Since emerging from my LEGO® dark ages, Ninjago has steadily grown into one of my favorite themes. Admittedly, many of the sets cater to a younger generation of cartoon enthusiasts. However, the more-than-occasional gem also springs from the series. One that caught my eye in the early 2020 selection was Gamer’s Market (71708). It was not the builds per-se, but the Minifigures. Gamer’s Market is essentially a people pack like those seen in the City theme. Granted, called a people pack it is not. But the nine Minifigures are really the focus of the set.
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GAMER’S MARKET SUMMARY
- NAME: Gamer’s Market
- SET #: 71708
- THEME: Ninjago
- COST: $39.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 218
- MINIFIGURES: 9
- RELEASE DATE: January 2, 2020
GAMER’S MARKET QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 71% (Not a great value as a set, but good Minifigure value.)
- BUILD: 85% (The item market is a clever little build, but the rest are just okay.)
- MINIFIGURES: 100% (You get a lot of amazing characters.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 85% (Good for fans of Ninjago.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 85%
GAMER’S MARKET (71708) REVIEW
With a price of $39.99 in Canada and 218 bricks, Gamer’s Market has a cost-per-brick of $0.18. Comparatively, my current average cost-per-brick is $0.14. Therefore, this set is not the best value and I rate it at 67%. Incidentally, for the number of Minifigures that you get, the value is good. Compared to the people packs of the City theme, $0.18/brick is not bad. The last couple of people packs that I bought ran at $0.30/brick. Additionally, buying an individual Minifigure blind bag sets you back $4.99 these days. With Gamer’s Market, you pay $4.44 per character, which is a savings of 11%. So, as a set, you do not get a good value, but as a Minifigure pack, you do. However, Gamer’s Market is not officially a “people pack”, so for the purposes of this review I will consider it a set.
Gamer’s Market took me 43 minutes to assemble. At $39.99, each minute of build time breaks down to $0.93. That is satisfactory, but higher than my average of $0.83/minute. I rate the build-time at 74%. Averaging this score with the cost-per-brick grade gives an overall value rating of 71%. On a side note, sales of 20% are common for LEGO® sets. Even a modest deal like that brings the value score for this set up to 82%.
Gamer’s Market contains three small builds. There is an altar with a sword-in-the-stone set up, a weapons booth, and a small item market selling mostly hats. None of these are particularly amazing as stand-alones. However, the item market has a neat structure for such a simple assembly. I like the hat display, and the use of a ladder piece as a rack for further anchoring of merchandise. The attachment of the ladder to the base is also sturdy and is a build technique I had not considered before. Overall, there is not much substance to any one of these booths, and other than the item market, there are no interesting build techniques. However, for this price point and Minifigure count, I am not sure that you can expect much more. I rate this build 8.5/10 (85%).
The Minifigures really are the highlight of Gamer’s Market. There are several new designs and novel accessories. The most exciting Minifigure for me is Avatar Harumi. Her outfit looks exactly like the one worn by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. The resemblance is so uncanny that I even used it in a recent Kill Bill themed Minifigure Monday (click here). Additionally, I love Okino’s new hair piece, Scott’s outfit (with re-color of the Hidden Side hoodie), and the new video game controller pieces. There is also pink Zane that harkens back to season one of the Ninjago series. There is a lot to love in this selection.
In terms of design, all the characters come with all the standard Minifigure parts. Additionally, each one has front and back torso printing, while six also feature leg printing. All but one has a double-sided face. There are also 42 accessories (mostly in the form of weapons). Consequently, amazing designs and loads of accessories easily earn Gamer’s Market 100% for design.
Nine Minifigures in a kit containing 218 pieces yields a brick-to-fig ratio of 24-to-1. Simply put, that is the best ratio I have ever seen in a set. Comparatively, my current average ratio is 150:1. Again, Gamer’s Market earns a solid 100%.
As an adult collector and growing Ninjago fan, I like this set. The builds are not great as stand-alone kiosks, but they do give me ideas for future MOCs. This is especially true of the item market. The Minifigure selection is awesome, and I am keen on the new video game controller accessories. However, since I will not be keeping the kiosks built as such, I cannot award a perfect AFOL score. Even the amazing Minifigures might only appeal to fans of Ninjago. Therefore, I rate the AFOL score at 4/5 (80%).
Gamer’s Market will likely appeal to kids a lot. Particularly kids who are into Ninjago. The set comes with many great characters and accessories with loads of play value. I have not progressed far enough in watching Ninjago to really know anything about the builds in this kit. Therefore, I cannot comment on their accuracy with regards to the show. However, they have some play value to them. I do not see myself being crazy about these builds as a kid, but they would have featured in my games I am sure. I rate Gamer’s Market with a KFOL score of 4.5/5 (90%). Averaging the AFOL and KFOL scores gives an overall entertainment rating of 85%.
OVERALL SCORE: 85%
Gamer’s Market (71708) is a solid purchase, and I do not mind having paid full price for it. The value of the set seems poor on first glance. However, if you start to look at the kit more like a people pack than a build, the value is not that bad. Additionally, the set has the best brick-to-fig ratio of a non-people pack set that I have ever seen. The characters themselves are amazing too. Additionally, there are several new Minifigure parts and prints. While the set does cater to Ninjago fans more than anyone else, I like it. It has even produced one of my favorite Minifigures so far for 2020 (Avatar Harumi). I recommend Gamer’s Market. What do you think? Be sure to comment below or shout out on social media.
Until next time,
What do others think?
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