LEGO NINJAGO 71766 Lloyds Legendary Dragon lifestyle featured

Over the last few years, NINJAGO has become one of the LEGO Group’s most enduring original themes. It’s not hard to see why: its lovable cast of characters and diverse product selection offer plenty to draw us in. Having recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, NINJAGO has gone on to surpass successors like Legends of Chima and NEXO KNIGHTS in terms of longevity and popularity.

Head over to to see which NINJAGO sets are currently available.


The NINJAGO theme first debuted in 2011, running in parallel with the animated TV show NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu. The two continue to enjoy a symbiotic relationship, as characters, vehicles and scenarios in the show inspire models in the NINJAGO range. To date, more than 180 episodes have been produced across 14 seasons.

We can see the roots of NINJAGO in some of the LEGO Group’s older product releases. The most obvious antecedent is the Ninja theme, which ran from 1998 to 1999. Twenty-nine models were released in this range, with a mixture of ninja and samurai fighting across strongholds and fortresses. While its historical accuracy may be disputed, this was still a fairly sober, grounded take on the concept.

The Exo-Force theme, first launched in 2006, also shares some characteristics with NINJAGO. This range of sets took inspiration from Japanese mecha fiction, with humanoid robots and characters inspired by Japanese culture. With 44 products over three years, Exo-Force offered a lot for mecha fans to sink their teeth into.

On a basic level, NINJAGO could be said to have built upon these themes; indeed, explicit references to both Ninja and Exo-Force have popped up in NINJAGO sets. Early models focused upon a quartet of ninja – Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane – defending their island home from villainous and supernatural forces.

These early waves mixed outlandish vehicles and characters with more realistic settings, which drew heavily from traditional Japanese architecture. A range of spinner sets was also introduced, allowing children to replicate the Spinjitzu martial arts technique from the show. Similar toys would prove a fixture of the NINJAGO theme more generally. 

As the theme continued through the 2010s, NINJAGO sets would continue in a similar vein. Guided by their teacher, Master Wu, the ninjas would face anthropomorphic snakes, robots and ghosts. Their ranks would also expand – Lloyd, a son of their enemy Lord Garmadon, joined the team, as did Kai’s sister Nya.

By mid-decade, the NINJAGO theme had started to move into more exciting territory. 70751 Temple of Airjitzu launched in 2015, delivering a NINJAGO set with new levels of detail and complexity that to this day attracts significant attention from older LEGO fans. A year later, the Skybound theme introduced a range of pirate-inspired sets. This precluded a broader push into more diverse subject matter for NINJAGO products. 

While the Japanese influence continued to run deep, the ninja would go on to fight mummies, enter cyberspace and explore lava-filled dungeons. 2021’s The Island subtheme is reminiscent of ’90s Pirates sets, while the Seabound wave continues a rich tradition of underwater LEGO products.

What does the future hold for NINJAGO? It’s hard to say, but given its success so far, we anticipate trips to NINJAGO for a while to come.


The NINJAGO theme boasts more than 400 sets, which broadly correspond to successive seasons of the TV show. Much of the product range has an explicit focus on younger fans. However, the increasing quality and diversity of sets has attracted many a LEGO fan, regardless of age.

NINJAGO’s target audience can benefit from some seriously fun playsets. In their fights against evil, the ninja employ many different vehicles – bikes, planes, cars, mechs, drills, and other things that defy easy classification. Recent examples of these include 71737 X-1 Ninja Charger, 71736 Boulder Blaster and 71750 Lloyd’s Hydro Mech.  

Other sets have proven a little more ambitious. 70596 Samurai X Cave Chaos offers an impressive base of operations for the ninja to inhabit, and includes a sophisticated modular vehicle construction station. The Destiny’s Bounty ship has also frequently served as a base of operations, and 71705 Destiny’s Bounty is its latest incarnation.

