Five must-read LEGO features in Blocks Issue 75

What’s in Blocks magazine Issue 75? 116 pages of awesome LEGO content! More specifically, here are five that you won’t want to miss…

This month’s issue of Blocks leads with an epic exclusive celebrating a decade of LEGO NINJAGO, with the team who developed and nurtured the story driven theme revealing how they combined compelling LEGO sets with a dramatic animated series to make a modern success story.

That’s not all though! Within the 116 pages, you’ll find many more LEGO features that you can’t get anywhere else. Here are five that you’ll want to check out…

LEGO Braille Bricks

You might have heard about LEGO Braille Bricks. The LEGO Foundation has introduced them to several countries around the world to help children with vision impairment learn this unique way of reading. In this exclusive feature, Blocks speaks to the LEGO Foundation and their partners at the Royal National Institute of Blind People to find out how this amazing initiative came to be. We even hear from children who have used the special elements to get their reaction.

LEGO Castle Crusaders

It’s time for a new faction to invade LEGO Castle, equipped with swords, shields and… ghosts. Find out how things were refreshed in 1990 with a look back at some classic sets, before following our exclusive instructions to build a modern version of the beloved 6042 Dungeon Hunters set.

Brick City

As the travelling Brick City exhibit leaves its time on display in Leicester, we get the inside scoop from Warren Elsmore on how this amazing collection of models came together and what goes into organising these incredible displays. If you have seen Brick City in the past or are hoping to visit the show in the future, you’ll find out something new in this fascinating interview.   

Building bins

Dumpsters, refuse bins, trash cans – your minifigures will have no excuse for not cleaning up thanks to this month’s Technique guide. There are tips and tricks for building authentic looking dumpsters that can be used in your LEGO town layouts or with your modular buildings.

Photographing ECTO-1

The awesome new LEGO Ghostbusters ECTO-1 set takes pride of place on this month’s cover and our talented toy photographer reveals how he came up with the striking cover shot. We also review the set, to find out whether you’re gonna call the LEGO Store.

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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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Where the LEGO NINJAGO idea came from 10 years ago

It’s 10 years since LEGO NINJAGO launched! The incredible action-adventure theme has gone from strength to strength, and now its origin story is revealed.

To celebrate 10 years of LEGO NINJAGO, the LEGO Group has revealed the story of how the theme began (don’t worry, there are also lots of great new products too). Here is what the secretive company has shared about how it all began:

Late on a Friday in fall 2019, a drawing was made that would be the beginning of something big. Tommy Andreasen did a sketch showing different elemental ninjas and the team had the idea of the ninja being on a sort of spinners to make an active minifigure play.

On the drawing you see a ninja of water, tough that ended up not being added until Nya became the master of water in 2015. The sketch has the word ‘Spinjago’ on it, which was the first idea of a name, which then developed into ‘Spinjitzu’ – a combination of the words ‘spin’ and ‘ninjitzu’.

The ‘NINJAGO’ name was also a combination of the words ‘NINJA’ and the word ‘GO’ which was taken form the end of the LEGO Group company name. It was also thought to be a great activator, like a battle cry.

Well… that’s the short version of the story at least. For the full story, including what Tommy thinks about the name NINJAGO and why it’s special, you’ll need to get Blocks magazine Issue 75. It has an in-depth look at how the action-adventure range began, how it has become a LEGO evergreen and how it is now celebrating its legacy.

And if you think the artwork above is cool, it’s just the beginning. Our special feature includes dozens of never-before-seen pieces, including LEGO designer sketch models, television development sketches and concept art.

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The LEGO Group announces NINJAGO 10 year anniversary celebration

LEGO NINJAGO has been running for 10 years – and there’s plenty happening to celebrate including a special feature in Blocks magazine, 23 new LEGO sets, 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens, collectible gold minifigures and a clothing collaboration with HYPE.

The LEGO Group has announced how the company will mark the incredible milestone of NINJAGO reaching its 10th anniversary. For 10 years, the theme has been on toy store shelves and television screens, as well as becoming a theme park ride, a theatrical movie, a series of comics and much more.

‘It has been an amazing journey to see a product range turn into something that kids have enjoyed for 10 years,’ says LEGO Design Manager Michael Svane Knap, the longest-serving designer on the theme. ‘Some have grown up with LEGO NINJAGO and are now expressing their gratitude and telling us how they have learned lifelong skills. In my opinion, that is the best thing about LEGO NINJAGO. Kids learn about friendship, confidence and much more… and of course, that ninjas are cool!’

He reveals the full inside story, along with other LEGO insiders and the creators of the animated television series, in Blocks magazine Issue 75 – available now. A small taste of that is provided in this story about how the NINJAGO idea came about in the first place and this look a how a handful of the models were developed.

