Ninja Mechs, Architecture and heaps of minifigs? What more could you ask for? What about a vehicle? Well this set has that too. Let’s get stuck in!
I always enjoy the Ninjago sets. Just like the Monkie Kid range, they have lots of colour, enjoyable build techniques and a lot of battle playability with the including story line and minfigs. The Ninja Dojo Temple takes it one step further and adds some architecture which I really love building.
The set comes with 12 separately numbered bags each with a relatively defined component of the build. We start quickly out of the gate with Ninja Kai and Boa Destructor. Ninja Kai has a new fire Gi outfit complete with red headband to keep his luscious locks away when fighting! A ninja head wrap is also included along with a couple of katanas. It’s good that he’s well equipped as Boa Destructor not only has huge smashing hands, but also a small rammer vehicle to cause havoc. The inclusion of the rammer vehicle is a nice touch as gives the set a bump in the playability stakes.
The Ninjago instructions also have a little more flair than some of the sets like the icons. In this case there’s a progress bar along the bottom and after each major part of the build some really nice set art. Finishing a small component is also highlighted by stars in the instructions so younger builders can keep on track.
I mentioned a mech at the start of this review and we start assembling it almost immediately. It’s quite a small mech, but still a fun little build. The highlights for me were the shoulder mounted rocket launcher (which fires 1 x 1 circle tiles) and the folding chest piece to let the pilot enter the mech. As soon as we finished building it, the battle between mech and vehicle commenced immediately.
With the playable components built, we move on to the core – the Dojo itself. It starts with building the front stone staircase entry. Already small Easter eggs have been included like the spider under the staircase. Once fully built, it’s hard to see Spidey is there, but just knowing it is fun. This part includes a couple of BURPs. The build process is quite fun and already has a fair bit of variety including SNOT bricks and slopes to create variation.
As we move to new packs, we are often building a new minifig and Master Wu is next. One day I hope I can grow a truly epic wise old master beard like Master Wu. I suspect this is an aspirational goal! As we continue the dojo, we start to build the Ninja dojo itself with period art lacing the walls above the headgear storage space. On the other side of the build, the set is built so the rammer can smash through the walls. It’s great fun and easy to put back together.
As we move to the second level, cosmetic details start to be added. The Chinese Lanterns are a great example of something that’s so simple, yet effective. We’re also presented with our first component that is satisfaction to the max! It’s the 45 degree awnings, but they are built horizontal and then pushed into place. Until you push them down, it doesn’t really look like anything, but as you do it is literally sigh out loud satisfaction!
There are a few stickers in this set but as the sticker sheet is quite small, there’s nothing that feels onerous. They are all interesting and colourful so I’ll give the LEGO group a pass this time! Building out the weapons gallery raises another good point. One can never have too many weapons I’m told by some of our American counterparts… In this regard LEGO doesn’t skimp and makes sure there are plenty of katanas for the characters. It’s a great move as the cost would be low for each additional katana, but the satisfaction of dual wielding two swords is very high.
Continuing the build we get a small break area with tea piping hot and ready for sipping. We also start to add external decorations and a couple of ornate vases in the entry way. Will these be the first things broken when the hoards arrive? Most certainly, but for now they look great. Surprisingly one of them has a donut inside. What this means I have no idea, but if you get the inside joke, don’t hesitate to let us know. Or maybe Ninja’s simply like donuts and having an emergency one stashed aside makes sense.
Even more detail is present on the two Chinese Lanterns at the front of the build with tassels added. The front doors also are two large pieces which provide ample heft and feel right for the dojo. The weapons studded around the awnings also look both elaborate and menacing as a show of power.
A couple of new pieces are used to build the framework for Master Wu’s mediation shrine. They add an Asian flavour to this type of guard rail and it looks fantastic. As we move into the third level we get even more chances to push the awning into place. It’s almost worth the price of admission just for the satisfaction of pushing these down to finish the awning. It is SO satisfying.
We continue to build the final centre piece of the dojo. Throughout the build there are a few pieces that are printed rather than stickers. It’s something that always is much more satisfying though I’m yet to work out why some pieces are printed. No doubt it’s due to the ability to use them in other sets to meet the volume requirements, but sometimes it doesn’t always seem so clear cut. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers so we’ll take as many printed elements as LEGO will offer thanks. The main build itself finishes with the ornamental facade and the whole dojo looks magnificent!
We finish the set with a small garden attached to the dojo. No doubt this is where the Ninja’s find their inner chi. It’s a really fun way to finish up the build. It’s simple, but building the bridge results in a pleasing finish to the set. Perhaps my main criticism of this great set comes at literally the last step. Three small flames are added to the garden but they don’t seem to clip in and instead just sit on the poles. That’s completely fine if the set is a display piece, but as it’s begging to be played with, it’s so easy for them to pop out and get lost.
We almost forgot to talk about the minifigs! With 8 included, there’s a tonne of variation and each is intricately detailed. As you can see, the torso’s and legs of each figure are detailed, every figure has at least one accessory (Master Wu’s is the force!) and the often they have either a great head covering or sword sheath as well.
Overall, this is a fantastic addition to the Ninjago range. It has heaps of swooshability with 8 unique minifig characters, a majestic dojo, a mech and a rammer. We really enjoyed building it and then engaging in epic battles – battles so epic that songs will be sung about them for generations to come.
Strangely this set doesn’t appear on the AU Lego.com.au page, but in great news, it’s on sale at Zavvi for $129.99. At that price, for ninja fans or those that just love a great set, it’s a sure fire winner.
Set: Ninja Dojo Temple
Set #: 71767
Number of Minifigs: 8
Number of Pieces: 1394
A special thanks to our friends at Zavvi who supplied this set for us to build. Check them out for great deals on LEGO sets.