17 July 2023

LEGO® NINJAGO® review: 71797 Destiny’s Bounty - Race Against Time

Posted by tobymac

Destiny’s Bounty has been the transportation of choice since the very start of LEGO® NINJAGO®, and we’ve seen many sets showcasing the flying ship already. When I did a search for them all, I was surprised to find only 6 versions (not counting 71756 Hydro Bounty). I'd felt sure we got a new ship for each season. 

In any event, the ship that crashed so many times, it has become a cliché has been rebuilt once again for the new Rising Dragons season, and today we’ll be seeing if version 7 can offer something new.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
LEGO® NINJAGO® 71797 Destiny’s Bounty - Race Against Time
US$159.99/ £129.99/ 149.99€/ AU$249.99
1740 parts
June 2023
Buying from Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

Before we start building, let's go through all the interesting new elements found inside the box.

New molds

Destiny's Bounty brings us 4 new molds:

  • Arin uses a Whip with Grappling Hook in Black (6430279 | 3206) to move around. The new mold is made out of the same rubbery material as the Equipment Whip - Bent (88704). The handle and top of the grappling hook are a standard 3.18mm bar diameter, but the hooks themselves have no official connection points. The bend in the center provides a spring action.
  • Given that dragons are mentioned in the title of the new series, it’s not surprising for a dragon to pop up. And just how cute is this baby dragon Riyu in Sand Blue (6434535)?
  • There is another dragon to be found, brick-built this time. This uses a new sloped brick as its head: Brick Curved 3 x 3 with Cutout, Eyes print in Medium Azure (6434497 | 3220).
  • Rapton is wielding a new sword: Weapon Sword with Trans-Orange Blade pattern in Pearl Dark Gray (6430281 | 3214)

The dragon is a single molded piece, so no moving parts, and made out of standard ABS. I was hoping the wings might be a more rubbery plastic, like used in some of the recent LEGO® Jurassic World™ raptors. Aside from an anti-stud underneath each leg, I was unable to spot any official connection points. There is a hole underneath the hollow head, but it’s too small to fit a 3.18mm bar. 

The new slope is an interesting piece, to say the least. The part has a footprint of 3 x 3 modules plus a protruding curve at the front, and for some reason has a cutout at the front center. I have not been able to find an existing curved brick that fits inside, so I’m not sure why it’s there. 

The whole brick is 1 brick high at its highest point, but the top features a curved sloped surface as well. The sides also don’t seem to line up with existing elements. The Slope Curved 3 x 2 with Stud Notch comes close, but is not a perfect match. So as a stand-alone element, this new mold might be interesting, but incorporating it into a build next to other bricks might be tricky.

The sword features an interesting connection option: The hilt features a bar connection set under a 45 degree angle, as well as a straight bar in the hilt and the blade. There are some limitations though: the bar in the blade and the angled one have a tight space to move around, limiting their turning radius, as shown by the light gray clips. 

The straight bar in the hilt has a larger radius, but only when nothing is connected to the angled bar, as shown by the dark gray clip. Underneath the hilt is a hole that can fit a bar; unfortunately the holes on the side of the hilt are non-standard. Despite the limitations, it’s still a very pretty piece of weaponry.


The following elements appear in a new color:

  • Animal Body Part, Dog Bone [Short] in Yellow (6441007 | 93160)
  • Tile Special 2 x 3 Pentagonal in Medium Azure (6439271 | 22385)
  • Fin Jagged with Axle Hole in Bright Light Orange (6439781 | 76919)
  • Bracket 1 x 2 - 2 x 2 Inverted in Medium Azure (6441006 | 99207)
  • Plate Special 2 x 4 with Groove and Two Center Studs (Jumper) in Black (6438520 | 65509)

Rare elements

There are a couple of elements that have appeared in 3 sets or less previously:

  • Brick Curved 2 x 2 x 2/3 Two Studs and Curved Slope End in Medium Azure (6071247 | 47457), seen once in 2018
  • Slope Curved 8 x 2 No Studs in Bright Red/ Red (6321762 | 42918) appeared in 2 sets
  • Wedge Curved 2 x 3 x 2/3 Two Studs, Wing End in Medium Azure (6336541 | 47456) appeared once in 2021.
  • Dish 4 x 4 Inverted [Radar] in Medium Azure (6396059 | 3960) showed up in 1 set previously.
  • Brick Special 2 x 4 with 3 Axle Holes in Medium Lilac/ Dark Purple (6244920 | 39789) appeared 2 times in 2023
  • Bar 1L with 3 Sprouts/Prongs in Bright Green (6434871 | 68211) was introduced last month in 43225
  • Brick Curved 2 x 1 with Inverted Cutout in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (6392166 | 78666) appeared in 1 set.

