LEGO introduced the Minifigures theme back in 2010, and over the past decade the theme has wandered as far and wide as the Simpsons and a German football team. But it returns every once in a while to the lineup of strange characters and professions that started it all. The latest wave is the 20th classic numbered series, and 71027 Collectible Minifigures Series 20 will release April 19, 2020, with 16 unique figures drawing inspiration from fiction, history, and a wide variety of walks of life. They’ll retail for US $4.99 each, setting a new high-water mark for a non-licensed series. We got a brief in-person look at Series 20 at Toy Fair New York back in February along with official images earlier this month, but now we’ve got our hands on a full case to bring you a proper review.
It’s no surprise that the figures come packed in a retail case of 60 individual blind bags, this time sporting a monochrome sunburst design across the entire package. Back in 2013, to celebrate the release of Series 10, LEGO themed the packaging with gold, and famously introduced the ultra-rare Mr. Gold as a chase figure. This time around, the blind packs are silver mylar, and I’m happy to report there’s no sign of a chase figure to make you fret about getting a complete set.
Speaking of getting a complete set, our case included three full sets of the 16 characters, with a total between 3 and 5 per case for all of the figures. The distribution is the same as some previous series like the DC Super Heroes line, with five each of three figures, four each of six figures, and three each for the remaining seven. Here’s the exact breakdown that our case yielded:
|Character||QTY per case||Character||QTY per case|
|Tournament Knight||5||Drone Boy||4|
|Super Warrior||5||Piñata Boy||3|
|Pea Pod Costume Girl||4||Llama Costume Girl||3|
|Martial Arts Boy||4||80s Musician||3|
|Green Brick Costume Guy||4||Pyjama Girl||3|
Be sure to watch for our Collectible Minifigures Series 20 Feel Guide, coming soon.
The default black minifigure stands return again, with one included with every minifigure. Unlike the previous DC Super Heroes line, the small clear angled stand is not present with every figure. Only the Breakdancer and Sea Rescuer get them so that they can be posed more dynamically. Three of the figures have parts packaged in an inner bag for protection: Piñata Boy, Viking, and Athlete.
Starting in at number 1, the Piñata Boy lends a bit of Latin-American flair to the series. While a fun character, like many previous CMF characters he brings up some concerns that LEGO is only portraying non-European/American regions through the lens of cultural stereotypes (where is the Hispanic doctor, or Japanese snowboarder?). Case in point: the Piñata Boy brings back the large sombrero for a fourth color (medium nougat), following the green hat from the Series 2 Mariachi, the red one in The LEGO Movie’s Taco Tuesday Guy, and the black one from the Series 16 Mariachi. Like the original Mariachi, Piñata Boy wears two short capes to make the poncho. He also includes a brown Bar 3L for a stick, and of course, the piñata, which is a new element for a tiny, blocky donkey molded in light yellow and printed with vibrant colors. The piñata is about the size of a LEGO dog and similarly spans three studs. The Piñata Boy’s white torso is unprinted, and his head is single-sided. An extra brown Bar 3L is included.
The Breakdancer features LEGO’s first flat-bill baseball cap, and it’s incorporated into a flowing dark red hairpiece. The Breakdancer coral torso is printed on both sides with a cropped top, and her legs are dual-molded black and white, and printed with lots of details on the front. Despite the back of her head being completely hidden by hair, the head is single-sided, which is a bit of a miss on LEGO’s part. She includes the boom box element in a new color (teal) and new print with a gold waveform pattern between the speakers. The Breakdancer also gets a clear angled stand along with a black 1×2 jumper tile to mount it, so that she can perform her moves. An extra clear stand is included.
Pea Pod Costume Girl
Costumed figures have long been among the most popular of LEGO’s Collectible Minifigures, and there’s no sign of stopping now. Enter the unlikeliest of costumes, the pea pod. Then again, LEGO already introduced a slice of watermelon and a corncob, so perhaps this isn’t so far out. At any rate, the green pea pod slides over the minifigure just like other costumes, with a hole in the third pea for the minifigure’s face. The three peas are printed lime green. The pea pod appears to have no other System connection points–the stem, at least, should have been bar diameter. Beneath the costume, the pea pod girl wears a green shirt with a salad bowl print, and she carries a red apple. Her green-lipsticked face is double-sided, with alternate grin and chewing expressions.
