LEGO 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures review – Updated!
Taking yet another creative turn, the LEGO Collectible Minifigures line embraces the chaotic and cartoonish charm of Looney Tunes as only LEGO can.
Following on from the two series of Collectible Minifigures that came in 2014 and 2015 for The Simpsons and more recently the two Disney character series of 2016 and 2019 comes the LEGO Group’s latest cartoon-themed collection, based on some of the most recognisable characters from Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes.
Over a 91-year history so far, Looney Tunes has created a library of classic cartoon characters, from the early years in musical and animated shorts shown in cinemas, through to re-runs and new shows on television, and into the broader world of advertising, merchandising and feature films. Many of the characters created remain instantly recognisable and highly quotable, and have become icons of not only the animation world, but also wider culture.
Creating a LEGO Minifigures series based on Looney Tunes makes for a collection packed with uniquely-designed moulded heads, skilfully-realised graphic design and a number of fun, knowing nods to the characters and the cartoons they are from. Such is the care and attention that has gone into crafting these minifigures, each comes across as much a bespoke tribute to a classic character of yesteryear as they do a fun entry point into a still-modern cartoon world of play like no other.
— Set details —
Theme: LEGO Collectible Minifigures Set name: 71030 Looney Tunes Release: April 26
Price per minifigure pack: £3.49 / $4.99 / €3.99 Pieces: Variable Minifigures: 1 per pack, 12 to collect
— Characters —
Included in 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures is a selection of 12 of the most noteworthy and memorable characters to have appeared in Looney Tunes cartoons across a history that spans back 91 years. The period of 1930 to 1964 – known as the golden age of American animation – introduced a majority of the Looney Tunes characters we know today in animated comedy shorts, before their popularity found new audiences from the late 1980s onwards through syndication and the production of new animated shorts, features and much more.
In 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures, the LEGO Group has curated a selection of characters that resonates across Looney Tunes’ long history, including some of the most classic and recognisable ones but – perhaps for a couple of reasons – it leaves some others out.
No LEGO Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures series would be even worth considering without Bugs Bunny, one of the most popular and quotable characters of not only Looney Tunes, but also wider cartoon history. His status as one of animation’s most iconic characters is thanks to a long list of more than 160 theatrical animated shorts, compilation films, television specials, advertising campaigns (including Nike and Kool-Aid), documentaries, his own Bugs Bunny show and more movie appearances than any other cartoon character, including top billing alongside Michael Jordan in 1996’s Space Jam and an expected lead role in its 2021 sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy, alongside LeBron James. Bugs is the official Warner Bros. mascot, he has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Guinness World Records has even cited him as the ninth-most-portrayed character in film of all time.
Depicted as clever and capable of outsmarting almost anyone he is put up against, Bugs has faced off with nearly the entire Looney Tunes crew. Director Chuck Jones was careful to make sure audiences remained sympathetic to the rabbit always winning by portraying him as often minding his own business, before being provoked into action one way or another by an antagonist. Bugs is celebrated as a comedic lead ‘able to flip the script on unwitting counterparts’ and is often highlighted as having been ‘beautifully drawn’.
With a cultural impact and wide audience appreciation like few other cartoon characters, of course he now has a LEGO minifigure too, and it is a skilfully-realised creation at that, catching Bugs’ mouth-open smile as he appears on the Looney Tunes title card. Morphing his long, skinny body into LEGO form works surprisingly well too, thanks predominantly to being offset by a moulded head with quite possibly the longest rabbit ears the LEGO Group has ever produced. Included with Bugs certainly had to be a carrot, but with a look at what Daffy Duck comes with, maybe a sign saying ‘Duck Season’ would have been just as funny. Maybe if the LEGO Group does a second series of minifigures we’ll get a side-glance, mouth-closed smiling Bugs with such a sign…
As the lead star of Looney Tunes, LEGO Bugs Bunny had to be done right so we could accept LEGO Looney Tunes as a credible Collectible Minifigures series. Thankfully, that’s very much the case, and just as thankfully, those ears should make him very easy to feel out in the blind bags…
Introduced in 1996’s feature film Space Jam as a love interest for Bugs Bunny (because previous female rabbit character Honey Bunny was judged to look too similar to Bugs), Lola was depicted as a confident and talented female protagonist with a natural talent for sport, before The Looney Tunes Show morphed her into a more eccentric, absent-minded-but-still-sporty personality.
