With seventeen numbered series in, plus another 7 special series, LEGO Collectible Minifigures are just as popular as they were when they debuted 7 years ago. The wide cast of characters in each series, always sporting a variety of new elements, keeps fans coming over and over again. With such an open-ended theme, LEGO designers are nowhere close to running the well dry on popular and recognizable occupations for minifigures. 71018 Collectible Minifigures Series 17, which will be available beginning May 1, draws from this infinite well to add a host of interesting new characters, ranging from a Dance Instructor to a Gladiator. Aside from the box art revealed at the New York Toy Fair, we only got our first look at this series yesterday, so I was delighted to have my review case show up on my doorstep that same day. Let’s dig in, and see what Series 17 has to offer.
If you’ve bought any LEGO Collectible Minifigures before, you know the drill. Each of the 16 unique minifigures is packaged in a blind foil bag and comes with a 4×3 black base tile and a small folded page showing the full series. As usual, they come in cases of 60, and although LEGO hasn’t confirmed it yet, it’s a safe bet they will retail for $3.99 USD like the previous several series. This series is decked out in azure blue, pretty much the same color as Series 5, to which it bears a striking similarity in content as well. Both series contain a Dwarf, a Fitness Instructor, a Gladiator, a Zookeeper/Vet, a Gangster/Mobster, and (perhaps stretching a bit) a character with a pie.
Our review case of 60 broke down like this:
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)
So each case of 60 provides 3 complete sets, plus some extras, which is in keeping with previous series. The costumed characters such as the rabbit, pig, and hot dog have been wildly popular, so it’s nice that the Corn Cob Man is one of the most common in this series. The other two common figures are the Circus Strong Man, which seems an odd choice, and the Mystery Character. LEGO has asked us to keep the identity of this character secret until the figures are in the wild.
(We’ve now updated the original text of this article to include the Mystery Character.)
The Surfer is a pretty straight forward character. He carries the medium blue surfboard that was introduced way back with the Series 2 Surfer, this time printed with an amusing shark pattern. This character is pretty much the male version of the Series 4 Female Professional Surfer. His black torso and arms are printed with the red wetsuit design, though the back of the torso lacks printing. I believe his tan hair is a new element, with a nice shoulder length wave.
Circus Strong Man
We had a weightlifter back in Series 2, but this time we can take a trip to the crazy world of sideshows where a mustachioed man in a leopard-print leotard curls 200lbs with one arm. Our strong man has dual-moulded legs, giving him black boots and yellow thighs below the bright light orange leotard. The most interesting feature of this character, though, is the barbell, which is a single element made of two spheres connected with a short bar. Annoyingly, the balls on each end don’t seem to work with any other LEGO element dimensions. They’re too large for Mixel ball joints, and they’re too small for Bionicle joints.
The back of the torso carries on with the catskin over one shoulder.
Without his mustache, the strong man just has unusually thick eyebrows.
Every city needs a chef, and if you’ve bought Assembly Square you’ll have the perfect place for this chef to whip up delicacies. Her black legs have a tiny stripe of white printing for the extension of her white coat. The coat itself is a simple but classy design, with black buttons on the sleeves but no printing on the torso’s back.
The Gourmet Chef is the only figure in this series with a double-sided head, alternating between a grin and a satisfied smile. She weilds a new accessory: the whisk. It’s hard plastic, though naturally the wires are thin enough that it flexes pretty easily.
Although we’ve seen this pie in a number of sets before, this is the first time it’s been printed. A lovely pattern of six strawberries decorate the top.
The chef’s hat is a double mould with the brown hair, a practice that is becoming increasingly common in LEGO hairpieces. It results in a better product than moulding in a single color and then painting half of the piece.
Corn Cob Man
Ever been to Nebraska? I think this is the state mascot. And check out that moustache – there’s no way that’s certified organic. My personal theory is that this guy is the Series 11 constable on the world’s worst undercover assignment: representing London’s finest at the Nebraska State Fair, presumably. (Sorry, that was a bit corny.)
The corn cob piece is double-moulded in bright green and yellow.
The suit severely limits the figure’s posability. The arms can’t move backwards, and the legs have a very limited range of motion.
Beneath the corny outfit, our poor constable wears a plain green torso and legs. The only printing on this figure is the face. I sure hope he gets a good reward for all this hard work when he returns to London. Maybe he’ll be promoted to kernel.
With light aqua-colored scrubs and double-moulded short sleeves, the Vet is a welcome addition to LEGO City. As far as I can recall, LEGO has never released a vet minifigure before, though I believe there’s a Friends mini-doll. She’s got a new medium nougat hair element with long bangs.
A little bit of printing on the torso’s back defines the scrubs.
Apart from the paw print on the ID card, she could pass as a nurse in a hospital just as easily. The medium blue hands work perfectly as latex gloves.
The vet also comes with a new rabbit. This is the first rabbit developed to fit into the minifigure-scale menagerie (though an overly cute bunny has appeared in Friends sets). The white rabbit has black printing for the eyes and mouth, with just a touch of pink on the nose. It sits on two studs, and is exactly one brick wide.
