DK Ninjago Character Encylopedia available now
Apologies if I'm a bit late with this news: I've had a copy of this for a few weeks but have been waiting until it was officially released before reviewing it. It seems that Amazon.co.uk is shipping it already so I guess it's OK to tell you about it now...
So, DK's latest book, and what I believe is the last one due in 2012, is Ninjago Character Encyclopedia. It's the same size and format as the Harry Potter and Star Wars ones: 170-odd pages, 18cm x 24xm, with a thick front cover to house the exclusive minifig.
The minifig is, apparently, Lloyd ZX but given that he's sporting a torso print that will feature on all the Ninjas in the 2013 sets I suspect his real suffix will be something else when it's revealed next year. Unlike the minifigs in all previous DK books, this one comes unassembled. However, like those in recent DK books, it's not made in a European or Mexican LEGO factory so the plastic is not quite so good as those that are.
It's divided into two sections: Ninja vs. Skeleton (the 2011 series) and Ninja vs. snakes (the 2012 sets). Most of the characters have a page profile like that shown, as do the dragons, vehicles and sets. There are also pages covering the weapons, so it's pretty comprehensive (but see my note below). I guess it can be given it only has to cover two years' worth of sets.
I was not a fan of the 2011 sets, the skeletons and their vehicles were too weird for my taste and half the minifigs were 'not made in a European or Mexican LEGO factory' consequently I don't have many of the sets.
Most of the minifigs get a full two-page spread like those shown, but others are glossed over, such as the Kendo and NRG Ninjas, which share two pages between them, which is a bit of a shame.
The last few pages contain a minifig gallery and also a set gallery, which for some reason doesn't contain any of the spinner sets or booster packs: in fact rather bizarrely neither are mentioned in the book at all, other than occasional references in 'ninja file' boxes on the character profile pages, if they didn't come in any other set (e.g. as on the Samurai X page above).
So, to summarise, this is, as we've come to expect from DK, an excellent book and one that every young Ninjago fan will love to find under the tree at Christmas. For us more discerning AFOLs, it's not quite a 'definitive guide' but it's pretty close.
You can order it from Amazon: