Friday, 6 July 2012

The success of LEGO Ninjago goes beyond the bricks

Unless you’ve been living in a Batcave for the last year and a half, you will have noticed that the Ninjago theme has been a runaway success for LEGO. The sales of LEGO sets are only part of the story however, with the latest Ninjago graphic novel release seeing an unprecedented print run and Ninjago shorts hitting cinema screens. Read on for more info on the new release and a special Comic Con freebie...

Papercutz are one of the publishers producing LEGO books, specifically graphic novels. Previously they released Bionicle comic adventures, and since its launch have been telling Ninjago stories. Much like the LEGO sets they are based on, these graphic novels have been extremely successful, leading Papercutz to order the largest first printing in the company’s history!

Papercutz announced an unprecedented 425,000-copy first printing of LEGO® NINJAGO #4: “Tomb of the Fangpyre” today, in response to record sales and continued interest from LEGO fans of all ages. The second and third volumes of the series launched at #1 on the New York Times Best-Seller list, a rarity for children’s graphic novels. The book will be available on August 21, 2012.
“Demand for these titles has only gone up since our nearly 200,000-copy initial printing of the first book sold out, and we can’t be happier as the best stories are yet to come!” said Papercutz Publisher Terry Nantier. “‘Tomb of the Fangpyre’ will be the first to feature Jolyon Yates’s amazing artwork -- we can’t wait for LEGO Ninjago fans to see it.”

This is over ten times the number of books sold that can typically be expected of a graphic novel aimed at children, showing just how far the power of Spinjitzu is taking this powerful new licence for LEGO. Having s successful comic series ties in with the focus LEGO have on ensuring that each theme is rooted in a strong story, with adventure themes particularly focusing on a conflict between good and evil. 

LEGO Ninjago artist Jolyon Yates will be a special guest of Papercutz at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, where he will be drawing free sketches for fans at Booth #2546 on Sunday morning from 10:00 to 11:00. A show-exclusive print from Yates will also be available as a free gift with purchase, limited to the first 1,000 attendees.
“I’m glad we’ll be able to have something unique for LEGO fans at the show, and I hope they will enjoy the print, which pays tribute to a martial arts classic,” Yates said. “It was a fun challenge to follow on the artwork by Paulo Henrique and learn how to draw the LEGO Ninjago world, and I’m looking forward to meeting our readers!”

As you can see the Enter the Dragon-inspired print is extremely cool, and will no doubt be popular among adult LEGO fans as well as those that these books are aimed at. It’s also another bonus for LEGO fans at the event after they’ve been to the LEGO booth to get whatever exclusives are delivered from Denmark.

As well as selling out in bookshops, LEGO Ninjago is heading to cinema screens in the UK. LEGO have signed a deal with advertising company Pearl & Dean to sponsor family film screenings at a variety of cinema chains across the country. What takes this beyond the usual LEGO advertising in cinemas, which is not a new initiative, is that entire Ninjago short films are to be screened before the main feature. These shorts have already been screened on TV, but it will be a new opportunity for audiences to see them on the big screen. 

The colourful characters of the Ninjago world seem to have gone well beyond a typical LEGO toy line, and with LEGO seeming surer than ever of how to expand a property this is likely to continue. With the new wave of sets appearing, Tomb of the Fangpyre coming in August and short films heading to the cinema it will be in the consciousness of young fans for some time to come.

1 comment:

  1. Splendid summary on Ninjago's success.

    My son and I absolutely love the series and it was saddening to hear the rumor that 2012 will be the last of it for the tv series.

    It has been an expertly marketed and promoted theme that not only brought lego out of the "educational only" mold, Ninjago made it fun and exciting for the non-geek (Starwars, especially) crowd as well.

    Dave and Marcus