70603: Raid Zeppelin Review

Theme: Ninjago
No: 70603
Release Year: 2016
Cost: AUD$49.99
Pieces: 294 (with 3 minifigures)
​This is the first time I’ve delved into the Ninjago theme, and it’s for a very specific reason. This set includes (obviously) the hot air balloon parts, and after seeing this beautiful arrangement by NannanZ, I thought I’d give it a go myself. I’d first build the set, leave it up for a bit, then attempt the flowers. 
Inside the box you’ll find two instruction booklets, three numbered parts bags, two plastic flags and a sticker sheet.

Elements: 19/20

Firstly, let’s look at the minifigures. Three are included – Zane, Doubloon and Clancee. Zane looks fantastic with the unique ninja cowl, and double sided head. There’s a normal face, and one with a HUD on it. I’m not normally a Ninjago fan, so I have no idea what that’s about. Doubloon has double sided head printing as well, but the other side is printed upside down. I have no idea if that’s a mistake or not! Clancee has a nicely moulded snake head, and a broom for a weapon. It’s got a spike on one end of it, but it’s still a broom! All in all, some very nice inclusions.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of elements in this set. It doesn’t look like much, but there are some beauties I’d not come across before. There’s a couple of unique items to this set, being the dark orange shells used to create the balloon, and the ninja cowl for Zane. Other rare inclusions are the large bright orange blades, Doubloon’s helmet, legs and epaulets, the brilliant Sky Pirate flag, ice sword, and the white and metallic black swords. They’re unique to the 2016 release of Ninjago, and have a skull emblazoned on the knuckle guard. There’s also a nice samurai sword holster for Zane, a cannon, battle axe heads, anchors, shuriken stars, and more. There’s loads. ​The spares aren’t bad either!

Swooshability: 17/20
There’s a fair bit of play in this set, including an assortment of stud shooters on both the Zeppelin and on Zane’s speeder, a cannon at the front, and a fantastic swooshy feel to it. There’s also a drop hatch in the middle of the Zeppelin, that when released, drops a barrel of dynamite. This was a great addition.
Build: 17/20
This set is surprisingly sturdy. It comes together pretty quickly, with the first bag being the speeder and the beginnings of the Zeppelin, and the last two bags containing the rest of the Zeppelin. It’s a fun build with some Technic thrown in for good measure. It’s a shame about the stickers, but there’s not many of them, so it’s ok. There is a tiny bit of repetition, but it’s so minor it’s barely noticeable. The figurehead is a pretty cool addition, and it looks interesting. All in all, a great build experience.
Design / Appearance: 18/20
I love how this set looks when built. It’s a really eye catching build with some pretty interesting aspects like the white at the front. The wings are a little odd, as there’s no mount to sit the zeppelin on, so they have to sit flat. The only tiny gripe I have is with the balloon. In order to make a full balloon you’ll need eight pieces, but in order to mount the balloon sideways like it is, a piece has to be sacrificed in order to do it. I guess I’ll need to get another set to build a full vase. 
Value for Money: 8/10
If you buy this from LEGO Shop Online, you’ll pay $50, but it’s going much cheaper on secondary markets like BrickLink.com, for as low as $35. For that amount, this is a steal. It’s still worth it for the RRP, but you’d be mad to pass up the cheaper option. There’s some pretty great parts in the set, as well as some good looking minifigures.
Collectibility: 9/10
If you’re a regular Ninjago fan, this will be a good one for the collection, but probably nothing special. The balloon parts are great to have, but there’s only seven of them, not eight for a full one. The parts included are pretty great, and if you’re not a huge Ninjago fan like me, then the parts are a brilliant addition. There’s only five of these moulds in existence, with each colour only being in one set each, so they’re very cool to have. The purple and white from a Friends set, and the red and black from a City Police Station set. It’s quite a collectible set considering the parts.

Overall: 88/100

Next week I’ll be taking a look at another modular, 10243: Parisian Restaurant. Exciting times!