LEGO has always been collectible, but the LEGO BrickHeadz range takes that idea in an interesting new direction. These products reimagine famous characters as brick-built figurines; to date, more than 100 have been released. As the theme has expanded, BrickHeadz fans have seen the theme evolve to encompass more and more characters from the pop culture landscape.
Read on for our guide to the LEGO BrickHeadz theme, and the many corners of pop culture it’s explored to date.
LEGO BrickHeadz history
The LEGO BrickHeadz theme launched in 2016, with a quartet of sets exclusively available at San Diego Comic-Con. It was arguably the LEGO Group’s response to other collectible toys, which had proven exceptionally popular with consumers. The most obvious example of this is the Funko Pop vinyl toys, which have left no corner of pop culture un-merchandised.
Initial BrickHeadz releases had a strong focus on superheroes; the likes of Batman, Superman, Black Panther and Captain America all made an appearance in the initial wave. They would also help to set the tone for the wider Brickheadz release in 2017. Four members of the Avengers appeared in BrickHeadz form at this time, as did several characters from The LEGO Batman Movie.
However, a number of non-superhero characters – inspired by recent movie releases – also appeared in this period. Rey and Kylo Ren appeared in costumes inspired by The Last Jedi, while Lloyd and Master Wu represented The LEGO Ninjago Movie. The BrickHeadz theme also dipped into classic properties from years past; a pair of sets inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast came out in this early period, for example.
Although pop culture franchises dominated the BrickHeadz line (and still do) the LEGO Group also introduced its own characters and ideas. Seasonal BrickHeadz featuring generic characters were first released in 2018, to coincide with events like Valentine’s Day and Halloween. These retained the BrickHeadz form factor, while including additional accessories in keeping with the occasion.
In the last few years, BrickHeadz has continued to draw from old favourites and recent pop culture successes. Franchises such as The Simpsons, Ghostbusters, Minecraft and Back to the Future have received representation in LEGO form. The Minions and their accompanying characters are another recent addition to the BrickHeadz family.
2021 has seen a greater emphasis on non-licensed characters. Several BrickHeadz inspired by pets (like German shepherds, budgies and goldfish) have been released, as has a trio of sets to commemorate NINJAGO’s tenth anniversary. There has even been a BrickHeadz recreation of La Catrina, an icon of Day of the Dead celebrations.
With regular releases each year in the BrickHeadz range, it appears the LEGO Group has found a popular new niche for its products to occupy.
LEGO BrickHeadz sets
BrickHeadz are characterised by boxy shapes, stubby legs, small hands and SNOT (studs not on top) construction to achieve hair and limited facial features. These characteristics have been present from the start; models like 41485 Finn are fairly simple, but use studded plates to better capture John Boyega’s hair texture. In a similar vein, 41587 Robin uses a pair of ring elements to recreate his thick glasses.
Most BrickHeadz also use the same black beady eye pieces as a through line for the BrickHeadz theme. That said, there are rare exceptions. 41612 Steve & Creeper features a pair of characters from the Minecraft series; the Creeper, however, uses square eyes in reflection of its body shape. Elsewhere, 40381 Monkey King sports golden eyes, reflecting his appearance in the Monkie Kid theme.
A notable innovation is the introduction of smaller-scaled characters. 41618 Anna & Olaf includes both the Arendelle princess and her hug-loving friend. Since Olaf is rather small compared to his friends, rounded elements and a 3×3 ‘skull’ allow for better scaling to other Brickheadz characters.
The arrival of more and more non-humanoid characters has forced BrickHeadz to diversify its character design. One of the earliest examples of this was 41614 Owen & Blue, which featured the first BrickHeadz dinosaur. A recent pair of BrickHeadz animals (found in 40442 Goldfish) do away with legs altogether, using slopes to represent fins and transparent bricks to simulate swimming in water.
