Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 at 9:13pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
It's time for another BZPower Set Review, and this time BZPower Reporter Xccj takes a look at the second motorcycle, 70730 Chain Cycle Ambush. Should you go speeding out to grab this model, or just let the pieces rest on the store shelves? Read on or watch the video to find out!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
On the front, you have the impressive Chain Cycle chasing down Zane on his glider. Meanwhile, Pyrrhus is going after the white Aeroblade, and Skreemers and chain bolas are flying through the air. Quite a lot going on. You get a quick preview of the figs on the front, and they're also named on the top of the box. The back shows off a few alternative scenes, Zane's multipurpose glider, a TV image of Chain Master Wrayth, and an advertisement for the game. Inside, you get three bags of parts and an instruction booklet. The set is $29.99 USD and comes with 298 pieces. I believe this particular set is a Walmart retail exclusive in the US, but it can also be picked up from Shop.LEGO.com and LEGO Brand Stores.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build is a bit interesting with the various angles that go into building this bike. There's a decent amount of SNOT (Studs Not On Top) designs in this, as well as some neat technic bits. Not overly complicated but fun nonetheless.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Oh, the pieces! The Chain Cycle already comes with a decent amount of them for the price, but there are a lot of rare parts included here. There are five types of blades that are either new designs or new colors; my favorite are the trans green and white elemental blades, which is a new color for the mold used in the 2013 Ninjago weapons. You also get the new ghost blade, the large dark blue and pale green blades, and a smaller blade and katana in pale green. Speaking of pale green (also called yellowish green or spring yellow green) it's a relatively uncommon color that's really showing up a lot in Ninjago this summer. In addition to the various blades, you get some spider legs and a round title with a ghost printed on it in this color. There's also a fair amount of trans neon green elements, including the saw blade, chain piece, round studs, and cheese slope. (I'm particularly excited to see the cheese slopes finally show up in this color.) Moving on, you also get a few nice dark blue slopes in the Chain Cycle, plus the new trans black shuriken / Aeroblade piece, which is the collectible in this wave of Ninjago sets.
You get three minifigures and two Skreemers in this set.
First up is Zane. He is in his elemental mode, it appears, with white arms and ice particles decorating his uniform. He has the special Chinese-like symbol on his chest, and his traditional ice symbol on his back, although it's hidden by the neck bracket he wears to connect to his glider. This is not the new standard outfit for Zane, but rather a repeat of the fig that comes in the Airjitzu Zane Flyer set; this is kind of disappointing because all the other Airjitzu Ninja figs are exclusive, and the standard black outfit for Zane thus only shows up in the more expensive sets. Still, it's a great depiction of his character, all the same.
Next is Chain Master Wrayth, a high ranking Ghost it seems. He still has trans green legs with printing, but he wears a new dark blue and purple face mask, and his weapon is a Chain Staff that uses the new ghost blade. He's certainly an intimidating character, and although he appears in a few other sets, he's still more customized than the other Ghost Warrior. That character is Pyrrhus, who has a neat purple straw hat, trans neon green face and legs, and a dark blue mouth cover. Pyrrhus seems to be one of the more generic ghosts, but he's still a nice design, and gives us an excuse to get another pale green katana.
You also get two minor characters in the Skreemers, although they're the same designs that appeared in the Blaster Bike and in other Ninjago sets. They have molded arms that can grip onto tool or, as it appears, ice cream cones. But the neat thing is that they can fit atop a minifig head, and thus "possess' the minifigure, like Zane. This reminds me of the Alien Clingers from Alien Conquest, and they made a cool addition to the Ghost army.
The first part of the set is the "landscape" bit, if you want to stretch the definition to call it that. It's the pedestal that holds the white Aeroblade. It uses some droid arms to hold the pale green spider legs to give it a swirling vortex look, which is cool but rather weak structurally. The Aeroblade is attached to a clip in the middle, and is within easy grasp for Zane to dive down and grab it. Although the Aeroblades aren't elementally powered, it's nice to see that they can be customized to match the colors of the ninja rather easily. (It also helps collectors who don't need to buy expensive sets to get exclusive weapon molds.)
