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:
Name: Earth Dragon Defense
# of pieces: 227
Price: US $34.99 / € 34.99
# of minifigs: 2
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.
...which shows the many play features: you can swing the dragon's tail, shoot 'earth balls' , and move the frills on the dragon's neck.
Now, let's hurry up and get to the actual set!
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:
Bag One Contents
As always, the first bag contains the minifigures, accessories, and 'extra bits' (in this case, the rock that the Scythe of Quakes sits in).
And what lovely minifigures they are! 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:
Cole's face is visible... intimidating, no?
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:
...Wyplash's head printing! There's a tiny worm coming out of his skull! He even has two little eyes... how precious!
Left to right: Cole's sword, the Scythe of Quakes (tremble at its power! ), 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:
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!
Body (first part):
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:
This bag contains the parts for the dragon's legs and the front part of his(her?) body.
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...
Now the front part of the body:
Once again, pretty strange-looking. (oh, and by the way: those flaps on the sides are supposed to lay flat. )
The front legs:
These are attached to sockets; they have a wide range of movement.
The body & legs:
Not so shapeless now, is it?
Bag Three Contents:
This bag has the parts for the collar, flags, head, and tail (I tossed the special bag in for order's sake).
What beautiful printing!
The tail is attached loosely so one can grip the tail and whip it viciously back and forth!
The flag tile:
This also appears in the Ice Dragon set. Can anyone translate this? Does it actually mean anything?
The finished dragon!
And what a lovely thing she is, too!
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!
Parts:8/10 Who doesn't like a lot of brown?
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. Depends on your tastes, but that's my opinion.
Thanks for reading!