makoy

[REVIEW] 70629 - Piranha Chase

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I accidentally published this review earlier with a placeholder because that's the kind of accident to be expected when you write while babysitting. One moment I was on the text editor drafting; A split second after, a toddler clicks the "Submit Topic" button. 

Let's cut to the chase so that I can present to you my 15th RA review, set 70629 - Piranha Chase.

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Overview

Name: 70629 - Piranha Chase
Theme: The LEGO NINJAGO Movie 
Year: 2017 (2H)
Pieces: 217 pcs
Minifigures: 4
Price:  19.99 USD / 19.99 EUR / 99.90 MYR

Resources: Brickset

no official description available at the time of this review.

 

Introduction

So this set is supposed to be released in December 2017 based on the catalogues that I had seen previously. However, from where I live the second wave of The LEGO NINJAGO Movie sets were already released on 27 October 2017. As there was still an on-going promotion for The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, I took a chance to buy one of the set earlier than I normally do.

Of all the TLNM wave 2 sets, I am most interested in this set because it's the cheapest way to get Lady Iron Dragon and it also has a civilian with the new conical hat.

 

Front view
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The front box panel shows the Piranha mech chasing after the rickshaw puller while Lady Iron Dragon and Kai tries to stop it from harassing the poor guy. As with most LEGO boxes, the missile aim is off-target so the rickshaw puller will live another day to pull his two-wheel cart.

No spoiler here as this is not even in the movie. Even though the Piranha mech attacked the NINJAGO City, there was no collaboration between Lady Iron Dragon and Kai or any ninja at all. This is just an excuse to include Lady Iron Dragon in a small set which a very good excuse to put great minifigures in a more consumer-friendly price range.  

 

Back view
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The back of the box shows the role-playing element of the set as well its play features. 

The rickshaw puller is seen as picking his conical hat from the ground -- which reminds me that this piece is tremendously hard to pick up specially when you put it down as seen on the box, especially when you don't have long nails. Try it!

 

Side view

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The sides display 4 the 4 minifigures included in the set namely, Shark army thug, Misako, Kai and Ray.

If the name Ray sounds familiar, that's because he is Kai's father in the NINJAGO TV series. I don't recall Kai having any backstory in TLNM related to his family so this could be just a small easter egg for die-hard NINJAGO fans? Could this Ray be Kai's father in the movie or am I just thinking too  much? Let me know what you think it.

 

Build

Let's start building but first, let's see what's inside the box.

Unboxing
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We get 2 numbered plastics, 1 instruction manual and 1 sticker sheet.

I am not going to apply the stickers in this review because I don't find it necessary to apply. 

 

Instruction manual preview

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The first bag makes the rickshaw and the second bag makes the little piranha mech.

 

Bag #1
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There are 2 red curved front car parts that make up the curved  roof of the rickshaw. I think it is an unusual but excellent use of the part.

There are 2 giant wheel wagon parts as well and it is exciting to see this once again because it has not appeared since 2013. It came back in a new nougat colour in 2017. 

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You can see how much taller the wheels are compared to Ray, the rickshaw puller. Is this historically accurate though?

When I look at history books to check how big those rickshaw wheels are, I cannot find any rickshaw wheels bigger than an average-height human. If the regular-size wheel wagon is used in this rickshaw I think it could work just fine but I like the how comically disproportionate the wheels are compared to the puller.

The boarding ladder can be folded up and down. Normally it should be folded down.

 

This job ain't easy

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Back view of the rickshaw

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There is a couple of anti-studs exposed at the back of the rickshaw. It looks okay but I think it could have been better if the designers just added a red rounded bottom plate instead of the trans-clear one seen in the picture.

 

Bag #2
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There are 2 big airplane parts here that appeared in sand blue colour for the first time:

Part 87616 - fuselage curved aft section 6x10 bottom and part 87615 - fuselage curved aft section 6x10 top.

Once fully built, you can fully close the mouth of the piranha mech as seen below.
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There are quite a number of things that can swivel in this build.

The left and right missile holders can swivel. The sand blue fins can swivel. The pair of rockets can swivel. You can turn the overhanging flood light 360 degrees. You can also rotate the legs around 360 degrees but it cannot bend forward or backwards because there are no joints. You can position the legs wide apart or as narrow as possible as long as the piranha is stable.

 

Nom nom nom!!
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You can still tilt the upper jaw of the piranha 1 more click so that it is 90-degrees to the lower jaw. Even if it is open so wide, the piranha is still stable thanks to its flat long feet and lanky legs.

 

Baby shark doo doo doo 

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I like what the designers have done with the aircraft fuselage bottom because it is unusual for a normal set to show the anti-studs front and centre. This kind of thing is what you might see from MOCers so it is good to see more of these unusual design.

 

Minifigures

Front view with accessories and headgears/hairpieces
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As mentioned previously we get 4 minifigures in the set. Lady Iron Dragon, Kai, Ray and a lonesome Shark army thug.

