71765 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech represents some serious ambition from the LEGO NINJAGO team – but is this 4-in-1 build more than the sum of its parts?
They have no set of source materials to help them design sets for January 2022 LEGO NINJAGO. They’ve taken that freedom and gone full Voltron with 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo MechThe towering LEGO set ‘The Tower’ lives up to its name, but still has some LEGO-mech problems.
Unlike this wave’s 6+ sets at the lower end of the price scale, this 9+ set has nothing too simple about it. It isn’t elegant, but it isn’t meant to be, providing a worthy building challenge and a central play feature that no other set can boast to this degree (besides 21311 Voltron, of course).
— Set details —
Theme: LEGO NINJAGO Give your name: 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech Release:January 1, 2022
Price: £74.99 / $89.99 / €84.99 Pieces: 1,104 Minifigures: 6
LEGO: Get it now
— Build —
You’ve seen the name of the set, so naturally multiple smaller things must be built before any ‘combo’It is possible to -ing. Even though this set is one-inch thick, it’s ideal for sharing with family and friends. Of course, there’s always the LEGO instructions app to supplement the physical booklet, and it’s a wonder the LEGO Group doesn’t tout that possibility more clearly with a cute graphic to match the ones about sorting the parts, with one minifigure looking at the booklet while another looks at their device.
Instructions order vehicles according to their strength and weakness. There is one deviation for the “bad guy” vehicle. Kai’s mech ranks highest among the ninjas’ rides without contest. This mech’s heavy design, with the many angular pieces and stepped plates make it seem serious. Meanwhile, its gold front and ornamental elements add elegance.
It is only the arms that stand out. They have bulging arms and anaemic arms, made from just two parts. Otherwise, Kai’s mech could easily be a $30 set with a couple of villains alongside it.
We’ll skip discussing the villain vehicle until the end, and next move to Zane’s icey tread machine. The tank is strong and sturdy, with a fully realized design that can be used as a set. This tank is not equipped with any firepower and looks more like a battering ram.
The fact it can split in two is a nod to previous sets, such as 76118 Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle, or Alien Conquest7067 Jet-Copter Encounter. However, as its own set it will need to be redesigned so each part can still move independently. Only the bars and clips on the back belie the notion that this could be a standalone set, though these wouldn’t be out of line as weapons storage, so overall it’s a fun and successful design.
Sadly, the other two ninja vehicles don’t fare quite so well. Cole’s driller, which the LEGO Group inexplicably labels a ‘car’According to its official description, it only serves to link to other things. Although the front looks good, the back is a mess, as the hinges are too large and the extraneous parts make it difficult to see. TechnicConnectors feel flimsy. It’s also a shame that the drills aren’t powered by the wheels nor even have a remote actuator. While this vehicle does feel very Cole, it doesn’t feel very good.
Jay’s ‘jet’As a stand-alone build it does not really reach the bottom. The design doesn’t work very well. TechnicParts are visible on the front and clash with other parts. The wings and cockpit are also strange. Jay feels like he is in the cockpit rather than on it. There’s also no firepower. Sure you can swoosh it, but otherwise, this one’s a dud.
Another thing is that the Ninja cannot be in their cars while carrying their swords in their backsheaths. It’s okay, but slightly annoying.
Before we get to combining the ninja vehicles, we’ll look at the woefully outmatched enemies. Cobra Mechanic and Boa Destructor don’t stand much of a chance, but their little frog-like vehicle looks cute and has the novel solution of wedge parts for feet. There’s no truly satisfying way to pose those feet, however, but the vehicle plays well and adds value to the set while not using up too many parts.
It can feel a little daunting when you combine the ninjas vehicles into the Combo Mech, but it is easy to master once you have mastered the technique. Because very little needs to be removed or rearranged from any of the components, it works seamlessly.
The most ingenious part of the design is how the Kai Mech’s lower legs fold back, and the disconnected bars and clips then match up perfectly to the bars and clips on the back of the two halves of Zane’s tank. Somehow it doesn’t feel like it should work, yet it creates a perfectly solid connection without needing any true disassembly.