Decked out in bright light orange and black with dark red highlights, the Tournament Knight cuts a sharp figure, standing out compared to many of the other historic figures from the CMF line. The knight’s torso is bright light orange and printed in quadrants on both sides, with a chain hauberk showing through at the top. He has dark red hands, and the legs are dual-molded bright light orange and pearl dark grey, and printed on both the front and sides. The knight is topped with a bucket helm in pearl dark grey (a common color for it), along with a dark red plume, which is the first appearance in that color. He carries a new broadsword element, which is a lovely design that’s a bit more historically accurate than most of LEGO’s previous swords. He’s protected by a standard triangular shield, printed with a black raven facing left. Beneath the helm, the knight has a trim beard and mustache and a placid expression on his single-sided head. An extra plume is included.
Just in time for the new 21322 Pirates of Barracuda to mark the return of Pirates, the CMF line gets another pirate. This female pirate sports a new tricorne/long hair element, and although it was undoubtedly developed for this character, it actually arrives in the Pirates of Barracuda Bay first on Robin Loot. This one is dual-molded with a black hat and medium nougat hair, unlike the brown/tan combo on Robin. The red plume may be iconic, but it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get another new color to join the Knight’s dark red (dark azure, anyone?). The Pirate Girl’s white torso is printed with leather belts on both sides over the loose frilly shirt, and her black breeches are striped in dark red down the front and sides. She’s got a slight gap-tooth and wears alternate grinning/scowling expressions on her double-sided head. She carries a classic pirate sword, of which an extra is included, along with an extra plume.
What kind of space? Doesn’t matter. NASA? Check. Model rocketry? Check. Classic Space LEGO? Check. The Space Fan adores it all. She proudly advertises her LEGO love with her long-sleeve baseball tee showing set 918 One-Man Spaceship from 1979. Her “space” ballcap is coral with a black ponytail, which is a new color for the combo element that’s been around for a few years. Her dark blue legs have several space-themed patches sewn on. In one hand she has a dark grey spanner, which adds a fifth color for that piece. She also carries a 2×3 tile printed with plans for her next big project, a model rocket. Look closely at the diagram, and you’ll see that the rocket is marked out with dimensions, which are the accurate measurements of the rocket next to her in millimeters. And the actual rocket, of course, is made of three common LEGO elements, but amazingly this is the first time the 1×1 rocket base has appeared in red since it was introduced 36 years ago. The 1×1 round brick in the center is printed with the NASA logo, which I believe is the first time a real, non-LEGO-IP logo has appeared on a non-licensed CMF series. Her alternate expression has safety goggles on for when she launches the model rocket. The Space Fan is the sort of character that’s both great fun and a wonderful encouragement to kids, showing them that girls revel in awesome science and nerdery just as much as any guy.
Llama Costume Girl
It’s 2020, and Llamas are in. To the best of my knowledge, LEGO has never before produced anything Llama related, but here’s a Llama costume to go along with the four varieties of Llamas you can get from the new Friends sets. And I do have to admit, the Llama is pretty adorable. How long before someone makes Emperor Cuzco? This minifigure is pretty simple, dressed in all tan except for dark tan hands (hooves?). The torso is printed with a white wool spot on the belly, and a zipper up the back. The legs have hoof prints on the feet. Llama Girl’s head is double-sided with smirk and grin expressions, and she carries a standard carrot, for which an extra top is included.
