We're big fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and have quite a few sets now. We've previously reviewed the T-Rawket Sky Strike and Karai Bike Escape and last year we reviewed the Turtle Lair Attack. The new releases reflect the gloom and dark that Shredder has caused to descend on New York City.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves have had a complete makeover. They're meaner and more 'grown up'. My 5 year old took it in his stride, he thinks that they look different because they're older now, and aren't teenagers any more. He may have a point....
The head shape, colours, decoration and shells are completely different - so much so that at first I was convinced I'd accidentally put the shell on upside down! The only thing the same about original and new Michelangelo is his nunchucks...
The build is stunningly easy. The Turtle Van Takedown set has a recommended age range of 6-12, and that's right. This is a great set for a younger builder.
The 'stretcher' (sic) has mechanical arms to entrap the Turtle and hold them prisoner, and is really nicely designed. The barricade though is a lovely item, with a moving barrier, spotlight, gas bottle and a great camera. It also has an 'exploding'capability using a trigger at the back to knock over the tower.
Bag 2 sees the main vehicle build and the other 2 minifigures - Raphael and Vern. The Turtle Van is a really very straightforward design which is incredibly rigid and strong right from the start.
Just a glimpse into my life behind the close up shots - these are the conditions under which I have to work. It's frankly surprising any build is actually completed before they run away with half of it!
By the end of bag 2 the Turtle Van has a very similar roof construction to the Simpson's car - with large doors and a pretty solid open rectangle. It's great for accessability and ease of play.
The side doors and roof are in bag 3, along with the extra detail and accessories for the van.
The Turtle Van has all the grace and strength of a house brick. It's incredibly solid and absolutely brilliant for play. Any 6 year old can throw this around and use it as a 'truck' and it's going to stay together.
The roof section is completely loose and doesn't attach at all, making it incredibly quick to remove and user-friendly. The doors fold inwards very slightly, so friction and gravity hold them shut and there's nothing fiddly about opening or closing them.
Although we obviously haven't yet seen the new TMNT movie, you can get an idea of what scene will be played out with this set, and the moving parts on the Turtle Van really fire the imagination. The ladders on the front can tilt downwards, and the winch can be used for a multitude of wrecking jobs.
On the roof and inside the opening side doors are flick fire missiles, and the van has a rotating satellite dish on the roof, and a fabulous computer inside.
This is a lovely set, it's a great van and the playability is massive. It's ideal for a younger builder as it's really quick and easy to build, and the van takes shape so swiftly and with such familiarity that it's satisfying throughout.
The LEGO Turtle Van Takedown set 79115 costs £39.99 and is available now from the LEGO Shop and online at LEGO.com. It is a full playset, it has a movie tie-in, and it is loads of fun. I feel it offers fair value for money and could be a big hit with LEGO and Turtles fans, let's hope the movie does well upon release in October.
We were sent our LEGO for review.