It's been an absolute blast collecting this line, from Lego. The price point, the availability, necessary swapping, the chase - and of course the incredible designs and character choices - this has proven to easily be one of my favorite toy lines ever. And as expected, here's a new list!
Why 35 you ask? Well, first of all, this is an update of my previous list, the Top Ten Collectible Minifigures, but instead of just making a new Top Ten, I chose to do it slightly different. It made sense to make a new list now, as we have seen ten waves of figures, 160 in total (161 if you count the super rare Mr. Gold).
In addition, 2013 marks the 35 year anniversary of the Minifigure.
In addition, 2013 marks the 35 year anniversary of the Minifigure.
Another, equally important reason why I chose such large number is that there are just so many awesome minifigures in this toy line. Even outside the 35, there are still dozens of figures that I absolutely adore.
There are a couple of changes. Some figures from the Top 10 has fallen out, some have greatly switched positions, and you will see that the top three has radically changed since last year. This is simply because my opinion has changed, some of the figures have grown on me, and some I've grown tired of. In addition, we've seen three new waves of figures since the last list.
Are these the best, coolest, cutest and awesomest minifigures in the line? I obviously think so. Agree, disagree, would you like to share your own list? I would love to hear your comments. And be sure to check out pictures of all the 160 collectibleminifigures so far!
Well, enough chatter. Come on in for the full list!
Snowboard Dude, Series 5
I ride Snowboard myself, which is an important reason I like this guy. The figure itself isn't all too extravagant, and I think it suits him. He shows off by being an awesome rider. The measurement of the board is a fantastic detail. I also really like the painted goggles. All though the Series 3 Snowboarder had some nice details as well, I feel the Series 5 boarder is a slightly better figure. But wear your helmet when riding, kids!
Surgeon, Series 6
Not a lot of details, but that's to be expected. There's something about the colors on this one that just works. My girlfriend likes this figure, as she's a big fan of hospital TV dramas. I can live without those, but I too like the Surgeon minifgure. I also find myself drawn towards the realistic figures, those that would be found in a city environment. As you progress in this list, you'll find a healthy mix between sci-fi, historic and realistic characters - but preciously few of the "monsters". The translucent x-ray brick is just brilliant, showing us the torso of a Minifigure.
Paintball Dude, Series 10
The tenth wave of the minifigures was incredibly strong, and easily the series with more representation on this list. Paintball Dude is perfect. Cool details with the paint marks on his suit and helmet, a great new paintball gun, and a wicked sneer on his face makes him an obvious entry to the list.
Street Skater, Series 4
I was a bit disappointed with the Series 1 Skater. He was actually a bit bland, and boring. I know, they were testing new ground, and probably didn't want to go all out. This is why we see better painted details and a gradual increase in newly tooled sculpted accessories as the toy line gained popularity. The first wave of figures feel almost a bit outdated compared to what would follow. The Street Skater from Series 4 is a massive update to the Series 1 Skater. Lots of cool details on his clothes, hat and board. And glasses.. I use this head for any self-custom Minifugure, as you can see in my banner.
Gnome, Series 4
How could I make a list, and not include the cute, little Garden Gnome from Series 4? What I wrote a year ago, still stands. He's fishing for compliments about his cuteness. Well, you're still cute, and I know you're smiling under that beard.
Lifeguard, Series 2
I was a teenager at the height of Baywatch's popularity. That red swimming suit...
Genie, Series 6
Several new sculpted pieces for this figure. I really like how they managed to sculpt him coming out of his lamp. Good colors, golden gloves, kind face and cool hat.
Space Girl, Series 6
I'm a sucker for anything Space Lego, which is why you will find quite a few space-themed minifigures on this list. The Space girl is deliciously "girly" in her pink space suit, and comes with a great selection accessories. There's a few fantastic details, like the vintage Lego space symbol on her chest, or the paint on her feet. But nothing compares to her teasing smile, highlighted by silver lipstick!
Gladiator, Series 5
An entry to the old Top Ten list, mostly because the amazing shine to the bronze paint. Today, I feel we're all set on warrior types, like the Spartan, the Aztec, the Highlander, the Roman Soldiers, the Viking and so on. Series 11 is giving us yet another bland warrior/fighter/gladiator type, and he's easily the most boring figure in that wave. Still, it doesn't take away the fact that the Series 7 Gladiator is pretty awesome with his massive helmet and crisp paint.
Old Time Diver, Series 8
The only entry from the eight wave, which may be surprising. The Conquistador, Ski Girl, Cowgirl and DJ all were great figures. But I feel the Old Time Diver was the only one that stood out, with his lead plated boots and enormous helmet. I like the smile on this guy. It may not be the safest job in the Lego world, but he's still enthusiastic about it.
