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?
The LEGO NINJAGO designers are free to design sets as they please, with no set material or source material. They’ve taken that freedom and gone full Voltron with 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo MechThe towering set is called, but it still fails to live up to its premise.
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 Set name: 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech Release:January 1, 2022
Price: £74.99 / $89.99 / €84.99 Pieces: 1,104 Minifigures: 6
LEGO: Now Available
— Build —
You’ve seen the name of the set, so naturally multiple smaller things must be built before any ‘combo’You can also -e. This build is great for sharing with friends and family, even though it only comes with one thick booklet. 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.
The instructions are clear and order the vehicles according to their strengths and weaknesses. There is only one detour for the bad guy vehicle. Kai’s mech ranks highest among the ninjas’ rides without contest. Its stocky design with its stepped plates and many angular parts makes it look serious and tough. The gold and decorative elements at its front add elegance.
Only the arms are a little strange, with bulging forearms. The upper arms are anaemic and made from just a few 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. This tank also has enough heft and is well-designed to function as its own set. It’s a kind of treaded battering drum, considering its lackluster firepower.
Even the fact it splits in half harkens to other sets that did the same, such as 76118 Mr. Freeze Batcycle Battle and the Alien Conquest set7067 Jet Copter Encounter. As a separate set, it would need to be redesigned so that each part could still roll 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 exists to connect with another thing. The front section is fine, but the entire back, with its large hinge parts and extraneous, looks terrible. TechnicConnectors feel fragile. 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’However, this build is not able to scrape the bottom of a barrel. This design doesn’t work very well. TechnicParts are too obvious on the front section and clashed with the other parts. The wings are purely odd and the cockpit makes Jay feel like he is sitting on top rather than in the flyer. There’s also no firepower. Sure you can swoosh it, but otherwise, this one’s a dud.
One more thing. Ninjas cannot be placed inside their vehicles while carrying their swords in the back sheaths. 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.
Although it may seem daunting to combine the ninja cars into the Combo Mech at first, once you get used to it, it is easy to do in a matter of minutes. It is very easy to do as little as possible from each vehicle.
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 looks great when it is all put together and it plays very 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.
The top half works well with great range in motion in all four arms. 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.
Like many LEGO mechs with weak legs, the real weakness is in the legs. Although there are no knees in the mech, it would be unreasonable to expect them in a mech made from other materials. The feet and ankles are even more problematic. The ankles have side-to side rotation and front-to back rotation. However, the side-to side aspect may be a little too easy.
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.
It is important to note that the entire mech was built without stickers. If you don’t want them, or save them for custom builds, they look great.
— 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. We find the clashing of the LEGO Group’s designs to be a bit confusing, but we like that they have tried something different and the ninja designs vary with each wave.
This set includes the original four ninjas, and it is fitting that they are included. 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 in 2020. It’s funky and can be used in conjunction with the great new shooters.
The snake villains play the role of generic snake enemies. Their distinctive colour scheme of gunmetal, orange, with accents of teal or olive green, sets them apart. Additionally they have very fine detail across 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 pieces sound like a good deal, and it is, if mechs are your thing. The set has many small parts but also many larger parts. Therefore, the price feels reasonable from a parts perspective. The mech’s size and weight, as well the multi-faceted playability of the set, make the price seem reasonable.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
The NINJAGO group set themselves the formidable task of creating a set which can be seamlessly transformed by four people and one sturdy mech. They succeeded. The combined mech has some flaws in the legs and feet that can make it difficult to get into certain poses. However, it still looks great and plays well.
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.
The idea of this team-up set works well when you have the original four ninjas. The designs of this wave mix the classic NINJAGO design language and new concepts. The bad guys, with their little walker vehicle as well as Wu Bot, add fun to the game without removing any of the benefits.
Overall, although there are some issues with the set, it is overall a great product.
The LEGO Group provided this set for review.
Brick Fanatics is a charity that supports brick enthusiasts by purchasing LEGOs through our affiliate links.
— FAQs —
How long does it take for LEGO NINJAGO 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech to be built?
It takes approximately two and a quarter hours to build. 71765 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech, provided you don’t stop to play around with the different vehicles too much.
How many pieces are included in LEGO NINJAGO 7175 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech
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.
How big is LEGO NINJAGO71765 Ninja Ultra ComboMech?
How much does LEGO NINJAGO71765 Ninja Ultra Combo Mech a 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.