The Brothers Brick

LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71033 The Muppets [Review]

When The Muppet Show debuted in 1976, it was an unconventional piece of television, to say the least. And it was also a near-instant hit. The weekly struggle of Kermit the Frog trying to put on a variety show with the help of a human guest star (and a plethora of bears, pigs, dogs, weirdos, and monsters) would go on to become the biggest TV program in the world. The show came to an end in 1981, with the Muppet gang arguably at the height of their popularity, and the Muppets would continue to delight audiences in TV specials and on movie screens for decades to come. Nowadays, new Muppet content is sparser than it used to be. But you can’t keep a good frog down. LEGO Collectible Minifigures 71033 The Muppets brings Kermit and 11 of his closest friends back together for a most sensational, inspirational, celebrational good time. These blind-bag figures will be available starting May 1, 2022, and will retail for US $4.99 | CAN $4.99 | UK £3.49

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.

Unboxing The Muppets case and packaging

As we saw with the last couple of Collectible Minifigure (CMF) series such as Series 22, The Muppets come in a case of 36. However, LEGO has switched the outer packaging to an all-in-one design. Instead of the retail box shipping inside an outer corrugated cardboard box, the outer shipping box has been integrated into the display case. The box lid is corrugated cardboard glued onto the display case, and there are glued tabs that you can pull to remove the lid.

This means that the display cases no longer have a pop-up lid showing the series’ cover artwork. Foregoing the outer case and the lid means that there’s a good deal less cardboard in this new design, and less waste packaging is always a good thing, especially when it doesn’t impact the final product at all.

The individual packs are white with a selection of the Muppets minifigures on the cover and a huge version of the Muppets logo sideways on the pack.

As usual, each minifigure comes with a black 3×4 display stand.

With 36 packs in each case and twelve characters in this series, we expect each case to contain three full sets. Our case had what we presume to be an error, however, as we ended up with four Gonzos but only two Kermits, meaning we could only complete two sets from the case.


Rowlf the Dog

Rowlf is a Jim Henson performed character who originally made his mark with television audiences as a frequent sidekick on The Jimmy Dean Show in the 1960s. Like all the figures in this line, Rowlf is sporting a unique molded head on a standard LEGO body. The head sculpt perfectly captures the floppy-eared dog and his giant grin. There are numerous tufts of fur printed across his torso, arms, and legs.

On The Muppet Show, Rowlf was the Muppet’s resident pianist, and he comes with a piece of sheet music and a bust of Beethoven to decorate any LEGO pianos you might build for him. The included sheet music is for Beethoven’s “Pathétique,” which Rowlf actually performed in Season 3’s Helen Reddy episode. In typical Muppet fashion, the song put Rowlf’s bust of Beethoven to sleep…and so Rowlf woke him up again by playing louder. All of which explains why the bust comes with two expressions – eyes open and closed. Sleep tight, Ludwig…


Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew is the regular host of the Muppet Labs sketches, most recognizable by his almost detail-less melon of a head. The only printed details on his head are his glasses and a thin smile to indicate his mouth, but his nose, ears, and chin protrude perfectly from the yellowish-green orb. Bunsen comes dressed in his lab coat over a suit and tie, and has a pair of shoes printed with basic black at the end of his medium length legs.

Bunsen’s only accessory is a bottle with magenta fluid inside. Knowing him, this could be any number of chemicals that are going to have a disastrous impact on his lab assistant.


Beaker

Speaking of…this is Beaker, Bunsen Honeydew’s long-suffering assistant. More often than not, Beaker serves as Bunsen’s guinea-pig for the latest Muppet Labs inventions. Beaker’s cylindrical head is molded with his uniquely hinged mouth agape. He’s also dressed in a lab coat, but in yellowish-green. His standard legs are dual molded with intricate shoe printing at the bottom.

Beaker’s accessory is some lab equipment made from a light-bluish gray minifigure radio with a printed tile attached. The tile features a meter display and several buttons and switches that, no doubt, spell trouble for Beaker.


Gonzo and Camilla the Chicken

The Muppet’s resident daredevil/performance artist/style icon, Gonzo the Great, comes in the chili pepper shirt and spotted tie that he’s been sporting off-and-on since the late-90s, which makes him a rare figure in this series not sporting an original The Muppet Show look. No doubt some fans would have preferred to see him in his more classic purple tux or argyle sweater vest, but we’re cool with Gonzo appearing in this outfit. Especially since LEGO went all out on the printing of it. Peppers run up and down both sides of his torso and each arm. His medium length dark tan legs feature a woven belt, brown and yellow speckles, and shoes. Gonzo’s defining physical characteristic is his hook-shaped purple nose, sculpted here with the just right number of bends and angles to achieve perfect puppet accuracy. It will let Gonzo hang from a bar, but it won’t clip onto one.

