Ninjago Visual Dictionary

Being 100% honest, I picked up the Ninjago Visual Dictionary for the exclusive Teen Wu Minifigure. Long-time followers of True North Bricks know that I am a sucker for these characters. Slap a new Minifigure into an over-packaged book and my wallet opens. However, I am also slowly growing to enjoy the world of Ninjago. I love the sets, and I really liked the movie. Consequently, I began to watch the series, albeit slowly. Therefore, getting a “Coles Notes” version of the Ninjago mythos is a secondary wish.

Ninjago Visual Dictionary cover.
The Ninjago Visual Dictionary.

This is the second edition of the Ninjago Visual Dictionary. The first iteration came out in 2014. Presumably, this new edition is a more updated look at Ninjago. Dorling Kindersley (a.k.a. DK) published this book. Their website describes the book as follows:

Spin through the LEGO® NINJAGO® world with this fascinating visual guide

Spin through the LEGO® NINJAGO® world with this fascinating visual guide. Discover NINJAGO City with Lloyd, Kai, Cole, Jay, and Nya and meet their dragons and foes, including the Vermillion and Sons of Garmadon. Explore the amazing sets, vehicles, mechs, and weapons. Look around the S.O.G. headquarters, examine the awesome Ninja Nightcrawler and Destiny’s Bounty, and learn all about the art of Spinjitzu.

Discover how the awesome LEGO NINJAGO sets and minifigures are created in the “Beyond the Brick” chapter, which features concept art and an interview with the LEGO NINJAGO design team. With the LEGO NINJAGO: Visual Dictionary, you will find out everything there is to know about the LEGO NINJAGO world.

The Ninjago Visual Dictionary features nice spreads.

Chapter spread in the Ninjago Visual Dictionary.
Chapter spread in the Ninjago Visual Dictionary.

Apart from Teen Wu, the publisher’s description of the book also roped me in. Particularly the “discover Ninjago City” bit. Additionally, the promise of concept art appealed to me because I loved the visuals in the Ninjago Making of the Movie book. Sadly, the book fell short on these fronts. In the literal sense of discovery, you do learn about Ninjago City. However, I hoped for a more exploratory look at the city. Likewise, the concept art was severely lacking. Original art only appears in three images.

Click here to read about Making of the Ninjago Movie.

Sadly, there is not much concept art.

Concept art in the Ninjago Visual Dictionary.

The Ninjago Visual Dictionary does not stray far from the tried and tested DK format. The book features some nice spreads, particularly at the start of each chapter. However, I have also seen nicer spreads in some of their other LEGO® books. There are many nice set pictures, but the inclusions are by no means a complete look at the history of Ninjago. Conversely, this book really shines with the inclusion of a character gallery. You get a complete look at every Ninjago Minifigure ever produced, worthy of term “dictionary”.

The Ninjago Visual Dictionary has a great Character Gallery.

Ninjago character gallery sample.
Two pages from the ten page character gallery.

The Ninjago Visual Dictionary also serves as an introduction to the Ninjago Story. For someone who has never watched the series, there are many spoilers. However, that is the nature of a visual dictionary. If you do not want to know the story before watching the series, then do not read the book. I am only on season one as I am writing this article. On the other hand, I have been collecting Ninjago sets for years. Many characters in those sets do not appear in the pilot or first season. I chose to read this book to have an idea of who they are. The Ninjago Visual Dictionary gave me a good overview.

This book is a good introduction to Ninjago.

Ninjago Visual Dictionary spread.
The Ninjago Visual Dictionary gives background on Minifigures and locations.

Another highlight of the visual dictionary is the Teen Wu Minifigure. Similar to other DK books, the Minifigure comes with an unnecessary amount of packaging. The book is 2.8 cm (1.25”) thick, but only about one centimeter (just over 0.5”) is actual book. That means that 64% of this volume is packaging. Teen Wu is a nice character though. He has white version of Cole’s topknot hairpiece. The character does come with this hairpiece in a couple of sets. However, this version comes in a training uniform, which gives it the “exclusive” label.

Exclusive Minifigure included!

Exclusive Teen Wu Minifigure.
Exclusive Teen Wu Minifigure.

Overall, will you learn “everything there is to know about the LEGO NINJAGO world”? No, probably not. After reviewing several of DK’s LEGO® offerings, I have yet to find one that thoroughly covers any one topic. However, they are children’s books, so let us not be too critical. The Ninjago Visual Dictionary does give a general overview of the Ninjago story. Additionally, nice visuals and a great Minifigure make the book an entertaining read. What do you think? Feel free to comment below or shout out on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

Want to buy this book?

As I am writing this article, the Ninjago Visual Dictionary is on sale on Amazon. The deal is actually amazing. I don’t know how long the sale will last, but you can check the book out using this affiliate link:

Click here to view the Ninjago Visual Dictionary at Amazon.ca