Over the seven years that LEGO has been releasing sets from their very popular Ninjago theme, there have been a lot of dragons across a wide variety of sizes. The quality of design and play features has improved over the years, and I thought the recent 70612 Green Ninja Mech Dragon from The LEGO Ninjago Movie was about the coolest dragon so far. Until now. In our recent announcement of the summer wave of LEGO Ninjago sets there were two new dragons, and I got my hands on an early copy of 70653 Firstbourne, which is now my new favorite Ninjago dragon. The set includes 882 pieces and 6 minifigures, and it will be available in August for $69.99 USD, along with the rest of the new Ninjago wave and the Ninjago City Docks.
The box, instructions and sticker sheet
The box comes with 7 numbered bags, a plastic sheet for the wings, and a bag containing the instruction booklet and sticker sheet.
The sticker sheet is mostly composed of scale patterns for the dragon, and a few details for the helicopter. This is the first Ninjago dragon to feature plastic wings, although there have been two previous dragons with wings made from the same fabric used for mini-fig capes, 70736 Attack of the Morro Dragon and 70593 The Green NRG Dragon. There is also a weapons pack including two each of five new weapon parts, including a double-sided mini claw element, and a larger single claw attached to a handle.
Before we get the star of this set, there are a few smaller things to cover, starting with a neat little shrine with a printed shield part, and a gold helmet featuring one of the double claw parts.
The bad guys in this series look right out of a Mad Max scene, and their vehicle in this set is a one-man helicopter with olive green accents. Two more of the new swords are used to spice up the landing skids. My favorite feature (besides the whole turkey dangling from a chain as a lure to tempt the dragon) would have to be the tail rotor made with white tooth/claws arranged in a circle… wicked! The vehicle also holds two accessories for the pilot.
Now, on to the dragon. By far, one of the coolest features of this dragon is the wings. Built using technic parts and some cool black blades, the fingers swing freely, allowing the wings to open and close.
The wings attach to the back using a Technic beam. The way they’re connected in allows the wings to be flapped simply by pressing down on the back of the dragon where the wings connect. It is a surprisingly simple construction that is way too much fun.
Another great feature of the dragon is the head. The horns have a neat antler feel, and the curved slopes used for the eyes are printed! There is a lovely, slightly sloped nose and the bottom jaw uses one of the rocky parts found previously in the newly retired Nexo Knights theme. My only issue with the neck assembly is that it limits the range of movement.
The finished build
The completed dragon is quite impressive in scale, and would easily swap the baddies out of the sky — unless he catches wind of that turkey. The tail includes a common play feature that allows it to be swung side-to-side with a simple gear attached at the base. The overall color scheme of red and black, with orange-yellow accents, fits into the fire elemental theme quite nicely. In addition, the design of the dragon’s body, including 6×6 red curved parts in the shoulders and haunches, gives this model a very organic feel that some of the previous Ninjago dragons have lacked, having a more vehicular style.
The set comes with four bad guys, two of whom have face masks that would make Bane jealous. They all have pale white skin with facial marking and scars, and each one has a unique headpiece and weapon/accessory. They wear various pieces of armor appropriate to wasteland scavengers, and the legs and torsos feature detailed printing.
The set also includes both Kai and Cole, who have two facial expressions each.
Conclusion and recommendations
In case you can’t tell, I am quite impressed with the design of this latest Ninjago dragon, and conclude that it would make a great addition to any collection, although it might intimidate other dragons with its impressive size and wingspan. The helicopter is also a pretty cool vehicle with some interesting parts and rounds out the set well. For the price, it comes to about $.08 per part, a pretty decent value.
70653 Ninjago Firstbourne includes 882 pieces and 6 minifigures. It will be available in August for $69.99 USD.
The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.