LEGO is celebrating its past in a big way this year. When founder Ole Kirk Christiansen began making toys in 1932, he made them out of wood before shifting to plastic. LEGO manufactured wooden toys until 1960, always with the highest commitment to quality. The LEGO brick may have taken over eventually, but the company’s origin is rooted in wooden toys. Today, LEGO announced they are returning to those roots in a big way — by launching a new product line selling an upscale wooden minifigure: LEGO Originals 853967 Wooden Minifigure.
(EDIT: The wooden figure is also available from LEGO in bundles including a discount of up to $30 US when combined with various other LEGO products, including one 1,500-piece Classic set.)
The 5:1 scale wooden minifigure measures 7 inches tall (20cm), 4 inches wide (11cm) and 3.5 inches deep (9cm). It comes packaged in a premium box with 29 LEGO elements for building accessories. A 28-page booklet delves into the product’s development as well as the history of the LEGO minifigure, features examples of customized figures, and provides instructions for building five unique accessories.
This wooden collectible is being produced by Room Copenhagen, known for manufacturing various LEGO at-home products like the LEGO rack system, wall hangers and minifigure lunch set. “It has been a privilege for us to expand our collaboration with The LEGO Group and contribute to the world premiere of a new series of design classics,” explains Jacob Eberhard, CEO of Room Copenhagen. “Going back to the roots of the company and helping to bring back some of the original LEGO toys in new creative ways is an exciting journey to be part of.”
When it comes to materials, the minfigure is handcrafted from FSC-certified oak wood. Unlike the rest of the body, the figure’s yellow hands are made from plastic and are fully adjustable. These in turn can be equipped with custom accessories built from LEGO bricks.
Fans of LEGO history may be interested to know that this isn’t the first time LEGO has mixed wood with plastic. From 1952 through 1958, the company manufactured a line of Chevrolet trucks; the tankers featured plastic bodies and wooden fuel tanks. According to the LEGO Group, their final toy made from both wood and plastic was a Bedford firetruck in 1959 (under the BILOfix name). In the 1950s and 1960s, they also sold wooden box sets filled with LEGO bricks.
The new LEGO Originals product line was unveiled today at an exclusive Pop Up Store and Gallery in Covent Garden, London. Visitors to the store were able to buy this limited edition collectible a few days before anyone else and receive an exclusive LEGO Originals piece of artwork like the ones available by redeeming VIP points online.
LEGO also created a video showcasing the giant minifigure and how it is made, and how it can be customized by adding LEGO-built accessories or painting.
Some of those customized versions of the giant wooden minifigure were on display at the pop up preview. The gallery below shows some of the creativity that several LEGO designers used to customize their own minifigures. This workshop is the handiwork of LEGO Designer Mel Caddick.
Here is a gallery of the rest of the design images supplied to us by LEGO, along with a partial attribution list. If you know who created any of the other minifigures, please let us know in the comments below.
- Tree – Roberta Sandri
- Word art – Paul Constantin Turcanu
- Black bird with flower – Katherine Graham
- Skeleton rocker – Juliana Gonco de Souza
- Squid harpooner – Jake Blais
- Pirate – Max Valembois
- Rainbow – Juuliana Gonco de Souza
- LEGO family portrait of Ole, Godtfred and Kjeld – Nadine Lee
The intent of the designer customization gallery is to inspire people to customize their own wooden minifigures, and the LEGO Group is encouraging fans to share their own masterpieces on social media using #LEGOOriginals.
Eberhard described the wooden minifigure as “…the world premiere of a new series of design classics,” hinting at the possible expansion of the LEGO Originals line. In fact, if you’ve had a chance to check the rewards in LEGO’s updated VIP program, you may have noticed a series of prints listed as LEGO Originals. The prints, which can be redeemed with VIP points, celebrate the LEGO Group’s past with reproductions of historic documents from their corporate archives. One of these is a technical drawing of the wooden quacking duck, famously adopted as a symbol of the company’s history.
Full product information, press release and an expanded image gallery are included below.
