Written by: Jamie Hejna | Updated: March 2023
LEGO has been an innovator of building fun for generations.
Across time, LEGO has collaborated with some of the most popular franchises in history, like Star Wars and Disney, to bring the fun and appeal of their worlds into the control of all ages.
When people think of LEGO, they think of their favorite set, their favorite figures, or their favorite series by proxy. But who thinks of LEGO’s original content? Even The Lego Movie – a box office top earner for its time – was mostly made up of different franchises and series pieced together into a larger narrative.
What is LEGO’s identity removed from other brands? What’s the original LEGO property?
As of January, 2011, it’s been Ninjago.
Ninjago is a massively popular show that has carried itself on its own identity. The 3D-CGI show features a cast of characters who gain mystic powers as Spinjitsu masters to help battle the forces of evil in their LEGO based world. What does Ninjago have to do with LEGO? Initially, almost nothing. The characters are modeled after LEGO and so are the various vehicles and settings they use, but the show is animated entirely in CG. But the sets are a different matter.
Ninjago is the most successful original set for LEGO. The show has 14 seasons and even had a theatrical movie to great success. It’s proven successful with young audiences who have grown with it over a whole decade of production. It was brought back from cancellation due to massive fan support as well. As the LEGO new flagship original property, Ninjago has some of the best build sets available out of any lineup.
Here are ten of the biggest LEGO Ninjago sets out there:
Part of a number of sets released from designs featured in the movie, the LEGO Ninjago Destiny’s Bounty is a thematic longboat featuring minifigs of the core cast of characters and totals up to 2,295 pieces. The build is highly detailed, featuring sails, hanging lanterns, an internal upper and lower deck quarters and plenty of other accessories.
The high piece count for Destiny’s Bounty accounts for all the little details that help bring the build to life. The ship even has an interior compartment which models bedrooms for the ninja and Master Wu, which can be seen by removing the main deck. This adds to the semi modular component of the set, including the removable upper deck cabins.
Plenty of fan-pleasing easter-egg style details are hidden among the high piece count, recognizable by true fans as an extra hint of fun when assembling the set together. This is one of the big LEGO Ninjago sets for the true fans.
The LEGO Ninjago Ultra Stealth Raider set offers a high speed, high stealth, rocket sled vehicle straight out of the show. Just over 1,000 pieces makes it a reasonable challenge for younger fans.
The Ninjago Ultra Stealth Raider comes with six seats, one for each of the main cast, regardless of which minifigs you have, and comes with minifigs of villains from the series as well.
The four ninja minifigures are exclusive to the set while the others are not, so even avid collectors of all things Ninjago will have something to add to their collection from this set. Aside from that, the build is fairly big and offers a lot of fun in the way of vehicular posing.
This set’s presentation matches, within reason, the same aesthetic design from the show. It also comes with an additional build, almost like a bonus, of a mechanical Chenosaurus for the villains to ride and for the Ninjas to fight. It’s great as a set piece or as a tread-powered vehicle on hard terrain.
The Ninjago Temple of Airjutzu was, at the time of release in 2015, the largest LEGO Ninjago set ever at 2,028 pieces, a recreation of one of the iconic settings from the show.
The LEGO Ninjago Temple of Airjutzu features a central, three tiered pagoda, the eponymous Temple itself, and two adjoining buildings, the blacksmith shop and a smuggler’s market connected with a bridge.
It’s an impressive set to look at, standing about 42 centimeters – or 16 and a half inches tall from ground to finial. This set is full of detail and personality and bits and pieces of fan appeal from the series.
Each section of the pagoda has its own unique internal structure and props. The bottom floor even has a rotating light brick to produce a shadow theater against a translucent canvas. Mechanical and technically captivating, this set is a stellar build for anyone, fan of the show or not.
It’s not just about the set, either. What good is a set without a significant LEGO minifigure population? 13 minifigs range from series mainstays to exclusive extras that would fit well in any other city structure but with that special Ninjago flair that brings them at home in this aesthetic.
Another iconic set from the show, and part of a much more recent push of the franchise content is the LEGO Ninjago Monastery of Spinjutzu.
This wide open set comes at just 1,070 pieces, but those pieces are used to excellent form to create this Ninja-themed architecture that fits right at home with many other pieces of the series material.
The Monastery of Spinjutzu set comes with minifigs of the main cast including Master Wu and a Skulkin Warrior to fight or train against. Each minifig also comes with their iconic weapon of choice to train with in their golden variants. These figs are new exclusives to this set, perfect for collections that want to show off the various styles the Ninjago troop have gone through in the long run of the series.
The building set consists of two main walls that create a sheltered housing for training dummies in the inner area, a front gate and a main back wall to serve as a primary backdrop for action set pieces and minifig training.
The LEGO Ninjago City is an experts-level build. Even young fans of the show might struggle putting all this together. It is a massive Ninjago LEGO set at 4,867 pieces and comes with 17 minifigs. In a way, it’s the definitive set. Why have more when this has it all?
