I decided recently that I want to start a study of LEGO® dragons. I want to learn techniques for brick-built body forms. Jurassic Park: T. rex Rampage gave me some good ideas a while back. However, that T. rex is a larger scale than I am aiming for. I built the Ninjago Overlord Dragon a few months ago. It had some neat ideas, but the overall model felt incomplete. It left me thinking about designing my own dragon. Consequently, I have decided to build my way through a few official models to learn some techniques. I am starting with Fire Dragon Attack (71753).
NOTE: The LEGO® Group provided this set for review. However, the provision of products does not guarantee a favorable review. True North Bricks’ usual rating system applies (click here for more information).
FIRE DRAGON ATTACK (71753) SUMMARY
- NAME: Fire Dragon Attack
- SET #: 71753
- THEME: Ninjago
- COST: $69.99 CAD
- BRICK COUNT: 563
- MINIFIGURES: 4
- RELEASE DATE: August 3, 2021
FIRE DRAGON ATTACK (71753) QUICK REVIEW
- VALUE: 81% (Average value in terms of cost/brick and build time.)
- BUILD: 85% (You learn to build a nice dragon torso, and the wings rock.)
- MINIFIGURES: 92% (A good number of figs with amazing detailing.)
- ENTERTAINMENT: 85% (Good set for Ninjago and Castles fans alike.)
- OVERALL SCORE: 86% (A good set.)
FIRE DRAGON ATTACK (71753) REVIEW
Fire Dragon Attack costs $69.99 in Canada. Additionally, the set includes 563 bricks. As such, the cost-per-brick works out to $0.124. Compared to other sets in the Ninjago theme, that is satisfactory, but not amazing. Based on all the Ninjago sets I have assembled, the average cost-per-brick for the theme is around $0.113. However, compared to LEGO® sets in general, Fire Dragon fares better. Right now, the average cost-per-brick across all themes is around $0.139. Incidentally, that is an average based on all the LEGO® sets that we have reviewed at True North Bricks. Considering the set is below average for a Ninjago set, but above average for LEGO® sets in general, I rate the overall cost-per-brick as average. It earns 80%.
Fire Dragon took me an hour and 38 minutes to piece together. Consequently, at full price, the cost-per-minute of build time is $0.71. Again, compared to other Ninjago sets, that is merely satisfactory. On average, each minute of build time for the theme normally costs me $0.65. However, once again the set fares better in a comparison to LEGO® sets in general. In that regard, the average cost-per-minute is around $0.85. Considering both comparisons, I rate the build time value at 82%. Taking the average of this and the cost-per-brick score gives an overall value rating of 81%. Generally speaking, Fire Dragon is an average valued set.
Right off the bat, the Fire Dragon fixes one of the major issues I had with the Overlord Dragon. Fire Dragon has wing membranes! Additionally, they look fantastic. Each one consists of a piece of fabric that folds nicely when the dragon has stowed its wings. I was a little skeptical when I saw the wings’ packaging. Both come in one small box only slightly larger than the ones that contain a Minifigure cape. My worry was the wings would show creases. However, the fabric is soft and supple.
The arms supporting the wings have shoulder joints that rotate and flap. Additionally, clawed hands at the ends offer wrist mobility and two moving fingers. Finally, each of the ribs supporting the wing membranes rotates, allowing the wings to spread or fold. Generally, the structure works well. However, the elbow is not mobile, and the shoulder joint looks a little mechanical. It does not blend organically with the model. The same goes for the wrists.
The torso and wing design of the Fire Dragon are amazing.
In terms of build, the torso structure impressed me most. The brick use phenomenally achieves realistic musculature around the chest and stomach. The arch of the back and spines look wonderful too. This section offers a great tutorial on how to build the torso of a dragon. However, the leg attachment suffers from the same issue the shoulders. Additionally, the neck attachment does not flow into the torso well from the underside, though it works well on the top. I feel like the underside needs a more gradual slope into the chest.
The legs are an okay design. However, they lack some realism. The feet are plantigrade, but really need to be digitigrade. Similarly, the tail is also only okay. I like the mobility it has, but the design is blocky. I am looking for more anatomical realism in dragon builds to help me learn good techniques. Overall, the torso and the wings help me out with this model. Other areas are not bad for a toy, and the designs are great for play. But, for an AFOL looking for an amazing model, they are not realistic enough. I rate the build at 85%.
As one of the tenth anniversary sets released in 2021, Fire Dragon Attack includes a golden ninja. In this case, we acquire Nya. Similar to other anniversary kits, Nya comes with a buildable display base. Consequently, she displays well with characters from Tournament of Elements, Boulder Blaster, X-1 Ninja Charger, Zane’s Titan Mech Battle, Ultra Sonic Raider, and Ninjago City Gardens. At present, the only set I lack from this series is the Ultra Sonic Raider. Initially, I set the goal of collecting all of the golden ninjas. I started acquiring them set by set… then the LEGO® Group gave me Temple of Celebrations for Christmas. It included all of the golden ninjas in one shot. Do I need two sets of golden Minifigures? The jury is out still…
Looking for a complete set of golden ninjas? You’ll need this kit for Nya.
Otherwise, Fire Dragon Attack comes with four Minifigures… well, three plus a Skulkin warrior. Each of the Minifigures has front and rear printing on the head and torso, as well as leg printing. Interestingly, the skeleton torso of the Skulkin features printing too. Finally, all the characters have shoulder armor. In terms of other accessories, the kit includes four shuriken and seven swords (mostly katanas). These are well designed characters with a good number of accessories for a set of this type. I rate the character designs at 100%.
Four Minifigures is set containing 563 pieces is a brick-to-fig ratio of 141 bricks/fig. For a Ninjago set, that is fairly average. Compared to LEGO® sets in general, it is a good offering. Currently, the average ratio sits at 171 bricks/fig based on all the sets we’ve reviewed. Taking both of these comparisons into consideration, I rate the ratio score at 84%. You get a good number of Minifigures for a set of this size. Averaging this with the design score gives an overall Minifigure grade of 92%.
Fire Dragon Attack is a playset, not a display item. If you acquire the kit with that in mind, it is an enjoyable set. Even though I do not intend to keep it built as is, I learned some interesting techniques and got some good ideas through building it. Remember, I am building my way through several dragons in order to learn some anatomical techniques. This set served that purpose. Additionally, the wing fabric is wonderful. The set is worth picking up just for that if you aspire to build custom dragons. Additionally, dragons are just fun to have. They work well in the world of Ninjago, but Castles builders get a nice model too. I like sets that appeal to builders of multiple themes. I rate the entertainment score at 85%.
OVERALL SCORE: 86%
Fire Dragon Attack is a better than average set, a good one even. Dragons are fun characters that span multiple themes, and this one teaches you good techniques to learn how to build your own. The value is nice as well for playset and a learning tool. I even argue that the wing fabric makes the set worth it on its own. However, you also get a wonderful selection of detailed Minifigures. Is this my dream dragon set? No, but I do like it all the same. What do you think of Fire Dragon Attack? Feel free to let us know in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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