Collectible Minifigures Series 17 are due for release May 1 at the standard price of $3.99 USD, but if previous series have been any indicator, lucky shoppers may begin finding them earlier. We’ve already some reports that they’re on sale in LEGOLAND Billund, so if you’re excited about this series, start keeping an eye out now. We brought you an early review of Collectible Minifigures Series 17 a few weeks ago, but now to help you prepare for hunting for your favorite figures, we’re providing a Feel Guide.
As is standard for the Minifigures line, 71018 Collectible Minifigures Series 17 are each packaged in a blind foil bag, preventing buyers from knowing which characters they’re purchasing. That is, unless you use your nimble fingers to prod and poke the bags into revealing their secrets. We’ve already sorted an entire case of Series 17, so we’re here to help you figure out what you’re feeling inside each bag.
Readers well-acquainted with the Collectible Minifigures may wonder why we’re bothering with a Feel Guide, when each minifigure package has a unique dot code printed along the bottom seal. And the answer is simple: the dot code is a poor way to determine the bag’s contents. In our long experience of collecting and sorting thousands of these figures since Series 1, we’ve found that there’s no better way of determining the contents than simply feeling the bag. The dot code is hard to decipher and extremely error-prone, since it’s easy to miss key dots due to imperfections in the packaging. And once you get the hang of it, you should be able to decipher each bag by feel in less than 30 seconds; much quicker with a bit of practice under your belt.
The minifigures come in a standard case of 60, which most retail venues use as a display case for the product.
As with most recent series, the case of 60 provides 3 full sets of 16 unique minifigures, plus some extras. Here’s the breakdown:
3 each of:
- Professional Surfer
- Gourmet Chef
- Butterflies Girl
- Rocket Boy
- Dance Instructor
- Elf Girl
4 each of:
- Sausage Man
- Roman Gladiator
- French Man (aka Connoisseur)
- Battle Dwarf
- Retro Spaceman
- 80’s dude (aka Yuppie)
5 each of:
- Circus Strong Man
- Corn Cob Man
- Highwayman (Mystery Character)
This means if you’re looking for the Circus Strong Man, Corn Cob Man, or Highwayman, you should have a much easier time of it, while fans looking for the Rocket Boy may have to dig a bit more, since there are only three in each case of 60.
Of course, each minifigure comes with a 3×4 black stand tile, so don’t let that throw you off as you search. Each bag also includes a collector’s sheet showing all of the figures. It helps to have a visual reference, so we recommend bringing a sheet along with you as you search. If you don’t have a physical one yet, you can download the one below from this link to print or use on your phone as you hunt.
Here’s our standard tips for finding minifigures by feel:
- Tip 1: Split a case if you’re able. It’s always easier to sort figures at your leisure, or even better, open all the packs and then sort. Some stores and online retailers (mostly small toy shops and businesses that specialize in LEGO) allow you to purchase an unopened case.
- Tip 2: Feel the packs. Feeling works better than using the dot codes.
- Tip 3: Use a visual guide. Look at the minifigures as you feel the bags. This helps you visualize what you’re feeling, and pair what you feel with a particular part.
- Tip 4: Smaller is often better. The small elements are often the best giveaways. In many bags, the torso, legs, head, and stand are the largest elements, and none of these are unique. The small pieces also tend to fall to the corners of the bags with a little shaking, making them easy to feel.
Key element: Surfboard
The surfboard is long and flat, and about two studs wide. Feel for the two studs on the top and the pointed end to confirm, but there shouldn’t be anything else in this series you’re likely to confuse it with.
The hair is the only other unique element in this bag, and it’s very hard to distinguish from the 80s Business Dude or Gladiator’s hair through the package. Fortunately, though, the surfboard should be easy to pick out.
Circus Strong Man
Key element: Barbells
The barbells are two tiny spheres connected with a rod, and that’s exactly what it’ll feel like in the bag. Through the packaging, the spheres may initially feel a bit like a head, but the fact that they’re rigidly connected should give away their true shape pretty quickly.
