The latest Ninjago news.

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 89 – semi-review

As I’ve mentioned in the last semi-review, episodes are getting progressively better with time, making me, once more, excited to see each new one. Episode 89, ‘The Gilded Path’, is my favorite episode of the season, at least from the ones I’ve seen so far. Why it is so, read below. Just be vary of spoilers.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 89

The episode starts off with Sons of Garmadon invading the headquarters of the resistance. Dareth tries to stop them with his newfound powers, but he still has to go to the bathroom every time he uses them. Nya, Skylor and Dareth escape with Lloyd in the scrap-tank. During the escape Garmadon almost crushes them with his colossus, however in a moment of weakness his control slips and they manage to escape. I feel like the tank should’ve been included with 70658 – Oni Titan. After they escape, the four of them go into hiding and meet up with Mistaké who’s comes to them in form of a rat. Think who has the power to transform *hint*hint*.

The First Realm part of the episode starts innocently enough, with Wu dreaming of a fishing trip he went on with his father and Garmadon. It makes me wonder whether we’ll see this version of the First Spinjitzu Master in one of the Bricktober minifigure packs in the future. In any case, when Wu wakes up he is no longer a preschooler but a teenager. The ninja chat with him, but are quickly interrupted by Heavy Metal. Who turns out to be a girl named Faith. Apparently, she’s been working for Iron Baron under false pretenses. She wants to get rid of the Oni, and she needs to get the Dragon Armor to do that. Wu’s instincts kick in and he starts leading Faith and the ninja towards it. Faith explains the legend of the First Spinjitzu Master who, apparently, with the help of the Firstbourne, forged the Dragon Armor. At the end of the episode they’re approached by Dragon Hunters who they overpower and take their land-airplanes.

Overall, the episode was almost non-stop action, but very tasteful action, so I liked it a lot. A few shocking reveals, a couple of deus ex machinas, one great episode.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 2 comments

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 88 – semi-review

I’m getting a little behind on these, hopefully, just like the TV show, I’ll be able to pick up the pace. In any case, episode 88, called ‘How to Build a Dragon’ (a obvious pun on ‘How to Train Your Dragon’), was quite good, but not as good as the rest of the episodes in this season so far. The episode, in my eyes, serves as a good setup for the next few. Thankfully, the episodes that follow are much better – managed to watch them all on my train ride! Don’t let that stop you from reading our, spoiler-full, review below.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 88

The episode starts off with a flashback to Jay’s childhood and the time he meet Wu. The flashback is revealed to be a part of Jay’s dream that gets interrupted by Lloyd’s broadcast (which he did in the previous episode), or at least a part of it. His words were apparently strong enough to shatter the barrier between realms. This lifts his spirit and he gets back to his old self. He comes up with a plan how to free all of them – by making a mechanical version of the Firstbourne. They do just that, but don’t manage to overpower the Dragon Hunters, until the real Firstbourne appears! Under the cover of her attack they manage to escape and free all of the captured dragons. Highlight of the “First Realm part” of the episode where definitely Wu’s wisecracks, which I typically dislike but were quite good this time around. There was also one disturbing reveal – the Dragon Hunters eat dragons. Take that as you will.

The resistance celebrates their victory in Ninjago. Dareth tries to join in on the fun but is ignored by the rest of the members. It’s not all bad though, since that pushes him into getting his own powers, finally! However, they come with a heavy price – he has to pee every time he uses them. Thanks to the fact that the resistance managed to hijack the TV station Garmadon lashes out at Harumi and almost kills her. She however buys herself another chance by revealing the location of the resistance to him. They start their ambush of the resistance just as the episode ends.

As you can see, there isn’t to much going on in this episode, but, trust me, it works as an excellent interlude into what’s to follow.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 4 comments

40315 – Ninjago Board Game Polybag

About a month ago Promobricks shared an image of another Ninjago: Hunted polybag – and somehow I missed it. The polybag in question is actually quite interesting since it seems to actually contain a board game. Other than that, there isn’t much information. It doesn’t come with any minifigures and with only a few pieces. No word on pricing, nor how it can be obtained. Perhaps it will contain some additional lore in the form of game rules?

