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The latest NINJAGO wave appears to be a callback to the Digiverse from the Rebooted season, sprinkled with some cyberpunk vibe. What’s the big deal about that pink ninja suit? Find out in my 26th EB Review, set #71708 - Gamer’s Market. Overview Name: 71708 - Gamer’s Market Theme: NINJAGO Year: 2020 (1H) Pieces: 218 Minifigures: 9 Price: GBP 29.99 / USD 29.99 / EUR 34.99 / SGD 59.99 / MYR 169.90 (That is probably the longest description copy for a set with about 200 pieces) Introduction Unpopular opinion - I think that Digiverse is one of the more interesting world from Ninjago as it is inspired by Tron and The Matrix. For the upcoming season, our favourite team of ninjas are entering a familiar territory, and yet it feels different. We don't know much about the Prime Empire yet, but as far as I know, it is the game that will be important to the plot of the next TV season. We should find out how and why the ninjas will enter this dimension in season 12. In the meantime, let's talk about the packaging. Front box panel There are 3 Digi Jays in this box. Go find them! If the redundancy of the minifigures confuse you, it's fine. You're not alone. There are so many things happening in the box art that it is hard to figure out if it is a playset or just minifigure pack. It could be both. Back box panel As for the back panel, It shows pretty much about the same thing. Side box panel If the redundancy isn't enough in the front panel, this side panel shows you even the named characters that comes inside the box. Now, once you open the box, you are greeted with 3 plastic bags with numbers 1 to 3, an instruction booklet and a sticker sheet. Did I say sticker sheet? Yes. Unfortunately. Typically, I don't apply stickers . However, if you decide not to apply #1 and #2, the set looks incomplete or bland. Stickers #3, #4 and #5 are almost essential to make the Gamer Market vibe complete and they are small enough to be somewhat inconsequential if you choose to apply them. The translation of the script in the sticker: #4 - Hats! Additional stickers "+" from top to bottom, left to right: The individual letters - Z, N and C. Cole, the cake is a lie A B - probably referencing game control buttons. Minifigures Since this is essentially a People Pack for NINJAGO, what better way to start the review than by beginning with the minifigures. First, here are the official names of the minifigures. In order from left to right: Avatar Harumi, Red Visor, Richie, Okino, Scott, Digi Jay, Avatar Cole, Avatar Nya, Avatar Pink Zane. As we have 9 minifigures to cover here, I will showcase each minifigure one by one to thoroughly cover each one of them. Avatar Harumi Avatar Harumi wields a katana and is undeniably a homage to Kill Bill, an R-18 movie. This is not a coincidence because the new yellow tracksuit has the bluish emblem on the torso. This is present in tracksuit of The Bride. The designers even added a tiny black dot at the hips, which is also new, to denote the button which is also present in the original. Ultimately, this mimics the iconic yellow outfit of Bruce Lee which makes this minifigure even more awesome. The headpiece and hairpiece aren't new. They are exactly the same from 70651 Throne Room Showdown and 70658 Oni Titan. Unfortunately, there is no side printing for the legs or arms. To get around this, the legs has black strip running from the top edge of the hips down to the knee section of the minifigure. Frankly, I think the black lines should end just before the minifigure "feet" because as it is now, it appears that Harumi is wearing a yellow high-cut boots despite the original shoe reference being an Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Sneakers. I don’t know about you but I like how NINJAGO can adopt some adult-oriented pop culture references easily and make them look innocent. To a large extent, I think that this is an appropriate reference because Kill Bill is a quest for vengeance, which is very similar to the story arc of Harumi. However, I don’t really like the idea of my kids searching about Kill Bill due to *cough* blood bath *cough*. Red Visor I am not colour blind. The visor used in this minifigure is definitely not red, but calling this character Neon-orange Visor does not roll off the tongue quite easily, so it makes sense to just call it Red Visor. At least it uses a blaster with red scope. As for the visor itself, it is the same element used in Tron Legacy but in transparent neon-orange. The headpiece has dual face prints which are equally weird. The other one looks like it's about to puke (like those monsters from Hidden Side), and the other one appears to be a display screen of a robot on stand-by mode. Notice that the red symbol is the same as the one found in the shrine, which I will discuss in the build section later on. Moving on to the torso and legs, the major colour combination is red and black, with teal highlights. It has ‘404’ number printed which is a reference to one of the most loathed HTTP response code: 404 Not Found, which means the server could not find what was requested by the internet browser. This "404" number is then repeated at the back of the minifigure but is covered by the new shoulder armour and scabbards. At the back of this new armour, you can insert the frosted trans-neon orange 4L bar