Sausage Man isn’t a great name. Carhop, perhaps? Either way, this kid’s got the right attitude, and I’m pretty sure he works for Checkers. He sports the little paper cap that first appeared with the Series 6 Butcher, which gets printing for the first time here, gaining a little red stripe all the way around.
The carhop’s checkered apron extends down to the knees and looks terrific. He’s even got flair to express himself. The double-moulded arms give us red short sleeves.
The carhop’s tray is a new element, with a lip all the way around that allows minifigures to grip it, and a single anti-stud in the middle of the bottom. The tray’s dimensions are roughly 2.5 studs by 3.5 studs.
And, of course, the carhop comes with a hotdog and a shake. The hot dog is dark red, which is a new color for the element and far too long coming. You’ll also get one of the new hot dog buns, and the single-piece drink element with an unprinted white cup and clear bubble lid. This cool part has previously only been available in purple and lime green in the Simpson’s Kwik-E-Mart and in lime green with the Simpson’s Minifigures Comic Book Guy.
Another character that fits into the “costumed kids” category, this little girl sure loves her butterflies. She’s got pink short legs with dark pink printed shoes, and a bright light blue torso with thin straps and a cute butterfly. She carries a neat little bouquet of flowers on a lime green three-way stem, adding a new color to that element, which has previously only been available in green. The dark pink flowers come in their standard four-on-a-sprue setup, so you’ll get an extra.
The butterfly wings are a hard plastic element in transparent pink. Beneath the wings, the torso back is unprinted.
The wings are printed with pink and blue, and this piece seems ready-made to just be a butterfly on a giant brick-built flower.
The little girl wears a smirk, and is adorned with flowers on her face and hair.
Finally, a challenger appears for the Series 5 Gladiator. Armed with a trident and …well, that’s it. There’s not much to this figure, but what’s here is nice. Dark orange boots transition to bare legs with a dark tan undergarment, and chiseled muscles show beneath the most minimal of armor. The Gladiator has brown hands and an unshaven face.
The Gladiator has a short, curly, dark brown hairpiece that first appeared on Dr. Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters Firehouse, but has since appeared in a number of other sets, though always in black up until now. The torso’s back shows more muscle definition and continues the pauldron’s strap.
The pauldron itself is created with the pearl gold upper section of a double-injected arm, and is emblazoned with a lion. Only the right arm is double-injected; the left is solid yellow.
French Man (aka Connoisseur)
Without even getting into the stereotyped way he’s dressed, this guy’s got French bread and a French Bulldog, so I feel reasonably confident in saying that he’s probably supposed to be French. He may well be a Connoisseur, but I’m not confident about that part. His white torso has black stripes on both the front and back, as well as on the sleeves, but the legs are simply solid black. Although the bread loaf has come in plenty of sets before, this is by far the cheapest set in which it’s ever been available.
The red kerchief is printed around the neck on the back.
The tan French Bulldog is a new mould, with a cute little grumpy face and a tiny white spot on his forehead. He stands across two studs, and while the back feet are a single brick wide, the front legs have a wider stance. The ears stick out even further.
This fearsome dwarf looks crazy enough to try anything, and I think he’d look equally at home banging orc heads or headbanging at a Swedish heavy metal concert. He’s the second dwarf in the collectible minifigure line, following Series 5’s Evil Dwarf. We know this dwarf isn’t evil though, because he wields Thor’s hammer, which appears here for the first time in pearl dark grey. The mohawk picks up a fifth color with this red piece, adding to black, dark blue, lime green, and magenta. The short beard also adds a fifth color, though it’s previous tones have been more subdued: dark bluish grey, dark orange, light bluish grey, and reddish brown.
The Dwarf’s fur-lined belt is printed on the front and back of the torso, and you can clearly see the double-injected short legs from the back, which are dark red on the top and bottom, with a band of dark orange between.
The Dwarf has fantastic dragon tattoo spanning from his right arm to his chest. He wears bracers on both arms. I believe this is the first time the upper part of the arm is bare yellow, but the bottom is colored.
The Dwarf’s hammer has a copper-printed boar design on each side, and the copper belt buckle is a stylized boar’s head.
Unlike the Circus Strong Man, the Dwarf looks just as fearsome without his beard.
Stepping straight out of a Ray Harryhausen film, the Retro Spaceman is dressed in a sand green spacesuit with awesome orange highlights and a yellow cape. He carries a new raygun, and wears a finned helmet. The legs are double-injected for dark grey boots, and the arms get the same treatment for long gloves.
Beneath the cape, the torso is unprinted.
An atomic patch on each shoulder shows how this man of the future powers his spaceship.
The light grey raygun is a new design, adding more detail over the old design which was introduced in Series 1 as a generic space gun. This one is unmistakably meant as a retro design from 1940s and 50s sci-fi art. Infuriatingly, the holes on each side are not plume holes as any fan might expect. They’re just a little large, making them entirely worthless. The front ball also seems completely incompatible, as far as I can tell.
