LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets review
The revived LEGO NINJAGO City line bounces back once again in 71799 NINJAGO City Markets, but will its biggest set yet live up to the lofty expectations that now sit heavy on the shoulders of this subtheme?
Challenge: find a more involved, intricate and detailed trio of sets than 70620 NINJAGO City, 70657 NINJAGO City Docks and 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens. Difficulty: impossible? You might think so, given everything those three blockbusters – which started life alongside The LEGO NINJAGO Movie in 2017, before being resurrected under the Legacy banner in 2021 – bring to the table. Following up the first two was no easy task for the designers of 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens, and now that mantle has been passed down to a brand new team for 71799 NINJAGO City Markets.
Nailing the incredibly unique aesthetic of these cityscapes, which blend together cyberpunk motifs with old-world architecture, is likewise no mean feat – particularly while also trying to constantly innovate across both big-picture concepts and smaller, equally-sophisticated details and techniques. It’s a lot for any set, which may explain the 18-month gap between this set and the previous NINJAGO modular building. But the good news is… it was worth the wait.
— LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets set details —
Theme: LEGO NINJAGO Set name: 71799 NINJAGO City Markets Release date: June 1 (VIPs), June 4 (wide), 2023
Price: £319.99 / $369.99 / €369.99 Pieces: 6,163 Minifigures: 21
LEGO: Available June 1, 2023 (VIPs)
— Where to buy LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets —
71799 NINJAGO City Markets launches June 1 as a direct-to-consumer exclusive, which means you’ll only be able to buy it through LEGO.com and in LEGO Stores. Based on 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens, we’d be surprised to see it show up at more than one other retailer, so don’t expect too many discounts.
— LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets build —
Ready for a lot of LEGO? That’s what’s going to pour out of the box when you crack open 71799 NINJAGO City Markets (and its smaller box within), across an incredible 51 numbered bags. As per last year’s 76405 Hogwarts Express Collectors’ Edition (to name one example), there are no dupes here – you’ll simply open consecutive numbered bags together, which means you’ll never risk missing a bag. More of this, please, TLG.
If that was the only thing that simplified the building process in 71799 NINJAGO City Markets, you’d probably still be in for a good time. But this set goes a step further at almost every stage, and really highlights just how much thought goes into the building instructions in particular. As you’d imagine from a set like this (whether you’ve built any of its predecessors or are just looking at the photos), it’s full of tiny, complex and often fiddly sub-assemblies, as well as larger and more daunting structures that then have to clip into place all the same.
But at no point on that journey – and it’s a long one – will you ever be confused by where you’re placing a piece, or how your multi-page build slots into the wider set. This isn’t necessarily anything new for a LEGO set, but it’s worth highlighting here for just how deftly 71799 NINJAGO City Markets navigates what is otherwise one of the most engaging and stimulating builds you’ll ever have the pleasure of putting together.
From the much-discussed flushing toilet (fiddly to put the poop back in, is all we’ll say) to the best LEGO pool table to date (those pockets!), 71799 NINJAGO City Markets is a relentless ride from one moment of genius to the next, altogether forming a tapestry of innovation and invention. These are words and phrases we could have used to describe any one of the three previous NINJAGO City sets, which should tell you pretty much all you need to know about this new one.
But if not – well, consider also the way that the designers have constructed the rooms across the lower level of the 64-stud-wide sweeping cityscape, which simply slide out (a la Michael Scott’s office in 21336 The Office) for easy access. It’s a unique take on the modular format, skilfully skirting around the fact that lifting away those upper levels just isn’t possible across these sets.
Here it’s (again) for the grey walkways that fit neatly with the City, Docks and Gardens, but also for its big-picture concept: the cable car that runs between the two sides of the model, allowing for easy access to the lower levels. Bold in flame yellowish orange, the gondola itself feels relatively simple all things considered – while the mechanisms for incorporating it into the set are anything but.
As you build up the left side, you’ll pack in all manner of Technic pieces, which are then mostly hidden away (but not totally – there’s a real industrial feel to this set in places, expanding the aesthetic of this subtheme in a very positive way). The reasons are actually twofold: first, there’s a single cog to open the walkway in front of the cable car, allowing it to pass down to the ground below; and second, there’s a complex system of gears – take note, Technic gurus; that’s complex for a System-led NINJAGO set – to operate the gondola itself.
The entire sequence works perfectly, and helps to add bulk and visual interest to a middle space that’s otherwise surprisingly sparse. For a set called 71799 NINJAGO City Markets, you’d be forgiven for expecting more than one market stall – but that is genuinely all this set has. It’s really the only criticism we can level at 71799 NINJAGO City Markets, and when it’s an issue that could be solved by simply changing the name, it’s not really one to get too caught up over.
But on the other hand… there is a lot of empty grey space in 71799 NINJAGO City Markets, far more than in any of the other three sets, and what is that crying out for if not more cute market stalls? The gangway across the top could have been littered with them, speaking to the cramped and claustrophic design of its predecessors. Instead, it ends up feeling slightly empty – like all that extra space afforded by going so wide (this is 16 studs wider than even 70657 NINJAGO City Docks) hasn’t been put to best use.
That extreme width also belies one more surprise in 71799 NINJAGO City Markets: the set cannot break apart between its two baseplates for easy transport, so good luck moving this thing around. To their credit, the designers have strengthened the baseplate connections (and the anchor points of the buildings that sit on them) with more Technic elements than you can shake a Liebherr at, so there’s no danger of anything coming apart. It’s just really big and heavy.
What you’ll mostly want to do with 71799 NINJAGO City Markets is pop it on your shelf between the other three buildings, though – rather than take it for a stroll along the beach – so that probably won’t be too much of an issue. Just try to build it at home, and preferably in the room you want to display it in.