Let's take a moment to appreciate the line up of the minifigures. First, we get Lady Iron Dragon. If you have not watched The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, I won't spoil it for you. She's one of the inspiration for Nya because she has a reputation for being a fierce female warrior (and frankly, there is no one else). The torso print has shiny silver detail in the middle though it appears light greyish in the picture.

Her quiver piece is new. The old quiver part only has 2 arrows but this one has 3. The new quiver part also incorporates a shoulder armour or pauldron for the left minifigure shoulder. More about that in the parts section.

Let's jump to Kai. Kai has a katana holder in pearl dark grey colour so this minifigure is the same variant from the Master Falls set. Nothing much to say about this minifigure.

Then we have Ray, which I mentioned to be the same name as Kai's father in the TV series. The torso and legs assembly print is new and appears to be both exclusive to this set.

Finally, we have a Shark army thug... Ok. This one has the large knee pads which also appears in Lightning Jet and Ninjago City Chase. I already have 5 of these generic Shark army thug so I wish this set included a less generic army thug. 

 

Back view with accessories and headgears/hairpieces
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The back view reveal the scaled texture of the quiver as well as the hair details of Lady Iron Dragon viewed from the back.

The cloth pattern at the back is the same pattern in front.

 

Front view without accessories and headgears/hairpieces
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Now viewing the minifigures without hair pieces and head gears,  it is a bit disturbing to see how thin the paint on Lady Iron Dragon face.

There is print under the legs of Lady Iron Dragon is I didn't bother to take it off. it's just all black.

 

Back view without accessories and headgears/hairpieces
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The back view of the minifigures without the accessories show the back print of Lady Iron Dragon and Kai.

Only Kai has dual face print in this set which is quite sad.

 

Lady Iron Dragon

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Did I say that the face print on Lady Iron Dragon is hideous? Just one more look. I will even say I got a defective print because when compared to the photo on the box, the paint on the face is just too thin.

On the flip side, if you ignore the face, the dual moulded hair/headpiece of Lady Iron Dragon is really awesome. I hope that TLG makes more of this kind.

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Parts

I already mentioned that Part 87616 - fuselage curved aft section 6x10 bottom and part 87615 - fuselage curved aft section 6x10 top are the two stand out parts for this set because they appear in this sand blue colour for the first time.

The large wagon wheels is also a good part to have in new nougat colour and it's good to see it once again after 4 years of absence in any set.

Apart from those 3, we get a new quiver with dragon face on the pauldron/should armour. It's very cool. I wish to see this part used in more sets. A dragon castle faction, anyone?
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The cloth part included is the first of its kind because it is the first cloth piece in this shape.
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The remaining extra parts are not very generous. Only these few parts remained after completing the build:

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Below is the complete listing of the parts in set # 70629.

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Conclusion

This set is a great addition to the sea-based mech creatures that we got from The LEGO NINJAGO Movie.

I am okay with this set having 4 minifigures only because there are big parts included. Those fuselage parts are much bigger than your average brick and plate pieces. What's truly disappointing is the line up of minifigures included in the set. It still a great set to buy if you don't mind having multiple Kai minifigures but at this point, I think this set should have come with other characters. Granted that Kai is available in the cheapest set from the previous wave, I don't see the point of adding him again in the cheapest set of the 2nd wave.

If the designers included the same Kai variant available from the NINJAGO City modular, then we're talking great value -- but instead, we get the ubiquitous variant of Kai which is not even great for army building.

I think I know why I feel very disappointed with the minifigure lineup even if I know what I am getting upfront -- this is a crushing realisation that all other minifigures are subpar except the civilian minifigure Ray. My expectation with Lady Iron Dragon is so high that when it didn't meet my expectation, everything else looks bad.

The good news is that with excellent builds included --- the inclusion of the pulled rickshaw and piranha mech is good enough to make this a great set for playing. Kids will like it and they won't mind the ugly face print of Lady Iron Dragon. 

 

The Piranha Mech eats Nexo Knights for Breakfast
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A family reunion*
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*Lloyd and Lord Garmadon minifigures not included in the set

 


Review summary

Playability: 9/10 - The rickshaw and piranha mech can give kids plenty of role-playing scenarios to play with. There's a bad guy, a civilian and 2 good guys to add characters to the story.
Design / Building Experience: 9/10 - The build for the rickshaw and piranha mech is simple but the use of some uncommon technique is refreshing to see.
Minifigures:  6/10 - Lady Iron Dragon is quite disappointing. Kai... again. Generic Shark army thug again. I'm glad an exclusive civilian is included but a single great minifigure for a set like this is subpar.
Price / Value for money: 8/10 - I got a freebie with this set due to promotions but the real value is on new parts in new colours
Overall8/10 - This is a great small set to get 4 minifigures, 2 of which are unique.  The great small builds save this set from being mediocre. The defective or lacklustre printing on Lady Iron Dragon is really a shame. 

 

 

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Wonderful review, I think the Lady Iron Dragon Head that you got is a bit defective. Mine is not that good too but I don't think it exhibits the kind of "bleeding" that your one does.
Question: Why is this set free?

