Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Minifigures

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Minifigure collection consists of 20 characters from the movie, including multiple versions of Lloyd and Garmadon. About half of the collection are characters from the original NINJAGO toy theme and animated series who were redesigned for the movie, while the remainder are original to the new story. (I have not yet seen the movie, so please pardon any mistakes I make about its content.)

The Ninjas

Master Wu has a very similar design to the original minifigure, but his tunic has been extended with a cloth wrap that fits over the pegs on the legs piece. His single accessory is a box of corn flakes.

Three of his students, Cole, Jay Walker, and Zane, appear in new outfits that reflect their lives before becoming ninja. Cole wears a tanktop with the Ninjago characters for "AC/DC" and carries a boombox. Jay looks like a preppy fop, with artfully mussed curls, a nervous smile, a blazer and scarf, and a selfie stick. Zane is a nerdy day-hiker with a two-tone backpack and a sweater vest depicting two Alien Conquest "head-huggers." The hair and faces of these three characters, along with the hinges in Jay's selfie stick, will be the most useful parts for building fantasy miniatures.

Kai and his sister Nya are dressed in training outfits. Kai Kendo has a kendo mask and breastplate, while Spinjitsu Training Nya wears a gi decorated with Master Wu's likeness. Kai's practice swords are long brown bars, while Nya's are brown wooden katanas. These two can be used as-is in an Asian-inspired setting; Kai's spiky hair and scarred face, and Nya's smirk and messy ponytail will be more broadly useful.

Finally, Lloyd appears twice in this Series. Lloyd Garmadon wears street clothes: jeans and a green hoodie (with attached blonde forelock). He holds a spoon and a bowl with a printed dragon motif. Lloyd also appears as the Green Ninja, with both a two-piece hood and mask and a blonde wig. He wields a new style of sword with a slightly curved blade and a hinged tassel on the pommel, and holds a blueprint of a (robotic?) dragon's head.


The chief villain of the NINJAGO universe appears in three different outfits in this Series. The first Garmadon is the iconic four-armed, all-black evil warrior, though his armor has some additional details, and his headgear is a new, more curved version of the classic conical hat. He also wields a poleaxe with a new blade shape (or new to me, at least).

Flashback Garmadon has a '70s vibe, with big sunglasses, an orange and brown outfit with a wide tie and lapels, and carefully parted blonde hair. He carries a camera and a Polaroid photo of his volcano lair. Volcano Garmadon shows the villain relaxing in baby blue pajamas covered in tiny pictures of his home. He holds a spoon and bowl (with a wave motif), and wears an elaborate samurai helmet.

In the original NINJAGO theme, Garmadon only appeared in the largest sets, making it difficult (and expensive) to acquire his very desirable torso-extension piece with the second pair of arms. However, this Minifigure Series (and some of the smaller movie tie-in sets like Master Falls) have made these parts much more affordable. They are invaluable for building many-armed creatures like xills and mariliths. (See Building the Bestiary #16: Serpentine Creatures for an example of the latter.)

The Shark Army

This series contains four characters from the villainous Shark Army, whose amphibious assault threatens Ninjago City. Shark Army General #1 is a nice female figure, with a dark blue uniform decorated with scales, a sash, and medals. She also has a two-piece blue cape that resembles fish fins, and an interesting asymmetrical hairdo. Her only accessory is a new version of the fast-food style drink cup.

The other three soldiers wear wetsuits, oxygen tanks, and helmets that resemble sea creatures, and wield fish-handled weapons. Shark Army Octopus wears an orange-brown rubber octopus on his head, which works well on its own as an animal minifigure. He carries a plain gray fish and one of the newer guns that fires 1x1 plates. Shark Army Angler has his namesake (in sand-green) for a helmet, and wields a fish-handled mace. Shark Army Great White has a black shark's head helmet and carries a black fish with flame spouting from its mouth. Like the General, Great White's wetsuit/uniform is dark blue with several medals, but his gear shows burned patches (I'm guessing from his own weapon?).

People of Ninjago City 

The final five minifigures depict various citizens of Ninjago City.

Misako is Lloyd's mother and Garmadon's estranged wife. She wears a name badge with her nickname, "Koko," clipped to her blazer, and carries a dark red handbag. Her hair piece is the best part of the figure, with orange tresses held in place with red chopsticks.

The Gong and Guitar Rocker wears a headband over his long hair, a tank top with a skull and some NINJAGO characters, torn jeans, and high boots. His electric guitar is an existing style, but appears here in red and white for the first time.

The GPL Tech wears a lab coat over a Batman T-shirt, and has large round glasses printed to look thick enough to obscure her eyes. She carries a plain mug and a laptop, and wears her hair in a braid.

The Sushi Chef has a bald wig with headband similar to the Pirate from Series 16. His tunic is covered with pictures of shrimp, and he holds a cleaver. His sushi roll is built from a 1x1 cylinder brick and a pair of printed 1x1 round tiles.

The N-POP Girl appears to be inspired by J-Pop idols. Her sleeveless top has a picture of Uni-Kitty (from The LEGO Movie) on it, and it, her tutu, stockings, and boots are pastel pink, blue, and green. Her hair is a copy of Harley Quinn's two-tone wig (from The LEGO Batman Movie Minifigure Series) but in cotton-candy pink and blue. Her accessory is a pink teddybear coordinated to her outfit's palette. For me, she would probably be the hardest character to repurpose for RPG minis in other genres--but I have seen another member of the Facebook LEGO Dungeons & Dragons group use her as-is.

Past Collectible Minifigures Reviews 

LEGO Minifigures Series 14: Monsters!
Series 15 Minifigures
Disney Minifigures
LEGO Minifigures Series 16
The LEGO Batman Movie Minifigures

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