Release Year: 2020
Cost: AU $119.99
Pieces: 1016 (with seven minifigures)
I’m not usually a Ninjago collector, but this set caught my eye as I was browsing and I had to check it out. Since missing out on the old Vikings sets during my Dark Age, I’ve always wanted a really cool dragon to torment my City. I thought a giant skeletal dragon would do just the trick. This is also the single largest dragon that LEGO has ever produced (not including 3724 LEGO Dragon, but he doesn’t really count).
Inside the box you’ll find eight numbered bags of parts, one box of the fabric wings, one hexagonal element called the Design Brick 7x7x4, a manual and a sticker sheet with 10 stickers.
There’s also a folded piece of paper that includes a board game, as well as the design brick, that’s meant to be the board game dice – spin it (yep, Spinjitzu) and it will tell the player how far to move. There’s studs inside for a minifigure. My three year old daughter said it was an egg piece, although with all those sharp angles, I feel sorry for the chicken! Two of the characters also come with buildable health meters, showing three golden hearts and a box for weapons.
You’re able to also combine the smaller builds in this set with a few other sets to make a larger game board, which I think is pretty neat. If you don’t, you’ve also got some nice extra parts to go with the dragon.
There are a good selection of minifigures included – seven in fact.
There’s the three hero ninja – Hero Kai, Hero Jay and Hero Nya. All three look a bit more knightly with large moulded shoulder armour and highly detailed armoured helmets. Their breastplates also look excellent. The printing is so detailed, and there’s still a bit of the ninja garb poking through at the bottom. There’s also clips at the back to store weapons.
All three also carry beautifully printed shields – Kai with a lion and the other two as dragons. Kai has a sword, Jay has a huge flail and Nya has a golden tipped spear. All have alternate angry faces.
The villains look supercool and super evil. The Skull Sorcerer has a dual moulded hat and creepy mask, large black wings and beautiful green on black printing. The letters on the front are in Ninjargon that read dead rise. Creepy.
Underneath the mask is a very creepy looking character. He also holds a light neon green skull that has fantastic printing and an even better mould. We also get these in black and white!
There’s also a pair of identical Awakened Warriors. Black skeletons! How cool! The torsos are textured and new to 2020, and will be a welcome addition. They also have shoulder armour and helmets, and carry katanas. The last minifigure is a light bluish grey statue with a large axe and a shield.
The smaller builds include what appear to be some rocky outcrops in lava. There’s the game elements shown on stickers, with arrows, crosses and spirals, as well as some turntables and pivot points. The fun one includes the finely balanced statue wielding an axe.
It only takes the slightest tap to tip the statue forward, cutting off access to the prize – a very slick looking white and black sword with a skull on the hilt, called the Ivory Blade of Deliverance.
As with many builds with symmetrical body parts, there’s a bit of repetition to mirror them, but it is exciting to see just how big the dragon is as it rises off the table.
The shaping is awesome, as is the colour – the highlights of lime green look excellent, especially the printed seemingly glowing eyes. I’m really glad the set is this big. Shrink it down and you’d lose the impact of the monster, plus who doesn’t love a huge LEGO dragon? It’s brilliantly organic, with a clear skeletal structure throughout. A large spine and rib cage dominates the centre, with a unique feature included.
Press on the small diagonal Technic plates in the back and the rib cage opens to drop the large transparent neon green boulder. It seems a bit gruesome and I’m not sure what it refers to, but I still like it. There’s also two studs on the back wall of the rib cage where the boulder can fix to, should you not want your dragon to expel it’s heart (or whatever it is).
The head and legs are positionable to an extent, although the front legs in particular seem to not be able to hold much more weight than it already is.
The long sweeping tail is nicely detailed, but the nature of the hinge elements means it flails around far too easily. Should the front legs dip ever so slightly down, the tip of the tail will quickly swing around and hit the dragon in the head. With the tail curled under the body, it takes the impact of the side away, almost halving the length all together.
The large wings are simply spectacular. With soft fabric and a skeletal and worn appearance, they connect with the usual method – split holes that go over the small ball joint pins stuck in the wings. It’s unobtrusive and really, really cool. The wings themselves can’t go any lower, due to the Technic resting on the shoulders, but man they look cool.
It would have been really awesome if these had the ability to fold up, but even with them stuck open, it is a seriously imposing build. I wouldn’t want to see that flying overhead.
This was a treat of a set. I’m super excited to finally have a fearsome and super cool looking dragon in the collection. I would have liked to have seen a better tail joint mechanism, but what is there is manageable. It’s not what I’d call swooshable, but it’s still fun to position.
ELEMENTS & MINIFIGURES: 17/20
DESIGN / APPEARANCE: 18/20
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10
A special thank you to LEGO for sending me a copy to review. All thoughts on this set are my own and are not influenced in any way, shape or form. The provision of sets for review does not guarantee a favourable review.