piece which is then attached to a gamer display board printed with skull icon, representing their antagonist group, next to 4 (full) health bars. The bad guys distinctly use black armours while the good guys use white. I don't know if it was intentional but the teal curly design at the back of the minifigure appears to be the same design motif for the NINJAGO box art that dates all the way back from 2011. This curly design motif is usually used at the borders of the box arts. See this image of the Fire Temple, and then spot where the right claw of the Fire Dragon touches, just beneath the "O" of NINJAGO logo. . Richie At first I don't know what to make out of this pink minifigure called Richie because it appears to be a rat with a visor and a pony tail. I heard people saying it has a goat face but if it is supposed to be a goat face, then it should have a goatee and a horn. So, it must be a rat. This moulded minifigure head is made of 2 different colour of ABS plastics so the detail is very crisps. The visor is not removable, unfortunately. However, you can remove the pony tail. This minifigure also uses the new shoulder armour and scabbards in black, with the same trans neon-orange gamer display board. In addition, Richie uses a twin-bladed weapon using a black game controller as the handle. Even if I am not the biggest fan of the pixel arts used on the torso and leg prints, the silvery details are excellent. Okino This civilian looking minifigure may look like just an ordinary minifigure but I doubt he is just a civilian because when you translate his Japanese name to English, you will find some parallelism with the other character, Unagami, who is positioned as villain for this season. Since season 12 has not come out yet, it is interesting to find out if there is any connection between the two. What I like about this minifigure is the new hairpiece with traditional topknot called chonmage (chon-ma-ge). It is also made of 2 different ABS plastic colour and the dark red part can be held by minifigure hand as it is the same size of a regular bar piece. Not sure why you would want to do that, but it's possible. The white torso has minimal details, just mere lines to show pleats and folds of a traditional Japanese clothing which is likely a yukata or a kimono. Scott Scott is the character that looks like Jack Davis from Hidden Side, but clearly not Davis at all. The character just happens to have a recoloured cap and hood combo piece, with a different print. On the cap, "S" is written in Ninjago script presumably meant for Scott's initial. There are shiny glimmer of face paint with triangular patterns on light aqua headpiece. This is the same skin-tone as General Vex and Blizzard soldiers from the previous wave but I don't know if this is just a coincidence as other characters use various skin colours in this wave. This could mean something very trivial or important to the season 12 storyline -- but we don't know that yet because season 12 has not came out yet. He also has red eyes and features an alternate face print with a mask. The torso has some crazy detail going on--from 2 dragon heads, reflective triangular patterns that goes all the way down the legs, "A" and "B" written in Ninjago script at the middle of the black inner wear, and "LJ" on his vest. At the back, a dragon circling an "S" is also printed. It almost looks like an ouroboros which is a serpent eating it's own tail. So to recap, the prominent letters printed on Scott are A, B and S --- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene? Digi Jay Frankly, I did not like the design of the Digi suits initially. However, I appreciated the design more as I held the minifigures. Similar to previous masks, the new Digi suit mask uses dual mouldings. However, while the older masks use more rounded curves to imitate the cloth textures, the new design features more aggressive lines which accentuate sharper details, similar to those found in motocross helmets. On the forehead, "J" is written in Ninjago script. The headpiece is new. The primary face print has a VR-like screen with vertical scan lines. The alternate face is just a smug face but looks better when used under the mask. As for the torso design, it is hard to ignore the inspiration from Tron with all those glowing circles all over the torso and legs. Another interesting design choice is the use of a different colour for Jay's right arm. The last time this design choice was used is back in 2012 with Jay ZX. Digi Jay also uses a new shoulder armour and scabbards in white. As mentioned earlier, all the bad guys use black version of this armour, while all the good guys use white. Connected onto the armour is a trans neon-green 4L bar attached to a gamer display board with ninja icon and 3 out of 4 health bars. Lastly, Digi Jay wields a trans-neon green kusarigama (chain-sickle) with a white game controller as a handle. Avatar Cole Nothing particularly exciting about this minifigure because all the pieces here were recycled from previous variants of Cole. The torso appeared in several City sets. Avatar Nya Like Cole, there is nothing much to say about this minifigure because all the pieces here were recycled from previous variants of Nya. The torso also appeared in several City sets. Avatar Pink Zane Finally, this is the last minifigure in the set and arguably the star of