“Ninjago” Series Recasts Cole for 2022

One of the greatest challenges of any ongoing production is what to do when a major cast member dies. Marvel Studios definitely has a significant challenge in developing Black Panther in the MCU. His actor Chadwick Boseman passed away in mid-2020, though not before finishing some last voice-work in Disney+’ “What If…?” The LEGO “Ninjago” animated series tackled the same problem when Cole’s voice actor Kirby Morrow also died last year. True, he completed his own voice-work for the seasons that released this 2021. But after those seasons finished, now what? Is Cole going to disappear? Become mute? Get recast?

Brick Fanatics reports that “Ninjago” show-runner Tommy Andreasen released a statement concerning Cole’s future in the series. The late Kirby Morrow gave the Black Ninja of Earth a distinctive voice. Next, Cole is a main character. Finally, the LEGO theme and its animated adaptation are cleared to continue until at least 2023. The options the production had for Cole were to write him out, reuse past-season dialogue, strike him mute, or recast. Ultimately they opted to give Cole a new voice courtesy of Andrew Francis, taking over in seasons starting 2022. Francis previously voiced Elemental Master Shade and the Ghost Morro from previous “Ninjago” seasons.

“We hope you will greet and support Andrew and welcome him with open arms and a hearty NIINJAAAAA-GO!” says Andreasen in his statement. “We are confident we made the best possible choice and the voice recordings for 2022 has crystalized our faith completely in Andrew as a worthy successor to Kirby.” The Danish-Canadian co-production will ease Francis into the role, starting with several “Ninjago” shorts airing in 2022, then moving onto the next full season.

NBC’s “Tonight Show” and “SNL” Mention LEGO Creator Expert Titanic (10294) (and its Price)

The moment LEGO officially announced its existence what came next on TV media could be considered inevitable. The LEGO Creator Titanic (10294), with 9,090 pieces, is already a 1:200 scale model of the massive doomed ocean liner. But that scale conversion still leaves it as one of the biggest LEGO sets ever made. It needs that size to visibly show its amenities and mechanical features, all lovingly recreated in brick form. The price tag also caught a lot of attention. Perhaps that factor serves as the primary contributor of the ribbing LEGO Titanic’s been getting.

As told by Brick Fanatics, The LEGO Creator Expert Titanic (10294) has been the subject of TV media scrutiny. Last weekend the set got mentions in two NBC programs: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Saturday Night Live”. In the former, host Jimmy Fallon pointed out the $600+ price tag and claimed Titanic was part of LEGO’s “Horrific Disaster” collection. He also name-dropped the Hindenburg and Fyre Festival as part of that “theme.” The latter isn’t even a disaster in the “crashed/sunk passenger vehicle” sense.

The same deal went on at “SNL”. During the Weekend Update, hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che also mentioned the LEGO set 10294 (and fired shots at the pricing). One mean gag the show made about the Creator Expert Titanic was the assertion that the pieces used to assemble it are “frozen Irish minifigures.” The actual passenger liner was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland (1909-11), and some of its doomed passengers had been Irish too.

Hopefully the $629.99 asking price of the LEGO Creator Expert Titanic (10294) doesn’t scare off all collectors. It really is an impressively put-together model. Pre-orders will begin on November 1, though LEGO has yet to confirm its official release date.

LEGO Puts Up Official Designer Video for Queer Eye – Fab 5 Loft (10291)…Or Part of It

We’re coming close to a full month now since the LEGO Queer Eye – Fab 5 Loft (10291) was introduced. It became available alongside many other sought-after LEGO sets this past October 1. Did we miss anything else with LEGO’s usual promotion practices for key set releases? Yes we did. There’s the official designer video bit.

Here’s The Brick Fan with the scoop on the LEGO Queer Eye – Fab 5 Loft (10291) set designer video. LEGO VP for Design Matthew Ashton plays host for this special look on the set inspired by the Netflix show. Collectors and “Queer Eye” fans know, where this set is concerned, that the designers collaborated closely with the production.

Ashton indeed goes into some detail of that cooperation to get this awesome LEGO set right. Unfortunately LEGO may have had uploading troubles with the vid because it’s incomplete. The footage only runs for three minutes and terminates in mid-speech by Ashton.

Let’s hope LEGO notices and fixes the designer video soon. LEGO Queer Eye – Fab 5 Loft (10291) costs $99.99 and remains available with stock on Shop@Home. The set presents a nicely compressed look at the “headquarters” of the “Queer Eye” makeover team, the Fab 5. Some past reviews pointed out a discrepancy between the building instructions and the set’s box art. Nope, we don’t recommend pulling out the minifigure C-hands from the included alternate torsos/shirts. You’ll just ruin the connections.

