LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22 review

Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22 isn’t the most perfect collection of LEGO characters produced, even if there’s still plenty to appreciate.

After the recent Looney Tunes and Marvel Collectible Minifigures series, the latest selection released by the LEGO Group is Series 22 of its original, in-house characters. The range is eclectic, full of colour, new pieces and lots of detailed printing. Every single character is also super happy – but beneath those smiles is a selection of 12 minifigures that ultimately come together for, well, not the best that Collectible Minifigures can be.

Also, shout-out to Dom at our local LEGO store for helping feel out this entire series of minifigures – he has truly mastered the technique.

— Set details —

Theme: LEGO Collectible Minifigures Set name: 71032 Series 22 Release: January 1, 2022

Price: £3.49 / $4.99 / €3.99 Pieces: Variable Minifigures: 1 per pack, 12 to collect

LEGO: Available now

LEGO 71032 Collectible Minifigures Series 22 review 1

— Characters —

Bird-watcher

Dual-moulded legs and arms (one of which comes with a printed watch), a teal hat with black ponytail, dark green binoculars and a pink side bag – there’s plenty to take in and admire about the bird-watcher minifigure before even pointing out the rather fantastically created toucan. The tropical bird is a new mould and is brilliantly printed in bright colours. It’s a stand-out creation from 71032 Series 22 and a fine addition to the growing LEGO animal collection.

While there’s almost too much in this one minifigure to appreciate, it’s far from perfect – something about adding curves to the torso seems like something the LEGO Group did 10 years ago and consciously moved away from. To see it here is a little unexpected and, when the negative space of the curves is in a lighter colour than the intended torso, it doesn’t look good. Even with so much to rave about this minifigure, that torso is rather distracting and does take away from the overall finish.

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Chili Costume Fan

How many food-costumed Collectible Minifigures have there been now? We’ve lost count, and it does feel like the LEGO Group is beginning to run out of ideas for these. The novelty of each new food a minifigure is comically stuffed into is wearing thin, which is a shame as in this case (and in the case of every other new one they come out with) it does what is an otherwise fun minifigure design an increasing disservice.

Perhaps it would be best for the CMF team to retire food and animal-costumed minifigures for a few series and explore other original concepts, the likes of which made Collectible Minifigures so unique, fresh and collectible years ago.

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Figure Skating Champion

Who wants a call-back to a Collectible Minifigure from 18 series (and 11 years) ago? Because that’s exactly what the Figure Skating Champion is, adorned in an outfit that perfectly matches the Series 4 female Ice Skater minifigure. That’s in design, colour and even the outlandishly-styled blonde hair. It’s perhaps the most unexpected Collectible Minifigure we have seen for a few years, and that this theme can still surprise us is testament to its everlasting potential.

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Forest Elf

Talking of surprises, who thought we’d be welcoming an odd-looking acorn-headed character complete with an anthropomorphic toadstool into the Collectible Minifigures line-up? It’s such a weird, unnecessarily-happy character who looks perhaps best-placed in the world of the recent theme Elves, which is somewhat ironic as there’s nothing otherwise elf-like about the Forest Elf. The LEGO Group had us googling ‘Scandinavian elves’ just to check on that – and if you search ‘acorn elf’, that’s something entirely different too.

As a minifigure, there’s a quirkiness to the Forest Elf that is sweet, but there’s honestly little else to leave you happy should you get a double of this guy. Stylistically, he is more of an outlier in design and place within any LEGO collection and likely to fall by the wayside as a result.

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Night Protector

Fantasy has a strong influence running through Series 22 of the Collectible Minifigures, with Night Protector another character designed with some sort of mythological inspiration. Much like with Forest Elf (and Snow Guardian), the style and look of the Night Protector is so clear, obvious and very particular that there’s not much room to mistake it for anything else, which from a play perspective – when all these Collectible Minifigures are otherwise homeless outliers within the wider LEGO universe – feels somewhat counterproductive.