She is often romantically linked to Bugs and, read into it what you will, was last year ranked as the most attractive female cartoon character in a Google data crunch (not to be confused with a poll). Importantly, director Malcolm D. Lee has promised that Lola will be ‘far less sexualised’ in Space Jam: A New Legacy (due later this year), hinting at a move towards ‘a strong, capable female character’.
Her LEGO design looks not to be based on artwork from either Space Jam film, nor from specific cartoon appearances, but her look for promotional materials and merchandising. That would explain more particular details such as why her minifigure’s secondary fur colour is white rather than tan. The overall design of the minifigure represents Lola’s sporty side nicely, with a fun expression too. With one eye on her role in the upcoming Space Jam movie that promises to be more credible and well-rounded, and what future for the character that may create, the LEGO Group has been smart in how it has managed to capture just the right spirit in her LEGO minifigure.
Daffy began as a smaller, highly combative and unpredictable character in his earliest appearances in Looney Tunes shorts, which date back to the late 1930s. Later switching roles between sympathetic protagonist and energetic antagonist, Daffy was at one time portrayed to be as witty as Bugs Bunny, before the rabbit’s ascension to popularity turned the duck into his more jealous, overemotional rival. Even so, Daffy commands a loyal following and has appeared in his own show and often is given one of the other Looney Tunes characters as a sidekick. He even – and this is tenuous because you won’t actually hear him in it – charted in the UK with a house/dance record called ‘Party Zone’ (dare you click to see for yourself?).
Daffy’s LEGO minifigure perfectly embodies his unique personality in a way that you can almost hear him say in his famous lisp ‘desth-picable’ – it’s a simple but perfectly detailed depiction of the duck that is very well complemented by the ‘Rabbit Season’ sign he is holding. That is a brilliant reference to the celebrated ‘hunting trilogy’ of shorts where he competed alongside Bugs to trick Elmer Fudd into targeting the other.
Just as a LEGO Collectible Minifigures series of Looney Tunes characters needs Bugs Bunny, it needs Daffy Duck – and this one does not disappoint, capturing just the right expression for a first LEGO minifigure version. We say first, because surely a second series (should the LEGO Group decide to do one) would need to include an angry/scowling Daffy Duck, right?
He may not be the main man today, but Porky Pig was the original Looney Tunes star and is recognised as not only the longest-running active character, but also the first to draw in audiences when the cartoon franchise was in its early years. As more prominent characters came in, the pig was relegated to a supporting cast role, but has maintained strong popularity through the decades to this day.
Porky’s most famous trait – his stutter – is shared with the actor who first voiced him (Joe Dougherty) before being taken on by Mel Blanc and developed for more comedic effect (for instance, being able to perfectly pronounce words other characters couldn’t). His LEGO minifigure is simple but sweet and personifies his nature very effectively. The ‘That’s all Folks!’ sign he comes with represents his role at the close of many of the Looney Tunes shorts, whilst the shorter minifigure legs with printed hooves avoids the possibility of a wave of Light Nougat-coloured minifigure nudity (Porky wears a jacket, but he is trouserless…).
Perhaps the most obscure of the 12 characters included in 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures is Petunia Pig, even though her history goes back to 1937. That debut was as a love interest to Porky Pig, played up as a parody of a Mickey Mouse cartoon where he marries Minnie Mouse. Porky’s attempts to win Petunia’s affections, however, don’t go down as easily, and he ends up being laughed at by his would-be muse.
Used a few times more as a supporting role to Porky, as his popularity fell, Petunia fared even worse and dropped out of semi-regular use for long stretches. She continues to appear on merchandising and take on supporting roles in various Looney Tunes-related shows and features, but very much remains the most peripheral player in this LEGO line-up. Her minifigure perfectly resembles her (just as she resembles Porky – don’t think about it too hard) and comes complete with teapot and teacup. We can’t find the reference for why.
Wile E. Coyote
No LEGO Looney Tunes Minifigures collection would be worth its weight in ACME Anvils without including Wile E. Coyote. Somewhat unfortunately, then, our collection comes without Wile E. Coyote. Owing to a production error, no Wile E. Coyote minifigure was included in the full 36-blind bag box that the LEGO Group sent to Brick Fanatics for review.
