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.

OniMaskOfHatredPin

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

Advertisements

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?

DSC_0848web

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

DSC_0019web

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.)

DSC_0056web

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.

DSC_0062web

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.

DSC_0063web

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.

DSC_0064web

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.

DSC_0015web

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.

DSC_0025web

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.

DSC_0003web

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.

DSC_0008web

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.

DSC_0014web

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.

DSC_0024web

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).

DSC_0030web

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

My Top 10 LEGO® Photos of 2018

As many of you know, True North Bricks is also on Instagram (click here to check it out). I post many of my LEGO® photos there. Since 2018 is drawing to a close, I thought it would be fun to look back my best photos from the past year. But, how does one decide what their own best photos were? I certainly had a number of pictures that I was particularly proud of. But, then I thought why not let you guys pick them? So, here are my top 10 photos of 2018 as determined by the number of likes that they got from you guys on Instagram. Thanks for sharing this blogging journey with me this year!

10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom LEGO-fied

On July 5, I had a little fun with some dinosaurs, Minifigures, and bricks to recreate one of the posters from the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie. It achieved 92 likes this year.

ParkIsGoneLEGOWeb

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom LEGO-fied.

09. Don’t Even Breathe…

This shot was published on my birthday, June 23, as part of my review of the Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape set (click here to read it). I had a lot of fun photographing the figurines in that set, and this was probably my favorite photo from the shoot. It got 93 likes this year.

DSC_0990b

Don’t even breathe…

08. Chemical Storage Locker

This past fall, I shared my latest MOC project. It was a police station that I had been planning, building, tearing down, and re-building for years. Each week, I posted a bit about each of the floors in the high-rise. This shot was published on October 30 along with the description of the CSI Lab I created on the fifth floor (click here to read about it). You guys hit the “like” button 93 times for this one. While it got the same number of likes as the previous photo, it gathered almost 200 more impressions, so I put it in 8th place.

DSC_0529web

Chemical Storage Locker

07. Larry’s Date

The next photo on my countdown comes from February 19. Early in the year, I wrote a series of poems inspired by Larry the LEGO® Barista from the LEGO® Movie. I imagined a chapter out of his life, and wrote it in a series of rhymes over 8 weekly installments (click here to start reading the story). This was by far the most popular of the photos I took to go along with the poems, earning 99 likes.

DSC_0198web

Larry’s date

06. Albus Dumbledore

I have been slowly working my way through various photos, poems, and coloring pages starring the Minifigures from the Harry Potter series. The headmaster of Hogwarts has been one of the most popular so far, earning 101 likes. He was published on November 19, along with a Minifigure Monday poem inspired by the character (click here to read it).

Dumbledor2web

Albus Dumbledore

05. Christmas Lloyd

Halfway through the list comes Lloyd Garmadon… the Christmas ornament. This was one of Hallmark’s keepsake releases for 2018 (click here to read more about it). I buy one for my geek tree every year, and for the last two years I have been treated with Minifigure inspired additions. This one got 102 likes when I published it on December 11.

DSC_0983web

Christmas Lloyd

04. Hunting for Dinosaurs

My birthday was a good day for popular photos. This was another one from my Carnotaurus Gyrosphere Escape review. This was actually a surprise entry for me. I just snapped this shot without putting much thought or effort into it, but it seems to have resonated with a lot of people. It reached 104 likes.

DSC_1004logo

Hunting for Dinosaurs

03. Harley Quinn

Always a fan favorite, this picture of Harley was my reigning champion for weeks after it was published on September 13. It was taken while I was shooting for my Joker’s Notorious Lowrider review (click here to read it). Harley reached 107 likes.

HarleyQuinnWeb

Harley Quinn

02. Living with this Infamy

Another surprise for me was the popularity of this Ninjago inspired photo. It was taken for a poem that I published on December 9 (click here to read it). The work was inspired by Lloyd Garmadon from the LEGO® Ninjago Movie. I spent some time trying to recreate the mood of the poem in a photo, but I didn’t expect so many people to like it. This shot got the thumbs up 109 times.

Lloydweb

Living with this Infamy

01. Sybill Trelawney

The number one spot goes to another of my Harry Potter inspired works. This was the first one that I published, on November 5. It also went along with a Minifigure Monday poem (click here to read it). I had a lot of fun learning to create the look of a spell being cast using Photoshop. It was taken using a piece of scrapbook paper as the background. It achieved 120 likes.

TrelawneyWeb

Sybill Trelawney

Thanks again for all the support this year. True North Bricks has grown by leaps and bounds in 2018 because of all of you. I hope to share more of my journey with you all in 2019.

Warmest wishes for the new year,

-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.

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.

Lloydweb

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.

KabukiNyaPin

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!

SecretNinjaForcePin

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.