The BrickHeadz theme has even allowed LEGO fans to put their own stamp on BrickHeadz products. 41597 Go Brick Me allows people to create a BrickHeadz version of themselves. It comes with bricks in a variety of realistic skin tones, and a number of other elements to represent clothes and accessories. You can also make a plain white Brickheadz figure if you so desire.
40383 Wedding Bride and 40384 Wedding Groom even allow you to make wedding day BrickHeadz. A selection of skin tones and hair colours are catered for here as well, and subtle modifications can be made to each gender’s wedding outfits as well. As wedding cake decorations go, they’re certainly an offbeat choice.
2022 has been a very lucrative year for BrickHeadz; so far, over a dozen different sets have appeared here. Licensed products tend to dominate the selection, with some familiar faces and some new entries to enjoy.
The 2022 Disney BrickHeadz largely take their cues from Toy Story 4. 40553 Woody and Bo Peep depicts the pull-string cowboy and his sweetheart. Woody himself is endearing thanks to his colourful design, large, angled hat and gold spurs. His body is actually hollow, which allows some lumps of ‘stuffing’ to be placed inside it.
Bo Peep is surprisingly substantial, thanks to her elaborate hair and purple cloak. She’s also very colourful, with a mix of pink, yellow and blue used in her construction. If you were only to get one BrickHeadz, this would be a worthy choice.
Woody is rarely far away from Buzz, who gets a BrickHeadz of his own. 40552 Buzz Lightyear depicts the space ranger with his wings extended. The button for his wrist-mounted laser can be found on his right arm, while a blue tile (referencing his space ranger badge) appears on his left shoulder.
Like the Woody Brickheadz, Buzz has some secrets of his own. Four batteries are assembled and placed in his torso during the building process. They’re even positioned differently, in reflection of how real-life batteries are inserted in toys.
The Disney BrickHeadz generally draw from the company’s most popular cartoon characters – or ones due a resurgence. 40550 Chip & Dale draws inspiration from the Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers TV show, depicting the two chipmunks in their classic outfits. Other features like Dale’s distinctive red nose are also preserved.
The arrival of 40550 may have been inspired by Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers, a new Disney+ movie launched in 2022. A BrickHeadz set inspired by DuckTales also released in the last few years, shortly after the reboot of the show appeared on TV. Of course, it could just be a staggering coincidence.
Several new licences debuted in the BrickHeadz theme in 2022. 40559 Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote depicts the classic Looney Tunes duo, who previously appeared in the Collectible Minifigures line. While Wile E. sticks pretty closely to the Brickheadz template, the Road Runner has a smaller body, a narrower head and more prominent feet. It is, arguably, a better rendition than the minifigure when we consider the Road Runner’s body shape.
40549 Demogoron & Eleven draws inspiration from the Stranger Things TV show, a sporadic licensing partner for the LEGO Group. It recreates Eleven – one of the show’s heroes – in her iconic Series 1 appearance, which features short hair and rather mismatched clothing. A waffle – one of her favourite foods – is held in one hand.
The hideous Demogorgon features brown skin and an array of sharp teeth, some of which are printed on its petal-like mouth flaps. Ladder elements add some texture to its chest, and its hand feature two clips instead of the usual one. These help depict its clawed hands, and reinforce its otherworldly nature.
40548 Spice Girls Tribute represents a new licensing partner for the LEGO Group, both within and without the broader LEGO product range. Taking inspiration from the legendary English pop band The Spice Girls, the set includes all five original members. Their colourful outfits are preserved, as are accessories like microphones (and in the case of Baby Spice, a lollipop).
The Go Brick Me concept returned in 2022, albeit in a slightly different version. 40541 Manchester United Go Brick Me and 40542 FC Barcelona Go Brick Me let you build your own member of these prestigious football teams. Each one comes with a mix of elements to depict different hairstyles and skin tones. A variety of stickers are also included, which let you give each player a number of your choice.
Each football player even comes with a new accessory: a simple, brick-built goal. An accessory of this scale is a first for the Brickheadz theme, and gives the set some additional display value.
