The logo used between 2011 and 2017
|Subject||Ninja, Dragons, Snakes, Classical element, Martial arts,|
|Total sets||262 (including promotional sets)|
|Characters||Lloyd, Cole, Jay, Zane, Kai, Nya, Master Wu and Lord Garmadon|
Lego Ninjago is a Lego theme introduced in 2011. It is the first to be based on ninja since the discontinuation of the Ninja subtheme of the Castle 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.
The theme concerns the fictional land of Ninjago, a place inspired by East Asian myths and culture. While featuring ancient villages, and traditional clothing, Ninjago is set in modern times, incorporating large cities with skyscrapers, as well as vehicles, large mechanized suits and other futuristic technology.
- Master (formerly Sensei) Wu — creator of the Ninja team, younger brother of Garmadon
- Emperor (formerly Lord) Garmadon — Master of Destruction, father of Lloyd
- Lloyd — Master of Energy and Golden Power
- Cole — Master of Earth
- Jay — Master of Lightning
- Kai — Master of Fire
- Zane — Master of Ice
- Nya — Master of Water
Over 250 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.
Various other sets have been released, including a board game from the Lego Games theme along with a number of of associated buildable battle game toys. These all involve placing a Lego Minifigure on either a spinning or flying disk. The first generation of these was released in 2011—12, and incorporated a two-player battle game, involving exchanges of weapons and cards. The second generation of came in 2015, and consisted of a ripcord mechanism in order to launch the spinner into the air. The most recent release was in 2018.
Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, is a closely related animated TV series, produced by Wil Film ApS and The Lego Group. Since it first aired in 2011, nine regular seasons have been produced, along with one pilot season and one extended special.
Whilst the production of the Lego Theme and the TV series are coupled, some small differences exist, most notably concerning characters. A number of TV show characters have not been released in physical toy form.
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 number of video game adaptations exist, which have all been published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The first was Lego Battles: Ninjago. It was released on 12 April 2011, on the Nintendo DS console. It acts as a sequel to the 2009 game Lego Battles and was developed by Hellbent Games. This was followed by Lego Ninjago: Nindroids, an action-adventure game for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita,, which was released on 29 July 2014. It was also developed by Hellbent Games. More recently, Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin was released in March 2015 and The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game on 22 September 2017.
In addition to these, a Ninjago-themed world was added to the now shut-down massively multiplayer online game Lego Universe. Several Ninjago characters also appear in the 2015 video game, Lego Dimensions. Various mobile games have been released.
Various accompanying books have been produced. A total of 12 graphic novels have been published, following the canon of the TV series. They are written by Greg Farshtey, with the majority being illustrated by Jolyon Yates. Ninjago Readers are short publications that also follow this canon.
A Ninjago Brickmaster book was released in 2011 (and re-released in 2014). Such books include instructions for a variety of different models, as well as the parts for these and minifigures. Similarly, Ninjago Activity Books feature activities, comics, and stories and include a minifigure.
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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