As the heroes’ mobile headquarters, Destiny’s Bounty is a key vehicle in the Ninjago universe. We’ve seen three versions of it before, and the Summer 2020 Ninjago wave brings a fourth in the form of an updated “Legacy” version. 71705 Ninjago Legacy: Destiny’s Bounty is available now for US $129.99 | CAN $159.99 | UK £124.99. As a callback to the earliest days of Ninjago lore, can this set hold up to fan’s nostalgic expectations, as well as providing something new? And what appeal does it have for those of us who just like ninjas but don’t have any real context for the set? Read on and see!
The box and contents
Every few years LEGO releases a new version of this ship. It kicked off in 2012 with 9446: Destiny’s Bounty, a decent set with a smallish 680-part count. 2015 had an upgrade with a 1,253-piece version set, 70738: Final Flight Of Destiny’s Bounty. Most recently we saw the 2017 LEGO Ninjago Movie version (70618) which clocked in at a massive 2,295 pieces. The Legacy version is a step down in part count to “only” 1,781 pieces, but also returns to a more classic look with a shape similar to that original 2012 set.
The box gives us a nice look at this latest design. The Destiny’s Bounty is front and center, with only minimal additional artwork off in the background. This art style is very different from the design of the Season 13 Ninjago sets, which have a much more cinematic look.
The back of the box has a similar image (this time on a red, rather than blue, background), and some action shots of the different play features. Inside the box are 14 numbered bags, an unnumbered bag containing the mast and a couple of large hull elements, an ad for LEGOLAND, a bag containing the sails, and a bag holding the sticker sheet and 315-page instruction tome.
This set includes a good selection of useful pieces, but there aren’t a ton of new or super scarce parts. I did notice a few that were worth mentioning: There are two examples of a new curved bow slope, a new-for-2020 2×3 brown tile, gold-colored flex tubing, and a bright orange sword. I’ll call out these parts as they come up in the build review, below.
Two parts seemed worthy of a specific highlight. The first is this two-part Technic turntable gear. It’s not rare, but has almost exclusively appeared in Technic sets, so a lot of builders may not have any. It fits into a 3-stud by 3-stud space, and has also appeared in a couple of Monkie Kid mechs this year.
Next are these red 3×10 curved slopes. They’re also not a new piece or color, but it’s worth noting we’ve only seen them twice before, in 2005’s 8652 Enzo Ferrari 1:17 and 2008’s 8156 Ferrari FXX 1:17. It’s nice to see them make a return, even if it’s in a higher-priced set.
The build is fairly straightforward, with the hull taking up the first ten bags or so, then finishing off with a removable training dojo, mast, and sails. The hull isn’t watertight, but does include some fun Technic gearing. By the end of bag one this first assembly is firmly integrated into the bottom of the boat.
This part of the gearing converts a turning motion on the yellow axles on the side of the ship into a pushing movement along the center of the hull. Ultimately this will allow a turn of the fins on the side of the ship to reveal hidden engines on the prow.
Speaking of the prow, the build uses some 12×10 boat-hull elements to get the majority of the shape. However, there’s also some more advanced building using Mixel ball joints and 2×2 turntables to fill in the curves.
Soon enough those hidden engines are in place, hooked up to more Technic gearing. That yellow 2×4 brick with Technic cross-holes is also a fairly new addition to the LEGO line, having first appeared in the 45678 SPIKE Prime set early this year.
The next few bags don’t have a lot of surprises, and the boat’s hull comes together pretty quickly. The underside exposes the gearing, allowing for easier repairs if something gets stuck.
The next play feature involves these anchors. A twist of the knob up top will raise and lower them. I like the design of the anchors themselves. They incorporate black minifigure hot dogs wedged into robot arms to make the central curve.
The aft end of the ship includes a dark-red 2×2 curved bow plate just below the gold bits – a new element for 2020, and in a color that’s unique to this set.
The center of the main deck features this removable cannon platform. It may seem silly to have a cannon fuse that’s always lit, but I guess you never can tell with ninjas. The cannon itself is a stud shooter, which I guess also counts as a “play feature”. I hear some people like them, anyway. It’s mounted on a swivel assembly, so it can be aimed in the general direction you want to lose a 1×1 round plate in. This assembly also incorporates a new brown 2×3 tile. (There’s also one of those in the Skull Sorcerer’s Dungeons set, but there the tile ends up with a sticker on it.)
