LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review - Part Two

Hello everyone,

Last year I reviewed the entire LEGO Nickelodeon TV series line, which you can read here.

In this second, final part I am going to review the three live action movie sets, as well as two alternate building options for the TV series sets.

Let's start with the alternate builds. There are two sets from the TV line that had alternate instructions posted online after their release, which allowed you to build them into different things. The Kraang Lab Escape set (item number 79100) can be built into a water vehicle, which we'll look at first.

The contents of the box:

What I had left over once I had completed the alternate model:

The vehicle, back and front:

It's fun to have a different vehicle for Michelangelo to ride around on, but I'm not sure it would be worth buying an additional set just for this purpose, as you are left with a lot of extra pieces, which seems a little wasteful.

Obviously this isn't the primary set from this box, so I can't rate it comparatively to other sets, but for what it is, I'll give it three out of five.

Next up is Shredder's Dragon Bike (79101), which can be built into another kind of vehicle for Shredder.

The contents of the box:

The pieces I was left with after construction:

The result of the alternate build:

Like with the Michelangelo set, this one leaves a lot of left over pieces, and even two minifigures. It's definitely not worth the extra investment for the sake of building this as an additional vehicle, but it is a fun alternative nonetheless. Again, I'd give this three out of five.

Now we shall move onto the final three products in the LEGO TMNT range, all depicting the 2014 TMNT movie. The three sets are: Turtle Lair Invasion (79117), Turtle Van Takedown (79115) and Big Rig Snow Getaway (79116).

Let's start with the Turtle Lair Invasion set. The set contains 888 pieces, including six minifigures.

The back and front of the box:

The contents of the box:

After bag one, this is what I had:

Progress after bag two:

Progress after bag three:

This is what I had after bag four:

After bag five this is what I had:

Finally, the completed set after bag six:

In terms of design, this is a pretty neat set. There are a lot of little hidden things and things that move. I am not a fan of stickers on LEGO sets though, and this one has more than I care to count, which I found irritating.

Let's take a look at the minifigures:

My opinion on the look of the TMNT themselves in this set will be pretty much the same for the other two sets in this line, too, and that is that they are pretty ugly. I know that is a very blunt assessment of them, but unfortunately being based off of the movie, there really wasn't any other way they could have looked. Shredder, Splinter and the Foot Soldiers are all fine, and in fact Shredder looks better as a minifigure than he did in the film, but the TMNT themselves are not great. To give them part credit, I like that the shells have a stud for attaching accessories, which the TV line lacks, and Donatello even has clip on goggles, which is neat. It should be noted that this is the only set of the three movie sets to contain Donatello, Splinter and Shredder.

Despite having six minifigures, and being a pretty cool looking lair, I would give this set four out of five. It loses the fifth point for simply being a little dull, and the fact the turtles are not the best looking (which ultimately is more to do with the movie, and not LEGO).

Now we move onto the Big Rig Snow Getaway set. This set contains 741 pieces, including six minifigures.

The contents of the box:

Where I was at after bag one:

Progress after bag two:

What I had after bag three:

And finally the finished product after bag four:

As with the lair, this is a cool set to look at, and I like that there are lots of moving parts, but it is again a little dull looking.

Let's take a look at the minifigures:

My opinion of the actual look of the turtles still stands in this set. Leonardo and Raphael are both in one other set each. You also get Karai and April O'Neil for the only time in the movie line, both of whom have two expressions, which is nice (for some reason my picture of April's second expression went astray and I can't re-edit one right now. Apologies for that).

It's fun to have one of the big scenes from the movie in LEGO form, and as with the lair, a good job was done of it, but as I said above, it could be a little more interesting and colourful. As with the lair, I would give it four out of five.

The final set in the range is the Turtle Van Takedown. This set contains 368 pieces, including four minifigures.

The front and back of the box:

The contents of the box:

Progress after bag one:

Where I was at after bag two:

The finished product after bag three:

I like the van in this set, I think that it looks pretty good. The one thing I don't understand is what the table that Michelangelo is strapped to is supposed to be for. The van doesn't appear until the end of the movie, when the TMNT accidentally blow up Vern's new car. Having Vern in this set at least covers that part. The rig piece that is on the moving barrier has a switch to make it fall over, but it's really very delicate, and falls over even without pressing the "detonator".

Let's take a look at the minifigures:

Once again we get Raphael, and for the first and only time in the movie line we get Michelangelo and Vern.

Of the three movie sets, I think this is the best one. The van has some colour to it, which I think the others lack. I'd give this set four and a half out of five, making this my highest rating of the three movie sets.

Overall, I like the range, and when we include the TV series line, I think LEGO did an exceptional job. It's sad that the license for the TMNT ended, as I would have really liked to have seen what direction they were going to take the sets next. With that said, Mega Bloks now hold the license for TMNT construction toys, and my reviews of those should be coming up here on the blog in the next couple of weeks.

Have a great weekend everyone,