It’s only taken the Danish company 10 years’ worth of CMF lines to create an accurate Viking. Back in Series 4 we had another Viking, and Series 7 brought a Viking Woman, but both were crowned with horned helms and represented stereotypical Vikings rather than historical depictions. This Viking, however, looks like he was researched at the Kongernes Jelling Viking museum, which perhaps not so coincidentally is just down the road from LEGO’s headquarters in Billund, Denmark. Instead of the horned helm, we get a new element of a more plain helm with protection over the upper half of the face. It’s a drastically more accurate representation. There is a plume hole at the top in case you feel like adding back some decorations, though. The rest of the Viking’s outfit is similarly accurate (at least as far as minifigures go) with an olive green tunic and a short printed under-cloak with a gold brooch. Both the arms and legs are double-molded with dark brown lower halves. He’s got a blue cloth cape over top and carries a spear and shield with a new design. The Viking’s orange beard is an existing design but in a new color. Beneath the beard, the Viking has a handsome, groomed orange beard and mustache. An extra beard is included.
For those of you asking for LEGO to pick up the Power Rangers license, good news! Puts on glasses Oh, my mistake. This is the non-IP-infringing Power Rang–excuse me, I mean, Super Warrior! The Super Warrior has an all-red suit, except for the white boots thanks to dual molding. His helmet is a new element that’s molded in red and then painted gold and black. Beneath the helmet, he has an incredibly generic, single-sided face. He carries only a jagged-edge sword, which is trans-green with a white core, a new color for that element. This figure feels like filler for Series 20, especially with a single accessory. I’m sure it will be popular with kids, but it could have been much more interesting with a new accessory and perhaps a standard LEGO helmet with a new visor element that incorporates the horns.
Martial Arts Boy
When I first got a brief look at Series 20 in New York, the Martial Arts Boy was the figure that excited me most, for one simple reason. I spied a Bar 2L in the nunchucks. After all, the Bar 3L made its first appearance with the Series 1 Magician. Alas, I was fooled. The nunchucks are a single element all the way through, with the handles and chains all permanently connected with overmolding. And while they’re not the long-awaited appearance of the 2-length bar, they are still quite cool. Besides the nunchucks, the Martial Arts Boy wears a generic gi with his black belt printed down onto the hips and legs. It also really highlights how much I wish LEGO would do printing on torso sides, since the abrupt stop at the front edge is jarring. The Martial Arts Boy’s center-parted hairpiece has previously appeared on Professor Flitwick, among others, but black is a new color. His head is double-sided with smiling and determined expressions.
A classical athlete, the Series 20 Athlete is skilled in the discus and javelin, and is apparently quite good having earned a gold medal. The medal makes its first return since 2012, where it appeared first on the Series 7 Swimming Champion and then on each of the Team GB Olympians. The Athlete has a commonsense outfit of sportswear with a bib on both front and back numbered 0937 (to unravel the number’s significance, turn the figure upside down). Judging by the logos on her legs, she appears to be sponsored by Adi–I mean, sponsored by mountains. Her Javelin is a classic spear (in the new, square-bottomed style) which is a first in white, and the discus is a light grey 2×2 tile printed in silver and green, with a tiny black dot at the center. The Athlete’s hair is an exceedingly common dark brown ponytail, but her head is double-sided with an elated expression on one side and sweaty exertion on the other. An extra medal is included.
Series 20 has been a bit short on new animals, but thankfully we’ve got a super adorable sea turtle with the Sea Rescuer. (Neither the piñata nor stuffed rabbit are creatures.) The sea turtle is a dual-molded olive green and medium nougat element with a single anti-stud on the bottom. The turtle is exactly 3 studs wide and 3 long. The Sea Rescuer (who’s not a diver, since she has no airtanks), wears a wetsuit with a tiny turtle logo printed in coral. Her sleeves are dual-molded with dark azure and yellow, and her legs dual-molded black and yellow. She wears a standard helmet and snorkel mask, and carries a bright green stem. She gets about with the help of dark azure flippers, and can strike a fluid pose thanks to a trans-clear angled stand mounted upside-down on a black nipple element. You’ll get an extra stand, nipple, and stem.
Green Brick Costume Guy
Here’s the mascot of Series 20, carrying the placard celebrating 10 years of collectible minifigures! OK, yes, it’s a bit underwhelming, but at least it’s not a rare chase figure that scalpers will hoard to sell for thousands. The Brick Costume Guy’s costume is identical to the Brick Costume Boy and Girl from Series 18, except for color. Speaking of color, it’s actually bright green, which is interesting because LEGO doesn’t produce 2×3 (or 2×2, or 2×4) bricks in bright green. Brick Costume Guy’s hair is a rare element introduced last year that’s so far only appeared once in an Overwatch set, and is new here in medium nougat. His celebratory sign is a light grey 2×2 tile printed with the silver and grey sunburst pattern and the number 10.
