NINJAGO City is a busy place and the sets inspired by it are just a bustling. The latest addition to the popular large-scale LEGO® NINJAGO sets features a varied selection of Minifigures inspired by characters from the TV show. It’s also the first of the NINJAGO City sets to include all of the main ninja characters, with Lloyd, Cole, Kai, Zane, Jay and Nya included in either their ninja outfits or civilian clothes. So do these Minifigures complement the set and how do they compare to previous versions? Here’s a closer look at the Minifigures and buildable characters included in LEGO NINJAGO City Gardens set. In fact, the included Minifigures is a little confusing as the product description lists 19 Minifigures, with the imagery showing 20. One of those is a dog and the other is a brick-built character. Technically, without including those last two, there are actually 21 Minifigures.
One of the fun things about these large-scale NINJAGO sets is a large number of Minifigures allows for some unusual or little known characters to make their appearance, often for the first time. NINJAGO City Gardens is no different with a number of the characters included in the set either offering unique versions of past characters or the first physical versions of others. As the Gardens aren’t based on The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, it has a much wider spread of source material to draw inspiration from. So here’s a look at the characters included in NINJAGO City Gardens.
As well as actual character Minifigure the set also include a number of ornate ones as well. The most obvious of these is the unique 10th Anniversary Golden Minifigure. A number of NINJAGO Legacy sets feature a golden version of each of the main NINJAGO characters. This set includes Master Wu. Oddly, this Golden Minifigure is just that will all parts of it golden, that includes the head and accessories, unlike others from different sets. It does come with the stand display plinth, which includes a 2×2 round logo, printed with the 10th Anniversary logo.
Other non-character Minifigures include a stone statute of Zane, which is found in the memorial garden, this clearly shows Zane’s unique hair and pauldrons. Similar to the Zane statue, another Minifigure is used as part of the structure of the set, with a complete Minifigure of Mr Chen is used in the sign above the Noodle Shop. The legs are flipped around to allow it to be connected correctly. Despite being a sign, it’s basically a Minifigure, complete with printed head and torso. The other is Jay’s ninja outfit, he’s not wearing it, with a transparent yellow Minifigure in place of an actual head. The design matches that from a number of past Legacy sets. Oddly, the instructions do not really show where it’s meant to go.
Sticking with the main characters, three of the ninja do appear in their ninja suits. With both Zane and Kai donning their 2019 Legacy suits. These include a golden shoulder pauldron and katana weapon. Both also include two different facial expressions which to be fair are hard to see once under the hoods. NINJAGO poster boy, Lloyd is also included but in a unique form. When we first met Lloyd Garmadon, back in the very first season of the show, he was a kid. Which is the inspiration for his Minifigure. It actually blends style, with the 201 Legacy suit used for the torso and paired with short legs. The head used the green eyes, which were introduced with The LEGO NINJAGO Movie and implemented into the TV show following the film. He also has an exclusive hair element, which brings the appearance of the character together.
The rest of the main ninja characters are featured, but it appears it’s their day off as they are each in their civilian clothes or urban according to the set. Since The LEGO NINJAGO Movie, the main characters were redesigned in the standard sets and TV show, this is more evident when the characters are out of their ninja suits. Cole is the least unique of the main cast, which his torso originating from a couple of LEGO City sets, but it does work for the character. Nya looks very similar to the version of the character from the movie sets, with a striped vest under a black leather. The main difference is the legs are simply blue instead of featured print detail. Jay is entirely unique compared to other versions, the closest it’s similar to, is the version featured in the NINJAGO Movie Minifigure series. I like the little badges, which tie back to Jay’s Forbidden Spinjitzu suit.
Over the last 10 years, the NINJAGO TV series has sought inspiration from other LEGO themes, but to the delight of LEGO fans. One such character to get a second outing beyond his original introduction is Clutch Powers. After first starring in an original movie in 2010, he appeared in 11th season of the show before getting his first actual Minifigure in a NINJAGO-themed Minifigure Accessory Pack. This version is the same as the one included in set 40342 but swaps out the utility belt for a shoulder bag. Ronin has become an ally to the ninja and is one cool Minifigure, with his appearance here blending those from past sets. So he has a similar body to that from the Ronin R.E.X. set with a similar head and hair from the Salvage M.E.C. set. The only difference is the face scarf is now green. The Mechanic has appeared across various seasons of the TV show but makes his Minifigure debut in this set. He has great print detail on his face and torso, which replicate his cybernetic additions.
Lloyd’s mother Misako is once again featured in a NINJAGO City set, this time her appearance matches that of the TV. She’s previously appeared in this style in the Temple of Airjitzu set. She’s basically wearing the same outfit, but with the addition of an overcoat. Much of the other characters included in the set are mere denizens of NINJAGO City compared to those above. With the Masters of Spinjitzu constantly coming to the aid of NINJAGO City, they have gained an in-world fanbase. One such fan is Christina who is wearing the funky Green Ninja jumper, previously found in the LEGOLAND NINJAGO The Ride set. Mei hasn’t appeared in any past NINJAGO set, but her karate outfit has, with the torso used on Okino in the Gamer’s Market set and the legs from Teen Wu.
Hai works in NINJAGO City’s Ice Planet Ice Cream store and wears a cool looking uniform to reflect that. This is similar to uniforms worn by other ice cream shop workers but also features the store’s impressive logo. Both Tito and Eileen are fairly generic characters, who both use parts previously used for other LEGO Minifigures across numerous themes.
Cece is an assailant to The Mechanic and is also made up of previously used parts. Her torso first appeared in the LEGO City Ocean Explorers sub-theme. Her face has previously been seen on LEGO City Adventure’s Daisy Kaboom. Finally, we have Kaito, the businessman. His torso perfectly represents his business savvy skills, with a flashy shirt, tie and braces. He also comes with a briefcase and mobile phone, which unfortunately is a chunky 80s style one.
There are two non-Minifigures included in the set. One is a robotic worker called Scoop. This robotic character is another which has been inspired by a classic LEGO theme, namely Exo-force. The parts used to create Scoop are very clever and include a baby carrier piece, normally worn by Minifigures to carry the baby figure. Instead, it’s filled with a transparent red brick to achieve its eyes. Roller Skate elements are used to connect the arms and the part created for Friend’s Zobo robot’s head is also used. Lastly, Master Wu’s trusty canine companion is also included. It’s simply a husky dog, with no unique features or a name for that matter. The dog hasn’t been featured in the show but has made it into a past set, where he sported a crossbow, it’s a shame this or something similar isn’t included here.
It’s great to see a varied spread of characters included in the set and so many of them. I also like that all the main ninja characters are included this time around. Inclusions such as Clutch Powers, The Mechanic and Ronin are also great. Some of the lesser-known characters aren’t that inspiring. I’d have much rather lost of couple of Minifigures to have a couple more known characters or exclusive torsos. That being said they all help bring a little life to the already impressively detailed NINJAGO City Gardens, especially those used in the build of the set.
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This set was provided to BricksFanz by the LEGO Group for purposes of review. The thoughts within this review are that of BricksFanz and do not reflect those of the LEGO Group. Providing the set for free does not guarantee a favourable opinion of the set.