Coyote was a character drawn in inspiration from Mark Twain’s description of the animal in his book Roughing It, written as ‘a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton’ that is ‘a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry’. And in Looney Tunes, Wile E. Coyote’s hunger is focused on the Road Runner, and he’ll concoct any number of elaborate plans to try to catch the fast-running bird.
With this identity of insatiable hunger in mind, Wile E.’s skinny frame represents a particular focus and challenge for the LEGO designers to portray on a minifigure body that is essentially the opposite of that. Judging by the official images (until we have a copy in hand), the effect is largely achieved, thanks to the narrow print of his lighter fur down the centre of the torso and how the body is otherwise offset by the large, moulded head. That head is given the ideal, determined expression of the Coyote in pursuit of his fast-paced meal, whilst the inclusion of an anvil (albeit unprinted) is a nice nod to his various plots (which almost always go wrong).
Signs are that his availability issue is not necessarily widespread, with the minifigure appearing in some of the first boxes released for retail.
UPDATE – The LEGO Group kindly sent out a Wile E. Coyote minifigure for us to add to the review and just as the official imagery promises, this is a fantastic and lovingly-created design of the character, primarily thanks to that moulded head that not only catches his expression, but also the sheer length of his nose.
The Road Runner
If there’s one minifigure duo in this series that will inspire any number of custom LEGO builds, it would be that of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. There is no Coyote without Road Runner and vice-versa.
Even as the Coyote’s plans to catch the Road Runner become increasingly complex, the fast-paced Road Runner’s deliberate or unknowing ease at avoiding being caught remains consistent and is played to great comic effect. It is all set to the backdrop of a desert that – in the silent, slapstick action – becomes as much a character as the two protagonists. Running gags involving falling into canyons, unpredictable physics, heads through overhangs and painted tunnels on walls became a trademark of the abstract and colourful landscape these two played cat and mouse across, and could so easily translate into some clever LEGO models.
Ultimately, it is the simplicity of Road Runner’s character and appearance that brilliantly balances against Wile E.’s ever-more convoluted actions. That particular, innocent expression of Road Runner is intrinsic to his identity and to the always well-timed delivery of ‘beep-beep’, and it has been wonderfully captured in LEGO minifigure form here. Whilst it is true to say that if any one of the 12 characters portrayed in this series would be as comfortable as a brick-built creation it would be Road Runner, the design team has been smart in translating all the key details into minifigure form, particularly regarding the large tail and the feathers on his head.
It may feel like the least accurate of the dozen LEGO Looney Tunes, but with consideration to how much the others verge closer to figures than minifigures, it’s the best at balancing the charm and appeal of both the cartoon character it is based on and the LEGO form it has been applied to.
Sylvester the Cat
Sylvester James Pussycat, Sr. is another one of Looney Tunes’ longest-serving characters, debuting in 1939 and having featured in over 100 cartoons, only behind Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. He is the most decorated of the Looney Tunes stars, inasmuch as three of his cartoons have won Academy Awards, more than any other Looney Tunes character. Another one to talk with a lisp – through intentionally sticking his tongue out when talking – Sylvester has often been depicted at odds with Tweety, Speedy Gonzales and even the slightly more obscure Hippety Hopper.
His target – a delicious meal, usually in the form of Tweety – was often the motivation behind any number of schemes and plots. However, these usually came undone through some pretty bad luck, which was almost always then compounded by Tweety’s actions and comments. For an antagonist looking to eat the hero, there’s a lot of sympathy to be had for the cat as he takes punishment after punishment. Sufferin’ succotash indeed.
Sylvester the LEGO minifigure is a perfect representation of the black-and-white feline, from the moulded head and expression to the bright red nose and carefully-printed torso and legs, and even the inclusion of a baseball bat. The only sense of disappointment is in the out-of-scale Tweety and Speedy Gonzales minifigures also included in the series, where including either one as a handheld nanofigure with Sylvester would have been perfect.
With a similar premise to Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner’s pairing, Tweety’s most iconic appearances have been in partnership (and conflict) with Sylvester the Cat, often serving as the delectable meal the black-and-white feline is trying to get to, but for an obstacle or two (Granny, Hector the Bulldog, several dogs or even another cat). Invariably, Tweety would come out on top, as even on the brief occasion Sylvester manages to eat the bird, he is made to spit him out by Granny.
There are certainly more obscure minifigures in this series, and other characters who have required as much artistic interpretation to enter LEGO form, but if there’s one in the LEGO Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures line-up that perhaps is unnecessary, it is that of Tweety.
