2020 has been a struggle. I’ve had a hard time mustering enthusiasm for my hobby, but this fantasy-adventure themed Ninjago series has been simmering in my sights for months. I was super excited to see this set on the shelves a few days early so I had to get it home and built!
The box is pretty fantastic, definitely conveying the adventure vibes. I really like that LEGO® lists all of the minifigs in the set clearly. The box art can get a bit busy, so easy indicators like that can be the tipping point when deciding if the set is a must have.
This set is a nice value, with over 300 elements for $20. It’s easy to see here that most of those elements are smaller and there are almost no bricks to be seen. The other thing that is conspicuously absent is a sticker sheet. With the exception of the minifigs and wings, all of the details in this set are brick-built!
Speaking of those wings, they are printed on a clear vinyl sheet that was stuffed roughly into the box. They’ve come out almost permanently crinkled and I’m worried they’re going to look like trash on the model. Fingers crossed!
The first out of bag one is the titular Master Wu. The old master has his classic beard element, but he is decidedly more battle-ready here. The torso print depicts some armor over his white robes and he sports armored shoulders. He looks serious.
The torso has a simple back print. I’m loving the printed braid on the back of his head!
At the end of the first bag, we have Wu and the beginning of his dragon. The dragon is small, but highly detailed, with nice neck and tail articulation. I particularly like the head, which is rife with SNOT building techniques.
With the number of small elements in this set, there are a lot of extras in each bag. I’m stoked that there is a spare set of those fantastic shoulder pads.
There aren’t really any rare elements in this set, except for the minifig parts and accessories. I particularly like this new sword, which appears in a number of the sets in this series. It is epic large!
These trans bright green flames are new recolors for this series and they are lovely. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the creative uses that these will see.
Bag 2 builds a stand for the big sword, making it an obvious goal, as well as adding legs to the dragon. Again, the build is intricate, using small SNOT techniques to pack in the detail. I find them to a bit fiddly and it can be hard to get them to stay in position.
This little purple goblin comes in bag 3. He has a fantastic torso print and great colors. The medium lavender elements really pop, and they get great use out of yet another recolor of the drooping hat with pointed ears.
Gleck has a good alternate face, nicely contrasting the fierce face on the other side. The back print is more of the same and I love the slingshot detail.
The final bag gives the dragon its wings, which turned out great! I was worried that they might look crappy, considering that the vinyl sheet was so jacked up. Luckily, the model has five attachment points for each wing that hold it nicely in shape.
All in all this was a fun little set. I have some minor quibbles about the dragon, but those are really just the compromises of making the model at this scale. There is a lot of play value here and imaginative stories flow nicely from these models.
I definitely recommend this one! It is hard to beat 321 elements for $20 (for a hair over 6¢ per piece). This is also giving me fuel for my LEGO D&D projects.
Keep building and enjoy!