LEGO Ninjago Legacy 71740 Jay’s Electro Mech [Review]

Ninjago Legacy sets are a way for LEGO to re-introduce past sets to newer fans. Usually this means taking a previous set and adding upgraded designs, new parts, and exclusive minifigures. But what happens when you cross the streams and combine a historic mech with the “Learn to Build” 4+ age range market? Come along as we explore the transformation of 2015’s 70754 ElectroMech into Ninjago Legacy 71740 Jay’s Electro Mech.  This 106 piece set will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99.  Can it possibly survive “junior-ization”? Adventure awaits!

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 Ninjago Legacy offerings, this set is based on a previously available kit. In this case, it’s 2015’s 70754 ElectroMech that is getting a fresh look. The 2015 version had 152 pieces and retailed for US $19.99. This version cuts the part count down to 106 while keeping the same price point. There is a reason for the reduction in parts, at least. As you can see on the front of the packaging, this set is aimed at the 4+ age group, which means bigger, easier-to-handle pieces and simplified construction. LEGO has “juniorized” Ninjago Legacy sets in the past, which make sense – I’ve met a number of younger Ninjago fans, and having a set aimed at their building level is just good marketing.

The back of the box highlights that “Learn to build” angle, as well as showing off the set’s contents and play features. It’s obvious that things are heavily simplified, but still, it seems like a decent variety of things to build and play with.

Inside the thumb-punch box are two numbered part bags, two instruction booklets, and a fairly huge loose brick in blue.

The parts

For a kit with a small number of elements, a surprising number of them are rare or exclusive. The huge blue piece is a 4x12x4 plane bottom, and the blue color is exclusive to this set. There are also four new printed 2×2 round tiles with a throwing-star design. (One of those also appears in the new 71746 Jungle Dragon set.)

Also exclusive to this set are stepped slope bricks in dark blue. There are also some uncommon parts like this large missile shooter, dragon-print 2×2 round tile, and 1×3 wood-print tiles.

The legs for the mech are brand new parts as well. As there are right and left versions, that’s two new parts for the tally. It’ll be interesting to see if and how LEGO uses these molds again in the future. Maybe beefy landing gear on a starship? More kid-bots? Only time will tell.

Jay’s Electro Mech

The star of the show is Jay’s Electro Mech (nee ElectroMech). While it gains a space in its name, it loses quite a bit of detail compared to its 2015 version. The build has been reduced to four main sections – the arms, torso, and legs.  The arms, in particular, take a hit, losing elbows and most of their range of motion. The legs are also highly simplified, with a single point of articulation for each at the hips. The waist does have a swivel now, though. So this mech can twist the night away.

The assembled mech is…kind of dorky. My main complaint is that Jay has absolutely no way to control the mech. He just stands there, looking sad. In the earlier version, there was at least a strong suggestion that Jay was in a cockpit of some sort, and there was a control panel for him to poke at. One change I do approve of is that the giant spinning throwing-star has replaced the stud shooters on the left arm. (Okay, I just really don’t like stud shooters.)

From the rear, the mech looks very plain. I also wonder why they chose to go with that yellow 1×2 brick with a Technic hole in the middle of the back. It’s almost as if there were earlier plans to have something to attach to the mech there, but it was later dropped.

In addition to Jay and the mech, the first bag of parts also has a small rock and a spider to add a tiny bit of atmosphere and peril.

Eyezor’s quad bike and Shrine

The chassis of the quad bike is another simple build, with the design being almost identical front to back. The only difference is the tiles under the turret – there are wood-printed 1×3 tiles on one side and a 2×3 dark tan tile on the other. After looking closely at the package art, it looks like the wood grain stuff is supposed to be in the front. I don’t know why they didn’t just use the wood grain (or plain tile) on both sides.

The turret is mounted on a pivot and also serves as a driver’s seat for Eyezor. It’s a little easier to decide which side is the front there, but once again, the lack of any sort of controls for the driver is a minor flaw.  Like the spider/rock combo in bag one, this section of the build also gets a small boost from a dark blue scorpion and a rock for it to sun itself on.

There’s also a small temple in bag two. It’s another batch of “large pieces for an easy build,” but at least it includes a nice printed 2×2 round tile. It also comes with a golden sai to display on a small stand. You get a spare, so you can also arm the scorpion if you want to. And you should, because weaponized scorpions are very trendy right now.

The overall set contents provide for a pretty nice battle scene. The bugs can face off against each other while Jay takes on Eyezor. I think Eyezor has the edge, though. Jay’s pretty unprotected, and one good hit from that oversized missile, and he’s a goner. It’s sad when evil triumphs, but that’s the state of the world for you.

The minifigures

This set comes with two minifigures, Legacy Jay and Legacy Eyezor. While all of the parts that make up Jay have appeared in previous sets, this combination is unique. Eyezor, however, is identical to his other appearances in 71735 Tournament of Elements and 71736 Boulder Blaster

Conclusion and recommendation

Usually, I’m very upbeat about Ninjago Legacy sets. Sure, there have been a few misses, but in general, they hit the sweet spot between a tribute and an entirely new model. Adding in the “learn to build” 4+ aspect complicates things a bit, but I think this set goes a little too far into “Duplo land.” Jay’s mech could have benefited from a few more pieces (even large ones) to bulk out the front and back. And the low part count we do get (106) brings the price per part in at nearly 19 cents each, which again feels unreasonably high. Those negatives do have some balances, though. One of the two minifigures is (somewhat) exclusive to this set, there are unique and rare parts and brand new colors for other elements. The build is easy (as it’s supposed to be) but still kind of fun. If you’re a four-year-old Ninjago fan, you’re not going to be unhappy with this set.  If you’re an adult collector, you might want to wait for a sale or just source the new parts elsewhere.  Or just go nuts, get one now, and have your own spider vs. scorpion battle royale. Who am I to judge?

Ninjago Legacy 71740 Jay’s Electro Mech will be available March 1st from the LEGO Shop Online for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99. It will 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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