A little too on-the-nose in design leaves little to the imagination and little wiggle room for this minifigure to offer any of its unusual/recoloured elements space or value elsewhere in a LEGO collection. A beautiful minifigure with plenty of subtle detail in design (notice the silver freckles?) but hardly one you’d want to collect many of, unless you were specifically after an army of turquoise-coloured female moon-themed warriors…

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Raccoon Costume Fan

Talking of homeless outliers, is this an elderly lady rooting through trash and, quite literally, dressing it up as being a ‘Raccoon Costume Fan’? Is this a dark commentary from the LEGO Group on how society abandons its older generations, or have we read too much into what is just another animal-themed costume Collectible Minifigure?

Either way, Raccoon Costume Fan is a bit weird in style, particularly when it’s a nice old lady and she’s otherwise just rummaging through a trash can. The raccoon head is particularly smart in design, though, and as a costume it fits perfectly with the many, many other animal-themed costume Collectible Minifigures. However, as with Chili Costume Fan and perfectly realised in metaphor here, maybe it’s time for the LEGO Group to stop digging for recycled ideas and put these types of minifigures in the bin, at least for a couple of series.

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Space Creature

This is the minifigure that could have turned Series 22 into something a whole lot more collectible, but instead it’s one of the series’ main frustrations. A cute one, for sure, with a great couple of expressions and a lovely use of the bobble-head piece with eyes printed on it – stylistically it fits nicely with the space-themed minifigures from Series 21 too. But Space Creature unfortunately sits in an annoying place between unique creation and deliberate nod to nostalgia, satisfying neither area as a result.

For anyone caught unintentionally collecting different coloured Classic Space astronauts (which by this point is most of us), there’s the torso in a new colour. But it’s just the torso. Why are the arms not just purple and why isn’t there a purple helmet or a purple air tank? The LEGO Group knows what most fans’ reactions (and subsequent actions) to this minifigure with that torso are, and to offer something just slightly off-key is a real tease.

For those wanting something new and unique as a space character, the torso is conversely an unwelcome distraction, just a little too out of place and simple with the hyper detail of the legs and arms.

This could have been a highly-sought-after minifigure in and of itself, either for being the latest Classic Space astronaut or for being a cool (and very happy) new alien, but instead it’s a cute, fun minifigure with a highly desirable and out-of-place single part to it that will spike prices of particular purple pieces on the aftermarket… and purple air tanks don’t even exist yet.

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Troubadour

Where Space Creature is an example of how not to do nostalgia, Troubadour is an example of exactly how to do it right, straight out of the high middle ages complete with lute, three gold pieces and a very colourful and reimagined outfit. Taking clear inspiration from a classic LEGO Castle minifigure design that is now over 30 years old, this is one of 71032 Series 22’s best characters – while he expands anyone’s collection of castle-themed characters as a troubadour, there’s also enough flexibility in the design of the minifigure should you end up with multiples to turn them into their own blue Forestmen-inspired faction.

The best Collectible Minifigures series always have at least one minifigure like this, with a classic throwback or reference that has been given a modern twist and has been left just unspecific enough for you to play around with it your end, should your imagination take you there.

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Snow Guardian

And that’s where Snow Guardian just ever so slightly messes up, much like Forest Elf and Night Protector do. The concept for this character is intriguing and does set the imagination going, but the emblem on his belt and on his shield juniorises and specifies the design just enough to turn something otherwise interesting and broad into something a little bit too unambiguous and silly.

Nevertheless, the double-sided head is a welcome addition, as curiously there aren’t as many white-moustached faces in the LEGO collection as you may think, and the neck piece in white and unique hat are both wonderful and versatile to collect. The blue-eyed Husky also helps with the appeal of Snow Guardian. Just, those snowflake emblems are an over-design that wasn’t necessary.

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Robot Repair Tech

If over-design is your thing, though, then there’s none more over-designed than the Robot Repair Tech. Complete with cutesy red sidekick, the Robot Repair Tech is ridiculously detailed in print across the torso, legs, left arm, helmet and head. There’s barely a surface left untouched by a print, and it makes for a truly fantastic and stand-out Collectible Minifigure in Series 22. The smile is a bit unnerving though…

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Horse and Groom

While far less detailed on the face of it, the groom from Horse and Groom remains an interesting inclusion in 71032 Series 22, with more to it than is immediately obvious, from the plaid design of her jacket to her braces and that dual-moulded hat and hair piece in red and black. The foal (referred to as a horse, but that would be one of those small horses then) is a new mould that will fit nicely in any LEGO animal collection.

