"Dual bike battle sets. This has been a staple for LEGO action themes for YEARS now and doesn't show many signs of slowing. Anytime a set like this comes out, I try to identify what makes this one special and different from the rest? TLDR: The "hovering" function and side shooters.
BUILD: The bikes are built quite differently, with the function for the side shooters built in quite nicely for MK's bike.
PLAY: The fact that the wheels can rotate out on MK's bike may seem like a small addition, but definitely expands the play possibilities and even adds some "swooshability." The side shooting works fine, but sometimes the disks can get stuck. The inclusion of one of the robo-spiders is nice, and I find it interesting that this is the only set that includes a clip to attach the spider to the civilian, even though others should have had it as well. Also, pretty much the only exclusive named character of this 2021 wave is in this set (Spindrax), who is a suitably menacing spider-biker.
DISPLAY: The spider bike looks great with the other Monkie Kid spider builds, as does MK's bike with his other vehicles. However, I wonder just how long this red, yellow, and teal scheme for MK's vehicles can continue without it feeling overdone."
"I love this spider. It has a cool color scheme, imposing size, and is likely the most polished and largest arachnoid build LEGO has created. Also, the fold-out base feature and front leg movement works wonderfully. But a few frustrations are still present when trying to move it or use on any sort of carpet.
Build: The build is quite varied. The middle, back and legs are all very different and cool. However, building six large, identical legs got a bit tedious. It was fun to discover little secrets and stickers along the way.
Play: When I finished building on my carpet, I was immediately disappointed that I couldn't get it to move! Most of the legs get stuck and prevent any sort of motion. Also, the front leg function, while it works great on a smooth surface, can also get stuck in even short carpet lengths. When used on a flat wood surface everything worked much more smoothly. However, most of the motion comes from sliding, and not wheels, even though there are black pieces holding up the entire front of the build. The base on the back is quite fun to open and use, but is the only really good place to grab the spider to move it.
Display: This thing is huge, and shares a similar footprint to the Monkie Kid Dronecopter. It looks really nice displayed next to other Monkie Kid builds, especially the other spider builds and looks good from pretty much all angles."
"A big, beautiful baddie boat and a smaller, less impressive but functional ninja boat make for a fun play and display set.
BUILD: These ships are not like much else that has been in NINJAGO for a while, and was a unique shape and build because of that. There were some standout techniques used, especially how the shaping for the Kai's vehicle came together, that I had never seen before. Even though both ships are catamarans, the builds are quite different and there isn't much repetition.
PLAY: We are finally starting to get more substantial antagonist builds in NINJAGO, and there is a lot of play value with having a big ship to battle in play scenarios. The extending sides function on the red ship work smoothly, and it is also fun having the multipurpose sides to the brown ship that can split off.
DISPLAY: The brown and teal of the big boat is such a smooth color scheme, and it's something I hope we can see more of as it works so well here. In contrast, the flame orange and red of the smaller boat is a bit garish, even though it looks good on its own. The quantity of nice figures and the two dynamic boats offer lots of possible display scenarios."
Compelling Color and Splendid Shaping for Wild Dog
"Dog-like sensibilities mixed with a stellar color scheme make for a unique dragon like nothing we've seen before.
BUILD: By this point, NINJAGO dragons are developing very similar builds and structures. There were not many surprises as someone who has built lots of NINJAGO dragons, but this is certainly one of the most refined. The legs are all fairly similar and the tail links are mostly the same, but the body and head are the standout builds. The crooked back of the dragon is not something we have seen before in LEGO's portfolio and works pretty well.
PLAY: The dragon is pretty posable, even though there are only two joints per leg. The wings are harder to pose, and can have some weird angles, but that could be part of the wacky charm of this particular dragon. The included windsurfer for Zane is nice and pairs well with the dragon. Also, the antagonists with the double head and tiki mask are very unique and great to have.
DISPLAY: Teal is becoming ever more prevalent a color in LEGO sets, and it is quite striking. It looks stellar next to the other NINJAGO Island sets in color and variation, and the head/face especially is not like any other dragon next to it."
"A wide and varied set with ample opportunities for play and display. The side-build containers are inventive and the amount of minifigures included is fantastic with several great unique ones.
BUILD: Two instructions are included, so breaking up the build or building with a friend is very easy as there are so many different things that can be built simultaneously. There is lots of variety and fun in the build, though the identical drone wings can get a little tedious, but not obnoxiously so.
PLAY: There is so much going on in this set and so many spaces and play features that it is hard to run out of things to do with it. The highlight for me is ultimately the innovative container builds as they are so creative in how they pack unique spaces and features into small areas. I only wish they could be combined or added to the Monkie Kid Team Secret HQ container ship as that would show really cool cross-set play, though they work well on their own and with the drone. The drone is very fun to fly around, though with two containers attached a bit of flexing can be felt in the handle because of the weight. However, the structure is put together in such a way that I am not too worried about anything falling apart as it is pretty sturdy.