Gonzo comes with the love his life, Camilla the chicken, who is distinguishable from regular LEGO chickens thanks to her blue eye shadow and orange beak. Fun facts: Gonzo is one of the only Muppets still performed by the original puppeteer (Dave Goelz, who also performs Dr. Bunsen Honeydew). And the lovely Camilla is puppeteer Jerry Nelson’s only character in this series. Hopefully we get a Wave 2 with Floyd Pepper, Crazy Harry, and/or Lew Zealand.

Here’s Camilla, recognizable with her orange beak, next to a standard LEGO chicken.


Kermit the Frog

Like Rowlf, Kermit predates The Muppet Show by a couple of decades. Originally introduced as a supporting player on the TV show Sam and Friends in the late ‘50s, Kermit the Frog went on to become the often frazzled, but always lovable, leader of the Muppet gang. He’s cast in all lime green plastic with a pair of unprinted medium legs, as befits his little froggy nature. His torso is printed with his trademark scalloped collar at the neck, as well as some darker green shadowing to imply the original puppet’s torso shape.

One of Kermit’s most iconic moments is him picking his banjo in the swamp while singing “Rainbow Connection” at the beginning of The Muppet Movie. To pay tribute to that scene, Kermit comes with a new banjo piece and a literal rainbow connector in the form of a printed 2×2 macaroni shaped tile.


Miss Piggy

No Muppet collection would be complete without The Muppet Show’s resident diva (and Kermit’s biggest fan), Miss Piggy. Piggy is one of the rare Muppet characters to have a varied wardrobe instead of a single, trademark outfit. The pink dress and medium lavender gloves ensemble chosen for this figure is a perfect representation of her overall sense of style. Her body makes ample use of metallic ink that catches the light and really lets her shine in the spotlight. Examples of its use include her necklace, bracelets, and shoes. Unfortunately, her hair hangs too close to her back and prevents Piggy from being able to turn her head. Not that there’s any other star big enough to get her to crane her neck around…except maybe Kermit.

Her included accessory is, of course, a poster of herself. What else is she going to hang in her dressing room? Kissy kissy.


Fozzie Bear

Poor Fozzie Bear could never quite catch a break. Life imitated art when Fozzie, intended to be puppeteer Frank Oz’s primary character on The Muppet Show, ended up taking a backseat to Miss Piggy after an improvised karate chop turned her into a star. That’s show biz for ya. But, even with Miss Piggy dominating more and more of Oz’s performance time, audiences couldn’t help falling in love with Fozzie. He’d remain a mainstay of the core Muppet cast. Fozzie continues the trend of perfectly rendered head sculpts, although I wish his hat were removable. Fozzie was known to take it off and clutch it in times of stress. His body is covered in the exact same tufts-of-fur pattern as Rowlf’s, although printed in a lighter color to match his lighter plastic. His torso is also printed with the article of clothing that serves as the punchline to Fozzie’s favorite joke:

“Good grief! The comedian’s a bear!”
“No he’s-a not! He’s-a wearing a neck-a tie!”

Fozzie comes with a nightclub-style microphone stand and a banana. Mic stands are a classic stand-up comedian tool, although Fozzie tended to work without one. The banana is no doubt in reference to the hilarious Banana Sketch from the Sandy Duncan episode.

Wait…you mean you’ve never heard of the Banana Sketch? For shame.


Animal

Few Muppets are as aptly named as The Electric Mayhem’s drummer. As befits a rockstar, Animal uses a lot of the same metallic ink as Miss Piggy, present mostly in his spiked collar and bracelets. We know we’ve been beating the “perfect head sculpt” drum a lot in this review, but it once again bears repeating here. You can just hear Frank Oz’s gravely screams emanating from this figure.

Animal, comes with one of the most elaborate CMF accessories we’ve ever seen. This near-complete drum kit features the classic Electric Mayhem “Dr. Teeth” logo on the bass and includes a snare and a cymbal. A pair of Wizarding World wands stand in as drum sticks.


