Friday, July 31, 2015

Brick Bucket Review: 70743 Airjitzu Morro Flyer


Appearance - 4/5
Construction - 3/5
Pieces - 5/5
Playability - 5/5
Minifigs/accessories - 3/5
Value for money - 3/5

70743 Airjirzu Morro Flyer is one of the six Ninjago "Airjitzu" sets released in early summer 2015. It retails for $9.99 and contains 46 pieces, for 21.7 cents per piece.

Verdict: This thing looks pretty cool, but its main purpose is as a flying toy, and it does very well in that regard. There are also some excellent rare and/or useful pieces included. 

Editor's Note: Today A Plastic Infinity presents his first set review here on The Brick Bucket - in fact, as far as I know, this is his first official set review ever published online! API has really taken an in-depth look at this interesting set, and the result is definitely worth a read.  -Tate

While there have been amazing examples of FOLs making flying LEGO constructs, until recently there have never been official LEGO elements designed for non-projectile flight. However, with the release of yet another wave of Ninjago sets, we now have "Airjitsu" which, if not an original concept, is new to LEGO and presents some interesting parts to achieve flight. I picked one up nearly on impulse the other day due to said parts, and found it worthy of review.

First off, packaging.

Close-up shot of the starring minifig staring intensely out at potential buyers? Check. Lots of Photoshop? Check. Hyperactive kid on the back? Check.
It's taped shut and folds flat easily, so for those of you who take collecting boxes seriously, it shouldn't pose a problem. But enough about the box...
Opening the bag yields this nice selection of parts, mostly black and shades of green. The ones on the left were bagged in a smaller bag. 
Here are the loose parts (the large propeller and ripcord) along with their counterparts, the absolutely gorgeous trans-clear capsule dome (for which I've noticed some hype), less gorgeous capsule base, and specialized brick that makes the magic happen.

Displayed alongside these exciting, brand-new pieces is a selection of interesting parts.

First, there are recolored parts exclusive to this set (the Dark Green Wedge 6 x 4 Inverted Curved and Dark Green Slopes, Curved 2 x 2 Lip, No Studs.) The silvery printed tile, yellowish green swords, scimitar, and shurikens provide a sampler of this new Ninjago wave for those of us who probably won't buy a single set (like me). The Sand Green Minifig, Utensil Telescope was previously only to be found in the Collectible Minifigures Series 6 Lady Liberty. And trans-neon spiders are always welcome! What really pushed me over the edge to buy this set, however, was the inclusion of not one but two Sand Green Horns. Their only other appearance is in the USD $249.99 MetalBeard's Sea Cow as the horn of Queasy Kitty. If nothing else, this set offers a way cheaper alternative.
Excepting the minifig, which I'll get to in a minute, this is the sum total of the other parts included in the set. Nothing too exciting, useful parts all. 
Here's the completed minifig, Morro. I have no idea who he is; I do not watch the show and from what I've heard it is outpaced by the sets by several months at least, anyway. 

I almost wish the transparent legs hadn't been printed, as the design definitely eliminates a few cool uses. The torso is fairly detailed, with silver highlights on the dragon and symbol. I took an extra shot of the head to clarify that is trans neon green, not trans medium green. The hair/bandana combo blocks out a lot of the light it needs to show its true color...
After reveling in the new parts, and finally reaching the building stage, I found myself disliking the instruction booklet's front page. It seems discordant, but I didn't buy this set to frame and hang the instruction manual and I doubt you intend to, either. A minor problem, and a subjective one at that.
The instructions are standard fare; visually informative and neither too fast or slow. Occasionally some creepy green mist filled with grimacing ghost faces will seep over the page borders.

I won't spoil the building process because there's practically nothing to spoil. This is a small set, and hardly a complex one...
...but it still ends up looking pretty cool. Stylish, almost; reminiscent of a sword hilt or pistol grip. It's easy to forget that it has a function, too.
The flyer itself looks sleek and aerodynamic, and it's fairly sturdy. There were a couple surprises in store for me when building this. First, the capsule base and capsule dome must be combined first (with the minifig inside) and twisted until they click closed. While an effective method of keeping it all in one piece, this will make innovating with the propeller difficult, though not impossible. Second, I had expected the capsule base  to have studs in the depression for the minifig's feet (see the inset in the photo). This would have steadied the minifig, as it is prone to wiggle around quite a bit inside the capsule.
The full assembly, ripcord inserted and ready to fly. It is easy to handle and more powerful-much more powerful-than I had expected. Unless your ceiling is at least forty feet high, you'll have to go to outside to try this out. The risk of losing this to a tree or roof, however, presents a dilemma...
The completed weapons, per the instructions. The ones that are actually more than single pieces look rather daft, but they aren't the focus of the set, anyway.
The best extra parts I've seen in a set this size! Quality triumphs over quantity as we get one more each of the hard-to-find parts I mentioned previously, another claw, bandana, and stud in lovely Yellowish Green.

In conclusion, I'd like to commend this set on two conditions: as a parts pack, or as a flying toy. 

When writing the beginning of the review, I was tempted to to scoff at the the box's trilingual claim to be a "building toy", because quite frankly, that's not the main purpose of this set. The launcher looks cool for what it is, but function has most certainly been held as a precedent over form. Don't get it if you like to display sets on a shelf, because it isn't really a set in the same way that the Death Star or Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! is a set. Perhaps my expectations for a $10 set are a little high, but there have been smaller sets, like the Mixels, that outclass it in terms of design.

Design: 6/10 (This set isn't about the design, but it still manages to look pretty classy)
Price: 6/10 (at nearly 20 cents per part, the large size of certain parts is the only explanation I can offer. There are the hard-to-find parts to consider, too, but it certainly isn't the same as getting a $20 set with some 250 parts)
Playability: 9.5/10 (The flyer is a one-trick horse, but a very good one. A 10/10 would have required improved parts to stop minifigs from wiggling)
Overall: 7/10 (Great parts, cool function, but it doesn't seem like LEGO)

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