Note also that there are (as is to be expected) plenty of stickers in 71799 NINJAGO City Markets, though the pain of applying them all will be offset first by the fact that there are so many pieces the stickers only come out to play sparingly, and second by the fact that most of them are delightful nods to other LEGO themes and NINJAGO history.
They also help to bring this set to life in a way pure pieces can’t manage, as was the case for all three of the previous models – the City and Gardens more so than the Docks, for the focus on their upper levels – and sit happily with what is probably the boldest mix of colours in a NINJAGO City set yet. You’ll hear no complaints from us.
— LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets characters —
Another string in the bow of the NINJAGO City sets – beyond going all-out with design techniques, colours, incredible aesthetics and so on – is their ability to cram in all those NINJAGO characters you never knew you wanted (or needed). We’re talking real deep dives into the TV show’s obscure background characters; weird variants of established minifigures that might have shown up once years ago; and refreshing takes on even brand new characters to the theme.
71799 NINJAGO City Markets delivers all these and more across 21 fun and varied minifigures. There are a couple of basic ninja from the summer waves as standard, but from there things get way more interesting: Zane, Kai, Arin and Sora are all unique takes on their respective characters; Gayle Gossip and Vinny Folson are first-time favourites from the NINJAGO TV show; and even the nameless stand-ins get cool pieces to play with, from the baker’s hat-and-hair combo (there was a spare in our copy) to the hairpieces for the Borg Store employee and dojo kid.
Throw in brilliant torsos like Racer Seven’s BIONICLE-inspired shirt and another welcome deep cut in Chamille – who completes the line-up of NINJAGO Elemental Masters – and you can’t ask for much more. Plus, another generous spread of characters is exactly what you need to fill that vacant grey space…
— LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets price —
71799 NINJAGO City Markets represents a £20 / $20 / €20 bump to the current RRP of 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens, which is already £35 / $50 / €50 higher than it started (hello, 2022 price rises). In return, you’re getting an extra 500 pieces, two full 32×32 baseplates (compared to one 32×32 and one 16×32), and the widest NINJAGO City set to date.
Stack it up next to something like 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell, which weighs in at a full £100 / $130 / €130 more for only four more pieces (if piece count is your thing), and it’s looking very good. Factor in the lengthy build that’s really only rivalled by the Gardens in the current portfolio, and you really won’t regret paying full price for 71799 NINJAGO City Markets.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t yet another expensive LEGO set in a sea of them, but if you have the space and financial means, this is absolutely one worth saving up the dosh to acquire.
— LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets pictures —
— LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets pros and cons —
Across the biggest piece count given to a LEGO NINJAGO set to date, 71799 NINJAGO City Markets lives up to the scope and ambition of its predecessors in almost every possible way. It’s a continuation of the same detail and unparalleled build experience we’ve come to expect from these sets, with its own share of innovations in areas like the cable car and slide-away rooms.
At nearly every step across its three instruction booklets you’ll find new ways to use both recent and classic elements – you’re never too far from an ‘aha!’ moment – all of which add up to a cohesive, involved and yet never overwhelming build. For the LEGO NINJAGO team, lightning has somehow struck for a fourth time in 71799 NINJAGO City Markets, with a set that lives up to (if not exceeds) all those lofty expectations.
But it does still only have one market stall…
|71799 NINJAGO City Markets pros||71799 NINJAGO City Markets cons|
|Matches the incredible build experience of its predecessors||It’s a market with just one stall (but yes, plenty of shops)|
|Rewarding, surprising and imaginative almost every step of the way||A little too much empty grey space|
|Supreme value for money, with a solid line-up of minifigures|
This set was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
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— Alternatives to LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets —
It seems a bit daft to point to 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens as an alternative to 71799 NINJAGO City Markets – if you want one, you’ll want the other – so we’ll instead highlight a couple of sets that come close to the varied and expansive build experience on offer here.
For something that blends man-made architecture and mother nature equally well – only across a more subdued colour palette – check out 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell. For a cheaper but still hugely rewarding build, our surprise candidate is 21325 Medieval Blacksmith.
— LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets FAQs —
How long does it take to build LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets?
You’ll spend anywhere between 12 and 20 hours putting together 71799 NINJAGO City Markets, which is quite a wide timeframe – but will depend completely on how you approach it. Either way, it’s not one to rush through, but to savour.
How many pieces are in LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets?
71799 NINJAGO City Markets includes a Garmadon-busting 6,163 pieces, spread across 51 numbered bags. That makes it the biggest LEGO NINJAGO set to date, and puts it just four pieces short of 10316 The Lord of the Rings: Rivendell.
How big is LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets?
LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets measures 46cm tall, 51cm wide and 25cm deep. Where 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens prioritises height, this one’s all about width.
How much does LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets cost?
71799 NINJAGO City Markets retails for £319.99 in the UK, $369.99 in the US and €369.99 in Europe, which makes it the most expensive LEGO NINJAGO set to date.
2 thoughts on “LEGO NINJAGO 71799 NINJAGO City Markets review”
If I look at the pictures closely, the higher walkways to the left seem to be one stud short to the edge at the front and the back of the set. So if another Ninjago City-Set is put on the left side of Ninjago City Markets, there will be a gap between the grey walkways. Is this correct or just an optical deception?
I think there is another negative aspect not mentioned in the article:
Unlike the previous three sets, Ninjago City Markets only has one showside. The “backside” is not very nice to look at, especially with the open roof of the tower-like building. That was a lot better with the past three sets, especially Ninjago City Docks, which’s showside was in fact its backside.