Who knew that when LEGO® NINJAGO first blasted onto the scene in 2011, it would still be going 10 years later? Well, this year marks the 10th Anniversary of LEGO NINJAGO and as part of the celebrations, a surprise third addition to the NINJAGO City line has been released. I say surprise because the previous two NINJAGO City sets were inspired by The LEGO NINJAGO Movie. Something which didn’t really connect well with the NINJAGO fanbase, but one thing that did was the large-scale NINJAGO City sets. It was so popular it even caught the attention of the wider LEGO community. So what better way to celebrate 10 years of NINJAGO than another huge set. I’ve already taken a look at the impressive use of parts found across the set and the many Minifigure characters it includes, so here’s the final part which takes a wider look at the different aspects of the sets. If you haven’t made your mind up on the new LEGO NINJAGO City Gardens set, then maybe this will help you decide.
Rediscover cherished memories and favorite ninja heroes with this NINJAGO® City Gardens (71741) set for play and display. Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the world of NINJAGO by enjoying a rewarding and fun-filled building task.
A ninja toy for creative fun
There is something to enthrall NINJAGO fans on each of the brilliantly detailed three floors, including an ice cream shop, Chen’s noodle house, the control room and a museum celebrating the ninjas’ rich history. The building set is also packed with 19 minifigures, including all of the ninjas and some their allies, to enhance the build-and-play experience.
The ultimate construction set for all NINJAGO fans.
This hugely impressive model is guaranteed to excite NINJAGO fans of all ages: a nostalgia-filled tower to proudly display for older builders, and a world of play opportunities for youngsters. The mammoth set has 5,685 pieces, so parents can also enjoy a rewarding and fun bonding experience building it with their children.
- Set Name: NINJAGO City Gardens
- Set Number: 71741
- Pieces: 5685
- RRP: £274.99/$299.99/€299.99
- Measurements: measures over 29 in. (73 cm) high, 17.5 in. (44 cm) long and 13 in. (33 cm) wide
- Minifigures: Kai, Zane, Young Lloyd, Urban Cole, Urban Nya, Urban Jay, The Mechanic, Ronin, Clutch Powers, Misako, Christina, Mei, Hai, Tito, Eileen, Cece, Kaito, 10th Anniversary Golden Wu, Plus Zane Statue, Chen Signage, Jay Ninja suit, Scoop & Master Wu’s dog.
- Availability: LEGO.com & LEGO Stores
At over 5600-pieces, this is one big set but the fun begins with the first of three instruction booklets. Although they don’t have any of the cool behind-the-scenes content like previous sets, there is a breakdown map showing the various sections of the build and a NINJAGO language guide, to help yo translate all the signs founds around NINJAGO City Gardens. You’ll also find a great little poster, created by fan artist Joshua Deck. It’s a nice addition, just a little on the small set and not really on great quality paper stock.
As you’d expect from such a large and detailed build, there are plenty of stickers to be applied, with three sheets of them included in the set. Everyone prefers printed pieces, but they aren’t always possible and the ones featured here certainly add to the overall appearance of the set, as well as being the source of some fun Easter Eggs.
Much like previous sets, NINJAGO City is focused on height, the fictional history stating, as the population grew NINJAGO City expanded upwards, which various eras of the city depicted across the levels of the build. The same is relevant here, although not as obvious compared to the first NINJAGO City set. That being said much of the base level is relatively traditional with a large Bonsai tree forming the focal point of the set and surrounded by a food store, workshop and plenty of tranquil water.
Moving up a level and you’ll find a NINJAGO fan’s flat, which is filled with micro versions of NINJAGO sets and a nod to the first NINJAGO City set. I especially like the ninja-inspired bedspread. The section of the build is known as the Old City and so the colours used are quite traditional, with plenty of browns and lighter natural colours, which match nicely with the garden surrounding base area of the set.
A simple walkway tops the Old City but introduces some of the first modern aspects of the city, with various advertising boards. Using the key from the first instruction booklet will uncover a few fun Easter Eggs and nods to the history of NINJAGO.
This level is where you’ll also find two more food outlets – Chen’s Noodle Shop and the Ice Planet Ice Cream Shop. Both of these buildings are fairly small, but still feature a surprising amount of details. In fact, these two parts of the build are nicely decorated on both the exterior and interior. As I mentioned in the NPU feature, the outside of both stores use elements in very clever ways and the Ice Cream Shop has a nice connection to classic LEGO Space sub-theme, Ice Planet.
The next level up is a little different to others, as it’s a single floor, split into two different areas. The smaller green area is a small flat, which has a couple of neat features including a painter easel and a retro TV. But the main focus of this floor is the NINJAGO Museum of History. In world, the ninja team have become much-loved thanks to their heroic actions, in the real world, this area also acts as a nice way to celebrate the NINJAGO theme. So you’ll find a few miniature recreations of past NINJAGO sets.
As we near the top of the City Gardens, there is a mixture of modern and classic styles. With the purple building being a rooftop zen garden. It’s nice that the New City hasn’t forgotten it’s Old City roots. Although only a small area, the zen garden has a couple of hidden features including a safe and some treasures in the roof. The zen garden sits next to a great little purple and pink leafed bonsai tree, which is actually built with the domed roof of the museum.
The final section of the build is an imposing tower, which acts as the hideout for ninja. This splits into three sections, with the bottom area being a chillout room, complete with an arcade machine, which can be ‘played’ thanks to a clever mix of parts. This section is so cool, I kind of wish it was much bigger. The next section up is actually a hidden room, in here you’ll find a couple of panels which can be used to switch the posters on the outside of the building. Similar to those featured on original NINJAGO City set, they feature artwork inspired by past LEGO themes. The final section is the top of the tower finishes the whole thing off, which the angle elements and striking colours giving it a futuristic feel.
Once the main section of the Gardens is complete, there is still a completely separate area to construct, which actually connects to the base of the set. This uses a half-sized baseplate to create a memorial garden area. Here you’ll find a pergola, surrounded by water, which nicely connects to the main part of the build and other NINJAGO City sets. Despite this, in all honesty, it feels a little disconnected from the rest of the set, I think it needed more plants or flowers to really make it feel like an extension of the gardens. I’ve seen people switch the pergola structure for the Botanical Collection Bonsai tree and it makes it look much better. Still, it’s a nice little addition to the build, especially as it ties into the sacrifice made by Zane, which is a key moment in NINJAGO history.
It may not be as compact and ‘solid’ as the original NINJAGO City set but it’s just as detailed and uses parts in amazingly inventive ways. It really is the perfect celebration of the NINJAGO series as it features plenty of fun Easter Eggs not just connected to NINJAGO but the wider LEGO universe. I’m also impressed by the fact the set perfectly matches up to the previous two NINJAGO City sets despite being based on a completely different version of the franchise. In fact not being tied to the NINJAGO movie has allowed the set to feature more aspects and characters from the TV series. Sure it’s an expensive set, especially when compared to the similar Modular Buildings, but I’d go as far as to say the NINJAGO City and in particular, this set takes inspiration from those highly detailed builds and kicks things up to 11. The Minifigures included with the set offer some genuine cool characters but I’d have certainly liked to have seen some more unique versions of characters. I genuinely hope this isn’t the last we see of NINJAGO City, the three sets released since 2017 have given a renewed focus on the LEGO NINJAGO theme and have even brought new fans to the franchise, purely through these sets. For more on NINJAGO City Gardens set you can check out my review of the parts used in the build here and the all the Minifigures you’ll find in the set here.
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This set was provided to BricksFanz by the LEGO Group for purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are that of BricksFanz and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group. Providing the set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.