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Another minifig-fest from Ninjago! It's... 71735 Tournament of Elements | 283 pieces | 7 minifigures 2021 | 30 USD, 30 EUR, 28 GBP, 50 AUD Thanks to LEGO for sending me this set in my HYPE. box. All opinions are my own. INTRODUCTION Ninjago is continuing to re-imagine older sets under the Ninjago Legacy line, this time re-imagining 70756 Dojo Showdown from 2015. Unlike some of the other Legacy sets, which simply re-imagine older sets and minifigures, this particular set will be of note to Ninjago fans and collectors for finally covering three Elemental Masters from the show previously nonexistent in physical form. For that reason alone, this set is sure to be popular. I'm not a Ninjago die-hard, though, having never watched the show or followed the story. I pick up the odd Ninjago set here and there usually for what I deem to be unmissable parts and/or figures, like last year's incomparable Gamer's Market and Lloyd's Journey for the cool fox. This set had already caught my eye for those same reasons: cool exclusive figures and good parts in an affordably-priced set (not so much in Aus but there are sales eventually). BOX As I mentioned in my unboxing video, this box intrigued me because the gold parts as rendered look very much like the fairly new Warm Gold Drum Lacquered / Metallic Gold colour (which I called Gold Ink), used prominently in 80012 Monkie King Warrior Mech. New Elementary did a great article looking at the colour - scroll down to the picture of bananas to see how much snazzier it is than the Ninjago staple pearl gold. Could it be that they really used metallic gold in this set? SPOILER ALERT: no, it couldn't be. But it's really quite misleading just how shiny they've made all of the gold on the box, setting a false expectation. I as a long-time adult consumer wasn't particularly surprised, but if a regular person was excited by the picture and opened it up to find decidedly not-shiny pearl gold, they'd feel a bit cheated. PARTS & BUILD The build is split into three bags and involves just four stickers. Bag 1 contains the Ninjago Weapons pack in bright green, a new colour for it, which calls back to the Jade Blade in the original version of this set but is much more versatile. All built, it's just the lower part of the middle section of the dojo and the stand for Exclusive Golden 10th Anniversary Lloyd, and they oddly have you put a rounded plate on the bottom of the spinner which you're just going to take off later Bag 2 also feels quite light, with parts for just one more section and two minifigures. New-ish pieces get used like the 2x6 plate with rounded corners and brand new 2x6 tile, so you can see how things have changed since the original version in 2015. Each section gets firmly locked to the previous one as you go. The ball and socket feels like an overkill way to connect that side build with the spinning blades when a classic hinge plate would've done the trick and taken up less visual space. This bag also contains the parts for the actual spinning mechanism for the spinner despite the instructions having had you attach the rounded plate to it in the first bag. Bag 3 contains a higher volume of parts, as it completes another lower section and all of the details on the upper level. There's all of the non-metallic gold I'm covering the completed set below, so for now here are the leftover pieces - quite a nice selection for minifigure accessory lovers. MINIFIGURES First up let's look at Jay and Kai. Interestingly Brickset and Bricklink are classifying these outfits as new versions of thier "Rebooted" outfits, but to me the designs look a bit closer to their Tournament Robes from the original Tournament of Elements wave, which, uh... makes sense. Kai's certainly looks nothing like the Rebooted design. Also interesting is that Jay technically has a new torso though he appeared in this outfit in 2020, because in that version they used one incorrect Ninjago-alphabet character on his robe, spelling "manter" instead of "master". Oopsie! I find the back designs jarring the way the belts are done, so obviously cut off. There's no reason they couldn't have drawn a full belt above the bottom of the torso, as this looks pretty ugly. I forgot to take pictures of Eyezor, as I got distracted by the Elemental Masters. He looks pretty similar to the old version, though I personally prefer the purple legs on that version and the face also had a bit more distinct life to it. The torso has more depth and refined detail on this version, so is the one improvement. Here also are closeups of the stickered book. Someone who knows Ninjago can explain the significance! Now the real draw-card, three previously un-produced Elemental Masters! If you're thinking of only now collecting all of the masters from the show, be prepared to shell out. Two came in the original version of this set, two were Ultra Agents bad guys, two came in a minifigure blister pack, two came in an expensive set, one was only found in a very limited edition Toys R Us Bricktober pack, and then there are all the Ninja, Skylor and Morro. At least one has not yet been made: Chamille. Here we have Bolobo, Gravis and Jacob Pevsner. Standing on their own, these three all are very fun minifigs with distinct, bold and wacky designs. As compared to their show designs (linked to in their names), Gravis is the most similar, just missing leg printing and using the newer turban piece. Jacob is fairly similar though his torso design has been altered, as have his