LEGO Collectible Minifigures could be losing their way

With fewer figures in recent series, some uninspiring models and some bizarre design decisions, LEGO Collectible Minifigures seem to be having a wobble.

LEGO Collectible Minifigures, perennial favourite and ideal impulse purchase, have been around for more than a decade now. In that time we’ve seen 22 ‘original’ sets – with a 23rd on its way in September – alongside 17 sets of licensed minifigures, from Disney to the German National soccer team. For many buyers, the Pokemon vibe of ‘Gotta catch ’em all’ is enough to keep them hunting down complete sets each time, but if you’re not compelled by the completists itch, then are they still the essential purchase they once were?

Whereas licensed sets contained anything from nine to 22 minifigures, non-licensed sets, up until Series 20, contained 16 minifigures. At that point it went down to 12, possibly trying to counter the inevitable price rises, so that a set did not become prohibitively expensive. Less product for the same (or thereabouts) price was the perfect example of ‘shrinkflation’. 

But alongside the reduction in numbers, have the LEGO Group reduced the inventiveness of the designs?  Some minifigures are crying out for a ‘buddy’. In Series one we had the blue Cheerleader. Most sports that require a cheerleader involve two teams, so in Series eight we had a Red Cheerleader. The Spooky Girl in Series 12 didn’t have to wait too long for Spooky Boy to come along. But pity the poor Hockey player in Series 4, who’s still waiting for an opponent, 11 years later. 

Coming up to date, a lot of people looked at the images for the upcoming Series 23 and scratched their heads. Half of the set had a clear seasonal theme, with a snowman, the Nutcracker, a Turkey guy and a Reindeer girl. Meanwhile, the other other half of the set just seemed to consist of a random selection of ideas. We’re struggling to see a connection between Wolf guy, a Ship’s Captain and a walking box of popcorn. Maybe there’s a deeper meaning that we’re just missing.

Then add to this the strong possibility that Series 24 will come in boxes rather than bags, which (unless someone discovers a hidden code on the box) will make it all but impossible to determine the contents. Many people are prepared to buy blind when they have a fighting chance of working out the contents, meaning that you can usually complete a set with few or no duplicates. 

LEGO Minifigure Box Cardboard Boxes Final

But combine completely random selections with arguably declining standards in minifigure design – just our $0.02, you may feel differently – then Collectible minifigures could be going from a must have to a ‘Hmmm. Don’t think I’ll bother.’ in the future. We’ll have to wait until Series 24 is officially revealed to see whether the ‘desire to acquire’ is still strong.

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6 thoughts on “LEGO Collectible Minifigures could be losing their way

  • 05/09/2022 at 13:38
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    Completely agree that we need natural pairs for sports. There are 2 Lego baseball teams, but (as you note) we sorely need a second hockey minifigure, plus second American football and generic soccer minifigure (the rare cases of official team licenses like the German national team don’t count). Heck, maybe we could even dare to dream of 3rd or 4th teams?

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  • 02/09/2022 at 17:43
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    I think “The captain” figure bears a resemblance with Titanic’s captain and the “ship” he wears looks like a small Titanic. So imo it is a nod to Titanic and the Titanic set that came out last year.

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  • 31/08/2022 at 10:21
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    Possible theme could be the fancy dress for holidays, not everyone dresses like a vampire for Halloween, definitely not a fan of the cardboard box

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  • 31/08/2022 at 09:08
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    It is clearly dressing party… Diversity and random is the key

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  • 31/08/2022 at 03:59
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    The cardboard packaging kills it for me. There’s no chance I’m buying blind. If they offer a complete set I’ll consider it, otherwise my days of collecting these things are over.

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    • 31/08/2022 at 13:53
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      It’s a costume party/holidays theme for the 90th years celebration. Bit of Halloween, bit of thanksgiving, bit of christmas, bit of castle theme and the rest are fun costumes.
      Most if the other sets don’t have a theme, the fact this has a loose celebration theme is fine.

      Reply

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