The Horse and Groom arguably feels more at place in a CITY set than a Collectible Minifigure series, but it brings a lot of new things to the table that have broader appeal, and serves as a nice counterbalance to characters like Forest Elf, Night Protector and Snow Guardian as a result.

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Wheelchair Racer

Another character just as at home in CITY – but certainly welcome to up the quality and appeal of Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22 – is the Wheelchair Racer, complete with new race wheelchair piece and cyclist helmet. Alongside a smart design in outfit (that choice of light blue torso balanced against teal hands is the sort of small detail to really appreciate), this is by far the best minifigure of Series 22.

The racer also sits in the wheelchair in a way that his hands actually do make contact with the wheels just so, and it just completes the entire design of this minifigure so perfectly. Now we need some more wheelchair racers for him to race against…

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— Accessories —

There are plenty of new pieces and dual-moulded arms and legs on offer in 71032 Series 22 that will appeal to different LEGO fans in different ways. Our favourites include the Troubadour’s lute, the printed mushroom from the Forest Elf and the toucan from the Bird-watcher.

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— Price —

This is the latest Collectible Minifigures series to come in at the higher price of £3.49 / $4.99 / €3.99 and the lower number of 12 to collect. For those compromises, the LEGO Group has clearly leaned into exploring what’s possible in print design and piece moulding and every minifigure offers something new and innovative.

It’s usually a fair compromise as far as value is concerned (just a shame none of us were asked about if it’s what we wanted), but the reduced number of characters puts greater scrutiny on the subject matter of each one, and just how collectible or broad in their appeal they really are. 71032 Series 22 falls short of previous Collectible Minifigures series in that respect, so £3.49 / $4.99 / €3.99 feels a little expensive as a result.

— Pictures —

— Summary —

71032 Series 22 is not the strongest offering from the Collectible Minifigures theme, and it’s likely the result of the increased creative challenges that producing a varied and unique selection of minifigures represents when the total number of characters is reduced as it is to 12.

Where larger series could get away with some of the more specific outlier characters being included, they stand out in 71032 Series 22 as being quite divisive and way too specific to appeal to everyone otherwise collecting this dozen. Likewise, where in years gone by characters dressed as food or animals were unique, fun creations that then became staples of Collectible Minifigures, they are now very much coming across as filler content where new ideas would otherwise offer so much more.

With just a dozen characters to include in a line-up, there is much more scrutiny across the board. Stand-outs like the Troubadour, Wheelchair Racer and Robot Repair Tech stand up to that, but they are few and far between among a selection that otherwise feels just wide of the mark.

Collectible Minifigures continue to offer some of the most detailed head, torso, arm and leg printing around, a good number of dual-moulded arms and legs and are always good for a variety of unique and new pieces, and 71032 Series 22 is no different in these respects. Coming together as part of a collection of characters, though, it’s not the most interesting series from the LEGO Group.

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This collection of minifigures was not provided for review by the LEGO Group.

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How long does it take to build LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22?

Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22 takes longer to feel out each minifigure than it does to build one of them…

How many pieces are in LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22?

The piece counts for Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22 will vary from minifigure to minifigure, but typically are around eight pieces each.

How big is LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22?

Each minifigure in Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22 comes in at the standard minifigure size, between 4cm and 4.5cm in height depending on hat or hair. The Wheelchair Racer’s wheelchair measures 5cm long and 3cm wide, and with the racer sat in it measures 5cm tall.

How much does LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22 cost?

Each minifigure in Collectible Minifigures 71032 Series 22 costs £3.49 in the UK, $4.99 in the US and €3.99 in Europe. A full set will therefore cost £41.88 / $59.88 / €47.88, provided you get no doubles.

Rob Paton

As one half of Tiro Media Ltd, I mix a passion for print and digital media production with a deep love of LEGO and can often be found on these pages eulogising about LEGO Batman, digging deeper into the LEGO Group’s inner workings, or just complaining about the price of the latest LEGO Star Wars set. Make a great impression when you meet me in person by praising EXO-FORCE as the greatest LEGO theme of all time. Follow me on Twitter @RobPaton or drop me an email at [email protected]

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