We’ve been sharing an early look at a number of sets based on the latest season of Ninjago. Today we tackle the smallest of the bunch, 71745 Lloyd’s Jungle Chopper Bike. This 183 piece set will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99. Is there enough here to be of interest to both Ninjago fans and the wider LEGO audiences? Come along as we take a close look!
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.
This set comes packaged in a small thumb-punch box. The graphics on both the front and back are pretty clear with respect to the set contents. As usual, the front is more of a “play suggestion” image, with the back being more isolated product shots. The action features of the bike are called out in insets on the back. In this case, that’s the suspension on the rear wheel, the removable surfboard, and the opening roll cage.
Inside the box are two numbered parts bags, a cardboard-backed bag with the sail element, a loose sticker sheet and balloon tire, and a 64 page instruction booklet.
For a small set, there are a good range of new, rare, and interesting parts. We’ll start off with the small sticker sheet, which have some decent designs that mesh well with the sand and dark green elements. On the semi-unique front, this set includes a Storm Amulet, the series McGuffin that appears in all of the Ninjago Island sets so far. There also are six dark green modified 1×2 plates with clip, a color only seen previously in 71741 Ninjago City Gardens.
A truly unique part is this new cloth sail element. This pairs well with the ones in 71748 Catamaran Sea Battle. The small Ninjargon on the flag reads “71745”, which you’ll recognize as the set number. The large character is “L”, presumably for “Lloyd”.
Jungle Chopper Bike
The central build for the bike makes good use of a SNOT core. Some Technic rubber connections at the rear to provide a nice bit of spring for the rear suspension. It’s a quick build, and all of the stickers are applied early on.
The completed bike is obviously a pretty hefty vehicle. The two different tire sizes adds some nice visual interest, as well as giving the motorcycle an aggressive nose-down stance. If you push down on the model’s suspension, a series of smooth slopes on the undercarriage keep things moving along smoothly. The roll cage bars are mounted on clips, allowing for easier placement of a driver minifigure.
You’ll notice, though that the “completed bike” is missing that sail element. That’s because that’s part of the removable “surfboard” play feature. The surfboard has a small figure-stand base armed with two stud shooters, with the sail attached to a small Technic pivot point. The range of motion is pretty small, but this design does keep the sail nicely aligned when it’s mounted on the bike.
The surfboard is “docked” on the rear of the bike. It’s far enough back to let the roll bars still open easily. The unified look works well for me.
Lloyd fits pretty well into the cockpit of his bike. Sadly, like most Ninjago vehicles, it does require that he ditch his backpack mounted weapon to sit comfortably. There are no steering controls, but there is an in-dash control surface that makes it feel like there’s something for the driver to do. The movable roll-cage works well, although I don’t know how much actual protection it’s going to provide if the bike goes sideways.
The removable surfboard-flier thing is a fun addition. It works well with Nya’s water-based theming, even if the color scheme is very clearly tied to Lloyd. Again there are no obvious control surfaces, but when’s the last time you saw a steering wheel on a surfboard? The two integrated stud shooters don’t even feel tacked on, which is a testament to the great design work at play here.
The Rumble Keeper minifigure doesn’t have much to do here, but including a baddie into the minifigure mix is a pretty smart move regardless. Even if they’re going to get run over pretty quickly.
This set comes with three minifigures, one of which is unique to this set. Both Lloyd and the Rumble keeper are available in other Island sets, but this is currently the only way to get Island Nya. Although it would have been nice to see the only obviously female character appear in more of the sets, at least LEGO didn’t hide her away to appear in only the most expensive set.
Island Lloyd appears three times in the Island sets. Additional copies are found in 71746 Jungle Dragon and in a polybag, 30539 Lloyd’s Quad Bike. In this set he comes equipped with a tasseled gold sword, a silver sword, shoulder armor and a green mask. He’s shown here with the Storm Amulet, just because it’s cool.
Island Nya is unique to this set. She comes with all a new dual-sized print on her torso, and new printed legs. Her dark azure bandanna is new for 2021, also appearing in 71731 Epic Battle Set – Zane vs Nindroid. Her face print and hair have been around for a while, though. She comes equipped with a golden double-bladed staff, a silver sword and shoulder armor.
The Rumble Keeper is identical to the one in 71748 Catamaran Sea Battle. Other than the hat, all the parts are new for the Ninjago Island theme. I’m particularly fond of the print on the shield. The white spear is also an uncommon color for that weapon.
Conclusion and recommendation
The smallest of the Island themed set, Lloyd’s Chopper bike is a very satisfying set on almost every front. The build is engaging, the pieces are interesting, there’s an exclusive female(!) minifigure. The $20 US price point is the main issue, as at only 183 pieces, that brings the price-per-part calculation in at an unhealthy 11 cents, which is very high for a non-licensed set. If they had priced this at the $14.99 US price point we see on other LEGO sets, that would have brought this in-line with the other Ninjago sets with a ~8 cent ratio. You may way to wait for a sale to pick this one up, if those calculations matter to you. But if you’re just looking for a fun Ninjago set with some great figures, then don’t bother waiting. For a cheaper Ninjago set, there’s a lot here to enjoy.
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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