I like ninja and I have a passing fancy for LEGO® but oddly I’ve never actively sought out and built that many Ninjago sets, that is until just recently. Despite being a fairly long running theme, its popularity shows no signs of stopping. Each and every time we cover anything Ninjago-related, it’s amazingly popular and that excitement is quite contagious. The latest range of LEGO Ninjago sets are based on the seventh season of the Ninjago – Masters of Spinjitzu animated TV show, which has just begun to air here in the UK. For the second of our Hands of Time set reviews, we take a look at the largest set in the range, 70627: Dragon’s Forge.
Swoop to conquer the Dragon’s Forge with Kai and Nya on the Fusion Dragon, rescue their parents from the Vermillion and claim the Reversal Time Blade. The Dragon’s Forge building has loads of play-starting features and functions, including a hidden Dragon Dagger to activate the turning chimney function, a blacksmith’s hammer function and a leisure area. The highly posable, two-headed Fusion Dragon has seats for two minifigures and a shooting crossbow to take on the buildable Buffmillion mech. Also includes six minifigures with weapons to increase the role-play battle options.
- Set Number: 70627
- Minifigures: Nya, Kai, Ray, Maya, Commander Raggmunk and Slackjaw
- Piece Count: 1137
- Price: £47.99 / $79.99
- Dragon’s Forge measures over 6” (16cm) high, 10” (27cm) wide and 7” (18cm) deep.
- Fusion Dragon measures over 9” (23cm) high, 14” (38cm) long and 16” (41cm) wide.
- Buffmillion mech stands over 4” (12cm) tall.
Build – Fusion Dragon
Before you get on to the good stuff, the build begins with a brick-built bad guy, the Buffmillion mech. Like other brick-built enemies found across the Hands of Time sets, it has a snake-like appearance. It also uses two red bigfig arms, last seen on the Red Hulk Bigfig. It’s a odd looking thing neither mech nor figure. The colour scheme is consistent with the Vermilion warriors, thanks to the parts used and detail on the stickers but it’s certainly the weakest part of the set and doesn’t look that much like it’s animated versions.
Thankfully things kick it up a notch with the next part of the build, the magnificent Fusion Dragon. There have been a number of dragons appear across the LEGO Ninjago theme over the years but this is the first which combines the elemental powers of two ninja – Nya’s water powers and Kai’s fire powers, both represented by the red and blue colour scheme woven into the dragon. Considering how muted the colours of the Hands of Time sets are, both colours featured on the dragon are quite vibrant, which adds to the visual impact of the set.
One of the best features of the dragon is how the colours are built in such a way that they seem to be twisted along the dragons hide. Although the right-side of the dragon is predominantly blue and the left red, coloured plates and elements criss-cross along the back to the tails, whose colours are opposite to the dragon’s head. It’s a clever way of giving added texture to the already impressive looking beast.
A number of translucent elements are used to give even more astonishing detail including on both wings and the claws of the feet. The wings use a trio of flap elements, which have previously been used on other Ninjago dragons and the huge Ferris Wheel. These are combined into the wings with overlaying black elements and golden katanas. Each wing also features a printed element of both Kai and Nya’s elemental crest. Considering they are only a small part of the whole build, the wings are packed with neat little details that result in making them a huge visual element of the entire set.
Thanks to the use of a large number of ball-joint connections on both the wings, heads, tails and legs, the Fusion Dragon is highly poseble. This not only adds to the playability of the set but also the display possibilities, especially when combined with the Blacksmith’s Forge building.
The level of detail built into the Fusion Dragon is amazing, I’m not normally a fan of brick-built creatures but after building this amazing set, my mind has been totally changed. The use of bricks and elements you wouldn’t expect such as weapons and wheel arches to provide the smallest details, all combine to create a truly impressive build.
Atop the Fusion Dragon, is an area for both Kai and Nya to sit. It’s a little bit of a tight squeeze as both Minifigures have shoulder mounted armour, however the just about fit. Nya mans a mounted bowcaster, which uses the new stud firing weapon a certain Wookie has a penchant for. Kai doesn’t have a weapon which is physically connected to the Dragon, instead he has control of the Reversal Time Blade. Just like the other three blades, this uses dual materials of trans orange and pearl gold to create the blade. Due to the similar colours it’s not as impressive looking at the other Time Blades.
The underneath of the dragon is fairly plain, apart from a odd stack of 2×2 elements which create an seemingly out of place block. However it’s far from out of place and there is a clever reason as to why it’s there, which I’ll get onto later, but I will say it’s an ingenious inclusion to the set overall.
