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Each of the mechs in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie is unique, with 70614 Lightning Jet a particularly unique looking set among the six vehicles. It is inspired by Jay’s elemental lightning power and his traditional blue colour.
As anyone who has built a LEGO set before would expect, this build kicks off with a bulky and sturdy core ready to withstand the subsequent swooshing. The two significant wings are then constructed, starting with the core engine aspects that seem to power the vehicle, before the accoutrements that surround those are added. This is a long, in-depth, fiddly build – in a good way – that is unlike any other in The LEGO NINJAGO Movie launch range.
When complete, 70614 Lightning Jet packs the wow factor. When images emerged, with all of the points at which pieces protrude from the central core of the jet, it looked as though this would be a fragile model with plenty of opportunity for pieces to knock off when picking it up. Amazingly – and that word is no hyperbole here – it is not. Each side has a dozen antennae pieces and if your hand catches them, they do not ping off. Everything is so securely fixed that a build that looks this fragile will actually easily withstand play.
Another feat of genius on the part of the designer is the jet’s handle. Sure, this set should have a handle – but how will it stand? A ski element at the front of the mech, situated right under the cockpit, allows the Lightning Jet to rest on that and the base of the handle. It doesn’t seem like it will work, the model is surely too big – but it provides the perfect centre of gravity.
The wings and lightning rods do lack the ability to be posed, making the model more accurate as a display than play piece. Given the way that the mech moves in the movie, it would have been a big ask to expect the set to be able to have the same level of flexibility. Fans will have fun rebuilding the set in alternate versions that reflect other poses, or if their talent allows to make a version that can actually move in the same way as the on-screen version.
Although the set cannot reflect the various shifts that the Lightning Jet’s wings go through in the movies, there is still play value to be found beyond ‘flying’ it around the room. A chunky missile can be fired from below the cockpit, and pulling the trigger in the handle will see lightning pieces on top of the jet spin, implying the larger lightning effects that no doubt occur in the movie.
Lord Garmadon’s forces do not have much hope against the Ninja mechs, with the villain vehicle included here significantly smaller than Jay’s Lightning Jet. It is a neat little crab inspired mech, with a pincer that can hold a minifigure and a Gatling stud-shooter. It’s a great looking build using a relatively small number of pieces.
The heroes and villains present here are great, as the minifigures are across the theme – Crusty, with his manta ray head is a particular gem. Yet again, the civilians end up being the minifigure highlights, simply because the ninja and their enemies are so prevalent across the theme – the citizens end up bringing the most variety.
Any fan fascinated by how far LEGO set design has come should buy 70614 Lightning Jet, as the stability achieved with such a specific design is an impressive feat indeed. The LEGO NINJAGO Movie theme is full of excellent LEGO sets, and this one is a stand out among them.