70656: garmadon, Garmadon, GARMADON Set Review

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie has given us some pretty decent sets during its first wave released in August, in particular both the Destiny’s Bounty and NINJAGO City are amongst some of the best sets released this year. But the NINJAGO fun doesn’t stop there, a second wave of sets are due very soon, one of which has appeared early in UK Toys R Us stores. Set 70656: garmadon, Garmadon, GARMADON is based on Lord Garmadon’s first appearance in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, where he carries out his almost daily conquest of the island of NINJAGO, well at least he tries to, but always seems to get thwarted  by the Secret Ninja Force. During the opening of the film, Garmadon’s Shark Army emerge from the sea, with an towering Shark-shaped mech, ready to cause havoc with the denizens of NINJAGO. But how does this fishy new set shape up? Let’s reel in our latest LEGO NINJAGO Movie set review.

Product Description

Have lots of construction and brick building fun with the LEGO Ninjago Movie garmadon, Garmadon, GARMADON! Team up with Lloyd to rescue NINJAGO City citizens from Garmadon’s mighty Shark Mech! Protect Nomis and Nancy from the Mech’s snapping jaws. Stay clear of its huge feet and dodge the shooting cannons. Fend off Hammer Head’s attacks with Lloyd’s sword and get the citizens – and their delicious hot dogs – to safety!

When Ninjago City is attacked by the evil warlord Garmadon, only Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane, and Nya can defend the city. But wait. Garmadon is Lloyd’s long lost father – talk about an awkward family reunion. The teen ninja face a formidable enemy, but fate has called upon them to defend their home town! … Oh sorry, that wasn’t fate, that was just Lord Garmadon butt-dialing Lloyd. This will be epic!

  • Set Name: garmadon, Garmadon, GARMADON
  • Set Number: 70656
  • Pieces: 830
  • RRP: £79.99
  • Minifigures: Garmadon, Lloyd, Hammer Head, Frank, Nomis and Nancy
  • Measurements: over 25cm high, 38cm long and 26cm wide.
  • Availability: Limited – Toys R Us Exclusive

The Set

The set features two main components – Garmadon’s Shark Mech and a funky little Hot Dog cart, which is where the build begins. However this is no ordinary Hot Dog street vendor, this is NINJAGO City’s take of the famous fast food, which has some added noodles for good measure. This is a fun little build which makes great use of window frames to act as the carts grill frame. In fact classic elements are used a lot in this small build, with two car doors used in the carts base and the old small dumbell-style wheels used as the carts wheels. Unfortunately these wheels, although they look great, do make the cart a little top heavy, which is thanks to the that cool looking brick-built dog.

It’s nice to have an additional element to a set, like this Hot Noodle Dog cart, many of the other Ninja mechs are lacking a little something extra. Here it adds a nice addition to the set, which also harks back to the Shark Mech’s appearance in the movie, as well as adding a nice bit of colour. The carts signage does use stickers, but thankfully these are on nice flat surfaces so stick on easily enough. The bulk of the set is focused on Garmadon’s Shark Mech, this is one of the most unique looking sets released as part of The LEGO NINJAGO Movie line-up.

The Shark Mech build begins with the stomach of the beast, with much of the Shark Mech’s facial features being the first parts you build. As the combination of light grey and the awesome sand blue parts are added and that iconic sloped head sharks have takes shape, you’ll get soon appreciate the design that gone into this set. The bottom jaw of the shark is set on a hinge which connects to a long Technic beam and two gear wheels near the top of the legs. These can be turned to get the Shark Mech’s jaws chomping. This is a fun little play feature which is joined by two large rubber tipped projector missiles and posable legs.

Once the main base of the the shark is complete you start added much of the body bulk, which is achieved with separately built sections that each clip on to the main body of the Shark Mech. These all use a lot of sand blue elements, many of which are appearing in this colour for the first time. ‘Sand’ variants of colours are being used quite a lot lately and I’m not sure why, but I really like them. Sand Green is used a lot in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie and a number of other recent LEGO releases, hopefully these newly recoloured Sand Blue pieces will start appearing other sets.

