Did you know that 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the modern minifigure? In recognition of this very special birthday, the LEGO Group released its party-themed Series 18 minifigures a few months ago, including a remake of the 1978 policeman. The LEGO Group continues to celebrate, this time by reaching into their archives to share some historic images with our readers. Here at The Brothers Brick, we love minifigures and are excited to share the images and history behind the LEGO Group’s versatile and lovable characters.
A system is born, and so is a police officer:
In the post-World War II economy, the LEGO Group began shifting its priorities in toy manufacturing. While the foundation of LEGO rested on wooden toys, Ole Kirk Christiansen saw a future in plastics and purchased the company’s first plastic injection molding machine in 1947. It was with this equipment that the LEGO group first began producing its Automatic Binding Bricks in 1949. These hollow-bottomed bricks were the forerunner of the modern LEGO brick.
LEGO’s earliest sets were fairly basic construction toys, and characters were never packaged with the sets. This changed after Ole’s son, Godtfred, introduced the System of Play series in 1955. “System of Play” referred to the versatility of LEGO bricks to be used by themselves and with a child’s existing toys. LEGO advertised the toy as the perfect companion for dolls and HO (1:87) scale toy trains. LEGO created the Town Plan series, which is populated by brick-built buildings and prefabricated vehicles, to serve in part as an add-on for model railroading.
It was also during this time that LEGO introduced the great-great grandfather of the minifigure, a set of four tiny police officers. The figures were posed in four different positions, designed so they could direct traffic throughout the intersections of the Town Plan. Resembling HO-scale figures, they did not have moving limbs or recessed indentations for connecting to studs but were nevertheless LEGO’s first people manufactured for the System of Play.
Click to read the full history of the LEGO Minifigure
While I am a big fan of the official architecture line from LEGO, including the recently reviewed Statue of Liberty set, I have so much respect for anyone who attempts to create custom models of landmarks on an even smaller footprint. We’ve seen a few models over the years built to accommodate the mini-fig Statue of Liberty from Series 6 of LEGO’s Collectible Minifigures theme, but this latest by LEGO 7 has to be my favorite. There is a great balance between Lady Liberty and her signature pedestal, and the trans-blue tile border gives just enough of a sense of place (even if the shape of the base is not exactly accurate to Liberty Island).
Here’s a great little LEGO scene from Foolish Bricks depicting a lazy morning spent on the sofa. There are no fancy building techniques on display, but there’s a good selection of parts which add depth and texture to every surface, and the details are meticulously placed to great effect. The precise layout is enhanced by some good macro photography, and the overall presentation is excellent — those light rays and the curl of steam from the coffee mug (which I’m assuming was added in post-production) elevate this model into something special.
I’m not sure if Bernopi is an architect or not, but his LEGO villa certainly looks like it was designed by one. With a greyscale colour scheme, clean lines and a hint of International Style, this is my kind of house. I love the tilted roofs that add interest to the box-like style of construction and the main stairs are enticingly simple in appearance. The only LEGO colours used are Black, White, Medium Stone Grey and Dark Stone Grey but the different textures and angles ensure that this creation is aesthetically intriguing and attractive.
I imagine this to be a home with minimalistic interior that is easy to keep tidy. We will have to use our imagaintion as there are no interior images just the views through the window.
We have been enjoying a taste of Italy in a series of photographs by brickexplorer on Instagram. First we take in the view of a gondolier cruising along the famous canals of Venice. I love the combination of natural elements (be that water, sky or earth) with LEGO built surroundings.
Next, let’s stroll through the narrow cobbled streets in the old town. A gatto is eyeing up a crossaint while some washing dries in the sun, what a peaceful scene.
Finally, as the sun goes down, it’s time to relax and enjoy some freshly made stone baked pizza. The lights inside the pizzeria make it seem so inviting, I’m not sure how far people travel to enjoy theis infamous pizza, it looks like a rocket has just landed on the left.
