Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 at 11:51am by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we're looking at another of the 2021 LEGO Ninjago Legacy sets, providing you with an in-depth review. DeeVee is digging into 71738 Zane's Titan Mech Battle, a reimagining of one-half of 70737 Titan Mech Battle from 2015. To learn if this mech with knees is in fact the bee's knees, or if it's just knee-deep in snow and ice, read on!
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
(Official box art images from LEGO)
Zane's Titan Mech Battle is a large set, and the box is, once again, much larger than I expected. The snowy mountain image contrasts nicely with the red Ninjago Legacy trim, and the gold ninja image in the top right is very eye-catching! The front image does a good job of showcasing the set contents, and you'll immediately notice that one of the mech's knees are bent. For a lot of AFOLs this is very exciting and the only thing they seem to focus on! While the addition of actual knees is indeed very exciting, it is not the make or break of a mech for me, so it was not something that influenced my choice of this set! The box also has the ghost wind ninja in the bottom left with the "Featured on Season 5" QR code, and the figs included on the right. As is to be expected for collectible challenges, Zane's mech comes with a gold fig, but it isn't Zane, but Jay. This is definitely on purpose! Now you have to buy the Zane mech if you're a Zane fan AND the set Zane's gold fig comes in, or vice versa.
On the side of the box is a neat image of Golden Jay, and the back showcases the set, figs, and features. A few images of the original mech from the show are included, which really go to show how different this version is from the original as it appeared both in show and in set.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Like most LEGO mechs, the building starts off with a solid torso chunk, and the limbs and head grow out of it. The core base is solid, and it's a lot of fun to watch the flair slowly come to life. The little pops of red actually add a lot as you build, and the entire thing is full of clever SNOT and Mixel work to make a lot of fun angles not usually seen in LEGO sets. In the best ways, this set feels like it takes the best from traditional LEGO sets and traditional mech MOCs from the AFOL community. The final build is solid and offers a fantastic silhouette and shape.
It's a fun, clever build, and it took me a few hours with making dinner breaking my build time in two.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
This set is even more clever when you realize how few parts in this set are new or exclusive to this set. The entire list of recolors or exclusives appears to be very small!
The pointed white brick appears to be new and exclusive at the moment to this set. While the way it is used on the set isn't some mind-blowing use of parts, it's the exact part needed to mirror the other pointed angled on the set and really brings the build together.
The beehive in gunmetal looks great and makes for fantastic rocket boosters. I'm sure this could have been done with traditional lego cones so I'm thrilled to see something neat and stylish thrown in instead, it really feels like it elevates the build. The organic curves work really well instead as mechanical details. Versatility and aesthetics being defined by the context around it will always be fascinating.
Otherwise we are mostly looking at minifig parts, and the "Ninjago 10th anniversary" printed tile (which is a LOVELY print). The dual-molded blades for the ghost baddies appears to be exclusive to this set in these colors, and while the purple hat has been seen before, it's nice to see it again as the last time it was around was the original 2015 ghost sets. Golden Jay is an entirely new deco, but the ninja wrap and shoulder armor-slash-scabbard are from the video game wave in new colors.
There is also a sticker sheet I did not use, as per usual. A lot of nice designs!
Moving on to the set itself...
The visual design of the mech is sharp, sleek, and powerful. The angled parts on the torso, the fins on the legs, the pointed shoulders, the chunky arms and legs... the entire design feels very anime in all the best ways. Which, considering the designer, should surprise no one! The negative space on the torso subtly evokes a skull, creating a very strong appearance that is sure to be a fan-favorite for a long time.
The back of the set is just as intricately designed as the front, a pleasant surprise compared to both other LEGO mech sets and most of my own MOCs. The armor flaps around the waist on the back even include clips for Zane's weapons.
Speaking of Zane, he sits in the torso underneath the head, which flips up to allow him to get in. The tight design creates a few issues here, as it is near-impossible to get Zane in without pulling the front V section off. And if you leave his shoulder armor/scabbard on, it becomes even closer to impossible to have him hold the golden pistols used as handles. I found this frustrating as an adult and I would think it would be doubly-so for the target audience kids.
Okay, the knees. Wow these are smart! Using a rotating assembly of Mixel joints, the knees are strong, stable, and allow for a strong level of movement. These are incredibly clever. I really can't emphasize this enough. The feet are built with a high brick that allows them to run into the lower legs, creating a point that stops the mech from falling over backward when posed, which is also smart. Together they allow for some dynamic poses, though they are limited by the lack of rotational movement in the hips and thighs. The hips can go forward, back, and outward, but the lack of rotation can make finding more poses that hold the mech in a stable way difficult.
I don't care for the shuriken blade on the left arm, and would prefer the double-swords (and maybe the longer katana part vs the shorter blade used here), if I'm honest. The original used two swords and that felt a lot more dynamic as well. Interestingly enough, because of the two different weapons, the hands are build differently in order to attach them.
I like the big chunky fingers, and the design to give the thumb a more real level of movement is inspired.
Somehow the head is almost the same size as on the original mech and doesn't feel out of place.
The set includes four minifigs.
On the left in these photos is the new Zane, on the right is the Zane from the OG Titan Mech set. The ghost wave ninja outfits have always been my second favorite (the Skybound suits are the best, obviously), and it's interesting to see a new take on Zane's. The design has been simplified immensely, and I think I prefer it. The addition of white arms and the inversion of the original cowl makes for an interesting new take, and the logo change on the back is a massive improvement. The new set though re-uses a stock Zane head which is a bit disappointing for minifig collectors I'm sure.
I had the hardest time getting the ghosts to stand in my lightbox. That small base did not want to stand on the fabric, especially Ghoultar and his big weapon, and as good as the ghost base looks (and was used for the OG wave too), this gave me a lot of grief. One of the downsides to these figs is the simplification of the designs, both are the exact same fig with different hat/cowl and shoulder bits. Ghoultar used to be more important! Still, the translucent heads look incredible, and the entire appearance of them is a lot of fun. It's too bad their mech got cut from the set! The dark blue and purple looks so good together.
Golden Jay looks great. The blue and gold are vibrant and compliment each other well. I like the video game series cowl, and the little base with the 10th anniversary logo is such a nice touch. I especially like the blue studs used inside it to bring the elemental cohesion to the design!
Man is this set larger than the original! It harkens back to the old design in a lot of ways, especially with the head. I really love the addition of the bucket handle to the new one. It's interesting to see how far Ninjago's design philosophy has come in the past five years, and I'm very ready to see where it is five years from now. At this point I can't imagine a world without Ninjago.
(And I'm okay with this.)
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
This is a great set. You should buy it. The only thing I don't care for is the way Zane sits inside the mech - and you can't even SEE that when he's in it. It's rare for me to just say "go out and buy this" but that's where I'm at. This set is fantastic.
Many thanks to LEGO for providing this set to BZPower, BZP's Ambassador Tufi Piyufi for arranging the review offer, and to DeeVee for writing the review and taking such beautiful photos! Hopefully you enjoyed the review and if so, keep checking back for more Ninjago and other set reviews, right here on BZPower!
« Return to News