853967 LEGO Wooden Minifigure
Iconic Wooden Minifigure model for creative customization! Celebrate a true icon of play with this beautiful, posable LEGO Originals Wooden Minifigure (853967). A 5:1 upscaled version of the classic minifigure, it is carved out of oak and has adjustable plastic hands. It is presented in a premium gift box with a leaflet featuring inspirational ideas for owners to customize the model in their own ways, plus instructions to build 5 cute items using the included LEGO bricks.
- A beautiful, 5:1 upscaled, posable wooden version of the classic LEGO minifigure introduced to LEGO sets in 1978, for display as it is or for ‘make-it-your-own’ customization.
- Reflecting LEGO origins as a producer of handmade wooden toys, this premium-quality model is handcrafted from FSC-certified oak, with adjustable plastic hands just like today’s LEGO minifigures.
- This set also includes a 28-page leaflet featuring the history of the minifigure and the development of this wooden model, plus inspiring examples of how LEGO creatives personalized their models.
- The leaflet also has instructions on how to build 5 fun little models for the minifigure to hold using the included 29 LEGO elements.
- Presented in a premium gift box, this set makes a fantastic birthday, Christmas or nostalgic present for LEGO fans and any creative person.
- Owners can unleash their creativity to dress up, paint or do whatever they want to customize the minifigure in unique ways and then show off their creations via social media using #LEGOOriginals.
- Measures over 7” (20cm) tall, 4” (11cm) wide and 3” (8cm) deep.
Available directly from select LEGO Stores & LEGO.com from 3rd November, 2019.
Igniting nostalgia and celebrating brand heritage – new LEGO Originals series launches with a 5:1 upscaled wooden minifigure
Making its entrance for the first time in 1978, the LEGO minifigure has become one of the biggest pop-cultural icons of modern times and continues to renew itself – this time paying homage to its heritage in a decorative wooden 5:1 upscaled version
London, November 1st — Launching with the LEGO Originals Wooden Minifigure 853967, the LEGO Group and design specialists Room Copenhagen are introducing a new range of products dedicated to fans who love a bit of LEGO nostalgia and playful interior design. The product was revealed today at a unique LEGO Originals Pop Up Store and Gallery in Covent Garden, London where fans can drop by for a chance to pick up this rare and limited-edition model before it goes on sale more widely to LEGO VIP-members on LEGO.com from November 3rd to 7th, then globally from November 8th.
Founded in 1932 by master carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen, the first LEGO toys were hand crafted from wood. His craftsmanship and attention to detail secured a high level of quality for the products, but when wood supplies became scarce in the aftermath of the second World War, Ole started supplementing his production with plastic toys and the rest is history…
Speaking in 1950, Ole Kirk Kristiansen said: “I have always been committed to making the nicest and most robust objects, and just like other carpenters I believe the best type of advertising is when the product promotes itself. Our purpose is to produce a really good, solid and finely crafted piece of work, and ensure LEGO products always be known for their exceptional quality.”
Respecting our heritage as a producer of high-quality handmade wooden toys, this premium model is handcrafted from FSC-certified oak, with adjustable yellow plastic hands just like today’s LEGO minifigures. The model measures over 7” (20cm) tall, 4” (11cm) wide and 3,5” (9cm) deep. The last LEGO product to combine both wood and plastic was the 1130 Bedford firetruck 60 years ago in 1959.
This 5:1 upscaled version of the classic LEGO minifigure is presented in a premium gift box with a 28-page booklet featuring the history of the minifigure and the story behind the development of this wooden model. Also included are inspiring examples of how LEGO designers personalised their models, as well as inspiration for accessories fans can build using the included LEGO bricks. A number of LEGO designers have already given their take on how to personalise the model, and the results will be exhibited for a limited time at the LEGO Originals Pop Up Store and Gallery in London.
Since its arrival in 1978, there have been over 8,000 different minifigures launched, not to mention the many versions children have created themselves. This new edition is no exception. Owners are encouraged to unleash their creativity to decorate and customize the minifigure in unique ways, display with pride at home or the office and share their creations via social media using #LEGOOriginals.
“It has been a privilege for us to expand our collaboration with The LEGO Group and contribute to the world premiere of a new series of design classics,” explains Jacob Eberhard, CEO of Room Copenhagen. “Going back to the roots of the company and helping to bring back some of the original LEGO toys in new creative ways is an exciting journey to be part of.”