See how LEGO NINJAGO sets are designed

A rare look at LEGO Model Designers’ sketch models and protypes provides a glimpse into how NINJAGO sets are designed.

When LEGO designers are working on a product, they have different ways of designing; some might sketch something by hand first, some might work digitally with special software, but many just sit down with some bricks and start iterating. There are usually many different versions of a model before anything close to the final set is realised, but the finished ‘sketch model’ is very important; this is the model that gives a good idea of what the final set will be, but isn’t yet up to LEGO set standards.

Sometimes the same designer works on a product all the way though, sometimes one designer comes up with the sketch model and then another designer comes up with the finished model. The process though requires the sketch model to be turned into a visually appealing, playable, stable LEGO set.

These images show early versions of LEGO NINJAGO sets, alongside the finished version that was released.

9444 Cole’s Thread Assault

9445 Fangpyre Truck Ambush

9450 Epic Dragon Battle

70727 X-1 Ninja Charger

70747 Boulder Blaster

71738 Zane’s Titan Mech

For even more examples of how LEGO NINJAGO designs evolved – including the classic 70627 Dragon’s Forge, 70592 Salvage M.E.C. and the packaging for the spinners – order a copy of Blocks magazine Issue 75, which includes an exclusive feature looking at how LEGO NINJAGO was created, developed and embraced by fans around the world. It’s all part of the big celebration of the LEGO NINJAGO 10 year anniversary, which has kicked into high gear today.

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