Saturday, 16 February 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lego 79103 - Turtle Lair Attack

I have to admit to being really quite excited about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lego sets. I used to watch with my little brother, and now I see it with my children - albeit an entirely different version!

There are 5 different Turtles Lego sets, ranging from £9.99 to £59.99. We chose set 79103 Turtle Lair Attack, which retails at £49.99 and has a recommended age range of 6-12.

Inside the box are 2 instruction booklets, 4 numbered bags of Lego and a sheet of stickers. The bags of Lego are opened progressively as you go through the build, and this makes it really easy to find the pieces you need.

Bag 1 provides all of the pieces you need to make the loose items around the lair - the big screen TV, workbenches, skateboard rack, training dummy, shelving, turtle catapult, skateboard ramp and Leonardo's skateboard. Bag 1 also contains the two 'bad guys' - a Foot Soldier and a Dark Ninja.

The bags numbered 2 and 3 have all the bits to make the basis of the turtle lair itself, and each bag took around 15-20 minutes to complete, giving an overall build time of just over an hour from start to finish, which is really good for a kit with 488 pieces, and reflects the lower age range than some other models. The last bag contains more of the detailing pieces and the 2 turtles figures Leonardo and Raphael, plus their Sensei Splinter (the rat).

There are loads of details and fun aspects to this build. On the floor level roof there is an opening manhole, a pole which you can move to make your turtle swing towards his enemy and a skate ramp. There is also a ladder down to the next level, which contains the pizza oven, a fantastic workbench with a crane and tools and a rotating skateboard rack. On the bottom level we have a set of shelves and a workbench with a vice, lamp and computer and 2 opening drawers. At the back is a collapsing wall, which can be 'blown up' using the dynamite supplied, and to the right a spiral staircase.

Alongside the bottom level of the 3 storey building is the rest of the lair itself, with a tree to climb, a training dummy who rotates on his stand, and behind him the weapons racks (there are tons of swords, knives and ninja stars) and a secret tunnel into the sewers.

One of the very obvious things about this Lego set is that it is a playset. It is intended for playing with and is built for accessibility and ease of play. It has loads of moving parts and loose items, and 5 minifigures which allows for a huge variety of imaginary play. Although the building isn't huge, all of the furniture is designed to come out and be played with really easily, yet it still takes up a really small area because the whole model has so much height. The recommended age range is 6-12, and I feel that a 6 year old could build this independently, although might start to wander a bit through bag 4 (definitely the most difficult) but even after bag 1 or bags 1 and 2, they would have something they could already play with.

My youngest are a fair bit younger than 6, but they really like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they love Lego,  so it's been all I can do to keep them away from this set while I take photo's. I think it has a lot to offer to a wide age range and for a lot of different reasons. There is tons of play value in this set, it's really well engineered and there is the nostalgia for our own childhood. Personally I think it's almost worth buying just for the workbenches with the vice and the crane because they are so well though out!

You can buy Lego from almost anywhere that you can buy toys, and also at The Lego Shop Online. On this occasion we bought ours from Toys R Us.


  1. This looks fantastic. OH and I both agree that we'd quite like to play with this set!

    1. It's terrible isn't it? The kids were trying to play and we were the ones pushing them off it so that we could try all the different moving bits (partly before they demolished it and lost vital pieces!) :D

  2. These look amazing! Is it bad to push your kids to like what you liked as a child?! We have got Little Mr A into Thundercats and his lego collection consists of things like Batman and Star Wars. As long as he enjoys it I don't suppose it matters. Turtles is definitely next on our list!

    1. I don't think it's bad, I don't even think it's pushing. Our bigger boys are 19 and 15 and obsessed with Batman, Star Wars, Hobbits and Turtles, and I'm certain that wasn't our fault! Probably....
      No-one here has really caught on to Thundercats, which I'm quite pleased about because as a child my little brother was a devoted fan and I never got why :D

  3. My son really wants this set being a massive TMNT and lego fan but hes only 5 so im holding back for now think it will take me a while to build it, think it will be on his xmas list. Brilliant review.

    1. Thank you! That's a lovely comment! It is quite a tricky build, although fairly sturdy once it's together, so I agree, you'd end up building it for him, but he'd be able to enjoy it afterwards :)


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