However, there’s plenty for older LEGO fans to enjoy as well. Models such as 70627 Dragon’s Forge offer more realistic buildings (albeit with plenty of play features woven in). 71755 Temple of the Endless Sea – a more recent release – delivers a lavish underwater environment; its vivid colour scheme, detailed minifigures and hulking, brick-built sea serpent are instantly attractive to many fans.

In the last few years, the Legacy subtheme has re-imagined older NINJAGO sets with more sophisticated building techniques, drawing inspiration from across NINJAGO history. A number of excellent sets have been released under this banner, including 71738 Zane’s Titan Mech Battle

LEGO NINJAGO minifigures

With its emphasis on a core cast and fantastical environments, the NINJAGO range has brought us many different minifigures over the years. The repeat appearance of its main characters makes collecting them relatively easy, in a welcome break from other themes.

Given its long life, NINJAGO’s minifigures have seen many changes. Early minifigures used the original ninja head wrap from the 1990s, with relatively simple printing on legs and torsos. The enemies, on the other hand, frequently enjoyed custom head pieces that betrayed their sinister nature. 

NINJAGO would even introduce new arm and leg pieces. 9450 Epic Dragon Battle featured new serpent tail pieces for their reptilian minifigures, while big bad Garmadon gained an extra pair of arms. The Possession subtheme – which ran in 2015 – featured a band of ghost ninja, and a new ghostly ‘leg’ piece. This would go on to appear in many other spooky themes like Ghostbusters and Hidden Side, as well as later NINJAGO sets.

With the release of The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, the core characters would see a refreshed visual style that drew inspiration from their film appearances. While these were mostly in line with broader detail improvements, Lloyd gained green eyes – a rare privilege across LEGO minifigures in general.


In 2017, The LEGO NINJAGO Movie arrived in cinemas. Following in the footsteps of 2014’s The LEGO Movie, the spin-off reinterpreted the NINJAGO franchise. It featured the lavish animation and celebrity cast of its predecessors, as well as an impressive range of tie-in sets for movie fans to purchase.

In some respects, the movie’s tie-in sets may be its strongest legacy. The range offered bold new vehicles for the ninja (now known as the Secret Ninja Force) to use in their fight against Garmadon’s sinister Shark Army. 70612 Green Ninja Mech Dragon is a particular highlight thanks to its detailed construction and distinctive sand green colour scheme. 70611 Water Strider also demonstrates a creative approach to mech design, as well as a striking titanium metallic colour scheme for Nya.

Garmadon’s forces show spectacular creativity as well. The Shark Army’s vehicles and uniforms all draw heavy inspiration from sea creatures; when combined with their tasteful sand blue colour scheme, these sets are a highlight of any NINJAGO collection. 70656 garmadon, Garmadon, GARMADON! is the crown jewel of the army, offering a mechanical shark and hot dog stand for additional play value.

Of course, the biggest and best set is undoubtedly 70620 NINJAGO City. Boasting almost 5,000 pieces, the model depicts a slice of a pseudo-Japanese city in unparalleled detail. Each tier of the set represents the city at different stages of its own history, introducing different architectural styles as it goes. There are also numerous play features including an elevator, a working cash machine and a crab restaurant that actually cooks its crabs.

The set would go on to inspire two complementary models. 70657 NINJAGO City Docks, released in 2018, can connect directly to the city and offers a dockside area to explore. 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens was released in 2021 as part of the Legacy range, allowing even more expansion of the city environment. 

Fans will naturally point to the likes of 75192 Millennium Falcon in any discussion of the best LEGO sets. However, with their vivid colour schemes, intricate designs and multiple nods to LEGO history, the NINJAGO City models are fierce contenders for the top spot.


Everyone loves dragons, and they’ve made frequent appearances across LEGO sets for many years. NINJAGO is no exception, but its nods to Japanese culture and its dynamic world have allowed for some fresh interpretations of the concept.