40315 – Ninjago Board Game

40315 - Ninjago Board Game - packaging

40315 - Ninjago Board Game

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 0 comments

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 87 – semi-review

Thanks to the fact that Ninjago’s release schedule (thank you CN Singapore!) has picked up pace, we’re already back with another review for you. Episode 87, ‘Radio Free Ninjago’, brings Ninjago back on track of having episode names that make sense. Garmadon goes ahead and destroys all the radios in Ninjago. (no he does not) The episode is quite good, if a bit predictable, but I like the overall direction that the season seems to be taking. More on that in the, spoiler-full, episode review below.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 87

The episode starts of with Kai, Jay and Zane facing off the Dragon Hunters in the arena – but are ultimately captured, mostly due to the fact that the Dragon Hunters have a weapon that attracts elemental powers. Dragon Hunter then use their elemental powers to lure and capture a Wind Dragon. The dragon looks quite nice and I hope we get him as a set. We learn more about the leader of the Dragon Hunters – the Iron Baron and Dragon Hunters themselves. Apparently, they’re hunting/collecting dragons because they fear the Oni’s return. One more horrible reveal occurs during the episode – the Ultra Dragon is dead.

Back in Ninjago Lloyd is taking lessons from Wu 2.0 – Mistaké about being a leader. Mistaké has Karlof beat up Dareth to prove a point. She seems to be a regular bundle of joy. Anyway – the team decides that it would be best to inspire the people than to try and fight Garmadon on their own. A welcome change in direction these things usually take (Ninja trying do to all by themselves, failing, then doing it on their own anyway via some wisdom and/or lesson). They decide this is best done by taking over Ultra Violet’s TV show. Infiltration of the TV tower was one of the best sequences in the episode. Neuro uses a Jedi mind trick to force Killow and other Sons of Garmadon to leave their post and go to a karaoke bar! Skylor uses Paleman’s power to hide them all right in front of Garmadon’s nose (literally). In the end, they manage to take over the show. Lloyd gives an epic speech*, giving hope back to Ninjago.

Overall, I feel that, this time around, the Ninjago bit was a bit stronger than the First realm one, but I think I liked them both almost equally.

* you can view the transcript of the entire text, with some excellent emphasis/highlighting of the most emotional parts, over at Alyce’s post over at the Masters of Spinjitzu blog.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 3 comments

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 86 – semi-review

Right of the bat, I want to tell you – I was blown away by this episode. It was so much more than Ninjago usually is that I was quite surprised. But let me back up a little. The name of the episode 86 is ‘Iron & Stone’. There was definitely iron and there were some stones as well in the episode. As you know by now, these reviews are full of spoilers – you’ve been warned!

Oh, by the way, it seems that Ninjago will be picking up the tempo and will be releasing new episodes daily (minus the weekends)! I can’t promise I’ll be able to follow that tempo but I will definitely try!

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 86

Wow. What an episode! I don’t know how and where to start… The easiest is always the beginning so let’s start (almost) there. The new intro was shown and it was just perfect – the scenery, the music, the mood – everything. Albeit, the music was perhaps just a tad too upbeat and Bond-esque. In any case, I think this intro really encompasses how the ninja must feel during these trying times. The chains fit that theme really well.

The episode itself starts of with the captured ninja. The Dragon Hunters think the ninja are Oni and this seems to be the reasons they’ve been captured. Which, I guess, means that the Dragon Hunters are not Oni. Interesting. I wonder whether we’ll actually see any since there aren’t any in the sets. Anyway – the ninja are taken to an Arena, to be eaten alive by a Dragon. Hilarity ensues and this quickly turns into one of the low points of the episode. To me, it seems like only Kai is aware that they’ve been captured. Zane is chilled (pun intended) about it, and Jay is too chill. I’m a bit annoyed by their somewhat plastic, and predictable, reactions. High point of the entire sequence is the fact that Cole once again dons the Rocky Dangerbuff persona – whose lastname indicates that he is a part of the Dangerbuff Dragon Hunter clan. Towards the end it’s revealed that the Dragon Hunters know about Spinjitzu. I can’t wait to learn more about that.

