20 December 2022

LEGO® NINJAGO® review: 71786 Zane's Ice Dragon Creature

Posted by Kev Levell

As I write this review, my part of the UK is inches deep in snow and has plunged to sub zero temperatures. Cold winds brought here by the Nindroid’s new beast, perhaps?

Part of January’s LEGO® NINJAGO® ‘Core’ subtheme release, 71786 Zane's Ice Dragon Creature doesn’t tie to the TV show and so it’s free to just be its own thing. And an awesome-looking thing it is too. Today were are reviewing this huge, glacial-coloured hexapod. 

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® NINJAGO® 71786 Zane's Ice Dragon Creature
US$99.99/ £89.99/ 99.99€/ AU$159.99
973 parts
1 January 2023
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The more recent lineage of dragons, since the change was made to the "universal" heads, has been frankly incredible. From the quirky Jungle Dragon (part of our 5x5 parts fest last summer), through the sinister looking Overlord’s Dragon and the wonderfully sinuous Water Dragon, right up to the four-headed Golden Ultra Dragon that Tobias reviewed in the summer.

Markus Rollbühler has been responsible for the previous two large scale dragons in the LEGO Ninjago range, 71766 Lloyd's Legendary Dragon and 71774 Lloyd's Golden Ultra Dragon. Here, again, he has produced something very special in Zane's Ice Dragon. But before examining that, let’s tread the fresh snow and see what’s new in the element department.

New moulds in 71786 

A new family mould, Green Bone Warriors' Weapon Pack in White (6417344 | 2186) contains 2x crossbones helmet horns, 4x throwing tri-stars, 2x daggers, 2x swords and 2x axes. (TLG are calling the latter 'mattocks'; that seems wrong to me as a mattock is a digging implement where the blade is perpendicular to the shaft.)

There are another 6 exciting new moulds:

  • 4x Big Sword in Trans-Light Blue (6422995 | 2144) and 1x in Pearl Gold (6417341 | 2144)
  • 2x Wheel Arch 4 x 3 x 1 2/3 in White (6425459 | 1846)
  • 1x Dragon Head in White (6422996 | 2169)
  • 2x Horn in Pearl Gold (6417338 | 2142) 
  • 1x Underbite jaw neckwear in Yellowish Green (6417339 | 2143)
  • 1x Dragon Head in Aqua and Trans-Light Blue (6421029 | 100588)
Let's take a closer look at each in turn.

The overall dimensions of Dragon Head (Design ID 100588) are are approximately 7 1/2 long x 6 wide x 4 1/3 high.

The overall dimensions of Dragon Head (Design ID 2169) look to be approximately 6 1/2 modules long x 4 wide (a pair of horns slightly overhang either on either side by half a module each way) x 2 2/3 high with 1/3 being the depth of the teeth.

As wheel arches go, I can only see a limited number of vehicles that Wheel Arch 4 x 3 x 1 2/3 (Design ID 1846) might be appropriate for, but the elegant half-circles make a perfect 4x4 cylinder and so I'm seeing possibilities for X-wing engines– if not original trilogy variety, then certainly Resistance X-wings.

  1. At roughly 14 x 6 x 1, is Big Sword (Design ID 2144) the biggest LEGO sword blade ever? 
  2. It is connected by a single axle hole.
  3. The axle holes at either end of Horn (Design ID 2142) are set at 45º to each other, and therefore share much of their geometry and potential usage with the 'maxaroni' (65473). 
  4. Underbite jaw neckwear (Design ID 2143) should provide some fun new options for minifigures. It is shown in situ on Bone Knight further below.