ADDENDUM: By the time this feature was posted LEGO took down the  10291 designer video. We’ll keep an eye out if the vid is replaced and put up the new one when it’s there.

NEW ADDENDUM: LEGO reuploaded the video.

LEGO Has New Trailer for April-Premiered “Ninjago” Season 14 “Seabound” (With Set Scenes)

Ninjago stands as an example of a LEGO theme that surpassed its company-predicted shelf life. Well into its first decade, new Ninjago sets continue to come out. As a consequence, its animated adaptation ballooned to double-digit seasons airing on Denmark’s Nickelodeon, Canada’s YTV/Teletoon, and Cartoon Network (US). This year alone saw two “Ninjago” seasons, “The Island” (4-ep) and “Seabound” (16-ep). The latter premiered in Canada back in April, with its tie-in sets debuting later in August. For other territories that have yet to see its premiere, LEGO put up a trailer for “Ninjago: Seabound” Sunday.

Some viewers in North America may already know what goes on in season 14 of “Ninjago.” Thankfully, we can give you a teaser summary if you’re not bothered by spoilers.

“LEGO Ninjago: Seabound” Quick Catch-Up:

Nya, Ninjago Elemental Master of Water, suddenly loses control of her powers, affecting her confidence. While her mom Maya helps her train to regain her form, the Ninjago team discovers an external factor responsible. An energy surge from the deepest point of the Endless Sea may be interfering with Nya’s abilities. In search of answers, our heroes set out on their submarine, Hydro Bounty (71756).

The source of the energy signal: the Temple of the Endless Sea (71755). Here, the merman Prince Kalmaar of Merlopia is finalizing his sinister plans to attack the surface world. If he can gather the two amulets needed, he can awaken a sea serpent to wreck Ninjago City. Nya will need to shape up to face this challenge head on.

Yes, the Ninjago sets mentioned above saw their animated counterparts featured prominently in the trailer, as pointed out by Brick Fanatics. LEGO sure knows how to promote their products. Ninjago fans buying the new “Seabound” sets only prove their methods work. One wonders how the Unity engine microgame contest on LEGO Ideas fits into this.

Netflix-Produced LEGO House Documentary Now Viewable Free on YouTube

LEGO House, opened in Billund, Denmark in 2017, is the ultimate experience venue for fans of the LEGO brand. It’s a museum, events place, activity center and even occasional Airbnb destination. LEGO brick-heads never fail to be astounded by it. In 2018 the streaming giant Netflix made a documentary on the appropriately-called Home of the Brick. In almost an hour of runtime, the program delves into the history of LEGO House. Unfortunately for most interested viewers the documentary has been accessible only to Netflix subscribers. This week however, LEGO prevailed on Netflix to make this special available to all audiences.

According to Brick Fanatics, the “LEGO House Documentary” can finally be seen free on YouTube. As of September 20 the special is now hosted on the official LEGO House YouTube channel. In 47 minutes viewers may learn the conception of the Home of the Brick and its challenges in construction. Featured interviews include the key members of the LEGO House project. Even Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen has his own piece to say about the genesis of the Home of the Brick. The third-generation majority-owner of The LEGO Group was one of the project’s guiding hands after all.

LEGO might have sound reason for making the Netflix documentary open to all. The actual LEGO House itself closed down in the recent past due to the pandemic. They have only recently begun attempts at normalizing the events schedule again. LEGO House Fan Day, the first after the appearance of COVID, happened Thursday, September 23. The former streaming-exclusive documentary could help drum up renewed attention to the Home of the Brick. Perhaps as the pandemic comes more under control a new wave of guests could check out LEGO House. Until then, the documentary is up for all those curious.

LEGO Releases Halloween “Celebrate the Season” LEGO Star Wars Animated Shorts, with Compilation

A lot of seasonal celebrations tend to start celebrating early. LEGO is also up to starting the party days and weeks before the event itself. Take for instance their LEGO Star Wars “Terrifying Tales” animated special. It’s premiering on Disney+ the first of October, when Halloween falls on the last. Yet even before that rib-tickling sendup to horror anthologies starts streaming, LEGO’s already gotten more animated shorts out. No less than six Halloween-themed LEGO Star Wars shorts are up now on the LEGO YouTube channel. And as “short” as they are, they’ve been collected into a single compilation shown below.

Fans of LEGO Star Wars and the more recent “Star Wars” content streaming or coming to Disney+ will love this. Of the five animated shorts, three features “The Mandalorian” and one has “The Bad Batch.” That doesn’t mean other “Star Wars” properties are neglected.  Boba Fett shows up with Din Djarin in one short where they try to outdo each other in ship makeovers. Seeing Boba Fett’s Starship (75312) decked out in various Halloween motifs is a riot. Similarly hilarious is the short where Darth Maul and Ahsoka Tano duel each in a pumpkin-carving contest.

