The Ninjago Pandemic

Ninjago Lego characters on a cake
Photo by Ariana Suárez

Last week, I finally saw compelling evidence of a highly infectious obsession among our children. I was in a pine forest in rural Sweden, among deer, wood anemones and goldfinches, when I spied a small boy with a Ninjago baseball cap on his head.

My son will be six this month. He wants a very fancy Ninjago Lego set. Very fancy indeed. It was then I realised. This is the latest franchise to hit the jackpot. It doesn’t matter where you go, what language you speak, or how much social distancing you observe – your child will catch Ninjago.

You can’t quarantine the Ninjago

Your child will catch Ninjago, and so will you. It’s that contagious. We watched the trailer for the Ninjago movie, and like all kids’ movies these days, it’s designed specifically to make Mums and Dads say to their friends, “Honestly, it’s really funny for adults, too. In fact, it’s probably my favourite movie of the year so far!”

The Ninjago are cool Samurai warriors from Japan (disclaimer: part or all of the following may contain errors and omissions). They are super fighters in Lego form, each with a colour. There’s Lloyd (the Green Ninjago), Cole (the Black Ninjago), Kai (the Red Ninjago), Jay (the Blue Ninjago) and Zane (the White Ninjago).

They all sound a bit male. My son has suggested that there is a female Ninjago, but it’s unclear to me what her colour is. It’s a bit fighty, and it’s aimed at boys, in the same way the hysterical Lego Friends is aimed prettily and pinkly at girls, with no boy characters in sight. Very old skool.

This post will mean absolutely nothing to anyone without an under-10 year old, but suffice to say, just because you don’t know a virus is spreading, doesn’t mean it’s not out to get you. Watch out! I’m thinking of getting a Ninjago baseball cap for my birthday. Ironically, of course.

(Editor’s note: The Ninjago franchise is in fact a decade old already, but then that’s about how out-of-date every parent’s pop culture knowledge is, so there)

What more? Try talking to a three-year-old