7 May 2020

LEGO® NINJAGO™ Review: 71710 Ninja Tuner Car

Back in January, a new wave of LEGO® NINJAGO™ sets was released including today's focus: 71710 Ninja Tuner Car.  The sets tie-in with Season 12 of the Ninjago television series where an old game called Prime Empire is unearthed, resulting in havoc.  No wonder the sets have a definite cyberpunk video game vibe.



Ninja Tuner Car has 419 elements, including four minifigures and is priced at £34.99 / $39.99 / 39.99€. This set caught our eye thanks to its retro colour scheme, like a ski jacket from the 1980s! And of course we were drawn to the new elements underneath that hyper-cool exterior.

Inside the Box



There are three numbered bags, a slim instruction book and a sticker sheet.



The sticker sheet has 11 stickers that are applied to the model and extra stickers that can be used wherever you chose within the boxed area at the bottom right.  I'm not always a fan of applying stickers but in this case, the stickers definitely add a lot to the look and feel of the final model so I did actually apply them.

New 2020 Ninjago Parts in 71710 Ninja Tuner Car

Minifigure Game Controller Accessory, Design ID 65080




There are two Game Controllers co-injected in Black with White (6285528|65080) in this set, but there are two other colours available in other sets: Black with Red (6285530) and Warm Gold/ Pearl Gold with Black (6287326). Notably, these are also in the pocket-money-priced Arcade Pod sets that form part of the Ninjago 2020 line.



The central bar of the Game Controller is 3.18mm in diameter with a slight ribbed texture. One end has a recessed stud, but the 3.18mm hole is deeper than usual. The other end, which has a black 3.18mm hole, lies flush with the game control portion of the element.



In terms of connections, there's enough length for a minifigure hand or any clip element to attach to the central bar, plus there is a hole at each end for a 3.18mm bar.

'Key-Tana' Sword with angular wide pommel and serrated blade, Design ID 65272



Sword, No. 16 (65272) comes co-injected in White with Transparent Medium Reddish Violet/ Trans-Dark Pink (6287580) in this set, but there are also two more colours available; White with Transparent Fluorescent Reddish Orange/ Trans-Neon Orange (6287577) and White with Transparent Fluorescent Green/ Trans-Neon Green (6287570).


The White handle has two areas with 3.18mm bar connection: as you can see, the central handle and the very end of the bar both provide minifigure hand connections but clearly any element that has a clip for 3.18mm connections will work.



One interesting thing to note is that the sword blade itself is actually moulded in the shape of a Technic axle which is a nice extra property that could be utilised in MOCs. The swords are known as the Key-Tanas, key-shaped swords that exist in the virtual world of Prime Empire in the series.

Sword weapon blade/ Propeller, Design 65184



LEGO Ninjago 2020 is available at Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, New Elementary earn from qualifying purchases.

Weapon, W/ Cross Hole, No. 1 (65184) also known as Propeller 1 Blade 14L with Axle Hole on BrickLink and Weapon Sword, Blade with Bar, Single Edge on Rebrickable, is another new element found exclusively in this year's Ninjago sets. There are two colours available; this set contains Transparent Fluorescent Green (6287586) while Transparent Fluorescent Reddish Orange (6287586) can be found in 71712 Empire Temple of Madness and 71713 Empire Dragon.



These are large elements with a length of 14 studs and connect via an axle hole at the end.

Minifig shoulder armor neckwear with katana scabbards, Design ID 65183




Mini Armour, W/ Dia. 3.2 Hole, No. 1 (65183) is also called Minifig Neckwear Armor Double Shoulder Pad with Scabbard for 2 Katanas on Rebrickable, and Minifigure, Armor Shoulder Pads with Scabbard for Two Katanas and Bar Hole on BrickLink. It is a new mould that comes in many of the Prime Empire sets released in 2020. There is a Black (6287555) and a White (6287545) version. Both colours appear in this set.



The armour fits over the neck of the minifigure and has two protective shoulder epaulettes with slots for two swords to fit onto the rear; much like the Mini Sword Holder (88290).



There is an extra connection at the back with a hole for a 3.18mm bar, this allows something called the Player Status element to be attached atop a 4L bar.

Prime Empire Gameplayer Status Label, Design ID 65191



The Player Status element (65191) is a new element in Prime Empire sets that comes in Transparent Fluorescent Green (6287600) and Fluorescent Reddish Orange (6287611) in this set. It is called Minifig Gameplayer Label on Rebrickable and Minifigure, Utensil Gameplayer Label on BrickLink.

The printing shows either the skull or ninja head with a status of health. My photo shows the perfect balance of the ninja head status even when placed upside down... oops.

The back holder attaches via the 3.18mm hole, which is recessed and not a through hole. A 3.18mm bar can be placed into either end of the back connector but not all the way through.

New Colours of Parts in 71710 Ninja Tuner Car



It is always nice to see common bricks in a new colour and 2x2 Round Brick in Transparent Medium Reddish Violet (6296852|39223) is a welcome addition. It also comes in two other Ninjago Prime Empire sets,  71708 Gamer's Market and 71712 Empire Temple of Madness.



Space Visor in Transparent Flourescent Reddish Orange/ Trans-Neon Orange (6287936|49480) is new to this theme as well. Although the Space Visor has appeared in a few transparent colours and Gold Ink/ Metallic Gold over the years, this is a new colour for 2020.



Wheel Rim Wide W.Cross 30/20 in Medium Azure (6289608|56145) appears for the first time, with two included in the set. I think this is the 12th colour change for these particular wheel rims; an impressive feat for a relatively mundane part. There are also two in Black (4299389|56145) included in the set.



Accessories, Sword, No. 1 in Transparent Fluorescent Green (6288402|37341) is new in this colour across many Prime Empire sets. This multipack of elements is also known as Weapon Pack Hooks, Knives, and Swords, 10 in Bag (Multipack) on BrickLink and has previously come in both Silver Metallic/ Flat Silver and Warm Gold/ Pearl Gold having first appeared in 2018 Ninjago sets.



Hexagonal Flag 5 x 6 in Transparent Medium Reddish Violet (6288248|17979) is a lovely recolour for this large element. Transparent Medium Reddish Violet is the fifth time a Transparent colour has been used for this element, and one is supplied in the set.

Elements of Interest


Shield in Black (6105955|75902) makes a welcome return in this set and also in another Ninjago set from January this year, 71712 Empire Temple of Madness.

This Black version of this rounded shield was last seen back in 2015 when it was held by Ghost Ninja Wooo who came in Ninja Army Building Set blister pack and 5003085 (a Toys-R-Us co-branded blister pack).

I personally love that the shield is not printed as this gives the element a wider use within other builds.

Minifigures in 71710 Ninja Tuner Car



There are four minifigures included in 71710: two 'Red Visors' and Scott and Digi Kai.


Scott is a new figure with Aqua/ Light Aqua hands and double-sided head with a bandana over mouth on one side (6286807). His printed torso (6286852) and legs (6287313) are also new but it should be noted that this same figure also appears, without the neck bracket, in 71708 Gamer's Market.


Scott uses a Minifigure Hoodie with Cap in Black with Reddish Brown (6286859|56053); a re-colour of the mould that we first saw in Red with White (6271131|56053) as worn by Jack from the Hidden Side theme.


Digi Kai is a completely new version of Kai with new face, torso and leg printing plus a new head wrap with the symbol 'K' printed in Medium Azure. Digi Kai appears in four of the Prime Empire sets including 71714 Kai Avatar - Arcade Pod (priced at $9.99, £8.99, 9.99€).



For completeness: the 'Red Visors' are both identical minifigures with double-sided heads and new torso and leg printing. They carry slightly different weaponry, but the most exciting part for me in the weaponry is the Lightsaber Hilt in Bright Red/ Red (6231857|64567). While it is more common now, appearing in over a dozen sets, it still looks like a bit exotic to me. And you even get a spare!

The finished Prime Empire Ninja Tuner Car

I took a photo of the final model before and after applying the stickers. I am not always a fan of stickers, especially if I want to use the element again in a different manner.



The stickers do add a lot to the final model's appearance, especially when the car is back in road-mode and those wheel rims (pink stickers - sob!) are visible in all their colourful glory. The stickers are not on any key elements in this set. The graphics have the super cool Ninjago-punk vibe.


Both the front and rear of the car uses 1x2x1 Double Wall Panel in Black (6248496|35391) to add detailing with a futuristic feel.

The other Game Controller in Black-White (6285528|65080) is used as a steering control inside the cockpit of the car but can easily be removed if required for play.


The main play feature is the ability of the car to turn from a racer car to a flying machine with a turn of the Key-Tana. The Key-Tana is stored in the little secure holder just waiting to be utilised. (Note that I even stuck the sticker on the 2x2 Round Brick newly recoloured in Transparent Medium Reddish Violet!)



The Key-Tana is inserted into the top of the White Axle Extender, and then turning the Key-Tana left or right moves the White 1x4 Technic Half Beam Lever which in turn simply pushes the two rotor connections into a spread-out wide position.


The second step of transforming into a flying machine requires that the wheels are manually pushed partially under the chassis, in a very Delorean-esque manner. The wheels are connected with the Dark Stone Grey/ Dark Bluish Gray 2x2 Brick with Vertical Snap Joint (4225975|48171) and the accompanying Black Joints (4213374|47455). The use of these robust joints means that the wheels have a limited range of movement that even the excited force of a young LEGO fan cannot override.

Spare parts


There are a few spares included: a couple of extra swords and the unused elements from the little bag of Transparent Fluorescent Green sword accessories.  In addition, the extra Ninjago sponsor stickers can be saved and used on other builds, should you wish.  These would have been great for those GARC builds that took over a few years ago (GARC = Galactic Asteroid Rally Circuit).

Conclusion

This is certainly an eye-catching set in terms of the colour scheme and the minifigures included. The price point seems a little more than I would want to pay but considering the four minifigures and potential discounts it is more attractive (e.g. at time of writing Amazon have 20% discount for UK and US stores. As an Amazon Associate, New Elementary earn from qualifying purchases).

In terms of new elements, there are enough here to justify buying the set to split out the new elements for further play but personally I am not a huge fan of the rotor blade mechanism.  I wasn't sure about the rear blades sticking out even in car but I definitely love the colour scheme.


Some of these new elements, such as the Game Controller handle, Player Status element, the little bag of Accessories in Transparent Fluorescent Green and the new Minifigure Armour also appear in the cheaper Ninjago Arcade Pod sets 71714, 71715 and 71716 if you are looking to source these.

Look out for further posts coming soon as we discuss the new 2020 Ninjago elements and take a look at some ways to build creatively with them.


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3 comments:

  1. The "?" sticker on the trans-pink 2x2 round brick is off-center, by quite a bit. Was that intentional?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. My 4 year old intentionally helped me apply it...I thought she did rather well all things considered.

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    2. I like it, it adds to the mystery ;)

      Delete