minifigure).

I'm actually surprised that all the torso has unique printing and only 1 legs assembly don't have prints.

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It is not obvious from the picture but the swords were bent  inside the packaging because they were already fully built with accessories. It's not a serious problem but just be aware they are slightly bent.


Conclusion

As a minifigure collector, I see this as a great way to get unique minifigures that are relevant to the story and universe of Ninjago. I was pleasantly surprised that the prints are not lazy rehash or just simple recolour. 

I probably wrote too much for such a small set but I am happy that I got my first Bricktober set and I hope that you will enjoy these minifigures when you decide to get this set. 


Review summary

Playability: 7/10 - Yes, you can play with minifigures. That’s fun too. This is aimed at minifigure collectors  so if you want bricks, don't look here.
Design / Building Experience: N/A - Everything comes pre-assembled. Besides there's no building blocks in this set so I’ll just leave it there.
Minifigures8.5/10 - Getting 4 minifigures is great but the weak clutch power between torso and legs bother me a bit. Could have been higher or perfect if Neuro got a new hair mould and/or Krux got a hairpiece instead of the head gear.
Price / Value for money: 10/10 - I got this for free so I don’t see any reason why I should not give a perfect score for value.
Overall: 8.5/10 - I’m very happy there’s already a White Nindroid. Neuro is a great addition to the list of elemental masters. New Golden Ninja is a big surprise for me. Even the young Krux got all new prints. Overall, it’s a great set that any Ninjago fan should not miss. 

 

Thanks for reading. 

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All 4 original ninjas go golden in the digiverse, thought Kai is golden for the least amount of time and Zane the most.
In the show the digiverse ninja are just golden recolours of their techno robes.

Image result for digiverse kai

Edited by Agent Kallus

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Just now, Agent Kallus said:

All 4 original ninja's go golden in the digiverse, thought Kai is golden for the least amount of time and Zane the most.
In the show the digiverse ninja are just golden recolours of their techno robes.

Good point. What threw me off is the entirely different head wrap. As you showed in that screenshot, the digiverse  golden ninjas are just techno robes in gold... but the new Kai in gold has slightly different torso print and entirely new leg prints. I know the cloth belt is in red also -- but it didn't register in my head that it was Kai. Sneaky ninja! :laugh:

Oh, but this opens a new series of wardrobe to collect... Golden Ninjas... now let's wait for the rest of the gang.

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It's actually a little bit of a shame that Golden Kai doesn't have the scarf-style headwrap—unlike the one that's included, the scarf covering the mouth hasn't yet come in gold.

Still, all four figures are really cool, and I'm excited to see yet another avenue for them to release previously unreleased figs from the show!

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Excellent review! I just bought my first promo of the Bricktober Series 1. This is the promotion which I am very excited about. I enjoyed these new Ninjago characters very much and appreciate your review to highlight the different past variants for existing characters. The insight to these characters are also relatively useful to allow us to understand the Ninjago universe. 

Keep these awesome reviews coming and I hope you have plans to review the other 3 series as well. :wink: 

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Wow! Very clear view of the first bricktober set! Now I love the minifigures more especially the golden guy. 

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Thanks for the review! I'm looking forward to getting these. Does anyone know when they will be released in the US?

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both batman and ninjago toysrus minifigure packs have weaker clutch power for me.

 

Love both packs though :classic:

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13 hours ago, Lyichir said:

It's actually a little bit of a shame that Golden Kai doesn't have the scarf-style headwrap—unlike the one that's included, the scarf covering the mouth hasn't yet come in gold.

Still, all four figures are really cool, and I'm excited to see yet another avenue for them to release previously unreleased figs from the show!

True. If Agent Kallus did not remind me of that digiverse I will forget that they had gold techno robe as well. We need that gold scarf to make it faithful to the show. 

Also, if Golden Kai is a thing now then I hope we will get Golden Jay, Golden Cole and Golden Zane eventually. I remember collecting the Stone Armour line up in a span of two years because the team line up appeared in all different kinds of merchandises like LEGO set, book, store exclusives and promotional item. I'm going to expect something similar for the Gold Digiverse ninjas.

9 hours ago, WhiteFang said:

Excellent review! I just bought my first promo of the Bricktober Series 1. This is the promotion which I am very excited about. I enjoyed these new Ninjago characters very much and appreciate your review to highlight the different past variants for existing characters. The insight to these characters are also relatively useful to allow us to understand the Ninjago universe. 

Keep these awesome reviews coming and I hope you have plans to review the other 3 series as well. :wink: 

Thanks WhiteFang. I have several Ninjago encylopedias just in case I need to throw in some trivia. I was really trying to keep this review short but I lost track of the word count. 

Regarding the other Bricktober series -- I think most folks will agree that the City minifigures are the least exciting of these Bricktober sets. So I can tell you upfront, I won't review them as I also don't collect City. 

8 hours ago, kaelthas said:

Wow! Very clear view of the first bricktober set! Now I love the minifigures more especially the golden guy. 

That golden guy is likely the start of a new armour series that will span several years to complete. (see my first reply above)

4 hours ago, Benny benny BENNY said:

With one day to go anybody know about UK release ???

Toys r us know nothing and theres no advertising i can see

Sadly, I have no information for UK also. Perhaps other folks can chime in and give the information you need.

3 hours ago, MKJoshA said:

Thanks for the review! I'm looking forward to getting these. Does anyone know when they will be released in the US?

I checked online and even the rep that I talked to did not know anything about what's happening for Bricktober. I am not sure if TRU in US will do something different. Just look at the even calendar here: https://www.toysrus.com/toys/events/in-store-events - seems totally irrelevant to the rest of the world.

2 hours ago, allstyles said:

both batman and ninjago toysrus minifigure packs have weaker clutch power for me.

 

Love both packs though :classic:

That's a bummer... it's not weaker by a small margin. It's more like 50% less clutch power (like the bootleg clutch power). I hope the Batman series will not have the same clutch power issue. I will take a look next week.

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Here in good ald Germany we already had all the sets in September with this set being the last one.

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Very unusual that there's no US listing for this on the TRU site. Maybe with the TRU bankruptcy, the US market doesn't need a sales push like this incentive to help Lego sales at TRU? 

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According to @Penkid11, US has the Bricktober sets offer also. The Bricktober set comes free with purchase worth $50 and above. Not sure what date is the cut-off this week before Batman. Better get the Ninjago minifigure sets before it's gone.

 

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1 hour ago, makoy said:

According to @Penkid11, US has the Bricktober sets offer also. The Bricktober set comes free with purchase worth $50 and above. Not sure what date is the cut-off this week before Batman. Better get the Ninjago minifigure sets before it's gone.

 

Sundays are when the next pack starts, and the previous pack (should they have leftovers/don't count on it) will be available to purchase by itself. Batman is week 2. CITY - week 3. CMFs - week 4.

If you are planning to pick up the sets after they go available for sale, you are taking a very, very big risk at the rate some people have been reporting their stores have been selling out..

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Saw the Ninjago set yesterday. Gonna go in Sunday and see if they'll just sell a Batman one. Wasn't a problem with the Tiger Tux pod, but you never know. Really more interested in the CMF one, but they saved that for last.

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Thanks for the review.Pleases the abundance of beautiful and useful part in this set.

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