The secondary vehicle in Zane's glider. It's a relatively small model, with two swivel plates to fold out the wings, which are decorated by some silver blades. It turns out it has two modes; the first allows Zane to ride on the top like a surf board and glide around. But it can also be flipped around and attached to the clip on Zane's back, transforming it into a winged jetpack for the ninja. A fairly neat and simple idea, although the blue flame bit tends to fall off easily.
But the main feature is the Chain Cycle. It's big, and the various shades of green really do pop out from the black and dark blue colors. The design has a few nice angled bits, which make for a realistic looking cycle, as far as the basic shape goes. The front end is made entirely out of technic connectors and uses a gear piece as a wheel, but surprisingly this works quite well. The bulk of the main body has some nice detailing on the inside that looks like it could be an engine, but then it's partially covered up by the blades, which adds a certain amount of pizazz to the overall look.
he top of the bike does have what looks like a beetle's head and the trans neon green chains for decoration. I'm not sure why the ghosts would associate with a beetle, especially since most of their other steeds are dragons, but that's what it looks like to me anyway. Atop the body is a basket to hold extra chain bolas, and a small platform for Wrayth to stand and "drive" the Chain Cycle. There are some "handlebars" there for him, but they're positioned in a way that makes it difficult for minifigures to grab them, so I guess just use your imagination.
An important part of the Chain Cycle's look are the various blades. The two big ones on the back are attached to some click hinges and swivel plates, so they can be repositioned with ease. Along the side of the body is where the fancy elemental swords are displayed. From an aesthetic point, their angles really make this bike stand out. However, from a practical point, they're only attached via clips are move quite easily, making it necessary to reposition them often when handling the set. Even worse is that they're located where I would naturally try to grab the set in the middle, which messes their positioning up and gets in the way of gripping the cycle. It can still be gripped in other places, but I felt like this was a bit of an issue.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
The Chain Cycle has a pretty good play feature built into it. The majority of the back of the bike builds up a lever that's attached to a rubber band. The end has two cheese slopes that are positioned to hold onto a chain bola, which is a short chain with two lime ball joint pieces attached to either end. Then you simply pull down the lever and release, and the chain bola goes flying. This works remarkably well, and can get some distance too, compared to similar functions.
You also have two stud launchers build into the body, which you can launch if you want to. The elemental swords do get in the way, but here their mobility works because you can slide them down and fire the studs.
Additionally, the Chain Cycle functions as a motorcycle pretty well. Although the two big wheels and gear piece don't have any gripping rubbers, they still rotate with ease, and the bike has decent clearance underneath and good balance. Even the spinning saw blades attached to the front gear don't really get in the way at all. In this regard, I'm very pleased with the Chain Cycle's design.
Ninjago has had a fair amount of motorcycles in the past; it's a fairly good vehicle to build at a lower price point. But I think the Chain Cycle might take the record as biggest motorcycle yet. Above it's compared to two other models: the Bite Cycle from 2012 (which was also $29.99) and the Warrior Bike from 2013 (of a similar size but was only $19.99). The Chain Cycle with its various blades just seems to take up more room than the others, and is still quite long and generally contains more pieces. It's not the only motorcycle this yeah, but it still is more striking compared to the Blaster Bike. It has more look, more color, and a cooler action feature. If I had to choose between the two, I would recommend the Chain Cycle easily. But if you do pick both of them up, you can have a drag race between bikes and see which one really is the fastest!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Excellent pieces, including lots of trans and pale greens, plus a variety of nice blades.
Zane's glider is a nice, dual purpose smaller model
Awesome color scheme on Chain Cycle
Details on the bike really stand out and looks cool
Nice chain bola launcher on back
What's not to like?
Figs aren't exactly exclusive at all. Zane isn't even in his new standard black outfit.
Landscape piece is a bit flimsy
Middle blades on bike get in the way and move too freely
No real handlebars for minifig to grip
I'm a pretty big fan of this set. As far as the smaller summer models go, I think this is the clear standout. (I would also say best Ghost vehicle, but it's the only wheeled ghost vehicle that's not a boat or dragon.) The color scheme is epic, and this also means you get a lot of blades in new colors. The figs are also a nice representation of the Ninjas and Ghosts, even if they're not exactly exclusive. If you're on a bit more of a budged, I would highly recommend this set to represent the summer 2015 Ninjago theme.