Christmas is almost here, and I have a special review to celebrate. As a LEGO® Brand Ambassador, I am one of the lucky denizens of the planet who gets the employee Christmas gift each year. In the past, I received the Christmas X-Wing and the 40 Years of Hands On Learning automaton. This year, the gift celebrates 10 years of Ninjago. For fans of the series, this set might be one of the rarest, holy grail-type sets. Today, I am excited to share the Temple of Celebrations (4002021).
If you do not want spoilers, you might want to stop reading here.
First off, I tried really hard to keep this set a secret until Christmas. I planned to have my wife whisk the shipping box away and wrap the gift up for Christmas. Sadly, the spoilers flooded my news feeds. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to avoid seeing pictures. Consequently, I am reviewing the set before the holidays. While I knew what the set was going to be, I did not read any of the reviews or spoilers that filled my feeds. As such, the set still held some surprises for me.
TEMPLE OF CELEBRATIONS (4002021) SUMMARY
- NAME: The Temple of Celebrations
- SET #: 4002021
- THEME: Ninjago
- COST: Free – Employee Christmas Gift
- BRICK COUNT: 1320
- MINIFIGURES: 11
- RELEASE DATE: December 2021
TEMPLE OF CELEBRATIONS (4002021) QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 100% (This set was a gift; you can’t beat free LEGO® sets.)
- BUILD: 80% (Too many loose bits, but it looks great.)
- MINIFIGURES: 94% (Great designs, loads of accessories, great count minifig count.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 100% (Amazing packaging and great display potential for all.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 94% (Excellent set.)
TEMPLE OF CELEBRATIONS (4002021) REVIEW
For employees of the LEGO® Group and LEGO® Brand Ambassadors, this set was free. You can’t beat free bricks. However, if you dream of acquiring one, it will cost you a pretty penny. These sets are already going for over $400 CAD on eBay. It is easily over $300 CAD on BrickLink. To be fair, the set compares in brick count to the upcoming Ninja Dojo Temple (71767). That kit goes for $129.99 CAD. Assuming the Temple of Celebrations went for the same, the cost-per-brick works out to $0.098. Incidentally, that is quite good.
The Temple of Celebrations took me two hours and 34 minutes to build. Assuming this set costs $129.99, the cost-per-minute of build time is $0.84. Once again, that is an excellent value. Of course, no one will be able to find this set for $129.99 CAD. I made the comparison only to give an idea of how this set compares to something of a similar size and style. For my purposes, I rate the value at 100%. LEGO® sets make the best gifts.
I love Ninjago buildings. Even before watching any of the show, the architecture style appealed to me. That love only grew with sets like Dragon’s Forge, Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon, the Monastery of Spinjitzu, and Ninjago City. The Temple of Celebrations is no different. While not as elaborate as some of its predecessors, the temple itself looks wonderful. Additionally, the kit includes a dragon-drawn mini-sleigh for Santa Garmadon to ride in.
Let us begin with the dragon. For a small creature, the dragon is well detailed and articulated. Additionally, the brick-built design does not have the molded head pieces seen on some Ninjago dragons. However, unlike other recent dragons, it does not have wing membranes. That lacking feature is something I do not like, as mentioned in my previous review of the Overlord Dragon. Otherwise, the dragon has some great brick use, and I particularly like the structure of the front legs. Additionally, the dragon’s color scheme looks like gingerbread 🙂
Is that a gingerbread dragon?
The set has two other side builds. Interestingly, the temple floor has studs that accommodate either one. So, you can alternate the scene to your liking. The first side build is a dinner table. Of the two, it is my least favorite. The design is simplistic. It comes with eight standard Minifigure chair pieces to place around it. Pastries cover the two-tiered table, as well as one random turkey leg.
The more impressive side build is the Christmas tree. Of all the LEGO® trees I have built over the years, this is my favorite. It uses ball elements and shuriken as decorations. However, what makes it my favorite is the use of leaf elements at downward angles to create a sloped, evergreen look. I plan to build more of these. Even without the fun decorations, they make great trees for a MOC.
Temple of Celebrations includes two alternate interior looks.
The Temple of Celebrations is the main build. From the outside, it looks great. From the inside, the building is fun, but does not have much play space. The only large room is the basement space where you can alternate the dinner table and Christmas tree scenes. Each of the other floors feature some detailing, but not much floor space. The entry level has a micro-build version of Ninjago City Gardens. I am not a fan of micro-builds. This one was instantly recognizable to me, but I do not think it captures the actual set well enough to warrant inclusion here. For modular fans, the Temple of Celebrations employs a similar color scheme to past sets like the Monastery of Spinjitzu and the Temple of Airjitzu. Consequently, you can combine parts from sets to build a complete, 360° temple.