Before they received dedicated vehicles, the core ninja team employed dragons in their adventures. 2260 Ice Dragon Attack puts Zane in the saddle, marking one of the first times a NINJAGO dragon would appear. 2509 Earth Dragon Defense and 2521 Lightning Dragon Battle were also released in 2011, offering their own unique approaches to the dragon concept.

Dragons are a well the NINJAGO theme has continued to draw from over the years. 9450 Epic Dragon Battle lives up to its name with a four-headed beast commanded by Lloyd. 70725 Nindroid Mech Dragon is particularly innovative; besides featuring a robotic design, it also introduced brick-built heads to the NINJAGO dragon family. 70736 Attack of the Morro Dragon offers a rippling, serpentine body – one that more closely mimics dragons from Eastern mythology. Its colourful cloth wings are another unique selling point. 

The NINJAGO dragons haven’t slowed down lately; in fact, they’ve appeared in places you wouldn’t expect them to. 71721 Skull Sorceror’s Dragon is perhaps unsurprising, given the fantasy theming surrounding it. However, its skeletal design is a radical departure from previous dragon designs. 71713 Empire Dragon provides a beast to stalk cyberspace, its trans-orange highlights arguably drawing inspiration from Disney’s Tron franchise. 

2021 brought us three dragons. 71746 Jungle Dragon prowls the jungles, whereas 71754 Water Dragon lurks in the depths of the Endless Sea. 71753 Fire Dragon Attack – another entry in the Legacy subtheme – is obviously more traditional, and even resurrects the moulded dragon head for the nostalgic NINJAGO fan.

More recently, a brand new range of customisable dragons – aimed at kids moving between the junior 4+ range and standard System sets – has landed on shelves, alongside a meatier beast in 71766 Lloyd’s Legendary Dragon.

Whatever flavour of dragon you prefer, the NINJAGO theme has more than delivered – and it’s safe to assume NINJAGO will provide a few more dragons going forward.


As a major LEGO theme, NINJAGO has enjoyed a number of tie-in video games over the years. The first console game, LEGO Battles: NINJAGO, appeared in 2011 on the Nintendo DS. This was a spin-off from 2009’s LEGO Battles, offering simple real-time strategy gameplay for LEGO fans. Players could introduce a variety of fighters into battle, while building various structures and collecting gold LEGO bricks. The game also offered a multiplayer mode, where two friends could compete in modes such as Annihilation, Capture the Flag and King of the Hill.

With the launch of the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita, two new NINJAGO titles graced our screens. 2014’s LEGO NINJAGO: Nindroids took inspiration from the show’s third season, as well as recent LEGO games more generally. Players could engage in simple combat and platforming, but they could also pilot mech suits and engage in rail-shooting gameplay. Its cyberpunk visual style and exciting characters helped to distinguish it a little, though it wasn’t radically different from other LEGO games overall.

2015 brought us LEGO NINJAGO: Shadow of Ronin, which saw debut villain Ronin stealing the ninjas’ memories. This game included plentiful (if simplistic) combat, and plenty of gold bricks to collect. Returning to find these gold bricks gave the title some replay value, but the game didn’t necessarily build upon the ideas of its predecessor.

The NINJAGO theme would go on to have a major presence in LEGO Dimensions, a toys-to-life game that launched in 2015. All six ninja (as well as Master Wu) would receive dedicated characters and rebuildable vehicles inspired by the TV show. The theme received a dedicated story level in the main campaign, as well as an open-world segment with tasks and references to the TV show.

The arrival of The LEGO NINJAGO Movie also inspired a tie-in game. The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game continued to ape the core LEGO formula, but it also introduced a more sophisticated combat system than older titles. In a similar manner to games like Batman: Arkham Asylum, players could chain attacks together and bounce from one enemy to another. Unique moves helped distinguish one technique from another, and level traversal also received a shot in the arm. While long load times and an underwhelming ending may have marred the experience, there was still plenty for NINJAGO fans to enjoy.


Come back to this page around Black Friday to see our predictions for LEGO NINJAGO discounts.