Minifigure Monday – On the Bridge

On the Bridge
(An original Minifigure inspired poem from True North Bricks)

Think about the life I know,
On the bridge, water below.
Sometimes a torrential flow.
Sometimes but a trickle slow.
Always past the waters go,
Moments swept away in tow.

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This poem was inspired by a random shot that took of my Ninjago City set.

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Coloring Page – Oni Mask of Hatred

To go along with this past week’s Ninjago set review, here is another coloring page from the Bricktober 2018 Ninjago Minifigure collection. For your pleasure this week, I have turned Harumi and the Oni Mask of Hatred into a coloring page. You can use the link below to download a free, printable PDF file (it will open in an new window). 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 weekly coloring pages. Happy coloring!

Click here to download your free Oni Mask of Hatred coloring page.

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This is a sample of the Oni Mask of Hatred coloring page, it is not print quality.

Review – Ninjago City Docks (70657)

Ninjago City is one of my all time favorite LEGO® sets (click here to read my review). It may even be at the top of the list. So, when I heard that an extension was being released, I was over the moon. I could hardly contain my excitement when Ninjago City Docks finally came out. However, just as I do with all big ticket sets, I waited for a double VIP points event before I picked one up. Then, there was the usual work induced delay in actually building it. But, now it has been built, and I am ready to share my thoughts on it. Does it live up to its predecessor?

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Ninjago City Docks box art.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Ninjago City Docks
SET #: 70657
THEME: Ninjago Movie
COST: $269.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 3553
MINIFIGURES: 13
OF INTEREST: 1 baby figure
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2018

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Ninjago City Docks

SUMMARY REVIEW: 90%

VALUE: 100% (Excellent value at $0.08 per brick.)
BUILD: 85% (Some more detail in places would be nice, but generally well designed.)
MINIFIGURES: 80% (Nice designs, loads of accessories, but low brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT:
95% (Not as awe-inspiring as Ninjago City, but fun all the same.)

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Ninjago City Docks

REVIEW

VALUE: 100%
Ninjago City Docks comes with 3553 pieces. It costs $269.99 in Canada. At that price, you are paying $0.08 per brick. That is an excellent value, and earns a full 5/5 (100%). Like most other sets in this price bracket, you are essentially buying LEGO® in bulk. The price may seem high overall, but in the end you get a lot of product for it.

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Ninjago City Docks

BUILD: 85%
There is a lot going on in Ninjago City Docks. Is it as much as Ninjago City? No, sadly not. But, it is a really great set all the same. There is not much that I don’t like about it. However, it doesn’t leave me with the same sense of awe as Ninjago City did. I think I would have liked this set more if it had been designed more compactly, and higher, like Ninjago City. I really liked the three layers of city built one on top of the other. Ninjago City Docks is really mostly just the ground, old level. There is a partial street, or second, level, but the third tier is missing entirely.

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Ninjago City and Ninjago City Docks joined.

Another point of contention that I have with Ninjago City Docks is the grocery store on the base level. The outside looks awesome with the fruit stand, and the rotisserie turkey (that actually turns). However, the inside of the shop is completely empty except for a cleaver. There is so much detail in all of the other shops and homes, why not here? It is actually a fairly large space to leave devoid of anything.

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Ninjago City and Ninjago City Docks joined.

Other than the aforementioned points, there isn’t anything that I don’t like about Ninjago City Docks. It clicks into place perfectly next to Ninjago City, and adds a grocery store, map store, sculptor’s shop, tea shop, arcade, small dojo, and an apartment. The arcade lines up with the comic book shop in Ninjago City, and has a soda vending machine outside. Shoving a printed money tile into the vending machine causes a can to roll out. I love that it actually works. There is also a lot of new signage, and one of the billboards comes with interchangeable ads.

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There is a functioning soda machine outside of the arcade on the street level of Ninjago City Docks.

