The LEGO Ninjago Movie’s 70618 Destiny’s Bounty [Review]

Initially designed with the help of a focus group of adult LEGO builders, Ninjago has been one of LEGO’s most popular themes since its inception in 2011. Rumors of its impending cancellation circulated a few years ago, but the theme has stayed strong and become one of the longest-lived homebrew licenses for LEGO. Now having spawned a feature film due for release September 22, the line is as robust as ever with more than a dozen sets and a minifigure series from the film in the latest wave. This year’s lineup contains the several of the largest Ninjago sets ever, such as 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon, which we reviewed yesterday. Today’s focus is 70618 Destiny’s Bounty, which at 2,295 pieces edges out 2015’s Temple of Airjitzu (2,028 pieces) and loses only to the as-yet-unreleased Ninjago City (a whopping 4,867 pieces) to come in as the second largest Ninjago set ever. 70618 Destiny’s Bounty retails for $159.99 and is available now from the LEGO Shop Online.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Destiny’s Bounty is the Ninjago Ninjas’ home base, which they adopted after finding it abandoned following the death of its infamous pirate crew. In the ongoing story, the ship can fly, though it remains to be seen if that will be the case in The LEGO Ninjago Movie. It’s the sister creation of the decidedly more steampunky Misfortune’s Keep. As the Ninjas’ HQ, it’s outfitted with all the necessities of home, such as a well-stocked larder, sleeping quarters, and a dojo.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

70618 Destiny’s Bounty is the third LEGO set to bear the name, following 2012’s version which had a comparatively tiny 680 pieces, or a bit more than one-quarter the parts of this new ship, and a 2015 version with 1,253 pieces. Although the vast majority of the design is overhauled, the jutting “wing” with a golden circle near the back of the ship on each side is still recognizable across versions.

The box

The box is appropriately large at roughly 23 x 15 x 4.5 inches and shows the vessel on placid seas in front of Ninjago City, a modern highrise city reminiscent of Hong Kong (except for the worryingly active volcano in the bay).

70618 Destiny's Bounty

In a pleasant surprise, the large box is packed quite full. Inside are 15 numbered bags, two unnumbered bags of oversized elements, a bag of sails packed with a piece of cardboard to prevent damage, and a bag with the instructions and sticker sheet. The manual is a hefty affair, with 311 pages and 527 steps.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

The sticker sheet has 22 individual stickers, but most are decorative flags. In the past, all of these flags would have been printed (anyone remember stickering your Black Falcon flags? No, I didn’t think so), and it’s a bit disappointing that even in a set this size they’re stickers. In fact, there are only four non-minifigure printed elements in this set: a map tile, a compass tile, the classic envelope tile, and a 2×3 Ninjago scroll tile. My feelings on stickers aside, though, the artwork is lovely. LEGO’s graphic designers have done a great job with these decorations, adding bamboo panels and dragon flags. There’s even a pair of 1×2 tiles showing what appears to be a minifigure-scale Ninjago collectible card game (you get Master Wu and Kai in this set). With the exception of the tiles that read Destiny’s Bounty, all of these stickered elements will be easy to incorporate into other creations.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

The build

The ship’s underlying footprint is surprisingly small. It’s made of Technic frames with plates over top, and the prow incorporates the ship slopes. Already the tiles along the sides are visible, which lay the groundwork for complicated SNOT on the ship’s sides and interior.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

The lower deck gets the master treatment, with SNOT’d walls facing outward for smooth hulls, and loads of detailing inside. The port side wall (for landlubbers, that’s top in the image below) includes a loo, sink, and low table with a family portrait of the Ninjas and a decorative helmet. The starboard side cleverly inserts 1×4 fence elements sideways to serve as weapon racks, which are loaded to the gills. In the middle is a large bed, while the stern has a writing table (with the inkwell element being used as an actual inkwell) and a snake helmet trophy. Up front is another sideways fence piece as a ladder, a design that’s used throughout the ship.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

As is often the case with large sets like this, the first few bags achieve a lot of structure, leaving plenty of parts for details later on. Only six of the 15 bags down, and the ship’s lower hull is nearly complete, and the bottom deck fully, um, decked out.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Bags 7 and 8 add the sweeping, curved gunwales along the sides, which are created with numerous 1×4 hinge plates. The whole piece is attached to the ship solidly in the middle where the studs are level with the ship along one axis, and connected on each end with ball joints.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

A pair of menacing dragon heads adorn the ship’s prow. They’re simple builds and absolutely perfect. Plus, gold bananas—which is automatically a sufficient argument for this set. The heads are connected together on a movable gangway that can be manually lifted, though I’m not certain what its purpose is, and the manual offers no insight. In the meantime, I’m quite underwhelmed by this play feature.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Destiny’s Bounty is the second Ninjago set to use garage door elements as curved roof tiles, and it’s just as brilliant a solution here as it was in the Temple of Airjitzu. Here the tiles appear in tan for the first time and form a concave curve over the top deck following the shape of the large arches. This allows them to be easily lifted to access the deck. Lower down, a pair of Technic tread links are also used as short awnings.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

There aren’t many wholly new elements in this set beyond the sails, though this new 2×2 half tile makes an appearance. Seven are included, getting my collection off to a nice start. In the images of Ninjago City we spied this element being used as a minifigure seat, but here each use is structural. Like other semi-studded elements, it’s clear that LEGO considers this to be part of the plate family and not a tile, as it lacks the groove around the lower edge found on all modern tiles.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Another fun piece that makes an appearance is this dual scabbard with a rod connector. It’s not a new element, but many builders may not be familiar with it, since it previously appeared only in a pair of TMNT sets back in 2014. The scabbard is used to attach the swords in an X pattern to a wall for a cool decoration.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

The finished model

Much like Metalbeard’s Sea Cow, Destiny’s Bounty has a small footprint but builds up and out with each deck, resulting in a fantastically large ship. The sides are covered in buoys clipped to the .

