Lego Ninjago is a line of sets produced by Lego and a TV show. It uses elements from the previous Ninja series, but with many changes, including a brand new plot, characters, and a TV show. Also, the inclusion of advanced vehicles and technology is notable, as it implies a more modern setting than the feudal Japan setting of the previous incarnation.
Dragons have always been a significant part of Ninjago. A Dragon was introduced for all four original ninja (Kai, Jay, Cole, Zane). Later, the dragons migrated to the Spirit Coves and combined into one four-headed Ultra Dragon. This dragon was soon used by the Green Ninja, Lloyd Garmadon. Ninjago later introduced into the sets the Golden Dragon, an ancient fighting animal given to Lloyd passed down by the First Spinjitzu Master after he found his true potential, The Ultimite Spinjitzu Master; the MechDragon, a cybernetic creature built by the Digital Overlord to capture the Golden Ninja, Lloyd; the Titanium Dragon, an elemental dragon belonging to the Titanium Ninja, Zane; the Morro Dragon, a dragon belonging to Morro, Master of Wind; Jay's Elemental Dragon, a model of the dragon belonging to Jay, Master of Lightning; and the Green Ninja Mech Dragon, Lloyd's mechanical dragon from The Lego Ninjago Movie. Every Dragon's head (except for the MechDragon, the Titanium Dragon, the Master Wu Dragon, the Morro Dragon and the Green Ninja Mech Dragon) launches a sphere shaped projectile. (All of the dragons listed in the paragraph above have corresponding Lego sets).
Ninjago was introduced in late 2010/early 2011 with a wave of Lego sets and two season one episodes (later split into four). The plot of the season one episodes centered on four ninjas: Kai, Master of Fire; Jay, Master of Lightning; Cole, Master of Earth; and Zane, Master of Ice. They are brought together by Sensei Wu to form a team, in an attempt to stop the evil Lord Garmadon from collecting all four Golden Weapons of Spinjitzu.
After the pilot episodes' success, a sequel season to the TV series was ordered in 2012 continuing with the first official season titled "Rise of the Snakes", introducing a prophecy foreseeing that a ninja would rise, more powerful than the others: the Green Ninja. The Green Ninja was destined to defeat the Dark Lord who was Lord Garmadon. Lloyd Garmadon, Lord Garmadon's son was the green ninja. The new series also introduced another wave of sets and a more modern twist; featuring cities, mechs, and vehicles. Season 2: "Rise of the Spinjitzu Master" was released and more sets were made featuring the final battle between Lloyd and the Overlord. Although season 2 was intended to be the final season and the end of the product line, it continued in 2014 with a third season titled "Rebooted" as well as new sets featuring a futuristic plot with advanced technology and centering on the Ninjas' battle with the Digital Overlord and his robotic Nindroid Army. Season 4:"Tournament of Elements" aired in early 2015 and featured Master Chen who invited the ninja and all the other "Elemental Masters" to compete in his "Tournament of Elements". Later, a new season titled "Possession" was released, focusing on an escaped spirit from the Cursed Realm, Morro. Morro took over Lloyd's body, and, with his army of ghosts, tried to curse all the realms and unlock the Preeminent using the Realm Crystal, hidden away with the body of the First Spinjitzu Master. It also featured Nya becoming the master of Water. Then, a season called "Skybound" was released, featuring a Djinn called Nadakhan who escaped from the Teapot of Tyran and tried to restore his realm of Djinnjago using Ninjago. He trapped all the ninjas except Jay and Nya in his Djinn blade by making them wish themselves away, leaving Jay to free them and save the world.A TV special called Day of the departed featured six resurrected villains and Sensei Yang,as well as Cole's ghostly struggle. Season 7, Hands of Time features the Time Twins, Krux and Acronix seeking the Time Blades. The Time Blades are blades that have the ability to stop time, slow down time, reverse time, and jump forward in time. Kai and Nya find more about their parents. In 2013, Ninjago was announced to have a movie in 2016. However, The Lego Ninjago Movie was delayed until September 22, 2017, which is the current release date.
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 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.
On the same day as the release of the original 17 sets, a board game from the Lego Games theme was released in the United Kingdom using elements from the Ninjago theme.
In 2011 and 2012, Ninjago featured a two player spinner game, where you spin give your character a spinner, and one of its three weapons. You spin your characters at each other while saying "NINJAGO!". The first character to fall, be knocked of its spinner and/or lose its weapon loses. If you lose, you have to give up your weapon to your opponent. Cards, spinners, and golden weapons give you advantages. The first to obtain all of his/her opponents weapons wins.
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. However, an Airjitzu battle arena has been released including flyers and minifigures for Airjitzu Lloyd and Airjitzu Nya.
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 Lego Ninjago Video Game, for the Nintendo Switch will be released in October 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.
Lego 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 aired in 2015. In 2016, the sixth season aired, as well as a 44-minute special called Day of the Departed.
The Hageman brothers, Dan and Kevin Hageman, who wrote Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and co-wrote the story of The Lego Movie, will be penning the film adaptation, which will feature a new take that diverges from the TV series. Charlie Bean, who produced Disney's Tron: Uprising, will direct the film, produced by The Lego Movie team of Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and both Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The spin-off movie will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures on September 22, 2017. The film will star Jackie Chan as Master Wu, Dave Franco as Lloyd, Michael Peña as Kai, Abbi Jacobson as Nya, Kumail Nanjiani as Jay, Zach Woods as Zane and Fred Armisen as Cole.
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.