Another issue I have with the design is the looseness of sections. The floors come apart very easily. They are modular, which is peculiar considering the set has an open-back concept. Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer modular. However, in this case, the build does not need modular sections because you cannot really rearrange the floors, and the back is open for complete interior access. The modular nature of the levels just makes the set harder to pick up. Additionally, tiles do not secure some of the sloped roof elements in place, causing them to come off if touched.
The set has lots of loose bits, making it hard to pick up.
With that said, the Temple of Celebrations is not meant as a play set. It is a display piece intended to sit on your shelf for the holidays. Consequently, the build does not need to withstand rough play or transport. Personally, the Christmas tree is enough for me. I did not need the dinner table too. It results in too many loose bits to keep track of. I prefer most items in a set have solid attachment or have good attachment points. The extra bricks from alternate scenes here could have gone to more interior details or substantial floor space. I still quite like this build though. Overall, I rate it at 80%.
The Temple of Celebrations includes all of the 10th anniversary golden Minifigures that fans have been clamoring to collect all year. I have been acquiring sets I did not really want in order to get all of them. The only one I was missing prior to this was Zane. Interestingly, Wu comes with an alternate head and beard in this kit. As many of you know, the Wu Minifigure from Ninjago City Gardens was all gold, including his head and beard. In this set, my first impression from the box was that he only had a standard yellow minifig head and white beard. However, the top floor of the temple features a golden Wu bust. Consequently, you have all the pieces needed to make your golden Wu. The only difference with this set is that the Minifigures do not have the buildable display bases available in the other sets.
Temple of Celebrations includes all the commemorative golden ninja collectibles.
In addition to the seven golden characters, the set also include Santa Garmadon, Misako, and two Serpentine. One of the Serpentine has stumpy, unmoving legs. Happily, there is so much else to love about these characters that you hardly notice that issue. Eight of these characters have double-sided head printing and all of them have front and back torso printing. Additionally, eight feature leg printing. The Minifigures also come with a ridiculous number of accessories. While most of those comprise the usual ninja gear (like 14 katana and 12 shuriken), you also acquire many pastries and hats, as well as a couple of spoons, lanterns, scarves, beards, and a bunny rabbit. All things considered, I rate the minifig design at 100%.
Now for the Minifigure count. Compared to LEGO® sets in general, you get an excellent character count for a set this size. 11 Minifigures in a 1320-piece kit gives a brick-to-fig ratio of 120-to-1. On average, I get around 171 bricks/fig. Ninjago as a theme tends to offer more minifigs though. Those sets average around 148 bricks/fig. However, either way you look at it, Temple of Celebrations includes a solid figurine count. I rate the ratio score at 88%. Taking the mean of this score and the design score gives an overall Minifigure rating of 94%.
Temple of Celebrations is certainly an entertaining set. The packaging is wonderful. The box is large, glossy, and uniquely designed. I like the drawn images on the front, it makes the kit almost Christmas card-like. Additionally, this is officially the first set with numbered paper bags inside. While not all of the bags were paper, four were. It is the first step in eliminating the single-use, non-recyclable plastic parts bags of old. The packaging alone had me excited enough to give this set a 100% entertainment score.
As mentioned earlier, I am a fan of Ninjago buildings. This set is no different. I can’t wait to include this somewhere in a MOC display. I want to use the bits and pieces from the Monastery of Spinjitzu to make it more complete. As such, for Ninjago fans, this is more than just a Christmas display piece. Interestingly, the temple also provides a little Chinatown quartier for the Winter Village collection, if you collect those. Better still, it fits nicely with the Chinese New Year sets from years past, like Lion Dance, Temple Fair, Spring Lantern Festival, and Story of Nian. Despite being hard to get, Temple of Celebrations offers fun for Ninjago fans, but also a versatility that extends to other collections. I rate the entertainment score at 100%.
OVERALL SCORE: 94%
I love the Temple of Celebrations (4002021). In general, I am big fan of brick-built Asian-style architecture seen in the Ninjago theme. However, I think this set offers something for collectors outside of that niche as well. Not to mention that you acquire all of the collectible golden ninja Minifigures in one go. Despite a few minor design issues, Temple of Celebrations is a great piece to have. Sadly, it is also a difficult one to get. Unless you are lucky enough to be a LEGO® employee or Ambassador, this set will set you back quite a bit on the secondary market.
Ultimately, I love Temple of Celebrations (4002021). I might even love it enough to have considered buying it had I not been gifted one. So many thanks to the LEGO® Group for this amazing gift. What do you think of Temple of Celebrations? Is anyone out there thinking of trying to get one? Let us know in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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