Boulder Blaster (71736) Review
My collection of 10th anniversary golden ninja Minifigures continues to grow. This time, I have acquired and built the Ninjago Legacy Boulder Blaster (71736). Incidentally, it comes with the limited-edition Golden Kai character. In truth, I got the set for free for review purposes. However, I am a sucker for collectibles. Therefore, I might have acquired this set anyway just to have all the golden ninjas. Additionally, we get another set review out of it. Is the set worth the Minifigure? Let us find out.
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.
BOULDER BLASTER SUMMARY
- NAME: Boulder Blaster
- SET #: 71736
- THEME: Ninjago
- COST: $49.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 449
- MINIFIGURES: 4
- RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2021
BOULDER BLASTER QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 81% (Average value set in terms of bricks and build time.)
- BUILD: 85% (Well designed except for a touchy firing mechanism.)
- MINIFIGURES: 94% (Good number of detailed characters.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 70% (I have no use for a set like this, but KFOL Ninjago fans will like it.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 83%
BOULDER BLASTER (71736) REVIEW
Boulder Blaster costs $49.99 in Canada and consists of 449 pieces. Therefore, at full price, the cost-per-brick is $0.111. Comparatively, my average cost-per-brick is currently $0.14. As such, Boulder Blaster is a great value compared to other sets. In fact, I rate it at 90%. However, the set fares a little worse if compared solely to the Ninjago theme. For a Ninjago set, the cost-per-brick is right on the average. Consequently, it earns a score of 80%. Averaging these scores gives an overall value-per-brick of 85%.
In terms of build time, I got 65 minutes from this set. Therefore, at full price, each minute of build time costs $0.77. By comparison, my average cost-per-minute across all themes is $0.83. However, Ninjago sets are often a better value than the average set. For Ninjago alone, my cost-per-minute is currently $0.64. Therefore, Boulder Blaster earns 83% in the former comparison and 71% in the latter. Averaging the two scores gives a build time value of 77%. Taken with the value-per-brick, this set earns a total value grade of 81%.
The main build is a steam-punk-esque fighter plane. The design is ideal for play with a handle to grasp when simulating flight. Additionally, the gears on the side turn to release a torrent of missiles from the rotating nozzle of the plane. It is a solid construction, but do those missiles ever launch easily. The nose of the plane does not conceal the ends of the projectiles. Consequently, the slightest bump to side of the plane sends bolts flying. Personally, I find that a little annoying.
Otherwise, Boulder Blaster did teach me a new build technique. The guns that round the front of the plane attach in an interesting fashion. You could easily adapt the technique to build round structures, like columns. Additionally, I enjoyed the use of Minifigure revolvers as exhaust pipes, and the cockpit canopy is a piece I have not seen before. However, I do wish the cockpit contained more controls. It comes with printed brick showing a display panel. There is no joystick or steering device.
Boulder Blaster (71736) taught me a new build technique.
On top of the main build, you also assemble a small cage. The cage features a target you can try and hit with the missiles from the plane. A hit causes the cage door to fall open. It is an interesting idea. However, with the touchy firing mechanism, you would probably shoot the captive rather than rescue them. Additionally, the cage is nothing interesting. It is a side-build that I can do without honestly. Though, in this case, I do not feel like it detracts much detail from plane. Perhaps without the cage, the firing mechanism could have been less finicky though. A brick reallocation could make the missiles more stable.
My only real issue with the design is the constant launching of the missiles. The controls in the cockpit are a lesser concern, as is the lack-luster cage. The set does use stickers for details, but the brick-built touches more than make up for the small number of stickers. I rate this design at 85%.
I like that Ninjago Minifigures almost always feature lots of detailing. Boulder Blaster comes with four characters. Each has front and back torso printing as well as leg printing and all the standard minifig parts. Additionally, each of the three ninjas has a double-sided face. In terms of accessories, you get six revolvers, eight swords, a large bone with an axe blade, a couple of bandanas, and a back-mounted sword sheath. However, many of those guns and swords add detail to the airplane. All the same, I count them as accessories and rate the minifig design score at 100%.
Boulder Blaster includes 449 pieces and four Minifigures. Consequently, the brick-to-fig ratio is 112:1. By comparison, my average ratio across all themes is 144:1. For Ninjago, the average is 152:1. Therefore, compared to all sets, I rate Boulder Blaster at 86%. Despite Ninjago coming with fewer characters than the average set in my experience, this set still scores well. Compared to other Ninjago sets, the brick-to-fig ratio earns 88%. Averaging the two scores gives a final ratio grade of 87%. You get a good number of Minifigures for a kit of this size. Taken with the design score, Boulder Blaster earns a Minifigure rating of 94%.
As an AFOL, this set is not for me. While I maintain the design is good, it is first and foremost a playset. The airplane proportions work for Minifigures, which is a step up from the X-1 Ninja Charger. However, the steampunk vibe does not match my LEGO® city or any of my displays. I do not dislike this set, but I have no use for it either. The only draw the Boulder Blaster holds for me is the collectible Minifigure. I rate the AFOL score at 3/5 (60%).
From a kid’s perspective, the set likely fares better. Especially for Ninjago fans. The handle built onto the underside increases maneuverability during play. The missile launcher on the front is a lot of fun too, despite firing overly easily. However, outside of the Ninjago niche, I do not see Boulder Blaster being immensely popular. Kids will also lose those missiles and fire without warning. I rate the KFOL score at 4/5 (80%). Averaging this with the AFOL score gives an overall entertainment rating of 70%.
OVERALL SCORE: 83%
Boulder Blaster (71736) is a good value set with a solid design that will please Ninjago fans. The set caters particularly well to children. The average AFOL might enjoy the details and interesting build technique, but ultimately this is a parts box for more collectors. The main draw for me was the Golden Kai collectible Minifigure. Ultimately, Boulder Blaster is not for me. What are your thoughts on the set? Feel free to comment below or reach out social media.
Until next time,
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