LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle [Review]

The LEGO Ninjago theme has been around for ten years. Hard to believe, right? In that time, there have been a ton of cool and interesting sets, and LEGO has been bringing back some of the best in their Ninjago Legacy theme. We had the chance to take a look at one of the January 2021 0fferings, Ninjago Legacy 71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle.  This set is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £54.99.  The 840 parts span four exclusive minifigures and the Titian Mech. But is it a “battle” that can interest more than die-hard fans? Read on and see!

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

This set is an updated take on 2015’s  70737 Titan Mech Battle – a set that included two giant robots battling it out. This Legacy edition is focused solely on Zane’s ice mech, with the only “battle” available being with a couple of severely outgunned evil minifigures. When they were updating the set name maybe they should have just gone with “Zane’s Titan Ice Mech” – but I suppose the direct callback was important to the branding.

Anyway, the box is pretty standard for Ninjago Legacy sets, with a product shot of the set’s contents front and center and a call out to the season they’re drawing inspiration from. There’s also a spotlight on the included 10-year anniversary minifigure – a limited edition Golden Jay.

The back showcases the mech with a much less immersive background, better displaying the set contents. There are also three inset images from the mech’s appearance in Season 5, revealing that this Legacy version is a pretty hefty upgrade from the original. The bottom row of images shows off the mech’s action features (bendable knees, missile launchers, and spinning arm blade), dimensions (10.2″/21 cm tall), and a teaser for the full set of six Golden Ninjas that will be released this year.

Inside the box are six numbered part bags and a bag containing the instruction booklet and sticker sheet.

The instruction book is perfect-bound and 128 pages long. The sticker sheet has some nice designs, and most images are mirrored/repeated. When not reviewing a set I tend to leave off the stickers – but this is the rare model where I think it looks best with them applied.

The parts

There are a lot of fun parts in white and sand blue in this set, and I’ll call out some interesting ones as we go through the build. There are a few highlights, though. First up is this beehive in pearl dark grey, a brand new color for that element. The second is a printed 2×2 tile with the “Ninjago 10 Years” logo on it. This is a new part included with each of the “golden ninja” sets so far.

The Titan Mech has a weapon built into each arm, and both make use of interesting parts.  The shuriken blade is appearing for the first time in pearl silver. Meanwhile, the sword blade has only appeared in gold once before, in 2019’s 70669 Ninjago Legacy Cole’s Earth Driller.

The build

The Titan Mech construction starts out with the torso. It’s a solid block of brick, with sturdy click hinge joints for the arms and legs. The cockpit construction looks good, and makes use of uncommon sand-blue bar holder-with-clips in the controls for a bit of ice theming.  There is a lurking problem here, though, that we’ll get to when we look at the play features.

The lower legs combine the metallic beehives with transparent light-blue minifigure heads to make thrusters. They’re mostly concealed behind white clip-flags, which is a shame as they look pretty cool.

Most Ninjago mechs have no knee articulation – relying on a solid build to provide the strength necessary to support the model’s weight. The Titan Mech has a new solution for that, using Technic 3-ball steering arms to allow for a range of motion.

The mech’s legs also have joints at the hips and ankles. There’s a good range of motion here, and most poses are very stable already. Some of the stickers have been applied at this stage, on the white clip-flags that cover the jet exhausts, and on the sand-blue curved plate on the upper thighs.

The arms have a satisfying “icy” jagged design, mirroring the torso styling. There is a surprising amount of open space in the upper arm; normally these mech designs are solidly bulky. Having some gaps in the white shaping adds to the “deadly snowflake” feel. Another couple of stickers go on shield tiles on each upper arm.

As mentioned earlier, each forearm has a different weapon built into it. The left arm has the spinning shuriken blade, while the right arm has the golden sword attached at the elbow. Each hand has three poseable fingers, matching the original mech’s design.

The final bit of building is the mech’s head. The last three stickers are used to add some details, and they mesh well with the golden bucket-handle used for the horns on the brow. That minifigure spear gun looks good as an antenna, too.

The finished model

The completed Titan Mech is a very solid piece of work. It can be posed easily, and I didn’t have any problems with parts popping off. It balances well in a wide range of battle-stances.

The Titan Mech also looks good from the rear. Those gold ingots make for an attractive “spine,” and there are additional skirt elements to keep things from feeling too breezy on the butt. Even the exposed ball joints in the knees look good, adding a touch of texture and mechanical detailing.

