Release Date: January 2016
No. of pieces: 450
Build Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes approx.
Ninja alert! Tiger Widow Island is under attack!
Mighty Dogshank is approaching carrying her huge anchor weapon. Fight back with Nya’s katana and drop coconuts on Dogshank from the tower and Sensei Wu’s hot air balloon. Watch out for Sqiffy’s pirate flyer and make the palm tree fall to knock him off the ladder. Hide out in the cave—and beware of the giant venomous spider roaming the island! Defeat the pirate invaders and free trapped Lloyd from the special Djinn Blade!
If you buy just one LEGO Ninjago set this year, then Tiger Widow Island  is the one we recommend! Land, sea and air all referenced within the set, and there’s no shortage of features and minifigures.
There are some lovely little nods to last year’s Temple Of Airjitsu set, namely the temple that sits on top of the cave, complete with rice paper-effect door, and the familiar red and black brickwork. Working our way down from the top of the temple, there’s beautiful detailing with the pillars and slanted accents that give off the oriental flavour, and there’s a cool coconut bomb feature, which is activated when you remove the grey mace. Two black swords sweep out and give a grand feel to the frontispiece, and the flames that sit behind add some warmth (it would be so good if these could light up!). To the rear of the temple, there’s a mission room – complete with a circular map, a fight instruction chart, a lantern, a silver coin, and, rather oddly, an admiral’s hat. At this point, we have to admit to not watching the LEGO Ninjago TV series, and there are certainly elements here that will no doubt be explained and (for regular viewers) be familiar.
Underneath the temple is the cave, with an ominous tiger mouth blocking the entrance. If you dare enter, you’ll find a cool mechanism at the back, which, once raised, will open the mouth and allow you to pass. Even the jaws underneath swing out and open with a hinged mechanism – a nice touch that just further adds the overall quality of the set. To the back of the cave, the detailing continues with gold crystal pieces, and neon yellow slanted brick pieces, which work really well against the greys of the walls and the blue of the floor. Before you tread any further, make sure you paid attention to the ‘beware of the spider’ sign at the entrance of the cave….oh wait…too late! The first of the smaller builds is the Tiger Widow Spider – ever so slightly reminiscent of the Shelob spider you get with the LEGO Dimensions, Lord Of The Rings 2-Pack.
Going back down to ground level, and looking at the set front-on, to the left we have a wood-effect ladder which you can climb to the next platform. Beware your step though, as there’s a rather dangerous palm tree which can topple down on you (once you remove the pin activator). Whilst we’re on the palm tree, make sure you collect the 2 coconuts that hang from the tree, which you can use as ammo back at the temple, later. Also – watch out for the yellow crab, which somehow managed to climb his way up the tree!
The next pillar deserves a mention due to the level of detail from the ground up. There are perilous sharp rocks that protrude upwards out of the water-effect base plate, which is linked to the upper platform by a detailed conical rock. I cannot recall seeing this brick piece before, and it’s a lovely addition to Tiger Widow Island. The upper platform is sturdy with a grey rock base and a green grass top, and leads to a bridged area that leads you directly back to the temple (with a little help from a green vine).
Now we promised you that ‘air’ was covered in this set, and true to our word we can confirm this in the form of the Pirate Flyer, which attaches onto the Sqiffy minifigure. The flyer is reminiscent of a paraglider, and features articulated wings, complete with clips to attach your swords. Also covering the skies is Sensei Wu’s hot air balloon, with a basket for Wu to stand in and propellor feature on the back. Wu comes with a ‘biggles-esque’ pilots hat, and has coconut ammo to throw down at the villains below.
As for minifigures, you get the previously mentioned Sqiffy and Sensei Wu (with binoculars, flyer helmet and staff) , in addition to Cole (with Djinn blade and silver katana) and Nya (with 2 golden katanas and a vial of spider poison). There’s also a rather imposing big figure in the shape of the villainous Dogshank – a huge bulk of a nemesis who looks like he’s spent a little too much time on the island, with a little too much Hawaiin Tropic! Dogshank comes with a chained anchor weapon, which looks like it could cause a lot of damage, as well as two pirate flags which clip to his back.
There is so much packed into this set for the ridiculously reasonable RRP of just £39.99. It smacks of quality, time and effort and we really couldn’t be more pleased with it! Such a fantastic set to end the first half of 2016 with and it has only whetted our appetites for what lies in store for Ninjago in the second half!
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