Why are the LEGO Collectible Minifigures down from 16 to 12 characters per series?

According to the LEGO managers behind the Collectible Minifigures series, scaling back to 12 characters has nothing to do with sales.

Brick Fanatics sat down with Senior Design Manager Astrid Graabæk and Senior Project Manager Ina Paske to hear about the latest Collectible Minifigures news. The LEGO staple, which is entering its 11th year on shelves, is changing: rather than 16 minifigures in a standard series, the number is being reduced to 12 from 71029 Series 21.

When asked if the change was due to declining sales, Astrid quickly refutes the idea: “The reason is the consumer need, that’s why we have adjusted it. We basically do not know anything about sales, it hasn’t been released yet [this interview was conducted in May 2020]. So it’s a need we are trying to adapt to.”

Ina explains in full why the number of minifigures has been reduced: “First of all, we definitely know that it will be easier for kids to complete a collection, so they will get the success that they want to have when they have completed a collection.

“We also know that you guys [AFOLs] often share a box, so with this set up we can actually secure that there are three characters of each, [with] nothing left over or any weird mixes, so when a full box is purchased then you’ll get three of each character.

“Thirdly, we know from our customers – the retailers – they like to place this box in various places in their stores, so with this slight reduction it is easier for them to find the right spot, which again makes it much easier for you guys and the kids and the parents. It’s easier to find it and will secure better availability. This is something that will come in January and we are really looking forward to it.”

You can draw your own conclusions based on that explanation, and decide whether you consider it to be good or disappointing news.

This interview was conducted in May 2020. In December, the LEGO Group provided the following update regarding the distribution of 71029 Series 21:

As shared with you in Fan Media Days, the case sizes for series minifigure[s] will be changing to 36 with an equal assortment of 12 minifigures. In testing we have confirmed that this new assortment is working with the exception [of] cases inspected during quality control.

When a case is pulled out of production line for inspection or due to a weight discrepancy, there is a chance that a manual adjustment is made which alters the contents. When a case of series minifigures is manually adjusted, it is no longer possible to guarantee an equal distribution of each minifigure as it is not possible to identify which minifigure quantity was originally shortened or exceeded. 

We do have processes in place to ensure at least one full assortment per case and nearly all series minifigure cases will have equal assortment that we are excited to debut with Series 21 set 71029 on January 1.

As you were with us at Fan Media Days when we shared this upcoming change, we wanted you to be aware of the infrequent situation where a case does not include three of each minifigure.

The latest batch of LEGO Collectible Minifigures, 71029 Series 21, is available now at LEGO.com. To support the work of Brick Fanatics, please buy your LEGO sets from LEGO.com using our affiliate links.


Graham was the BrickFanatics.com Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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