Review: Monastery of Spinjitzu
This week’s LEGO® set review is the Ninjago Monastery of Spinjitzu (70670). When I first returned to LEGO® as an adult, I ignored the Ninjago theme. I focused on sets that could build up my LEGO® city. After the Ninjago Movie, and sets like Ninjago City (click here to read my review) and Ninjago City Docks (click here to read my review), I started to pay a little more attention. Since then, I have actually grown to appreciate the theme quite a bit. There are a lot more buildings than you see in other themes (ex: DC Comics Super Heroes). Also, I love the Asian-style architecture. So, when the Ninjago Legacy line was announced, I was immediately intrigued by the Monastery of Spinjitzu. Consequently, I asked The LEGO® Group to send me a copy for review, and I pretty excited to share my thoughts with you!
This set was provided to me by The LEGO® Group for review purposes. However, the provision of sets does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more), and provide my honest opinion.
NAME: Monastery of Spinjitzu
SET #: 70670
COST: $99.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 1070
RELEASE DATE: January 2, 2019
SUMMARY REVIEW OF THE MONASTERY OF SPINJITZU
VALUE: 97% (Excellent cost-per-brick, and loads of build time.)
BUILD: 90% (Superbly designed set that is true to the show.)
MINIFIGURES: 91% (Great characters, loads of accessories, good brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 95% (This set is great fun.)
OVERALL SCORE: 93%
FULL REVIEW OF THE MONASTERY OF SPINJITZU
First off in our review of the Monastery of Spinjitzu, we will look at value. At full retail price, this kit will set you back $99.99 in Canada. Coming with 1070 pieces, you are looking at a cost-per-brick of $0.09. That is actually great. My current average cost-per-brick is $0.14. So, even at full price, you are looking at a cost-per-brick value score of 97%.
The Monastery of Spinjitzu took me three hours and seventeen minutes to build (197 minutes total). At $99.99, you would be looking at a cost of $0.51 per minute of build time. That is an excellent value, and earns another 97% score. Since both the cost-per-brick and build-time values are the same, I rate the overall value of the Monastery of Spinjitzu at 97%.
The Monastry of Spinjitzu comes in two main pieces that easily slide apart. To begin, the front half is made up of the main wall and gate on the exterior. Inside, the walls are decorated with murals portraying the history of Ninjago (stickers). Additionally, there is some brick-built training equipment to keep the ninjas busy.
The rear half of the Monastery is the more substantial part of the build. It features covered porches with various play features. On one side, you have a bonsai tree on display. Below it there is a swinging blade, presumably for training. However, the blade sits on a gear, and turning the gear causes the wall behind the bonsai to rotate. As a result, the Sword of Fire is revealed.
On the center landing, Master Wu can have his tea while sitting on the floor. But, there is a trap leading up to the landing. Turning a nob on the back of the building causes the steps to move forward. As a result, a blade swings out of the floor. The trap does work. However, it makes the steps a little flimsy. In addition, it also only functions properly on a relatively smooth surface.
Play features abound in this monastery.
The tower above the tea area is really just a facade, it has no back. I like my sets to look complete on all sides. In this case, there is only a very narrow ledge to store the Shuriken of Ice on one level, and no Minifigure space at all on the top floor. I would have accepted a higher price point for a more complete look.
The right hand side of the covered porch has the Scythe of Quakes and the Nunchaku of Lightning on display. However, would-be thieves need to be wary. Removing the weapons causes a golden chicken to catapult through the monastery wall. The result is a fun play feature.
The final build with the Monastery of Spinjitzu is not part of the monastery at all. Included are two “handheld battle platforms”. Both platforms end in a wheel with a Minifigure on top. Subsequent pushing of the platform causes the ninjas to spin around, simulating the art of Spinjitzu from the show.
Overall, the Monastery of Spinjitzu looks great. Firstly, you have extremely detailed and ornate facade. Secondly, there are a number of fun play features. Thirdly, I think the design stays pretty true to what was seen in the show. Conversely, the only complaints that I have are the incomplete rear of the building, and the flimsy stair trap. Considering that those are minor issues, I will rate the Monastery of Spinjitsu at 9/10 (90%) for build.
The Monastery of Spinjitzu comes with seven Minifigures, and one Skulkin warrior (a skeleton figurine). Effectively, there are eight Minifigures. The selection of characters is a little off though. While I have not watched the whole Ninjago series, I do know that the Monastery of Spinjitzu burns down early in season 1. At that point in time, Nya is not a ninja yet, Lloyd is but a young little brat, and the Green Ninja is only a myth. Perhaps I am being too picky though. I do like that you get all of the characters, but I would have preferred Nya before she was a Ninja in particular.
In terms of design, there isn’t much to complain about. All of the characters come with some form of head covering. All except for Wu and Wyplash (the Skulkin warrior) have double-sided faces as well. If we exclude Wyplash for a moment (he is a skeleton, after all), each of the Minifigures features front and back torso printing, as well as front leg printing. Based on character details alone, I would already rate these Minifigures at 88%. But, you also get loads of accessories…
There’s no shortage of weapons for these ninjas!
The Monastery of Spinjitzu contains 29 accessories of various kinds by my count. If you add those fun tassel pieces, it goes up to 33. Since the Monastery is a ninja training facility, it makes sense that most of those accessories are various different types of weapons. I won’t list them all, but I will say that I was happy to get all of the Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu in this set. In terms of non-weapon pieces, there are the aforementioned tassels, a tea pot, an apple, a banana, and a golden chicken. All of the stuff you get here easily brings the Minifigure design score up to 100%.
With eight Minifigures and 1070 pieces, the Monastery of Spinjitzu has a brick-to-fig ratio of 134:1. That is good, as well as a little bit better than average. I rate that at 81%. Averaging that with the design score gives the Monastery of Spinjitzu an overall Minifigure grade of 91%.
I really like the Monastery of Spinjitzu. From an adult collector’s opinion, it really looks great. There are some minor display issues inherent in it, namely that the back of the main building is not nice to display. However, from most angles, it is a beautiful and well designed set. I will probably modify it for my city, but that is more out of a need for space rather than disliking the actual set. My AFOL score for the Monastery of Spinjitzu is 4.5/5 (90%).
I remember my LEGO® dark ages were just beginning around the time that the original Ninjas theme was hitting shelves in the ’90s. I really wanted to collect those sets. The Monastery of Spinjitzu reminds me of that theme, as it would have fit into my stories of the time very well. Additionally, there are a lot of play features in this build, and it is designed for easy interior/play access. My KFOL score for this set is a full 5/5 (100%). Averaging the AFOL and KFOL scores gives the Monastery of Spinjitzu an overall entertainment grade of 95%.
OVERALL REVIEW SCORE FOR MONASTERY OF SPINJITZU: 93%
The Monastery of Spinjitzu is a great set. Firstly, even at full price, you are getting a great value in terms of the cost-per-brick, as well as the build time. Secondly, the build stays true to the source material, and looks great. Thirdly, you get some awesome Minifigures at a good brick:fig ratio. Finally, the set is good for display, and great for play. I highly recommend the Monatery of Spinjitzu.
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Until next time,
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