Let’s go back to a glamorous time when big hair and synthesizers ruled the land. Oh yes, and also keytars. Because no instrument is so iconic for 80s rock as the keytar. OK, that’s probably not true, but the keytar does emblemize a certain schlocky aspect of the decade’s music that LEGO is keying into with this character. The keytar is, of course, a new element that can be gripped with both hands like previous guitars, and is printed with the keyboard on the front. The musician himself proudly wears a black leather jacket and a white tee with a pink lighting bolt. The back of the jacket, however, is a work of art that I’ll leave you to admire rather than describing it. He’s got pink pants that are printed with a black belt. The musician’s dark tan hair is a new long hair element, and his face is double-sided with expressions for rocking out and smiling. Is it just me, or when he’s smiling he looks just like James May?
Way back in 2012 Series 6 brought us Sleepyhead, a little boy dressed in pajamas and clutching a teddy bear. 8 years later, and we’re finally getting his counterpart, Pajama Girl (or Pyjama, depending on where you’re from). Dressed in a bright pink outfit covered in tiny, Peeps Rabbit-like bunny heads, the girl is grasping a stuffed rabbit rather than a teddy. The tan rabbit is a new element that can be grasped on either arm, and has an anti-stud in the bottom. Her sleepy bed hair is courtesy of Hermione’s hairpiece, which appears here in light yellow, the first time in a color besides brown. Her bright pink short legs are also a new color.
A modern hobbyist, the Drone Boy has a pretty sweet camera rig on a quadcopter and a hefty controller. The Drone Boy sports a plain teal ballcap (a new color for it) and a bright green jacket open to a T-shaped logo, along with plain dark blue legs. The jacket looks an awful lot like an opened version of the ubiquitous winter jacket from City sets. TBB reader Jimmy has pointed out that the partially hidden logo on his shirt is a reference to the classic Town monorail 6399 Airport Shuttle. The boy is licking his lips with determination, no doubt reassessing things after a run-in with the drone’s blades which necessitated a bandaid. The drone is made of a white Overwatch gun, a trans-black 1×1 round tile for the lens, a new drone chassis element, and four black beanie propellers. The chassis is a little smaller in every dimension than 3x3x1, and each of the propeller mounts is a plume hole on both top and bottom and rod diameter on the outside. The middle of the chassis has an anti-stud on the bottom, and is completely smooth on top. The drone’s controller is a white 2×2 quarter circle tile printed with control pads and a screen. I’m pretty interested to see what fans will do with the drone chassis element, as it’s a cool piece with a weird shape. I do wish it had a stud or rod hole on the top, though. An extra propeller and 1×1 tile are included.
Conclusion & recommendation
Pulling from a broad swath of culture, history, and fiction, every CMF series has its hits and misses, with opinions of the characters often revealing more about the viewer than about LEGO’s design. And sure enough, not every figure here tickles my fancy. I can hardly imagine a use for a Pea Pod Costume in my own creations, but it’s certain to be popular, as all the wacky costumed figures are. Nevertheless, there are some standouts here, with the Viking’s historical accuracy earning high marks along with the Sea Rescuer’s turtle and Space Fan’s geekiness, while the Green Brick Costume Boy and Super Warrior both feel underwhelming. However, at $4.99 a pop, it’s hard to get too excited about any of them. It’s one thing to swallow the higher price for a solo figure when they’re licensed Disney or Harry Potter characters, but paying $5 per figure for a blind pack of an unlicensed minifigure seems excessive (many of which have only a single accessory). Even if you get no duplicates (which will mean feeling the bags or splitting a case with a few friends) you’ll need to shill out $80 to get the full set. My recommendation? Wait until these inevitably go on clearance.
71027 LEGO Collectible Minifigures Series 20 are available April 19, 2020, from the LEGO.com for $4.99 USD each.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.