The Magneto-inspired helmet is double-injected with bright light orange and light bluish grey, and the quality is magnificent.
80s dude (aka Yuppie)
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that this guy’s not a Yuppie. Nothing says Miami Vice like orange aviators and a white suit with the sleeves rolled up over a pink polo. He owns a white Lamborghini Countach and he definitely made his money from real estate and not coke. Look at that rad phone, though! This guy’s connected.
The torso back is unprinted, and the legs are solid color.
The aviators show the brilliant sunset hues of the Florida keys, which Mr. 80s Dude is watching from his speedboat.
The phone is a standard minifigure walkie-talkie, with a printed 1×1 tile for the earpiece and a printed cheese slope for the numberpad.
The second kid in this series going to a costume party, this kid is definitely a space fan, and clearly grew up in the 80s. He’s got an absolutely adorable hand-drawn Classic Space flag, and a marvelous little rocket outfit with a porthole for his face.
The rocket is printed with little silver rivets, and has four small legs.
The real excitement here, though, is once he takes off the rocket. Yes, that’s a Classic Space torso in light bluish grey.
That gold planet has never looked so good. I predict that this figure will be among the harder ones to find, due to this (and the fact that there are only 3 per case). Plus, that rocket is really quite cool.
He always wanted to be a Spaceman when he grew up.
The rocket is double-injected with red and light bluish grey, and I can’t wait to see how talented builders find a way to incorporate it into builds. It will be a bit of a challenge though, because beyond the obvious connection of sitting over a minifigure, it seems to have no in-system attachment points. The nose-cone ball is too small to fit Mixel joints, the legs are too narrow for a minifigure’s hands, and the porthole is smaller than a 2×2 round plate but larger than a minifigure’s head on the outer dimension, and smaller on the inner.
Just to continue our 80s trend, how about some Jazzercise? Let’s get pumped! Perhaps taking the prize for the most gaudily colored minifigure ever, the Dance Instructor sports a pink leotard with 80s power patterns atop zebra stripe tights and light blue boots. She does take her hydration seriously, though, carrying a water bottle and wearing a sweat band.
The outfit continues on the back with full printing.
In case you couldn’t tell before just how massive this new dark orange hairpiece is, you can see here how much volume those curls really have.
The water bottle is a printed 1×1 round brick in transparent light blue, topped with a white inkwell piece, a new color for that element, which has previously only been available in clear, black, and pearl gold.
No tacky detail is too small for the excellent printing on the medium azure and white legs.
A warrior maiden from the fantasy realm, this elf is equipped with a shield and sword, and wears a flowing, elegant dress. Like many other female figures in the collectible minifigure line, the bottom half of the dress is a 2x2x2 slope brick. The torso and brick are bright light blue.
The dress is intricately detailed with a floral pattern, and features a shimmering light blue ink along with the silver.
Each arm is flat silver and yellow, with a silver pattern and a lavender gemstone on the sleeve.
The new hairpiece is flesh colored, with a silver star woven into the hair. The yellow ears are painted.
Highwayman (Mystery Character)
As I mentioned at the start of the review, LEGO has asked us to not reveal the mystery character yet. We’ll update the review once the figures are available in stores. However, I was expecting that the mystery character would be some obvious tie-in, or a particularly awesome character. It’s not. It’s a cool figure, to be sure, but if it’s a movie or video game tie-in character, I don’t recognize it, and it’s no more unique than any other character in this series. I haven’t faintest idea why LEGO is trying so hard to keep it under wraps. Despite being one of the 3 most common figures in this series, it doesn’t appear in any of the official material. Even the collector’s sheet with each minifigure simply shows a silhouette. I suspect that LEGO is trying to build hype (ala Mr. Gold in Series 10) without bothering to actually have an exclusive or rare figure. I can only assume LEGO has some special marketing campaign they plan to roll out over the course of the month that will explain it.
Now that the figures are showing up in stores, we’ve updated this text to contain the Highwayman review.
The Highwayman is a pretty straight-forward character. A black cloak and coat with a white cravat, paired with a black tricorn hat, show that this gentleman is from the late 18th to early 19th century, while the brace of flintlock pistols and mask indicate that his goals may be nefarious. The legs are double-moulded with black tops for the long coat and breeches, and dark brown bottoms for boots.
Beneath the mast, there’s a gruff-looking fellow with long sideburns and bushy eyebrows. The head is printed on the front only. Dark brown hands make excellent gloves.
The black cloak is a new style, with added flaps at the collar. Each of these flaps comes with a slight crease in them, though you’ll have to fold and crease them further if you want the flaps to lay flat against the torso, otherwise they’ll stick straight out.
The Highwayman’s arms are printed with cuffs and coat buttons. Pearl dark grey is a new color for the pistols, though they do also appear in this color in the Silent Mary, which just released a few weeks ago. The flintlock pistol has appeared in only three colors previously: black, reddish brown (aka new brown), and brown (aka old brown), so this is a welcome addition.
This is a fun character, but we’ve yet to receive any indication on why the Highwayman was “secret.” We suspect it’s simply poorly executed marketing tactic.
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.