The LEGO Ninjago Movie was a box office flop, and fans criticized it heavily, but the same can’t be said about LEGO sets based on the film. In this LEGO Ninjago City Gardens review, I’ll go over the essential features of one of the biggest LEGO sets ever that lets you recreate scenes from this 2017 film.
LEGO released the Ninjago City Gardens 71741 set as a part of the tenth anniversary of the Ninjago theme. Its impressive piece count makes it the biggest LEGO set released within the Ninjago theme, while its modular construction delivers a ton of play value.
Bottom Line Up Front
Modular design, high level of detail, compatibility with other Ninjago sets, and versatile selection of Minifigures are some of the reasons why the Ninjago City Gardens 71741 is worth every penny. Still, a long and demanding build makes it a poor fit for novice LEGO builders.
See also: The best LEGO Ninjago Minifigures
The Ins and Outs of the LEGO Ninjago City Gardens 71741 Set
- Release date: February 1, 2021
- Piece count: 5,685
- Age group: 14+
- Price range: $$$
Most Ninjago sets have low piece counts, and only five active models have more than 1,000 pieces. Moreover, nearly all building kits released in the Legacy subtheme, introduced in 2019, have fewer than 500 parts, which makes the Ninjago City Gardens model unique.
Here are a few Ninjago models with high piece counts LEGO released in the last ten years:
It is currently unclear how long the set will stay on the market, and conservative lifespan estimates suggest that the model should retire during 2023. However, LEGO hasn’t released any official confirmation of these estimates, so its lifespan could easily extend over 24 months.
See also: Guide to the biggest LEGO sets
Packaging and Building Instructions
- Number of bags: 43
- Building instruction booklets: 3
This set arrives in a huge box suitable for a building kit of its size. The first thing that caught my eye was the Ninjago Legacy branding, a welcome change from previous Ninjago City collection models that had The LEGO Ninjago Movie branding.
The front section of the box shows the fully assembled model with several characters scattered from top to bottom. The 10 Ninjago Years logo is located in the lower-left corner, while the image of the Limited Edition Golden Wu Minifigure is in the opposite corner.
You’ll find the set’s complete character list on the box’s top side. Snapshots of its best features and a view of the Ninja house’s modular structure are on the underside.
Top tip: Make sure that you have enough space to store all the bags of pieces you don’t need during the initial stages of the build.
The inner white box contains bags of pieces numbered 1 through 11, so you can start constructing the set without sorting out all 43 bags. The set has 66 stickers spread over three sheets and three building instructions manuals with 172 to 208 pages.
An Overview of the Set’s Pieces and Minifigures
The extensive part list that spreads over ten pages includes a single new element. This unusual piece was designed as an escalator chain link, but its role in this set is purely decorative. The Ninjago City Gardens 71741 contains the following parts in unique colors:
- Technic gear rack housing (sand blue)
- 3×1 inverted arches (black)
- 1×3 brick with curved sides (gray)
- 6×5 leaf (lime and yellowish green)
- 1×2 tile (light blue)
This Ninjago building kit features 22 Minifigures, although just 19 of them are listed on the packaging. Here’s the set’s full Minifigure list:
- Jay (urban and Legacy Dragon suit)
- Zane Legacy
- Golden Wu
- Urban Nya
- Kai Legacy
- Two Statue Minifigures
- The Mechanic
- Clutch Powers
- Kai Legacy
All set’s Minifigures are unique except Ronin and Kai Legacy. Each room in the Ninja House has weapons, arcade machines, posters, and other accessories.
See also: LEGO Colosseum set review
Besides the Ninja House, the set’s main build, the Ninjago City Gardens set features a separate Temple Island segment assembled at the end of the construction process. As I pointed out earlier, the bags you’ll need to go through the first building instructions booklet are located in the unlabeled white box.
The first thing you have to do to kick start the build is put together the 32×32 baseplate that serves as the foundation for the main structure.
The foundation also includes a water segment with a small island in the middle, a lower portion of the tree that extends through the structure’s upper floors, and parts of the sidewalk.
The Ronin’s Pawnshop and the restaurant are the only rooms on the ground floor, and both subassemblies are challenging to build due to the high amount of details.
Top tip: Approach each new stage of the build fresh because a single misplaced piece can undo hours of work.
The Ninjago Fan Flat, Tea Room, and Tea Time Balcony are stacked onto the rooms on the ground floor and connected by the sidewalk fitted on their top. You’ll continue adding elements to the tree and building smaller room subassemblies as you move further up.
The Ninjago Museum of History and the student flat attached to it are located on the fourth floor, while the top floor features a Zen garden and a teahouse. Rooms on each floor contain accessories that range from a hanging dragon in the museum’s atrium to the cooking station in the Chen’s Noodle Shop.
A Look at the Completed Model
The fully assembled Ninja House is 29 inches tall, 17.5 inches long, and 13.5 inches wide. Its imposing presence is magnified by the stunning level of exterior and interior details. The modular structure allows you to detach each room and use it as an independent assembly.
The Ninja House model has the following rooms:
- Ronin’s pawnshop
- Ninjago fan apartment
- Tea room
- Chen’s Noodle shop
- Ice Cream shop
- Ninjago Museum of History
- Student apartment
- The Ninja Zone
- Rooftop Zen Garden
- Hidden room
- Ninja control room
Accessing the interior of the rooms on the lower floors is challenging while the model is fully assembled, but detaching a room from the main structure is easy. Irregularly shaped rooms have innovative roof designs composed of treasure chest lids and other repurposed parts.
