Our coverage of the Summer 2020 Ninjago sets continues with a close look at the Spinjitzu Burst sets. Slated for a June 1st release, these are similar (read: almost identical) to 2019’s Spinjitzu Slam sets. Each features a single ninja, an elemental-themed spinner base, and a color-coordinated launch platform. There are three different characters to collect:
70685 Spinjitzu Burst Cole
70686 Spinjitzu Burst Kai
70687 Spinjitzu Burst Lloyd
Aimed at the 7+ age range, these 48-piece sets are focused around the play factor. But at an expected $10 price point in the US, is there enough to attract adult builders and collectors, too? Read on and judge for yourself!
The box and contents
The boxes for these sets are departure from the usual rectangular format. They have a square footprint, but with a domed upper part. I guess this makes them stand out a little on the shelves, but there’s just a lot of empty air inside them. At least they’re colorful, and each side of the box has a little something to offer. There are two different character images, a four-step illustration of the play feature, and a teaser for the other characters in the line.
Inside each box there are two bags of parts and a folded instruction sheet.
Happily, there are some new and unusual parts in these sets. First up are the energy effects that go on the spinner bases. Each ninja gets a set of four dual-color molded blades. These attach to a standard bar, but are designed to move easily so there’s no grip strength to them. It’ll be interesting to see how the building community finds ways to make use of them, as they do look cool.
Potentially more useful is this new bracket. It’s designed to allow a minifigure to stand on it, and that ridge between the studs means that you can’t attach a standard 1×1 brick to the top directly. You can get around that limitation by putting a couple of 1×1 round plates, then building on those. I expect we’ll see more of this part in other LEGO sets going forward.
I wasn’t familiar with the 2019 Spinjitzu sets, so the launcher had some parts that were unfamiliar to me. The launcher base and round plate with screw only appeared in those earlier sets, although the Technic rack is much more common.
The build was very straightforward, and was practically identical between all three sets. (And equally identical to the build for the 2019 Spinjitzu launcher.) The only variation was the color of the energy blades, and the four accent elements that color-code the launchers. Cole has transparent-clear cheese slopes, Kai has transparent-red cheese, and Lloyd has transparent-green pyramid tiles. I guess Lloyd is just cooler, as he got the best of that selection of parts. The spinner bases are held closed by a rubber band, the same blue color for all three ninjas.
The final step in the build is to shove a ninja inside each of the stands and get ready for battle.
The finished model
As we’ve seen, there’s not much to these sets: just the spinner, launcher and ninja. You know you’re in trouble when the big “bonus” is that each ninja also comes with a second hat.
But these sets are based on the “Burst” play feature, so we should give that a go before we get all cranky about things. Loading up the figures is pretty easy, and slamming down the lever to launch them is indeed satisfying. None of them spun very long for me, but I was doing things one handed to try and get some decent action photos with my camera. I did manage to capture the one time I got Lloyd’s spinner to “burst” open, at least.
I have to admit, these guys do look pretty cool spinning around.
Adding a little bit of value to these sets, each one includes an exclusive ninja minfigure. Each has a dual-sided torso with some nice energy effects, and each comes with both a ninja cowl and a color-coded straw hat. Maybe the hats will play into the storyline somehow, but otherwise they seem like an odd addition to these sets. I guess it’s a nice way to see the cool face prints, if nothing else.
Conclusion and recommendation
With only 48 pieces at an expected $10 price point, these sets are pretty expensive per-part. (Particularly for an in-house theme that LEGO doesn’t have to pay licensing fees on.) Builders looking to add some unique elements to their collections would probably be better off sourcing the rare parts from third party vendors who pick up the sets mainly to resell the minifigures. With that in mind, if you’re a Ninjago completist or minifigure collector, these sets might fit your needs better. As to the play feature, I don’t think it’d hold anyone’s attention for too long. But I’m really not in the target age range here. By a lot.
These would probably make a good gift for a Ninjago fan or a younger builder, but otherwise I think you’d better of waiting for a sale before adding them to your collection. Knocking 15% or so off the price would be enough to make these seem more like a decent value, anyway.
70685 Spinjitzu Burst Cole, 70686 Spinjitzu Burst Kai, and 70687 Spinjitzu Burst Lloyd will be available from the LEGO Shop Online beginning June 1st. They will also be available via third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.
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