The only other unique part here is the mustache, which is easy to confuse for the Dwarf’s beard and Highwayman’s mask.
Key elements: Whisk, Pie
The whisk is a tiny bar with a flared end that will be pliable to gentle finger pressure. This is probably your best bet for finding this figure, as there aren’t any similar elements in other figures. Find the pie to confirm. The pie is a thick disk a little larger than two studs in diameter, and the large anti-stud circle on the bottom along with the gently conical top should be easy to feel through the bag.
The chef’s hat and hair combo element is unique to this figure as well, but it’s hard to distinguish its shape through the bag. Stick with the accessories for finding this figure.
Corn Cob Man
Key element: Corn Cob
There’s only a single unique element for this character, but fortunately it’s an easy one. The corn cob is one of the two largest pieces in this series, so it will make the bag bulge a little, giving you an easy clue right at the start. In the bag, it will feel a bit like a very elongated U that’s nearly the size of a complete minifigure, and you should be able to easily feel the cutouts along the side where the piece slips over the minifigure. Find the top of the piece and confirm that it lacks an antenna to distinguish this from Rocket Boy’s rocket.
Key element: Rabbit
The rabbit is about the size and shape of a 1×2 brick, and the ears quite distinctly protrude from the head. Feel the ears thoroughly, though, you make sure they’re a single stalk sticking up and ensure that you’re not confusing the rabbit with the Frenchman’s bulldog. The bulldog has a wider head, individual feet, and ears that stick out and back, while the rabbit’s legs and ears are all molded together.
The Veterinarian’s hair is unique among these characters, but unless you’re a whiz at feeling the figures, you’ll probably have a hard time distinguishing its shape through the bag.
Key elements: Hot Dog, Shake, Serving Tray
The Sausage Man is loaded with great identifying elements. The largest and most obvious is the serving tray, which is a rectangle slightly smaller than the minifigure stand. Unlike the stand, though, the tray has a smooth surface on one side and a very prominent anti-stud on the other. The lip is slightly raised all the way around.
Next, the hot dog sausage element is a small rod, the same diameter is other minifigure utensils, and is about two and a half studs long. It’s got a gentle curve to it, so it will be easy to distinguish from the Bar 3-long and Bar 4-long in the Dwarf and Rockey Boy’s packages.
And finally, the shake also serves as a key identifier. The shake element is basically a 1×1 round brick with a special domed top. The only similar element is the 1×1 round brick that makes the Dance Instructor’s water bottle. However, you should be able to feel the domed top through the packaging, and the pointy straw is particularly noticeable if you angle the shake a bit.
The Sausage Man’s paper cap is unique, and makes a decent identifier, but with so many other easy elements for this character, it’s best to find one of them instead.
The hot dog bun is hard to distinguish through the packaging, so I recommend finding a different piece instead.
Key elements: Butterfly Wings, Hair
The Butterfly Girl’s wings are the obvious choice here, as they’re rather large and entirely unique. At the widest, they’re about five studs across. The outline can be a little hard to distinguish, but the real key is the neck bracket. The bracket is a very thin 1×1 plate that protrudes perpendicular to the wings.
The Butterfly Girl’s hair is also unique, and thanks to the ponytail on top, is quite distinct feeling. The hairpiece will feel a bit like a bowl, and the large ponytail should be distinct enough for you to grasp through the packaging.
The flowers and flower stem are also unique, but they’re a bit difficult to feel through the packaging. Stick to the wings and hair unless you’re particularly confident.
Key element: Trident
The trident is a pretty distinct piece. Feel for a long rod, and then simply find both ends to see if it has three tines to distinguish it from the bars in the Dwarf and Rocket Boy. The trident is a slightly soft plastic, so it the tines are flexible and the shaft will bend a bit more than the bars of other characters.
