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Mechs and dragons have been an integral part of the LEGO NINJAGO theme since its inception in 2011, and the first wave of sets in this theme featured models like Ice Dragon Attack 2260 and Lighting Dragon Battle 2521. In this NINJAGO LEGO Dragon review, I’ll focus on the Water Dragon 71754, one of the theme’s most recent dragon sets.
Like all models based on the 14th season of the NINJAGO TV series, this set features aquatic elements like miniature submarines or Minifigures dressed in scuba suits. Water Dragon 71754 doesn’t have a high piece count, and even a novice builder can assemble it in a few hours.
Bottom Line Up Front
Good selection of Minifigures and a unique dragon figure are the reasons why I think that the Water Dragon 71754 is an excellent set for young NINJAGO fans. However, the straightforward construction process can be underwhelming for experienced LEGO builders.
See also: The best LEGO NINJAGO Minifigures
The Ins and Outs of the NINJAGO Water Dragon 71754 Set
- Release date: June 1, 2021
- Piece count: 737
- Age group: 9+
- Price range: $$
NINJAGO theme currently features seven active dragon-themed sets, including the Water Dragon 71754 model. This number will increase during the summer of 2022 as six more NINJAGO dragon sets will hit the market by early August.
LEGO will release the following dragon-themed NINJAGO models in the next few months:
- Lloyd’s Golden Ultra Dragon 71774
- Kai’s Golden Dragon Raider 71773
- Ninja Dragon Temple 71759
- Zane’s Golden Dragon Jet 71770
- Cole’s Dragon Cruiser 71769
- Jay’s Golden Dragon Motorbike 71768
The Water Dragon 71754 was one of the NINJAGO sets released during the summer of 2021, and it is currently the only LEGO NINJAGO model to feature a figure of this dragon. The set’s estimated lifespan is around 24 months which means that it should remain available in LEGO stores for another year.
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Packaging and Building Instructions
- Number of bags: 6
- Instruction manual booklets: 1
All sets based on the NINJAGO: Seabound season come in boxes with similar graphics. The front end of the Water Dragon 71754 box depicts the battle between the dragon and the set’s main characters.
LEGO and NINJAGO branding on the left side, and the set’s basic information is on the right side, while images of the set’s Minifigures are below it.
The box’s underside depicts a scene that includes all of the model’s elements, and it features two pictures that demonstrate the dragon’s wing functionality and show the figure’s length.
Top tip: Don’t open the box if it arrives damaged because you may not be able to return it.
Set’s 727 pieces are divided into six bags, while the sticker sheet and building instructions manual are packed separately. The 136-page manual has 236 illustrated steps, but it doesn’t offer any information about the dragon or the set’s characters.
An Overview of the Set’s Pieces and Minifigures
This LEGO building kit includes several rare pieces with unique colors or prints. Textile dragon wings with authentic design are exclusive to this set, as well as several Minifigure pieces like Mini Hat 77151 or Mini Creature leg 78088.
Water Dragon 71754 model has the following rare pieces:
- 2×4 plate with across hinge 3640 (earth blue)
- 2×4 left plate w/ angle 41770 (medium azure)
- 2×4 right plate w/ angle 41769 (medium azure
- Skulder armor 12618 (warm gold)
Even though some of their parts are rare, none of the set’s five Minifigures are unique, and you can find them in several other sets from this theme. The Minifigures of the following NINJAGO characters are included in this set:
- Scuba Zane
- Two Maaray Guards
- Prince Kalmaar
- NRG Nya
Each Minifigure is armed with a different weapon, but the set offers a limited selection of accessories despite this.
See also: Guide to the critical LEGO pieces
The first bag contains the pieces for Zane’s submarine and wave amulet pedestal elements. The submarine toy is almost the same as the one featured in the Hydro Bounty 71756, with the only significant difference being the color pattern and the front-facing weapon pieces.
The wave amulet pedestal is a small sub-assembly constructed on a semi-oval baseplate. The centrally positioned circular piece with a dragon head dominates the subassembly, while several transparent light blue pieces simulate ocean currents.
Top tip: Besides Overlord Dragon 71742 and Empire Dragon 71713, the Water Dragon 71754 is the only NINJAGO set to feature a dragon and Minifigure form of a character.
The rest of the build involves assembling different parts of the Water Dragon. This stage of the build starts with the construction of the toy’s body, which includes a flap-wing mechanism composed of several Technic pieces.
The toy’s outer shell utilizes the SNOT (studs not on top) building technique to create a smooth surface. After the body is assembled, a flexible tail and adjustable legs are attached to the figure. Dragon’s head and wings are constructed during the final stages of the build.
The adjustable head element has a movable jaw, and it attaches to the body via robotic-arm attachment. Wings are mounted on six Technic fingers with ball-pins that serve as attachment points for wing cloths.
A Look at the Completed Model
The fully assembled Water Dragon is 24 inches long and 5 inches tall. Its light blue color pattern and interesting wing decorations make it an excellent addition to the collection of NINJAGO dragons. The toy is sturdy, and its parts don’t come off in active play situations.
The tail moves easily from one end to the other but keeping it in a specific pose isn’t possible. Legs have ball joints in their knees that enable you to change their position. The jaw element separates from the upper portion of the head and creates enough space to fit a Minifigure in the dragon’s mouth.
Toy’s wings are sturdy, and you can move them up and down effortlessly, although their motion range is limited. Aside from the noticeable gap between the hull and cockpit window, the submarine doesn’t have any other downsides.
The miniature wave amulet pedestal has a variety of details, but its overall visual appearance is unimpressive.