Even though it is aimed at an older audience with advanced set-building skills, the Ninjago City Gardens 71741 offers a variety of play options. The modular design enables you to use only a few rooms to develop different play scenarios or use them as a part of the main Ninja House structure.
Top tip: Playing with only several room subassemblies will improve the portability of an otherwise cumbersome structure.
The versatile Minifigure selection and a high number of accessories also contribute to the model’s play value. Moreover, you can use figures and elements from smaller Ninjago sets like Lloyd’s Race Car EVO 71763 or Overlord Dragon 71742 to extend the Ninjago City Gardens set‘s range of playing options.
The Ninja House retains its play value even when it is fully assembled, although you won’t be able to use accessories from all rooms. The Temple Island doesn’t provide many play options, but you can still use it as a playground for some of the set’s Minifigures.
Price and Value
Despite being the most expensive set in the Ninjago theme, the Ninjago City Gardens 71741 isn’t one of the priciest LEGO models. It is in the same price range as Daily Bugle or Old Trafford – Manchester United 10272 building kits.
Its current market value of approximately $300 is likely to remain the same until the end of 2022 and possibly longer. However, the set has a ‘Hard to Find’ label on the LEGO website that could indicate a price increase due to limited availability.
Hence, buying this set at its current retail price could prove an excellent long-term investment because its value could double in the next few years. All of the set’s Minifigures cost less than $10, except the Urban Jay Minifigure, priced at $31. The value of these Minifigures will increase significantly once the set is retired.
See also: LEGO Daily Bugle review
Pros and Cons of the LEGO Ninjago City Gardens 71741 Set
- Excellent value for money
- Set’s modular structure allows builders to use rooms as independent subassemblies
- Rich interior
- Almost all Minifigures in this set are unique
- Compatible with other Ninjago sets
- Moving the fully assembled Ninja House is difficult
- The construction process can be overwhelming for inexperienced builders
The Best Alternatives to the LEGO Ninjago City Gardens 71741 Set
The two retired sets from the Ninjago City collection are the best replacement for the Ninjago City Gardens 71741 model. Still, I don’t recommend getting these sets if you missed a chance to purchase them at their retail price because the market value of both models is presently close to $2,000.
Picking one of the active LEGO Ninjago sets is more affordable, but you won’t be able to find a model in the same piece count range. I selected a few Ninjago models with more than 1,000 pieces, so here’s what they have to offer.
Ninja Dojo Temple 71767
- Piece count: 1,394
- Age group: 8+
- Price range: $$
Even though it has less than 1,500 pieces, the Ninja Dojo Temple 71767 is one of the biggest Ninjago sets LEGO has published since 2011. The Dojo Temple has five rooms spread across three floors and a training area attached to the main building with a bridge.
The armory room features a variety of weapons kids can use while playing with the set’s characters. Cobra Mechanic and Boa Destructor figures come with rammer vehicles, while other Minifigures are equipped with swords and other weapons.
Hydro Bounty 71756
- Piece count: 1,159
- Age group: 9+
- Price range: $$$
The Hydro Bounty 71756 has a much narrower range of play options than the Ninjago City Gardens model, but it is still an entertaining set for young fans of this animated series. The submarine toy has a single-Minifigure cockpit, and its storage section houses two mini-submarines.
The submarine’s front section features a detachable mech with posable arms and legs. The set comes with ten Minifigures equipped with cool accessories that enable kids to stage battles between Cole, Kai, Wu, and their underwater enemies.
Temple of the Endless Sea 71755
- Piece count: 1,060
- Age group: 9+
- Price range: $$
The 14th season of the Ninjago TV series served as inspiration for the Temple of the Endless Sea 71755 set. Hence, each of the seven Minifigures is modeled after its appearance in the series, and Prince Kalmar, Prince Benthomaar, and Scuba Kai are some of the playset’s main protagonists.
The Temple of the Endless Sea has a prison, laboratory, and manta ray sections you can reposition easily, as well as the chained figure of the serpent Wojira. This set is easy to build, and even kids without previous experience can assemble it in less than two hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Who designed the poster included in the Ninjago City Gardens 71741 set?
Answer: A Ninjago and LEGO fan Joshua Deck designed the Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu poster that comes with this set.
Question: How many steps does the construction process of the Ninjago City Gardens set have?
Answer: You’ll have to go through 963 steps to complete this build.
Question: Do building instructions booklets contain The LEGO Ninjago Movie trivia?
Answer: None of the set’s three-building instructions booklets features trivia about this movie.
Question: Can I detach an entire floor of the Ninja House?
Answer: Yes, you can. The model also has a ladder set’s characters can use to reach the structure’s upper sections.
The biggest Ninjago set to date provides excellent value for the money. It is equally effective as a build-to display model and a playset that easily splits into numerous subassemblies.
Each room has an innovative design and a variety of accessories that enable you to reenact different scenes from The LEGO Ninjago Movie or develop your own play scenarios.
So, in my opinion, the question isn’t whether or not you should get the Ninjago City Gardens 71741, but rather when you should get it.
The set’s price won’t increase significantly until the end of 2022, so purchasing it relatively soon will bring you a ton of value. LEGO might retire this set in 2023, which will probably push its price over the $500 mark.
Please look at our LEGO Leaks and Rumors page to learn more about the new Ninjago sets LEGO is preparing for the second half of 2022.