21 April 2019

LEGO® NINJAGO turntables

Posted by Admin
Sven Franic examines the unusual and interesting new turntable pieces that come in new LEGO® Ninjago sets like 70670 Monastery of Spinjitzu.

We don't often get younger age group LEGO playsets to pick apart here at New Elementary, which makes it easy to overlook some cool new parts. Ninjago model designers have really stepped up their game in interactive play functions, and I want to see if we can bastardize some of the novelties that come in LEGO Ninjago 70670 Monastery of Spinjitzu.

One of the recent features of several Ninjago sets are the hand-held minifigure turntables. Presumably to promote interactive and social play, the resourceful designers came up with a brick-built contraption allowing players to rotate a minifigure character and fight an opponent by mimicking some impressive ninja moves.

And if you think Ninjago is hogging all the fun bits, or believe there are more peaceful ways to negotiate conflicts, the turntable can easily be adapted to express a different kind of dance.

The turntable “ratchets” are completely brick-built from mostly ubiquitous elements, apart from the two pieces at the tip consisting of the turntable platform in Black called Turntable 2X2X1, W/ Function (Element ID 6252373 | Design ID 40145), and Turntable Holder, W/ Cross Axlein Dark Stone Grey [TLG] / Dark Bluish Gray [BL] (6252372|40144).

The turntable platform is an intriguing element which combines a pulley or small wheel which accepts a 14mm tyre (Design ID 3139), with a 2x2 round plate on top. The underside has what looks like a bar holder, except it is not, at least I don’t think it is. Usually when LEGO element designers don’t want you to connect things a certain way, they intentionally use radiuses which don’t work with common connection types such as pins, bars or studs to avoid confusion, but also to avoid stressing the elements and improper use, potentially causing little Timmy to cry and ring customer service. This element, however, can fit a bar snugly into the hole, but it seems as though this is unintentional since forcing a bar too deep can make it difficult to remove.

Its counterpart, named Turntable Holder, might be even more interesting. I mentioned those “out of system” radiuses which intentionally prevent you from connecting elements a certain way. Well, this turntable holder uses a flexible clip connection, further blurring the lines between legal and illegal connections. In the official set design world, this probably doesn’t mean much, but for AFOLs who do not mind using unconventional connections, this opens great opportunities for clipping to a wide range of LEGO elements which normally wouldn’t have this functionality. Element stress or exceeding the limits of “elastic deformation”, to put it in technical terms (google it), is up to you, but I managed to get away with jamming all sorts of random stuff in those clips.

The most interesting thing I found was the Pulley Wheel (Design ID 3464) because it is a perfect fit and instantly translates to studs. It seems this compatibility would be useful for building things such as mechs which require a lot of technic elements for stability, but rely on system bricks to form the visual design.

I built a robot to demonstrate the flexibility of the clip.

He was able to grab onto almost anything, including objects outside his universe such as cables, pencils, even some Modulex I found lying around the desk. Keep in mind that this is obviously not the intended purpose of the piece but, just like kids, if we can we probably will.

To all purists worried about contaminating the sanctity of the LEGO System, remember that in themes like Mindstorms, interaction with real-life objects is often an unavoidable necessity. Children seldom make rules about it anyway, and in terms of playability this can add a new dimension to interactive functionality.

LEGO Ninjago 70670 Monastery of Spinjitzu comes with two of each of the turntable elements (6252372|40144 & 6252373|40145), and they can also be found in:

  • 30534 Ninja Workout
70667 Kai's Blade Cycle & Zane's Snowmobile

  • 70680 Monastery Training 

Other new moulds in the Monastery of Spinjitzu include an updated skeleton head (Element ID 6250944|Design ID 43938) replacing the first specialized skull for Ninjago from 2011. The figure also uses a new mould for the shoulder armour (6250480|41637) in Black.

The set also brings us some new re-colours.

  • “Splat” Gear Wheel 4X4, Z10 in Dark Stone Grey [TLG] / Dark Bluish Gray [BL] (6252371|35443)
  • 4x8 Plate in Medium Nougat [TLG]/ Medium Dark Flesh [BL] (6218145|2450)
  • “Horns” known as Shaft Crown For Helmet in Earth Green [TLG] / Dark Green [BL] (6254044|11437)

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Products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not the LEGO Group. All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.

1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't take too long before designers themselves use that tech officially, probably with extra prodding to retool the part a teensy bit to fit the system at most. The pulley wheel connection is a cracking start.