Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday that Ninjago was the new theme on the block. Somehow, though, we’ve reached it’s tenth anniversary! The Legacy sub-theme is LEGO’s way of bringing back older sets with updated builds and features, but Ninjago Legacy 71742 Overlord Dragon is a little different. This is the first time that the Overlord Dragon has appeared in a LEGO set, making this return to Ninjago Season 2 extra special. It’s available now for US $29.99 | CAN $39.99 | UK £27.99, but is it a fitting tribute to 10 years of Ninjago history? 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
Those of you not intimately familiar with Season 2 might be wondering just who or what the Overlord Dragon is. I know I had no clue. And even after a bit of on-line reading, I’m still kind of lost. Ninjago lore is deep. (Not Bionicle deep, but close.) Anyway, from what I gather, the Overlord is the source of darkness in Ninjago, and both the Overlord minifigure and Overlord dragon in this set are the same being.
The box doesn’t really do much to confirm or deny this, but you do get a nice look at the set contents. The Overlord(s) face off against golden ninja Lloyd. Strangely missing is the “10 year anniversary” Golden Ninja figure stand and logos that appear on the other January 2021 Ninjago Legacy sets. Maybe this is due to 71735 Tournament of Elements already including a Golden Lloyd, or maybe because Lloyd is considered part of the main set, and not a “bonus collectible figure”.
The back of the packaging has another shot of the set contents and some images from the TV show along the right. Along the bottom are a schematic showing the dragon’s dimensions (17.9″ / 45.5cm wingspan) and the “play features” of a swinging tail and poseable neck.
Inside the thumb-punch box are three numbered part bags and a 76 page instruction booklet.
The dragon features a wealth of dark blue and black elements, with a smattering of gold and purple highlights. Some standout details show up early, like the pink lightning energy effect on the chest. The black ox horns and sloped brick add some organic curves to the shaping, too.
After adding the legs, things are still looking good. There are joints at the hips, ankles, and toes, and the model is very steady in a variety of poses.
The head features new dual-color molds for both upper and lower jaws, with the upper having printed eyes. The neck assembly is a bit boxy, but the repeated use of purple horn elements works well.
Another cool part appears in both the tail and the wings. 16L propeller blades have been around for a while, but this is the first time they’ve been released in purple. The tail has the same hinged design seen in the 71721 Skull Sorcerer’s Dragon and suffers from the same problem: It’s very floppy and cannot really be posed.
The wings are where things really fall apart for this set, though. The three propeller blades look kind of cool out of context, but to me they don’t look very much like dragon wings. Looking at the stills of how the Overlord Dragon appeared in the TV show, I don’t understand why LEGO didn’t go with a recolor of an existing dragon wing or opt for a cloth or plastic membrane to fill in the gaps like they’ve done on other Ninjago dragons.
Attaching the wings, you can also see that thanks to the exposed angled plate they don’t look very good from a low angle either. A small bit of redemption comes from articulation gained by having the forward facing blade mounted on a hinge. A small bit.
The finished model
The completed model holds up very well to being swooshed about. The body of the dragon is a quality mix of colors and textures, and the tail looks pretty good. The shape of the head is fearsome and menacing. The ball joints on the shoulders combined with the articulation in the legs allows for a wide range of poses, and the full figure is balanced well.
From the top things don’t really change. It looks mostly okay. Mostly. But, in the end, I really just can’t get past that wing design. They transform an otherwise fearsome dragon into an unfortunate Edward Scissorhands crossover. As a result, the model looks unfinished to me.
If I put this dragon next to the one from 71718 Wu’s Battle Dragon maybe you’ll see my problem more clearly. Wu’s dragon retailed for $10 US less, and has fewer parts, but looks more like a dragon than the Overlord’s fan-dancing T-Rex shape.
Sadly, the head also has a minor issue, despite the awesome sculpting. The upper and lower jaws are attached to each other with robot arms, allowing for some good chomping action. That’s a plus.
The minus is that if you aren’t careful you can give your Overlord Dragon one heck of an underbite. It’s comedic, sure, but think of the dental bills!
As mentioned earlier, this set comes with two minifigures, the Overlord and Golden Lloyd. The Overlord is exclusive to this set, featuring brand new dual-sided prints for the head and torso. He also comes with a transparent pink energy effect that pairs well with the energy on his dragon-form’s chest. He’s pretty similar in appearance to the Golden Overlord seen in 2014’s 70728 Battle for Ninjago City which was set a year later in Season 3, but whatever. He still looks really cool.
Golden Lloyd is also exclusive to this set, although all of his parts have appeared previously in other Lloyd figures. The body has appeared twice (In 70666 The Golden Dragon and 71702 Golden Mech) but both of those times it came with a golden head. The yellow head here has appeared just once before, in the Lloyd figure from the Ninjago Movie Collectible Minifigures set.
The Golden Lloyd from the Tournament of Elements set is the only “10 Year Ninja” that doesn’t have a cowl on, so this set does give you the option of combining the figures to make a more unified display. You know, if you’re into that.
Conclusion and recommendation
The Overlord Dragon is a set that’s pretty middle of the road. The price point is not bad at $29.99 US for 372 pieces. That averages out to around 8 cents per part, which is okay but not spectacular. The two minifigures are both unique to the set, although the new parts in the Overlord make him more of a draw than the kit-bash Golden Lloyd. There are some nice colors and useful parts in the dragon, and 80% of it looks really good. But there are certainly better looking Ninjago dragons out there. It’s also kind of wacky in that it’s a Legacy set that isn’t an update to a previous Ninjago offering. While it’s cool to see a key player from the early seasons get their due in physical bricks, it feels like that concept could have been better served at a higher price point with a more impressive dragon. At the end of the day, if you aren’t bothered by those wings (or are happy to build your own custom upgrades) then this is a pretty good set. Otherwise I’d probably wait for a sale on this one.
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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