The German LEGO catalog covering the first half of 2022 has a lot of awesome upcoming sets lined up. Honestly, we’ve only been scratching the tip of the iceberg with this. Next to be put on the spotlight by us in The Brick Show is hit LEGO theme Ninjago. A great deal has been made of Ninjago and its tie-in animated series going on beyond its first decade. This catalog gives us, especially Ninjago collectors, a glimpse of the future as of next year. It’s a blend of new and old, including sets hearkening back to the days of Spinjitzu.
As told by Brick Fanatics, the LEGO Ninjago early-2022 launches will include three Ninjago Spinjitzu spinner sets. Actually, those three are the standalones, with a fourth being part of a larger set. We also have a preview on what evil mooks our Ninjago heroes will face in the upcoming season. Minifigs with unusual head-pieces like these snake-men really stand out. Anyway, let’s summarize the details.
Spinjitzu Ninja Training – €9.99/$11.20
- Kai (70688)
- Lloyd (70689)
- Jay (70690)
- Ninja Training Center (71763) – €39.99/$45.19
- Ninja Dojo Temple (71767) – €99.99/$112.99
All names were roughly translated from German while $ pricings are direct conversions. Expect these Ninjago sets to release around January-March next year.
Early this month, we covered the reveal of the first LEGO polybags noted to be coming next year. Already we at The Brick Show felt that this batch of 2022 polys would only be the tip of the iceberg. Indeed they were, even if that was barely a surprise. Small and simple as they are, multiple unique LEGO polybags can be churned out in a year. Promobricks.de gives us word of these new reveals, courtesy of brickdex.io, a new price comparison platform. We’ve got multiple polybags under major LEGO themes unlike last time. There’s still no word however on which polybags will sell in-store and which are promo items only.
- Police Robot Unit (30587)
- 3-in-1 Tropical Parrot (30581)
- The Batman – Batmobile (30455)
- Pineapple Photo Holder (30560)
- Mini Thunder Raider (30592)
Every year-end Holiday season, LEGO employees have something to look forward to beyond bonuses and benefits. They get to bring home for free a product from their own hard work, manufactured specifically for the occasion. And in addition to commemorating the gift-giving season, these employee gift sets also celebrate any current theme milestone anniversary. Earlier this week Thomas Andreasen, co-creator of LEGO Ninjago, posted his gift on social media. As confirmed by Brick Fanatics (and made obvious by the revealer), the 2021 LEGO employee gift celebrates Ninjago’s first decade. It also posits how the Ninjago universe observes the Christmas Holiday.
As seen in Andreasen’s Twitter post, the LEGO Ninjago Temple of Celebrations (4002021) is this year’s LEGO employee gift. The set has 1,320 pieces and 11 Ninjago minifigures, including a Santa Garmadon. The back of the box contains a dedication from LEGO in eight languages. Andreasen also claims the set contains some of his written Holiday poems. He does add in a disclaimer that the set doesn’t confirm the existence of Christmas in the Ninjago setting. As always, a LEGO employee gift set officially goes only to employees. But Temple of Celebrations might be found on eBay and aftermarket platforms.
The key concept of LEGO has always been that, with any given number of bricks, one can build anything. True, most packaged LEGO sets are to build a specific building/vehicle/etc. They even have instruction manuals so that builders can assemble the pieces exactly as pictured. But ultimately, building with LEGO bricks can be one of the best outlets for creative freedom. LEGO Japan two Saturdays ago demonstrated that fact in partnership with Amazon Japan. The results of that promotional activity on social media would grab attention and ignite builder creativity.
Brick Fanatics brings us this interesting social media activity made possible by the Japanese divisions of LEGO and Amazon. The challenge: How would you combine two different LEGO set builds into a unified creation? LEGO JP’s original Twitter post (November 13, 2021) even provides an example.
The “Before” photo showcases the completed LEGO Technic Off-Road Buggy (42124) and LEGO Monkie Kid Lion Guardian (80021). The “After” photo reveals the Buggy revamped to have the Lion Guardian as a motif. LEGO Japan invites viewers to visit Amazon JP’s page, and post their own two-set fusions in the comments. Let’s go over to Amazon’s Japanese page now.
In the page, we see two LEGO Friends sets, Friendship Bus (41395) and Heartlake City Organic Café (41444). They get fused into a curious double-decker food truck.
Two Ninjago sets – Jungle Dragon (71746) and Zane’s Titan Mech (71738) – fuse into a dragon robot. It looks similar to mecha plastic models by Bandai.
The real Japanese essence of this LEGO-Amazon team-up lies in this particular build. LEGO Ideas Tree House (21318) plus Botanical Collection Bonsai Tree (10281) equals Sakura Tree House. The featured LEGO sets are mostly available on Amazon.jp, or you can just go LEGO.com. They’re very inspiring fusions, right?
As we’ve featured before, the LEGO Ideas Ninjago 1-Button Game Challenge is one of the most technical contests they’ve held. Not many Ideas members could just program a microgame using the game engine of Unity, LEGO Ideas’ contest partner. All the same, a lot of submissions were made during the intake phase until early November. The Ideas expert review thinned these entries down to 15. These microgames now face the vote of the LEGO Ideas community for a week-long period. The winners have cool prizes waiting for them by next month. But what do these competing microgames look like anyway?
The Ideas team has that covered, thanks to this video from Unity’s official YouTube channel. Two LEGO reps and one Unity do a pick-and-play showcase of the Top 15 Ninjago 1-Button Game challenge entries. Despite the title, the theme of the microgames didn’t need to strictly be LEGO Ninjago. That means you’ll be seeing some interesting simple-to-play games in the showcase. If you’re a LEGO Ideas member, you can vote for your favorite at the official contest page here.