Much cooler in my eyes is the elaborate brick-built dragon head at the prow. There are some clever techniques along the ridge of the nose, taking advantage of how different bow plate elements can nest inside each other. The golden cupcake for an eye also works surprisingly well. Just behind the head is some railing, making use of the gold flex tubing I mentioned earlier. That part has only appeared one other time, in The Lego Movie 2’s Space Palace set.
The final part of the main hull is the side wing assembly. This was the one part of the build that gave me some trouble. The Technic brace is easy enough to assemble, but attaching it to the boat, and then attaching the red wing on top, proved to be really fiddly. There’s also a step where you have to make sure the fin is aligned correctly before you push in a locking pin. I messed that up a few times. On the plus side, the two fins are just mirrored builds, so the second one went on a lot more quickly.
Up top, the helm features a few stickers to decorate the controls and create the navigation chart. There’s also a bin to hold a bright orange sword, an uncommon color that’s only appeared in a few 2020 Ninjago sets so far. (And you even get a second orange blade as an extra part. Bonus!)
The final bit of shipbuilding is a small training dojo that sits on top of the helm area. It consists of two main parts – a removable roof and a training hall that unfolds to make a small playset.
Inside the training hall are a couple of sticker-based wall ornaments and a selection of silver weapons. The back outer wall has upright rods that hold a set of small sails — clip flags covered with more stickers.
The roof has some nice detailing, including dark red macaroni tile as window framing. At the top of the rear roof panel is a unique element; a black version of that new pointed bow plate. That panel folds down to expose a hidden weapons crate in what I guess would be the attic space. The crate is covered in the last of the stickers, giving it a wood-grain look. It has a center section that is just large enough to hold a couple of throwing stars.
The final bag sets up the ship’s mast and some Technic gearing to raise and lower the sails. It was also a little fiddly to get built, but still a lot easier than those rear fins.
The finished model
The finished Destiny’s Bounty is a really sweet looking ship. It’s solid, and while a bit heavy still feels very swooshable. Every angle reveals new textures and details, making this a great display piece, too.
Some of the play features can also add into the display. The raising and lowering of the anchors, for example, gives a couple of different looks. When retracted, they sit nicely against the hull. Alternatively, the extended chains feel long enough to suggest mooring, but in reality you’d have to be docking the ship in some very shallow waters.
The hidden jet engines are a really nice feature. When retracted they are completely hidden in the hull, making for a cool reveal when you rotate the rear fins. The mechanism feels very solid, and doesn’t bind on repeated use.
The moving sails are another nice touch. With the sails in the “down” position the deck is mostly obscured, so having a fun way to expose the play area is a smart move on LEGO’s part. The gearing works well, and having the controls at minifigure-height makes this feel very much like a part of the actual ship. The sails hold their position well at pretty much every angle, giving more options than just “up or down”.
This set comes with seven minifigures, two of which are unique variations for this set. Interestingly, the same seven characters are represented in the last version of this set, 70618 Destiny’s Bounty. Here, however, the characters are all different versions from earlier in the show’s history.
First up is the core team of four ninjas: Jay, Zane, Kai and Cole. All four come with golden weapons, printed legs, dual-sided torsos, and alternate facial expressions. None of the prints are new, but it’s certainly nice to get the full set of characters. The shoulder armor has appeared before, but the gold color is new for 2020, appearing only once before in 71702 Golden Mech.
Next up is Samurai X, who later goes on to become one of the core ninjas. This version of the character is unique to this set, as she has a new torso print.
Master Wu comes with a staff, snappy hat, and wise expression. We’ve seen this version of him several times before.
Young Lloyd Garmadon is another unique minifigure. The main change here is to his face; he now has green eyes matching his later appearance in the show. The new color appears in both of his expressions.
Conclusion and recommendation
I think both Ninjago fans and LEGO lovers in general will be very pleased with this set. At $130 for 1,781 pieces, it has a nice price-per-part average of only 7.3 cents. While there aren’t a ton of super rare or new elements, there are a few. Seven minifigures (including two unique ones) and a lot of useful parts for custom building also help make this feel like a solid value. The play features are well thought out and work well, and the build is engaging, if a little tricky at times. If your budget has room for a larger LEGO set, I think this one is worthy of consideration even at full price.
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.
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