Recoloured and rare parts in Zane's Ice Dragon Creature

  • 2 x Plate Round 1 x 2 Half Circle with Stud (Jumper) in Bright Red/ Red (6400110 | 1745) also in 71408 Peach’s Castle Expansion Set
  • 1x Animal Body Part, Skull, Cattle in Red (6421596 | 13695)
  • 5x Wedge Sloped 4 x 4 Pointed in Light Aqua (6425458 | 22391)
  • 4x Technic Axle Connector 2 x 3 with Ball Socket, Closed Sides in Pearl Gold (6416543 | 67695)
  • 8x Slope 45° 2 x 1 with 2/3 Inverted Cutout and no stud in Sand Blue (6248952 | 28192)
  • 1x Brick Special 4 x 5 x 2 with Bar, 4 Studs in Sand Blue (6425461 | 79896)
  • 1 x Slope Curved 3 x 2 with Stud Notch Left in White (6407402 | 80177) also in 75333 Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi Starfighter
  • 1 x Slope Curved 3 x 2 with Stud Notch Right in White (6407399 | 80178) also in 75333 Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi Starfighter
  • 2 x Plate Round 5 x 5 Macaroni in White (6399559 | 80015) also in 41722 Horse Show Trailer
  • 4 x Brick Special 2 x 5 with Slope, Studs on Side in White (6365687 | 79897) also in 71761 Zane’s Power Up Mech EVO - in addition to the white, you also get 2x in Pearl Gold (6371694 | 79897) in the Ice Dragon.
  • 4x Plate Angled 2 x 2 with Step and Hole in Center in White (6425460 | 79846)
  • 2 x Technic Rotation Joint Disk with Pin and Double Rotation Joint Ball Half in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6372460 | 79505) also in 75335 BD-1
  • 2 x Rotation Joint Socket with 2 Pins in Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray (6369944 | 80563) also in 71774 Lloyd's Golden Ultra Dragon, 10302 Optimus Prime, 75323 The Justifier, 76210 Hulkbuster
  • 2 x Plate Round Corner 3 x 3 with 2 x 2 Round Cutout in White (6339103 | 68568) also in 41702 Canal Houseboat, 71407 Cat Peach Suit and Frozen Tower Expansion Set, 10295 Porsche 911 Turbo, 31117 Space Shuttle Adventure
  • 4 x Slope 45° 2 x 1 Inverted with 2/3 Cutout in Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray (6407767 | 2310) also in 76911 Aston Martin DB5
  • 1x Hat Conical Asian with Raised Center in Red (6424474 | 26007) also in 112006 Lloyd vs. Stone Warrior, 71702 Golden Mech, 70686 Spinjitzu Burst Kai, 70669 Cole’s Earth Driller, 70666 The Golden Dragon 2 x 6134
  • Hinge Brick 2 x 2 Top Plate Thin in Light Royal Blue/ Bright Light Blue (6385302 | 6134) also in 10298 Vespa 125 - 2022

Minifigures in LEGO NINJAGO 71786

Five minifigures are provided, and while the prints on the heroes have previously appeared, the prints for the baddies are all new. Bone Knight, Bone Warrior and Bone King all wield weapons from the new weapon pack shown earlier. There is also the interesting new underbite neckwear piece, shown earlier.


The same basic figure that has been present in the 2022 Core range, varying only in neck and headwear provided.

Pixal / P.I.X.A.L

This figure is the same one that appeared in 71767 Ninja Dojo Temple (also part of the 'core' range), nonetheless it's nice to have Pixal back again after a four year absence.

Bone King

  • 1x Head new print in Yellowish Green (6421038 | 3626cpr)
  • 1x Torso new print in Black (6424616 | 973c00pr)
  • 1x Legs new print in Black (6421040 | 970c00pr) 

Bone Knight

  • 1x Head new print in Black (6421033 | 3626cpr) same as for the Bone Knight
  • 1x Torso new print in Black (6424325 | 973c00pr)
  • 1x Legs new print in Black (6421035 | 970c00pr) same as for the Bone Knight 

Bone Warrior

  • 1x Head new print in Black (6421033 | 3626cpr) same as for the Bone Warrior
  • 1x Torso new print in Black with Flat Silver arms (6424308 | 973c00pr)
  • 1x Legs new print in Black (6421035 | 970c00pr) same as for the Bone Warrior 

The Build(s)

As has been the case with the majority of my recent reviews, my resident junior Master Builder took on the actual building duties, while I tried to "art direct" my photoshoot.