Back in Ninjago City is where the good stuff was. Right off the bat we get to see one of the darkest moments in Ninjago – Garmadon killing Mr.E, on screen. Mr.E, I hope, will not get resurrected just for ratings sake. Continuing his brutal stroke, Garmadon terrifies Harumi into obedience. I can see it already – this is how his downfall begins. On the good guys side, we get to see the new base of operation for the resistance. Which, it turns out, is a waste management facility. Lloyd gets to bond with Elemental Masters (who are, for some reason, introduced again) and Mistaké, who seems is trying to be the new master Wu. There is also a terrible pun here – her name is Mistaké because she made many mistakes. Yep – can’t make that stuff up.

Putting all the puns aside, I really enjoyed this episode and hope they make many more just like this one. How about you?

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 5 comments

Ninjago: Hunted, episode 85 – semi-review

Just a few short months ago we were watching the season finale of Sons of Garmadon. Now, it’s already time to watch the first episode of Ninjago: Hunted. The name of the episode 85 was ‘Firstbourne’, but, interestingly enough, that particular dragon was nowhere to be seen. The episode was quite alright. albeit a bit less dramatic than I thought it would be. In any case, I won’t spoil anything, unless you keep reading.

Still from Ninjago Hunted Episode 85

The episode picks up almost immediately where the last one stopped – episode 84 is even the recap. Something like that, I believe, didn’t happen since ‘Legacy of the Green Ninja’. The situation, then is: Garmadon has taken over Ninjago City and the Ninja are licking their wounds. Those in Ninjago (the realm) are in hiding, while the rest, who are trapped in the First Realm are trying to figure out their next steps.

In the First Realm Jay is having a nervous breakdown, while Kai is filling Jay’s usual place. Zane is, of course, chill and is trying to build a device that will let them contact the rest of the team. Cole is the one keeping a calm head and serves as an impromptu team-lead. Together with (Gradeschooler) Wu he goes to collect food, but instead comes upon a dragon. I believe it was a Stormbringer dragon, but the signature nostrils (are they nostrils?) from the sets weren’t there. While they’re being chased by the dragons the rest of the stranded Ninja are taken by the Oni. Or at least it’s implied they’re Oni.

Back in Ninjago things seem to be dire. Lloyd, together with Nya, P.I.X.A.L, Misako and, surprisingly Dareth, are in hiding while the Sons of Garmadon are looking for them. Via a TV show. Of which Ultra Violet is the host. The TV show offers ordinary citizens rewards for capturing “fugitives”. Seems like a good idea, doesn’t it? They manage to catch Ronin though, so it appears to be working. In any case, the team is quickly discovered and confronted by Sons of Garmadon, lead by Mr.E. Two good things come out of this encounter however because: One, they learn that the rest of the Ninja are most likely alive. Two, the Elemental Masters find them and help them out of a thought spot.

All in all, the episode was a bit lukewarm, but the potential is definitely there. The split of time between Ninjago and the First Realm was a bit awkward and I would much rather see an entire episode dedicated to one realm. Let’s see how the rest of the season develops, I’m certain the writers have some interesting things in store for us.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 6 comments

BrickSamurai at Ethnologia Galactica 2018

Last few weeks, for me, has been truly crazy busy! Two jobs, apartment renovation, and, most importantly, two big LEGO exhibitions! Hopefully, LEGO will soon start using no-need-to-sleep plastic in all their sets. Getting back on track – we already wrote about the first exhibition, and now it’s time to give you an inside tour of this year’s Ethnologia Galactica.