Your vote could decide which of these plucky microgame designers win the prize LEGO sets and paid Unity perks. Remember that each Ideas member can vote three times per contest, and only once per single entry. The crowd vote ends next Thursday, November 25, with the winners being announced December 2.
On the last day of September, LEGO Ideas launched a contest in collaboration with the Unity game engine. While primarily themed for Ninjago, the contest encouraged submissions of any 1-button-control microgame using the Unity engine. LEGO Ideas promised some sweet prize sets for the winners, including the late addition of actual Ninjago products. The “Ninjago 1-Button Game Challenge” idea intake ended this past November 4. Expert review of the microgame submissions ended today, November 18. And on this day, the voting phase for this rather technical contest finally kicks off.
LEGO Ideas and Unity plan to present a full showcase of the entries for the Ninjago microgame contest tomorrow. But already you can check out the submissions on the Ideas contest page to prepare for the crowd vote. This phase will last until November 25, with the official winners to be announced next month, December 2. Aside from the LEGO sets and Unity paid subscription/assets, winners will also get some extra fame. That’s because their creations might find themselves loaded on mini arcade cabinets soon to appear on LEGO Stores. Real-world LEGO shoppers worldwide could spend time to play the winners’ 1-button microgame masterworks. Now that just went beyond awesome.
As we already know, LEGO Ninjago is good to go through 2022 and even 2023 in terms of new sets and content. In line with that, the tie-in LEGO Ninjago 2022 animated series is guaranteed to be on its way. And what else is new on the Ninjago front? Last week, series co-creator Tommy Andreasen revealed a five-issue comic-book series in cooperation with Skybound Entertainment. And if that wasn’t enough, we now have additional details on the next “Ninjago” season from online hints dropped by Andreasen. All these things we know courtesy of Brick Fanatics.
During last week’s Skybound live-stream event featuring the LEGO Ninjago 2022 creative team, Andreasen teased viewers with an episode title. He claimed that episode to be the 12th in the upcoming season for 2022. A week later, Andreasen posted a correction on his Twitter page. The episode titled “The Benefit of Grief” was actually the 10th rather than 12th. He declined to name the actual title for episode 12, but his tweet brought details to a wider audience. Now we know, at the very minimum, that the next “Ninjago” season has at least 12 episodes lined up. That should cover animated LEGO Ninjago for the year 2022.
With regards to the Skybound LEGO Ninjago comic books, it ties into the series via a key character. None other than Garmadon headlines this five-issue story. The initial antagonist-turned-mentor-turned-villain to the Ninjago team left the story after season 10: “March of the Oni.” Synopses for the comic, done by writer-artist Tri Vuong, reveal Garmadon wandering the world as a lone protector. But is his latest heroic turn real, or is he still planning something? We’ll find out when the first issue arrives April next year. It’s likely around the time of the next season’s premiere.
The usual media adaptations for toy brand franchises nowadays tend to be TV series or maybe movies. But sometimes they go for more traditional avenues in print media. LEGO is a notable example, with their multitude of picture books courtesy of publishers like D-K. Then they have also made inroads with comic books. In fact, there are hints towards a new partnership between LEGO and Skybound Entertainment. Now you might be wondering, “The company that handles ‘The Walking Dead’ is doing a LEGO comic?” That seems to be true, if a tweet from a LEGO animated series show-runner is indication.
Brick Fanatic brings us this interesting Twitter post courtesy of Tommy Andreasen, co-creator of LEGO’s “Ninjago” animated series. Andreasen shared the announcement of Skybound Entertainment for their Skybound Xpo, happening this Friday, October 29. The promotional text explicitly mentions Skybound producing their first LEGO comic-book title. Andreasen will also be part of a panel for the event alongside “Ninjago” Producer, Story and Entertainment Manager Tommy Kalmar. On his tweet text he made mention of “exciting #Ninjago news.” Does this confirm that Skybound’s upcoming LEGO comic book is based on “Ninjago”? I guess we’re waiting for more news this coming weekend.
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.
LEGO Ideas and Unity launched their “Ninjago Microgame 1-Button Challenge” on the Ideas Contest page last September 29. Their challenge for Ideas members interested in programing was to develop a Ninjago-themed microgame using the Unity game engine. The “ideas intake” period for the contest runs until November 4 but no members have submitted any ideas yet. Aside from the more technical nature of this Ideas contest, apparently some Ideas members felt the prizes were lacking. For one thing, despite the variety of LEGO sets to be won, none of them are LEGO Ninjago. Fortunately, LEGO Ideas got the message too.
According to Brick Fanatics, LEGO Ideas announced that they have updated the prizes for the Ninjago Unity microgame contest. While the official contest page details remain the same, they showed off the changes on social media. The additional prizes follow thus: Grand Winner for each category also gets LEGO Ninjago City Gardens (71741). The runners-up gut will also receive LEGO Ninjago Fire Stone Mech (71720). Add the existing prizes of LEGO NES (71374), Mario Starter Course (71360) and LEGO Minecraft Abandoned Mine (21166) and they’re better. Unity of course has their own prizes: Asset Store credits and a 1-year Pro subscription for the Grand Winners.
Seeing as not all potential contestants might theme their microgame after Ninjago, that’s only one category. LEGO Ideas will also accept original creations and microgames for Unity’s Behavior Bricks template. It would be nice to finally see the entries begin coming in soon. They have until November 4 to submit.