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The logo used between 2011 and 2017
|Sub‑themes||The Lego Ninjago Movie|
|Subject||Ninja, Dragons, Elements|
|Total sets||Over 100 sets (including promotional sets)|
Lego Ninjago is a Lego theme introduced in 2011. It is the first to be based on ninja since the discontinuation of the Ninja line in 2000. Whilst it retains some elements of this previous theme, one of the main differences is a more detailed accompanying story, primarily underpinned by a closely linked TV series, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.
The theme enjoyed popularity and success in its first year, and a further two years were commissioned before a planned discontinuation in 2013. However, after a brief hiatus, the line was revived after feedback from fans and has been in production ever since.
Set in the fictional realm of Ninjago, the main focus of the line is a group of teenage ninja and their battles against the forces of evil.
Development for the line can be traced back a number of years before it was launched. There exists a concept video from 2009 which details a number of (what would become) key features of the line.
The theme centers on the world of Ninjago, home to both modern cities and ancient villages. Ninjago was created by the First Master of Spinjitzu using the Four Golden Weapons: the Sword of Fire, the Nunchucks of Lightning, the Scythe of Quakes, and the Shurikens of Ice. The four weapons had so much power that no one could wield all four except for the master himself. He had two sons, Garmadon and Wu, who guarded the weapons and banished enemies into the Underworld, including the four-armed skeleton general Samukai. After the First Spinjitzu Master died, his son Garmadon was corrupted by the venom of the Great Devourer and wanted to use the Golden Weapons to recreate Ninjago in his own evil image. However, younger brother Wu fought Garmadon, and Garmadon was banished to the Underworld, vowing to return one day. Wu then hid the weapons in different parts of Ninjago and gave the map to his friend, Kai's father (Former Elemental Master of Fire), to hide. However, peace didn't last for long, as Lord Garmadon defeated Samukai, the former general, and took control over the Skulkin Army. Wu brings together four young ninja, Kai, Master of Fire, Jay, Master of Lightning, Cole, Master of Earth, and Zane, Master of Ice to combat the evil Lord Garmadon and his skeleton army and prevent the Four Golden Weapons from falling into evil hands.
Over 200 sets have been released since 2011. Each season has anywhere between six and 15 corresponding regular boxed sets, either released in one or two waves across a given year.
In addition to these, a number of smaller 'spinner' and 'flyer' sets have been released.
For the initial release of 2011-12, the spinners released were incorporated into a two-player battle game, involving exchanges of weapons and cards. Sets containing spinners returned in 2018. They are now known as Spinjitzu Masters, and include the appearances of movie Lloyd Garmadon and the rest of the ninja were released for show's eighth season.
In 2015, a new line of battle games was introduced. There are six sets total that have been released. These include Kai, Jay, Cole, Zane, Morro, and Wrayth. The sets include many weapons, a character, a ripcord, a buildable handle, and a flying disc to put the character into. The "Flyers" are used to launch in the air, advertised to do tricks. The Airjitzu ninjas all have their Japanese Symbol at the front and their "face" logo on the back. Morro has his Japanese symbol at the back and Wrayth has none. Additionally, an Airjitzu battle arena has been released including flyers and minifigures for Airjitzu Lloyd and Airjitzu Nya.
In 2012, the Lego Ninjago Fire Temple (2507) was awarded "Activity Toy of the Year" title at the 12th Annual Toy of the Year Awards, which is held at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.
Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, an animated television series based on the line, premiered on January 14, 2011, in the U.S. The toy lines are the same characters as the series and hold the same plot accordingly, though several characters in the series do not appear in set form.
The series features a theme song by The Fold called "The Weekend Whip". An entire album of ninja-themed music from The Fold was released in March 2013, in the form of an official Lego Ninjago USB Bracelet, featuring original videos, music and printable content for Spinners. The third season aired as four one-hour specials, aired at selected times throughout 2014. The fourth and fifth seasons (Tournament of Elements and Possession respectively) aired in 2015. In 2016, the sixth season (Skybound) aired, as well as a 44-minute special called Day of the Departed. In 2017, season 7 (Hands of time) aired as well as a ten-mini episode called Wu's tea shop on LEGO official Youtube Channel.
The Hageman brothers, Dan and Kevin Hageman, who wrote Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and co-wrote the story of The Lego Movie, penned the film adaptation, which features a new take that diverges from the TV series. Charlie Bean, who produced Disney's Tron: Uprising, directed the film, produced by The Lego Movie team of Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and both Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The spin-off movie was released by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 22, 2017. The film stars Jackie Chan as Master Wu, Dave Franco as Lloyd, Justin Theroux as Lord Garmadon, Michael Peña as Kai, Abbi Jacobson as Nya, Kumail Nanjiani as Jay, Zach Woods as Zane and Fred Armisen as Cole.
A video game, entitled Lego Battles: Ninjago, was released on April 12, 2011, on the Nintendo DS. It is the sequel to the 2009 game Lego Battles and was developed by Hellbent Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games Publishing. A Ninjago themed world was added to the now shut-down massively multiplayer online game Lego Universe. 3 iPad and iPhone apps have also been released. In summer 2014, the game Lego Ninjago: Nindroids was released for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. The Ninjago game Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin was released in March 2015. The 2015 video game Lego Dimensions includes Ninjago characters. A video game titled The Lego Ninjago Movie Videogame, for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One was released September 22, 2017.
Ninjago also features graphic novels written by Greg Farshtey. Jolyon Yates illustrates the last 8 books of the series. There are currently a total of 12 graphic novels.
Ninjago Readers are short novels of Ninjago that mainly follow the plot of the TV series.
Ninjago Activity Books are books that feature activities, comics, and stories as well as a minifigure.
Ninjago Brickmaster books feature a story as well as bricks to build different adventures for the Ninja.
Since the beginning of 2015, a 36-page magazine has been released in the UK every month. It contains a comic strip as well as various facts, puzzles, posters, competitions and other activities. Also included is a free Lego gift, often a minifigure.
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