Friday, August 29, 2014

Theme Guide: Lego Minifigures, Series 12

Offiicial images of Series 12 of the Collectable Minifigures are out (via Lego's Facebook page), giving us a good look at all the new characters.

There are the usual mix of historical, contemporary, and fantastical persons, with a mix of completely new characters, and variations of previous ideas.

Continue below for a close look at each one the new characters, which will be entering the real world in October.

Battle Goddess
  • While Lego stubbornly persist in not delivering a full on Greek mythology theme, they have supplied a nice assortment of ancient history characters over the course of the Minifigures range. This might be my new favourite ancient female minifigure - I'll be getting multiplies for that lovely shield alone, but the whole ensemble is pretty cool.

    I'm not generally a fan of the fabric skirts, but I like the interesting geometric design here, and could imagine that being useful for a more contemporary (and indeed other periods) minifigure outfit too. The white plume, previously seen on the Roman Commander in red, also gives some nice new options. In fact every detail of this is just really nice; the printed sandal-toes, the new torso print, new helmet piece, and face with golden lipstick. Lots of potential, both as presented and for parts.

    I could imagine this lady teaming up with the previous Warrior Woman, or maybe being part of the same opera company that the Viking Woman works for.
Genie Girl
  • A new genie to join her male counterpart from all the way back in Series 6. While our new female genie has an overall blue colour-scheme, like her predecessor, her flesh is yellow, making her a little more versatile; that torso is a belly-dancer waiting to happen.

    The previous lamp part also returns, while the wispy tail gets a bit of sparkle printing to add some extra magic. Note her arms are also the new half coloured variety.
Hun Warrior
  • Another ancient warrior to please army builders. We've got a new helmet element here (with optional horns), and printed parts I'm sure will come in useful for other historical characters.

    Once again the shield appears to be the stand-out part, with a design which I can imagine being universally useful across ancient, medieval, and steam-punk settings, as a shield, wheel, table-top, and who knows what else!
Video Game Guy
  • The DJ's headphone hair-piece returns here, in a new colour. We get a new geeky T-shirt, this time worn over a long sleeve top in a very neat use of the split colour arms, plus a game-controller tile (which I think is the most appealing element here).

    My only disappointment here, given this design feels quite similar to the overall style of the previous DJ minifigure, is that this wasn't made into Video Game Girl. They could even have got away with reusing the same hair-piece, as a pixie-cut, but given us a bit more diversity.
  • A nicely different look for a Lego pirate, although if you squint you could mistake this for the previous Musketeer minifigure, which has the same hat and foil parts (although now in different colours). Best detail on this guy has to be the ship's wheel belt buckle. 
Piggy Guy
  • Whether you like your minifigures dressed as animals to attend fancy dress parties, be sporting mascots, or sweat away promoting local eateries on the street all day, there's certainly a good number of them now. And long may the menagerie continue to expand; the animal costume minifigures are possible my favourite sub-theme within the Collectable Minifigures range.

    I can't say pigs are one of my favourite animals, but that won't stop me enthusiastic picking up a few (three at least, surely, to await a future wolf costume).
  • There have been no shortage of wizards in the Lego world, after so many Castle, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit sets, but this is a new style for the Lego wizard. We're treated to a matching hat (a new piece too I think), torso, and skirt here, all with printed stars and moons.
Pizza Delivery Man
  • Well pizza delivery boy I think really. A new pizza tile, and a new pizza box, and a new pizza hat even, all come with this chap! Printed parts definitely add the appeal to this otherwise quite plain minifigure. Might this be the first minifigure with braces too?
Fairytale Princess
  • Another retro medieval minifigure, to keep that old school wizard company. Our damsel in distress comes complete with a prince (trapped in frog state), a new pointy hat, and a very lilac outfit with quite a nice print down the front.
Dino Tracker
  • A late addition to the Dino range it seems here. This battle-worn lady would fit right in with the other dinosaur hunters, and add some much needed diversity to that male-heavy team!

    The snazzy modern bow and arrow has only come in Super Heroes sets before, as the weapon of choice of The Avenger's Hawkeye. She's also the another of the three characters in this series to feature the split-colour arms. Nice print detail too with that leg-side pocket.
  • Jesters have appeared in a handful of Castle sets before, so this guy reuses the established head-piece, but comes in all new colours and with a different take on the costume. The playing card tiles are a nice bonus; just need a few more now.
Spooky Girl
  • Wednesday Addams? Quite a striking minifigure with the entirely monotone look. I could image this character, or parts of her, being great not just for Addams Family recreations, but all manner of gothic/horror scenes, or simply a goth in the modern day Lego City. The bear alone is pretty creepy, with one eye missing and the other hanging loose.

    Would love to see this girl joined by a Lurch-esque minifigure with the tall legs used in the Toy Story sets in a future series. Heck, can you imagine an entire black and white Addams Family set?
  • Another pleasing recurring theme within the Collectable Minifigures range is the Wild West. Our pioneering prospector makes use of the new beard piece from Wiley Fusebot in the Lego Movie series. I think is hat is new here, similar in style to the one that was fused the molded head of Stinky Pete in the Toy Story set 7594 Woody's Roundup! Alas is seems this miner hasn't found his fortune yet, as he comes with no gold.
  • A companion to the previous female Lifeguard minifigure from all the way back in Series 2! I guess he works on the same team as his predecessor, as like her, he's all about wearing and holding red things, including the buoyancy device first included with the previous Lifeguard. Shorter hair has apparently afforded him the use of an extra accessory though, the binoculars, which I think might be seen here for the first time in red (surprisingly for quite a common part).

    Topless men are another thing that keeps coming up in the Collectable Minifigures range. This guy's torso is very similar, but not identical, to the previous toned Surfer and Ocean King.
Space Miner
  • After half a dozen ray-gun pointing space-people in the Collectable Minifigures range, it's nice to see another career option for the space dwelling minifigure. This guy is well protected in the space armour first seen on the Galaxy Patrol minifigure, offered here for the first time in grey, plus a new helmet which seems to have several different printed sections.

    His drill makes use of the retro-ray-gun, with a drill bit in place of a laser beam. Hopefully he has a nice torso print hidden under that armour too. It seems like his ancestor in the old west, this miner has yet to find the dilithium crystals he presumably seeks. 
Rock Star
  • Finally we have the rock-star, perhaps an older idol for the preceding Punk Rocker and Rocker Girl characters. In fact I think he reuses the Rocker Chic's hair, but now in black with silver highlights. This guy comes with a very cool looking new guitar, with black spiral print on the red body. 

You can find full in-universe biographies for each of these new characters on the Lego Minifigures game website.

Overall I think this is another fantastic group of characters, many of which would be unlikely to appear in Lego form if not for the Collectable Minifigures series ability to deliver less ordinary characters. There's a nice even spread of genres, with some of the best recurring sub-themes within the ongoing series getting great new characters. As ever we are also treated to a smattering of new parts, and even more pieces in new colours or with distinctive new prints.

My only disappointment is the continued gender imbalance. The Collectable Minifigures range is actually one of the best in all of Lego when it comes in including female minifigures, but they still add up to only five of the sixteen total characters. I suppose the Jester could arguably be either gender, so could the Piggy Guy, if not for the name. But really it shouldn't be that hard for Lego to notice that half of all people are females, and reflect that in a range that can give us any character they choose. As I noted, the Gamer Guy could have easily been female, and so too could the Swashbuckler, Pizza Delivery Man, or Space Miner. Come on Lego, give us more girls!

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