Wedge Curved 10 x 3 Right in Bright Red/ Red (6218836 | 50956) and Wedge Curved 10 x 3 Left in Bright Red/ Red (6218833 | 50955) were both introduced in 2005. After that they appeared once in 2008, to reappear 12 years later in another version of Destiny's Bounty; set 71705.


The set comes with 6 minifigures, some familiar and some new. First, let's see the familiar faces; 2 ninja and Master Wu.


  • New mold for Head Wrap Top Half in Bright Green (6437164 | 2187)
  • New print for Minifig Head in Yellow (6434435)
  • New mold for Shoulder Guard with Hood and Katana Holder in Bright Green (6437162 | 2188)
  • New print for Torso in Bright Green (6438252)
  • New print for Hips and Legs in Bright Green (6434437)


  • New mold for Head Wrap Top Half in Red (6437149 | 2187)
  • New print for Minifig Head in Yellow (6434427)
  • New mold for Shoulder Guard with Hood and Katana Holder in Red (6437147 | 2188)
  • New print for Torso in Red (6438255)
  • New print for Hips and Legs in Red (6434429)

Master Wu 

He has a very familiar face, as his head has appeared in 15 sets. The other parts have a similar story, and the complete figure has been used in 2 sets prior.

On to the new characters.


One of the new ‘goodies’ in the series:

  • New mold for Hood with Cat Ears, Coral Hair Pattern in Dark Blue (6430280 | 3213)
  • New print for Minifig Head in Yellow (6442565)
  • New mold for Shoulder Guard with Hood and Katana Holder in Dark Blue (6437172 | 2188)
  • New print for Torso in White (6437615)
  • New print for Hips and Legs in White (6434456)


The other new ‘goodie’ in the set:

  • New mold for Hood with Pearl Gold Horns Pattern in Bright Light Orange (6430278 | 3448)
  • New print for Minifig Head in Yellow (6434457)
  • New mold for Shoulder Guard with Hood and Katana Holder in Bright Light Orange (6437173 | 2188)
  • New print for Torso in Bright Light Orange (6437858)
  • New print for Hips and Legs in Bright Light Orange (6434460)


And lastly, the only ‘baddie’ in the set:

  • Recolor for Hair Short Swept Back with Sideburns and Widow's Peak in White (6262496 | 21268)
  • New print for Minifig Head in Yellow (6434476)
  • New mold for Shoulder Armor with Stud on Back in Black (6437168 | 3216)
  • New print for Torso in Black (6437582)
  • New print for Hips and Legs in Pearl Gold (6434474)

The heads are of the new mold with 2 vent holes in the stud, previously only seen in translucent plastics (28621). The opaque version has a different Design ID: 3274. The two molds appear identical, though.

All aboard!

Let’s start building.

The first step is Sora’s dragon. The design is a bit simple, but looks well enough for the size. The legs don’t have a knee-joint, so there are not many posing options. The platform on top can be rotated and the stud shooters can be raised for aiming.

On to the ship itself. The first bags lay the foundation; a sturdy frame with interesting angle-work in the front and a lot of SNOT on the sides for the bodywork.

The ship flies using both the engines and wings on top. The position of the wings can be changed using a round brick on top.


The finished ship is bigger than I expected, but due to the sleek design it’s not very heavy and can be swooshed around with ease. The ship itself is sturdy and can handle some play, but the ‘wings’ on the engines on the sides are more fragile, and re-attaching them takes some effort, as they are placed under a precise angle.

The model has some interesting details. I was disappointed at first by the large gap at the front, as it limits the play area significantly. As it turns out, it houses the dragon, with its head sticking out as a figurehead at the bow. It looks great, and the way the dragon fits in is cleverly done. Still, it takes up a lot of deck space.

At the stern we find 3 decks. The top deck houses Riyu, along with food. The roof folds open to allow access. In the middle is the captain's quarters. At the bottom is the living area with beds, a game console and a blackboard tracking their progress and theories. The addition of Lloyd’s old mask is a nice touch, if you have watched the series already (highly recommended).

The engines in the back look beautiful with their Trans-Light Blue tiles, and feels like a mix between LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Monkie Kid. The engines can rotate to let the ship rise or descent.

There have been multiple Bounty sets already, but I think this version offers enough new features and looks to warrant its existence. The previous edition, 71705 Destiny's Bounty, is from 2020 and shows a very different ship, so the new one doesn’t really feel like a retread. Children and children-at-heart will have a great time building and playing.

There are some interesting recolors, but they appear in low quantities, so purely as a MOC feeder the set might be too big and expensive, unless there are more common parts that you happen to be hunting for as well.

