Sometimes you find a set that just says loud and clear YES! to you. And if you look at the price tag, the YES! gets even a little bit louder. The Ninjago City Chase is one of these sets. It proves the point that a good, if not excellent, set doesn’t needs to cost 70+ Euros/Dollars/Pounds/Kilos. About 20 seem totally sufficient already!
Since I haven’t watched the Ninjago Movie (and I don’t plan to), I can only guess the content of the scene depicted in the set, having something to do with a market place stall being robbed and Lloyd and Nya trying to catch the robber. It is certainly not the most complex of all possible sub-plots, but as long it is the inspiration for sets as beautiful as this one, I don’t mind at all.
The set consists of said market stall selling fish and fruits (maybe not that an odd combination in Ninjago City, who knows), a police Tuc Tuc (one of the least imposing Lego police vehicles in the last 20+ years), two simply simply beautiful looking lamp posts connected to each other with hanging lanterns and five Minifigures.
All builds are quite whimsical and well-designed, with some quite interesting techniques for both structural stability and interesting looks. The market stall is a fun little build, that does exactly what its made for, while also playing with some east-asian style elements. Really nice. The police Tuc Tuc is a weird little thing. It definitely has some character. Maybe the character of the village fool, but at least its not bland. The lamp posts however are really what makes the set shine (in a kinda of literal sense^^). They add so much and atmosphere and character. Is the market stall a nice little build when placed somewhere in your Lego city, adding the lamp posts transform the whole thing into a proper Asian market – just brilliant!
The Minifigure-selection is also very satisfying. You get Lloyd, the movie’s main character (I think), who is wearing a nicely printed green hoodie, Nya in a cool rocker outfit, with leather jacket and ripped jeans and a quite detailled hair piece with silver hairband, a grim police officer (I’m sure he would prefer riding a mighty motorcycle), an off-the-shelf shark army thug (fair enough) and a crying market stall owner. Sadly crying is the only expression he has, so I will replace that face with something more cheerful.
Accessory-wise you get a lot of fruits and fish (obviously), Lloyd’s can of lemonade, Nya’s cellphone, a set of handcuffs, a 100 [enter currency here]-bill and a Thor’s hammer, because – fish!
If you are like me and buy Ninjago sets because of their designs and don’t really follow the storyline(s) you will appreciate that all of the characters can easily be used in a regular city context as well. Even the thug doesn’t wears any badge or emblem that identifies him as shark army member and therefore can double easily as random sailor, harbour worker, or even parachutist. After a swap of faces maybe.
The only let down of this set is the amount of stickers. There are at least ten in the set. Fortunately they are applied rather nicely. Most of them go – surprise, surprise! – on the lamp posts. Who would have guessed.
My verdict on this set is simple and clear: get it, before somebody else does it! It comes at an absolute no-brainer price-point, looks beautiful and creates an excellent Asian-market atmosphere – and has a very appealing Minifig-selection. You can’t really go wrong with this one.
Beautiful and whimsical designed street scene.
Excellent value for money.
Lots of interesting bits and pieces.
Very healthy number Minifigures,
Not (only) a vehicle-set!
Only a crying face for the market vendor! Buhuhuhuuu!