The LEGO Ninjago movie is just around the corner and wave of awesome sets has been released. Since it was my birthday last week, I decided to treat myself to one of the largest, 70618 Destiny’s Bounty.
Even before I opened the box, I knew that I was in for a big build. The set contains 2295 elements, for a reasonable $159.99 (7¢/piece). The box was big, but full and hefty.
Laying out the contents, I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. 15 numbered bags of elements and two more unlabeled bags of big parts. The sails were bagged with a piece of cardboard to keep them flat and the sticker sheet was in the bag with the rather thick instruction book. A lot of brown in those bags!
The sticker sheet for the set is pretty great. Normally, I don’t bother with stickering my sets. This one will be displayed around the house, so I decided to go ahead and use them. Besides, that team portrait is too great not to use.
Bag one had the first of the sets 7 minifigs: Master Wu. He is instantly recognizable, using the same beard and coolie hat elements as previous versions. The outfit is new, as is the head. The skirting works to give the illusion of a longer robe.
The thing that bothers me the most is the sand yellow legs. Is he supposed to be wearing tights underneath? If they are supposed to be pants, does that mean he’s wearing socks with his sandals? I would really have liked to see the legs use a two-color mold so that his feet were yellow. Maybe a small complaint, but it bothers me every time I look at him.
Like all of the ninjas, Wu has a symbol on his back. I’m assuming that it has some significance to spinjitsu.
Bag on built the ships foundation. There is a block of technic under the floor to give it all strength. Even here at the start we can see the main colors of the build: reddish-brown, dark brown, warm gold, and bright red.
The second bag began the sides of the hull, providing snot structure where plating will be added later. This is the first appearance of the translucent red lanterns that will feature prominently throughout the build. I really like the re-coloring of this lantern style that I’ve seen in previous Ninjago sets.
This stage of the build surprised with this element pairing. I have so many of these elements banging around in my inventory and I never realized that they fit together like this. I can’t wait to use this for my own models!
A lot of intricate assemblies in the third bag. Here we’ve built weapon racks and other details to fill out the area below decks. There are a lot of easter eggs here, call-outs to previous Ninjago storylines. The bed is a great touch, as it hinges open to allow a minifig to slip under the covers.
Jay is in the fourth bag. His outfit is much darker than previous incarnations. He has one of his signature chain weapons. This was my first encounter with the new two-part cowl. It’s a bit fussy to put together, but the resulting silhouette is definitely more like a head-wrap than a helmet. Unfortunately, neither piece looks very good on its own.
All of the ninjas have two faves. Jay has a boyish, goofy grin…
and a more peeved grimace.
More hull in the fourth bag, building up the bow and adding a balcony to the stern.
Bag 5 gives us the anchors. As I would expect for a set like this, they can be raised and lowered. More structure is appearing, though it isn’t very obvious what it is for, yet.
The Green Ninja makes his appearance in bag 6. He has a cool new saber (just for the LEGO® Ninjago Movie sets) and that warm gold tassel element is sweet.
Lloyd has a more sarcastic expression under the cowl. I like the use of colored eyes for these minifigs.
His alternate expression seems pretty peeved.
Bag six had a lot to it. We’ve got the front half of the deck built (there are secret compartments full of weapons hiding in there). More easter eggs hiding in this area too, hinting at gags that we’ll probably see in the movie. I like the planters and the use of feather and horn elements to represent plants. Lloyd also has some kind of laser cannon, but it’s too big to easily pose with.
In bag 7 we get three more ninjas! Kai, Cole, and Nya all at once. Each one has their own weapon and it is easier to see the variation in each outfit. A lot of cool character design in this incarnation of the ninjas.
A lot of variation in the faces too. Little details make sure that we don’t mistake one face for another.
My only complaint is that Nya’s faces are a bit too similar. Neither one looks very happy.
Bag 7 adds this intricate edging to the hull. I would never have thought of this technique on my own and it is a bit difficult to attach, but the result is great. The hinged sections connect cleverly and give the ship a great swoop.
The next bag just builds the other side to match. The only downside to this technique is that it isn’t stable enough to hold weight. Not a big deal when the ship is on a shelf, but when you lift it down, exercise some caution!
The last of our heroes, Zane, shows up in bag 9. Some great details, like the radio, mark him as the most technology oriented of the ninjas.
Slightly more geometric features and a ridiculous smile for the nindroid.
Looks like he can get angry too.
Bag nine gives us the figureheads, a pair of awesome dragon heads and the first bits of the stern decks. The dragon heads are really great and make good use of warm gold elements (like bananas).
Starting with bag 10, we set aside the main hull of the ship and focus on the stern. This section seems to house a tiny dojo and shrine. Snot techniques create the warm gold windows and sloped exterior walls.
The rest of the dojo deck is in bag 11. A few more fun details, like the ladder and shades made from tread elements. This model is packed with detail, with barely an unornamented surface to be found.
The twelfth bag is the beginning of the quarterdeck. Mostly structure and foundation at this point, but already some familiar details emerge.
Bag 13 finishes out the quarterdeck, providing the structure for the curved roof. I particularly like the banner at the stern and the red lanterns.
In bag 14 we add one of the most distinctive aspects of the ship, the curved roof over the quarterdeck. Much like the 70751 Temple of Airjitsu, the designer has used roll-up door elements laid over a convex frame to make a light, functional roof. This is also the first time these elements have been available in brick yellow!
The final bag builds the masts and raises the sails. The sail elements themselves are beautifully printed fabric.
Before we talk about the complete model, I’d like to point out some of my favorite details.
First up, the ninjas. This set has the full range of six ninjas and Master Wu in their fighting outfits. Each one is packed with character and beautifully printed. Some of the printing is too subtle for me to capture with my clumsy photography skills, but they are a beauty to behold.
Beyond that, there are some great details on the ship itself:
This was a great build. Easily my favorite ship model ever. Just look at the size of this beast:
Not only was the ship fun to build, but it was chock full of clever techniques that I can’t wait to use in my own models. It is also a beautiful display model, that would look handsome on a shelf for guests to admire.
There are a lot of play features in the set, but the difficulty of the build and the fragility of the model makes it unsuitable to younger children. The box recommends 9-14, but I think they are erring on the young side here. I’m not sure that my 9-year-old would have the fortitude to put this 2295 element set together.
On top of all my other recommendations, this set has a fantastic price per piece. LEGO® ships are often expensive, owing to the large specialty elements, but this one comes in under 7¢ a piece (accounting for all the extra elements).
So, buy it, build it, and enjoy it!