If you didn’t get the hint, these LEGO Star Wars Halloween shorts feature more recent sets from the theme. The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle (75314) is also there in a short about a pumpkins and a battle droid. Satirically reworking Din’s search of Grogu in a Star Destroyer as a Trick-or-Treat run? That was just marvelously hilarious. If nothing else, these shorts should tide LEGO Star Wars fans over until “Terrifying Tales” arrives on Disney+ streaming. It comes on this October 1, so don’t forget.

LEGO Creator Expert Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft (10291) Officially Announced

After giving a teaser over its social media channel, the LEGO Group has officially announced its next collaboration with streaming giant Netflix. The LEGO Creator Expert Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft (10291) is now listed over at LEGO Shop@Home and is expected to be released in October.

Fans of the life-changing series will surely be glad to see the iconic team of makeover experts now given the official LEGO treatment. For those unfamiliar with the show, The Queer Eye features the colorful cast of lifestyle and fashion experts collectively known as the Fab 5.  The show originally aired back in 2003 and was eventually given a reboot by Netflix last 2018.

This LEGO rendition of the highly popular series features the interior of the Fab 5’s original Atlanta loft, similar to what LEGO did with its TV-inspired predecessor, the LEGO Creator Expert The FRIENDS Apartments (10292).

The LEGO Creator Expert Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft (10291) clocks in at 974 pieces and will retail for a hundred dollars once it is made available to the public on October 1. For now, be sure to take a closer look at this set by clicking on the link below. Read on to know its official product description and check out these photos as well.

LEGO Creator Expert Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft (10291)

974 pieces | $99.99 | Coming Soon on October 1, 2021

Calling all fans of the Queer Eye TV show on Netflix! Get ready to be your true self as you join the Fab 5 for a rewarding building project with this LEGO® Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft (10291) set. As you recreate all the details that make up the interior of the Fab 5’s original Atlanta loft, you’ll discover lots of features from the show with tributes to each of the Fab 5’s special talents. There’s a kitchen island for Antoni, a clothing rack for Tan, Jonathan’s swivel salon chair, and Karamo’s couch and scrapbook. And this space is Bobby-approved as he helped design this very special LEGO interior.

Enjoy a moment of self-care
No episode of Queer Eye would be complete without a makeover. So, as well as including minifigure versions of each of the Fab 5 (plus Bruley the dog), this buildable model includes 2 Kathi Dooley (a very special guest from a very special episode!) minifigures. There’s also a transformation chamber feature to recreate Kathi’s emotional ‘before and ‘after’ reveals.

  • It’s time to give back to yourself as you enjoy a rewarding project, building a displayable model version of The Fab 5 Loft from the award-winning Queer Eye TV show on Netflix.
  • Discover a host of beautiful and authentic details from the TV show packed into this LEGO® Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft (10291) set like the big TV, kitchen, living room, and grooming station. 
  • Pure perfection! This set includes minifigure versions of each of the Fab 5, plus a Bruley figure. There are also 2 Kathi Dooley minifigures, showing her before and after her makeover.
  • Makes a top gift for any fan of the Queer Eye TV show, or anyone who loves TV show memorabilia and collectibles. And of course, it also makes a well-deserved treat for yourself.
  • Measures over 3.5 in. (9 cm) high, 13.5 in. (35 cm) wide, and 8.5 in. (21 cm) deep.

LEGO Design VP Matthew Ashton Says Many Themes, Including Monkie Kid, Continuing to 2022 and 2023

For general LEGO collectors, it’s always sobering when one hears news that a LEGO theme is potentially being ended. Usually they announce the retirement of all currently-available sets in the line, without word of upcoming new stuff. Then again, The LEGO Group is a business. If they think a theme must discontinue for reasons, it will. Recently this fate seemed in store for LEGO Speed Champions, Technic, and even 2020-debut Monkie Kid. The latter saw all its current sets earmarked for retirement on December 31. But a top LEGO figure assures that it, and many other themes, will continue.

Brick Fanatics bring us this hopeful bit of news. Over the weekend, LEGO VP of Design Matthew Ashton held a social media Q&A on Instagram. LEGO fans and collectors among his followers were quick to ask him about the status of certain themes. LEGO Monkie kid  among others are getting follow-ups next year, to fans’ relief. Not just Monkie Kid, but also Technic, Speed Champions, DOTS and others will have 2022 and 2023 releases. Then again, for Monkie Kid, having a streaming deal with Amazon might have had an indirect effect.