As far as play features go, there are two spring-loaded missile launchers on either side of the mech’s head. They’re out of the way enough that they’re unlikely to go off by accident during normal play, which is nice. You also get three transparent-blue projectiles, so when you inevitably lose one you’re still good to go. Under the mech’s head is the integrated cockpit area. It leaves the pilot a bit exposed, but that’s not the biggest problem.

The real problem is just putting Zane into the cockpit. If you want him to hold the control sticks you pretty much have to disassemble the entire front chest area to get him in. Even then, getting the levers into Zane’s hands and then back onto the connectors was such a hassle that I eventually just gave up.  This really should have been designed as a “hinge open” play area, or they should have gone with control surfaces that didn’t require the minifig to grasp them.  Also, Zane won’t fit at all if he has his sword backpack on. So, yeah, this is an area that could have used a bit more love. I mean, look at how frustrated Zane looks!

One last bit of play can be found with the clips on the mech’s rear skirt. These allow for surplus ninja weapons to be attached for later use. Or you could clip something else on there, I guess. I’m not your mom.

When compared to the recent 71720 Fire Stone Mech, the Titan Mech is a good match in size and shape. They have similar articulation, with the Titan Mech having the slight edge with those knee joints. The colors and styling are a little more “Gundam” than “ninja” here, but remember this is based on a Season 5 mech. Ninjago style has continued to evolve since then. And really, “Gundam-like” is hardly a thing to complain about. This mech looks pretty sweet to me.

I’m sure we’ll see even more Elemental Mechs in the future; I’m looking forward to a water version. Maybe with a boatload of transparent blue elements…Hey, I can dream.

The minifigures

The minifigures are usually a highlight of any Ninjago set, and the Titan Mech doesn’t disappoint. We start of with an exclusive Legacy version of Deepstone Zane. He has a new printing on the (dual-sided) torso and legs and an updated cowl. His flat-top haircut is also included in a new pearl silver color.

The “battle” hinted at in the set title comes down to these guys, new versions of the evil Ghoultar and Soul Archer. Both figures make use of new purple parts, including the cowl and embedded color for the dual-molded energy effect.

Under the accessories, though, both figures use identical (but new!) parts. The dual-sided torso print and skull face are updated designs, and the dual-molding in the ghostly legs is new in purple.

The “gotta catch ’em all” minifigure for this set is the 10-year anniversary Golden Jay figure. We’ve seen his face before, but the rest of his outfit is exclusive to this set. (He does share a leg print with Golden Lloyd, though.)  He comes with a small brick-built stand with a printed 2×2 round tile with the anniversary logo on it. Jay’s thematic blue color is reflected in the 1×1 round plate, but otherwise, it’s the same display stand build shared by all the gold ninjas.

Speaking of the golden ninjas,  three more make appearances in the January 2021 Ninjago Legacy wave: Kai (71736 Boulder Blaster), Cole (71737 X-1 Ninja Charger), and Lloyd (71735 Tournament of Elements).  (There’s a second, masked, version of Golden Lloyd in 71742 Overlord Dragon, too.)  The packaging shows six golden ninjas, so presumably, still have Zane and Nya to look forward to. There is also a seventh “super rare” Gold Ninja – a golden Master Wu in the upcoming Ninjago Garden set.

Conclusion and recommendation

There’s a lot to enjoy with this set. At $60 US for 840 pieces, this set comes in at a healthy seven cents per part. That’s a good ratio in general, and in this case, it also includes four exclusive minifigures. There’s a good range of useful and unusual parts, and even the stickers are pretty nifty. The build is fun, with enough technical complexity to keep things interesting.  On the downside, the play features are a little minimal, and I’m still kind of irked about the cockpit design. But those are minor quibbles for an otherwise spectacular set.

Even without a real “battle”, I think there’s enough here to be of interest to both the general LEGO audience as well as the more Ninjago-centric fan base. If mechs are your thing, or even if you’re just into a white-and-sand-blue parts pack, I suggest you give this one some consideration.

Ninjago Legacy 71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $59.99 | CAN $79.99 | UK £54.99. 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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5 comments on “LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle [Review]

  1. Chris Doyle Post author

    @Vector – I’m not 100% sure; I don’t have a ton of knowledge about the earlier Ninjago mechs. But this is the first one I’ve personally built with that feature.

  2. CDSlice

    I can confirm that the mech this is based off of does not have bendable knees. I also can’t think of any larger Ninjago mechs that have bendable knees besides this one. I’ll definitely pick this set up although it’s a shame that the “battle” got turned into Zane curb stomping a couple of ghosts instead of an actual mech battle that the OG set featured.

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