What if Ninjago stayed cancelled.

There are many what ifs in history, what if Rome had not fallen, Hitler had been killed in WW1, and if Indiana Jones 4 did not feature aliens. We are here to discuss if Ninjago had stayed cancelled. Overall I believe this might have been beneficial to Lego in the long run. G2 might have been more successful, Chima might still be around, weird sci fi mashup themes might be less prevalent, and there might be more original themes rather than licensed ones. Do you agree on my assessment or what are your opinions?


Yeah, I tend to agree. I am sure G2 would have been a lot more successful if it had more advertising budget given to it, which was taken away because of Ninjago’s un-cancelation. However, I am not sure what LEGO theme would have taken it’s place as the next 10-year running original theme.


the world would be a better place


Chima would probably have lasted longer, which I would have no problem with. There would likely be more original themes in general, as any new idea wouldn’t automatically get put in Ninjago.


Another Ninjago needs to end topic?


Because of how rapid the toy market can change, I think it would be very difficult to determine what exactly would happen. I do agree that without Ninjago on the shelf other Lego lines would have had less competition. However, that does not mean their potential increase of sales would match the one where Ninjago was still around. Though even if it did not, the massive increase of sales from Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie would certain still kick up sales greatly. Which with or without Ninjago, Lego still would not have been prepared to handle.

But disregarding sales figures since we are fans after all, we care more about sets and new stories than how well a corporation is doing, it really wouldn’t be all that different from our currently timeline. Primarily because Ninjago was already double dipping into themes and lines that were out during the same year.

Reboot (2014) - Robots, high-tech futuristic wave. Ultra Agents fulfills this role being super spies with superpowered villains. Hero Factory is also still here, though even without Ninjago it probably wouldn’t survive its Invasion From Below decline of sales. That and Bionicle was around the corner.

Tournaments of Elements/Possession (2015): Chima was doing fire and ice at this time, so battling it out with opposing elemental powers is already happening. Bionicle G2 is out, giving a whole host of other elemental madness. While perhaps the snake bones and cultist part doesn’t have a direct comparison, it’s not like the sets were anything you weren’t getting out of Chima anyways. As for possession and the ghosts, we had the licensed Scooby-Doo theme. While I doubt it, perhaps with Ninjago gone it could have had more sets and done slightly better. But seasonal spooks are covered, all that’s really missing is the Kung Fu Panda plot. Also, if you really wanted dragons there was Elves.

Skybound/Day of the Departed (2016): Since Day of the Departed wave wasn’t supposed to happen and was thrown together last minute due to movie delays, we’ll ignore this wave. No Ninjago, no movie delay, no need for an emergency wave to hold over until movie. Now as for sky pirates…Well, I’ll admit that there isn’t a direct or close equivalent to sky pirates unless you want to count Angry Birds. However, when looking at the sets, the sky pirate part is almost completely lost. Aside from some simple hand gliders, there’s one small balloon ship and one larger plane ship. There’s really hardly anything sky pirate in the year about sky pirates. The sets could easily be replaced by City Airport and Nexo Knights.

Hands of Time/The Ninjago Movie (2017): Gunmetal and red snakes. Alright, again, not a whole lot of direct replacements with this one. Another quickly thrown together wave, just toss potential third year of Bionicle and Nexo Knights in its stead. The movie of course doesn’t happen, though I don’t think it would be replaced by anything. I think it just becomes empty, potentially giving more to The LEGO Batman Movie or to a different character spinoff. And losing those sets would be a shame, but Warner Bros. also wouldn’t have had a failed movie. So financially this probably works out better when Batman and LEGO Movie 2 underperforms.

And you get the general idea from there. I think from 2018 onwards it would be a lot more difficult to tell how exactly lines or sets would go. You do have to remember that continuing Ninjago wasn’t in the plan. Chima was there to go, Nexo Knights probably already in the works considering their app game and scannable shields. With or without Ninjago, product like that would have happened. We would eventually receive Lego Mario.

Would Legends of Chima be around longer? I doubt it. It would have received even more and continued hate from bitter Ninjago fans. Perhaps like Hero Factory, maybe it would have made it into a forth year. But I only see it performing slightly better and then Nexo Knights swooping in to replace it. Now Nexo Knights could potentially perform much better, but that is difficult to say. Same thing with Bionicle, it might have received more marketing budget or even went into a third year. However, given other projects developing internally at Lego at the time, the money not spent on Ninjago probably would have just gone into better ventures like Mario.