More Monkie Kid

LEGO Monkie Kid’s animated adaptation has been airing in Asian countries and Australia since 2020. After joining Amazon Kids+ this month, the series gets an international streaming audience for the first time. Its season 2 ended in a cliffhanger that hinted at concluding the series in season 3. This coincided with the announcement of all its sets retiring at year’s end.

Thanks to Ashton’s Q&A, we can be assured that LEGO Monkie Kid will see more product releases and animated seasons. Interestingly, LEGO’s other Asian-inspired theme, Ninjago, went through the same deal. Introduced in 2011 and slated to run only three years before discontinuation, the theme and animation have lasted eleven. If collectors keep buying and viewers keep watching, we’re sure to get more Monkie Kid too.

“LEGO Monkie Kid” Animated Series Finally Reaches Western Audiences Via Amazon Kids+

LEGO has scored massive success tapping into East Asian culture and mythology for their original product lines. We’ve seen that golden touch in LEGO Ninjago, with set theme and animated adaptation still strong after a decade. But LEGO is always looking for something new. And by tapping into Chinese myths this time, they created a new theme: LEGO Monkie Kid. Following its introduction last year, LEGO tapped Australia’s Flying Bark Productions (“Rise of the TMNT”) for the animation. Going with 2D and an anime style, the “LEGO Monkie Kid” series was a hit…in Australia and Asian countries. But it’s going international soon thanks to streaming.

The Brick Fan has it that Amazon has picked up “LEGO Monkie Kid” for streaming on their Amazon Kids+ service. As of Wednesday, September 9, the series can now be streamed wherever Amazon Kids+ is available. That means western audiences waiting for the animation since its reveal last year can now binge it. Already “LEGO Monkey Kid” has two seasons and two 43-minute specials, with a third in production. Asian audiences have been very positive of the show, given the familiar source (subjected to LEGO-ization).

The Plot

“LEGO Monkie Kid” is based on the Chinese novel “Journey to the West.” Centuries after the Monkey King imprisoned Bull Demon King with a magical seal, he is freed by his family. Their plans to conquer Megapolis are foiled however. That’s thanks to Monkie Kid, a delivery boy, finding the Monkey King’s magic staff. Aided by his friends, Monkie Kid protects his hometown as the Monkey King’s successor.

While season 1 of “LEGO Monkie Kid” is up on Amazon Kids+ now, season 2 will be along on October 28. There are also plans to make it available on Prime Video. This is good news, sobered by the possibility that LEGO might retire the entire theme when 2021 ends.

First Trailer Out for “LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales” Coming October 1 on Disney+

Last month, Disney+ revealed an upcoming “LEGO Star Wars” animated special. It’s themed for Halloween and asks the question: Do “Star Wars” and “horror anthology” go well together? Well, there was a short “Star Wars” young-readers horror-novel series in the 1990s, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, Lucasfilm and LEGO are about to demonstrate how mixing a Galaxy Far, Far Away with “Tales from the Crypt” is not only doable, but hilariously fun. That’s because the first trailer for “LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales” is out. And now LEGO animated series and “Star Wars” fans are laughing their heads off.

Why shouldn’t they laugh? Check out the trailer below, as posted on the official “Star Wars” YouTube channel. It’s a gloriously chaotic comedy with just the right amount of scary. It starts with Resistance Pilot Poe Dameron (Jake Green) crash-landing on planet Mustaphar. He and his trusty droid BB-8 then stumble upon…Castle Vader, former citadel of Darth Vader-turned-Sith-themed luxury hotel. Thank Graballa the Hutt for that. Poe, Graballa and his mechanic Dean (Raphael Alejandro) then meet Vanee (Tony Hale), former servant of Vader. He basically apes the Crypt-keeper and the Midnight Society in sharing three spooky tales of the Galaxy.

“Submitted for Your Approval…”

Tale 1 sees Ben Solo (Christian Slater) being recruited by the First Order. He becomes Kylo Ren and goes around…bullying droids by playing catch with their heads alongside his Knights. Tale 2 recounts how Darth Maul got his cybernetic lower body…and his struggle to master moving with it. The third tale takes canon off-track when Luke Skywalker wishes on a preserved monkey/Wookie-paw…and becomes an Imperial pilot. As Vanee tells these tales of the Sith, something dark begins to stir within Castle Vader. Even Emperor Palpatine (Trevor Devall) couldn’t miss it.

Packed with signature LEGO animation physics, quirky adventures and shout-outs from various horror films and anthologies with some sweet parental bonuses, “LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales” is going to rock the LEGO fan’s Halloween viewing list. Catch it on Disney+ streaming this coming October 1.