There are several really interesting build techniques that have been employed in Ninjago City Docks. You get the aforementioned soda machine, but the arcade also features some gaming machines inside. The tea shop has some nice shelving and drawer builds, and you get those neat sliding doors seen in Ninjago City. What I like most about this set is the Asian inspired look of the buildings. The roofs in particular are built using some interesting techniques that I plan to employ again in my own future MOCs. There is also the fun added touch of many of the buildings having wall mounted air conditioning units.

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Ninjago City Docks grocery store front.

Overall, the build for this set is quite nice. It really bothers me that the grocery store interior was left empty, so it does lose a mark for that. I also wish the height of this set and been made to match its predecessor, but that is a lesser concern and I will only take off half a mark there. The buildings look really nice, and use some novel building techniques, especially where the roofs are concerned. I give Ninjago City Docks 8.5/10 (85%) as its build score.

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The Ninjago City Docks arcade.

MINIFIGURES: 80%
There are 13 characters included in Ninjago City Docks, and they are fairly well detailed. Each one comes with a hairpiece, hat, or helmet. They all feature front and back printed torsos. Nine of them have front printing on their legs, and six have a double sided face. One of them is sadly a stumpy-legged child… but one out of 13 is not terrible in that regard. Using my rating system for Minifigure design, I would give these characters 143 out of a total possible 195 marks (15 points per Minifigure). That earns a design score of 73%. However, there are SO MANY accessories included in this set from household items, to weapons, to printed tiles, and food. I stopped counting when I hit 60. The plethora of accessories brings the design score up to an easy 100%.

With 13 Minifigures and an overall brick count of 3553, you are looking at a brick-to-fig ratio of 273:1. That is passable in my opinion. Usually when you get a big set, the lower price per brick coincides with a lower brick-to-fig ratio as well. So, to get 13 Minifigures in a set this size is actually pretty good when compared with, say, the Creator Expert modulars. All the same, when you compare that ratio to a smaller piece count in a Super Heroes set, for example, the ratio is not that great. I rate Ninjago City Docks at 3/5 (60%) for its brick-to-fig ratio.

If you average the design and ratio scores for the characters included in Ninjago City Docks, you get a solid Minifigure grade of 80%. I very much like the look of these Minifigs, and the low brick-to-fig ratio was not unexpected.

ENTERTAINMENT: 95%
Ninjago City Docks took me exactly 10 hours to build (600 minutes). With a price tag of $269.99, each minute of build time set me back $0.45. My current average cost per minute of build time is $0.85, so this is WAY below that. Large sets tend to give you a good value in terms of build time, and Ninjago City Docks was no exception. It gets a full 5/5 for build time value.

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Ninjago City Docks sculptor’s shop.

Do I like this set? Yes, I do, and I would even go so far as to say that I love it. But, do I love it as much as Ninjago City? No, like I said earlier, the same sense of awe is just not there. I will leave this set built pretty much as is in my city. I think I will move the dock back a little though. I would prefer if it touched right up against the sidewalk in front of the grocery store, rather than having a channel of water in between. But, that is a personal preference, and the dock still looks nice as is. I will only give Ninjago City Docks 4.5/5 (90%) though, for those reasons.

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Ninjago City Docks dojo.

You get a great build time and a really fun set in Ninjago City Docks. Averaging the build time score with the enjoyment score yields and overall entertainment grade of 95%. Looking at this set from a play perspective, I think that kids would have a lot of fun with it too. It is a nice display piece, but I can imagine a much younger version of myself chomping at the bit to play with this and all its little features. Combine it with Ninjago City, and you are looking at even more fun.

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Lloyd prowls the nicely designed rooftops as the Green Ninja.

OVERALL: 90%

Even though it clocks in at $270 in Canada, Ninjago City Docks is a great value in terms of both bricks, build time, and play time. From an AFOL perspective, it is a nice display piece, and I had days of fun photographing it (with probably more days yet to come). As a set, it is not as inspiring as Ninjago City that came before it, and it also suffers from a low brick-to-fig ratio (though that is not uncommon in large sets). You do get 13 nicely design characters though. I do recommend this set, even at full price (though lately I have seen a number of sales for as much as 30% off).