The big question now is: why the inclusion of “Race Against Time” in the set name?

LEGO® NINJAGO® 71797 Destiny’s Bounty - Race Against Time
US$159.99/ £129.99/ 149.99€/ AU$249.99
1740 parts
June 2023
Buying from Please consider using our affiliate links, we may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop.

READ MORE: All the new LEGO® parts for July 2023

Help New Elementary keep publishing articles like this. Become a Patron!

A huge thank you to all our patrons for your support, especially our 'Vibrant Coral' tier: Antonio Serra, Beyond the Brick, Huw Millington, Big B Bricks, Dave Schefcik, David and Breda Fennell, Richard Selby, Gerald Lasser, Sue Ann Barber & Trevor Clark, Baixo LMmodels, Markus Rollbühler, Elspeth De Montes, Megan Lum, Andy Price, Chuck Hagenbuch, Jf, Daniel Church, Wayne R. Tyler, Timo Luehnen, and Lukas Kurth of StoneWars! You folks BURP... I mean, rock!

LEGO® Shop at Home
USA: FREE SHIPPING every day on orders over $35!
UK: Free delivery when you spend £50 or more at LEGO!
Australia: Discover the latest promotions and offers on

All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.


  1. Good review! This set is cute but I might pass on it—I already have all the figs from other sets, and have plenty of Destiny's Bounty sets from the past.

    The color scheme here is great, with the azure and yellowish orange accents forming a nice triadic color scheme with the dominant red of the rest of the ship. The space for the dragon in the front does take up a lot of space (and makes it look a bit unfinished when the dragon is removed), but I appreciate that they worked in some space below-decks in the back. It's certainly more impressive overall than the original Destiny's Bounty set, though it doesn't really surpass the amazing versions from the Ninjago Movie or the Legacy subtheme.

  2. P.S.: In addition to the 6 Destiny's Bounty sets and the Hydro Bounty, there's also the all-terrain "Land Bounty" from 2019, as well as the Bounty's more diminutive cousin the "Destiny's Shadow" from 2017.

  3. Good review!

    Even if the cutout in the center of 3220 doesn't exactly match any other curves, I think from the context of this set and 71790 it should be clear how useful it is in creature builds for the part to have a gap like this. Besides attaching a longer 1x4 curved slope for an elongated snout/muzzle as these two sets do, I could also see it being filled in with a shorter curved slope, or with various other parts to represent a fin, crest, horn, or beak. So as much as I like it when curve pieces match, I think this part shows a lot of promise in spite of its more unique curvature.

    I clearly hadn't paid enough attention to the official pics of this set, since I hadn't realized this elemental dragons wings were a new recolor! I suppose I was so used to seeing Warm Gold details and accents on other Ninjago dragons that I assumed that was the color used here as well.

    Honestly, it somewhat surprises me that the designer DID opt for Flame Yellowish Orange instead of Warm Gold, since the latter is used for accents on the dragon's tail and claws, not to mention various details of the Bounty itself. At the same time, the chosen color scheme DOES look pretty awesome, plus it matches the Bounty's new brightly-colored cabin!

    Overall, the Bounty's new design is probably the most futuristic we've seen aside from the Hydro Bounty. For the first time, it opts for glowy sci-fi engines and energy conduits instead of conventional rocket thrusters, and the hull narrows in the center in a way that looks less conventionally "seaworthy" than previous renditions.

    Otherwise, though, it stays very true to the familiar layout and features of the ninja's beloved airship HQ, including the articulated sails and rear cabin. And the "living figurehead" is a natural fit for both the Bounty's design and the theme's zany design philosophy, despite being a feature that no previous version of the Bounty has offered!

    The designers did an impressive job giving the ship a well-furnished and playable main deck and interior, despite the amount of space the elemental dragon takes up towards the ship's bow. Wu's little "tea garden" is very in keeping with his personality, and the a Go board is a unique detail I don't think we've ever seen in any previous sets.

    The ninja's cabin is well-equipped for leisure, training, and mission planning (I won't fault it having only two beds, since we've never had a version of the Bounty with sleeping accommodations for a full ninja crew). The captain's cabin is less spacious, but still has lots of charming detail. And even the attic is put to good use, with room not only for food storage and for baby Riyu's loft and chew toys! It would've been cute if he'd also gotten a cozy pet bed like we've seen in some Friends sets, though.

    I doubt I'll end up getting this set myself — my wife and I will probably stick with the 2020 Legacy version of the ship which we already own, since display space in our apartment is a little limited. But it's great that the designers are still finding new ways to keep the Bounty's design fresh and exciting after all these years!