Review: Master Falls

As I write this, Master Falls is a set that is close to retirement. But, you can still find it on shelves at some retailers. So, before it vanishes into the LEGO® vault, I thought I would give my two cents on it. I have had this set for a while, and have been looking forward to building it since I have really enjoyed the sets from the Ninjago Movie theme. Let’s see how this one compares! As always, if you are curious about how I generate scores in this review, feel free to read about my rating system.

Master Falls box art.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Master Falls
SET #: 70608
THEME: Ninjago Movie
COST: $39.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 312
MINIFIGURES: 3
OF INTEREST: 1 skeleton, 2 scorpions
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017

Master Falls box contents.

SUMMARY REVIEW: 91%

VALUE: 86% (Good cost-per-brick and build time values.)

BUILD: 90% (Nice set, but I wish it had been bigger and more detailed.)

MINIFIGURES: 94% (Great Minifigures, good brick:fig ratio.)

ENTERTAINMENT: 95% (Fun for play, loads of MOC possibilities.)

Master Falls bridge entry.

REVIEW

VALUE: 86%

At a price tag of $39.99 in Canada, and 312 bricks, you are looking at a cost per brick of $0.13. My average right now, based on all the sets I have purchased over the last couple of years, is $0.14/brick. So, this is not a bad value by any means. I rate the cost-per-brick at 86%.

Master Falls includes a neat cage that can be moved around easily.

In terms of build time, I spent 55 minutes on Master Falls. At $39.99, that means that each minute of building cost me $0.73. My average cost per minute is currently $0.84, so you are getting a decent value here too. I’ll give Master Falls 86% for build time value. Averaging that score with the cost per brick gives this set an overall value rating of 86%.

The ruined gate.

BUILD: 90%

Master Falls intrigued me from the get-go because of the rope bridge.  It uses tank treads in a really interesting way, and the pieces themselves come in a new color for that part. I was mildly disappointed that the handrails (hand-ropes?) didn’t actually attach to the bridge, but overall, the design is still very nice looking. I did find myself wishing that this had been a bigger set though. I would have loved more scene development on either side of the bridge. Steps leading up on one side, more of a ruined temple on the other. With that said though, the parts that you do get to build are nicely detailed. The pillars on either side of the bridge are decorated. On one side, you get some scorpions and flames, which looks really cool. The cage is also well designed, and is easily detachable to recreate scenes from the Ninjago Movie. Under the temple doors there is a little cave housing a skeleton.

The bridge employs tank treads in a new way (and color).

In short, what I really like about Master Falls is:

  • The idea of recreating the bridge fight from the movie.
  • The use of tank treads in a novel way.
  • The ruined temple idea (even if it is under-developed).
  • The overall look and detailing.
  • I like the technique used to angle the rocks under the temple.

What I like less about Master Falls is:

  • The ropes don’t actually attach to the bridge.
  • The sides of the bridge lack a little substance.

I don’t feel in this case that my dislikes of this set warrant a whole point off each. The ropes are not a big deal, because they still look good. Also, at this price point you won’t be getting much more substance. What you do get here is well done. So, both dislikes will lose Master Falls half a point each. This set goes in to my assessment with 4 points (having lost one for my dislikes), and gains another five for the things I do like. I rate Master Falls at 9/10 (90%) overall for build.

The cave under the temple door in Master Falls.

MINIFIGURES: 94%

There are three Minifigures included in Master Falls: Kai, Master Wu, and Garmadon. Kai and Wu are nothing new. Wu has a new facial expression that I have not gotten before in the Ninjago Movie sets. Garmadon comes in his jungle attire from the film. Only Kai has a double sided face, but all of them have front and back printed torsos, as well as some kind of leg printing. Garmadon also comes with an extra torso piece (obviously). Based on design alone, I would give these characters 37/45 (82%). But, you also get a load of accessories, including the skeleton, two scorpions, a map tile, 6 swords, and a bunch of plant pieces. Even if you don’t count the plants as accessories, you are looking at a design score of 100%.

Front view of Minifigures included in Master Falls.

The skeleton is not a proper Minifigure, but I will still count it as a figurine in Master Falls. So, with four figurines, and 312 bricks, you are looking at a brick-to-figurine ratio of 78:1. My average brick-to-fig ratio is currently 131:1, so Master Falls performs pretty well in this category. I rate it at 88%. Averaging this with the design score gives Master Falls an overall Minifigure score of 94%.

Rear view of the Minifigures included in Master Falls.

ENTERTAINMENT: 95%

I really like this set. For the price point, you can’t really expect more. But, I still found myself wanting more. I wish Master Falls had been a bigger, pricier set. I would have loved more detail on either side of the bridge. The set is only loosely true to the scene from the movie, so designers could have had a lot of fun building up the temple, or stairs leading up to the bridge. I currently find myself imagining this set combined with the crashed aircraft/ruined temple scene from the Jungle Exploration Site set (click here to read my review). Or better yet, both of those mixed in with the Islanders Enchanted Island from the ’90s. I will have a lot of fun with this (as soon as I have the time…)

Kai’s alternate face.

From a kid’s perspective, I think this set rocks. It allows the reenactment of a scene from the movie. But, jungle adventures and precarious rope bridges were part of many play scenarios in my youth, so this set would have been a winner for sure. As a play set, I give this 5/5. From an adult collector’s perspective, I would not leave it as is in any build project, but any redesign would stay pretty true to the original vision of this set. So, for an adult, I’d say this is more of a 4.5/5. Overall, that puts Master Falls at a solid 95% in terms of entertainment.

Battle on the bridge!

OVERALL: 91%

Master Falls did not let me down in terms of awesome sets that have come out of the Ninjago Movie. This has been an amazing theme, and I am sad to see it going into retirement. I can only hope that the regular Ninjago theme will continue to deliver equally awesome sets. Master Falls is a good value set, lots of fun, and it comes with great Minifigures. I recommend picking it up while you still can.

Until next time,

-Tom

p.s. If you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), FacebookPinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s