DISPLAY: There is so much that comes in the set that dynamic scenarios can be made really easily. The color schemes of both the protagonists and the antagonists match really well with their other respective sets and look satisfying together. The drone is so large, however, that the shelf space needed is pretty substantial for display."
"Likely the best Ninjago bike so far with working suspension and great figures.
BUILD: It went together quickly, with some satisfying shaping and colors.
PLAY: The bike is super playable, especially since the suspension on the back wheel works satisfyingly. The minifigs included are great, including Nya as the only set of the wave with her. Unfortunately (and this is something I've heard other people struggling with as well) the machetes fall out of Nya's lightsaber hilt very easily and sit quite loosely, so care must be taken when handling them.
DISPLAY: The color scheme looks very cohesive in my opinion, and sits nicely next to the other NINJAGO Island sets. The biggest drawback is that it is difficult to get the bike to stay upright, as no kickstand or anything was included to help it stay vertical. The sail really makes this bike shine and make it one of the best NINJAGO bikes to date."
"These colorful and splashy animals makes for fun play and vibrant display thanks to its dynamic side-builds.
BUILD: There is a large amount of variety during the build considering the three distinct components. Only the legs of the lion ever felt repetitive. There are a bunch of clear stickers so care should be taken when preventing air bubbles from being seen. With two sets of instructions included for the various builds, it is ideal for building with a friend.
PLAY: It is very easy to create fun scenarios with the setting, protagonist, and antagonist. The jaw function on the lion works quite well, even though the manner of moving it can be hard to reach depending on hand size. While it's nice to include the spider, the legs can be pretty fragile and finicky to play with. The arcade with claw game was unnecessary to include, but elevates the set with unique features and a key setting from the tv show.
DISPLAY: The lion is quite vibrant and looks good with other Monkie Kid vehicles since it has a shared aesthetic with the Monkey King Warrior Mech. On its own, the set looks good with all of the side builds. However, the arcade particularly feels out of place when next to other Monkie Kid settings since it doesn't share much design language with either the city builds from other sets or the flower fruit mountain. The variety of figures and builds lets you set up countless different configurations for engaging displays."
"I'll be honest, I didn't initially plan on getting this set, especially since this whole wave of Monkie Kid sets has been really strong (Spring 2021). However, I was pleasantly surprised with a clean and satisfying build, extremely effective function, and quirky appearance.
BUILD: It is a pure building experience with nothing too surprising but lots of "studs-not-on-top" building and a variety of shapes and colors, including the cute little side-build. It comes together as a very sturdy structure. (Appropriate considering how easy it is to fly around).
PLAY: This is a super swooshable jet, and the firing function is really satisfying to use, as the two launched pieces fire one after the other in quick succession. The trigger is smooth to use and reload is easy. While accomplishing a similar purpose as the NINJAGO Boulder Blaster, the function here is easier to use and repeat quickly.
DISPLAY: It's a pretty small jet, but the little piece of Flower Fruit Mountain can set a nice scene. The color scheme of Red Son's vehicles can get mixed up when next to MK's red and yellow vehicles, but it looks very nice next to the Legendary Flower Fruit Mountain or the White Dragon Horse Jet. Simple yet elegant."
"A well-balanced set with vibrant colors, versatile side builds, and interesting, well-built functions that looks good on display and is a blast to play with.
BUILD: The jet comes together nicely with really cool techniques for the nose used as well as to make the color accents. Very satisfying.
PLAY: There is a beautiful selection of minifigures, and complement each other nicely for play scenarios. The vending machine functions surprisingly well and is very satisfying to use. Also, adding a flying mohawk cat is a plus to anything. All of the builds are very sturdy and the jet is quite swooshable
DISPLAY: The stunning wing designs of scales really pop and are quite eye-catching on display. The vending machine could also be a good accent to a vibrant city build and adds life. It's just an extremely well-rounded set and worth the value."
"What a mountain. LEGO has not really had a large mountainous build of this scale before, and this set really delivers. Build: the structure comes together pretty organically with lots of nice techniques to achieve a natural shape. However, the muted green and grey color scheme lasts through the whole build but isn't too bothersome. Play: There is some surprising depth to the model, even though it is clearly intended for display with the flattened back. There is ample room to place lots of figures, including the beautiful selection of unique monkeys (especially the villain Macaque!!). There aren't many play features, as most is left to the imagination, but that doesn't detract from the play experience. On Display: It's very striking, and really stands out when placed among the other Monkie Kid sets. The greenery and waterfalls really pop and could work as any fantastical mountain display. It is certainly a unique and beautiful addition to any display or play space."