Ninjago is an original Lego idea that reboots the original Lego Ninja set. A subset of the Lego Castle series, the original Lego Ninja line was only on the shelves for two years (1998-2000) before being discontinued. Thankfully, Lego never fully let go of their ninja dream because the Ninjago Legos are terrific, even if they current Ninjago line is probably not as popular as Lego would hope.
But Lego Ninjago doesn’t get the love it deserves. Lego has made a killing off of partnerships with Marvel, DC comics, and Star Wars. Sadly, this leaves Lego original sets like Ninjago on the outside looking in, rarely making any sort of “popular set lists.”
Nevertheless, Ninjago: The Masters of Spinjitsu Legos are plenty impressive. Let’s meet some of the characters:
- First, there is Sense Wu, a wise sage-like grandfather figure to our young Ninjas.
- Then have the hot-tempered Red Ninja of Fire, Kai Smith.
- Jay Walker, the Blue Ninja of Lightning, who wields nunchucks and carries a torch for Kai’s sister, Nya.
- Zane Julian, the White Ninja of Ice, and the brains of the operation.
- We have Cole Bucket, the Black Ninja of Earth, who is a dancer turned Spinjitsuist.
- And last but not least, Lloyd Montgomery, the Green Ninja of Creation, who is a bit of a family legacy in the group.
These six comprise the main heroic characters of the Ninjago world.
I know what you are thinking, and yes, I agree: The Ninjas smack of wannabe Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but they are still cool. Also, much like the lead characters in Captain Planet (who we need now more than ever), each of the Ninjas claim some sort of element power: fire, lightning, wind, etc. While some call this another cheap rip-off, I really like to think of it as a nod to the environmental icon.
Lego has taken a lot of aspects of other storylines (and cultures) and given them a unique place in Lego lore.
The Villains include:
- The Overlord,
- The Great Devourer,
- and Morro.
Then there are a myriad of additional characters, the most intriguing of which are the Skullins, a group of living, breathing skeleton warriors (my personal favorite of the group is Whiplash). Lego has really created an entire world and in-depth storyline to accompany their Ninjago Legos sets.
Another really sweet aspect of Ninjago has been the introduction of spirit animals—primarily dragons—to each character. I mean, who doesn’t want a spirit dragon, right? Construction of these magnificent beasts with Legos is also very cool. The addition of spirit animals really ups the ante and makes these sets the perfect transition set for students in the 10-12 age range, especially with the advanced storyline that Lego makes part of this series.
Lego releases mini comics as part of each set, and there is an animated series that will take you through this adventure, although I have always gravitated to Legos as a toy that enhances the use of creativity and imagination. The story telling of the Ninjago sets with the mini comics and television show somewhat detour from that, but I can appreciate the steps Lego has taken to reach the newer generation of Lego enthusiasts.
With Lego Ninjago, Ninja lore is alive and well.
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