Although the set does a pretty amazing job of recreating the sleek shape of a shark, it’s primary use is to terrorise and conquer. To pilot this toothy terror, there are two areas to where you place minifigures. Both are covered by removable sections, which are connected by single stud 1×2 plates. Both only allow the minifigures to put in them standing up. The back cockpit, which has a domed covering, can be closed with one of the Shark Goons inside. Due to Garmadon’s taller than the average minifigure size, he can’t be placed inside with the lid down. Saying that, how else could menace NINJAGO City without seeing Garmadon’s grinning mush.

The LEGO Designers have done an impressive job and creating a cool mech which looks actually like a shark. All the features you would associate with the swimming beast are present including that iconic dorsal fin, tail and the two pectoral fins, cleverly achieved with two sand blue Technic panels. It’s this great use of parts, such has those panels, which really impress the most. Not only thanks to the colours used but also how them are combined in surprisingly simples ways. The most complicated part of the build is the two mech legs. These use a lot of Technic pieces which work well with the robotic feel of the set. These have a little bit of movement to allow for some simple posing. Only bit I’m not a fan of is the two claw toes on the back of each foot. Although they are same as those on the front, the way they are connected means the don’t sit properly. A minor annoyance for an otherwise impressive set.

The Minifigures

The set includes six minifigures – Lloyd, Nancy and Nomis representing the good guys and Garmadon, Hammer Head and Shark Army goon Frank. The good guys are most definitely the best of the bunch. Lloyd appears in his Green Ninja guise and isn’t much different to his appearance in other sets. Nancy and Nomis are both exclusive to this set, Nomis is sporting the great little Hot Dog costume first seen in the LEGO Minifigures range. He has also have great set of facial expressions, which look even more comical through the hole of the costume. Nancy may not look much but she is wearing a tee with a nice little nod to an classic LEGO theme. Something which has occurred in other LEGO movie based sets. She also has two expressions although it’s a little difficult to see much difference between the two due to her retro mouth braces.

The bad guys are a little more muted compared to the guys above. Garmadon is very similar to his appearances in other sets, however in this form he is currently exclusive to this set. Which is a little surprising considering this is his most ‘pure’ form. His goons are a mixed bunch of guys, without their elaborate fishy headgear, they are all fairly similar in appearance, with ever so slight difference. I love Frank’s mean expression, with manly eye-patch, softened by little freckled cheeks. Hammer Head uses a new head elements, which is modelled on a Hammerhead Shark, along with a new shoulder element, which acts as his air tank. I especially like the little detail of the oxygen marker on the front of this.

The set includes a nice selection of accessories including the new Lloyd sword, with the new tassel element, recoloured fish pieces, used for much of the Shark Army weapons and the fairly new hot dog buns complete with sausages.

It’s genuinely impressive to see how many different variations of weapons you can get when the handle of them are all fish. The key to all evil corporations is branding and Garmadon has chosen to a theme and he’s sticking to it.

Overall

The set doesn’t take much building yet it’s still very enjoyable to put together. The use of parts and the way they have achieved the curved shape of a shark is fantastic. I also love the Sand Blue colouring and seeing so many elements appearing in this colour for the first time. The legs are a little fiddly to piece together and they do feel a little off balance at first but are actually fairly sturdy on the right surface. The price tag does feel a little high, especially when compared to some of the other sets in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie range and the fact it’s a Toys R Us exclusive will ensure the set won’t drop in price any time soon. Despite that I really love the finished set, the minifigures are great and there’s enough play function, without it feeling too gimmicky. Of the new sets being released ahead of Christmas, this is most definitely one of the best although not as impressive as the Destiny’s Bounty.

garmadon, Garmadon, GARMADON is available exclusively in Toys R Us stores and online from Toysrus.co.uk priced at £79.99. The set will also be available from shop.LEGO.com and LEGO Brands stores next month.

Author: Adam White

Howdy I’m Adam, The editor of BricksFanz.com – your go to source for the latest LEGO news, reviews and much, much more. Some of you may know me from other LEGO sites so you’ll know I have a good experience of the LEGO community and a deep, passionate commitment to all things LEGO. I specialize in seeking out the latest LEGO news and products, as well as being an expert on all thing LEGO gaming based. So welcome to BricksFanz – Fuelling Your LEGO Lifestyle.

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