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Review: 7416 Emperor's Ship

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The Emperor's ship is sailing up the Yellow River of China. On board is the evil Lord Sinister, on the hunt for the treasure of the Golden Dragon. So far he has been beaten to both the Golden Helmet in India and the Golden Shield in the Himalayas by Johnny Thunder and his gang. But now Lord Sinister has some good connections, the Dragon Emperor of China. A more powerful ally is hard too find. The Emperor has put one of his ship and two guards at Lord Sinister's command. The ship is crossing between sand banks and reefs with the wind is filling it's large junk-style sail and in the top of the mast two red flags are wavering to please the Wind Dragon. Will Lord Sinister make it to the Dragon Fortress before Johnny Thunder and finally succeed on this quest or will our heroes once again be the one to draw the long straw?


Set number: 7416

Name: Emperor's Ship

Theme: LEGO System / Adventurers / Orient Expedition

Year: 2003

Pieces: 175

Minifigs: 3

Price: MSRP: $20.00 Average price for a used set on BrickLink is $29.04, a new set is $37.36





Instruction manual

No picture of the box, but here is the instruction manuals back and front:


The idea with minifig hands holding a parchment with a hole which the set can be seen through is really nice. Much more interesting then just the same picture as on the box. The back of the manual is good too, with a map over the Orient and Johnny Thunder swinging over it in his whip.

This instruction manual includes a comic strip just like everyone of the Orient Expedition sets:



It seems like Lord Sinister captures the precious gems but Johnny Thunder and his company doesn't seem to be very disappointed. I guess they're focusing on getting first to the Dragon Fortress.

Here we have a random shot from inside the instruction manual:


There is no piece call out, but the building steps are easy to follow and there is a clear difference between the colours, even black and dark grey.

At the end of the manual there are pictures of two alternate builds:


The first seems to be some kind of gate/bridge/watch tower with a small rowing boat. The second is a small port with a different version of the ship. I personally don't think any of the alternate models are any good but it's a nice way to inspire kids (and others) to start MOCing.


Here we have all the pieces in the set laid out:


Red, tan and black as main colours and some brown and light and dark grey. There is much diversity among the pieces with bricks and plates, big and small, usual and not so usual.

The sail is exclusive to the set and are together with the square flag the only printed pieces in the set:


I'm split in my opinion on the print of the sail. On one hand I think it would have been much better for MOCs if it didn't have such a large and special print. But on the other hand I think it's a beautiful dragon and fits perfectly with the theme. The small flag is printed on both sides and I think it looks really nice.

The brown steering wheel and oars only come in this set but are common in other colours.

The accessories:


A large selection of accessories comes in this set. Both weapons like the crossbows, musket and revolver, and more peaceful equipments like the sextant, oars and binoculars. Four gems are also included, one in each colour of yellow, red, blue and green.


Three minifigs come in this set, Lord Sinister and two Chinese Imperial Guards:


Lord Sam Sinister is wearing his usual black shirt with a white scarf, belt and holster. The top hat is nice and useful in many places (I've even seen it used as buttons on a radio MOC!). Sinister's face is a bit different than in the earlier sub-themes of Adventurers when he looked like this (Bricklink is trying to mess things up by calling the guy with that face Baron von Barron and this guy for Lord Sinister :wacko: ). Anyway, the Chinese guards are up next and I think they look excellent with their straw hats (3x3 inverted discs) and nicely detailed torsos with purse and knife. The same insignia used on the square flag is printed on the torsos and straw hats. The heads really got an Asian look with the high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes.

Back shot of the minifigs, not much to see here:


Back printing was unfortunately a very rare concept in 2003.

Building progress

Lets start building already!


We begin with the bottom of the ship and the rudder. There are six round 2x2 tan plates with rounded bottom on the underside of the ship to let it slide better.

Continue with the cargo compartment:


Here we store the gems in two brown barrels with black round tiles as lids (with regular lids they would get stuck in the door).

Deck and railings are added:


And here we have the completed set:


Final Model

Lets take some looks around this ship:


From the front the sail looks really good and I believe it fits nicely in size.

The crossbow machine:


This crossbow thing might be the weakest part of the ship design wise. I've never been a fan of these kind of war machines that I haven't seen any historical evidence for. But I guess it doesn't make the ship too bad, it still fits nice with the colour scheme and adds playability to the set.

Down at the lower deck we find Lord Sinister:


Equipped with binoculars and revolver. He's capable of killing at distance.

If we move away Lord Sinister we can open the door to the cargo compartment:


Here we find the barrels with the gems, but there is room for more. The dark grey 1x4 tile hinders the door from falling down (the barrels do that too, but you might want to take them out sometimes).

The second Chinese guard is steering the ship:


The sextant isn't very useful when sailing on a river but maybe they use the ship at sea too. The guard has a musket near at hand if the situation would demand it. The design of the lanterns are simple but also very good.

