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LEGO NINJAGO from thought to theme: Rebooted

LEGO NINJAGO is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the theme, so it’s time to look back and discover its origins, with 2014 bringing the rise of technology in Rebooted.

This marks the fourth feature in a series celebrating and exploring the past ten years of LEGO NINJAGO, with the features for 2009 to 2011, 2012 and 2013 ready to be caught up on. 

2014 

Rebooted poster

LEGO NINJAGO had proven to be a hit, with fans wanting, nay demanding more. But the final battle between good and evil had taken place, where could the writers go from there? Thankfully, the team thought it was time for a reboot.

The world of NINJAGO was to be reintroduced to fans, but not remade like most reboots. The new season would take place once again in NINJAGO City and tie heavily into the past three seasons. This might not sound like a reboot, but it was also designed as the perfect time for new fans to jump in, without knowing the past three years of content.

The story would focus on a threat from NINJAGO’s past but introduce a new element to the show, one highlighting the technologically advanced side of this fantastical world. NINJAGO may be full of magic, ancient weapons and strange civilisations lost to time, but it was also home to a genius inventor by the name of Cyrus Borg.

Ever since the Overlord’s defeat, the site of the final battle was transformed by Borg into a shining metropolis, with Borg Tower at the centre. Flying cars, holographic billboards and other futuristic technology became the norm for NINJAGO City citizens and a time of peace was enjoyed.

Outside the city, the ninja team worked to train the next generation of NINJAGO in Sensei Wu’s Academy, acting as teachers rather than fighters. One day, on a school trip to Borg Tower, Zane meets another robot, a silver-haired assistant named P.I.X.A.L (also known as Pixal) – a character who would prove popular with fans.

Of course, the trip goes wrong and the Overlord returns, this time taking over technology and turning mechs, helicopters and plenty more against the ninja. Cyrus Borg presents a solution, a set of blunt weapons called Techno-Blades that when touching enemy tech, would bring them to the ninja’s side.

The Techno-Blades were included in almost all the sets for the season, which saw nine full sets and a polybag join the NINJAGO theme. Among these were some which have proved popular for NINJAGO Legacy, including 70721 Kai Fighter, 70723: Thunder Raider and more recently, 70727: X-1 Ninja Charger.

The latter was brought back in 2021, recreating Kai’s fiery hot rod for the tenth anniversary with 71737 X-1 Ninja Charger. The Techno-Blade piece, unfortunately, didn’t return but otherwise, it is an accurate recreation with the unfolding missile launcher, jetpack-wearing Nindroid and of course, the ejecting motorbike.

Rebooted was an important season for NINJAGO not just for its story but also its minifigures with a few key characters introduced in physical form. The first Overlord minifigure came in 70728 Battle for Ninjago City, and the first appearance of Pixal in 70724: NinjaCopter. Meanwhile, the only minifigures of Cyrus Borg and Sensei Garmadon came in 70722: OverBorg Attack and 70725: Nindroid MechDragon respectively.

However, the third season of NINJAGO sets itself apart from the rest, even after 10 years, with one particular scene. Those wanting to catch up for themselves should look away now as spoilers are coming. NINJAGO proved that it could explore more mature and emotional themes when the ninja fought the overlord wielding the power of the Golden Armour, forcing Zane to sacrifice himself to bring an end to the fight.

Fans who have stuck with NINJAGO know that not all was as it seemed as the show teased what was to come at the very end of Rebooted. It was time for the Tournament of Elements, it was time to find Zane.

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