2021 is a notable year for anniversaries, as LEGO Ninjago celebrates its 10th anniversary with a whole slew of new sets, awesome new releases like Ninjago City Gardens, and a whole slew of new Ninjago Legacy sets.
Ninjago Legacy is a Ninjago sub-theme that refreshes and updates classic LEGO Ninjago sets and it’s given the designers a prime opportunity to upgrade sets using modern elements and printing tech.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring the entire first wave of 2021 Ninjago Legacy sets, and we start with 71736 Boulder Blaster!
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
71736 Boulder Blaster Set Details
Name: Boulder Blaster
Set Number: 71736
Price: AU$69.99 | US$39.99 | £34.99 – Buy from LEGO.com [AUS] [USA] [UK] [Amazon] [Amazon Australia]
Exclusive to: N/A
Theme: Ninjago Legacy
Release Date: January 2021
The original Boulder Blaster was released in 2015, and I remember semi-regretting not picking it up. I have a decent LEGO Ninjago collection as I’m a big fan of mechs, and I generally think that it’s one of LEGO’s most consistently innovative themes.
Boulder Blaster made waves when it released thanks to its ground-breaking play feature, the ability to rapid fire a bunch of of missiles via a gatling gun mechanism. Which sounds as fun as it reads.
I’m really glad that LEGO gave the Boulder Blaster a second lease of life at an upgraded version.
The 2021 Boulder Blaster comes with 4 minifigures – Eyezor, Lloyd, Cole and an exclusive 10th anniversary Golden Kai that’s exclusive to this set.
Some 10th Anniversary Ninjago Legacy sets include a special golden minifigure of each of the main Ninjas, which are going to be absolute collector’s items for Ninjago fans.
The sole villain in this set is Eyezor, a general in Chen’s army who could also take an Anacondrai form. In typical Ninjago Anacondrai form, he’s outfitted in a punk-rocker style outfit, with a leather vest, black mohawk and maroon pants.
The design on his torso and legs have slight updates compared to his other appearance in 2015, in 70746 Condrai Copter Attack.
I really like the detailed back printing, with the Anacondrai logo in purple, which is also an homage to his 2015 design.
Let’s be honest, the Snake tattoo over his eye is pretty metal as well.
Here’s a look at both Cole and Lloyd minifigures. They both have sashes that read “MASTER” in Ninjargon (the Ninjago script), and feature black and green bandanas respectively, which are just perfect for the times we live in.
To any readers from the future, 2020-2021 was a complete disaster with a pandemic raging around the world, and everyone wearing masks. It was not very nice for many people.
Here’s a look at their faces sans masks, and the back printing.
While I do like the hairpieces used for Cole and Lloyd, it being a Legacy set, I would’ve loved for them to also include the old-style Ninjago helmets for that extra dose of nostalgia.
The highlight of the set is none other than the Golden Kai minifigure, which stands atop a small printed Ninjago 10 years plaque. The stand is really nice and I look forward to laying all the golden minifigures next to each other once I’ve completed my Ninjago Legacy reviews.
He comes with an exclusive new Ninja cowl with a red bandana, and looks mighty fine if I say so myself. Previously, Golden Kai only appeared in an exclusive Toys R Us Bricktober pack so for those of you who missed out on him then, it’s a great way to finally obtain a golden variant without breaking the bank.
Here’ a look at Kai’s faces.
Here’s the back – notice the great detailing and moulding on his bandana on his head.
The original Boulder Blaster had a small Anacondrai outpost that you could blast into smithereens with the rapid-fire missiles, but in the 2021 version, we get an Anacondrai Prison, which has ensnared Lloyd.
It has a small disc target which, when hit by a missile releases Lloyd from the prison by lowering the ladder, allowing him to go free.
It’s a pretty simple build, but provides a great play experience, and I do like the “teeth” details on each side.
Here’s the completed Boulder Blaster, which has received several major upgrades.
For one thing, it definitely has a stockier body, and the colours are much more vibrant, with more generous use of pearl gold elements, and pops of orange and sand green.
