Friday, December 31st, 2021 at 7:37pm by Benjamin, BZPower Reporter
Ninjago has a penchant for having some impressive dragon sets year after year, and the Ninjago Core line is no different. There are a few to choose from this wave with an array of new parts, and today we'll be looking at the biggest one: Lloyd's Legendary Dragon. Does it take to the skies or fall flat on its face? Read, and watch, on to find out!
First, thank you to LEGO for sending this set so I can share my opinions on it. It will retail for $70 USD on January 1, 2022, and contains 747 pieces. That's a pretty good piece ratio, but it only has 4 minifigs. We'll take a look at all the parts is has to offer further on for the real value.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
The box has a classic action scene of Ninja and dragon vs villains, with some great background art really highlighting the mythology elements. The green and blue dragon really stands out against the tan setting, while the motion lines give some action to the scene. The box's back highlights the components of the set, from dragon to minifigs and play features. We see the missile launcher, dragon's saddle, and dragon's wing movement feature.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
The build has a great mix of studs up and studs not on top design, with parts being reinforced all throughout. The main body has some Technic elements and ball joints for the wings. More on that later. Then the body and legs are built up with some thick round bricks, which are impressive on their own and really do a great job putting some muscle on this guy. There are plenty of moments to appreciate the intricacies of the set, like the tail, head, and wings.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
There are great parts in this set, from old pieces in new colors to new or almost new pieces. I'm most impressed by the wings, which are a silky-smooth fabric unlike anything I've encountered in LEGO fabric before. They came in the set folded a bit in a box, but have no crease in them whatsoever. They're not stiff like past fabrics that might have some resistance. They're great. I should also mention how cool the new small golden blade piece is, seen in several new sets. It'll be great for Bionicle MOCs.
This is a very well built dragon. From a solid body to an impressive head and tail, plus some muscle on the legs and fabric wings, it's a sight to behold. Plus the color blocking is well done, with two shades and blue and two shades of green. I love that it has fully webbed wings, something not every Ninjago dragon gets.
There are only four minifigs for this $70 set, but that isn't too drastic for a Ninjago set (last wave's sea dragon only had 5 figs). More figs just might get in the way of storytelling, while here we get two ninjas fighting two snakes. Lloyd has the same outfit as his EVO car, the snakes are the same designs as seen in other sets, and Nya appears here and in the more expensive Dojo Temple. But the orange snake has different gear in each set, so they're differnet characters with their own charm. (The black one is all about the dynamite.)
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with.
Play features include the obvious good guy vs bad guy set up, with the snakes having a little cross-bow mounted at the ready. But I especially want to draw attention to the function that positions the wings from forward to back with the flick of a lever behind the saddle. This gives a flapping motion, but also keeps one pose steady if need be.
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Neat play with wing flapping.
Great color blocking and overall dragon design.
What's not to like?
Only four minifigs in a $70 set.
Bad guys seem seriously outmatched.
This is one impressive dragon! And even if we only get 2 bad guys with a small crossbow, I appreciate the color changes to the snakes LEGO has done the past few years. So with some cool minifigs, a big dragon, and a fun building experience plus the playability of the set, this looks like a great deal for your money. It will look great on your shelf, the pieces can get mixed into your collection, or your kid will have a great time playing with it. Overall the Ninjago Core Line idea is off to a great start!