Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Minifigures, progress report

Not so much my own progress report, all though I'll share that as well. But more a look at the last few years with minifigures. It's been awesome. Nothing else to say. I'm working on an updated top list, and I can assure you it will include more than just ten figures.  

Here we see representatives from the ten waves of minifigures so far. All series are made up by 16 figures, leaving us with 160 different collectible minifigres. Well, 161 if you count the extremely rare "Mister Gold" from series 10.

The theme of various figures are not really that surprising when isolated, it's more the accumulated amount of creative characters that amazes me. I'd have a hard time thinking of characters I'd like to see in an upcoming series. It would have to be the stereotypical superhero, or maybe more regular workers? How about the Teacher?

We have seen figures doing different sports like the footballers above from series 4 and 8, and we've seen more ordinary workers, like the painter in the front, from series 10, or the Butcher in the back, from series 6).  Historic characters and monsters have been greatly represented, the Mummy from series 3 for one. Stereotypes have been plentiful, though I feel the Disco Man (series 2) is almost more a parody than a stereotype. We also have figures clearly depicting famous persons, like Cleopatra, from series 5. Some of the characters are non-descriptive action themed, like the Space dudes, here represented by the very first, white one from series 1. And finally, there are characters I struggle categorizing. Like the dude  in the chicken costume, from series 9.

Series 4, best one so far?
If I look at each series as a whole, there are two waves that in my opinion sticks out. Series 4 and 9. Both had amazingly varied and colorful line-ups, and the characters selected were benchmarks in their respective sub-theme.

Series 4 had tough guys like the Hockey player and the Viking. But also the pretty ladies like the Kimono girl and the Ice Dancer. A new updated Skateboard guy seemed a bit redundant at the time, but he's a great looking minifigure, with a hooded shirt and prints on his beanie. Two iconic monsters in the Werewolf and Frankenstein's Monster, an understated, yet excellent Sailor, the dashing Musketeer, and the hard-nosed Punk Rocker are all great figures. The Mad Scientist and Haz-Mat guys are great for story lines, while the Gnome provides the comedy. Series 4 was excellent.

Series 9 took me a bit by surprise, because I had excepted this wave to be just fillers before we were blown away by series 10. Sure enough, series 10 proved to be pretty good, but still nowhere near the previous line-up.
Did series 9 contain the best minifigure yet?
One thing that I have to mention about series 9 is all the new hairpieces, some of them should easily be re-usable by Lego. Waiter, Diva, Elf girl, and to a certain extent Caesar have hair pieces that one could see being used again. One of the funnies minifigures in the entire line, in the Chicken Man, not just for the costume, but also for his delightful facial expression. The Knight is probably the best Lego-knight so far, and both he, Elf Girl, Cyclops and Fortune Teller would fit right into the Castle sub-line. Space Ogre was surprising, but cool. Judge, I had not expected either. Police seems mundane, but is an excellent figure to get multiples of, for the City of course. And of course the Plumber. How cool is that plunge?

It also helps that the series 4 and 9 have my two favorites of the entire line. I'll wait with revealing who these two are until I debut my top 35 list. Why 35, you ask? Well, that's a surprise as well.

If any of the series have been disappointing, it would be 6.  We saw a couple of unnecessary updates, as well as a couple of figures one could only classify as "boring". The former would include the Desperado, the Highlander and the Skater Girl. The latter, sorry to say it, but that Alien is boring, and even he is a blast next to the Flamenco Dancer. Sure, it also had a couple of great ones, like Surgeon, Sleepy Boy, Statue of Liberty, and Genie in a Bottle. The pink Space Girl is also a favorite, but not necessarily for the quality of the character, more than me just enjoying space figures.

All in all, the minifigures are extremely fun, and a pure joy to collect. Sure, it may be annoying to get multiples, but there are plenty enough places on the internet where you can easily trade your duplicates for those missing figures. For my own progress report: at the time of writing, I'm missing 13 figures spread out over the last 4 waves. Am I aiming for complete toy line? You bet I am! And I'm looking forward to future waves of the collectible minifigures.

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