20 comments on “Collectible Minifigs, Series 4, have been announced! [News]

  1. Andrew

    So, LEGO thinks that geishas and sumo wrestlers can have the same hair because they’re both Japanese?

    Otherwise pretty damn awesome.

  2. Catsy

    Getting a bit sick of the snow/surf/skateboarders, but at least they’re easy to recognize and avoid. The garden gnome is really meh, and I just don’t care about the werewolf and Frankenstein.

    The rest are pretty nice, though–lots of new elements. The ice skates are interesting; I predict their widespread use as greebles. I see a metallic silver spyglass, a nifty beaker for the scientist, and both a palette and brush for the artist–though I wish they hadn’t put paint on the tip of the brush; it makes it near-useless to use as anything else and locks the painter into using a particular color of paint that you might not want in your build. The geisha fan is nifty, but I really wish they’d find another solution for dresses than those godawful printed slopes.

    The radiation suit cleanup guy in particular is truly awesome–I will buy a ton of him, but not until either there’s a workaround for the obfuscated packaging or TLG gets a clue about that.

    Anyone else look at the flying V guitar and a lot of the other non-weapon accessories Lego has been making in these series and think they’re a shot across the bow at Brickforge et al?

  3. Andrew

    ^ Agreed re: BrickForge. Though I’m certainly not accusing TLG of copying BrickForge in any way (especially given the long development cycle for LEGO products), it is kind of funny that BrickForge releases certain accessories, only to be followed months later by “official” versions from LEGO. I wonder when we’re getting official centaurs… ;-)

  4. Catsy

    ^ I don’t think TLG is necessarily copying Brickforge, per se–but I wouldn’t be surprised (or begrudge them in the slightest) if they were keeping an eye on popular third-party accessories online and at conventions and developing official alternatives where possible, and the collectible minifigs are certainly the perfect vehicle for releasing unique accessories that might not otherwise fit or be justifiable in a regular set.

    Though now that you mention centaurs, it occurs to me that they’d fit right in with the Harry Potter theme.

    Somewhat OT, but I’ll say this for TLG–ever since they started hiring talented AFOLs like Mark Stafford, the quality of official sets and inclusion of great parts and colors has just gone through the roof. With few exceptions it’s tough to say who’s responsible for what, but for example look at the Pharaoh’s Quest theme: it’s like someone sat down and said, “how can we give people a metric ton of dark red, dark blue, dark tan, pearl gold, and other rare colors all in one theme?”

  5. jimmythefly

    Catsy, I tried using the “dots” method for series 3, but instead just did the good ‘ol feel-through-the-package. It worked surprisingly well, and the radiation suit guy should be easy to ID. Find the full-face helmet, and figure out if it’s the hockey one or the bulkier haz-mat one.

    The geisha will be the easiest to find due to the slope brick, and the gnome should be, too, the fishing rod and string are pretty distinctive.

    With that face mask and shoulder pads, I be we’ll see some custom (American) football players.

    I’m pretty sure Lego just does whatever it pleases. I’m sure they’re aware of Brickforge and Brickarms. I see this as more of a “Oh, there were some 3rd party vendors making custom accessories? We hadn’t noticed as we’re too busy being awesome and designing whatever official parts we feel like.”

  6. carterbaldwin

    Considering TLG’s pattern of reusing parts from collectible figs in subsequent packs (i.e. the elf hair being used as the werewolf hair), I’d imagine we’ll see an official football player in series 5.

  7. the enigma that is badger

    Definitely a VERY strong line-up with this Series! There’s too much that I like to even begin to list it, and while Series 3 left me feeling a bit cooler towards the line (not that I didn’t still really like several of those figs), these pictures took my interest right back up to burning white-hot.