Rounding out 2022 is a new seasonal set and a quartet of animals. 40540 Lion Dance Guy takes inspiration from Lunar New Year celebrations, offering an elaborate costume in warm colours.
Red corner tiles provide texture on the sides of the head, and printed spheres are used for eyes – returning from the Chinese Traditional Festivals product collection. A lantern and a pair of drums appear here as well, reflecting similar moves in previous seasonal Brickheadz.
40543 St. Bernard, 40544 French Bulldog, 40545 Koi Fish and 40546 Poodles depict various furred and finned animals. Two creatures are included in each set – one adult, one juvenile – with accessories such as a bush, a fire hydrant and water lilies included alongside them. The poodles are especially impressive, thanks to the ornate lamp post positioned alongside them.
LEGO BrickHeadz Harry Potter
Characters from the Wizarding World franchise have been represented several times in the BrickHeadz range. The earliest example was 41615 Harry Potter & Hedwig; this features Harry in his Hogwarts uniform, with a smaller, brick-built Hedwig joining him. Models of Hermione, Ron and Albus Dumbledore followed in the same year, as did models of Newt Scamander and Gellert Grindelwald from the Fantastic Beasts series.
The 2020s brought us two BrickHeadz versions of Hagrid. The first – 40412 Hagrid & Buckbeak – paired him with his pet hippogriff, which featured a pointed beak and detailed feathers. The second – 40495 Harry, Hermione, Ron & Hagrid – took a slightly different approach. It features smaller-scale versions of the three Hogwarts students, which allowed for more accurate scaling with Hagrid himself.
Another Wizarding World BrickHeadz is 40496 Voldemort, Nagini and Bellatrix. This model pairs the infamous wizard with his pet snake and devoted follower. Nagini features an unusual build that recreates the snake at an appropriate scale to her master.
2022 brought us a BrickHeadz set inspired by Hogwarts’ teaching staff. 40560 Professors of Hogwarts includes Brickheadz of Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall, Alastor Moody and Sybil Trelawney. Each one comes with a different accessory: a potion flask, a goblet, a walking stick and a teacup, as well as a magic wand.
LEGO BrickHeadz Mandalorian
The BrickHeadz focus on the pop culture zeitgeist also made a Mandalorian BrickHeadz set inevitable. 75317 The Mandalorian & The Child featured a version of the Mandalorian from early on in the show, without his full set of Beskar armour. However, he does carry the various firearms he uses while hunting his quarry.
The titular Child is appropriately adorable; sand green slope elements elegantly recreate his ears, with the 3×3 framework better conveying his diminutive size. Unusually for a BrickHeadz figure, Grogu’s hovering pram is also included. A pair of transparent bricks, attached to the underside, provide the illusion that it is floating.
Naturally, Grogu can be removed from the pram if you want to give him a cuddle. While his garment lacks texture, his wide collar survives being LEGO-fied. For a certain breed of LEGO Star Wars fans, this set is almost certainly a must-buy.
LEGO BrickHeadz Star Wars
The Mandalorian is far from the only Star Wars BrickHeadz set. A wide selection of Star Wars characters have enjoyed appearances in BrickHeadz form.
Most of the earliest Star Wars BrickHeadz drew inspiration from the Star Wars sequel trilogy. 41485 Finn features the hero in his stormtrooper garb, with his nemesis appearing in 41486 Captain Phasma. 41489 Rey & Kylo Ren includes BrickHeadz clearly tied into The Last Jedi; the former’s grey robes and the latter’s scarred visage are immediately noticeable. These characters would also receive standlone releases in the BrickHeadz range.
New York Comic Con offered an exclusive BrickHeadz duo; 41498 Boba Fett and Han Solo in Carbonite is rather self-explanatory. The latter model features a considerably wider base than other BrickHeadz, and its unusual subject matter makes it a desirable addition to any BrickHeadz collection.