If you’re only looking for one set to experience everything about Ninjago, this is the one you should look for. Among the minifigs are the main characters, including Kai and Lloyd in casual clothes, special extras from the show like Sweep the Robot and Officer Noonan, and other fan-recognized characters like Mother Doomsday, Juno and Tommy.
It’s a Ninjago fan’s dream set, the whole of Ninjago City condensed into one multi-story modular building. Based on designs concurrent with the Ninjago Movie, it features tons of fan appeal and special details that are hard to miss once you know where to find them. It even has a moving elevator that can lift figures from one floor to the next to experience each tier of the set, from the old world traditional architecture to the commercial street and crab show to the futuristic top level.
Details are everywhere, and in a completed build, not a single brick or space is wasted to condense and combine every aspect of Ninjago worldbuilding and aesthetic into one continuous masterpiece! If you build it while watching the show you might end up going from season to season as you get every little detail right. Want a challenge? See if you can build it before the end of the movie.
Another extension of the series and its massive worldbuilding, the Ninjago Dragon Pit set features a 1,660 piece build of the Dragon Pit wall, gate and guard tower from the Realm of Oni and Dragons. Included are 0 minifigs and one buildable, scalable, modular Dragon.
There are many other dragon sets, each with a different build difficulty, but this is a place where all of them can come together. The Earth Dragon buildable figure has poseable legs for various action shots using ball joints on the legs, wings and the segmented tail, giving it a lot of versatility for threatening the Ninjago warriors.
This Ninjago set also comes with additions for LEGO minifigures such as new weapons from the show in a forge located at the base of the guard tower. A detailed set full of possibilities and with plenty of room for imagination to take hold.
Another product of the movie tie-in line, initially released in August of 2018. The LEGO Ninjago City Docks set is 3,553 pieces big, featuring three high-rising buildings along a modular waterside dock set. It even includes a wide base plate of translucent blue “water” where boats and watertop props can be set up.
This Ninjago set comes with 14 minifigures, citizens and main characters alike, including the intimidating Garmadon figure with four arms and two interconnected torsos. Decorations and details are abound across the set, including a working swing-arm dock loader, modular rooms such as a noodle shop and marketplace, and plenty of rooftops for dramatic Ninjago fight scenes to take place.
Going back to something a little easier to build and easier to play with, the Ninja Dojo Temple features a main Dojo gate connected by a steep bridge, stone pathway, 8 minifigs – oh, and a battle mech.
The poseable, pilotable stomping robot has individually loaded shoulder-mounted mini-missile launchers, fully functional to snap and send bolts flying away. The set is only 1,294 pieces, big enough to be fun to build up but not too challenging to restrict younger fans. The arrangement is nice with a side entrance and plenty of standout colors.
The front of the set is the main draw, but there’s also plenty of space in the back where each section of the Dojo has its own individual personal flair, like the tea room for Master Wu or the computer storage down below.
Everyone loves giant robots. Combine that with LEGO and you have a surefire win.
Combine that with Ninjago, and you have a rewarding, award-winning action series. The Titan Mechs of the Ninjago are just one of the many tools they have in their arsenal of mystic and mighty tools for fighting the focus of evil. The LEGO Ninjago Lloyd’s Titan Mech is the standout model, at 876 pieces.
Alone Lloyd’s Titan Mech is not a daunting build, but what it can do is more impressive. It features various moving parts for its armaments, including a spinning shuriken arm blade and a detachable wing-pack jet vehicle that can fly off and re-attach to give the Mech airborne power. Relive epic moments from the show with this impressive model, or collect the rest to have a mighty display on a shelf dedicated to the most impressive Ninjago weapons of the series.
The Ninjago City Gardens is THE biggest LEGO Ninjago set. It’s 5,685 pieces – an expert level build at the least. One of the latest and newest sets meant to combine with the already massive Docks and City sets before it, this one easily takes the cake as the biggest Ninjago LEGO set to date. It comes with 22 minifigs. If you ever thought there was just one character you were missing, they’re probably in this set, and there’s more than enough space for all of them to fit.
This kit doesn’t just have two stories. It goes all the way up to three – plus a tower that caps it all off. Every space is filled with charm and fan-driven features. This set, along with the other two City sets, were made to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the Ninjago series, a landmark achievement for just about any show, let alone one made by LEGO.
This is a fan’s dream set. It comes with everything, references to the shows and movie that all interconnects with the Docks and City sets to create a massive, wide-sprawling metropolis of Ninjago glory. It’s by far the most colorful set as well, with massive amounts of variety and modular design.
Arrange things your own way or keep things stylishly consistent. Spread it all out and you’ll hardly have room to contain it. Stack them all up and you might get too high to keep building. This set and its sister-sets combine together in a huge challenging build that rivals the size and awesomeness of the series itself.
If you get this as a LEGO gift for someone who just likes building big, huge sets in general, by the time they finish, they might just be a new fan.