70618 Destiny's Bounty

The ship cuts a nice line, and I feel like it would stand its own against any of the other large pirate ships LEGO has made, and with just a few modifications might even make a good stand-in for the Empress, the Chinese junk from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which LEGO never made.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

One disappointing aspect is that the sails are printed on one side only, though the heavy red printing shows through a bit on the blank side. This isn’t unusual, as I believe all LEGO sails are single sided, but I really wish we’d get some double-sided sails, particularly for a ship with this kind of rigging, where displaying it from the right side exposes the unprinted sails. Destiny’s Bounty is the third-most expensive LEGO ship with cloth sails, after all (only the Imperial Flagship and Silent Mary cost more).

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Like most things in the world of Ninjago, Destiny’s Bounty isn’t quite as old-fashioned as it looks. Clearly there’s a large engine in the bowels of the craft, and although the engine itself isn’t included in the set, we do get some great steampunk piping out the back. Here on the stern the three terrific gold windows are also visible, made of cleverly connected 1×4 lattice panels. There’s also a small balcony with a telescope, and of course the name placards. Sadly, the rudder is immobile. Also, there’s an odd pair of intentionally exposed SNOT studs on either edge of the lower stern, almost as if some extra piece of decoration were forgotten.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

The ship dissembles into four major pieces to allow access to all of the decks. The front deck lifts off, and the rear two decks stack upon each other. Each piece slots firmly into place and the whole ship can be carried around without fear of it falling apart.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Starting at the bottom, it’s obvious how much detail is stuffed into the bowels of this vessel. I already highlighted many of the notable features during the build process, but the bed deserves special attention. It’s the first time I’ve encountered a “working” LEGO bed. It opens to allow a minifigure to be placed inside, and it looks great open or shut. I can definitely see this as a design fans will be eager to incorporate elsewhere.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Moving up, the deck level structure (roughly, the galley) is a cozy little dojo. It includes a training dummy, weapons, and a lovely tiled floor.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

The upper deck has the helm, navigation equipment (a new 2×2 map tile, sextant, compass, and telescope), and plenty of room for minifigures. It also includes half of the ship’s eight planter boxes, which for some reason absolutely delight me. I think it’s because planter boxes with green sprouts are excellently designed but so far removed from what I’d expect on Ninja-themed sailing ship. However, presumably the Ninjas grow their own veggies, which I suppose makes a lot of sense for particularly lengthy missions. Finally, the deck has a grate to let light into the cabin below, and it’s as perfectly incorporated as if this were a top-notch fan design. The same design is also used for the central grate in the main deck.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

And speaking of the Ninjas growing food, the main deck has a small galley and loads of food. They must be a hungry lot. There’s a pair of fishing rods, numerous fish, and more planter boxes along with various other cargo.
[Pro tip: LEGO fishing rods are also great at catching real, live cats, but the fishing rod may not survive the encounter. Those pictured below are backups from my collection, as the ones from the set are now much, much shorter after a mere three seconds in a kitten’s mouth. Kids, don’t let your cats do LEGO.]

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Up front, the small forecastle includes a pair of weapon storage compartments and a winch for the ship’s anchors. A rope spans the gap between the masts, from which lanterns and flags are hung.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

The minifigures

I hope you like Ninjas. You get a rainbow full of them here, with Jay the blue Lightning ninja, Kai the red Fire ninja, Llyod the green Energy ninja, Cole the brown Earth ninja, Nya the grey Water ninja, and Zane the white Ice ninja. Of course, there’s also the venerable Master Wu, who’s identical to his Collectible Minifigure version. Each of the ninjas uses the new two-part ninja wrap headpiece, and features leg printing, a logo printed on the torso back, and a double-sided head. Nya also gets armored faulds around the legs, made of cloth.

70618 Destiny's Bounty

70618 Destiny's Bounty

Each of the Ninjas carries their signature weapon, but Lloyd also gets a special weapon. [Spoiler warning: click here for a picture, and highlight the following text to read] {This is pretty clearly a human-scale laser pointer. It’s included in several sets, so like the Kragle in The LEGO Movie seems to indicate that the world of Ninjago must have some interaction with humans. The LEGO Batman Movie was largely contained within its fictional world, but the laser pointer and the appearance of a cat in the latest trailer lends credence to the idea that Ninjas will be interacting with human elements. And also, a cat plus a laser pointer? I see where this is going…}

Conclusion and recommendation

This set is packed full of details. It feels more akin to a City Modular than a standard Ninjago set, and both in details and design reminds me a lot of Metalbeard’s Sea Cow. 2,295 pieces for $159.99 brings this set to only $0.07 per piece, making it clearly a good bargain even if you’re just interested in the parts. I’ve been eyeing this set since I first got to handle it at Toy Fair back in February, and would have purchased it for myself even if I weren’t reviewing it. This is Ninjago at its finest.


70618 Destiny’s Bounty is available now for $159.99 from the LEGO Shop Online.

The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.


Correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly identified this as the second version of Destiny’s Bounty. It is the third.

7 comments on “The LEGO Ninjago Movie’s 70618 Destiny’s Bounty [Review]

  1. Chris Post author

    @Nicola: right you are! I had thought I’d recalled another version, but couldn’t find it when I was researching the article–likely because of the different name. I’ve updated the article now.

  2. rodiziorobs

    I had wanted the Sea Cow but never got it because of the steep price. $160 is also high for my budget, but gives me more hope. Plus, this doesn’t seem to be plagued by the Sea-of-Brown problem the SC had, which is encouraging.

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