    Also a plus: at this point, LEGO and retailers are more than aware just how strong an interest there is in these figures, so hopefully we’ll see this series in greater numbers on shelves! With the response these two pictures have gotten, I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one thinking of picking up a few . . . cases ;)

    “I’m pretty sure Lego just does whatever it pleases. I’m sure they’re aware of Brickforge and Brickarms. I see this as more of a ‘Oh, there were some 3rd party vendors making custom accessories? We hadn’t noticed as we’re too busy being awesome and designing whatever official parts we feel like.'”

    I more than agree. Anything custom is less than a drop in the ocean compared to LEGO, and while LEGO is certainly aware of the custom accessory market, TLG is clearly going to pursue whatever new elements they think fit the brand. Given the minifig is not only LEGO property but also a core part of the LEGO experience, it’s more than understandable that LEGO is going to continue to explore new elements for the fig, especially those that fit in common LEGO themes (Castle, City). There’s always the risk in producing custom elements in niches unfilled by LEGO product that one day LEGO will decide to fill in some of those gaps, and when that happens, no use to complain about LEGO “stealing” or “being inspired” by your custom items. Like the above figs show, LEGO designers are pretty darn creative, talented folk, and no doubt they don’t need to look to the custom community for ideas when it comes to new and exciting minifig elements.

    (And yes, I’d say the same if the next series consisted of nothing by modern and WWII military figs with new accessories to match ;) )

  8. Starwars4J

    “There’s always the risk in producing custom elements in niches unfilled by LEGO product that one day LEGO will decide to fill in some of those gaps, and when that happens, no use to complain about LEGO “stealing” or “being inspired” by your custom items.”

    Actually you’ll notice that no one HAS complained about LEGO “stealing” or “being inspired” by their custom items, OTHERS have however noticed that LEGO has “been inspired” by products by certain customizers. I know Armothe has, on multiple occasions, been proud to have inspired official elements by LEGO (and who wouldn’t?). In fact the earliest images of the LEGO Spartan from Series 2 used a Brick Forge helmet before their own mold was done. At no point did he complain, what’s really a finer compliment after all?

    It is natural for a company to look and see “Hm…what is something the fans want?”, and what finer way to see this than to see what’s selling to the fan community when they have the opportunity to buy items of their choosing from parts selections not available in official pieces? It’s simple, smart business, and nobody begrudges the LEGO group for doing so. It has given us a great variety from it.

    I know I’m looking forward to Series 4 perhaps more than any of the previous series. While 3 was a huge disappointment for me, 4 keeps my faith in a strong line yet to come, with many figs I’ve found I will have to get in multiples. Even the weaker figures in this line (to me the Viking) have some great redeemable points that warrant a buy. Now just to wait out the third series coming out in stores around here…

  9. the enigma that is badger

    I was responding broadly to the matter and, as you’ll note, did not discuss any custom vendor in particular. I was simply offering my point of view on the entire concept of LEGO being “inspired” by anything custom, regardless of who produced it. I thought my comment at the end of my post would have made that clear. To be frank, I was more motivated to post what I did due to the number of comments I’ve seen related to the Series 3 Baseball Player than anything else!

    As I noted above, some themes are cornerstones of LEGO, and it’s unsurprising that as the company continues to flourish as it has in the past few years, they’ve pursued more items in those themes. To say any vendor has “inspired” LEGO time and time again is inherently obnoxious in that it seeks to minimize the work and creativity of the LEGO designers and inflate that vendor’s relative importance. LEGO produces elements in those themes, and that’s really all there is to it! No one should be surprised or claim to be the source of inspiration behind an item when LEGO decides to produce a new piece of sports equipment, animal, train wheel, sword, or helmet because those are the elements that LEGO makes, and they’ve done so for decades. We’re just lucky to be at a place in time when they’re pursuing new elements faster than they ever have before and giving builders elements in themes they’ve long wanted (and the absence of which custom accessory vendors have exploited).