Here we have the back of the ship with the rudder and steering oars clearly visible:


It seems a bit weird to have both a rudder and steering oars but maybe the ship is especially hard manoeuvred. Otherwise you can always use the oars for rowing the boat gently up the stream... :tongue:

Bonus picture

I have a small collection of the Chinese minifigs so I let them come aboard on the ship when it's reaching it's destination:


Making this review really got me in the mood of building some medieval Chinese style MOCs. I hope I will find time to make some :classic:

Final thoughts

Build: 7/10 Nice and varied but nothing extraordinary.

Playability: 7/10 You can have a lot of fun with a ship and the play features in this set are small but numerous. Spin the crossbow machine, turn the sail, open and close the door to the cargo compartment, turn the rudder and steering wheel.

Pieces: 8/10 Many useful pieces in good colours. The red might not be a winner but the minifigs clearly are and are raising the grade.

Price: 8/10 Not bad, the price/part ratio isn't ultimate but the amount of useful pieces and 3 great minifigs make this a nice buy.

Design: 9/10 Very well executed! The colour scheme is beautiful and fits great with the theme. I really like the one-stud-out railings and the inclusion of a cargo compartment.

Total: 8/10 A very nicely designed ship in a not so common size. Compared to another similar ship 6057 Sea Serpent it keeps up good. The part are useful, especially in Asian themed MOCs and other ships, the sail is the only junk style sail TLG has produced. A very good part of the set is the minifigs, I really like the Chinese guards and Lord Sinister is good too. I'm a little sad that the Orient Expedition theme only gave us three China style sets, this one, 7413 Passage of Jun-Chi and 7419 Dragon Fortress. They are all very nice and would make a good stand-alone theme if there were more sets. I think Emperor's Ship is the best buy if you want any of the China sets. Dragon Fortress is very expensive and Passage of Jun-Chi don't give you any Chinese minifigs. If you get the chance, buy this set. :thumbup:

Thanks for reading this review!


Edited by WhiteFang

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Nice little ship. I really like the use of tan in the color scheme. I could see this sailing in to Imperial Trading Post (6277). I never realized there were so little 'Chinese' sets in the Johnny Thunder adventures.

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Great review!

It's a pity that official Lego ships of this size are so rare.

(the only ones I know of are this, the 'forementioned Sea Serpent and the ship from the Imperial Trading Post)

But that's what MOCing is for, right?

There's one thing from the box art and instructions I've never figured out:

How's Lord Sinister supposed to pull the trigger on his revolver if he's holding it in his hook hand? :laugh:

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I actually really liked this set! I wished I had bought the Dragon fortress temple when I could. Anyways this set has a rare quality that most Lego sets today don't have. For instance this set was only 20$ and came with 4 gems, 3 detailed minifigures, and useful pieces.

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Awesome set! For the price it is amazing. I love the look of it, and there are a lot of cool pieces :thumbup:

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Good review!

Just so you know, though, Bricklink isn't trying to mess things up. Here in the US, the original names for the baddies were Baron von Barron and Lord Sam Sinister--and Sinister was the one in the black suit, top hat, and glasses. I believe in other countries they were known as Mr. Hates and Slyboots. Of course, we also had similar weather-themed names in the original Adventurers; where many people had Dr. Kilroy and Pippin Reed, we had Professor Charles Lightning and Gale Storm, as well as the pilot Harry Kane (and I understand that Johnny Thunder was in some areas known as Sam Grant). It wasn't until the Orient Adventure line that LEGO finally gave everyone universal names.

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A nice review of a ship that comes as a great addition to the Adventurers. :thumbup:

Being the one (of few) of Chinese ships it is even more of a delight owning this. :sweet:

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It's a great set. I remember seeing it in a shop back when it was released, and at the time Lego was a somehow forgotten hobby of mine - I mean, I still had the bricks, just didn't use them too often, and even when I did, I didn't buy any new Lego, just built with the old stuff I had... I wouldn't exactly call it dark age, but it was pretty close... Anyway, I saw it and thought it would be fun to have it, but that was it - I went home, preoccupied with other things. But the set was still on my mind somewhere, and after 1 or 2 days I returned to the shop and got it. I built it and thought it was excellent. It was the first brand new set I bought in quite a long time, also the first time in a few years that I followed building instructions... So I have a lot of nostalgia for this set, and still think it's an amazing set with very nice minifigs.

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I forgot all about this wonderful set! I own all of OE except this set and some little $10 one! I'm so mad at myself for never buying it, I was hoping to get it on sale like EVERY other set in the theme I bought, but sadly that never happened. This is LEGO in it's prime and I wish it sold better so Johny Thunder hasn't thrown under the bus. Of course if it did sell better I wouldn't get most of the sets for 75% off.

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Great review! Regrettably I never got this one in my childhood :sad: however I remember as a kid wanting this and the emperor's palace.

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Really liked your review of this amazing set! This was one of the first LEGO ships I bought, still have it together on my shelf. Too bad they don't make 'em like this anymore.

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Good, solid review, thank you for doing it, and bringing back some memories. Back when I was still a Noobz to LEGO, bought a lot of these when they were on crazy-sale in 2004 due TLG being in financial trouble at the time. I took 6 ships and made this, and thought it was a "MOC" :laugh_hard: :


What a Noobz I was :roflmao:

Edited by Gary The Procrastinator

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