Later releases would draw from a few different corners of the Star Wars universe. 41608 Han Solo recreates the Alden Ehrenreich version of the character, with 41609 Chewbacca portraying a younger version of the Wookiee. Later releases were obvious; 41619 Darth Vader portrays the Dark Lord of the Sith in a rather less imposing format, while 41627 Luke Skywalker & Yoda pairs his son with his former mentor.
Several new BrickHeadz have appeared in 2022, with a trio of desirable models for our collections. 40539 Ahsoka Tano recreates the beloved Force-wielder in her late Clone Wars appearance, with a dark blue outfit and a pair of blue lightsabers. Her lekku are especially impressive, using a complex array of curved and sloped elements to represent their shape.
40547 Obi-Wan Kenobi & Darth Vader takes its cues from the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show on Disney+. Obi-Wan wears his long brown Jedi robes, while his red hair and blue lightsaber are also present. Darth Vader bears a strong resemblance to his last Brickheadz version, but he now has a more prominent chest piece and red eyes instead of black ones.
Most Star Wars BrickHeadz have dropped out of the wider BrickHeadz product line. However, with a literal galaxy of characters to choose from, it’s certainly not due to a lack of material. With luck, we’ll see Star Wars return to BrickHeadz in the future.
LEGO BrickHeadz Marvel
The Marvel Cinematic Universe catapulted several superheroes into the public consciousness. It had become well-established by the time BrickHeadz graced store shelves, and as such a number of Marvel BrickHeadz quickly appeared.
Iron Man and Captain America were natural choices for a wide release. 41590 Iron Man and 41589 Captain America released in 2017, albeit with subtly different costumes to their San Diego counterparts. They were joined by 41591 Black Widow and 41592 The Hulk, the latter featuring a prominent brow to convey his brutish personality.
2018 saw Avengers: Infinity War arrive in cinemas, tying together a decade of dangling plot threads. As such, BrickHeadz inspired by its stars were released. 41604 Thanos is an obvious choice; while relatively simple by Brickheadz standards, his appearance is instantly recognisable. His hand features a representation of the notorious Infinity Gauntlet, complete with all six Infinity Stones.
Several members of the Guardians of the Galaxy also made an appearance at this time. 41607 Gamora and 41606 Star-Lord recreate the ill-fated assassin and her dim-witted paramour. Elsewhere, 41626 Groot and Rocket brought the alien odd couple to BrickHeadz. The latter model is particularly exciting; large whiskers and a brick-built ringtail make him one of the most unique BrickHeadz models.
LEGO BrickHeadz Lord of the Rings
In late 2022 the BrickHeadz theme unveiled a trio of sets inspired by the Lord of the Rings film franchise. These allow fans of both BrickHeadz and Middle-Earth to express their fandom, and recreate some of the trilogy’s key players.
40630 Frodo and Gollum include two of the franchise’s most popular characters, with Frodo wearing a familiar red, green and brown outfit. He is – naturally – barefoot, and carries a sword, although it’s a generic element rather than the bespoke one his minifigure used. Gollum takes some inspiration from sets like 41618 Anna & Olaf, offering a smaller build than usual. His BrickHeadz model is rather plain, although it does offer some printed hair detail on his head.
40631 Gandalf the Grey & Balrog may prove more interesting; this set marks the first time a Balrog has appeared in a physical LEGO product. It uses a mix of black, red, orange and yellow elements to convey its fiery appearance, and its wings and horns give it a much larger profile than we typically see in the theme. Gandalf is less flashy, but he offers impressive detail on his hair and hat – and comes with both a staff and a sword to fight off evil.
40632 Aragorn & Arwen depicts one of Middle-earth’s rulers and his wife. Aragorn is the more visually striking of the two, offering an elaborate crown element and printed armour. He carries a sword, suggesting he is ready for battle. Arwen is dressed more simply, although her pale green dress is quite unusual. Printed and brick-built detail suggest her own crown, and both BrickHeadz use drum-lacquered metallic silver elements for that added authenticity.