This week, around about afternoon tea time on Thursday, we celebrate 10 years since Ninjago made its debut on Cartoon Network. Today saw the release of the latest Ninjago® City set: Ninjago City Gardens. An epic modular set, following in the tradition of 70620 Ninjago City from 2017, and followed up in 2018 by 20657 Ninjago City Docks. Chances are you have seen the images elsewhere, so I’ll take a quick dive into what we have seen in the set, and point out some of the obvious highlights.
For reasons best known to the LEGO marketing team, first official images for this set came from the North American Shop at Home print catalog. Why does an online store still get a print catalog in this day and age? Are there that many sales that are placed by phone? These images were followed up with a scattering from the LEGO Certified Store in Singapore. Finally, on Wednesday, the LEGO online store listed the set, going on sale on Thursday 14th January. So, by the time you have read this, it has been available for the better part of a day depending on where in the world you are standing! (so long as you are a VIP at your local LEGO retailer, and they had stock in a timely fashion.)
So, what do we now know?
Its Big. With 5685 parts, it has the highest part count of any Ninjago set, and comes in at #6 in a list of ‘Most parts sets of all time’. There are two versions of the Taj Mahal ahead of it, but only one Millennium Falcon! The base measures 48×32 studs, when the temple is added to the side. It is tall: 73 cm! That’s taller than the original Ninjago City.
There are some obvious new element colours, such as the spring yellowish green foliage elements, as well as bright yellowish green foliage (not new) flowers and leaves. The use of bright purple flower elements here might leave some people who are not enarmored with frogs feeling a little envious.
There are plenty of callouts to old LEGO themes. While the original LEGO Ninjago City featured the comic shop guy wearing a Galidor branded t-shirt. Here, there are a number of callouts to older themes, but this time hidden in Ninjago script. We see some blatant callouts to the late 90’s with Rock Raiders and Znap. There is an icecream parlour called ‘Ice Planet’ I am left wondering if some of the designers involved here were 90’s kids. Of course, not all of these signs are call outs to nostalgia. Some just refer to businesses to be found in Ninjago city, such as. ‘Crab Shop’ and ‘Dragon Grill’.
One of the appeals of the large Ninjago City Sets is the laying of modern functionality over more traditional design in the lower levels: The lower levels are more tradionanal colours such as brown and black, with activity based near the waterways. As you move up, the design style becomes more modern, and on the top level, the colours become a little more outlandish, and the designs more futuristic. To say nothing about the hover bike parked near the upper levels.
Product Description From LEGO.com
An incredible three-tiered ninja house playset featuring 19 minifigures for play or display celebrating 10 years of LEGO® NINJAGO®!
Relive all the excitement and thrills of 10 years of NINJAGO® City with this amazing three-tiered model and garden. Packed with 19 minifigures, you can team up again with the ninjas and their allies to play out favorite action scenes from the NINJAGO TV series, or proudly display this eye-catching model. An awesome building toy to captivate both older and younger NINJAGO fans.
Rediscover cherished memories and favorite ninja heroes with this NINJAGO® City Gardens (71741) set for play and display. Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the world of NINJAGO by enjoying a rewarding and fun-filled building task. A ninja toy for creative fun There is something to enthrall NINJAGO fans on each of the brilliantly detailed three floors, including an ice cream shop, Chen’s noodle house, the control room and a museum celebrating the ninjas’ rich history. The building set is also packed with 19 minifigures, including all of the ninjas and some their allies, to enhance the build-and-play experience. The ultimate construction set for all NINJAGO fans. This hugely impressive model is guaranteed to excite NINJAGO fans of all ages: a nostalgia-filled tower to proudly display for older builders, and a world of play opportunities for youngsters. The mammoth set has 5,685 pieces, so parents can also enjoy a rewarding and fun bonding experience building it with their children.
• Spectacular NINJAGO® City Gardens (71741) three-tiered ninja house model to build and play with, or display to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the NINJAGO world.
• House playset has an incredible 19 minifigures to enhance role play including Young Lloyd, Kai, Zane, Urban Cole, Urban Jay, Urban Nya, Wu Legacy, Misako, Ronin, Hai, Cece, Mei and Tito.
• Model is packed with rooms, including an ice cream shop, Chen’s noodle house, a ninja control room and a museum, all with accessories and details inspired by the ninjas’ rich history.
• Each of the model’s three levels lifts off for easy play action, and there is a ladder that can be pulled up and down at the back.
• This 5,685-piece ninja playset is a great birthday gift for a passionate NINJAGO® or LEGO® fan and can be a fun bonding experience when a parent and child build it together.
• The ninja house measures over 29 in. (73 cm) high, 17.5 in. (44 cm) long and 13 in. (33 cm) wide, which is sure to impress when placed on display.
• Includes a collectible golden Wu Legacy minifigure to also celebrate the 10th anniversary of LEGO® NINJAGO® toys.
• LEGO® NINJAGO® has an amazing collection of cool toys for play or display, including mechs, dragons, cars and boats.
• For more than six decades LEGO® bricks have been made from the highest-quality materials to ensure they consistently pull apart. Ninja skills not needed!
• LEGO® building bricks meet the highest safety standards in the world, so your kids are in safe hands with LEGO playsets.
BUT Thats’s Not All: Ninjago Legacy Celebrates 10 Years of Ninjago With Golden Ninja Minifigures!
The LEGO Ninjago City Gardens is just one of the LEGACY sets to be released this year. released to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of Ninjago. Seven of the Legacy sets – those revisiting classic sets with an updated feel as a result of changes to the LEGO parts palette and design/building trends – will feature a golden Ninja, as part of the celebrations. The Ninjago City Gardens sets features a golden redition of Master Wu. Four of these were already released as part of the January wave.
NEW Sets based on the TV Show.
There will also be a new series of sets, based around an Island theme, due for a March release, as well as another 4 set for june.:
4 New TV Show sets released in March Official Images Revealed:
(71745) LEGO® NINJAGO® Lloyd’s Jungle Chopper Bike
(71746) LEGO® NINJAGO® Jungle Dragon
(71747) LEGO® NINJAGO® The Keepers’ Village
(71748) LEGO® NINJAGO® Catamaran Sea Battle
There is a fantastic selection of minifigures here, both Ninja as well as Islanders. That said, the Island’s inhabitants look a little less happy than those that came with the pirates sets, many years ago!
Ninjago was expected to be finished in 2013, after which, LEGENDS of China was set to follow it up. However, the storylines kept coming, and after 10 years, Ninjago is just as popular as it was ‘Back in the Day’.
I am looking forward to building the Ninjago Gardens Real Soon Now, but that is just one way in which we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Ninjago: Ninjagopalooza. Look out over the next little while for an exposition of some of the concept art from over the years, as well as model prototypes. I also reorganised my cupboard of shame recently, and uncovered a set from Day 1 of Ninjago releases, back in 2011. Expect me to review it soon, as I release it from its cardboard prison. And of course, I shall have a review of the Ninjago City Gardens.
In the meantime, I’d love to know what Ninjago means to you: have you been along for the ride since day one?Are you a keen fan? Have you built the occasional set? Are you trying to understand what it is that all of the young people get so excited about? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,