I hope you’ve been enjoying some of my previous DK LEGO Book reviews as I’ve been sent some of the newer books to feature! The first of which is the new LEGO Ninjago Secret World of the Ninja title, a fun little compendium that sheds a bit more insight into the Ninjago universe.
Thanks once again to DK Australia for sending me the review copy!
You can purchase Secret World of the Ninja from Penguin Australia’s online store for $24.99.
Here’s a look at the cover of Secret World of the Ninja. Like most DK LEGO books, you get a really large hard cover book featuring the main characters fronted by Zane the Titanium Ninja.
For LEGO Ninjago fans, one of the biggest draws of the book is the exclusive Sensei Wu minifigure which you can get a really good look of in the plastic window embedded into the cover. We’ll take a closer look at Sensei Wu in just a moment.
I have to admit that Ninjago is one of the LEGO themes that I am most unfamiliar with. Ninjago is not high on my priority list of sets to buy (I probably have more Chima sets) and the last set that I can remember building and reviewing is last year’s Thunder Raider. So yeah, it’s been awhile!
Despite my relative ignorance, I did enjoy flipping through the book. Ninjago is a hit theme with LEGO’s core demographic of boys the age of 8 and this book is suitably geared towards the younger crowd. Secret World of the Ninja gives readers a very light hearted take of the characters in the Ninjago universe.
There are a few activity sections which Ninjago fans will no doubt enjoy but I couldn’t really get into the slightly juvenile part. For parents of young Ninjago fans, there’s plenty to like in the book, as you’re equipped with plenty of storytelling tools to flesh out the characters and settings of the World of the Ninja.
LEGO sets tend to be quite scant when it comes to characterisation, so think of this book as a handy compendium which helps bring the characters and their distinct personalities to life.
While I’m not a fan of Ninjago, I did have fun taking in all the interesting bits of trivia about the characters (both friend and foe). Case in point, this section on one of the newest Ninjago baddis – Master Chen who apparently moonlights as a Noodle Restaurateur? Sinister indeed!
Like most DK LEGO books, the photography of the LEGO sets and minifigs are top notch and they serve as very appealing advertisements for the actual sets themselves. I’m hoping to find some of the newer Ninjago sets on clearance soon – some of them are designed really nicely and contain some fantastic new elements.
Obligatory section of my favourite Ninjago – Jay, the Blue Ninja of Lightning. Turns out we have a lot in common such as our penchant for witty one liners and our mutual dislike for bad hair days!
The tone of the book is much younger and “kiddy” compared to DK’s other character encyclopedias, which is quite understandable since Ninjago doesn’t seem to have a lot of appeal among Adult LEGO fans.
One of the standout features of DK books are the exclusive minifigures included. The Secret World of the Ninja comes with a very snazzy looking Sensei Wu who has a brilliantly designed torso and legs that is exclusive to this book. Ninjago collectors take note, you won’t want to miss out on him!
The venerable and wise Sensei Wu has a pearl gold sugegasa (Asian conical hat) that is traditionally worn by rice farmers. He comes with a staff and his trademark looking white beard piece.
Removing his beard reveals the excellent print on his torso. His outfit looks suitably regal with the gold trimmings as well as his ornate looking belt which bears a striking similarity to Japan’s Imperial Seal. The alignment of the seal on his belt buckle is a little off center but you won’t really notice unless you stare closely at it.
Sensei Wu also has back printing in the form of an enlarged seal and some very nice looking fabric detail.
Overall, Sensei Wu’s minifigure is a great addition to any Ninjago fan’s collection. If you’re a purist collector, you’re going to want to add him to your roster of characters. While I may not be the biggest fan of Ninjago, he still has a very versatile oriental and Japanese look that could be very useful for certain MOCs or scenes.
Final thoughts: Like most character encyclopedias and supplementary books published by DK, you will most likely only appreciate the Secret World of the Ninja if you’re a fan of Ninjago. As a neutral, I didn’t enjoy it as much but I could still appreciate the book as a LEGO fan.
I suspect that younger kids will be delighted to read the book and have fun with all the fun activities and character profiles in it. Looking back and thinking as a 6 year old boy, I would have loved to have gotten a book like this and re-read it over and over again till I was confident that I had memorized every single bit of information about all the Ninjas and their enemies.
This book will make a great gift for any young Ninjago fan, so if you’re a parent or thinking of buying a young Ninjago-obsessed kid a present, the Secret World of the Ninja would make an ideal gift.
To purchase the Ninjago Secret World of the Ninja book, you can visit the Penguin Australia online store or your nearest bookstore. The RRP for the book is $24.99 and you can often get these on sale if retailers discount them in catalogues. Always helps to keep an eye out for any promotions!
Special thanks to DK Australia for providing me with a review copy of the Secret World of the Ninja