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Trail talk: Ninjago Zane Hiker (2017)

Lego Zane was a character in the martial arts comedy based Ninjago Movie and the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu video game released at the same time. In both film and game he appeared as a ninja warrior character. Zane was also included as a casual backpacking ‘Hiker’ minifigure in a set of minifigures released by Lego in 2017

Lego Ninjago Zane in ‘casual’ Hiker mode

Following their first release in 1978 Lego minifigures were available only as part of play and building sets. They proved so popular that Lego were quick to capitalise and release limited edition series in ‘blind bags’. These were not at all popular on first release as there was a degree of ‘pot luck’ experienced by the collector attempting to complete a set. Some collectors and dealers were quick to decipher the codes on bags, identifying the contents, eventually even those were excluded from the bags. The blind bag series focuses on films, sport, history, popular culture and just about anything else that caught the imagination of the Lego marketing department. A new series is released about every four months. Not all minifigures were/are accompanied by a display plate, certainly not those that come in the myriad of Lego sets. All of the minifigures included in the Ninjago 71019 series released in 2017, including Zane, did have a black display plinth included.

Three Points of the Compass gave a short history on Lego Minifigures when writing about the Lego Hiker character released in 2018. Lego minifigures have come a long way since the large and simple Lego ‘building figures’- released in 1974 and smaller and simpler Lego ‘stage-figures’ in 1975.

Our Zane hiker may be more familiar to Lego aficionados as a ‘nindroid’ in ninja garb as seen in a lot of other Lego Zane minifigures that first appeared in 2011 and in the Lego Ninjago Movie and associated adventures, however his 2017 minifigure high-school figure looked at here is in casual backpacking mode. There is little to this minifigure but his character certainly shines. Above a knitted top with vintage computer game pattern, it is the face that mostly sets him apart- buzz cut below a sharp looking white hairpiece (that first appeared on a Zane minifigure in 2014). Zane has bright blue eyes and appears glad to be out hiking with a broad open mouth smile. There is no alternative face on this minifigure unlike Lego Hiker 2018. His grey coloured backpack has a large red bedroll atop, unless it is supposed to represent a large rolled closed cell foam mattress. This pack was a new Lego part on this release. Other than that, Zane has belted white trousers with pleats and black toes to his footwear.

Lego Zane Hiker is comprised of five pieces, with an additional display plate. Six ‘bricks’ in total

Part boy, part Nindroid, this ninja is super cool
Hiker Zane comes complete with grey backpack with red bedroll on top
Utilising dual moulding, Hiker Zane comes complete with grey backpack with red bedroll on top. The back of Zane’s top is kept plain as it is most often obscured by the backpack.
Stepping on to display plate, not all Lego minifigures came with these
Unopened minifigure packet 71019
Unopened minifigure packet 71019. This contained Zane Hiker
Leaflet that accompanies minifigure in bag lists the twenty figures in this series. Assembly instructions for minifigures 3, 4, 5, 6,11,12 and16 are shown on the reverse
Leaflet that accompanies minifigure in its bag lists the twenty figures in the series. Assembly instructions for minifigures 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 16 are shown on the reverse

“This awesome series includes Kai Kendo, Spinjitzu Training Nya, Lloyd, Jay Walker, Cole, Zane, Lloyd Garmadon, Master Wu, Sushi Chef, N-POP Girl, GPL Tech, Shark Army Octopus, Shark Army Great White, Shark Army General #1, Shark Army Angler, Garmadon, Volcano Garmadon, Flashback Garmadon, Misako and Gong & Guitar Rocker. Each minifigure comes with one or more accessories, plus a display plate and a collector’s leaflet. Who will you discover inside your next ‘mystery’ bag?”

The 20 minifigure characters in the Ninjago series
The 20 minifigure characters in the Ninjago series

The Zane Lego character and minifigure has a long and complicated history with extensive backstory that is likely to be of interest to only the keenest of Lego Ninjago fans. My apologies, but this does not include Three Points of the Compass. Suffice to say, Zane Hiker makes a welcome and enthusiastic addition to the very few backpacking minifigures released by Lego over the years. If only for his seemingly unbridled joy at being out hiking, and such a natty top too.

Zane- movie Ninja character
Zane- as movie ninja character
Promotional material for movie
Promotional material for Lego Ninjago movie
Zane ninja figure, unmasked
Zane ninja figure, unmasked

In addition to Ninjago Zane Hiker, Three Points of the Compass has also had a closer look at:

Hiker Zane, with 2016 and 2018 Lego Hikers
2017 Ninjago Hiker Zane, with 2016 and 2018 Lego Hikers

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