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[REVIEW] 71714 Kai Avatar - Arcade Pod

HOW DO YOU RATE THIS SET?   

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  1. 1. On a scale 1 to 5...

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Welcome to the Prime Empire arcade game. Here is my 28th Eurobricks RA Review, 71714 Kai Avatar - Arcade Pod. Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 20 seconds.

 

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Overview

Name: 71714 Kai Avatar - Arcade Pod
Theme: NINJAGO
Year: 2020 (1H)
Pieces: 43
Minifigures: 2
Price: GBP 8.99 / USD 9.99 / EUR 9.99 / SGD 14.99 / MYR 49.90

 

Introduction

As we enter into NINJAGO Season 12, TLG had already released several webisodes in Youtube. It's all about the new game in town, Prime Empire, that will be central to the new season plot. So far we only have Jay, Kai and Lloyd arcade pod sets but I hope that we will see the rest of these arcade pods for Cole, Zane, Nya and even Sensei Wu.

Let's start with the packaging because I kid you not, the LEGO packaging is getting more and more creative. Now, we have an arcade pod set with packaging that looks like an arcade cabinet too.

  

Front & Back view of the packaging
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Kai always had the unfair advantage on grabbing your attention because of his fiery red colour.

In this strikingly new box design, it showcases what you can do with the 2 Kai minifigures, such as swapping around parts and accessories.

 

Side views of the packaging
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"Prime Empire" is written  at the side, in NINJAGO language.

Open the packaging, then you will see there 2 loose big pieces -- one arcade cabinet and a new door for it, 2 plastic bags with LEGO elements (the one with tiny holes contain the sets of weapons in trans-neon green), 1 instruction paper (folded), 1 promotional leaflet (folded) and 1 sticker sheet.

 

Unboxing
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Sticker sheet
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The aesthetics of the arcade pod is helped by these stickers to give them that typical gaming machine design.

Here are the translations for the NINJAGO scripts:

#1, #2, #3 - Prime Empire

#2 & #3 in circle - New!

#4 - A B (game controller buttons)

 

Contents Unpacked

Below are the contents of the clear plastic bag. It includes the 2 minifigures and some notable accessories like the gold game controller.

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Trans-neon green 10 weapons pack

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This 10-piece weapon is just awesome. They are included in a separate plastic bags, with tiny little holes (which reminds me a lot of vintage sets)

I can't wait for TLG to release them in more colours.

 

Build

The construction is fairly straight-forward. Anybody above 7 years old can do this without difficulty.

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From this view, it looks like a normal clothes cabinet, or a wardrobe.

Inside, the minfigure parts and accessories are organised but only 1 minifigure stands on the slope pedestal.

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In order to get the torso and leg parts, you need to remove the plate at the bottom. This is not a big issue even if you think it's inconvenient

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However, to appreciate the the shape and the design of the arcade more, you need to view it from these viewing angles:

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The shape of the arcade pod is reminiscent of  Atari Monte Carlo arcade cabinet. Just look at its service manual. I can't find any other arcade cabinet that is closer to the shape of this arcade pod piece. 

I know that the arcade looks vanilla without the side stickers, but I like it this way.

 

Here are additional view of the completed arcade cabinet - front and back view:

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Completed build

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If there is a single sticker that needs to be applied, I think that should be the arcade game pads. That's because without these game pad stickers, it does not look like a proper arcade machine at all.

 

Minifigures

Usually, the impulse buy sets like this contain 1 minifigure only. However, the NINJAGO arcade pod changes everything. If we can get 2 unique minifigures for this price point, I expect no less in the next waves. The argument is that if we go back to 1 minifigure next wave, it will be a step backwards unless the next gimmick is incredibly strong and convincing.

So let's check out the minifigures.

 

Digi Kai and Avatar Kai with weapons - front  view

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If you have not read my review on the Gamer's Market, read that swiftly and come back here. You will find that the design of Digi Jay is very close to Digi Kai..

As for Avatar Kai, I seriously have no clue what is going on here. He has a blonde hair like a Super Saiyan and a red war paint on upper face area  like Harumi.

 

Digi Kai and Avatar Kai with weapons - back view

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At the back, the sleeveless top Avatar Kai has a cobra print, ergo Cobra Kai. This is another pop-culture reference that has something to do with martial arts. However, unlike the Kill Bill inspired Avatar Harumi in the Gamer's Market set, Cobra Kai reference on Kai is definitely more mainstream and kid-friendly.

if you are not familiar with Cobra Kai, it is a continuation of the story of Karate Kid which is a Youtube Premium series. The Cobra Kai motto is: “Strike first. Strike hard. No mercy." 

 

Digi Kai and Avatar Kai  - 3/4 side profile view

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Just like Jay, Kai has a white arm which is different colour from his left arm. I have never seen this design choice applied to Kai's gi up until now.

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Only Digi Kai has 2nd face print. You can see the 2nd face print of Digi Kai here.

 

Let's appreciate the new armour a bit more because I didn't have a chance to showcase it in my previous review. To make up for that, I have taken a new photo of this new armour from this angle: 

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(black monochrome minifigure used for illustrative purpose only)

It is such a bulky piece, and almost look like a back pack if there are no swords or accessories inserted. Personally, I would have liked it more if it was in metallic or grey colour.

 

Conclusion

In summary:

Pros:

  • Interesting new arcade piece 
  • Great accessories included, such as gold game controllers and trans-neon green 10 weapons pack
  • 2 minifigures, 1 exclusive

Cons:

  • Not as portable as the regular pods 
  • Large stickers 

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Review summary

Playability: 7/10 - While it is still limited with the small size of the build, this set will entertain kids of appropriate age.
Design / Building Experience: 7/10 - While the portability suffered a bit compared to the older round pods, building experience is slightly more enjoyable now that there are more pieces to build and play with. Not a fan of stickers but it's entirely optional so no point(s) taken.
Minifigures: 10/10 - It is refreshing to find 2 minifigures with great selection of accessories in these NINJAGO impulse buy sets.
Price / Value for money: 9/10 - I could not say this to a lot of small sets but it's likely the first time I feel that I am getting a fair price for this kind of package.
Overall: 8.25/10 - Well-rounded tiny set -- a solid impulse buy for collectors and fans of all ages. 

 

No chair... How to play now?

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