Tag: 2011

The Top 5 Lego Ninjago Sets Of 2011

Ninjago 2011As the year draws to an end and we hear more about 2012 Lego Sets it is a good time to look back and see which Lego sets really stood out amongst the 450 or so sets released by Lego this year.

This retrospective is a work in progress and while this post addresses the Top 5 Ninjago sets of 2011, other articles will be forthcoming on the stand-out City, Star Wars, Kingdoms sets and those from other major Lego themes until eventually …
We will reveal the overall Top 5 Lego sets of 2011!

The Brick Life Selection Criteria

As The Brick Life is a site for parents it means we do things a little differently than many other Lego sites.

Parents want to encourage their kids to grow and learn while having fun with Lego. They also want to get the best value for money over time, so the focus of our decisions on what is “best” for our kids is geared towards those goals rather than what is “cool” or “collectable”.

The sets listed  in the Top 5 Lego Ninjago Setsfor 2011 reflect this site’s aim to highlight those Lego sets we think kids will love straight out of the box but that will also provide them with opportunities to continue enjoying the set/pieces/figures beyond the initial build.

So without any further ado…

The Top 5 Lego Ninjago Sets Of 2011

5. Lego Ninjago Spinjitzu Dojo (Set 2504)

Lego Ninjago Spinjitzu DojoThe Ninjago Spinjitzu Dojo was fairly maligned when first released due to the “open” nature of the playset.

By that I mean it is more like a facade or a backdrop rather than an a fully fleshed out building.

From a collectors point of view this set is a little hollow and won’t really make a big impact on the secondary market in years to come. What it does have going for it is “playability”.

The Dojo is alot of fun and in terms of long term interest it contains a number of cool pieces that kids can use to build their own customized Dojos or Ninjago buildings.

Pieces such as the printed Japanese style “Screens”, the large brown doors and the red and black building highlights-the color scheme is gorgeous.

The Dojo comes with the white “Ice” Ninjago Zane and the fairly rare Sensei Wu as well as a skeleton bad-guy. There are traps like dropping axes and spinning swords and the front stage area explodes when you press a button.

Essentially it is a great set for building up a collection and really just sets the “Ninjago” mood more than a vehicle or spinner set can.

The Spinjitzu Dojo retails for $49.99 and is available at discount on Amazon with free shipping.

4. Lego Ninjago Ice Dragon Attack (Set 2260)

Ninjago Ice Dragon Attack 2260One word…Dragons!

Kids love dragons –  a generalization I know but it ‘s true! Much like Dinosaurs, dragons universally appeal to kids and by incorporating the mythic winged animals into Ninjago sets, Lego has made it a much more interesting theme.

The Lego set Ice Dragon Attack was the first dragon to be released in the Ninjago theme and subsequent dragon releases have only strengthened the significance of this set.

The Ice Dragon is ridden by Zane, the Ice Ninjago and this set includes his DX version.

When the Ninjago Ninjas ride dragons they wear special uniforms and the figures are known as DX. It is a sign of experience and competency. It also looks very nice with golden dragon printing figure’s torso.

The dragon itself has a beautiful palette of white, light blue and orange. For kids that like to “fly” things around the house it is reasonably durable and all the folding hinges means it can pose in a range of different poses.

Overall this is a beautiful set and well worth the $19.99 price tag.

The Ice Dragon Attack Ninjago set is available at Amazon.

3. Lego Ninjago Ninja Training Outpost (Set 2516)

Ninjago Ninja Training OutpostNinja Training Outpost is a small set.

On size alone it can’t compete with the larger playsets or vehicles that impress with their sheer impressive bulk and variety of pieces.

However it has alot to offer and is a great set to pick up if kids are new to the theme, want something different to enhance their collection or are into the Ninjago weapons.

The small set comes in at only 45 pieces but comes with 1 spear, 2 daggers/knives, 1 bow and 1 katana.

Ninja Training Outpost also comes with the figure of Cole who is the Ninjago Ninja of Earth and who wears an impressive black uniform and a big scowl >:0(

The set is value for money and is a wonderful introduction to the theme. This is the kind of set I recommend for parents who want to see how their kids will respond to a theme if they are curious. It also can be added to a collection of generic Lego blocks and adds instant Ninjago action so kids can kick start their imagination.