    Is LEGO aware of custom items? Certainly, and for an early poster meant only a rough mock-up to demonstrate a concept, using a custom item as a temporary stand-in is plausible enough. No doubt LEGO also has samples of everything custom on hand for reference. But are those items driving LEGO designs? No, because those who are in the best position know what LEGO fans truly want to see most and what is best overall for the LEGO brand are LEGO themselves, and they have the creative staff to realize those concepts without any assistance from what the custom community has to offer.

    Ultimately, it’s LEGO that’s inspired ALL of us, and it’s important that we all remember that, and regardless how much we might enjoy custom items, it all begins and ends with LEGO.

  10. Starwars4J

    I’m not going to get into this with you Badger, I’m just correcting something you said in error, that anyone had complained that LEGO was “stealing” their items. And since there was really one person being talked about in particular in the comments above, I gave an example of the person in question. It’s really very simple :) As for the rest of your comments, when there are many, many examples to point to, it makes most of what you’ve said rather moot.

    Now…back to the topic at hand! ;)

  11. the enigma that is badger

    I didn’t say any particular vendor had accused LEGO of stealing designs; Again, what I was responding to were comments of this type which have come up several times related to the Collectible Minifig line and other new elements, and I simply stated above that accusing or implying LEGO was doing so is pointless. Even when there are “many, many examples to point to,” all that means is that a company had long pursued elements LEGO was likely to make at some point because those are the type of items LEGO designs and produces. It’s great that they’ve filled that need when it existed, but that’s the risk that’s run.

  12. Creative Anarchy

    Will the new minifig accessories never stop? It’s like minifig porn!
    I’m falling in love with hazmat suit guy but I suspect after seeing him in a few thousand Mocs the feeling will fade.

  13. joelkun

    The ice hockey player looks awesome IN THE TOP PICTURE, but not the second. I suspect that is because his legs are spread apart and I don’t think the real thing will look nearly as cool. Can anyone suggest any techniques for spreading minifig legs in this way?

  14. armothe

    “Oh, there were some 3rd party vendors making custom accessories? We hadn’t noticed as we’re too busy being awesome and designing whatever official parts we feel like.”

    Quite the opposite, actually. The developers at TLG have stated time and time again they are inspired by the community. The team responsible for the collectible minifigs are well aware of ‘us’ and our product lineup. They are much more nimble than the crew designing sets. No longer does it take a year to make an accessory, more like weeks. Such agility allows them to see what the custom shops are doing and make changes accordingly……yes, they actually make an effort to work around ‘us’ when possible.

    Sure, the LEGO group is a bastion of creativity, but it’s not the only place where ideas exist. The community is inspired by LEGO, and they are inspired by us. Do you honestly believe that without the formation of custom shops like BrickForge & BrickArms – not to mention the countless boutiques selling custom minifigs there would even exist a Collectible Series Minifigures in it’s current form? Doubtful.

    Hats off to TLG for (finally) getting the message and satisfying the wants of what was once merely an obscure subculture of LEGO. I can’t speak for the others but BrickForge will continue to fill in the gaps where necessary and make various improvements. It’s difficult to prevent specific overlaps – and regrettable when it happens; we can only hope that by providing additional styles, colors and selections we continue to meet the needs of hobbyists, while complimenting and enhancing the official LEGO brand.

  15. Jai

    I feel like we’ve already have skateboarders and surfers… but most of the rest of the set is completely awesome (And, heck, the skater/surfer figures look really good. It’s just, conceptually, old ground to me).

    What’s the trophy-holding guy supposed to be? Nice hair, plus a black fez and silver miniminifig — awesome. He could be a race car driver, I suppose (“Octan” sponsorship logo on his torso), but he’s wearing a polo shirt and doesn’t have a helmet. Any other ideas?

    The rocker, gnome, hazmat guy and musketeer are absolute knock-outs. Really like the geisha, ice skater and “Thriller” wolfman, too. :D

  16. BrickArms

    ‘The developers at TLG have stated time and time again they are inspired by the community.’

    I’m not sure this word means what you think it means. Perhaps “community” refers not to customizing vendors, but to the millions of talented builders of LEGO all over the world.

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