I dread making these LEGO Ninjago dragons, if you can forgive such a first world non-problem. They do look impressive once they’re made, but they’re also fiddly, the small bits come off, and – worst of all – my kid always loses some of the claws and teeth in the box of a trillion other LEGO pieces, which means the dragon is doomed to see it out the rest of its days incomplete.
But with the Ninjago Movie out, LEGO Ninjago is about to take over my life even more than it already has, so I might as well get stuck in and build one.
First thing’s first, the selection of minigures that come with the Green Ninja Mech Dragon – Lloyd, Master Wu, Lord Garmadon and Charlie – are slightly disappointing. Not because they’re bad figures, of course, but because my little boy already has three of them, which means I got nothing but earache off him about it. For Ninjago newbies though, it’s a decent selection.
Getting onto the actual build, the dragon itself was mercifully un-fiddly. In fact, it’s a doddle to put together – a much more enjoyable build than the last Ninjago dragon I put together, which I resented from the start. I wanted to get a Star Wars X-Wing, but my son selfishly made me buy the dragon instead, just because it was his birthday.
(Though after the ordeal or building it I still feel like weeping when I see pieces of its broken body, cruelly discarded and mixed with with Nexo Knights.)
The Green Ninja Mech Dragon uses some Technics-style pieces and techniques, which usually means the model can be a bit dull and repetitive, but each body part is actually very straightforward and overall it’s a quick build.
It didn’t take me much longer than 40 minutes, which is optimum for something that will be played with and inevitably broken up, as opposed to being placed on a high shelf and worshipped from a distance, as I’d not-so-secretly like to do with all LEGO sets that cost over £30.
LEGO nerds will enjoy a few examples of “Nice Piece Use” (yeah, that’s technical jargon) with an old school medieval flag for its big dragony tongue, and a couple of see through neon minifigure heads for eyes.
In fact, the detailing on the dragon’s head is very good, though it doesn’t withstand much rigorous playing in the hands of a five-year-old. By now, several days later, I’ve fixed and reattached the dragon’s upper jaw roughly 10 million times. Which sounds like an exaggeration, but isn’t.
Still, I’d better get used to it – with Christmas fast approaching I’ll be building and fixing Ninjago sets way into the New Year.