this set. This minifigure took 7 years in the making and it is likely the main reason why it is one of the most sought after minifigure in the set. It appeared in the TV Season 1, Episode 5 "Can of Worms". While the headpiece used is not new, everything else is new in this minifigure. The mask is the same mould as the first NINJAGO wave, and its first appearance in pink. If you think the torso is a direct recolour of the classic white Zane suit, you are wrong. To begin, the gold creature emblem on the chest is slightly different. It is slightly bigger, looks more jagged and splintered with ice shards, and for some unexplained reason, lost its mouth! In contrast, the original design looks less detailed, and simpler. The hip and legs print are also slightly different. I think some people will irrationally dislike this just because of these changes. Personally, I don't see much difference at arm's length distance so I am not so bothered about it. What's more important is that the designers decided to add back printing and legs/hips prints. They did not have to do this, but they did it anyway. Personally, I think it is an excellent decision. Build After the minifigures, let's not forget that this set is a playset with several small-sized builds to complete the Gamer's Market. Bag #1 Content Bag #1 contains Avatar Harumi, Red Visor and Richie, trans-dark pink key-tana. The red slope 45 2 x 1 with cutout without stud (part # 28192) is relatively new and 2 of them are included in this bag. Another notable part here is the trans-dark pink 2x2 round brick which appears in this colour for the very first time. Bag #1 Build In the typical NINJAGO fashion, shrines are made of black and red pieces. Likewise, the new collectible item in this wave, called key-tana, is at the middle of the shrine. One great feature of key-tana is that minifigures can hold it in 2 different orientations. If you notice the end of the hilt, it has a bar perpendicular to the hilt just fit for the minifigure hands. Bag #2 Bag #2 contains Okino, Scott and Digi Jay. Outstanding elements found in his bag is the large shuriken piece as well as the weapon pack in trans-neon green colour Bag #2 Build This build is essentially the weapon shop of the Gamer's Market. While majority of the items for sale are bladed weapons, the trans-neon green 1x1 round brick appears to be a potion. The use of the large shuriken piece is a bit flambouyant for my taste and I could imagine that if the designers used a more subtle approach, they could have avoided using such a large expensive piece. As an alternative, the set could have benefited on additional small pieces for auxiliary builds. Bag #3 Bag #3 contains the rest of the protagonists - Avatar Cole, Avatar Nya and Avatar Pink Zane. There are a lot of interesting minifigure accessories included in this bag. The most important being the blue classic space helmet and gold conical hat. Bag #3 build For such a simple build, I think I appreciate this the most. This is because out of the 3 builds, it has the most efficient use of parts to display all these headgears. No bells and whistles Completed Build with all the minifigures Looking at the overall build, I can't help but focus on the small details such as the accessories found in these minifigures. Just to reiterate, there are 2 game controllers in this set, 1 black/red and one white/black.The Arcade Pod impulse-buy sets, (sold separately) contains the gold game controllers. All of them look awesome and I hope we see more of this game controller piece in other sets. Then again, there are also not so beautiful side of the build. I think only the shrine build really suffers from a terribly bad angle due to that large teal piece as most of the teal anti-studs look terrible when viewed at the back. The other 2 builds looks just fine. Finally, here are the extra parts once everything is built. Conclusion This set has taken us to an uncharted territory. The positives are definitely praiseworthy and it offers many things I want to see repeated in future sets. Of course, it's not all good points. There are some bad ones too but they are tiny. Pros: People pack for NINJAGO! Pink Zane and Harumi in Kill Bill tracksuit Interesting minifigure accessories such as game controllers, key-tana, blue classic spaceman helmet, weapon pack in trans-neon green, etc. Cons: Stickers Limited play structures Could have featured more meaningful "avatar" characters Ultimately, this is something that you will buy primarily for the minifigures, and secondary only for the actual playset. So, to wrap things up -- Review summary Playability: 9/10 - There are no gimmicks, just pure small builds that is fit for purpose. If large pieces were not used, additional small structures could have been added for more variety. Design / Building Experience: 7/10 - Nothing revolutionary in 3 small builds but it's interesting enough for younger builders. Minifigures: 9/10 - Considering that Avatar Pink Zane is a deep reference to early TV season, it feels that Avatar Cole and Avatar Nya were just fluffs or an after thought. Still, 9 minifigures are awesome. Price / Value for money: 10/10 - TLG, keep this up! Overall: 8.75/10 - This is a great set with 9 unique minifigures and satisfactory builds for role-playing that will make avid NINJAGO fans happy and entertained for hours. Hey! That's mine!