The LEGO NINJAGO Movie 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon is a nearly perfect playset. Traps, an ancient building and treasure to be had connect it to a host of excellent sets released by the LEGO Group through the years
Ever since Indiana Jones barely escaped a giant rolling boulder at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark, generations of children have grown up wanting to explore an ancient temple rife with traps. Fortunately for us, a host of toys have been released through the years allowing us to play out our fantasy without actually endangering life and limb.
The LEGO Group has released a treasure trove of such sets, including one depicting that very scene from Raiders. The latest entrant just joined the club in the form of 70617 Temple of Ultimate Ultimate Weapon, from The LEGO NINJAGO Movie theme. To mark the occasion let us take a look back at five of the trap infested sets that have best houses a MacGuffin.
5988 The Temple of Anubis
I distinctly remember the first time I saw this set. Back before the days of Internet leaks, it was a normal occurrence for a set to be revealed when your mother took you to Wal-Mart sometime after January 1. I was blown away – the Adventurers theme was unlike anything that had come before. Right then I knew, this set had to be mine.
5988 has it all – trap doors, a treasure room with false walls, swinging axes, and an undead pharaoh. 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate weapon shares a lot of similarities in terms of design. They both have four rooms spread over two floors and share similar types of traps.
The Adventurers line was bookended with large temple like sets containing treasure. Even more so than 5988 Temple of Anubis, 7419 Dragon Fortress is the spiritual predecessor of 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon thanks to the oriental aesthetic. One of the last sets built on a moulded baseplate, it was unfortunately part of the unfortunate era that saw a lot of juniorisation with simplified build processes. The LEGO NINJAGO Movie set is a dramatic improvement and shows just how far the LEGO Group has come since 2003. Along with the general aesthetic, both sets also share the inclusion of stone guards that can come to life.
8078 Portal of Atlantis
2010 saw treasure hunters descend beneath the waves in Atlantis, where they found the imposing 8078 Portal of Atlantis. Not only did it contain treasure like 70617, it was also guarded over by imposing stone statues that would spring to life when intruders approached. In the case of The LEGO NINJAGO Movie they appear to be dogs of some sort, while the Atlantis portal was presided over by two enormous sharks. Both of these pairs of guardians are brick built and include a variety of interesting build techniques. Thankfully, the Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon is more of a proper building than 8078 – the namesake portal is little more than a flat facade.
4182 The Cannibal Escape
Jack Sparrow is always after some piece of treasure or another and in 2011 the LEGO Group re-created his ill fated stint on an island populated by natives who thought he was a deity. His friends did not fare so well and were quickly locked up in a suspended bone jail virtually identical to the one included as part of 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon. These types of prisons are fantastic additions to sets as they provide a tremendous amount of play value while also making the set look more menacing.
7623 Temple Escape
No comparison of treasure seeking LEGO sets would be complete without this temple ruin based build. Modelled after the opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the movie that started many of our obsession with treasure hunting in the first place, 7623 was a must have for many of us when it was released. All the traps seen on screen are here with the exception of the deep pit, for obvious reasons, though the location where Indy must swing across is represented. 70167 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon shares several similarities to this set, most notably levers being moved to drop various articles on treasure hunters’ heads.
Brick Fanatics found 70617 Temple of the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon to be a very satisfying set. This was in no small measure because it stands on the shoulders of some beloved past offerings that the LEGO Group has build upon over the years to perfect the art of combining traps, treasure hunting and imposing structures. If you loved some of these previous sets, you will find that this recent release manages to improve on some of their finest features.