Ethnologia Galactica is the largest LEGO exhibition in Romania, organized by the largest Romanian RLUG – Brickenburg. It’s held in Cluj-Napoca, the unofficial capital of Transylvania. (you bet we took this chance to visit some castles!) This year was a big jubilee for this exhibition – it became 10 years old, meaning that it has a longer tradition that most. Even thought it’s practically next door, this year was our first one but it definitely won’t be the last one.

Ethnologia Galactica - Logo

This exhibition is a bit different than most other’s I’ve been to. It has a really relaxed schedule, which I enjoyed quite a bit. It lasted a bit over a week (28th May – 3rd June), but you could set up your display at whatever date you choose to. This proved to be a blessing for us, since we weren’t able to come on Monday because we had our own big exhibition on the week before. Other’s came on different dates but the (huge) exhibition hall never felt empty because members of Brickenburg always had most of the tables/displays filled with their own creations.

Ethnologia Galactica - lower venue hall

Ethnologia Galactica – one of the rooms

During the week we had a lot of free time, which we used mostly to get to know the exhibitors a bit more, but also to explore Cluj a little bit. Most days had at least one event. On Thursday we meet with a representative from LEGO Office Romania. On Friday we went to visit a LEGO store (I managed to snag Ninjago City Docks!) and also visited Turda Salt Mine, which was, surprisingly very fun to visit – never thought a mine could be so interesting! Saturday was reserved for a speedbuilding contest for children, while on Sunday an open air RC car contest was held. Sunday was also when the tear-down happened.

Ethnologia Galactica - Blacktron

Ethnologia Galactica – Blacktron display made by Tony Tocaci

Interestingly enough, each evening had a small AFOL dinner, where we got to talk about non-LEGO related stuff. Of course, there was also the “main” AFOL dinner, held on Saturday – which was also a bit different than the one’s I’m used to. All the competitions for AFOLs were held during the dinner, which meant that we had a lot of (non-adult) undistilled fun. The first competition was a team speedbuilding contest, which is 5 times better than a regular speedbuilding contest, and all other exhibitions that have these should consider making theirs team based as well. The other competition was a MOC competition where the goal was to turn a polybag into a MOC. One of my RLUG mates one this competition, and rightfully so, he’s one of the best MOCers I know.

If you didn’t get it from the tone of my writing – it was a lot of fun. We meet some of the kindest AFOLs around (although it seems AFOLs are universally kind). The builds were amazing and, due to the fact that LEGO released excellent Ninjago Movie sets, a lot of them included Ninjago in one way or another. Sadly, no MOCs (other than the ones we brought) were directly Ninjago-themed. Be that as it may, I definitely saw some very interesting techniques (the MOCs were positively brimming with interesting part usages) that will definitely help me enrich my own works. Certainly – I learned a lot. I even got a chance to practice my Hungarian. Hopefully next year I get to practice my Japanese.

Ethnologia Galactica - the Village

Ethnologia Galactica – Destiny’s Bounty village

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 0 comments

AFOL 2018 exhibition of RLUG “Skockani”

If you recall, last year, I wrote about my RLUG’s first international exhibition – more specifically about my contributions there. It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since then. This year’s exhibition was even larger and better than the last one – mostly owning to us learning from our mistakes. I’m certain that next year will be even better. Just like last year, my contributions had a lot of Ninjago references in them but, sadly, no Ninjago diorama this year.

Skockani AFOL exhibition - logo

Logo of Skockani AFOL exhibition

Setup began on Friday, which gave us plenty of time to do it properly. Of course, we stayed until early in the morning to make sure everything was ready for the opening. The exhibition itself started pretty low key – from 10am to 6pm the exhibition was closed for visitors and only AFOLs were allowed in. This is something I strongly suggest other exhibition organizers incorporate as well. It truly gives a wholly different experience to the exhibitor, making it a lot more relaxed.

