Today’s LEGO sets are pretty impressive when it comes to character diversity. We’re getting all manner of skin tones thanks to recent sets such as 21337 Table Football, while other themes such as LEGO CITY and LEGO Friends are depicting a variety of disabilities in LEGO form. On the more fantastical side, the Monkie Kid theme has many wonderful anthropomorphic animals – following in the footsteps of LEGO themes like Legends of Chima.
However, one thing we haven’t gotten for a while is a new bigfig – a large, pre-moulded character in the LEGO style. These characters can adhere to studded surfaces and even hold minifigure accessories, although they aren’t as fully articulated as minifigures are. They’re an ideal way of depicting larger characters, with Marvel’s Hulk setting the template for today’s bigfig designs.
While new bigfigs have been introduced pretty regularly since 2007, they’ve been a little thin on the ground in 2022. The most recent examples can be found in 2021 sets such as 76192 Avengers: Endgame Final Battle (which introduced a new version of Thanos) and 80025 Sandy’s Power Loader Mech (which features one of Monkie Kid’s more muscular friends).
Since then, even larger characters have been depicted purely as minifigures – with LEGO builds used to suggest larger body types instead. 76241 Hulk Mech Armor (an upcoming LEGO Marvel release for 2023) puts a Hulk minifigure in a mech styled after his own body. This is very much par for the course with sets of this type, with predecessors (like 76169 Thor Mech Armor) mimicking Thor’s chest armour and red cape.
So what’s behind this shift? The simplest answer may be that minifigures are easier to integrate into most LEGO models. While bigfigs are certainly eyecatching, their large size presents obvious issues when it comes to putting them in vehicles alongside other characters.
76237 Sanctuary II: Endgame Battle and 80035 Monkie Kid’s Galactic Explorer (pictured above) are examples of this idea; each of these sets replaced bigfigs with minifigures, although they weren’t the first sets to do so. In the former case, this probably allowed for a more cost-effective model of Thanos’ ship. In the latter case, it allowed Sandy to join his fellows aboard the space shuttle – avoiding the more ungainly design of something like 76975 Watchpoint: Gibraltar in the process.
Shifting to minifigures may also allow for greater character customisation. 80044 Monkie Kid’s Team Hideout (another upcoming 2023 set) features Sandy in a new white, purple and green outfit – a move that’s sure to reel in a few minifigure collectors. Since bigfigs sometimes have moulded body detail, it’s more difficult to offer multiple variants of a single character.
As such, it’s possible that bigfigs will be absent from LEGO sets in favour of more versatile character designs – but only time will tell if that’s actually the case. If you’re looking to add any bigfigs to your collection, the secondary market may be your best option at the moment.
- Features05/01/2023A LEGO Oswald the Lucky Rabbit minifigure seems like a likely prospect
- News05/01/2023LEGO 31138 Beach Camper Van is a missed opportunity
- Features05/01/2023Five works of art we’d love to see in the LEGO Art theme
- Features04/01/2023LEGO 40580 Blacktron Cruiser should have been on our radar