Ninja 1998 vs Ninjago: which is better in your opinion

In the years 1998-2000 Lego made a castle ninja theme, do you think it was better than Ninjago, worse, or even with it? What concepts from Ninja 1998 would you like Ninjago to use? Well let me know how you compare the two themes!


I like Ninja 1998 because it’s more location based and is more accurate to the source material, unlike Ninjago which is mostly focused on Sci-Fi vehicles and has barely anything to do with the source material.

I would like it if Ninjago was more like Ninja 1998, being more historically accurate and location based instead of vehicle-focused and Sci-Fi.
And if you really want to add fantasy elements to it, they should be strictly related to the Japanese/Asian culture.


so you’d be turning Ninjago into Exo-Force 2.0.

I would be very okay with that.

I think Ninjago has a lot more going for it, since it’s a story-driven theme instead of a one-off castle subtheme. Obviously it’s not meant to be historically accurate - neither was the original Ninja theme since that’s not what real ninja wore, but you’ve got to sell the idea to kids.

The first year at least seemed very Ninja-esque - you had the traditional Ninja with dojos, temples, and dragons against the modernist Skeleton army. It was only after that when the Ninja started getting modern elements as well. I would have liked to see that kind of contrast continue to play out.


Ninja 1998 doesn’t have a bread catapult so I’d have to go with Ninjago.


Yeah, that’s probably what I would do. If they want the theme to be focused on vehicles and Sci-Fi, they should do so on a consistent basis like Exo-Force did. At this point, Ninjago feels more or less like all of LEGO’s original ideas dumped into a single theme.

I am in full agreement. That’s actually one of the main reasons why the first Ninjago wave of sets is still my favorite to this day… I would have loved it if the line would have countinued to play out in that way.


Ninjago all the way

My thoughts exactly. The first year was all mystical and mysterious, it then quickly turned modern and really kicked the modern power rangerness into high gear with the 2014 Rebooted wave. I wish it had kept its original aesthetics. ( I know realize I sound like the people who say 2001 was Bionicles best year :smile:)


Biggest difference to me is that Bionicle’s aesthetic, while not always in line with 2001, had certain themes that were definitely there consistently. I think LegoDavid summed up the Ninjago issue perfectly just above:

It’s not that the “Ninjago style” turned out to be different from what people were expecting - I’m all for sci-fi ninja if done right, sounds epic - but there is no Ninjago aesthetic. Sometimes it’s modern, sometimes it’s oriental, sometimes it’s magic, sometimes it’s futuristic, sometimes it’s literally video games. About the only thing in Ninjago that you could say is there every year is… well… ninja, and even then in some years (coughRebootedcough) they haven’t even looked all that much like ninja (although I’m aware actual Ninja didn’t really look like that, but still).

The only thing I really enjoy about Ninjago still is that they’re doing really well is detailed part design, especially when it comes to minifigure prints. Some of them lately have looked totally awesome.

I wasn’t actually around for Ninja 1998, but a quick google suggests it’s probably more up my ally (if a bit dated). Probably my “dream ninja theme” sits somewhere between the two, but it’s definitely more Ninja than Ninjago, personally.

tl;dr: Exo-Force beats both and is Lego’s best oriental theme. :stuck_out_tongue:


Eh, I feel like normal ninja stuff would get boring over time, now obviously the newer aesthetic tends to be rather derivative with mechs, dragons, and motorcycles, but I still think they manage to come up with innovative designs, as well as giving us interesting things every wave.



Killow’s bike

Any Sky Pirate Vehicle

Arcade pods

And many others.

You guys also bring up the point that the first two waves of sets were more in line with the classic ninja theme. This is completely and utterly true if you ignore any of the villain build, which include things like motorcycles, atvs, trucks, helecopters, and the expected ninjago half track.

For creativity and general having a story I’d say ninjago but 1998 ninja will always have that simplicity and nostalgia as one of the great early themes.


I think we can all agree on this one.


Yep. Don’t forget two that was when mechs had real articulation where now it’s rare to see knees.


No shame in that, if you’re presenting your points well and not just indirectly saying “everything after my childhood is bad”. The First wave of Ninjago had a distinct flavor and a distinct contrast from other action-oriented LEGO themes.

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Perhaps someone should do a fan project to see if they could create what Ninjago would be like if they had kept everything in line with how 2011 was presented. Like picture how Rise of Snakes would have been if there was more emphasis on mystical elements and less on modern. A lost city of Ouroboros temple set would have been amazing.


Meh, I’m still waiting on that unreleased Snake tram set

The one problem I have with ninjago (and lego in general) is the heavy reliance on vehicles. I miss when lego made more base / static building models esspecially below 100$

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I think Ninjago usurps Ninja 1998 in every way. I don’t care about vehicle versus locations, I just care about good sets, and I think, since the movie, Ninjago sets have been nothing short of stellar.

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Now to wait for the next inevitable ninjago is bad topic.

Good sets or not, the vehicles can often feel repetitive. That’s why in my opinion, Ninjago could benefit from relying less on vehicles and more on location-based sets.

Yep. It’s annoying that when we do get locations it’s either underwhelming becuase the main focus was a a vehicle or it’s over 100$. It takes away from the world becuase all you have is a bunch of vehicles and nothing else.