Winter Village @ Skockani AFOL exhibition

Winter Village – one of the displays at Skockani AFOL exhibition

During Saturday many different events, competitions and presentations were held. Yours truly even managed to win one of the competitions (speed building). This was the first for me so I felt quite proud. The venue was open to the public at 6pm and after weathering the rush of visitors we had a well deserved break in the form of a AFOL dinner. During dinner we were given small gifts, which included the obligatory 1×8 white event brick with the first image of this post printed on it. I like getting these and I’m quite happy that we decided to have them this year.

The last official AFOL day was Sunday. We had a really nice tour organized around the town – we learn a lot about the history of the town where the exhibition was held – Sremska Mitrovica. We even visited the well-preserved ruins of Sirmium (ancient Roman city). The rest of the day was quite relaxed so we had a lot of time to talk, mostly about the various displays since most of them were build for this exhibition specifically. In the evening our guests picked up their displays and we brought in replacements.

Micro Temple of Airjitzu @ Skockani AFOL exhibition

Micro Temple of Airjitzu – part of Silly Town (Micropolis) – built by yours truly

The exhibition itself lasted for another week, but there weren’t any AFOL events, but rather playrooms, competitions and other events for the visitors. Like last year, I had a really nice time participating in the exhibition. Hopefully, we will organize it every year and, maybe, some of our readers will join us as well.

Lastly, I’d also like to brag a little bit about one of my builds, I’m immensely proud that I was able to pull it off, but I am certain that you will enjoy it as well:

Moving micro train

Moving micro train – part of Silly Town

It’s a moving micro train! Any ideas how to make it more “Ninjago”?

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 0 comments

Ninjago in the Summer of 2018 Catalogue

Before I started frequenting LEGO news sites January and June were my favorite months. I still remember the daily visits to my town’s only official/unofficial LEGO store to check whether they had the latest catalogue. These days, I know most, if not all sets, that will appear in them well before their release, but some of that charm of discovery is still there. You find out which themes are gone, you get to see some surprises in the themes you don’t follow and, all in all, it’s plain fun to see the “story” the arrangement of sets is trying to tell. This year is no exception, as you can see for yourself:

Ninjago: Hunted

The Ninjago section of the catalogue is, of course, dominated by the latest sets that represent various buildings and vehicles in Ninjago: Hunted. The background, and arrangement, is quite nice, and I’d say, quite a bit better than the one for Sons of Garmadon. It’s nice to see all the minifigures next to each other – makes is easier to compare them.

LEGO 2018 Summer Catalogue - Page 72

LEGO 2018 Summer Catalogue - Page 73

LEGO 2018 Summer Catalogue - Page 74

LEGO 2018 Summer Catalogue - Page 75

Ninjago: Sons of Garmadon

Naturally, Sons of Garmadon sets are also in the catalogue – they’re still stocked on shelves and, as others have pointed out – they’re still pretty much actual due to the fact that Sons of Garmadon, the gang, have an active role in the next season.

LEGO 2018 Summer Catalogue - Page 76

LEGO 2018 Summer Catalogue - Page 77

The LEGO Ninjago Movie

Ninjago Movie’s line up has been considerably reduced – which, in my mind, all but confirms that we won’t be getting any more additional sets after Ninjago City Docks.

LEGO 2018 Summer Catalogue - Page 78

If you wish to check out the entire catalogue, you can do so here.

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 6 comments
Ninjago: Hunted

Ninjago: Hunted

We finally have official confirmation for the title of 9th season. It’s Ninjago: Hunted. It sounds a bit short? In any case, the announcement comes from an official trailer posted by LEGO – this time in English! The trailer itself is different from the one we saw a few days ago, so it’s definitely worth a look. The trailer does contain spoilers, as does the text below it. Stop reading now if you do not wish to be spoiled.

What can I say… The trailer brought even more hype to me! Not to mention understanding (my Japanese is not that good – yet!). There are many more dragons shown. Elemental Masters are confirmed to play a significant role – they’re part of the resistance against Garmadon. Sons of Garmadon are still very much a part of the show – strange that they’re not featured in any way, shape or form in the newer sets. What’s not to like!

Posted by Robert in News, Ninjago, 6 comments