The Gladiator’s hair is unique, but fairly unhelpful finding this figure. Stick to the trident, which is unmistakeable.
French Man (aka Connoisseur)
Key elements: French Bread, French Bulldog
The Frenchman comes with three unique elements, and two of them are quite easy to feel through the packaging. You’re most likely to come across the French bulldog first, because it sticks out the most. The is a little larger than a 1×2 brick, with a very prominent head and ears. The ears stick up and out quite a lot, so they should be easy to feel. Find the legs to confirm. If you feel individual ears and legs, you won’t confuse the bulldog with theVeterinarian’s rabbit, which has fused legs and ears.
The French bread loaf is also a good signifier. It’s 4 studs long, and significantly thicker than a standard Bar element, like the Bar 4-long on Rocket Boy’s flag or the Bar 3-long on the Dwarf’s axe. It’s close to the diameter of a 1×1 round brick and slightly flattened along one side.
The Frenchman’s cap is also unique in this series, but it’s difficult to feel its shape through the packaging, especially compared to the ease of identifying the bread and bulldog.
Key elements: Mohawk, Hammer
The hammer will be the easiest element to identify the Dwarf, as it’s a very distinct shape that’s easy to feel through the plastic packaging. The hammer’s head is about the size of a 1×1 brick, and the shaft sticks out prominently. There aren’t any other cubic elements of a similar size to the hammer head, so if you feel a small box, just feel around the edges to see if it has a handle. If you confirm the handle, you’ve found the Battle Dwarf.
The mohawk element is also a pretty unique identifier that shouldn’t be too difficult to find. It’s a half-moon shape the diameter of a 3×3 radar dish. Although it’s made of softer rubber, it’s quite sturdy so you won’t feel much flex. However, you will feel the distinct tapering from the roots to the tips of the hair. If you feel a thick crescent shape, you’ll know you’ve got the mohawk, and thus the Dwarf.
The beard, axe head, and Bar 3-long are also unique elements, but they’re more difficult to feel. The beard is easily confused with the Strongman’s mustache or the Highwayman’s mask. The Bar 3-long is easily confused with the Rocket Boy’s Bar 4-long, and the axe head is just difficult to feel through the plastic packaging.
Key elements: Helmet, Space Gun
The space gun is your best bet for a sure identification of the Retro Spaceman. About the size of a 1×1 round, you won’t easily confuse it with the Sausage Man’s shake or the Dance Instructor’s water bottle due to several prominent and easily felt differences. The shooty end of the space gun is conical, and should be quite easy to find. Then feel back along the piece for the back fin, which will be a nice little hook. And then, of course, there’s the handle below it, which sticks out quite prominently. The space gun is much thicker and more bulbous than the Highwayman’s flintlock pistols, and the pointy tip should give it away. If you find this element, you can be sure you’ve got the Retro Spaceman.
Alternatively, you can search for the helmet, which is a larger element. The helmet is just a little bigger than a minifigure head, and the key bit here you want to find is the large fin on top. The front of the fin is hooked a bit, and you should be able to feel its point through the packaging. Below that, you’ll feel a large hole, where the helmet’s face opening is.
Of course, the cape is unique, but you won’t be able to feel that through the packaging at all. And even if you could, it would be nearly impossible to tell it apart from the Highwayman’s cape.
80s dude (aka Yuppie)
Key elements: Radio, 1×1 Tile, Cheese Slope
The easiest way to identify this character will be to feel the corners of the bag. Most likely, the 1×1 tile and 1×1 cheese slope will have fallen to a corner, where they can easily be felt. Both are unique to this character, so if you feel one, you can positively identify the 80s dude. The 1×1 tile is a tiny flat rectangle, while the cheese slope is a tiny rectangle on one axis and a triangular wedge on the other. Make sure you feel the corners of the pieces, though, to ensure you aren’t feeling the Dance Instructor’s water bottle top, which is a round inkwell element of about the same size.