Rock Girl, Series 7
I'm enthusiastic about music, and I feel musicians are under-represented in the Collectible Minifigures line (no, rapper and bagpipe player doesn't count). Series 11 will give us a saxophone player, and I'm waiting eagerly for a classical composer. The Punk Rocker from Series 4 almost made the list, but the Rock Girl was a definite entry. Cool, 80's inspired and confident of her abilities, The Rock Girl may be inspired by 80's cartoon Jem and the Holograms.
Surfer, Series 2
They nailed the "surfer dude" look with this one. Unshaven, long-ish dirty-blonde hair, laid back facial expression. The details on the surf board are nice, and I noticed just recently that they actually match his surf shorts. Simple, yet excellent figure.
Librarian, Series 10
Another entry from the excellent Series 10, the Librarian - I'm just guessing that she's a librarian - is really cute. She looks a bit awkward with her over-sized glasses and knitted sweater, but I know many guys that like this look. Cool details on her cup, a fantastic hair piece (that I suspect has been used before in the Harry Potter line), and all over great paint on her outfit makes this a classic. What kind of book is she reading? You tell me.
Dracula, Series 2
Still a monumental figure. Usually listed as "vampire", it's clear that this guy is more than just a vampire. He's insulted that you don't know who he is. He's the guy that sparked the birth of the Monster Hunters sub-line - which in turn gave us the massive Haunted Mansion. A genius design for the cape, sharp suit and sharp fangs, Dracula was an obvious entry to the Top 35.
Tribal Hunter, Series 1
One of three figure from the first wave to make this list. Tribal Hunter was also there for my original Top Ten list. I still adore this figure. He's so cute, and cheerful. The bow and quiver have been in production for as long as I have lived - that's impressive. To use such old items in a contemporary toy line, I'd like to see Mattel do that...
Dino Costume, Series 5
I like what they did with the various costumes. First out was the Gorilla Costume, from Series 3, which almost made the list, and in Series 10, we got the Bee Costume. They're all good, and the Gorilla Suit was on my short list. But in the end, I just prefer the Dino Costume. Look how satisfied he is! I see many call him "Lizard Man", and I have no idea why. Clearly he's a Kaiju. RAAAHR!
Parachute Guy, Series 10
An unlikely entry, maybe. But this was one of those figures that came out of the blue. Literally. I had no expectations to the Parachute Guy, but was so satisfied when I opened him. Vibrant colors, a hilarious face, and few - but fitting accessories.
Evil Dwarf, Series 5
This figure almost makes me a bit sad. Lego goes through great effort to make amazing painted details on body and face, and then hides it behind a massive beard. Luckily, it's possible to display him without his beard, and show off more than his belt buckle. With the Hobbit line, we've seen quite a few dwarves, but none as evil and awesome as this one. Notice the pockets on his belt, and the dragon on his shield.
Elf, Series 3
Speaking of Middle Earth... Before we had Lego Legolas, we had the Series 3 Elven Warrior. This is just a gorgeous figure. Sharp details, cool accessories, a fantastic hair/headpiece and topping it off with a cloth cape. The only figure I regret not putting in my previous list.
Luchador, Series 1
Most people call him "Super Wrestler". Lucha Libre is the mexican/latino style of pro-wrestling. I don't know too much about it, but I find this figure incredibly cool. The Luchador is clearly the reigning champion, and is just about to take off his belt to defend his title once again.
Tarot Woman, Series 9
The two last waves have been amazing, which is a strong feat. Very few toy lines manage to constantly improve, but we're not talking about a regular toy manufacturer. The Tarot Woman has intricate details on both her outfit and hair piece, and comes with two cards. "The Sun" and "The Tower"? I'm just guessing.
Space Man, Series 1
Another one that ideally should have been included in the previous list, the Space Man is a truly awesome figure. Heroically dressed in white, with a mischievous grin on his face, he's ready for anything. Paint on belt and feet is a major plus, but I would have liked to see this one with even sharper painted details. One thing that I really appreciate about the Spaceman is that he feels like a natural update to the vintage space men. Unlike many of new space themes from Lego, where the Minifigures have had rather busy design and tons of accessories, the Series 1 Spaceman keeps it simple.
Computer Programmer, Series 7
I guess I should feel insulted, as this figure is the true parody of the computer nerd, but I can't help but appreciating the details and the thought that went into making him. He has taped his broken glasses, the emoticon on the cup, and the clearly labelled "Lego" laptop. Instead of looking at him as a parody, I see him as a tribute to all who sit in front of our computers a bit too much.
