Take a look at some of the families that feature in the LEGO Group’s themes – some of whom very much put the ‘fun’ in ‘dysfunctional’.
Storytelling at the LEGO Group is serious business, ensuring that products capture the attention of fans beyond the construction toy aspect. With numerous seasons of NINJAGO and Monkie Kid following intricate stories in past themes, there’s no ignoring the impact story has on the toy giant’s followers and sales figures. Don’t forget BIONICLE, which saved the LEGO Group from bankruptcy, and, when combined with the second generation, provided 11 years of sets and fantastic tales.
By its nature, BIONICLE had Toa teams and Matoran tribes in place of actual families and relatives. This article is a look at the family trees in some of the most famous LEGO themes. What’s fun and different is that many of the families the LEGO Group’s story teams create are quite chaotic. Here are four families whose stories are featured in the LEGO Group’s toy lines.
Mama and Papa Brickolini, and Pepper Roni (LEGO Island)
‘Mama, Papa Brickolini, will not cook you no linguini, don’t you know we specialize, in one thing – that’s the pizza pie.‘
No list covering the best LEGO families can start without taking a look at Mama and Papa Brickolini from the beloved 1997 video game LEGO Island. Mama and Papa make for one of the most endearing couples in the LEGO Group’s history, let alone on the island itself, between Papa’s forgetfulness and Mama’s signature song, ‘Mama, Papa Brickolini’. It makes a lot more sense when you read the LEGO Island game manual, which states Mama Brickolini’s ancestors invented music.
The Brickolinis’ pizzeria is a recreation of set 6350 Pizza to Go from 1994. Their adopted son, Pepper Roni, is the main controllable protagonist of LEGO Island and a constant thorn in The Brickster’s side. All three members of the Brickolini family appear in all three LEGO Island Games, with Pepper appearing in almost all of the LEGO Island Xtreme Stunts LEGO sets from 2002.
The Garmadon family (NINJAGO)
‘How could I ruin your life? I wasn’t even there.‘
Lloyd’s family from LEGO NINJAGO is turbulent, with special thanks to the four-armed menace Lord Garmadon. The family is made up of Misako, Lord Garmadon, Sensei Wu, and of course, Lloyd, leader of the ninja. The history of the Garmadon Family goes back to the first Spinjitzu Master, who created the Island of NINJAGO and Spinjitzu, and fathered Garmadon and Wu.
Fans young and old have watched Lloyd and his family grow for more than 10 years in the animated series. Lloyd’s family has been built up over several seasons and appears in many of the NINJAGO sets as well. The family also stars in The LEGO Ninjago Movie, where the twisted family dynamic of Lloyd and Lord Garmadon is explored in a humourous light.
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The Skywalker family (Star Wars)
‘No – I am your father.‘
Since 1999, LEGO Star Wars has wowed children and adults alike with a yearly range of ships, locations, and characters from the films. From the Rebellion and Empire to space pirates and Mandalorians, we’ve truly seen it all in the LEGO Group’s longest-running licensed theme. In the galaxy far, far away, and in a toy aisle near you, there’s one family that sticks out enough to have a nine movie saga named after them.
The turbulent Skywalker family is perhaps one of the most beloved in the science fiction/fantasy genre, and they need little introduction. Anakin, Luke, Leia, and Ben Solo immediately come to mind when someone so much as whispers Star Wars. Each Skywalker moves the plot forward in their own way, and all make an appearance in LEGO Star Wars sets, games, and even LEGO’s own animated specials. They’re truly a force to be reckoned with and each is handy in a fight – Skywalker minifigures are often armed with lightsabers and blasters.
The Demon Bull family (Monkie Kid)
‘In some ways, you’re very fortunate, Noodle Boy! Not many insects are lucky enough to be stamped out by the Demon Bull Family.‘
If you thought the Skywalker family was problematic, check out the Demon Bull Family from Monkie Kid. As one of the LEGO Group’s in-house themes, Monkie Kid allows the story team to use a little creativity, even while adhering to the premise of the Chinese novel Journey to the West. They have done just that, creating the imposing Demon Bull King and his dysfunctional demon family as primary antagonists in the beginning of the Monkie Kid theme and story.
The Demon Bull King married Princess Iron Fan and fathered Red Son, who would grow to be a short-tempered, dramatic teenager. No word on whether he was a TFOL or not, but we’re inclined to think he’d enjoy disassembling more than building. To the Red Son’s credit, not everyone had a conqueror for a father, or a ruthless, indifferent mother. Hey, better the demon you know than the demon you don’t.