For a couple of years now, LEGO has been re-issuing some of the more popular minifigure characters as separate custom box sets. This began with the re-issue of the Chicken Suit Guy from Collectible Minifigure Series 9 and we later had the Gingerbread Man from Series 11 for Christmas. The most recent characters are a somewhat off-season Cave Man and Cave Woman similar to those from Series 1 and Series 5, respectively.
This year we get something a little different and unique altogether: 5005249 Easter Bunny Hut with a new character similar to the Bunny Suit Guy from Series 7. Make no mistake, the original Bunny Suit Guy is still one very hot collectible and sought after figure, so it’s quite interesting to see that this re-issue takes a different direction with new prints but keeping the same head accessory.
Click here for a closer look at the Easter Bunny
The classics are always a favourite of mine and they never go out of style. Star Wars fan Miro Dudas takes a pick of some of the famous characters from various scenes of the original trilogy to build medium scaled versions of their minifigure constructs. We’ve got the whole family together, and then some, from Lord Vader, to the twins Luke and Leia, and the dynamic duo Han and Chewie. My favourite of the lot is controversial scene of Han Solo and Greedo showdown, what’s yours?
Click here to see the rest of the characters!
Building vehicles in minifigure scale is not always an easy task. Minifigures themselves are an odd shape – short and wide. In the LEGO world, adaptations have to be made, especially when it comes to vehicles that need minifigures to side side-by-side. This truck by Calin solves the problem by giving the impression of the correct height but only fitting one minifigure in the front seat. Frank seems content to drive his old tan truck on his own, he prefers it that way.
Calin says he was inspired in some ways by de-marco’s collection of vehicles. We highlighted a few, and their instructions if you take a peek on our free instructions for custom models area, just select de-marco under the builder tab.
Life can be busy and sometimes we need to find a place that allows us to relax and unwind. Rather than search high and low for that special place, Milan Sekiz has built his own sanctuary with LEGO bricks. This tranquil scene is beautiful, with its soothing colour scheme and some very nice natural features in the garden. I love the way the colour combination of the leaves tone in nicely with the sloping roofs of the home in the background.
My own favourite part of the scene is the little stream and the cleverly constructed bridge connecting the stone path. Milan has used different coloured plates under the transparent light blue tiles to give the impression of a textured river bed.
There’s only one minor part of the scene that kicked me from my tranquil, meditative state; the combination of the yellow minifigures and flesh has a jolting effect on my irritable nerve.
The Battle of the Bulge was the German’s last offensive of World War II. Although it initially caught Allied forces off guard, especially in the heavily wooded Ardennes region, it proved to be a major disaster for Germany that hastened its inevitable demise. Dunedain98 has build a wintry scene from this battle that depicts American soldiers preparing to attack an StuG III Assault Gun alongside a derelict, battle-damaged home.
A view closer down to the action from minifigure eye-level really shows off the atmosphere with the snow-laden trees and the offensive anticipation in the air. Continue reading
In Greek mythology, Hercules was sentenced to serving King Eurystheus for twelve years after killing his family in a fit of god-induced madness. Part of his punishment required Hercules to perform twelve seemingly impossible tasks, and Bob DeQuatre has created the fourth task in LEGO bricks. His snowy creation sets the scene with the large, aggressively dark Erymanthian Boar standing on high and a rather more diminutive looking Hercules facing up to his opponent. The composition is well thought out with the temple subtly built away from the main action on the left. I love the landscaping with rocks, snow and a stream frozen into an icy cascade on the right.
Taking a closer look at the boar also reveals some nice sculpturing to achieve his muscular form. I appreciate the thought that has gone into creating a realistic landscape, notice the ground underneath the tree is devoid of snow thanks to the leafy umbrella of protection above.
The Metal Slug series of games has some stand out features, and the small vehicles in them have always been a favourite. While we’ve seen some previous attempts at recreating these vehicles, especially the titular Metal Slug tank, we have never seen them crafted on such a small scale. wing hong chan has created four instantly recognisable builds from the games.
The central mech actually fits a full minifigure, and there’s an impressive side build with the “IN” instruction and red arrow. Aside from the three above, there’s also the jet which, like the mech, fits a minifigure.