One of the things that I like about the addition of Lego sets to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lineup is the added
variety of characters that results. In particular, where Playmates tends to avoid regular human figures as they make
sull action figures, they are the easiest ones to translate to the Lego Mini-figures. So while we are still waiting
a Karai figure in the regular action figure line, Lego's new entry level set for the year features her and Leonardo
and the parts for a motorcycle chase through the streets. I'm just hoping that Karai's motorcycle will turn out better
than the Dragon Chopper from last year's sets.
Packaging - 7/10The boxes for the Lego TMNT sets this year follow the same design as last year. There is a single, large photo of the completed set on the front and a few photos showing the various features on the back along with a small comic strip. The design is not overly complex, but it shows off the figures and set well.
Sculpting/Design - 8/10The Karai Bike Escape set comes with two mini-figures (Karai and Leonardo), a motorcycle for Karai, a small street corner playset and a few random accessories. The motorcyle is mostly premade with a shell that snaps onto a premade frame and then the two wheels clip into place. The prefab cycle fits the mini-figures a whole lot better than the monsterous Dragon Chopper from last year. And the few additions that were made such as the new exhust pipes and gun on the front help to set it apart. The street corner mini-playset has a street sign, fire hydrant, newspaper box and manhole cover. It has a built in action feature where the newspaper box will "explode" when the street sign is pulled down. It is fairly simple. But given how small the playset is, any action feature is impressive. And at the same time, it still makes a great little playset either for display or as a play environment.
Paint/Color choice - 9/10There is nothign too surprising here. The bike is mostly black with a few red highlights.I could do without the one red brick to attach the exhaust pipes, but it doesn't stick out that much. The street environment is appropriately colored as well. The decals included with the street names do a nice job of adding some detail. The newspaper box itself could use a decal of its own though.
Features - 3/10There is one built in action feature to the set. When the street sign is pulled down to the side, the top of the newspaper box is thrown free. It is a simple feature, and it isn't the most realistic looking "explosion." The top portion of the body comes off, but the front "glass" is left standing. And any "explosion" that can't at least break the glass, isn't very impressive. It's fairly underwhelming, but for a set this small, I wasn't expecting much for features.
Accessories - 9/10While the Karai Bike Escape set is not packed with features, it does have a generous serving of accessories. The two largest ones are a street barricade to crash into and a container of mutagen to give you a reason for the chase to begin with. Karai has both a hairpiece and a motorcycle helmet with opening visor. And when she is not wearing the helmet, it can hang off the side of the bike. There is a newspaper to stock in the paperbox. (I really wish they had included more so that they could be sent flying when the box explodes. Leonardo has a skateboard and a string with studs on both ends to attach to other parts. And of course, there are swords for both Leonardo and Karai. The parts list in the manual only lists one sword for each of them, but my set included two for each. And from what I have heard, many sets have had extra swords. But technically, the set is only suppose to come with two.
Value - 7/10This set sells for $13. As Lego sets go, that is not a bad price. It isn't cheap. But you are getting two core characters (and this is the cheapest option so far for getting a Leonardo figure that isn't a keychain) plus a nice assortment of character appropriate accessories for less than the price of a regular action figure from most toy lines.
Happy Hunting:The TMNT Lego sets have been shipping since early this year. So at this point, you should have no trouble finding them at any store that sells Lego sets. Or if you prefer to stay home, the sets are available directly from Lego's web store too.