I don’t think anything would have come up to take Ninjago’s place other than what we saw, it’s replacements were already there. I also don’t see a decrease of licensed properties and an increase in original lines. Because 3D printing, bootleggers, and other rival construction toy companies are eating up the market for generic and original lines, they would continue course with increasing licensed properties. That is the main advantage when you’re as big as Lego, you can buy out the competition by holding license contracts for popular properties.

For similar reasons, even if a new original theme came along to replace Ninjago, I don’t see it bucking the trend of ancient society-high tech world. I see Bionicle and the constraction lines as a major source of this trend when just looking within Lego. It was tribal islanders with highly advanced technology, only Bionicle flipped the script as it was high tech people (robots/biomechanical beings) living in an old tribal setting. But everything following is old society with high tech (Ninjago, Chima, Nexo Knights, etc.). And if we hold a three year mark as successful and a full line, every one by that theming has managed to do so (even if barely reaching that define finish line). It’s a successful design formula that has continually worked for Lego. Even if Ninjago was no more after 2013, the trend would still continue.


The theme’s stylistic consistency would have been preserved, and Lego would be free to create and pour their marketing budget original fantasy/sci-fi themes without out-competing themselves. :stuck_out_tongue:


there can never be enough.

and when it does end, it’ll be “Why Ninjago shouldn’t have ended”.

edit: A bit of explanation so I don’t just come across as overly negative.

Ninjago was “my” first ever Lego theme, back when I was first getting into the hobby. It was literally the perfect theme for me - I had three siblings that were also into the lego at the time and we each had our favorite ninja. Another major appeal was my obsession with feudal Japan - samurai, ninja, daimyos, etc. I mean, you can’t say no when your two favorite hobbies come together.

Relatively quickly, my love for Ninjago shifted from “feudal Japan but lego” to “Lego ninjas”. At first, this change was fine, but over time I began to see the increasing inclusion of technology for what it was - basically a way to appeal to the current generation. Still, I was actively watching the show at the time, and since I was attached to the characters it wasn’t that big a deal. However, as I matured this changed - I stopped watching the show, stopped buying the sets … really just stopped caring about the theme as a whole.

I think their last good line was season 6 with the Sky Pirates. Ever since then it’s been a downward spiral to me, and the Lego Ninjago Movie and the total redesign really sealed the deal for me. At this point, it’s just high-tech anime lego, in my eyes.

You guys know what fractals are? Yeah, let me introduce my current relationship with lego as a whole :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


I remember back in 2012, there were a TON of hate topics on the Lego message boards expressing anger that Ninjago was going to end in 2013. Of course, this was what led to Lego reviving the brand, and then it just kept chugging along until it became the money-making behemoth it is now. But now on the TTV message boards, people won’t stop yelling at Lego to end Ninjago.

But on the whole, I agree with @ajtazt. We all remember how, when Chima came out, it was announced as the Ninjago replacement. That was what made so many Ninjago fans hate Chima-they were angry that it was dethroning their favorite theme. However, if Lego hadn’t came out and said that they wanted Chima to replace Ninjago, I think there would’ve been a lot less hate. Lego might have been able to peacefully put Ninjago to bed and let Chima do its thing. And then Nexo Knights and Bionicle G2 and Hidden Side and…well, I guess I can’t put Monkie Kid on this list, because it was created in response to Ninjago’s failure to sell in China. But you get my drift.

As for the licensed themes…I don’t know if Ninjago really had to do with them taking over. Star Wars existed for AGES before Ninjago did, and Harry Potter (despite significant gaps in production) has been around for almost as long. Lego superhero themes technically existed before Ninjago, too, what with Lego Spider-Man and Lego Batman. And then there was Spongebob, and Indiana Jones, and Prince Of Persia, and Toy Story. The current Lego superhero themes, I would argue only exist because superhero movies are so popular right now. But the other licenses, like Scooby-Doo and Super Mario and Minions and Trolls-I’d say Lego did those because the licensed themes they had (Star Wars and superheroes) were already doing really well, so more licenses was a viable option. And as for Disney Princesses, Lego already had a fair number of “girl themes” with Friends and Elves, so it kinda made sense to have another mini-doll theme.

On the whole, if Ninjago didn’t exist, I think we’d still be getting a lot of licensed themes.

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If the LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu theme was discontinued after 2013, I think that the 2015 version of LEGO Pirates would have gotten a second wave sometime in 2016, as it wouldn’t be directly competing with the “Skybound” wave of LEGO NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu sets in early 2016.