This is a perfectly straightforward case of following the instructions, and nothing is too taxing, even for a ten year old. We actually built the B-model first and then did the titular Dragon Creature in 'hard mode', having emptied all the elements out of their bags first! I'm hesitant to suggest this increased our enjoyment, but with my 'Dad' head on, I definitely could see the extra value we were getting. I will present the Dragon build first though. 

To build the Dragon Creature we reverse-engineered the numbered bags. There was some typical sideways-building as well as reasonably familiar sub-assembly methods to create the various forms of the abdomen. 

I was puzzled by the void in the chest cavity behind the sand blue Cockpit Front piece 79896, aka 1x Brick Special 4 x 5 x 2 with Bar, 4 Studs in Sand Blue (6425461 | 79896). 

Zane's Ice Dragon Creature is an interesting variation on the existing dragons that recent LEGO Ninjago releases have provided. Have we had a six-legged dragon before? I appreciated that each pair of limbs are completely different constructions though.

It's reasonably poseable also, which is surprising as those middle legs do limit the range of motion the other legs a little. It remains a dynamic-looking creature, though.

If you go ahead and deconstruct the dragon in favour of the 'B' model Warrior (bipedal) version, everything from bag 1 remains built, with the exception of the head, where the changes are fairly subtle - the rest of the build requires everything to be dismantled.

Once the Warrior is built, the selection of parts remaining is not as significant as I had expected, probably just under 15% of the total are left.

It's another impressive build process to create this great looking figure; especially impressive as B-models in LEGO sets often only use about 60% of the parts.

Note, those banners are now showing the transformation to the Warrior.

Aside from the one solitary spring shooter in the spider droid, there are no other action features and there are no mechanisms to flap or fold wings. The articulation is all that we have here. I'm not sure any more is really needed, it just nice to see an ingenious mechanism built in that provides more exciting play.


Imposing and weighty, the Ice Dragon Creature is an impressive and solid looking model. The poseability is good but the middle legs are slightly hampered by the other legs, however, they afford some interesting dynamic poses that wouldn't be possible otherwise. Some sort of action feature would have been nice too, but our biggest criticism is that in play, we found that some of the clip strength and clutch power of the elements was a little weak and so some parts had a tendency to fall off a bit too easily. I think this is an element quality issue as opposed to the expectations placed upon the parts by the design. I deduce that having seen similar builds withstand much more vigorous play than we subjected the Ice Dragon to.

Compared, for example, with the price of 71774 Lloyd's Golden Ultra Dragon at $149.99/ £129.99/ 149.99€ for 989 parts, I think the Ice Dragon at $99.99/ £89.99/ 99.99€ for 973 parts represents significantly better value. Especially if you take into account the bonus provided by the excellent B-model. It was definitely a fun build and my son enjoyed the process of doing both models, despite the constraints placed upon him by the structure of us needing to create a review.

The selection of parts is decent and the colour scheme is pleasing, conveying the concept of an ice creature very well. I would recommend this model, and comparing it with sets of a similar subject and price, I think it stands comparison well.

Here's the Ice Dragon, hanging out in our snowfall!

READ MORE: Caz Mockett reviews the 2023 LEGO® Monkie Kid set 80043 Yellow Tusk Elephant

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  1. Very nice review! It's great to see that even after all these years, Ninjago can still come up with unique-looking dragons. The six legs will hopefully help avert the stability issues from this year's otherwise amazing Golden Ultra Dragon.

    Having a bipedal alt-build is interesting too, though it's a bit of a shame that it loses the dramatic wings.

  2. Hope to see that new sword piece in Silver. As it's the perfect size for the swords of the Bone Demon Mech.
    For now the Trans Blue ones will suffice.

  3. Loving the new horn piece, and the new blade. Also have to appreciate the new "mudguard" piece, love a good circle.