Our friends at Citizen Brick have been cooking up a new batch of brand new, pad-printed, custom minifigures for Black Friday this year. They kindly sent us the full assortment to share with everyone ahead of their availability on Friday morning. One of the things we love about Citizen Brick is their cheekily named product names, and this batch is no different, with “Party Rights Enthusiasts,” “Painting Enthusiast,” and many more — all cleverly named but instantly recognizable.
Citizen Brick minifigs come in blister packs with a label indicating the name of the minifig. The single-minifig packs are all the same, though multi-fig packs feature unique card stock backing. What’s inside these blister packs is what’s truly interesting, so we’ll focus on the figs themselves for the remainder of the review.
If you’ve ever wanted to have a minifig paint happy trees for you, look no further than the Painting Enthusiast. Bob Ross (because that’s obviously who this is) wears a loose blue shirt with jeans, but what makes the minifigure so recognizable is the bearded face and afro. In addition to the minifig, the pack includes a paint brush along with two printed 2×3 tiles depicting paintings.
Three small pieces not included with the minifig would have made this pack truly complete — a couple of pieces to create a simple easel (we used a plant stem and bar accessory with side studs) and of course the palette for Bob’s paint (from several Collectible Minifigures). The first tile perfectly captures Bob Ross’s distinctive style of landscape painting.
The second tile features a painting that Bob Ross would never actually paint — the same landscape on fire. This adds a hilarious dimension to what would otherwise be a straight recreation of the iconic public television presenter.
Party Rights Enthusiasts
As someone who came of age musically in the 80’s and 90’s, the Beastie Boys are very high on my list of favorite musical groups — up there with Nirvana and Public Enemy and Depeche Mode. The Citizen Brick minifigs depict the trio as they appeared in the 1986 music video for “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”. Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz wears a Stuyvesant Physical Education Leader T-shirt and red baseball cap. Michael “Mike D” Diamond sports a VW necklace over a FILA T-shirt with a pork pie hat. Adam “MCA” Yauch wears a leather jacket and holds a custom beer can (which Citizen Brick sells several variants of). The boombox is the same design as the one that appeared most recently in 75810 Stranger Things.
The backs of each minifig are more plain, but their footwear designs wrap around their feet.
When I first heard “Fight for Your Right” as a child of a religiously conservative minister, the song made me deeply uncomfortable, despite the fact that the song was actually lampooning the very party lifestyle it appeared to celebrate. Today, hearing a bit more nuance and having lived a few decades longer, it’s become one of my favorite songs. And because it’s awesome, here’s the original music video.
The cult 1998 Coen Brothers movie The Big Lebowski featured a crazy cast of characters, centered on Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski (played by Jeff Bridges) and Walter Sobchak (John Goodman), along with supporting characters like Jesus Quintana (John Turturro) and Maude, the daughter of a totally different character named Jeffrey Lebowski (portrayed by Julianne Moore). The Citizen Brick “Bowling Buddies” pack includes five characters inspired by the movie, including the Dude, Walter, and Jesus. Each character is lovingly recreated as they appear in the film, with the Dude in his iconic sweater, Walter in his vest, and Jesus in a purple track suit.
Both Walter and Jesus carry bowling balls with printed finger holes. The arm and leg designs are printed on the sides of the legs, giving each character a full 360-degree look.
Although the backs of their legs aren’t printed, the torso designs do extend to the back of each torso.
In addition to the bowlers themselves, the set includes Maude Lebowski in a leather harness and a red nihilist with a giant pair of scissors from the Dude’s hallucinatory dreams.
Underneath Maude’s green coat, her flying harness extends to the back of the torso.
Can you smell what The Rock is cookin’?! Dwayne Johnson may have moved well past his time as an oiled-up wrestler on the WWF back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, but “The Rock” remains an integral part of his brand and identity. The Citizen Brick “Wrestling Enthusiast” features detailed tattoo designs that were no less a part of The Rock’s look than his arched eyebrow.
His wrestling pants extend to the back, along with his shoulder tattoo for another 360 look.
Botany Enthusiast – Holiday Edition 2019
What I love the most about Citizen Brick is that they produce minifigures that LEGO will never produce in a bazillion years. One of Citizen Brick’s earliest custom minifigs was the “Botany Enthusiast,” complete with a bong. My regret about voting to legalize marijuana here in Washington State back in 2012 is largely because of the awful pall of putrid smoke that now hangs like fog over the city of Seattle. Nevertheless, despite never smoking pot myself, I truly enjoy the transgressive nature of each new iteration of CB’s CBD-infused minifigs (no actual CBD is infused in the minifigs — at least as far as I know). This latest version features a gorgeous holiday sweater with two reindeer smoking a bong. Citizen Brick has also been experimenting with their own injection-molded parts, made from “genuine melted-down LEGO bricks,” and the Botany Enthusiast has a custom candy cane bong that looks like it could have come straight off a factory floor in Billund, Denmark.
Holiday Tin 2019
Finally, every purchase over $100 this weekend will get you this year’s special holiday tin. The 2019 tin includes a humanoid reindeer in a jingly harness and underpants, with another custom-molded candy cane and a custom pair of antlers. The tin also includes a very cheeky pink holiday sweater featuring another pair of reindeer.
While the tin only includes the sweater torso itself, we couldn’t help but put it on a minifig of our own. We’re not going to ask what’s going on here.
The reindeer’s harness extends to the back, and the rutting reindeer are repeated on the back of the pink torso as well.
The two holiday sweaters this year make a lovely pair.
Conclusions & recommendation
The exact prices of each minifig pack will be announced on Friday when the listings go live on CitizenBrick.com, but in general minifigs range from $15-25 each, depending on the number of custom-printed or custom-molded elements are included with the fig. For example, we would anticipate the Bowling Buddies to sell for at least $100. We’ve said previously that what you’re paying for with custom products like CB minifigs and the military models from our friends at Brickmania is quality design. We know how much time and effort goes into not just the design, but the hand-printing and custom-molding that accompanies each minifigure, and I’ve personally never regretted a single Citizen Brick purchase I’ve made on my own.
Even though we’ll never see an official LEGO Bob Ross, Beastie Boys, or The Rock, Citizen Brick’s custom-printed versions mesh seamlessly with the design aesthetic of official LEGO minifigures; I’ll never mistake a CB design with a LEGO design, but they fit perfectly together. My favorite minifigs from this year’s Black Friday batch are easily Bob Ross and the Beastie Boys. With many iconic movie characters behind them (and new ones like the “Bowling Buddies”), I’m very much looking forward to this new direction the Citizen Brick design team is taking with musical groups and TV personalities.
Citizen Brick sent The Brothers Brick early copies of these minifigures for review. Sending The Brothers Brick products for review guarantees neither coverage nor a positive review. Citizen Brick is an advertising partner of The Brothers Brick. Advertisers have no influence over editorial content.