The mech is great once it’s all assembled and works well. Of course it’s obvious that different sections have different colour schemes, but the pearl gold ties it all together so it comes across looking a bit busy, but not messy.
Top half of the system works well with great motion in each arm. When all combined it makes sense for the Kai mech arms to be so scrawny, and that aspect of them barely registers beneath the bulky drill arms from Cole’s driller.
The legs are the weakest part of the LEGO mechs. There aren’t any knees in the mech, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they were included in an other device. Even more concerning are the ankles and feet. While the ankles are able to rotate both side to sides and forward to back, they may be too loose in their side to side aspects.
It can be difficult keeping the mech from toppling over when going for a more dynamic pose, and thus the legs end up more limited than we’d like. Still, it’s satisfying putting the mech together and fun to play around with it, and we managed some slightly dynamic poses after a lot of trial and error.
You should also note that we did not use stickers to build the mech. It looks great with them removed or saved for future custom builds.
— Characters —
We’ve already covered these minifigures in our previous reviews of some of the January 2022 NINJAGO wave, but suffice to say they mix classic NINJAGO design elements like robes and strong colour identities with a new approach of muted or utilitarian trousers. Although the clash is a little confusing, we love that LEGO Group tried something different and each wave features new ninja designs.
With the idea of four ninjas teaming up, it makes sense to get the original four ninja. As a nod to NINJAGO’s past, their inclusion makes good sense. Sadly they don’t come with alternate hairpieces in this set, like they do in almost every other one this wave.
The Wu Bot, while an iteration of the one included in 2021’s 71756 Hydro Bounty, feels like a further evolution of Tee Vee from the Alpha Team set 6775 Alpha Team Bomb Squad, who was then redone in Hidden Side’s70436 Phantom Fire Truck3000 by 2020 This makes for an interesting additional character and is great for playing with new shooters.
They are the snake-baddies. The snake villains are distinguished from all other snakes by their unique colour palette of gunmetal orange and orange, with teal accents and olive green. They also have very fine detail on their legs and torsos. We’d have absolutely no problem with a massive army of them!
— Price —
The price of £74.99 / $89.99 / €84.99 for 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo MechThe 1,104-piece set sounds appealing, especially if you like mechs. Although the set contains many smaller parts than it does larger parts, they feel generous from a parts standpoint. It feels reasonable considering both the large and heavy mech, along with its versatility.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
NINJAGO’s team was given the daunting task of creating a set that can seamlessly be transformed between four persons and one strong mech. They succeeded. The legs and feet of the combined mech are weak, so it can be difficult to maneuver it in certain positions. However, it plays very well and looks fantastic.
We only have praise for half of the individual ninja vehicles, and it’s a shame the other two aren’t strong on their own as well. Nevertheless, they serve their purpose when it comes to making the combined mech, so they don’t hinder the set too much.
This team-up concept works great with getting the original four ninjas. They have a mix of the NINJAGO style language and new ideas in their designs. Play value is also added by the bad guys with their Wu Bot and little Walker vehicle.
Overall, the set is a good investment.
The LEGO Group provided this set for review.
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— FAQs —
Is it possible to create LEGO NINJAGO 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo Mechs in a short time?
The entire process takes approximately two hours. 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech, provided you don’t stop to play around with the different vehicles too much.
Is there a LEGO NINJAGO Seventeen65 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech that contains more pieces?
There are 1,104 pieces in 71765 Nina Ultra Combo Mech, from tiny ones up to more substantial ones like the drills and wheels on Cole’s car.
What is the LEGO NINJAGO 71765 Ninja Ultra ComboMech size?
How much does LEGO NINJAGO 7075 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech Cost?
71765 Ninja Ultra Combo mech is priced at £74.99 in the UK, $89.99 in the US and €84.99 in the EU. That’s a fair price for the amount of parts and size and complexity of the model, though you’d have to like mechs to appreciate it.