From the side, the profile really looks cool, especially with the wide body. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m guessing that the Boulder Blaster was likely inspired by an A10 Warthog, with a massive autocannon mounted on its nose.
The A10 Warthog, is of course famous for its brrt sound it makes as it fires its primary autocannon.
The back wings have a much wider profile, and look so much better with the large swords on its tips. The stickers are also not too bad, although it was a pain having to apply them.
One of the most surprising upgrades about the 2021 Boulder Blaster is this awesome new canopy piece, which has pearl gold elements moulded to it, and looks sick.
This canopy is a god-send for those into spacechips, mechs, or even steampunk.
Here’s a look at the Boulder Blaster from the back.
There’s also a handle to wield it like a gun, because that’s exactly what the Boulder Blaster is – a jet that also doubles as a blaster.
The front is undoubtedly the most impressive – an octagonal array of spring-loaded missile blasters, just waiting to be unloaded onto a sorry Anacondrai.
The main colour differences compared to the original is brown elements being substituted for sand green, as well as a golden ring in the middle, which works really well visually.
To unleash Boulder Blaster, you can manually grab the barrel and twist it, or turn the dial on the sides to fire all 8 rounds in quick succession.
Want to see it in slow-motion? Here’s the Boulder Blaster laying waste to the Anacondrai prison, and a bunch of Ninjago Villains.
Not going to lie – this is insanely satisfying, and a whole lot of fun. I feel like an 8 year old getting my very first rapid-fire Nerf Gun.
Kids will undoubtedly love these play features, but parents are absolutely going to hate when they inevitably lose the missiles as they zip around the house.
The mechanism is also quite sensitive, so you may accidentally fire them off when you’re transporting the set, so be careful when handling the barrel!
What I liked:
- The rapidfire missile firing mechanism does not disppoint
- Golden Kai minifigure is a great memento to celebrate Ninjago’s 10th anniversary
- Boulder Blaster design is bigger and better than ever
What I didn’t like:
- The pricetag is extremely high for what you’re getting
- Could do with another Anacondrai minifigure
- Would’ve like the retro Ninja cowls for Lloyd and Cole
As a Ninjago Legacy set, LEGO could not have picked a better mid-range set than the Boulder Blaster. When it was released, the rapidfire missile mechanism was ground-breaking, and still feels fresh today.
It hits all the right notes for me, with an impressive redesign that captures the spirit of the original Boulder Blaster, but improves upon it with new elements such as beefier wings, a more sophisticated colour scheme and that incredible canopy piece.
The minifigures outside of the Golden 10th Anniversary Kai minifigure are perhaps the weakest part of the set. Eyezor is sorely missing more Anacondrai compatriots, especially since the original Boulder Blaster included 2 minifigures.
With two minifigures, plus the prison, it would feel so much more satisfying to blast them away with all 8 missiles.
Unfortunately, the set’s really high price (AU$70 in Australia and US$40 in the US) make it a pretty challenging set to recommend, especially at full price.
While the build and size of the Boulder Blaster does feel substantial, it still feels very much the pricetag should’ve been slightly cheaper. Thankfully, as it’s a core Ninjago set, that may mean that there’s a really high chance it goes on sale soon, so if you can get it for 20-30% off, it becomes a more compelling buy.
While the addition of the Golden Kai minifigure will undoubtedly be a huge draw to LEGO Ninjago fans, I still don’t think it alone would justify the set’s relatively high price. If they had included more Anacondrai, or even a more substantial temple, prison, it probably would’ve changed my opinion.
That said, if you’re a longtime Ninjago fan, or want a toy for kids who love nerf guns or shooting stuff, the Boulder Blaster is a great set that’s truly unique and excels at what it’s designed to do – being a bad-ass rapid-fire plane-gun toy.
Thanks for reading my review of the 2021 Ninjago Boulder Blaster! I’ll be reviewing more 2021 Ninjago Legacy sets soon, so keep an eye out for them in the coming weeks!
What do you think of the Boulder Blaster’s play feature? Apart from the upgrades to the set, how else would you improve it to justify the high price tag?
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review.