One of my favorite movie trope mashups is when giant mechs do their fighting underwater. That’s why I was so excited when the latest wave of Ninjago sets, Seabound, came out. The first one I purchased was 71750 Lloyd’s Hydro Mech, a low-cost way to scratch that Pacific Rim itch while I contemplated the more expensive offerings. And, because I’m apparently addicted to writing LEGO set reviews, I waited to build it until I could share it here with you. This 228-piece set is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $19.99 | CAN $24.99 | UK £17.99. Come along as we take a deep dive into the shallow end of the pool!
Unboxing the parts, instructions and sticker sheet
Although called an APS suit in the show, the name “Hydro Mech” is probably a better shelf name for this set. (It’s a lot more descriptive for those who haven’t seen the cartoon, anyway.) The front of the box has the usual Ninjago red swirls, mixed in with Seabound characters and monsters. The age range is set at 7+, which feels accurate to me. You get the usual artsy shot of the set contents, with dramatic lighting and plenty of bubbles to drive home the “underwater” aspect.
On the back, you can see the set contents are limited to the Hydro Mech, Lloyd, and a Maaray Guard foe. A couple of inset shots call out the play feature of the movable claw and the mech’s height of 17 cm / 6.5 inches.
The dark green inverted 6x10x4 roof (Aircraft fuselage) is a color unique to this set. The sticker sheet is pretty minimal, and has some Ninjargon text to decode. The one that goes on the claw reads “Danger!” and there’s a cropped “L” (for Lloyd) on the large triangular sticker. The final bit of text on the pentagonal sticker reads “Energy”.
The new 6×3 wing (gold pincer) appears in three of the Seabound sets. The dual molded blue/gold windscreen and Wave amulet appear in all five of the sets, but are both unique to the theme. (The windscreen mold first appeared in Legacy set 71736: Boulder Blaster.)
There’s nothing overly complex about the build for the Mech, but it does have a good deal of SNOT building to keep things interesting. It has some decent articulation thanks to a liberal use of ball joints, and looks pretty solid, particularly for the low price point. The sand green 4×4 roof tile has only appeared once before, in 2019’s Lloyd’s Titan Mech, and there are a good mix of useful parts in sand green.
Some nice features include the spotlight built into the shoulder armor, and the skirting around the legs that helps hide the hip joints. The build is pretty sturdy and holds most poses well.
The mech gets a giant sword, too. That always seemed like something that would be hard to swing underwater, but I guess if you’re a mech you just don’t care. I noticed the box art shows the sword stowed by putting it through the loop formed by the air-hose – a potentially very bad idea for a naked blade. Good thing Lloyd has his own air tank…
The finished model
It’s mainly the porthole-looking design on the cockpit, but the completed mech does have a solid “underwater adventure” vibe to it. The cockpit area is a little odd, as it’s not clear if Lloyd should be seated or standing. Neither option works particularly well as far as solid attachment points, but the cockpit closes nicely in either figure position.
This set includes two minifigures, a Maaray Guard and Diving-gear Lloyd. Neither are unique to this set, but both are exclusive to the Seabound theme. It’s worth noting that this set is the cheapest way to get both of these figures.
Unmasked, Lloyd has his common dual-expression face. With the scuba gear off, you can also see the detailed back torso printing.
The Seabound sets feature new Ninja diving gear, color coded to the different characters. The masks have a cool dual-mold with a transparent light blue eyepiece that should be useful in other custom character creations. The fact that the air tank is designed to hold a sword is also pretty nifty, but perhaps a little more niche-use.
The Maaray guard figure appears in all five of the Seabound sets. The guard features flippers in a new teal color, and a golden epaulet accessory. The Wave amulet and a small brick-built trident complete the look. The head mold first appeared in the 2019 Pyro Whipper and Char figures. (Thanks to Andrew Barnick for pointing that out!)
The Maaray guard has a new colors for the head mold, dual-sided torso, and leg printing. I like the detailing, and the teal coloration really pops. As far as creature figures go, this is one of my favorites.
Conclusion and recommendation
When I bought this set I had pretty reasonable expectations for it: It should be fun to build, I should feel like I got my $20 US worth, and it should look good when assembled. I’m happy to report that things worked out well on all fronts. At 228 parts, the price-per-piece ratio comes in at 8.7 cents per, which is reasonable considering the new/rare parts and two theme-exclusive figures. The mech was a quick build with good articulation and a very thematic look. The figures are highly detailed, and the mech looks great on display. If you want to dip your toe into the waters of Seabound, I recommend you give this set a try yourself.
Check out our full gallery of images