LEGO Ninjago 71771: The Crystal King Temple – Tensegrity comes to Ninjago [Review]

While we wait for the first 2023 Ninjago sets to go on sale, let’s take pause and take a look at one of the larger sets from the Summer 2022 Crystalized wave. LEGO Ninjago 71771 The Crystal King Temple is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $79.99 | CAN $99.99 | UK £69.99. This 706 piece set includes the temple, a small dragon, six minifigures, and a ton of cool transparent dark pink accents. Is there enough here to keep you entertained until the new year? 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.

Unboxing the parts, instructions and sticker sheet

The Crystal King Temple comes in a large tab-sealed box. The Crystalized theme shares some common art – an insert in the upper left of Lloyd and his Golden Ultra Dragon, a red Ninjago logo along the right, and a color scheme that leans heavily into dark pink neon shades. The temple is shown front and center, with the characters posed mid-battle. The age range on the set is 8+, which is a fair suggestion.

The back of the box zooms in on the throne section of the playset, while four inset shots show off the play features built into the temple. For a smaller playset, there were four action features worth calling out – a moving staircase, a battering ram, slicing blades, and a crystal prison pod.

Inside the box are six numbered part bags, a seventh unnumbered bag containing golden weapons, and a final bag containing the instruction book and sticker sheet.

The manual is perfect-bound and 132 pages long.

The sticker sheet is printed on a white background, and is fairly minimal.  Stickers 1-7 will adorn the temple, while the eighth will add some details to a small brick-built dragon.

The parts

The majority of pieces in this set are fairly common, but the range of transparent dark-pink elements is impressive. The 1×15 Technic liftarms are unique to this set in this color, as is the rocky wall element. The minifigure weapons and armor are unique to the Crystalized theme, too.

The build

The build starts with the front corner of the temple. Immediately there’s a bit of Technic connector placement, as well as some nice SNOT work to attach the 1×4 slope bricks that will form the central staircase.


The first play feature to be added is a giant swinging blade, mounted on a Technic pivot. It sits just in front of a large “floating” rock formation, which is also mounted on a small Technic joint.

The other side of the temple features a more robust Technic experience, with the staircase hinged in the middle and tied to a big switch via a double-ended ball joint bar.

By moving the switch you can change the orientation of the staircase from “climbable” to “fall to your doom”.

The weapons room at the top of the stairs is the next to be assembled. It starts with a sturdy central pillar reminiscent of the watch tower in the Jurassic World Dominion 76949 Giganotosaurus & Therizinosaurus Attack set.

The upper area is decorated with three of the stickers and more transparent dark-pink elements.

A set of golden num-chuks is placed as bait in front of the next action feature – a plunger that will knock an unsuspecting minifigure off of the tower. That’s what you get for being greedy.

A small “floating step” is attached to the ball joint just below the top step on the platform, and a second huge blade is mounted onto the base.

With the tower in place, you can see just how hard the ninjas are going to have to work to get up those stairs. Thanks to the ball joint construction, the floating step has a very satisfying “drop and twist” feel to it as it gives way when the main staircase swings aside.

The throne area of the temple is a stand-alone build. It starts out with another sturdy Technic beam construction, this time using the transparent dark-pink liftarms that are unique to this set. Rocky outcroppings are attached with Technic pins, rather than SNOT connections.

Another sticker is added to the pentagonal shield tile on the front. Some brown and dark green vines make things feel a bit more time-worn.

The crystal cage that is mounted on the next level is pretty interesting. When putting it together you’ll be tempted to assume that you’re building it studs-up like most other LEGO jail cells. But you’re in for a bit of a surprise when it comes time to attach it.

This cell actually uses a bit of tensegrity to hold things up! Instead of a beam or plate attachment point, three chains hold the cell in an inverted, but solidly vertical, position.

The Crystal throne uses another sticker for the chair’s backrest, with some rib-like spikes to the sides and a crystal topper.

I like how those large blade elements create an almost flame-like backdrop to the throne here. Likewise, the crystal blades used by the Vengestone Guards look more like jets of fire. The colors here all play well together, with the gold, dark-blue and purple giving a nice contrast to the transparent pieces.

The finished model

The finished temple consists of two play areas – the stairs leading to the golden weapons and the throne room/prison. It’s not as unified as other Ninjago temples, but it does give you plenty of access to get to all sides of the buildings.

The backside of the build isn’t quite as impressive, but it doesn’t look too terrible. There’s enough detailing to keep things from looking unfinished.

A small brick-built guardian dragon is included to help protect the golden weapons. It uses the last sticker for a bit of detailing on the head, and a black roller skate element for the eyes. It doesn’t stand up well on its own, so I build a quick display stand for it out of parts from my personal collection.

That lack of a stand is a non-issue, though, as this dragon is meant to perch on the podium in front of the weaponry. The moving blade detailed earlier is the second line of defense.

The Crystal King looks right at home in the throne room. His dual swords and horns add to all the pointiness.

We’ve already gone over the collapsing steps play feature, but here’s a shot of Cole standing on that breakaway step. Until you move that switch, it’s a very solid piece of stonework.

Meanwhile, Jay is checking out the crystal prison. “Top quality workmanship”, he’s heard to mutter.

Back to the other side of the playset, and Zane is learning first hand that “do not touch” is not only the recommendation from the Crystal King Temple custodians, it’s the law.

The minifigures

This set comes with six minifigures; the core team of ninjas and two baddies. The outfits on the four good guys is a major perk: These outfits are all exclusive to this set. Cole, Kai, Jay and Zane all wear the standard uniforms seen in the Crystalized season. While not nearly as showy as their golden or  Golden Dragon alternates, they’re highly detailed and unique to each character, rather than being “simple” color swaps.

Each ninja has a new dual-molded cowl, dual sided torso prints, and leg printing. The all share common face prints and a backpack/sword accessory.

The bad guys aren’t exclusive to this set, but are still pretty swanky. Both come with transparent dark-pink accessories and a stylish charm that speaks to the time spent on their design. The Ninjago theme really is full of great looking characters.

The Vengestone Guard comes with a dual-molded head, as well as transparent arms and leg. The transparent dark-pink shoulder armor marks them as the more elite version of this character.

The Crystal King is the same version that appears in 71774 Lloyd’s Golden Ultra Dragon. He sports a “torso extender” that gives him two extra arms, a long-horned Oni Mask, and a pair of transparent dark-pink swords. A pretty imposing figure, and a tough foe for our ninja friends.

Conclusion and recommendation

The Crystal King Temple is a solid Ninjago playset. There are plenty of play features, the core ninja team in exclusive outfits, and some fierce looking foes to battle. For the price of $80 US you get 706 pieces, which is a not-great but reasonable 11 cents-per. If you’re a fan of transparent dark-pink, there are exclusive recolored elements on offer, and the rest of the pieces are more massive than just a pile of 1×1 round plate. As an 8+ set, the build isn’t super challenging, but it is fun and engaging, and has some minor Technic magic that might teach you a thing or two. The tensegrity prison-pod is an interesting touch that adds something new to released LEGO techniques. All in all, a recommended addition to any fan’s collection. Even if you’re not deep into Ninjago lore, there’s enough here to make most builders smile.

LEGO Ninjago 71771 The Crystal King Temple is available now from the LEGO Shop Online for US $79.99 | CAN $99.99 | UK £69.99. It is also 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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