The Lego Ninjago Ninja Training Outpost retails for $4.99 and is available at Amazon.

2. Earth Dragon Defence (Set 2509)

Earth Dragon Defence 2509Another dragon, this time the Earth Dragon ridden by Cole, the black Ninjago with his DX Dragon riding uniform.

I like this set because it stands out in the Ninjago theme for the green/brown colors and it’s rather boulder-like appearance.

While most other sets have a red/orange color palette this dragon is heavily influenced by the earth in brown and green.

The Earth Dragon has no wings so is more equipped to scramble along the ground  or climb up steep cliffs with Cole securely seated on the back.

It’s legs have a high degree of mobility so can be posed in different ways and the dragon can even lie flat on the ground.

The Earth Dragon would make a good set to accompany a child’s Ninjago collection and it fits well with one of the other flying dragons like the Ice Dragon listed above or the Fire Dragon below.

A very cool set for an RRP or $34.99 the Earth Dragon Defence is available at Amazon with free shipping.

1. Lego Ninjago Fire Temple (Set 2507)

Lego Ninjago Fire TempleI love this set – The temple, the dragon, the figures. All beautifully designed.

It is large, colorful and great fun for kids. As of the time of writing it is also the largest Ninjago set released so far at 1180 pieces.

I talk about the Fire Temple with other people and sometimes I forget how the colors just seem to sing in this set.

The oranges, reds, blues and greens with highlights in black and tan. And then the design of the architecture- the Japanese stlye screens, the round red circle at the top, the way it sits on the blue of the river, etc, etc. I could go on and on :0)

I love the look of a well-designed Lego set.

But the Fire Temple is so much more than just looks. The set comes with seven minifigures including Sensei Wu and Lord Garmadon, the two brothers who ended up fighting each other for control of the Elements. You also get ninjas Zane, Kai, Nya (a girl Ninja, yay!) and two bad guys.

Lego Ninjago Fire Temple DragonThen there is the dragon.

The Fire Dragon is Kai’s Fire Dragon and so he comes with his Dragon riding DX uniform. As with the other dragons in the Ninjago range the Fire Dragon is well articulated so he can be posed in many different positions.

This articulation makes the dragons seem more real and allows kids to “get to know” them more (so to speak) and make them seem as if they have personalities.

The way that the dragon integrates with the temple is also amazing. All these factors contribute to the set’s awesomeness and this is why we think it is the best Lego Ninjago set for 2011.

You can read more about the Fire Temple via our Lego Ninjago page or go and check out more reviews at Amazon where the Fire temple is available for a discount price with free shipping. RRP is $119.99.

So that is our list of the best Ninjago sets for 2011.
What were your favorites?

Gallery Of the Top 5 Lego Ninjago Sets For 2011

Lego Republic Frigate – Review (Set 7964)

Lego Republic Frigate 7964 BoxThe Lego Republic Frigate is a part of the Star Wars theme, first appearing in 2011.

The iconic ship features in the Star Wars Clone Wars animated TV series and is the fore-runner to the Tantive IV featured in the opening sequence of Star Wars A New Hope.

The Lego Republic Frigate is a large set that will satisfy fans of the series and also those interested in space vehicles in general.

Lego Republic Frigate

Lego Republic Frigate Details

Lego Set Number: 7964
Pieces: 1015
Minifigures: 5 minifigures: Yoda, Eeth Koth, Quinlan Vos, Clone Commander Wolffe and Wolfpack Clone Trooper
Price: US $119.99 / £102.99
Ages: 9-14
Released: 2011
Theme: Star Wars
Best Prices:
We recommend Amazon or Amazon UK who offer FREE Shipping on this heavy set.

Lego Republic Frigate – A Little Background

Republic FrigateThe Republic Frigate, otherwise known as the Consular-class cruiser (Charger c70 retrofit) was a space craft used by the Republic forces during the early part of the Clone Wars.

In other words it is a ship, modified from a larger ship that was used by the good guys in the Star Wars series :0).

