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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Castle : Ninjas : Robbers Retreat

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6088 - Robbers Retreat

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: Fun standalone set with a good structure and accessories
Cons: The blue guys get three bases (two of which are larger then this, the biggest of the red guys' bases), we can only hope the ninjas will even the odds.
Contents: 273 pieces including 4 mini-figs
Price: $29.99
Reviewed: 19-Jul-1998
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6088 The robbers' retreat sits nestled in the heart of a lush valley at the base of a dormant volcano. Once a temple to the spirits of the sleeping mountain, the robber Yoshimoto has since turned the abandoned edifice into a hideout and storehouse of his ill-gotten treasures. Today the temple has an interesting guest in the form of the kidnaped prince Shotoku. Yoshimoto's minions are off "obtaining" food for the evening's festivities when Yoshi senses something behind him. He turns but sees nothing and remembers peasant rumors of hauntings of the mountain spirits. "Absurd superstitions" he says to no one, but suddenly a shadow detaches itself from a dark corner of the room and proceeds toward the disbelieving (and somewhat inebriated) Yoshi....

Sounds corny, but one of the coolest things I find about the Ninja sets is the presentation of the boxes. It's probably just the novelty of the subtheme and all, but I remember how ecstatic I was to get my first Ninja set in the mail (by way of Shop at Home) and when all of the sets finally came to a nearby store I went wild at the site of a whole shelf with these brand new boxes. While I miss a new European medieval castle subtheme, these Ninja sets fill the void just fine.
The second acquisition to my Ninja collection was the 6088 Robbers Retreat. It seems to be the base of the bad guys (with the Flying Fortress or Stone Tower Bridge being bases for the good guys) and while it isn't the same as having a 6078 Royal Drawbridge or 6059 Knights Stronghold, it is still a fun set to build and for interacting with other sets of the series.
The 6088 comprises a three-story construction with the first level being a large double-door entryway opening into a small foyer with a sword stand whose base can hide small goodies like coins. The roof of the first floor is sustained by two large red (square) pillars and a booby trap set in the roof features a beam which swings down with four katana blades mounted on one end to skewer and shish kabob any unwanted intruders (though I don't think I've ever heard of WANTED intruders before). To one side of the foyer a small second story balcony overlooks the outside of the structure.
A prison/holding cell is the central part of the second level. This construction (like the towers on the Flying Ninja Fortress) is a unit in itself that can be removed from the roof of the first floor and interchanged with other towers in the Ninja theme (kind of neat to see this modularity in the subtheme). Atop the cell is another small balcony. The entire building is chiefly built with large dark grey, rocky pieces and some 1x6 brown wooden wall elements. The set is further developed for interactive play with the inclusion of a handcart (another hidden compartment for weapons or money is built into the base of the cart) sporting a small catapult mounted on the top of the cart. There is also a black-winged ninja hang glider included with the set.
Minifigs include two black ninjas, one blue "good guy" and a red "bad guy". Weapons include two spears, six grey and two black katanas.
Unique pieces include the green rope with handholds, round plant bricks with leaves, the red harness piece (used to pull the handcart), large doors in black, green sloped bricks, grey fish, some dark grey 1x4 "wood-shaped" bricks and a red plastic banner. Also, the ninja hood pieces are kind of cool because they have a small clip on the back of the hood that holds a sword (or other weapon) so the ninja's death-dealing hands can be kept free.
To accept reality (and cut down on my whining) I'm refraining from comparing these sets to the old "classics" and in so doing I find that the sets stand up well on their own. I think that new collectors will be satisfied with the construction of the 6088 and at the reasonable price of about $30.00 you get a medium sized fortress with good and bad guys and a couple of ninja assassins to throw a little chaos into the works!

45 readers have rated this set as 4.01 out of 5 stars.
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