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Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

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Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby Forestboy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:51 pm

I've been meaning to post and talk about this for the loooooongest time. Has anyone else noticed that the Knight's Kingdom theme is strikingly similar to the Ninjago theme? What works for Ninjago that didn't with Knight's Kingdom? Kids LOVE Ninjago, adults seem to approve of it despite its...weirdness, and some of its sets are winning toy of the year! Here's their similarities that I could think of:

- both are under the historical context (knights & ninjas, not the other random stuff. :roll: )
- 4 characters, each with special abilities, in bright colors.
- live in a mystical land
- one big mean baddie to defeat, who has an army of infinite soldiers at his command
- artifact(s) needed in order to stop main bad guy
- gimmicky cardgame/topgame attached to it
- Has book(s)/tv show attached to it. (supplementary background info/storyline things)
- very...odd/weak...set design

Anyone else think Ninjago is KK with Ninjas slapped on? Or is it just me? ;) Is it the times? Was the KK hate due to the color changes or other scares about TLG closing down? If KK hadn't had that, might have gone over better? Is it the fact that it is just Ninja-related?, and looking past all it's weirdness, are elements and pieces better for what AFOL(s) wanna see? I'm not really an expert on why people didn't like KK (I grew up with it though, so I don't hate it quite as much, but putting the swords on the saddles were definitely annoying :tasty: ), but I'd like to know what you think the differences are. Also, if you think of anymore similarities, let me know.

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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby Shadowviking » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:02 pm

The "weirdness" is completely intentional and quite thoroughly done in Ninjago. It has a deliberately invoked sense of 90s saturday morning cartoons. It's over the top.

KKII was just sort of... odd, but without being so out there. It ended up sort of straddling the line between serious fantasy and a Fisher Price knights set. Once you get past the flashy colours and bubbly designs, it was really kind of mundane.

At least that's how I'd call it. :)


I mean, see it this way:

Vladek and his infinite soldiers... are really just humans. So there's some magic handwave action and brainwashing, but really, they're just some dudes. They would fit much better in a more serious application. Ninjago? Ninjago has crazy skeletons with bizarre personality traits. Each random grunt is memorable... and strange. Youv'e got the jester skeleton, the nazi biker skeleton, the four armed skeleton with the really big head... they'd be out of place in a more serious application, but in ninjago, they just crank it up another notch.
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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby lord_of_orks » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:08 pm

I'm gonna agree with Shadowviking on this one.


ninjago=silly colored good guys+silly bad guys+ silly story line=good

KK2=silly colored good guys+serious bad guys+serious story line=odd :?
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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby OverLoad » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:43 pm

Shadowviking pretty much hit the nail on the head (what else is new though, he's pretty good at doing that. :wink: ) but if you are looking for another odd theme, which I believe fits the Ninjago comparison more smoothly, take a look at Time Cruisers. I think both of them (Time Cruisers and Ninjago, that is), are rather weird themes born from the deepest imagination pits of a few nutty LEGO designers. :lol:
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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby Forestboy » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:07 pm

Alright, I think I see the consensus here. KK was too much/less of two things. So should KK have had all silliness or all seriousness? (or would either work?)

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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby friskywhiskers » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:38 pm

Forestboy wrote:Alright, I think I see the consensus here. KK was too much/less of two things. So should KK have had all silliness or all seriousness? (or would either work?)

~FB~


Well, If it was all serious it would have flopped because it would just be an ordinary castle theme with bad set designs. So I'm going to agree with the above comments and say that if it were 100 % goofy, it probably would have flew off the shelves If the sets were better. After all, If you look at ninjago, It's crazy and psychedelic, but it still has some great parts and good set designs, and I think that's what makes it so popular.
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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby DerBum » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:39 am

I'm going to go ahead and throw my 2-cents in. KK was just a really bad attempt at a new castle line that probably resulted from misreading market research and focus groups. I believe KK was what TLG thought would be a serious attempt. They probably had research showing that realistic castle wouldn't be as popular as something fantasy related (kids are very different today than they were when I was young) and decided to go over the top. Many Lego lines were only slightly passible during that time frame and price per piece was through the roof. KK was just another in a series of bad decisions. Was it goofy? Yes, I think it was, but I also believe that was not intentional. I think the goofiness is how the market perceived it rather than what TLG intended.

Ninjago, on the other hand, is intentially very strange. Because of that it has its own sort of appeal. Like people addicted to old-school Kung-Fu movies (with dubbed over voices, etc.) there is just something about "off the wall" things that people take a liking to. This is significantly more true if the idea is meant to be odd or fantastic rather than simply strange by virtue of being a poorly executed serious vision.

That is what I see as the primary difference between KK and Ninjago, although I admit that neither line did, or currently does, hold much interest to me.
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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby Legomancer » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:16 am

I was in my dark age during KKII, but I saw that I didn't miss much. KKII's evil forces were pretty useful, but everything else were, well, jelly beans.

Ninjago, on the other hand, while cheesy, does have some worthwhile parts and ideas. The Samurai Mech is awesome, and there are some brick built beasts that could inspire or have a place in an MOC. (I've used quite a bit of Ninjago themed stuff for a project of mine.)

Just my .02.
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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby architect » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:48 pm

Ninjago, while wacky at times, has much better set designs than Knights Kingdom 2. Instead of large brick built action figures they offer more popular brick built dragons.

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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby Karalora » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:13 pm

KKII reminds me of old action-adventure cartoons from the 80s like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It's all patently ridiculous, but trying to be serious, so it falls flat. Ninjago is more like a contemporary anime-inspired action-adventure cartoon that's patently ridiculous and completely aware of it.
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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby Tower of Iron Will » Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:33 am

architect wrote:Ninjago, while wacky at times, has much better set designs than Knights Kingdom 2. Instead of large brick built action figures they offer more popular brick built dragons.

Ben


I agree. I also like the Ninjago story line more than KKII.
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Re: Discussion: Knight's Kingdoms vs. Ninjago

Postby Sir Prog » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:41 am

I see Ninjago as a progressive reaction to KKII. They are clearly "aware" of the fan community. For the record, I think they tried a bold and innovative initiative with KKII's card game, comic, and online games creating a legit medieval fantasy storyline. Maybe there were kinks in the road, its clear from the near one-sided negative feedback on this site alone, but the move was bold and experimental. Perhaps they've learned from past mistakes and Ninjago is the clear next-step in marketing the LEGO brand (aside from franchise tie-ins) beyond mere toy lines. I don't see the two as that different but I find the critiques on CC fascinating and telling.
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