Flip, Drift and Spin into Ninjago Dragons Rising

Since the very beginning, Ninjago sets have involved some sort of play gimmick – be it character spinners wihin an arena, flyers or fist powered tornado spinners, and the latest wave, coinciding with the new story of Dragons Rising is no exception. With the least expensive boxed sets in the theme, and containing one each of Core ‘veteran’ ninja that feature regularly in the series, these sets have some new elements, new minifigures and interesting play potential. To say nothing of inconsistent fluorescence under UV light.

We have 3 such sets in this Dragon Power range: 71777 Kai’s Dragon Power Spinjitzu Flip; 71778 Nya’s Dragon Power Spinjitzu Drift; and 71779 Lloyd’s Dragon Power Spinjitzu Spin. Each set comes with a Ninja minifigure, a Droid like figure from the Imperium, Some Gates and a trap, holding a golden Dragon Elemental Orb. The orbs are perhaps the most interesting new elements included in these sets. We will come to these shortly.But first, here are the elements included in all of these sets:

Those balls are located within a frame, which holds them gently, whilst stil allowing them to roll freely. In the centre is a thin divide to go between the minifigure’s legs there are 3 evenly spaced studs on top which will be used to decorate each frame.

Between these three sets, we have 4 colours. There are a couple of others to be found across the new set range, but in these three sets, we have 3 in Bright Light Green, 3 in light azure 3 in red. Each of these sets contains a gold sphere. The elements appear to be dual moulded, with the golden spheres have ing a near transparent outer coating over a pearl gold interior. Under UV light, these golden balls had a very slight blue tinge – similar to the current ‘Transparent’ MABS plastic elements, while the blue and green spheres would glow quite convincingly. Unfortunately, the red elements seemed to act as a complete light sink. I dropped them all in a bowl, and then put them under a black light…

The Minifigures:

Each of these sets comes with a unique minifigure:

Our ninja’s feature the same masks and head prints seen elsewhere in this series, with a domino mask (unique for each character) on one side, and a serious facial expression on the other. The masks are in two pieces, one over the shoulders with the lower half of the facial wrap and a truncated helmet that lines up with it. Unlike the rest of the series, these helmets have some dynamic printing, with unique designs for each character.

The torsos each feature unique designs for each character: a more flowing pattern for Nya, Flames for Kai and Green Markings somewhere between the two for Lloyd. There is a dragon motif in the centre of their breastplates, with an orb between their horns. There is metallic printing to define this detail – gold for Lloyd, and silver for the others. The figures feature transparent arms – introduced in VIDIYO, and also seen in the Crystallised villains last year. – with the Light blue and bright green both fluorescing under UV light. On he reverse side, the first letter of their name is written in Ninjago Script.

Each figure also has a unique leg print.

Each character has a ‘ride’ – built up using 3 of the new Orbs in their elemental colour. These spheres are larger than the standard GBC ball or indeed the Bionicle Zamor spheres. The balls act as ‘wheels’ for the spinners (it feels silly calling them that, as only Lloyd’s is really designed to spin.)

Nya has a vehicle designed to be slid across the tabletop. The balls probably to the best job as ‘wheels’ in this version of the ‘spinner.’ On either side, there are spiral elements that feel like a bow wave being washed along.

Lloyd’s spinner is supported in the middle on an extra plate and note plate (inverted 2×2 ‘slider’ plate’ ) There are golden blades designed to help the Spinner clean up any robots and. Liberate the golden spheres.

Kai’s ‘spinner is designed to flip when you tap down firmly and quickly on any of the 3 plates, with inverted curved slopes underneath.

Each figure has there own weapon: Nya a trident, Lloyd a shrunken and Kai has some ‘flame bursts’

Each set comes with a small droid from the Imperium. I find these to be somewhat reminiscent of the small droid builds that were frequently found with Classic space sets, or even M-Tron and Blacktron sets in the early 90s.

Finally, there is an obstacle course for our spinners to negotiate, as well as ‘trap’ containing the golden spheres which we are trying to liberate: nya’s is in a ‘bowl’ of water, Lloyd’s on a pedestal and Kai’s on top of a fire. Interestingly, some of the transparent orange elements (the flame and cheese slopes) included in Kai’s set seem to fluoresce slightly under UV, unlike the other red elements included.

I have to admit, along with the interesting explorations under black light, I quite enjoyed just playing with these ‘spinners’ – spinning, flipping and drifting them towards their goals.

Let’s Check them out:

This video includes a UV light demo too.
This includes a UV demo, but no other challenges.

On the whole, I found these sets to be generally enjoyable, playrich sets, that are relatively inexpensive. The tasks were more challenging with the flipper and spinner sets, compared to the drifter.

They do contain exclusive minifigures, so that might trigger the ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’ mindset, and end up not being quite as inexpensive as hoped. That said, I can’t help but think these little droids are some slight nod to those seen in classic Space sets. Of days gone by.

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Play Well!

These sets were provided by the LEGO Group for Review Purposes: all opinions are my own!

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