While LEGO boasts product theme lines that take inspiration from East Asian cultures, they have few East-Asian licensed IPs. Yes there’s LEGO Super Mario from Japanese gaming giant Nintendo. But look at the rest: Disney, Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, Minecraft…all western IPs. About the only place to push for an East-Asian licensed-IP sets would be in LEGO Ideas. Members David and Diego Escaluna aka DadiTwins used this avenue to propose a set based on the “Naruto” manga/anime. Their initial effort failed to pass a Review Stage, but they only persevered. Now they’re offering their revamped build again, confident that LEGO Ideas might bite this time.
Nobody in this day and age who has read Japanese manga and watches anime would not know about “Naruto.” The story of a lad in a world of ninjas who dreamt of becoming Hokage has inspired generations worldwide. DadiTwins are presenting their “Naruto” set, based on key manga/anime location the Ichiraku Ramen, in time for a milestone. You see, “Naruto” is celebrating its 20th anniversary (start of anime) next year in 2022. Based on recent set releases, LEGO loves cashing in on IP anniversaries. Last August the Ideas Seinfeld set (21328) celebrated the sitcom’s 30th anniversary (2019, two years late). This made 10-K support just a year before Naruto’s 20th.
Ninjas’ favorite Ramen hangout
Compared to their original pitch, DadiTwins’ Ichiraku Ramen set got a size increase as well as added detail. The bigger build means an interior area for more play options. The set even comes with a standalone kiosk to one side. And the minifigures represent both major and minor members of the “Naruto” cast. The golden ninja trio of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura get to eat some delicious Ichiraku Ramen with their friend Hinata and senseis Kakashi and Iruka. Leave it to shop proprietors Teuchi and Ayame Ichiraku to keep the ramen going, bowl after bowl.
This sweet anime IP build joins an ever-increasing number of product ideas for the Third 2021 Review Stage. LEGO Ideas won’t tell us the results until next year, when more submissions have been added here.