Ninjago Dragons at this point are dime-a-dozen, but this is the first one in a long time breaking that mould.
LEGO 71753 - Ninjago Fire Dragon Attack
Available from LEGO.com and LEGO Stores now.
About This Set
LEGO Ninjago's wave of Legacy sets has always managed to prove themselves quite popular for keeping the theme alive. Don't get me wrong, Ninjago has always managed to endure, but there's clearly some essence of nostalgia helping keep the theme together.
Fire Dragon Attack is no exception to this rule. A Legacy set based on Season 1 of Ninjago, and once again bringing back those age-old skeletons as foes. I collected the very first wave of Ninjago when it was initially released, and these legacy sets have come a long way...
But is it good enough to justify its existence? Is it good enough that this was a better option than something else? Only one way to find out...
The set, compared to its predecessor in 2507 - Fire Temple, is a definite improvement in terms of colour and how far the moulds have developed since. The use of red, deep yellow and dark red far outweigh the two-tone of the original dark red and deep yellow.
The dragon holds an intimidating hunched presence, mainly attributed to the menacing wings that give the set quite a lot of its volume too.
Atop the dragon's neck, as always, gives us our saddle for Kai, the fire ninja, to ride on with. This is an easily detachable feature from the model, which is also a plus.
One of the best features this set provides is the body, more specifically the underbelly. Far too long has this part of a model been often neglected. This time around, there is significant work done with hinge plates to give a larger upper torso, all the while using ingot parts to continue a very muscular physique.
Which highlight a pretty cool point. The torso, as attached the body, is UPSIDEDOWN.
The legs are unfortunately a big contrast to this; due to the way that they join at the ankle, which is by clips, the feet don't sit flat to the ground in an organic way. If we wanted to have the dragon stand with both feet flat to the ground, they would be uncomfortably close to the body and each other, which isn't very natural.
I like the shaping of the legs, but dang, this was a shocker.
The wings of the dragon are another point that simply has to be discussed. I love that LEGO has made the change from plastic to fabric for the wing material. This makes it easier for crinkle the fabric and not have a lasting effect, but on the other hand, also makes me paranoid I'll rip it one day.
I love the impact the wings give the model, as the stance is beyond menacing, and the wings fold away nicely to give this effect. Admittedly, it can sometimes be hard to display the wings and have the pose at the same time.
The problem with the wings is the shape at the shoulder; because of the ratchet joint attaching the arm, when the wings are fully displayed outwards, the shoulders look like weird parts of the arm rather than actual shoulders - and it looks considerably worse on the underside.
I don't know what exactly happened here, but there are some significant oversights here.
Legacy Kai isn't new here, as he has appeared in other sets before (16!), but I'll briefly go over him. The weapons and face prints he brings to the table is nothing new, but the redesign of the original Kai DX version is a nice step up without going too over the top.
Legacy Zane is just like Kai above, as he isn't new here. He's also a good redesign of the DX version and is a full robot by comparison.
Wyplash, surprisingly, is actually a new and semi-exclusive figure. It might be hard to tell amongst all the other Ninjago Skeletons previously released, but this guy is one of the Skeleton generals.
I myself proudly own the older version in my collection, but to be brought up with 2021/2022s standards is a good move. He sports a missing tooth and fracture running over his right eye, as well as more fractures and metal splints just underneath his chin on his torso. It's nice to get some more variety with these guys again.
Nya is the truly only exclusive figure in this set, being of course from the collectable legacy line. She is in a golden version of her outfit from the Seabound season, and although I like the printing design on these golden minifigs, I do wish we could have a bit more colour injected in to them.
Her face prints are nothing new, but it is a nice and cheap way to get that newer hair design with the bandana, and that's a win for me.
Overall, I like and dislike this set for a few reasons.
LEGO is really upping their dragon game, and they have come a long way since their original 2011 LEGO Ninjago models, but something is really lacking here.
There are improvements, like the two-piece head mould that the older version didn't have, the detail to the underside of the belly, the colour palette and the overall menace the dragon has, but the textbook problem of the legs has me not pleased.
It seems so simple to be able to have feet touching the ground with a ball joint. Not here it would so seem. The shoulder are also a bit off too.
If you want to ramp the set-up and give it your own twist, I say go for it. The price reflects the product I guess, but I would have been more than happy to pay a bit extra for this to have just a bit more love into it, and maybe even a tiny little side build for our skeleton to hide behind and cower in fear.
But hey, that's just my opinion.
Thanks for reading, if you enjoyed this please leave a comment below.
This article was written by Tim & Dannii.
Find them on Instagram at @legobuildingwithtimanddannii
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