The Collectible Minifigures line has brought with it a steady stream of minifigures dressed up as… well, just about anything. Hot dogs, plants, figures from history and more have all graced those tiny shiny packages over the last half a decade. Throughout the entire run a continual favourite has been minifigures dressed to look like animals. With their popularity, it’s a wonder that the LEGO Group didn’t think to give minifigures the ability to look like animals before this line. Or did they?
Recent waves have brought us figures such as Shark Suit Guy. With this figure, it was difficult to tell whether this was just a stressed out guy in a costume or a dude actually being eaten by a shark with only his terror stricken face still visible. The face on the shark head closely resembled the modern incarnations of LEGO sharks, a trend which has held with other animal suits like chicken suit guy.
The first Collectible Minifigures character to wear an animal costume was Gorilla Suit Guy from Series 3, back in 2011. This instant favourite led many collectors to their local store for an hour of feeling packets for that elusive contoured head. This guy holds the title of first Collectible Minifigure in an animal costume, but he was not the first of the genre.
The first minifigure to be able to dress like an animal goes to Viktor Krum in the rare Harry Potter set 4762 Rescue from the Merpeople. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire includes a challenge in which contestants must plunge beneath the lake next to Hogwarts and rescue their friends from the Merpeople. How each contestant survives is up to them. The hearty Viktor employs a spell which turns his top half into a shark. Astonishingly, rather than simply omit his figure from the set and just include Harry, Ron, Hermione and the Merman – all of which already had molds – the LEGO Group instead elected to produce a one-off component. Created exclusively for this set, and molded out of hard plastic rather than the soft kind used for such pieces today, Viktor was able to don a realistic shark head cast to look like the older version of the LEGO shark.
An oddity in the LEGO Group’s portfolio, this head was never included in a set again. Most likely this was partially due to a lack of application and the fact that the head was awkwardly facing up, which would look strange in a context outside of swimming.