As a character, he is one of the most recognisable and his voice is so easy to recall (‘I tawt I taw a puddy cat’), but, as the perfect foil of a tiny, yellow bird for the larger, clumsier Sylvester the Cat, a nanofigure-scale version would have been all the more appropriate and ever so much cuter. As a minifigure, Tweety sits out of scale with Sylvester. That aside, his design centres on that large moulded head, which perfectly captures the bird’s innocent, oft-oblivious expression (with an undercurrent of maliciousness just under the surface). The minifigure is otherwise an example of how subtle design can be – beyond the tail printed on the back, the front is decorated by just three lines. Yet, it’s all that it needs.
It’s a similar sentiment for Speedy Gonzales, The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico. Much like with Tweety, the cheese-chasing Speedy was often pitched in Looney Tunes shorts against Sylvester the Cat (El Gringo Pussygato) and, as a mouse, the size difference between him and the cat very much played its part in the comedy. The same can be said for his clashes with Daffy Duck (the loco duck).
Even as – again – a nanofigure version of the character would have worked all the better as part of this first wave of LEGO Looney Tunes, Speedy comes in full minifigure size. Not considering relative scale, though, this is yet another faithful adaptation of a much-loved character in LEGO form, with the simplest of details capturing the Mexican mouse’s yellow sombrero, white shirt and shorts and red neckerchief perfectly. The expression in his moulded head (with which the sombrero makes for one piece) captures that mischievous, fun side to the character, whilst the LEGO Group’s inclusion of ‘cheese slope’ pieces printed to look like cheese is this entire series’ most perfect detail.
Speedy Gonzales’ inclusion in this series is reflective of his wider popularity and it should be noted that discussion on the stereotypes he is seen to play up to has been ongoing for over two decades. When Cartoon Network took on exclusive broadcast rights in 1999 they shelved Speedy’s cartoons, feeling that the character presented an offensive Mexican stereotype. However, Speedy remained a popular character in Latin America and with Hispanics, and is largely celebrated for being a quick-witted, heroic Mexican who always bettered his opponents. This prompted a fan campaign which even included listing Speedy as a cultural icon, and that ensured his return to screens in 2002.
The Tasmanian Devil
Although The Tasmanian Devil has been a part of Looney Tunes since the 1950s, he really rose to prominence during the 1990s, gaining popularity as one of the show’s more alternative characters. Embracing a more animalistic approach to life, Taz is a short-tempered, wild character with carnivorous tendencies. Slow of mind but fast enough to spin like a vortex, the Tasmanian Devil generally communicates only in grunts and growls, but can bite through almost anything. There is one thing known to calm Taz – music of almost any kind (except the bagpipes).
Taz only appeared in a handful of shorts (partly due to being initially shelved for fear of being too violent, prompting ‘boxes of letters’ to arrive asking for his return) before Warner Bros. Cartoons closed in 1964, but had time to still feature alongside Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. That included setting up a running gag with the former over whether or not he eats rabbits (he does). He found new popularity during reruns of Looney Tunes in the 1990s and became an almost unofficial mascot behind Bugs, appearing on any amount of merchandise.
His minifigure is one of the best of the LEGO Looney Tunes series, perfectly encapsulating what is a unique, ferocious and just-as-fun personality incredibly well, and even offering a spinnable base to represent his whirlwind ability, as well as a pie and chicken leg to try to quell his appetite. With that open-mouth expression, the bushy tail and shorter legs, everything you could hope a LEGO Tasmanian Devil could look like is realised here.
Marvin the Martian
Wearing armour based on that worn by Roman god Mars, complemented by a pair of basketball shoes, there’s nobody quite like Marvin the Martian, and that is reflected in his ongoing popularity despite only initially featuring in five Looney Tunes cartoons up to 1963.
Marvin’s motivation is to destroy Earth ‘because it obscures my view of Venus’, and he has attempted as much numerous times over the past two millennia (to no avail), specifically using his Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator – in effect, a giant stick of dynamite.
There is a juxtaposition to Marvin, as the aggressive and destructive nature of his ambition has always been balanced against the mild-mannered, matter-of-fact delivery of his dialogue. It gave the character a relatable innocence and made any number of his lines memorable, including the likes of ‘Isn’t that lovely?’, ‘This makes me very angry, very angry indeed’ and ‘Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom!’