Waldorf

Two of The Muppet Show’s most memorable characters weren’t actually performers. Statler and Waldorf, the world’s most humorous hecklers, were regular audience members who shouted insults at the show from high up in their box seats. These guys especially lived for watching Fozzie die on stage. Waldorf arrives in a dark brown suit, printed with a vest, shirt, and spotted tie. Black shoes are printed on the feet of his medium-length dark brown legs.

Waldorf’s accessories are references to two of the pairs’ more memorable bits from the original show. Statler and Waldorf spent the Diana Ross episode scoring each act with a numbered card. When the episode ends, we get a gag of them both asleep in their box holding “snore cards,” which comes here in the form of a printed tile. The teacup and saucer are from the Ethel Merman episode, where Waldorf tells Statler he takes his tea with “Milk, two sugars, one mouse.” Unfortunately, the singing mouse isn’t included.


Statler

The second old curmudgeon, Statler, appears here in a dark blue suit and comes with a surprisingly modern accessory — a laptop featuring a screen image of Muppet gofer Scooter (who, like Statler, was performed by Richard Hunt).

In the mid-2000s, Statler and Waldorf graduated from theater hecklers to online trolls for a series of YouTube shorts, and this is no doubt a reference to that. The laptop is made from a minifigure book with a printed keyboard tile added to the inside.


The Swedish Chef

Next in zee-a leene-a up is zee-a hust ouff feriuous cuokeeng segments oun Zee-a Muoppet Shuo – zee-a oune-a und ounly Svedeesh Cheff. The Chef’s got an intricately printed torso but, unusual for a CMF, most of it is on the back. LEGO took advantage of using white plastic to let the Chef’s apron dominate the front of his torso, with just some stripes and a bowtie around the upper edges. But on the back, his pinstripe shirt and the apron’s ties require printing all over. There are even stripes printed down the sides of his arms in both vertical and horizontal positions.

Whenever the often-indecipherable Swedish Chef is in the kitchen, the odds are good that he’ll be the one feeling the heat. His dishes have a tendency to fight back. So, he comes with a piece of fruit that’s ready to give as good as it gets. Is it a tomato? An apple? The red minifigure head with a leaf on top could pass for either, so you can create chaotic scenes where the Chef is prepping pie or pasta. Thankfully the Chef has a whisk to defend himself with.


Janice

Last but, like, fer sure, not least is the Electric Mayhem’s lead guitarist, Janice. Janice wasn’t just a musician, she also got in on the acting side of things, performing regularly in the “Veterinarians’ Hospital” sketches alongside Rowlf and Piggy. With three bodies from the CMF Series 6 surgeon, you should easily be able to put together your own installment of the continuing story of a quack who has gone to the dogs. Like Piggy, Janice’s hair prevents any movement of her head. Also like Piggy, she uses some of that metallic ink…but only on the printing for her sandals. Beyond that, her overall sense of style is much more low-key.

Janice’s guitar is a mold we’ve seen before, but this is the first time it has been cast in dark orange.


Conclusion and recommendation

If you grew up with the Muppets, this series is probably going to be a must-have. With intricate printing, deep-cut references, and 12 uniquely molded heads, LEGO has gone above and beyond even their usual high standards of CMFs. And, with no Muppets sets on the horizon (yet), these CMFs may be your only chance at owning some of these characters. We’re definitely hoping for another wave or two. There are still so many characters we’d love to add to this collection – not to mention variants of figures already in this wave. Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Zoot, the whole Pigs in Space cast in uniform, Gonzo in his daredevil outfit, Sam the Eagle, Scooter, Sweetums, Wayne and Wanda, Hilda, Beauregard, Pops, Marvin Suggs…But, for now, these twelve will get things started and keep us busy crafting our own skits, musical numbers, and backstage shenanigans.

Whether you want to get a full set or just a few favorites, be sure to watch out for our Feel Guide coming soon!

71033 Minifigures: The Muppets will be available starting May 1, 2022, and will retail for US $4.99 | CAN $4.99 | UK £3.49. They may also be available from Amazon and eBay.


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.

As a bonus, here’s the lineup organized by their performers.

Jim Henson: Kermit, Rowlf, Swedish Chef, Waldorf

Frank Oz: Piggy, Fozzie, Animal

Richard Hunt: Beaker, Janice, Statler

Dave Goelz: Gonzo, Bunsen

Jerry Nelson: Camilla the Chicken (Gonzo’s accessory)