If there’s one thing that makes LEGO® so damn addicting, it’s the minifigs. There’s just something magical about them. The way you can mix and match them and create an infinity of possibly creations. This has become increasingly better as more and more third-party companies have entered the marketplace, offering a variety of custom minifigs that LEGO® doesn’t have much interest in producing. These are usually more adult themed, although sometimes they just happen to fit into a niche that’s not marketable enough. Regardless, it’s an exciting time to be a LEGO® fan.
Today, we’re going to look at a few samples I received from a relatively new customizer: MiniFigures.com. While these aren’t zombie related, I’m sure you’ll all still enjoy them. Let’s get started!
I’m going to start with one of the ways that Minifigures.com stands out: packaging and branding. Most of the other customizers on the market today focus on the product, and their packaging generally consists of little more than small zipper bags, with the occasional business card or sticker thrown in. Minifigures.com takes the opposite approach by using packaging that’s extremely eye catching and attractive.
I think what I like most about the packaging here is how much it reminds me of collecting action figures in my youth. It was something I was really, really into for a while, and I had dozens. I loved the packaging, especially when it had statistics and biographical information of the character on the back. I actually used to cut all those out and keep them, just because I thought they were so cool. You can see here that Minifigures.com makes use of this, with nice glossy printed cards inside their plastic clamshell packaging.
Of course, the real draw here is the minifigs themselves. Let’s take a look at Stan Lee, the creator of countless superheroes. The printing here is very nicely down, with Stan’s jacket hanging over his pants just slightly. The lines on his face look very nice, and give the figure a nice sense of personality. I especially like the pocket square tucked into his pocket, a nice subtle detail.
The figure even features back printing on both the torso and the legs, which is always appreciated. I really like how the belt here goes all the way around.
Taking a look at the second figure now: Gamma Scientist. Clearly, this is Bruce Banner in the middle of his transition into the Incredible Hulk. Many of you will likely wonder why this character is given a generic name, while Stan Lee gets to keep his proper name. I’m no expert, but if I had to guess, I’d say that’s because Stan Lee is a real person, while Bruce Banner/Hulk is a fictional creation, and subject to the trademark held by Marvel.
Once again, the packaging here is beautifully done; the green background is a nice touch given the nature of the figure.
Onto the figure itself, which is quite an interesting one. The first thing that comes to mind is that this is a pretty unusual choice of a figure to represent. Most people think of Bruce Banner or the Hulk, but the transitional phase between them is an extremely important part of the character’s mythology. It’s a modern take on Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde, with all the horror associated with losing control over your own body. The test tube is a nice touch.
The figure itself is extremely well done, with the Hulk’s green skin just beginning to take hold and spreading from the character’s left. The way Bruce’s shirt and pants are torn illustrates an extremely violent transition, supported by his gritted teeth.
Once again, we get printing on the back, although this time only on the torso. The printing this time around is almost necessary, to give you a three-sixty perspective on the birth of the hulk. I have to applaud Minifigures.com here for their design; it would have been very easy to go overboard on the shredded clothes, but their restraint makes the figure work.
My overall impression of these figures is very positive. The printing and detail work is very well done. I should note that the printing is different from official LEGO® minifigs. The ink is raised ever-so-subtly off the body of the minifig. I fleck at it with my thumbnail to test it’s durability, and didn’t mar it at all, so I’m guessing it will endure gentle play quite well.
If you’re interested, please check out their website, which can be found at http://www.minifigures.com/. They have a diverse lineup of figures, and I imagine that their stock will continue to grow as they develop more. Also, stay tunes for more from Minifigures.com; I’ll be doing an interview with them shortly to learn more about how they produce these figures and their plans for the future.