Marvin is one of the handful of Looney Tunes stars to truly transcend the cartoon medium with any number of notable examples to his wider influence on popular culture. As such, his is an important minifigure for the LEGO Group to master in the Looney Tunes Minifigures series, and there’s little to find fault in what has been produced. Although a relatively simple design, every detail important to Marvin’s outfit and appearance is carefully captured in his minifigure, particularly so for the expression chosen for his eyes and the printing for his shoes.
Even the push-broom design of his upper helmet (meant to comically resemble a Centurion’s helmet) is moulded in the two close-but-different shades of yellow. If there’s one area for improvement (and we are looking hard), it would only be in the missed opportunity for a second expression of eyes to be printed on the other side of his head. Otherwise, for his legions of fans, LEGO Marvin the Martian is spot-on.
— Price —
Now this is the difficult bit. There’s very little from the LEGO Group’s long history – or indeed what could ever come after this, except a second series – to compare 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures with, and that’s both a positive and negative.
For the attention to detail and the budget that has been given to producing 12 bespoke-designed minifigures, each with a unique moulded head, this is a collection of cartoon characters whose accuracy to its source material stands almost unrivalled. These are highly collectible, highly desirable and faithful creations that just so happen to be LEGO-compatible. And they’re such a well-produced selection of characters that there’s little to suggest any price – even as far as the once-rumoured £5 a go – is unreasonable, particularly for Looney Tunes fans.
If you are leading with an interest in LEGO, however, this latest series of minifigures will feel more costly, even at the £3.49 price point they come in at. Those one-off minifigure heads make this perhaps the easiest minifigure series to feel out for in shops, but it’s those heads that likely contribute to a final line-up of minifigures that will stand so very far apart from anything else (except anything from Fabuland). What role these minifigures may play in your LEGO collection will ultimately determine if you see the minimum cost of £42 to pick up a complete line-up as worth it. Either way, they still present much better value than VIDIYO’s Bandmates.
— Pictures —
— Summary —
A LEGO Looney Tunes minifigure is an unexpected sight to behold, but one that when you see cartoon character and minifigure form merge makes total sense. Such is the accuracy of the overall design in 71030 Looney Tunes, through head moulds, expression and colour, that the LEGO Group has almost perfectly managed to capture all the charm, energy and persona of a dozen iconic characters.
So much so, though, that it could almost be at the expense of the LEGO experience. More so than with the Collectible Minifigures series for The Simpsons and Disney characters of recent years, the Looney Tunes series leans so strongly into the source material that the charm of being a LEGO version of each character is ever so slightly lost behind the appeal of collecting 12 highly-accurate recreations of Looney Tunes stars.
It’s an existential criticism, because as LEGO versions of beloved Looney Tunes there’s little to otherwise pick apart, and for what anyone could have dreamt up when first hearing ‘LEGO’ and ‘Looney Tunes’, 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures doesn’t disappoint, delivering all the right nods, expressions, colour and fun.
The LEGO Minifigures team has knocked it out of the park with the work and expertise that has gone into this collection to create a true, brick-based celebration of a one-of-a-kind cartoon world.
That’s all folks!
This collection was provided for review by the LEGO Group.
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How many characters are in LEGO 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures?
There are 12 Looney Tunes characters included in the 71030 Collectible Minifigures series, with an expected three of each character included in one complete box of minifigures.
How much does a LEGO 71030 Looney Tunes minifigure cost?
Each 71030 Looney Tunes minifigure will cost £3.49 / $4.99 / €3.99, meaning a complete set of 12 will cost a minimum of £42 to collect. For comparison’s sake, the very first series of Collectible Minifigures cost £1.99 each, whilst more recent series of Collectible Minifigures, such as the second Harry Potter series, the DC Super Heroes series and Series 21 all cost £3.49 per minifigure.
Which characters are in the LEGO 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures series?
The 12 characters included in the LEGO 71030 Looney Tunes Minifigures series are Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Petunia Pig, The Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Speedy Gonzales, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety, Marvin the Martian and The Tasmanian Devil.
Why aren’t Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam in the LEGO 71030 Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigures series?
Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam are two mainstay characters you would otherwise expect to find in a LEGO Looney Tunes Collectible Minifigure series. However, they are both absent from the series, most likely due to clashing with LEGO brand values around conflict play.