Saturday, July 31st, 2021 at 12:05am by Jason, BZPower Reporter
It's about time we have another LEGO set review. And since North America is about to see the release of the next wave of Ninjago Legacy sets, I (BZPower Reporter Xccj) figured I should get around to publishing the review from the last wave that I have been putting off for too long. So read on (or watch) to see details about 71736 Boulder Blaster!
First off, I'd like to extend a thank you to LEGO for providing this set to us to review. . . back last December. But then there were shipping delays, technology failures, and a whole host of other complications, so we're only getting to it now. Still, better late than never. So without further ado. . .
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
You've got a classic Ninjago box showcasing the Legacy subtheme. In addition to the Boulder Blaster flying across the front of the box, you have a nice background of Chen's island, with Chen himself showcasing that this model was from Season 4. (Chen does not appear in this set though.) This is, in fact, a recreation of set 70747 Boulder Blaster from 2015, which sold for $29.99. This version is beefed up at $39.99, and also has a collectible Golden Kai!
The back of the box showcases some alternate scenes with the set, and features some screenshots highlighting the model in the show, a neat feature for those who are fans. There's also a wheel of collectibles shown, and in this case the collectibles are the main cast of Ninjas in unique golden outfits. Four of the Ninjas were released in the winter wave, and the other two are coming out in some summer sets. Inside the box, you get four bags of parts, one sticker sheet, and an instruction booklet, per usual.
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 comes with 449 pieces (plus your usual extras.) This is an upgrade from the original which only came with 236. Of course, because it's a Legacy set it isn't stuffed with a bunch of new molds. Technically, yes, the fancy windscreen canopy is unique to this set and the design appeared here first, but it's also being used a lot in the new Seabound wave of Ninjago sets (although with trans light blue screens, apparently.) You also get some of the ridged wedge piece in black (although the details really blend in with all my pictures) which was a piece that was introduced in a bunch of the Master of the Mountain sets last year. Most of the pieces are black or gold, but you also get a few orange and sand green highlights. Orange makes sense, as it has become a standard highlight color for Cole. Sand green, while it has been consistently showing up in Cole vehicles for years, is always really underused and I'm surprised it's still appearing.
Of course, a big draw to the set is always the minifigures, and this set comes with four. Cole and Lloyd appear in their legacy outfits. Although these are indeed similar to their Tournament of Elements outfits from 2015, the Legacy sets are reusing these figs for the sets based on the Rebooted wave from 2014. Still, it's nice to get their hairpieces and fancy color-coded outfits with Ninjago-script written on them. Eyezor is the main villain here, a henchman of Chen, and he gets an update too, although it's a bit more subtle.
Kai is the collectible here, appearing in fancy golden robes that are not too dissimilar from his 2014 Rebooted outfit. (I mean, it's also not too far off from the last time Kai appeared as a gold Ninja in a promotional set in 2017.) There's a lot of great fiery detail printed on him, but the big deal is to collect a full team. Jay, Lloyd, and Cole appeared in the other Winter Legacy sets this year, and golden Master Wu appeared in Ninjago City Gardens, so when I first started on this review last spring these were the only ones I could get together for a group shot. But soon you'll be able to complete your collection with Zane and Nya from the summer sets.
The first build is actually a small prison display. Prisons are very prevalent in Ninjago, and Lloyd always seems to get stuck in them. It's not actually super substantial; as you can see from behind, it's mostly a SNOT plate with the edges and roof added on. Luckily, if you hit the conveniently placed target, you can knock down the front bars and prisonbreak Lloyd.
The main build is indeed the Boulder Blaster, and it is quite substantial. I must admit that I never actually owned the original set, so I can't do a direct comparison. But it did play a big role in the TV show, even though it was quite an odd vehicle. It was primarily a plane, but its main purpose was to be a drill that could break them out of a prison, and it was made exclusively from parts of a noodle making machine. Even for Ninjago vehicles, this one was a bit farfetched. But it's iconic enough to get a remake. . .
It looks quite a bit larger than the original. The main turret in the front looks fairly similar to the original, but the rest of the plane has been beefed up behind it so that the turret isn't overpowering the flow of the thing anymore. It has a spacious cockpit now and wide wings, which are thicker than the single plate width of the original. Some useful decorative elements are used to fill it out, making it look very much like a powerful machine. The handle in the back allows you to easily grip it while you swoosh it around, which is a nice feature. Still, thanks to the big turret, holding it like this makes the whole thing feel more like a blaster than I think it should. Oh well.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
The main action feature is the turret in the front. A circle of spring-loaded launchers are built around a wheel using some fancy techniques that end up being quite snug. The interior then has a gear assembly so that when you turn one of the big gears on the side, the front turret rotates. And as it rotates, there's a wheel on the bottom that will trigger the spring-loaded launchers. So you can effectively get some rapid-fire action going with this thing, perfect in fighting off Chen and his armies. (Or, in this set, Eyezor.)
As mentioned earlier, the prison has a neat little feature where you can hit the target and knock the front bars down. Well, if you really want to showcase your sharpshooting skills, you can hit that target by firing the turret, so thus Cole flies in and rescues Lloyd from his jail cell with a well-aimed blast. Yay play features!
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
What's to like?
Improved variation of a classic set
Decent gear driven action feature
Collectible gold ninja!
What's not to like?
The Boulder Blaster is such a strange concept as a vehicle
Looks more like a blaster, less like a plane
Prison is pretty unsubstantial
Oh no, I have to collect all the gold ninjas now!!
Overall, I think this is a solid set that does a good job of both recreating a classic vehicle from the show and upgrading an older model using modern techniques and pieces. Yes, the Boulder Blaster is a bit of an odd vehicle, but it's still quite imaginative and comes together well. The figures are also a nice touch, especially the collectible Golden Kai. I think many Ninjago fans can appreciate this model.
Thanks again for reading through another BZPower set review. We're certainly going to have more reviews coming eventually, so keep an eye out on the front page for them. (All five of you who read this far!) And again, a big thanks to LEGO for sending us this set, although per usual I should remind you that these are my crazy views and opinions on the set and such.