To mark the anniversary, 71741 NINJAGO City Gardens will be available exclusively at The incredible 5,685 piece set will be available to order at some point today. It includes an exclusive gold coloured Master Wu minifigure, with other collectible characters included with NINJAGO Legacy sets this year.

Four new sets are coming in March and will continue the NINJAGO story (the full checklist is available here):

71745 Lloyd’s Jungle Chopper Bike
71746 Jungle Dragon
71747 The Keepers’ Village
71748 Catamaran Sea Battle

Season 14 of the animated television series will launch this year, which will be a tribute to the voice actor Kirby Morrow, who has voiced Cole since the show started and passed away at the end of 2020.

Be sure to start this epic year right with a copy of Blocks magazine Issue 75, with an exclusive look at how LEGO NINJAGO was devised and how it has developed since, featuring never-before-seen artwork.

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Blocks magazine celebrates the 10 year anniversary of LEGO NINJAGO

LEGO NINJAGO has done what few original concepts manage and stuck around for an entire decade – the incredible action-adventure theme is celebrating 10 years on the shelves. To celebrate this occasion, Blocks magazine is going behind-the-scenes with the creatives who made it the success story that it is and sharing never-before-seen development art.

NINJAGO all started with a first year of products, including spinners as well as traditional LEGO sets, before an animated special came along. ‘We were always told, “okay, it’s just going to be a special”,’ Executive Producer Dan Hageman (half of the Hageman brothers) tells Blocks in Issue 75’s special feature. ‘Then we were told, “okay, it’s just going to be 13 episodes”. If you look at the pace, we always gave it everything we had.’

That special spawned an entire television series that has continued year in year out, as the adventures of the ninja crew have included fighting undead skeletons, dealing with snake civil wars, understanding ghostly realms, heading inside a video game and visiting all sorts of other far-flung lands. By tying the animated episodes in closely with the sets, the storytelling has been deeper than anything the LEGO Group has done before.

In the exclusive feature, the Hagemans are joined by other creative talents including the LEGO Group’s Tommy Andreasen, Michael Svane Knap and Simon Lucas to reveal just what has gone into making NINJAGO a success over 10 years. From the very beginning, when the team worked on what would become the spinners, to how the theme is revisiting its past today with NINJAGO Legacy… this is the full, in-depth story of the most successful modern LEGO theme.

This celebration of the LEGO NINJAGO 10th anniversary is in Blocks magazine Issue 75 – available to order and in stock right now.

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Blocks magazine Issue 75 celebrates 10 years of LEGO NINJAGO and reviews Ghostbusters ECTO-1

It’s time for the latest issue of Blocks magazine, which kicks off 2021 with a celebration of LEGO NINJAGO, an exclusive look at LEGO Braille Bricks and a review of the new Ghostbusters ECTO-1. Issue 75 is available as a single issue or as part of a subscription at and will be in UK shops from Thursday.

There have been many LEGO success stories, but one of the most remarkable is LEGO NINJAGO – the action adventure theme launched a decade ago, became a smash hit and has been running ever since. Blocks magazine has exclusive interviews with the creatives who bring NINJAGO to toy store shelves and television screens, illustrated with never-before-seen conceptual artwork and sketch models.

When the LEGO Group isn’t coming up with new product ranges to capture the imagination of children, the company’s not-for-profit arm is partnering with charities around the world to help enrich the lives of children. A look at Braille Bricks reveals how an adapted version of the classic 2×4 brick is teaching children with visual impairment an essential life skill.

As for the Reviews section, it kicks off with a look at 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1, finding out if this LEGO depiction of the silver screen’s most beloved ramshackle car lives up to its reputation and delivers all of the spook-seeking action cinephiles demand. That’s not all though, with the new Star Wars: The Mandalorian 75299 Trouble on Tatooine getting expert consideration along with DC, City and NINJAGO sets.

Month in LEGO looks at some of the new releases that are available to buy now, highlighting the most interesting sets for collectors to check out. Technique provides tips on taking out the LEGO trash, showing how to go beyond the rubbish bin element and construct authentic looking dumpsters for LEGO layouts. Month in MOCs travels from the Old West to Geonosis – via Michigan – to share some incredible original builds.

In addition to an interview with Warren Elsmore about his Brick City exhibition, regular sections include Blockstalgia, Piece Perception, Top Ten, This LEGO Life, Ideas Showcase and LUG Spotlight.

Be in with a chance of winning one of two 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 sets! To be entered into the latest prize draw and to get Blocks magazine delivered every month – ahead of the shops – visit and check out the money-saving subscription deals available.

Everyone who subscribes to the print edition by February 3 will be in with a chance of winning (existing subscribers will automatically be entered into the prize draw).

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