Build – The Forge
After a build as impressive as the Fusion Dragon, you’d expect the rest of the build to be a little bit mediocre. However one thing I’ve come to learn from building LEGO sets especially those provided for review, is to expect the unexpected. The ramshackle building which houses the Blacksmiths Forge is split into three main sections, the central area which features the Forge’s fiery hearth and other weapon forging equipment along with two side areas, which acts as the building living quarters.
All three sections fit together to create a quaint looking Japanese-style building, I love the rounded doorways and the uses of brown bricks to give the appearance of wooden beams. There’s also two column elements around the doorway which are connected in such a way they are slightly crooked, which adds to the charm of the building.
Although the rear of the building isn’t the best looking, it does hide a small gear which can be turned to power the fire and gear system which turns the four-sided slab set within the chimney stack of the Forge. Does that chimney stack seem oddly unfinished? That’s why I thought, but then it clicked – that 2×2 block on the bottom of the dragon fits perfectly atop the chimney, making for one amazingly cool looking display piece. Admittedly without the Fusion Dragon it doesn’t look as good.
The central chimney area of the Blacksmith’s Forge, features a lot of detail and play functions. As mentioned above the column of the chimney has a ‘working’ hearth which can be powered by turning the gear at the rear of the building or by using the dragon dagger, which is hidden under the steps to the Forge. As well as causing the two fire elements to move, turning the switch causes a four-sided 2x2x3 brick to turn as well. This features four elemental designs, achieved with stickers.
The side sections aren’t as busy as the central section, but there’s still some fun details. Including a grinding wheel and an eating area with a rather rare white teapot element. Both sections can be folded into the central area and sit underneath the flooring of this area. You should be a little careful with the left-hand side as there is raised section which has a sticker on it. If this catches too often the sticker could easily become worn or even start to lift.
I love all the hidden little nooks such as the stairs and the chest, along with all the fun extra bits, like the stash of weapons, which can be built in various ways. Even stuff like the transparent bases underneath each anvil, all add to the charm of the set. I also like the use of elements in particular the funky NEXO KNIGHTS shields with are used on both the Fusion Dragon and in the Blacksmiths Forge. It’s also nice to see Mjölnir make an appearance as the forging hammers.
The Vermillion Army is represented by two Minifigures – Commander Raggmunk and Slackjaw. The hapless pair help General Machia lead the awakening Vermillion warriors. Slackjaw is the most generic of the two Vermillion Minifigures are his face and torso are fairly similar to other Vermillion characters from other Hands of Time sets. He does however have an interesting helmet element. This has two red snakes protruding from the forged helmet, I do like the dual material pieces. Raggmunk is a little more unique, although he wears the cool Vermillion armour which appears in other sets, he is coloured differently to the other bad guys. Both Minifigures have really impressive print detail which covers both the torso and legs. Their weapons can also be combines with those in the Forge to create entirely new ones.
The second two Minifigures are new to the Ninjago univere, Maya and Ray are Kai and Nya’s long lost parents. They have been forced to work in their Forge to create weapons for the Vermillion Army, but long ago they helped to create the powerful Time Blades. Both Minifigures have alternate faces, with Ray having a bandaged head. They aren’t that exciting as Minifigures, but they do play an important role in the Ninjago universe.
It wouldn’t be a Ninjago set without a Ninja or two, so lucky by Kai and Nya are included in the set. Both characters feature this seasons new darker Ninja robes and armour. Both also include the their Ninja hoods and their hair pieces. Although Kai’s hair has appeared before it’s still a great element. As mentioned above both Ninja have their swords, with Kai also controlling a Time Blade. Their secondary facial expressions are quite cool and have an air of The LEGO Ninjago Movie about them thanks to their coloured eyes.
None of the Minifigures are really that stand-out but it’s nice to get Kai and Nya’s parents in the same set. All the Minifigures have great print detail especially the two bad guys I’d rather of had a third bad guy Minifigure in place of the Buffmillion mech or even a little vehicle or weapon.
I have to say the Dragon’s Forge is an really impressive set, the level of detail it features is outstanding, especially the Fusion Dragon. This could be a set all on its own but the fact it’s only half of the whole set is even more impressive. I love the use of parts across the entire set and all the small details, which even extend to the Minifigures. The brick-built Buffmilion is the weakest part of the set but that’s more than made up for with the Fusion Dragon and Forge building. The whole set is a joy to build as well and would look great next to the Airjitzu Temple. We’ll definitely see more dragons appears in future the Ninjago sets, but I hope we get a few more buildings. The various vehicles are cool but the building are quite special.