Similar ships have been released by Lego; the Republic Cruiser (set 7665) which was an earlier ship in the Star Wars timeline and featured in Star Wars Episode 1 as well as the Tantive IV (set10198) a later version of the cruiser featured in Episode IV A New Hope.

All are beautiful ships and seem to capture the elegance of space travel more than other ships in the series (totally my opinion of course).

Lego Republic Frigate – A Closer Look

Lego Republic Frigate 7964 OpeningsWhen I first saw this set in early preliminary images, my first thought was, “Oh no! Not another gray Lego Star Wars set.”

You see I love Star Wars and my son loves Star Wars and we both love Star Wars Lego. However if you take a look at all the large playsets and vehicles in the Lego series, many of them are gray.

You have the Millenium Falcon, Republic Cruiser, the Star Destroyers, the Endor bunker, the Death Stars, etc-all gray!

I don’t have all of these sets (I wish!) but my son has enough gray pieces and plates in his collection to build a life size Death Star (Ok, slight exaggeration).

So when I saw yet another big gray Star Wars Lego set that I knew my son would love, I cringed a little at the thought of even more gray pieces. But then, over time, I began to love this set more and more. In short it grew on me, and now that I have seen the Lego Republic Frigate set (including the minifigures) in person I can’t remember not loving it.

The Ship

The build of the ship is quite straight forward; a technic structure supports the plates on the outer. There are two instruction manuals, both quite thick but no difficult parts. The six bags are numbered in the box which helps simplify the process and makes it a relatively quick and simple build-about 2 hours.

The final product is sturdy and reminded me of the AT-TE (another gray vehicle) from 2008. The Lego Republic Frigate measures over 19 (48cm) long, 11 (27cm) wide and 5 (12cm) tall.

Lego Republic Frigate Play Features

Playable features include:

  • A detachable escape pod
  • Opening cockpit
  • Rotating turbo-laser cannons
  • Proton torpedo launcher
  • Retractable undercarriage (4 legs make up the landing gear)
  • Opening hatches and detailed interior (Storage compartment, pilot seat and dashboard)

For those who actually play with their Lego sets (cough cough!) the ship comes with a sturdy handle (much like the Republic Cruiser) so you can pick it up and fly it around without touching the more sensitive areas of the ship and knocking plates off.

This makes it a great set for kids.

Lego Republic Frigate MinifiguresThe Minifigures

It was the minifigures that completely sold me on this set.

For people who collect the Star Wars minifigs, this set is going to be hard to pass up because only one of the five figures has been featured in other sets before, and even that one is a hard figure to track down.

The set features three Jedi; Yoda (the one figure not exclusive to the Republic Frigate), Eeth Koth and Qunilan Vos aa well as two “Wolf” Clone-Troopers; Clone Commander Wolffe and Wolfpack Clone Trooper.

The detailing on the figures is sublime and all except Yoda have back printing on their torsos. They are an appealing group of figures and I can already imagine the adventures they are going to have in the hands of my son. It is nice to have a set without Anakin Skywalker or Ahsoka Tano for a change.

The ship doesn’t come with any of the “bad” guys, so no battle droids but I guess Lego assumes most people who would buy this set already have enough of them. It also means this set can be used as a diplomatic ship, rather than a battle ship, which is probably the orignal purpose of the Frigate.

Lego Republic Frigate Review

This is an easy set o pass over, especially if you already have alot of gray in your collection.

However it is a fun set and one that kids can enjoy because of the figures and the handle on the top which allows them to get right in the action and fly the ship around without fear of bits falling off.

Once I cast aside my initial judgement and took a closer look at the set, I loved it.

Lego Republic Frigate 7964 Box

Lego Republic Frigate Ratings

Value For Money:  Not bad for a large set –  4/5
Play Experience Straight Out of the Box: Nice exclusive minifigures – 5/5
Variety of Pieces and Minifigures: Did I mention the Gray? 3/5
Overall Play Value for Kids:  Clone Wars fans and minifigure collectors will love it – 4/5

The Brick Life Rating: 4/5

Lego Review Ratings 4/5

Recommended Lego Set

Where To Purchase

We recommend purchasing the Lego Republic Frigate set from Amazon because of their free shipping and great customer service.

Lego Republic Frigate Gallery

Lego Republic Frigate Video