Mexican, Series 2
Everything about this figure is awesome. The detailed maracas, the gorgeous poncho, the big mustache, an even bigger smile, and the biggest hat in Lego history. The Marachi from Series 2 - or "Mexican" as I prefer to call him, is a true classic, and one of the toys that will be remembered in the future.
Samurai, Series 3
A figure that has grown on me lately. At first I found the lack of paint on his armor to be a negative thing, but appreciate the difference between the simple styled armor, and his gorgeously detailed kimono. And what's even more relevant: I'm blown away by how good he matches up with the next entry on the list...
Geisha, Series 4
I've previously stated that the fourth wave was my favorite. Now, I'm not so sure anymore, as both wave 9, 10 and the upcoming 11 possibly holds that spot. Still, Series 4 of Lego's Collectible Minifigures has some of my all time favorite toys, and the Geisha is one of them. The details on the hair piece, the mysterious face, and the beautiful kimono makes for such a good looking figure. I can imagine this being boring for a small child, but this is a figure that, with its understated quality, truly proves that toys aren't just for kids. A perfect way to start the top ten!
Chicken Costume, Series 9
The Lego Minifigures have always been cute, but this guy takes it a step beyond. Not a lot of details going on, but what Chicken Guy lacks in details, he makes up for with comedy. Look how happy he is in his chicken costume! This is one of those toys that just makes me in a better mood.
Sea Captain, Series 10
A figure I was anticipating, and it didn't disappoint. Cool details, a determined look, a perfect toy for a person who romanticizes the naval life and nautical expressions, and scouts longingly out over the sea. Also, a sea gull.
Decorator, Series 10
As I said earlier, I like the inclusion of "everyday" jobs in the Collectible Minifigure toy line. The Decorator fits right in any Lego city, but as he's also a collectible minifigure, he comes with added details. He even has paint on his face. Actually, the more I look at him, the more I suspect him to be an amateur. No professional decorator would be this sloppy. Still, as a minifigure, he's awesome.
Space Marine, Series 7
Oh yeah, not only is this figure completely bad ass, but it also comes with multiple display options. The Space Marine comes with one face that seems to be hidden behind an orange visor, complete with crosshairs and tactical information. The other face has some weird technology in front of one of the eyes. Like the Evil Dwarf, he has a fully painted torso underneath that armor, which makes the display options even greater. There's something very "StarCraft" with this guy, and I like that!
Mummy, Series 3
A figure that's constantly growing on me, and aside from Dracula, the only monster to make the list. He's just so cute, holding his over sized scorpion. He also has very sharp paint, that goes all the way to his back, around his feet, on his belt.
Old Man, Series 10
An unlikely entry to the top 5, maybe, but just look at this attention to detail. Everything about this man just screams "old and boring", and that's exactly what makes him great. He's truly a parody of old people, with everything from the name of the newspaper, to his ridiculously high pants. The balding headpiece with the comb-over is literally the crown to this amazing figure.
Haz-Mat Guy, Series 4
The Haz-Mat Guy was at the very top of last year's list, and for very good reasons. I mentioned the expression on his face, as well as the nature of his work. But what made him seal the number one spot was the fact that no other Minifigure has been fully able to bridge the gap between my interest for Lego, and my passion for action figures. The Haz-Mat Guy is a truly marvellous toy!
But as it would be, he would strike out of the top spot, because Series 9 gave us two even cooler figures.
Plumber, Series 9
They are cool in different ways, the Battle Mech and the Plumber. One is very realistic, the other is clearly space/sci-fi themed. Now, I must say that while they come from different themes, I like them both for their relative simpleness. The plumber has not a lot going on, but it all comes together seamlessly, perfect. He comes with regular over-alls, a blue cap without any paint. And a plunge. A working plunge. There's something very "Lego" about the Plumber. Understated, calm, no-nonsense, cute
Battle Mech, Series 9
The Battle Mech is the coolest Minifigure I have ever seen. It resembles an action figure in style, and it has this whole "Gundam" thing going on. Truly a masterpiece that just keeps getting better as you add layers. The armor, then the helmet. No other accessories are needed. The Battle Mech is perfect.
In some ways, this one has the same qualities as the Series 1 Spaceman, and the vintage Lego space minifigures: The colors are simple and the armor and helmet has old fashioned polygonal shapes. But then it also comes with rather intricate painted details. I was immediately attracted to this blend between retro and contemporary styles. Lego could have made an entire ten-wave strong run with these guys, just in different colors. I would have gotten them all!
The Battle Mech is not only my favorite Lego minifigure, it can easily compete alongside my favorite action figures. And that, people, is no small feat.
Good job, Lego. I'm looking forward to the next ten series!