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Review 70644 Golden Dragon Master

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 21 2018 · 214 views

ninjago
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Here is Lego's latest Ninjago spinner / action / unique character only available here set: 70644 Golden Dragon Master! Some people might be enticed to buy these because of the figs. (Guilty.) Some people might do it for the pieces. Some might do it for the action. And some people might mistake the price of these things and think they're getting a legit set. (I mean, really, $15? I get there are more pieces, but did this new design really need to be this big... or needed at all?)

Piece wise, there's a decent selection of tan elements that go into decorating the handle, including some slopes, a wedge plate (sadly only two of one side), and various other plates. Then there are some elements in black, but nothing noteworthy. You do get some new "flyer" pieces. The core that the fig sits in now has a longer step, to which the wings are attached via two other specialized pieces that wedge in the plastic wings. Neither of these pieces have standard System or technic connection points (at least that I could see) making them kinda worthless to a MOCer. Meanwhile, I believe we return to the original propeller piece again as the spinner. I mean, I'm not nessessarily against Lego release big bulky elements, but it would be nice if they could connect to other pieces. At least the cool dome piece has rod connections.

The minifigure is of the new Golden Dragon character. Who is he? A new character, or perhaps one of the Ninjas leveled up? Or perhaps another well developed character who they're trying not to reveal is special at first but it becomes increasingly obvious who it's actually suppose to be as the sets come out... by which I mean, we may never know. (Until the show comes out, obviously.) Anyway, he has a cool gold and white color scheme, and the various strap designs do look like he's preparing to strap into a flying vehicle. It might be a mighty expensive way to get this set of figs, but gosh they look nice.

The actual build is a handle that launches the spinner, similar to the last... three?... times they've made these spinner sets. This handle is a bit more complex, with the angled plates creating a bend to make it feel more like... a gun? Really, these sets are Ninjago guns, aren't they? Anyway, you can fit the spinner in, adjust the angle, and let it rip! The wings are supposed to help it glide, with the actual spinner acting as a propeller rather than a rhotuka. And it... kind of works. But for mine, the full contraption is just too heavy, so it just glides slowly for about five feet. This feels a bit sluggish compared to the other flying spinners, which could get some legitimate distance. On one hand, these feels more controlled, but the control can also be seen as boring. Or perhaps I am not the target audience and will be scrapping this for the pieces instead of playing with it. Hmm.

So yeah, there are some pluses here. The handle has a couple of useful elements (and also a new 2x2 circular tile with the dragon master symbol printed on it, those are always neat.) The plastic wings don't exactly have a system compatible gap, but I'm sure they could be used in MOCs, and they have a neat design on them. The rest of the spinner parts... I'm going to need to buy a bin just for these junk specialized spinner parts. Maybe there's some connection points I'm not seeing.

The fig is great, but I'm not sure the full set justifies spending $15 to get one. And especially if you want to get the full set of characters. (Which I do.) Bricklink or other secondary markets are always an option, but I've found that most of them price the figure so highly that it just makes more sense to go for the full set and score the extra pieces. And I don't see these sets on sale a lot; not that they're big sellers, but I think stores just don't carry a whole lot of them. (Or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough because I was just buying the spinners full price earlier. But $10 was easier to justify than $15.) (I guess what I'm saying is if you want some slopes and tile pieces and cool dragon wings but don't care about figs, give me a call and we can work out a deal! :D )

(And gosh, what a pain this set is to photograph. Also, I do have a legitimate review almost ready for the front page, for realz!)

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These spinner parts don't have any hidden connection points, though you can definitely make use of them with some creative connections (mainly taking advantage of the 4 module diameter of the interior section of the rim). The ripcords, however, do work with regular Technic gears, though, making them superior to older ones like the Rhotuka or Speedorz ripcords. As a side note, the spinner rims from the Spinjitzu Masters sets DO have "connection points" of sorts, as seen here: https://twitter.com/...785335563997184

I got this one at BrickFair and was similarly disappointed by the slow speed and low distance. I've seen people get better distance by starting from an elevated position, so I might try that at some point.

On the other hand, I was much more impressed by the build than you seem to be. The handle may not necessarily NEED to be that bulky, but it made for an interesting build regardless, and I was quite impressed with the finished product's ergonomic form and heft. That said, the higher price point does bite, especially if you plan on collecting all five of these (and unlike the Airjitzu spinners and Spinjitzu Masters, there are no added weapons or weapon racks to add variety to the builds of each set). I might still want to get the full series for those gorgeous figs but I'll probably wait for the inevitable sales.
 

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