When LEGO introduced the Ninjago theme back in 2011, no one could have guessed that it would come to be one of the company’s most popular themes. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Ninjago is getting its biggest set yet, 71741 Ninjago City Gardens. At 5,685 pieces, it’s the fifth-largest LEGO set ever, and the third entry into the cyberpunk modular buildings collection known as Ninjago City. A series of high-rise buildings containing all manner of city life, Ninjago City Gardens houses restaurants, a museum, an arcade, a dojo, and apartments, along with 19 minifigures. Ninjago City Gardens is available now for US $299.99 | CAN $399.99 | UK £274.99. Let’s see how this one stacks up to the previous Ninjago City sets.
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.
Click to read the full, hands-on review
Designer videos provide insights that you may miss during the build and shares background information that you’ll never get anywhere else. Check out snippets and behind the scenes details of the LEGO 71741 Ninjago City Gardens celebrating the 10th year anniversary since the beloved theme was introduced in 2011.
Click to see the designer video feature
The moment I saw this ski-footed bot, I smiled. Markus Rollbühler has created a perfect blend of retro-vintage sci-fi and modern aesthetic. And one of the best parts usage in those handbags as knee joints. I also love the slight curve of the arms that reminds me of that classic robot from Lost in Space.
LEGO has produced a lot of castle sets, but in my honest opinion there always has been a lack of travel carts! Markus Rollbühler is here to fill that gap for us. One of the best things about this creation is that the walls of the cart are positioned at an angle. The only straight wall, where the door is located, uses 2×1 cheese slopes to fill up the gap created by the slight angle of the other walls. But that’s not the only thing. This creation is filled with original details! One of the best used pieces has to be the blaster trigger. The blaster adds great playability to the set for kids, but as an adult fan of LEGO, I do not tend to use them. Markus used the trigger piece as table and chair legs and it looks stunning. Have you noticed the candle holder using the scuba breathing regulator. And don’t even get me started on that cute brick-built snail!
What do you get when four of the most talented castle builders out there collaborate on a series of LEGO builds? It’s a bit like alchemy, because the result is solid gold. Well, Grant Davis, Simon Hundsbichler, Marcel V., and Markus Rollbühler teamed up to show the life of a postman, carrying the mail across every bridge in the realm to make sure each and every citizen receives their letters on time. Each build is different in every detail, except the postman himself, but they are all scaled and shot to mimic the others, with the result that the builds complement each other perfectly. I’d love to have these framed on my wall, side by side, because these are not just LEGO builds, but art.
Click to see each of the builds up close
I simply adore microscale castles, and microscale LEGO creations in general, too. There’s something about it, where even the slightest wrong choice in elements can ruin the whole composition, but the perfect usage of that one clever piece can make a masterpiece. Enter Markus Rollbühler, one of the world’s best LEGO master builders (seriously, check out his TBB rap sheet). His microscale fairytale castle and village are chock full of amazing and clever parts usages (and color, too; do I spy some sand red in there?).
While he’s used the party hats for tower roofs before, pairing them with cupcake liners is new. And there’s a mug in the tallest tower, Elves keys for the keep, wand sprues supporting book covers for the village houses, a katana holder for windmill blades, a roller skate as a cart being pulled by what looks like a non-production brown lever arm, a cupcake top as a haystack, and the list goes on. And don’t forget the unicorn horns balancing as trees. Even blinking near this thing must have the tiny denizens crying “Timber!”
A frequent staple of the Brothers Brick, LEGO Designer Markus Rollbühler knows his way around the LEGO kitchen. He’s dished up a hearty broth containing soft flex hose noodles, minifig leg mushrooms, some yolky eggs, and a white and pink spiraled narutomaki. Gotta say the photography really helps the model shine as well. I’d order this in a restaurant.
Hungry for more? We’ve got you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Why not have some dessert while you’re at it?
This month’s community cover photo features a mind-bendingly detailed alchemist workshop by Markus Rollbühler. Look carefully, and you might think that he’s used Photoshop to mirror one side of the image. A cheeky way to save bricks! However, look even more carefully at the shadows and reflections and you’ll realize it’s not a digital trick, but a full LEGO creation with perfect symmetry.
The immaculate photography complements such an expertly crafted creation. I wonder if the alchemist who resides here is creating such a symmetrical scene through some kind of magic, or are they just OCD?
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Up next from TBB Auctionhouse, we have this magnificent piece, “Canvas Warrior”, ABS on canvas, by the brilliant artist Markus Rollbühler, circa 2020. Bidding will start at $1M. Do I hear one? You, with the itchy nose. Please note the American Western style, with the Native American astride a horse, riding out of the picturesque Rocky Mountains. Do I hear two? Ah, you, scratching your eyebrow. Note the rippling pectorals, made from a LEGO minifigure torso. This could be the cover of the latest Nora Roberts novel. Do I see a hand for three? You there, lady with the cough, yes. Three million. This is a fine example of stereotypical Wild West art, folks. There’s buckskin fringe, a rifle, even some scrub bushes. Four million, from you, Mr. Itchy Nose. Wonderful. Five? Do I hear five? The impressionistic landscape even includes some plesiosaur flippers. And that horse! It will leap out and impress all your guests? Five! Yes, you on your smartphone. Five million! Going once, going twice, sold!
Symmetry in art is a funny thing. It is the cause of much disagreement. Some find it fascinating and perfect, while others see it as unnatural and repetitive. I fall squarely in the first camp. I find symmetry and the attention to it in art to be fascinating. Two of my favorite directors, Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick, deal heavily in symmetry to great effect. Builder Markus Rollbühler taps into this form with great aplomb and gives us a LEGO creation that is quite beautiful and fascinating to examine.
At first, I thought perhaps there was some visual tricky going on here, but closer examination reveals this to be a fully realized, symmetrical model brimming with detail. There is some really fun parts usage, like Minnie Mouse’s skirt for the planters in the front and those beautiful purple potion bottles. The treasure chests as table legs are another nice touch. It should also be noted that those brick walls aren’t just stacked bricks! They are actually tiles placed on SNOT (Studs Not On top) pieces, providing a much more dimensional and realistic look to the walls. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go stare at this photo some more and revel in the perfect symmetry of the world between those walls.
Well, what do they have in common? Absolutely nothing! Sorry to disappoint you, but this is really more of an abstract art challenged driven by a contest to build a LEGO creation in a single color. Builder Markus Rollbühler cleverly builds a gravity-defying paint bucket and a tiny pirate ship sailing off the edges of spilt paint. So, since we’re on the topic, what’s a pirate’s favorite color? For sure it’s not yellow, but.. if you’ve not gotten it yet, it’s ARR-inge.
I never had bunk beds as a kid. There was plenty of space in my bedroom for friends to sleep over on a camp bed, but somehow bunks always seemed more fun. Guess I’ll have to suage my nostalgic regret with Markus Rollbühler‘s LEGO-built version instead. The bunks sit at the heart of a charming little model — a child’s bedroom, packed full of furniture and belongings. The scene was created as part of a challenge to build something with no more than 101 pieces, and the restriction lies at the heart of some creative parts use. Don’t miss the swivel chair with its backrest made from an old-school minifigure cape, and the little bulldozer on the floor. I also love the Belville shoe used as a computer mouse and the anglepoise lamp on the nightstand. This is one of those LEGO models which manages to be both cute and clever at the same time.