Admittedly, I have never been a collector of mechs. I have bought the odd set here or there because the kit contained desirable Minifigures. However, I recently built Zane’s Titan Mech Battle (71738) from the January 2021 wave of Ninjago sets. Honestly, it has me rethinking my stance on mechs. I have no context for the set itself. Supposedly it appears in season five of Ninjago. But the product looks amazing. I might even display this set for a while.
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. I will use my usual rating system (click here to learn more) and provide my honest opinion.
ZANE’S TITAN MECH BATTLE SUMMARY
- NAME: Zane’s Titan Mech Battle
- SET #: 71738
- THEME: Ninjago
- COST: $79.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 840
- MINIFIGURES: 4
- RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2021
ZANE’S TITAN MECH BATTLE QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 93% (Very good value per brick as well as per minute of build time.)
- BUILD: 95% (Excellent design that teaches mech building superbly.)
- MINIFIGURES: 79% (Great designs, but there are too few minifigs for a set this big.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 93% (This turned me into a mech lover, however pieces will fall off in play.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 90%
ZANE’S TITAN MECH BATTLE REVIEW
This mech costs $79.99 in Canada. Additionally, it consists of 840 pieces. Therefore, the cost-per-brick is $0.095. By comparison, my average cost-per-brick across all LEGO® themes is currently $0.14. As such, you get a lot of bricks for the price. That value earns 95%. Even compared to only the Ninjago theme, the cost-per-brick is great. As it stands, my average for the theme is $0.115/brick. However, the best price I have ever seen was Ninjago City, which clocked in at $0.07/brick. Looking at Ninjago alone, I rate the value at 90%. Overall, that gives a value-per-brick score of 93%.
I built Zane’s Titan Mech Battle in 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes). At full price, the cost-per-minute of build time is $0.53. Comparatively, my average across themes is $0.83/min. For the Ninjago theme, it is $0.68/min. Therefore, compared to all the LEGO® sets I have reviewed, I rate this one at 95%. Compared to just other Ninjago sets, it is more like 90%. As such, we again have a score of 93%.
There is only one build in this kit, the mech. To be honest, that is quite refreshing. So often we get sets with a main build and several smaller builds that just waste bricks. This set could have come with a dinky small build for the villains. Thankfully, it did not. Instead, all the bricks go towards producing an amazingly detailed mech. Additionally, the robot armor features surprising articulation. The legs have more than 90-degrees of rotation ability, as well as limited lateral rotation. However, the limited sideways motion is still enough to pose this beast in some very dynamic stances. The ankles also have a good range of lateral tilting, but a more limited forwards/backwards tilt. Again, the limited motion does not hinder posing the mech.
What particularly impressed me here the knee joints. Each comprises six ball and socket joints, two of which simultaneously rotate around an axle when engaged. The design is ingenious and something I would not have thought to build. The result is exceptionally stable, though it does not give quite the full range of motion of an actual knee. However, given that this is robotic armor, the limited range of motion is not outside the realm of believability.
The Titan Mech knee joints feature a clever design.
A minor point of contention I have is with the shoulder joints. Overall, they have good mobility. However, when you lift the arm up laterally, it cannot also swing forward to punch. To punch, you raise the arm, then rotate the shoulder joint. Subsequently, the arm can swing forward. A cheat around this would be rotating the waist. However, for the sake of stability, the waist is immobile. A slightly larger annoyance lies in the fact that some of the decorative add-ons fall off very easily. Just in posing this for photography, I was constantly re-attaching bits.
Ultimately, I love a lot more about this build than I dislike. You certainly learn some amazing mech building techniques if that is your thing. I enjoyed assembling this set. My issues with the design are minor but taken to together knock off a point from the build score. Normally, I would rate this set at 9/10 (90%) in this category. However, since I am so thrilled that the set does not waste bricks on undetailed side builds, I will pop that up to 95%.
If you are a huge Ninjago fan, then 2021 is going to be an expensive year for you. It is the 10th anniversary of the series and theme. Consequently, several sets come with exclusive celebratory golden ninja Minifigures. This set includes Golden Jay. Personally, that seems like an odd choice for a set focusing on Zane, but I digress. The golden ninja comes with a small buildable display stand with a commemorative printed 10th anniversary circular tile. Collecting each of the golden ninjas from each of the sets yields a nice display I am sure. However, to get them all you need to buy several sets, including the epic $400 CAD Ninjago City Gardens.
The 2021 Ninjago sets feature collectable 10th anniversary Golden Ninja Minifigures.
Otherwise, Zane’s Titan Mech Battle comes with four minifigs total. You get Golden Jay, Zane, and two ghost warriors, Ghoultar and a soul archer. The ghosts do no have legs. Rather, each has a two-toned ghostly plasm base. Additionally, each ghost has identical torso and face printing. However, they differ slightly in appearance due to accessories. Both ninjas have printing on either side of their head, but only Jay has a double-sided face. All characters have front and back torso printing, and the ninjas have leg printing too. In terms of accessories, Zane comes with a hairpiece and a mask. There are also three katanas, two bows, two flaming swords, three different sets of should protectors, and a bandana. I rate the design at 54/60 (90%).
Four Minifigures in a 840-piece kit gives a brick-to-fig ratio of 210:1. Comparatively, my average is 144:1 across all themes. That is also consistent with the Ninjago theme by itself. Therefore, for a kit of this size, you do not get many Minifigures. The set should really include two more characters. I rate the ratio score at 67%. Taken with the design score, these Minifigures earn a total grade of 79%.
I loved this set a lot more than I thought I would. Those really are the best kind of sets; the ones that leave you with a sense of wow when you were not expecting it. I thought Zane’s Titan Mech Battle was a quick build, review, and disassemble project. However, I think I am going to find a shelf space for this. Additionally, for Ninjago fans and Minifigure collectors, there is the added gimmick of the limited-edition golden ninja minifigures. I am a sucker for Minifigure gimmicks. I will totally get all the sets just to have all the golden ninjas. This set is thoroughly entertaining. However, I also recognize that it is a niche interest set. Not everyone is into mechs or Ninjago. With that said, I was also not into mechs before I built this. I rate the AFOL score at 95%.
Now imagine yourself as a kid getting Zane’s Titan Mech Battle to play with. Insert mind-blown emoji here. The fun I would have had with this. However, again it is a niche interest. Also, those little decorative bits that come off easily will not hold up to rough play. My action figures certainly took a beating when I was young. I am almost inclined to say this is more of an AFOL mech-lover’s display piece than a toy for play. All the same, mech-loving KFOLs will enjoy it. I rate it at 90% for kids because pieces will fall off and get lost. Taken with the AFOL score, Zane’s Titan Mech Battle earns an overall entertainment grade of 93%.
OVERALL SCORE: 90%
Zane’s Titan Mech Battle inspired a sense of awe in me. That says something considering I was uninterested with the concept beforehand. I want to display this set in my LEGO® room. It is just cool. Additionally, the kit is a great value even at full price. The only negative is the small number of Minifigures. However, you get the limited-edition Golden Jay character with this set. Parents might also be wary because small pieces fall off easily during rough play. In the end, I cannot believe that I almost missed out on this set. If the LEGO® Group had not offered it to me for review, I totally would have passed it by and let it retire without a second thought. What a tragedy it would have been to miss out on this build. What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
What do others think?
Brick Insights is an awesome site that aggregates LEGO® set review scores from around the web. Based on their statistics, you can see what other reviewers think of Zane’s Titan Mech Battle (71738) below.
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