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Even though it is designed as a playset, the Water Dragon 71754 doesn’t offer a lot of play value. The dragon figure can’t do much more than snap its jaw at the enemy, flap its wings, or use the tail to knock things over.
The submarine’s cockpit can accommodate a Minifigure, but the toy doesn’t have stud shooters or other features kids can use while playing with this set. The wave amulet pedestal is a purely decorative element that can only add some context to a play scenario.
Top tip: Purchasing this LEGO set is the cheapest way to add Prince Kalmaar or NRG Nya Minifigures to your collection of Seabound NINJAGO Minifigures.
The Water Dragon 71754 is compatible with all NINJAGO models based on the 14th of the animated series. Here are a few NINJAGO: Seabound sets that can help you extend the range of play options provided the Water Dragon model:
- Temple of the Endless Sea 71755
- Ninja Sub Speeder 712752
- Hydro Bounty 71756
- Lloyd’s Hydro Mech 71750
Price and Value
The price of a single piece in this set is around 9.5 cents. The price-per-piece ratio of LEGO sets varies from 6 to 19 cents per piece, so the Water Dragon 71754 is far from being among the brand’s most expensive models.
Its current price is close to $70, and it will likely remain the same until August 2023. The set’s market value is expected to increase slightly after its exit date, and it should stay under $100 for a couple of years.
Although they’re not exclusive to the Water Dragon 71754 set, all five Minifigures are exclusive to the Seabound subtheme. NRG Nya is the most valuable Minifigure, while Maaray Guards are the least valuable Minifigures in this NINJAGO set.
The combined value of all Minifigures is approximately $30, but their prices will increase once all models from the Seabound subtheme are discontinued.
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Pros and Cons of the NINJAGO Water Dragon 71754 Set
- A unique, beautifully designed dragon figure
- The set is easy to build
- Compatible with other NINJAGO dragon and Seabound sets
- All toys in this set have a sturdy construction
- An affordable price
- The set doesn’t have a lot of accessories
- Limited range of play options
The Best Alternatives to the LEGO NINJAGO Water Dragon 71754 Set
LEGO has added at least one dragon-themed set to the NINJAGO theme every year for the last ten years. So, you won’t have to spend much time searching for an alternative to the Water Dragon 71754 set. As I already pointed out, this theme has multiple active sets that feature dragons, and more are on the way.
However, these sets are released within different subthemes, and they’re inspired by different seasons of the NINJAGO animated series. I selected several models that can be a good substitute for the Water Dragon 71754 set, so let’s take a look at their features.
Fire Dragon Attack 71753
- Piece count: 563
- Age group: 8+
- Price range: $$
Like all NINJAGO Legacy sets, the Fire Dragon Attack 71753 is based on the early seasons of the animated series. The fire dragon toy is similar to the water dragon because it has movable wings, and its head, jaws, legs, and tail are adjustable.
Their dimensions are also similar since the fire dragon measures 23 inches long and 10 inches tall. The collectible golden Nya Legacy Minifigure is one of the set’s highlights.
However, Zane, Kia, and Skulkin Minifigures aren’t unique. Besides the dragon toy and Minifigures, this set doesn’t feature other elements kids can use to develop play scenarios.
Jungle Dragon 71746
- Piece count: 506
- Age group: 8+
- Price range: $$
If you enjoyed watching the NINJAGO: The Island season, you’ll love building the Jungle Dragon 71746 set. This building kit lets you construct an 11.5-inch long dragon toy that has a removable saddle, and posable head, jaw, legs, and tail.
Its wings are movable, but they don’t contain textile elements featured on other NINJAGO dragons. Thunder Keeper, Zane, PoulErik, and Lloyd Minifigures are equipped with different weapons.
The set comes with a surfboard that has a sail and a shooting function. Still, combining this set with other NINJAGO dragon sets is the only way to improve its low play value.
Overlord Dragon 71742
- Piece count: 372
- Age group: 7+
- Price range: $
The Overlord Dragon 71742 is based on the dragon’s appearance in the second season of the NINJAGO series. The dragon has three blades on each wing and two blades on its tail. You can adjust its legs, open or close the jaw and place the Overlord Minifigure on its back.
The Golden Lloyd Minifigure has a katana accessory kids can use during battles against the dragon and the founder of the Stone Army. The dragon and two Minifigures are the only elements of this NINJAGO model.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Water Dragon 71754 Set
Question: Is the Water Dragon a Prominent Character in the NINJAGO Series?
Answer: This dragon appears in just one episode, and it is the least known elemental dragon.
Question: Does the Water Dragon 71754 Set have Digital Building Instructions?
Answer: Yes, it does, and you have to scan the QR code with the LEGO Building Instructions app on the manual to access them.
Question: How Many LEGO NINJAGO Dragon Sets are there?
Answer: There are more than thirty active and retired NINJAGO dragon sets.
Question: Is the Water Dragon 71754 Collectible?
Answer: This set isn’t collectible, but it can be an excellent addition to a collection of LEGO Ninjago dragons.
The Water Dragon 71754 will remain one of the best dragon sets in the NINJAGO theme until the arrival of the highly anticipated Lloyd’s Golden Ultra Dragon 71774 model. The beautiful figure of the water dragon has authentic decorations and a nicely balanced color pattern.
The toy’s functions are similar to those on most NINJAGO elemental dragons, so its play options are limited to flapping wings, moving the tail, and snapping the jaw.
I recommend buying the Water Dragon 71754 set because it is easy to build and you can combine it with all LEGO NINJAGO Seabound models. Moreover, you can pair it with NINJAGO dragon sets like Lloyd’s Legendary Dragon 71766, based on other seasons of this animated series.