Thursday, December 16th, 2021 at 8:08pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
We're continuing our reviews of the new Monkie Kid sets with 80034 Nezha's Fire Ring. This set brings an exciting array of characters, vehicles, and more to the Monkie Kid line. Read on for Eyru's review to see how this set stacks up!
This set comes in at 929 pieces (including 7 minifigs) for $100 USD, which is a decent price. It's the third-largest set of the new Monkie Kid wave, so while it's not quite as big as The City of Lanterns, it's still a good-sized set with some really interesting functions and eye-catching design choices. A big thank you to LEGO for providing this set to BZPower so I can review it and give my opions on it. This set will release in the Asian market on December 26 and the rest of the world on January 1 2022.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
When I look at a LEGO box, the first thing I look for is a sense of action, and the box art here doesn't disappoint. Nezha and his titular Fire Ring catch my eye as they roar in from the left side of the scene, accompanied by Monkie Kid on his flying staff. Opposite the heroic duo, Evil Macaque flies in on his jet flyer, backed by his henchman (henchmonkey?), Savage. At the center of the conflict, Lady Bone Demon (named White Bone Demon in this set) sits on her imposing throne, a helpless Monkey King trapped in a bone cage at her side. This is a textbook example of good box art that immediately gets me excited to open the box and start building!
The back of the box provides a closer look at the set's components, including some play features displayed in rings. Props to LEGO for some really consistent art design: everything on the box ties into the theme of maps and golden rings.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The set comes with eight polybags, one sticker sheet, and a thick instruction booklet with almost 200 pages.
The first two bags contain the pieces to build Monkie Kid's flyer and Evil Macaque's jet flyer. Monkie Kid's flyer is quite simple, containing only about 20 pieces. Evil Macaque's vehicle is more complex, but it also comes together pretty quickly. The main body of the vehicle resembles a Star Wars-esque speeder on its own, and two mirrored jet engines snap onto either side. A few stickers add some flavor to otherwise black pieces. I like the creative use of fishing rods at the back!
Next comes the star of the show: Nezha's Fire Ring. This is the biggest portion of the set, with its pieces taking up four of the eight polybags. The first of these bags contains the pieces to build the ring itself, and the building process is a ton of fun! The ring is actually two rings, each composed of 4 curved gold track pieces, connected by a bunch of trans-orange pieces in between. These pieces look great, but they also function by firmly holding the rings together with both studs and clips.
After the ring comes Nezha's vehicle. The main body of the vehicle is suspended above the ring by two wheels hidden on the underside. These wheels are held in place by the two side sections, which snap together to lock the ring firmly in place. The rest of the stickers are used here to add orange and gold highlights to the white body of the vehicle, and the resulting color scheme looks great. Watching this vehicle come together is really fun: it's definitely one of my all-time favorite building experiences!
Finally, the last two bags give us White Bone Demon's throne. This build is less exciting than the Fire Ring, but that would be true of most builds, so I won't hold that against it. The most interesting part for me is the use of alternating purple wedge pieces to construct the jagged staircase, which looks really good. The hanging bone cage looks great, and a bunch of bone pieces and trans-blue pyramids finish off the throne with some spooky flair.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There are lots of interesting parts in this set. The first bag starts off strong with some trans-purple bars and flames, as well as some pearl gold launchers. However, the pearl gold track pieces are clearly the stars of the show. I also like the teal pieces and all the trans-orange pieces in various sizes and shapes. If you're looking for trans-orange pieces, this is the set for you! Of special interest is this double-sided trans-orange brick with four studs on each side and two on top. Finally, note the transparent light blue chain making its first appearance since 80028 The Bone Demon.
The set comes with six named minifigs - Monkie Kid, Nezha, Monkey King, Evil Macaque, Savage, and White Bone Demon - and an unnamed skeleton. Of these seven minifigs, only Monkey King and the skeleton come without weapons. The weapons look very intimidating and cool, especially Evil Macaque's staff, which looks like an opposite version of Monkie Kid's staff. I also want to point out Nezha's spear and fire rings, which come straight out of Chinese mythology. My one gripe is that Nezha can't stand on his fire rings without some creative posing.
Of the main cast, Monkie Kid, Nezha, Monkey King, Evil Macaque, and White Bone Demon come with double-sided heads. Most faces switch between happy and angry, with the exceptions of Monkie Kid, who can swap from angry to determined; and White Bone Demon, who can switch from happy to absolutely terrifying. White Bone Demon's printed dress piece can also be exchanged for trans-purple ghostly "legs", which looks appropriately creepy. Her hairpiece is also unique in that it's softer and more rubbery than normal hairpieces. Finally, the bone that clips into her hairpiece glows in the dark!
The rest of the set is full of great details too. The vehicles look very different from each other both in color and design. Evil Macaque's red-and-black jet flyer looks blocky and industrial against the smooth, streamlined aesthetic of Nezha's white-and-gold Fire Ring. The contrasting color schemes do a great job of communicating the two sides: the good guys are red, gold, and white; and the bad guys are purple and black.
I like the trans-purple flames on Evil Macaque's jet flyer. It's an intimidating and powerful-looking vehicle. It also has a place to store his staff!
Sometimes less is more. But in the case of these massive flame-burping exhaust pipes on the Fire Ring, more is definitely more. I'm a huge fan of the white-gold-red color scheme with teal highlights.
White Bone Demon's throne is imposing and covered in bones. The bone cage fits perfectly with her aesthetic.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
This set is full of action, with an immediate conflict for kids young and old to jump into. The throne provides a location for plenty of action-packed battles between the forces of good and evil.
There are several play features here to point out. All three vehicles have dual launchers with which to attack their enemies. Monkie Kid's flyer and Evil Macaque's jet flyer each have two stud shooters, while Nezha's Fire Ring sports two spring-loaded shooters that launch bolts of fire. These spring-loaded launchers are cleverly concealed in the vehicle's chassis, and each is triggered by pressing a small switch on each side.
Evil Macaque's jet flyer has adjustable engines, which can be angled up or down. The tail is also adjustable.
Not only does Nezha's Fire Ring look stunning, it also feels amazing to play with. The build is solid and will stand up to enthusiastic play. Thanks to the hidden wheels, the ring rolls smoothly, and four hidden pins prevent the vehicle from detaching from the ring. I can't overstate just how fun it is to push it around; it's one of those great LEGO sets that excels both in form and function. (Check out the video review to see it in action!)
White Bone Demon's throne has some play features of its own. There's a hidden prison cell underneath the staircase with room for a few prisoners, which can be accessed by a door at the back (the door's bone handle is a nice touch). The bone cage can be raised or lowered by turning a winch, and it has a door through which prisoners can enter or escape.
A small critique is that the cage is actually slightly too small for the Monkey King. With his large hairpiece and monkey tail, I had to take the cage apart in order to get him inside. This seems like an odd oversight considering the whole point of the cage is contain the Monkey King. A smaller minifig will fit more easily, but getting them inside the cage is still trickier than it looks.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
- Decent price point
- Great selection of minifigs
- Visually stunning
- Fire Ring is unique and very fun to play with
- Lots of play features and playability
What's not to like?
- Bone cage is a little small
- Side builds drive up the price
Overall, Nezha's Fire Ring is a great set featuring one of the most unique builds I've seen in a long time. The set comes with an instant conflict and lots of playability, but I'd also recommend it for someone who's looking for a cool set to display, or someone who enjoys a fun building process. If you're just looking to own the Fire Ring itself, you might be disappointed that the side builds drive the price up a bit, but it's worth it for the playability, in my opinion. Definitely one of my favorite sets - I highly recommend it!
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