How do you rate a LEGO minifigure’s emotions?

A new survey, based on research looking at LEGO minifigure expressions, is available online.

Forty years ago, LEGO minifigures were introduced with a smiling face. Now, research is highlighting the way that anger is becoming a more common emotion for the little blocky characters.

LEGO minifigure survey

Quartz has run with research from Christoph Bartneck and produced a survey to see if LEGO minifigures are less happy than they used to be. Bartneck found through photographing 3,655 LEGO minifigures that there are more angry minifigures than ever before, with happy expressions becoming less common.

A survey on the website offers a selection of categories and shows a minifigure face, asking readers to select the emotion they feel that it represents. The chart below the image then updates in real time to show how users perceive minifigure expressions.

LEGO minifigure expression chart

According to Bartneck, conflict based themes led to the angrier expressions. “May it be the good knights against the skeleton warriors or the space police against alien criminals.”

Denise Lauritsen provided comment for the article on behalf of the LEGO Group, saying the “broad variety of minifigure emotions is to help encourage different kinds of role play; adventure, exploration, friendship, action, nurture, storytelling, mission, conflict play and so on.”

The full LEGO range is available now at


Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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