If you were to rewind 25 years you would most likely find me searching the street for a loose manhole cover so I could join up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to fight off the evil Shredder. Sadly it was never to be and I lived an ‘ooze’ free childhood and instead settled for a Donatello action figure and a comfy place in front of the TV.
Today as I look upon the new movie version of the LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I find myself caught in a strange cocktail of emotions as a flood of nostalgia and a rush of kainotophobia battle it out for a suggestion of how I feel about the new movie Turtle design. I have to be honest I grew up with the Ninja Turtles and despite the numerous reboots over the years they have remained recognisable, this time they’re different, a bit too different. These Turtles are ready for a fight!
They’re the world’s most fearsome fighting team, They’re heroes in a half-shell and they’re green, When the evil Shredder attacks, These Turtle boys don’t cut him no slack!
Anyway… we were lucky enough to receive the LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lair Invasion set to review, and despite my initial hostility to the new movie character design it didn’t take me long to warm to the LEGO Minifigure versions. After all everything is better in bricks!
I didn’t even have to open the Ninja Turtles Lair Invasion box for the excitement levels to reach fever pitch in our house, shrieks of joy could be heard for miles as we poured out the bags of LEGO from the box. This was going to be an epic build and luckily with the help of my four year old it would slow the building down to snail pace so we could savour the pleasure.
The LEGO Ninja Turtles Lair Invasion is the premier set of the new movie range of the LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and boasts a whopping 888 pieces, 6 minifigures, multiple interactive functions and probably most importantly, two LEGO pizzas. This set is impressive!
The Turtle Lair is under attack by Shredder and his Foot Soldiers. Splinter, Donatello and Leonardo must split up to defend their home. Use the bank of screens in the surveillance room to keep an eye on Shredder’s maneuvers. Grab the weapons and defend the manhole cover entrance to the Lair. Climb the ladder and use the cool trap function to drop barrels on the bad guys.
My first thoughts of the Turtles Lair is that this set has been built for playing, although it looks impressive as a stand alone set the real fun is to be had with the interactive features that bring the good vs bad battle alive.
The Lair Invasion set has a recommended building age of 7 – 14 and with two thick instruction books this is quite an intensive build. My son is only 4 and although he could never build this by himself he did play a big part in helping put it together, although it did take 5 long days and 12 snack breaks to complete! The downside to such a big set is that it takes time to build which is great for most of us but when the box teases you with all the fun features I imagine as a small child all you want to do is play with it!
Don’t let the evil invaders explode the wall to the fan room, and if the Foot Soldiers discover the hidden door, elevate the slide behind it to drop them in the prison! Shut the cage door to trap intruders and make those villains pay for trespassing on Turtle property!
The LEGO Ninja Turtles Lair Invasion set consists of three main structures that link together to create the Turtles lair. The biggest section of the lair stands three stories tall and has the fun addition of a helter skelter style slide that wraps around the structure from top to bottom, a fantastic way to get to the control room quickly when you are under attack! Out of all the features this was my son’s favourite part and he spent ages sliding all sorts down it. The best was the cozy slide ride between Shredder and Splinter that apparently reminded my son of us when we go down slides?!
The centre piece of the lair stands two stories tall which is made up of the fan room on the ground floor and a vault door that protects the lair entrance on the top. The fan room features a cool exploding wall that acts as an entrance point to the boisterous Shredder and his balaclava-ed Foot Soldiers. The smallest section of the lair has a sliding cage door that protects the weapon storage and could also act as a great space to trap Shredder and his clan in.
As I write this review I realise just how many parts on this set are interactive and enhance the overall playability, which to name a few include a rotating training platform, the barrel launcher, hidden weapon sliding drawer and hidden door. All of these well thought out features allow the seige to play out across all elements of the lair to prolong the fight.
This set is currently priced at £79.99 which means it is probably better suited as a birthday or Christmas present than as an impulsive purchase. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are definitely enjoying a new lease of life as the new film realeases next month in the UK and movie merchandise is starting to pop up everywhere. I think it is safe to say that the Turtles will be featuring on a lot of Christmas lists this year and if you want to buy something special then this set offers fantastic value for money in terms of building and playability.