Review – Ninjago City Chase [70607]

I have actually had Ninjago City Chase for a really long time… since Christmas. It has been sitting un-built, sealed in its box, until now. I have been imagining a custom extension to my Ninjago City set (click here for the review), and this little guy will feature in it as part of the traditional lower level. But, that project is still a long ways off, so I was not in a rush to build Ninjago City Chase. However, I recently came to the conclusion that I should review this set before it is retired, especially since it can be found on sale quite often these days. Who knows, someone out there might want a review before picking it up on the sale rack?

DSC_0373web

Ninjago City Chase box art.

SET SUMMARY

NAME: Ninjago City Chase
SET #: 70607
THEME: The LEGO® Ninjago Movie
COST: $24.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 233
MINIFIGURES: 5
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2017

DSC_0374web

Ninjago City Chase box contents.

SUMMARY REVIEW: 86%

VALUE: 90% (At $0.11 per brick, it is a little cheaper than average.)
BUILD:
80% (Nice set, but I wish there was more to the vendor’s stand.)
MINIFIGURES: 98% (Really nice Minifigs, lots of accessories, excellent brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 75% (Good for building up a city, but lacks substance/playability.)

DSC_0381web

Front view of police tuc-tuc vehicle.

REVIEW

VALUE: 90%
Ninjago City Chase costs $24.99 in Canada. At that price, you are look at a cost of $0.11 per brick. That is just slightly below the current average of $0.12, calculated using the last catalog that I got in the mail. The overall average for all of the 2017 catalogs was $0.13, so Ninjago City Chase is actually a pretty decent value. I rate it at 4.5/5 (90%).

DSC_0382web

Side view of police tuc-tuc.

BUILD: 80%
Ninjago City Chase consists of three little builds. The first is a tuc-tuc for the police officer to drive. It is a cute little build, but nothing overly impressive. The tuc-tuc has a front driver’s seat, and a back seat for a passenger or cuffed-prisoner.

DSC_0385web

Vendor’s stand from Ninjago City Chase.

The second and third builds go together. You have two lamp posts connected by a string of lanterns, and fish/fruit stand. Both come with great signage in the Ninjago language to add to those seen in the Ninjago City set. There is not much depth to the stand, but it looks pretty good when examined head-on. There is an unattached barrel of apples that can be placed beside it. One thing that I really liked about this build was the design for the fish and cherry bins. They are slanted in order to hold the food, but they are also angled inwards to give the stand a tiny bit of dimension. I like this set, but it doesn’t thrill me like some others. I wish there was a little more to the vendor’s stand, and not just a facade. I give Ninjago City Chase 8/10 (80%) for build.

DSC_0386web

Angled food displays give the vendor’s stand a little depth.

MINIFIGURES: 98%
There are five Minifigures included in Ninjago City Chase: Lloyd, Nya, Officer Toque, Ham the vendor, and a shark army thug. Only Nya and Lloyd have double sided faces, but all of them have front and back printed torsos, and some kind of head covering. The only character without leg printing is Officer Toque. Based on my rating scale, I would give them 56/75 (75%) for design alone. But, you also get a number of nice accessories, including: a hammer, three fish, four cherries, three apples, a cell phone, a $100 bill, a walkie-talkie, and handcuffs. 15 accessories bring the score up to 71/75 (95%).

 

Ninjago City Chase has a total of 233 bricks in the kit. With five Minifigures, you are looking at a brick-to-fig ratio of 47:1. That is excellent, and earns a full 5/5 (100%). Averaging the ratio score and design scores gives this set an overall Minifigure rating of 98%.

 

ENTERTAINMENT: 75%
Ninjago City Chase took me 35 minutes to build. With a price tag of $24.99, each minute of build time set me back $0.71. That is not the best build time I have ever gotten, but it is not the worst either. I will rate this set at 3.5/5 for build time value.

DSC_0388web

Swingin’ by some signage.

In terms of enjoyment, you get a lot of fun characters, with a little corner of the city to interact with. I wouldn’t say this is the most fun LEGO® set that I could imagine getting as a child, but it has some good city-building value. I will be incorporating this into an upcoming custom project, but I will probably give it a little more substance. For that reason, I rate it at 4/5 (80%) for enjoyment. Averaging this score with the build time score gives an overall entertainment rating of 75%.

DSC_0390web

OVERALL: 86%

I like Ninjago City Chase for its potential in terms being added to my LEGO® city. You also get a very good value in terms of the cost per brick, and the build time. The set comes with an excellent brick-to-Minifigure ratio, and the characters are well designed. Even at full price, I would say that this set is worth the purchase, though I do wish Ham’s stand had a little behind-the-scenes substance. What are your thoughts on Ninjago City Chase? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Until next time,

-Tom

DSC_0383web

Hasta la vista, baby.