The LEGO Monkie Kid official reveal was yesterday and there are already quite a bit of speculation on what might be in store beyond this initial wave of sets.
Granted that there is already an animated series coming soon and I’m sure that there will be another selection of sets to follow as there is so much in this world that they could draw from.
While little has been revealed in terms of story and setting, the trailers for the animated series do shed a bit of light on what the premise might be. Some might mistake that the LEGO Monkie Kid is a retelling of the 16th Century classic Chinese novel, “Journey to the West” when it is actually an expansion of that mythology.
The “Monkie Kid” is actually just a regular boy who stumbles upon the Monkey King’s legendary weapon and seeks the help of his friends to return it to its rightful owner.
In one of the preview clips that was sent to me, there is a scene where the Monkie Kid witnesses a projection of the original characters from the Journey to the West. There is Sun Wukong (Monkey King); Zhu Bajie (猪八戒; Zhū Bājiè aka Pigsy), Sha Wujing (沙悟净; Shā Wùjìng aka Monk Sha), Buddhist Monk Tang Sanzang and his trusty steed.
Considering that LEGO has already released the Monkey King in the CMF series 19 and also in the LEGO Monkie Kid Monkey King Mech (80012) set, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to release the remainder of the party in minifigure form.
They did a really great job with the current slate of minifigures with the torso and leg prints and they already have a moulded headpiece for Zhu Bajie (Pigsy). What would be interesting is how they would sculpt Monk Sha’s bald head.
I grew up with stories like Journey to the West and Romance of the Three Kingdoms so having LEGO venture into Chinese “folk tales” is a win for me. Besides, these stories are public domain already so it’s free to adapt.
I’m actually intrigued by this expansion on the fable as it does introduce a classic Chinese folk tale to a modern audience without completely changing the original.