I’ve never kept up with the lore of Ninjago, so when I got the Ninjago Arcade Pods it wasn’t because of how they tied in to the larger Ninjago universe, it was because they looked interesting.
So, in the opinion of a guy who has no idea what is going on… should you buy them?
To be honest I’d say probably skip these, unless you really want the parts or minifigures.
There are 3 different Arcade Pods in the range, each in a different colour to tie in to the specific character included. Each arcade pod comes with two full minifigures.
Each arcade pod includes a slightly different weapon made with a translucent green element and a game controller handle. The game controller weapon handle is an interesting concept and a cool element.
The pods themselves are really interesting. Comprised of a large front piece, a rear panel that clips in to form a hinged opening and a 6×6 plate to create a floor. The front ‘screen’ is also a separate trans clear panel piece.
Lloyd Avatar Arcade Pod
Lloyd comes with a green arcade machine decorated with a large golden dragon design. The design on the sides is great but I know how some people feel about stickers. The sticker features the name PRIME EMPIRE in Ninjago script.
The two minifigures that you get are Digi Lloyd, and Avatar Lloyd.
This minifigure features a ninja outfit with a few additional “digital” looking accents. His face print is very digital, almost like a robot. There is also a standard face print if that is more your style. Lloyd has two different coloured arms with one being a lighter tone of green.
The ninja mask and pauldrons are both good too.
The avatar version of Lloyd looks like a character from Grand Theft Auto. He’s got an open shirt showing off his abs, a golden mohawk and he carries around a baseball bat. I have no idea what is going on.
Kai Avatar Arcade Pod
Kai’s arcade pod is red, with a yellow halftone pattern sticker on the sides. The sticker once again features the words “PRIME EMPIRE” in the Ninjago script.
The two versions of Kai that you get are:
All of the “digi” minifigures are very similar. As with Digi Lloyd you get a ninja outfit with digital accents, just in a slightly different pattern. You also get shoulder pauldrons and a ninja mask.
Avatar Kai appears to be from a fighting game, with a look very much like Ken from Street Fighter. He also has dynamite which I don’t think is widely used in fighting games.
Jay Avatar Arcade Pod
Jay’s pod is blue, with side patterns that appear to represent jets flying in formation. This makes sense as Jay does have the Lightning Jet vehicle.
The two versions of Jay that you get are:
Again, very similar to the last two. Ninja outfit with accents, two different arms, ninja mask and pauldrons.
This is probably my favourite of the minifigures in this range. Avatar Jay is clearly from some sort of music game. He comes with a guitar and his torso looks like something Elvis would wear, only with blue skin. There’s lightning bolts and stars and it is awesome.
The arcade pods themselves are an interesting concept and I really like the actual parts. I just don’t think they have been well used here. It just acts as a storage case. If the arcade machines were part of a larger set then I’d think they were awesome.
I think there is also a little too much detail added through stickers. For example the arcade controls are a sticker on a 2×4 tile. Something brick-built could have been interesting.
You get cool minifigures and a cool display case but that’s kind of it. You basically get the same playability as a Collectible Minifigure but at 3 times the cost. I feel like you’d get way more enjoyment out of an actual set. The Arcade Pods have an RRP of $17.99. If you get all three you end up with 6 minifigures and 3 nearly different coloured pods that are otherwise nearly identical. You’ve also spent over $50. For $50 you could pay RRP for the Gamer’s Market set and end up with 9 minifigures instead of 6.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these.
These sets were provided to me by LEGO at my request. Opinions are my own.