With the sheer volume of LEGO System sets that have been released in conjunction with The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, it is easy to have overlooked some of the more interesting products that have come out as part of the wider range, particularly when some of them have had such a limited shelf life. Indeed, two blink-and-you’ll-miss-it products to have come and gone are 853702 NINJAGO Movie Making Kit and its sister polybag 5004394 Movie Maker. The former is currently on back order and the latter has been rather difficult to find available, at least in the UK.
This is an interesting pair of products, in that both are aimed towards LEGO fans who may have a passing interest in creating their own stop-motion animation brickfilms, yet they do not clash with each other, even if each product comes with a stand for a mobile device, a minifigure, a double-sided card background and a version of a stand to hold that card up.
853702 NINJAGO Movie Making Kit
The higher price of the Movie Making Kit (£15.99) sees a more substantial piece count (162) arrive in a unique box shape with front angled sides to it. The camera stand is designed to securely hold a mobile device in place in a scratch-free manner, with the help of the soft rubber Technic pieces folding in at the front. It offers a nice panning function so you can maintain a chosen height to shoot at whilst moving the camera horizontally, whilst a strong Technic gear function can be turned to vary the angle that you shoot at. The camera stand is attachable to the background stand for an extra level of security – if you have ever tried stop-motion animation, then you’ll know that set or camera bumps are an easy mistake to make.
One of the main appeals to these movie making sets is the carded background which is double-sided. These are detailed, good quality printed designs of some of the amazing artwork and scenery that was one of The LEGO NINJAGO Movie’s strongpoints. Interestingly, the design of background shown on the LEGO Group’s website is not one that appears in the set, nor does it appear in the polybag.
5004394 Movie Maker
The smaller polybag was on retail at Argos in the UK for £5.99 and available during one of their 3 for 2 promotions, and is currently still available at a reduced price of £2.99. For that price, there’s no point in directly comparing it to the Movie Making Kit, it’s a bargain. That is the case viewed as a separate product or as a complementary item for the larger Movie Making Kit.
The backing card is again reversible and is the same quality and dimensions as that from the Movie Making Kit, pleasingly with two different designs too. Whilst the stand that holds it up is flimsy at best and the polybag packaging could damage the card, one notable bonus included in this is a card with some push-out explosions and NINJAGO elemental powers.
The Movie Making Kit and Movie Maker polybag complement each other very well (each with a different ninja minifigure too) and interestingly offer up different options for those actually looking to try out some stop-motion animation. The more detailed camera stand in the Movie Making Kit certainly is a more secure unit to hold your mobile device on, but the manoeuvrability that it offers comes at the significant cost of elevating it to a height where the camera towers over its subjects. The Movie Maker polybag’s stand may not be as sturdy nor as secure, but it lets you position your camera much closer to the height of your minifigure. These are curious products that may not appeal to every LEGO fan, but, that both offer enough at their respective prices to leave you more than happy.