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18 minutes ago, ultiminutes said:

Wonderful review, I think the Lady Iron Dragon Head that you got is a bit defective. Mine is not that good too but I don't think it exhibits the kind of "bleeding" that your one does.
Question: Why is this set free?

Sorry for the confusion. I got a freebie with this set. I corrected the summary review. 

The quality for the yellow on black printing should have been QA'ed more. I hope that the manufacturing arm of TLG is not cutting any corner.

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Agreed. It would have been an excellent minifig for any Ninjago fan if the yellow was darker. It just seems like it could have been resolved by making the print thicker. Such a disappointment and I can't believe the Quality Control just let it slide.

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16 hours ago, ultiminutes said:

Agreed. It would have been an excellent minifig for any Ninjago fan if the yellow was darker. It just seems like it could have been resolved by making the print thicker. Such a disappointment and I can't believe the Quality Control just let it slide.

Quality Control is one thing, but I think the bigger picture here is Quality Assurance which is the one dealing with the process. LEGO has always been proud that they are doing the right things, the right way (QA). Perhaps why the QC guys let this slide is because their QA guideline says this output is acceptable. But clearly, this is not right.

In my my Bricktober review, I paid attention on the clutch power between the minifigures torso and legs -- they are quite inconsistent. Some are loose, some are good, some are very good. This kind of inconsistency is product of dwindling down QA, which is not good! 

 

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That's true.
Perception of good quality in the factory differs greatly from location to location even though they are under the same company especially with topics that deal with qualitative analysis/judgement.

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Great review, wacky little set, but somehow I don't feel the urge of buying... maybe on sale.

The face printing issue is (should be) really awkward, I would even say: it is not acceptable from a company like LEGO in this century.

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15 hours ago, agrof said:

Great review, wacky little set, but somehow I don't feel the urge of buying... maybe on sale.

The face printing issue is (should be) really awkward, I would even say: it is not acceptable from a company like LEGO in this century.

Thanks. Face printing aside, I really like the set. The design for the piranha mech is simple and like what you said, wacky. The wackiness is probably the best reason to buy the set so it will serve kids a lot of playtime.

 

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On 11/5/2017 at 5:08 AM, Itaria No Shintaku said:

Excellent review.
Thanks @makoy

Thanks!

45 minutes ago, kaelthas said:

Great review mate. I particularly love the rickshaw.

:) The rickshaw reminds me of the old Singapore  & Penang times. 

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Great review. I don't know why but I absolutely love this set. The Piranha is a great, oddball mech and the minifgure selection is rather great aswell. The only improvement I could see is the inclusion of a different henchman. I'll be sure to get this! 

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19 hours ago, Hobbythom said:

Great review. I don't know why but I absolutely love this set. The Piranha is a great, oddball mech and the minifgure selection is rather great aswell. The only improvement I could see is the inclusion of a different henchman. I'll be sure to get this! 

True indeed. I different henchmen could have been better. 

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Nice review.  I think the fact that the iron dragon lady head is black and they are printing yellow over that, its always going to have that issue.  The set is neat.  I like the rickshaw too.  

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Thanks @WhiteFang -- I know you're busy so it's fine if this didn't go on the frontpage sooner. I don't even mind if it didn't, so.... cheers!

8 hours ago, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

Amazing set ...the piranha looks great! :wub:

I know right. Next to the crab mech from Lightning Jet set, this is the most wacky little mech.

41 minutes ago, zoth33 said:

Nice review.  I think the fact that the iron dragon lady head is black and they are printing yellow over that, its always going to have that issue.  The set is neat.  I like the rickshaw too.  

There is a technique in manufacturing called Six Sigma (6σ) which aims to eliminate defect... I believe any manufacturing at the scale of LEGO production use this in some way or variation.

That's why I believe this should have been prevented to be released if the LEGO Quality Assurance aims at consistent high quality product. 

Having said that, it's still a neat set like what you said. Rickshaw and Piranha saves the day! :classic:

 

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The Piranha mech looks just to cute! :wub: I like this mech the most of the whole line. It looks so funny!

The big wheels of the rickshaw look funny indeed, but the upper part doesn't work for me. I think the rickshaw looks way to big.

This set has all elements for playing some action scenes! Children will surely have a great time with this set.

Personally I would have liked the civilian minifigures of this line to have got more neutral or happy faces instead of all the scared faces now. It make a nice box picture, but it limits their possible use in play greatly.

It's a shame the face of Lady Iron Dragon is so poorly printed. I simply expect LEGO to offer premium quality. I'm willing to pay the price for quality and I do consciously not choose for alternative or knockoff brands, but something it feels like LEGO could use some competition to be encouraged to keep putting their best foot forward!

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I want this set for that rickshaw! The mech is pretty cool & fun as well.

 

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9 hours ago, Vindicare said:

I want this set for that rickshaw! The mech is pretty cool & fun as well.

I wanted this set for the rickshaw too, more than the Piranha mech.

I forgot to mention that like in majority of my reviews, I do not apply stickers. It looks decent without the stickers but I would likely apply it to add more detail.

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