Mech design for the Ninjago theme has evolved over the years, with building techniques, color choices, and details showing the influence of anime, and other pop culture mediums. Naturally, the size of the mech also has an impact on the design choices, supporting the weight, while allowing for dynamic posability can limit the design. But one mech from the March Ninjago wave is a great example of achieving this balance. This tall and lanky 4-armed mech makes great use of fewer parts. LEGO Ninjago 71812 Kai’s Ninja Climber Mech includes 623 pieces and 4 minifigures and will be available on March 1st for US $69.99 | CAN $89.99 | UK £59.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.


Unboxing the parts, instructions, and sticker sheets

The set comes in a tall box, with the Ninjago Dragons Rising branding. The font of the box shows the finished mech in a dynamic pose with its rock climbing tether deployed. One of the minifigure soars into the scene wearing a wing pack. Along the bottom, there is a row of the minifigures included in the set: Climber Kai, Climber Jay, Wyldfyre, and Jordana

The back of the box shows the mech in a different pose, with both of the auxiliary climbing arms angled down. The background art sets the characters on the ground.

Inside the box there are 6 numbered bags, and instruction booklet, and a small sticker sheet.


The build

The mech starts with a pilot compartment in the center of the chest. The size of the compartment feels a bit odd at first, but in the finished mech, it feels much more balanced. The hip joint is attached with an angled lift arm that gives the upper legs a great range of motion.


Both the legs and the arms attach to the core with double click hinges to provide added stability. The upper legs use a scalloped piece at alternating directions, while the exposed round joints provide visual interest.


The knees are fixed, which seems like a negative, but the way the upper and lower legs connect at an angle, with piston-like details, and the actual pistons used to connect the feet make up for this.

The two-toed feet with dual ball sockets are simple, but very sturdy.

With the feet done, it was time to add them to the legs, which was very satisfying, to see the piston balls on the end of long axles slide into place. The lower legs use a bunch of Technic connectors with grooves on each side to add mechanical details, along with the visible red axles. I have mixed feelings about the slightly unfinished look, but considering this is a climbing mech, it does feel lighter and more nimble.


Moving on to the main arms, we get two mirror builds with dark red upper arms. The elbow is another fixed joint using the angled element used for arms and legs in many of the smaller Ninjago and Marvel mechs. This is my first major complaint for this otherwise stellar mech. These molded fixed-angle “joints” work okay for smaller mechs, but I feel like these belong in 4+ sets. There are lots of ways to include moveable joints, especially for the arms, that don’t need to support as much weight as the legs. As it is, each arm only has 2 points or articulation.

The hands are simple and include attachment points for the two swords. Speaking of swords, I really like the use of minifigure swords attached to the cross guard.

Each of the two auxiliary arms includes smaller hands, and one has a fixed climbing hook while the other includes a detachable grappling hook. The both rotate up and down, but they need to be angled inward first or the shoulder mounts collide.



The Minifigs

All four minifigures have front and back torso printing and front leg printing. Two even have foot printing. Climber Kai, Climber Jay, have alternate face printing of their masks. Jordan comes with a neat wing pack that includes two detachable swords.




The finished model

The finished mech is both sturdy and posable, and the parts used as structural fit in very smoothly, as opposed to being covered up by parts that serve only as cosmetic details. Compared to Mei’s Dragon Mech from the Monkie Kid theme, which has a similar part count (if you take away the vehicle and scaffolding) and looks good in a stiff standing pose, but has limited flexibility despite having 2 more points of articulation.

The only detail that feels a bit off is the attachment of the mech head, which when compared with the Monkie Kid mech in profile sits high enough above the pilot compartment to look just a tad silly. Also, in the profile, you notice the reduced part count more clearly.

The addition of the auxiliary arms complete with specific and asymetrical climbing tools gives this mech a uniquely Ninjago vibe considering how many 4 armed characters the theme has introduced over the years.


Conclusions and recommendations

As I have said before, I think the LEGO designers nailed it with this mech, which greatly uses its reduced part count to create a stable and dynamically posable mech. And at around $70 USD it’s a great value compared to other similar-sized mechs. Whether you are a fan of the franchise, or just enjoy building and displaying LEGO mechs, this mech is a good choice. LEGO Ninjago 71812 Kai’s Ninja Climber Mech includes 623 pieces and 4 minifigures and will be available on March 1st for US $69.99 | CAN $89.99 | UK £59.99

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.






















The post LEGO Ninjago 71812 Kai’s Ninja Climber Mech [REVIEW] appeared first on The Brothers Brick.