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The fishing boat build included in Ninjago City Docks.

How do you feel about Ninjago City Docks? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Also, 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.

Until next time,

-Tom

Review – 2018 Hallmark Ninjago Ornament

It’s that time of year again. The Holiday Season is in full swing, and folks are digging out those boxes of ornaments and trimming their trees. Well, much like last year, there is a new Hallmark ornament that I have added to my geeked-out Christmas tree. Last year, they released a LEGO® Batman (click here to read my review). This year, we have gotten Lloyd from the LEGO® Ninjago movie.

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Box art for the 2018 Hallmark Ninjago ornament.

This is a nicely designed ornament. Lloyd is quite detailed, with a lot of printing on his torso and arms. Obviously, since this is an ornament, Lloyd is fixed in one position. He is a touch smaller than the Batman that we got last year. Lloyd also does not have any neat textures like Batman did. But, I don’t think that really takes away from the ornament, because it is nicely designed and painted.

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This year’s Lloyd Hallmark ornament alongside last year’s Batman.

Hallmark employees make a habit of opening the ornament boxes before you actually buy them. They always show you that the ornament is in good condition. Buying Lloyd was no exception. But, I do offer a word of caution. While my ornament was in good condition in the store, when the employee repackaged it, she unintentionally bent Lloyd’s sword. I was able to bend it back into shape, but I am sure that too much of that will cause it to break right off. So, be careful repackaging your ornament…

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How ornament Lloyd (left) compares to Minifigure Lloyd (right).

Hallmark ornaments tend to be a little on the pricey side. In Canada, you will usually pay about $20-$25 for one. That is why I only buy one of these every year. They are nice though, and this one is great for the LEGO® fans out there. This year, you can also get Joker from the LEGO® Batman Movie. My local Hallmark did not carry that one, I found out about it while perusing their website. I am glad that I was able to get Lloyd though.

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Lloyd in my Christmas tree.

What are your thoughts on the LEGO® Hallmark ornaments? Feel free to let me know in the comments below. As always, 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.

Until next time,

-Tom

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Another shot of Lloyd and Lloyd.

Minifigure Monday – Living With This Infamy

Living With This Infamy
(An original LEGO® inspired poem from True North Bricks)

In the street they stop and stare,
I pretend that I don’t care.
Whispers fly from ear to ear,
I pretend that I don’t hear.
Living with this infamy,
I cling to my dignity.
Walking by, my head held high,
But, inside I want to cry.

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This poem was inspired by Lloyd from the LEGO® Ninjago Movie.

Coloring Page – Kabuki Nya

For the last few weeks, I have been posting Harry Potter themed coloring pages. Rest assured Potter fans, I have more in store for you. However, this week, I thought I would mix it up a little. Since I have a Ninjago related review coming your way this week, I thought it was time for another Ninjago coloring page to go with it. One of the 2018 Bricktober Minifigure packs offered at Toys R Us featured four Ninjago Minifigures. These same characters were offered again at the LEGO® Store in conjunction with Brick Friday (which is when I got them, click here to read about that). My favorite Minifig from the set was the Kabuki Nya character. So, this week, she gets her own coloring page! You can use the link below to download a free PDF to print and color (it will open in a new window). 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 weekly coloring pages. Happy coloring!

Click here to download a free copy of the Kabuki Nya coloring page.

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This is a sample of the Kabuki Nya coloring page, it is not print quality.

Coloring Page – Secret Ninja Force

Truth be told, this week’s coloring page is not an original work. By browsing my previous Ninjago coloring pages, you will note that I have drawn all of these ninjas in these exact poses before. Even then, they were replicas of official LEGO® promotional images. But, I thought it would be fun to have all of the characters on one coloring page, so I used Photoshop to stick all of them together. You can click here to download your free PDF (it will open in a new window). Happy coloring!

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This is a sample of the Secret Ninja Force coloring page, it is not print quality. Use the link above to download a free, printable PDF.