The radio is the largest unique element in this bag. It’s basically a 1×2 brick with a large antenna on one end. The antenna is quite prominent, and the only other element with a thin piece like it is the Butterfly Girl’s bouquet. The bouquet, however, has 3 tines and isn’t connected to a plate, so you shouldn’t have any issues telling them apart.
Key element: Rocket Suit
The rocket suit is the largest single element in this series, so it will bulge the packaging a bit. Like the Corn Cob Man’s corn cob suit, the rocket is an elongated U shape. However, the rocket has very distinct fins around the bottom and the top is a cone ending in a small sphere. The corn cob suit’s top is blunt, so if you feel the pointy end and sphere, you can be sure you’ve found the Rocket Boy.
The Bar 4-long for the flagpole and the flag itself are also unique elements, but you’re certain to feel the rocket suit first.
Key elements: 1×1 Round Brick, Inkwell, Hair
The hair is the largest hairpiece in this series, and it’s only a little smaller than a 3×3 stud sphere. It’s highly textured, and of course has a prominent cutout on two sides where it fits over the minifigure’s head. Make sure you feel all around this element to ensure it doesn’t have a ponytail or flat top, signifying the Butterfly girl’s hair or the Chef’s cap/hair piece.
The water bottle, made of a 1×1 round brick, is a good identifier. Be sure you feel the stud on top to differentiate it from the Sausage Man’s shake.
The inkwell that makes the water bottle’s top is also a good piece, since it’s likely to fall to corners of the package where it can be easily singled out. It’s a small 1×1 round tile with a very short bar on top. There aren’t any other round elements this small in this series, so if you can feel the round disk of the base, you’ll know you’ve got the inkwell, and thus the Dance Instructor.
Key elements: Dress 2x2x2 Slope Brick, Shield
The largest unique element in this character is the 2x2x2 slope brick that serves as the lower dress. As you may recall from previous series, this element is thick enough that it can make the package bulge a bit. Just look for overstuffed packages, and you’ll probably find they’re the Elf Girl, Corn Cob Man, or Rocket Boy. From there, it will be immediately obvious if you’re feeling the corn or rocket suit, or the square wedge that’s the 2x2x2 slope brick.
Alternatively, find the shield, which is a very thin triangular plate about 2×2 studs large, and has a handle protruding from the back. There aren’t any other pieces similar to the shield in this series, so it should be easy to identify once you find it.
The sword and hair are also unique identifiers, but it’s much harder to feel them through the packaging. If you find it, it will be a thin, flexible piece of flat plastic about 5 studs long. Feel along the length to find the cross guard, and you’ll positively identify the sword. The hair is a small bowl on top, with a long flat section about 2 studs wide come off one side, where the hair falls down the back. There are no other hairpieces in this series with long hair down the back, so if you find a piece like this, you know you’ve found the Elf Girl.
Highwayman (Mystery Character)
Key elements: Tricorn, Flintlock Pistols
The pistols will be the easiest elements to find for the Highwayman, as there’s two of them and they tend to fall to the corners of the package with a little shaking. They’ll feel like small bars bent into an L shape. You should be able to feel the blunderbuss barrel tip, and the prominent hammer at the elbow in the L. The bend is much more pronounced than the Sausage Man’s hot dog element, which has a gentle curve. And the flintlock pistol is roughly the same diameter all the way along its shape, unlike the Retro Spaceman’s space gun, which is very bulbous in the middle.
The tricorn hat is also a great identifier, as it’s a thick triangular element about 2 studs across. It’s nearly a brick thick, so you won’t confuse it with the Elf Girl’s shield, and you’ll feel a depression on one side where it fits over a minifigure head.
The mask makes a poor identifier, as it’s easily confused with the Strongman’s mustache and the Dwarf’s beard. The cape is also unique, but it’s impossible to feel it in the package.
LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 17 will be available May 1 for $3.99 USD each.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick a copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.