Can you believe that Ninjago has been around for ten years? That’s a lot of Spinjitzu under the bridge. It’s enough to make one feel just a bit nostalgic. Happily, the Ninjago Legacy theme lets fans revisit sets and events from previous seasons. LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71735 Tournament of Elements returns to season four with seven minifigures and an updated combat arena. This 283 piece set will be available starting January 1st for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £27.99. Is there enough here to be of interest the wider LEGO audience? Read on and judge for yourself!
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.
The box and contents
Like most Legacy sets, the Tournament of Elements is a re-imagining/reboot of an older set. In this case, LEGO expands on 2015’s 70756 Dojo Showdown with new combatants and a weapon-heavy arena. The packaging shows things off to a good advantage, with a solid product shot showing the characters engaged in battle. The back of the box is much the same, with an emphasis on the minifigures in action. There’s also a call-out for LEGO’s collectible tie-in to the show’s ten year anniversary. This set comes with “Golden Lloyd”, one of six Golden Ninja that will be spread out across the 2021 Legacy sets.
Inside the thumb-punch box are three numbered part bags, a spinner base, a loose sticker sheet, and a perfect-bound 96-page instruction book.
Even though the part count on this set is pretty low, there are still some interesting inclusions. The sticker sheet is to be expected at this price point, but still looks pretty nice. There are decorations for two banners, as well as a cover and interior page for a book. More interesting, though, is a new printed 2×2 round tile with the Ninjago 10 Years logo.
Two parts that get new colors are the weapon pack in green and a tornado-spiral in a new transparent-glitter-clear/gold dual mold. (Similar spinners appeared in several 2019 Spinjitzu sets) The green weapons are jadeblades that serve as tournament prizes.
While the main draw of this set is clearly the minifigures, there’s still a combat arena to explore. The build is pretty repetitive, with a first floor consisting of nearly identical modules, and a second floor heavy on mirrored details. Still, for a smaller set, the design is very solid, and has a few interesting techniques. For example, there are two small additions on either side of the temple that are attached via Mixel ball joints. That’s a pretty uncommon connection style for LEGO buildings.
The completed temple is large enough to provide plenty of room for battle scenes. I suppose it’s silly to expect some sort of ladder to the second floor when you’re dealing with ninjas. They probably have plenty of skills to get up there on their own.
The back of the playset is pretty bland, as you’d expect. If you do want to play “in the round,” though, you can take advantage of those brown hinges to fold down the banners. The rear also give access to one of the set’s play features, which we’ll talk about below.
The first floor has five main zones, each with a small accessory or action feature. The center has a removable weapons stand that holds four of the jadeblades. To the right of center is a small crate containing roller skates. The edge of the temple has a small bit of positionable greenery.
To the left is Clouse’s Book of Spells and a spinnable weapon training stand with two more of the jadeblades. Up on the second floor, the center weapons rack can be easily removed (via the rear of the set) by grabbing the exposed ball joint connector. This is a nice touch, as these three blades would be tough to get to otherwise.
The best detail in the temple, though, is this Jade dagger hidden in an urn on the second floor. Sadly the pre-packed weapon assortment doesn’t come with enough daggers to hide one in both of the urns. I suppose that could provide some good comedic play value, though. I can imagine a scene where one ninja grabs the knife only to be ambushed by the empty urn (thrown at them by another foe). Hilarity!
Always twirling, twirling towards the future
The set also includes this neat little build – a handheld tool to get your ninjas spinning.
You can either attach a minifigure directly to the rotating end or get really fancy and put that tornado-spiral on there, too.
Once you’ve got things set up, you can roll your figure along any flat surface to reenact Spinjitzu techniques. It works really well and is a lot less chaotic than the “Spinjitzu Burst” method.
Most collectors and fans will be picking up the Tournament of Elements for the minifigures. That’s no shock, as there are seven quality figures to be had, several of which are exclusive to this set. In fact, three characters make a first appearance in physical form: Elemental masters Gravis, Bolobo, and Jacob Pevsner. That leaves Chamille as the only master from the tournament who hasn’t gotten the minifigure treatment. This is the first time a Legacy set has introduced new characters, so hopefully, we’ll see her, too, at some future date.
Kai appears in his sleeveless suit we first saw in 2019’s Ninjago Legacy 71704 Kai Fighter. That mask is suddenly super timely.
Jay also has a sleeveless outfit from a previous set – Ninjago Legacy 76199 Thunder Raider. Interestingly, the sash print here has been updated to read “Master” instead of “Manter”, fixing a Ninjargon typo.
Evil villain Eyezor had a previous appearance in 2015’s 70746 Condrai Copter Attack, but gets an updated look with all new prints for head, torso, and legs. This figure also appears in the 71736 Boulder Blaster set.
As mentioned earlier, elemental master Bolobo is exclusive to this set. His hairpiece is pretty uncommon, appearing only twice before in dark brown. His torso and leg prints are new, but his face comes from the Hidden Side’s Jack Davids character.
Elemental master Gravis is also exclusive to this set, featuring new dual-sided head and torso prints. Dark red is a new color for the turban element, and getting more transparent-glitter-purple dishes is always a plus in my book.
The final exclusive master is Jacob Pevsner. Jacob’s dual-sided head and torso are new prints, and his short legs appear for the first time in teal. He comes with with a white guitar previously only available in the 21317 Steamboat Willie set.
The last minifigure included in the set is Golden Lloyd, one of the “10-year celebration” golden ninjas. He comes with a pair of golden swords, and a small display stand with a new printed tile element.
Three more golden ninjas make appearances in the January 2021 Ninjago Legacy wave: Kai (71736 Boulder Blaster), Cole (71737 X-1 Ninja Charger) and Jay (71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle). (There’s also a masked version of Golden Lloyd in 71742 Overlord Dragon.) The packaging shows six golden ninjas, so presumably, we’ll see golden Zane and Nya later in the year.
Conclusion and recommendation
I was a bit late to the Ninjago party, so I’ve been pretty happy with the Legacy theme as a way to enjoy updated versions of key sets from the past. This set in particular has been a favorite, as getting a slew of new and previously-unseen characters was a real treat. The non-minifigure side of this set is a decent build for a set this size, with some cool and interesting parts and even a few surprising construction details. The play feature of the roller-wand is more interesting to me than just another set of stud shooters, too. At $30 USD for 283 pieces, though, the price-per-part comes in at around 10.6 cents – not a great value if you’re looking for a parts pack. But factoring in the seven minifigures I think that it’s fair to say that this set is a good value for the price. If you’re a Ninjago fan, or just into cool-looking characters, I suggest you give this set a try.
Ninjago Legacy 71735 Tournament of Elements will be available January 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £27.99. It may also be available via third-party sellers on Amazon and eBay.
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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