With LEGO’s NEXO Knights‘ second season on the way, there’s no better way to celebrate than with a LEGO marathon. The second season starts this Saturday (August 13th), and features the return of our favorite medieval-futurist warriors. Of course, the best part of any of the LEGO cartoons is the release of unique kits. Jestro’s Volcano Lair is a huge LEGO kit featuring stark elements, several mechanisms, and a whopping ten minis.
Jestro, of course, is the villainous jester able to make any kid (or their parents) truly terrified by clowns. As a failed knight and wizard, he turned to humor, only to find that the only time people laughed is when he made mistakes. His self-esteem shattered, he was corrupted by the Book of Monsters. Jestro might not have always been evil, but now he’s a true threat to the liberties and freedoms of the kingdom, and Jestro’s Lair reflects every facet of his corruption.
Building Jestro’s Volcano Lair was a long-lasting crafting adventure. With 1,186 pieces, the set took over five hours to assemble, while binge-watching the first season on YouTube. As you can see, the set features familiar elements, including lava, gold accents, and sharp spires everywhere. Many surprises await the builder. Beware, spoilers ahead!
Among the first things to build are the NEXO Knights and their vehicles. In the picture above, you can see our friends Axl and Princess Macy riding along in the Hover Horse, and an armed Mace Smasher. These were fun to build, and they each fit their minifigures perfectly.
On the underside of Macy’s ship is a cannon. It is fired by squeezing the mount.
There are even some missiles, which you flick from their mounts.
Part of the assembly, of course, is the minifigures. Above, you can see the minis for Macy and Axl. Macy and Lance are regular minifigs, except they have armor and helmets. Macy’s helmet features a tail, which comes off pretty easily, unfortunately. Axl, on the other hand, is not a normal mini. His body and arms are a special build, giving him an enormous frame.
Of course, the NEXO Knights will need enemies, and someone has to live in the lair! Jestro is accompanied by Lavaria and the Bookkeeper, as well as two Ash Attackers and a pair of Scurriers, summoned from the Book of Monsters. The villains have many weapons and spellbooks at their disposal, making them a real challenge for our knights.
Jestro’s Volcano Lair comes with many a weapon. On the left, you’ll see the NEXO Knights’ shields, complete with exchangeable decorations, allowing the Knights to utilize a number of NEXO powers. There are even a few blank black shield covers, which means you could paint them with your own designs! On the bottom right, you can see the 11 weapons, three books, and three shields. These are the various weapons included in the kit. At the top right, you can see a few weapons I made from the copious number of spare parts.
Lavaria is lucky enough to have her own vehicle in this kit. She is able to fly around, tackling the knights with her disc-shooter. Pressing the knob on the back shoots the disc, which is painted with a monster face. The weapon is sensitive, though. In the bottom right image, you can see a small weapon blocking the ammo from being released. I’ve saved some headaches with that little tool.
Every lair is a home, right? Jestro’s lair also includes his domestic areas. A bedroom features a checkered bed and a nightstand. The kitchen houses a cauldron, a chicken in a cage, and a banana in the oven. The treasure room houses some golden goblets and a stand for weapons. The bathroom has a golden tap and a pet frog.
On opposite sides of the lair, a prison and the library can be found, each one using a break-away wall. The library (top images) has a cage for the spell books, revealed by pressing on the floor in front of it. The prison (bottom images) has a fatal flaw: the walls are weaker than the gate. To trigger the fall of the wall, a small knob next to the door knocks it over. I’m not a fan of breakaway walls, but even I must admit that these are well designed.
On the upper landing, foes will find themselves in a precarious position. There’s a trap door, activated by pulling a lever. Anyone standing on the trap door will be dropped into the lava mouth.
The Lava mouth spins when the lever is turned, and is made up of a couple dozen bits. Apparently, nobody will escape from this monster!
All in all, I think Jestro’s Volcano Lair is an amazing build. It’s always nice when a villain’s home is stark and severe, and this kit delivers. Once built, the kit is a bit over a foot tall, so if you have cats or small kids, it can be difficult to cover it up if you take a break. I just used an upturned laundry hamper, which worked very well.
Jestro’s Volcano Lair squeaks by the 10-cent rule, but it cuts it very close at $119.99 on Amazon. If you’re looking for a kit to spend a lot of time with, and feature lots of interesting LEGO elements, this is a great kit. My only real complaint is the number of stickers to apply, but only because I don’t like stickers on my bricks. If you haven’t seen LEGO’s NEXO Knights, check it out on YouTube to catch up before the new season starts on Saturday!
Disclaimer: The author received a unit for review purposes. (He really does love it, though!)