facial hair and glasses. Bolobo, though, has been redesigned to be shirtless, and has a totally different leg print. As these characters have never appeared in minifigure form before, I'm puzzled as to why LEGO didn't simply release them as they look in the show, which is clearly how Ninjago fans would've wanted them and they're all equally good designs to what we got. Gravis and Jacob have equally fun alternate faces, while Bolobo uses Jack's head from Hidden Side - hardly a good match for his in-show bushy eyebrows. All three have excellently detailed back torso prints, and I especially like everything going on on Bolobo's. Jacob's sunnies (sunglasses) seemed a good pairing with this face print, so I had to snap a pic! Finally, here's the exclusive golden version of Lloyd (hardly special that he's golden though, given that he became the golden ninja). Some of the prints have great shine to them, and overall it has a lot of depth and fine details. I also love the new hair piece with integrated bandana, and look forward to the others coming in the next wave. The stand is quite simple but elegantly constructed. Unlike the recent 20th Anniversary Star Wars line, which also had the "gimmick" of a special extra figure on a stand, the figures in this 10th Anniversary Ninjago series are actually useful in a modern context and their stands look much less clunky. The Star Wars ones were cute for nostalgia, but I personally like these Ninjago ones much more. Here they all are with their respective weapons. I love Bolobo's staff, which uses the Monkie Kid double-length hilt newly recoloured into tan. The white guitar originally from Steamboat Willie also reappears - very nice to get for those of us not interested in a super-expensive grayscale boat. THE SPINNER The only true action feature included is this "spinner", which combines the cyclone-like piece from the 2019 Spinjitzu Slam sets with an action handle also from 2019 introduced to simply spin minifigures themselves. Unlike many previous action features of this sort, this one is entirely built up from component parts, with only a couple of specific parts for the rolling mechanism. It works extremely well and is very satisfying to play around with. You simply roll it along at a slight angle and it spins like crazy. It's the most effective method yet of mimicking the ninjas performing Spinjitzu! THE COMPLETED MODEL The dojo has a lovely, pleasing design to it. The colours work well together and the bright green stands out as a great accent pop. Despite not being shiny, the pearl gold still looks nice for the railings. All in all, it's a great little display piece for a dojo. In case you were wondering, the back looks like nothing. That ball sticking out is just for ease of removing that particular weapon stand. In fact, all of the weapon racks and crates are attached with just a couple of studs, so they are easy to remove and free up more space to play with or display figures. I wanted to give special appreciation for the little tree build, which uses just a few parts extremely well. Of course, it kind of looks like that's the root of the tree, and it's not in the ground, so is the tree actually dead? The only other hidden detail is that the instructions have you put the second small dagger inside this white decorative thing. Bit odd since the other one is literally right there out in the open, but cool. I haven't seen instructions have you put something inside the bottom of a part like that before. FINAL THOUGHTS & RATINGS Besides for disliking the back prints on Kai and Jay and feeling (expectedly) mislead by the rendering of the pearl gold elements on the box, I haven't had anything negative to say about this set. It's got a pleasing design, an excellent number and variety of minifigures with five being exclusive, and three being exclusive characters, some good parts and a fine price for everything that I've just listed. The only thing this set lacks is more built-in playability for kids (or adults that play - that's cool too). The only true play features are the very excellent spinner, and the spinning scythes off to the side. So, while the design and aesthetic feel more mature than the original version of this set, that one far outstrips this one in the fun department as it contained all sorts of traps and a couple of functions as a springboard for imaginative play. I would've liked to see at least one of the platforms here be a trap door or a minifigure launching function, something to get the minifigures going. As an adult, I'm totally happy with this set, but for a set called Tournament of Elements all about minifigures battling each other, it could've had a little more action. Parts: 10/10 - some big and some small, some brand new and some old, great accessory parts and the fun spinner. Design: 9/10 - only docking one small point for the lack of features in the dojo Minifigures: 9/10 - Kai and Jay's back prints are jarring and Eyezor is a minor downgrade from his old version, but overall these are wonderful, unique figures and plenty of them. Price: 10/10 - For the amount of stuff included, this price is right on the money. The dojo itself is the size of something that could conceivably come in a $20 set, but it's well detailed and the excellent, exclusive figures make up the difference. Overall: 9.5/10 - 71735 Tournament of Elements is a terrific set, plain and simple. If you're at all into the style of build and funky, colourful figures, it's certainly one to pick up. Just don't think you're getting shiny gold parts!