Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Still Going Strong

Another week, another series of Collectable Minifigures. OK, so maybe I'm being unfair - it must be at least a month or two since the Team GB Collectable Minifigures appeared on the shelves, but you get my drift.... With the wonderful London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics now consigned to history, the Team GB minifigures have gone from "must have" to yesterday's news and now it's time for the eighth series of Collectable Minifigures to strut their stuff.
Series 8 Collectable Minifigures (image from Brickipedia)
I smile when I think back to the dim and distant past when I'd actually buy random foil packets in the hope of eventually getting the whole set. Pah - what folly ! As chronicled here, such idealism (or was it naivety ?) soon gave way to the use of iPhone barcode scanner apps in the face of a frustrating accumulation of multiple unwanted duplicates. All was then well until LEGO got wise to our use of technology, and for the next couple of series we had to resort to trying to decypher an arcane and baffling pattern of dots (more here) embossed on the packets in order to determine the contents. Some people were better than others at doing this and I, it must be said, was absolutely rubbish. And then LEGO cottoned on to that strategy as well, and so it was back to just buying random bags, or else becoming quickly adept at feeling the contents of the packets while standing at the WHSmiths checkout. It amazes me that so many people seem entirely comfortable loitering for long periods at their local LEGO retailer, lovingly caressing a succession of foil packets in full sight of the general public while making strange faces and occasionally crying out in triumph.... That's really not for me, however, so I've now resorted to buying whole sealed boxes of figures and splitting them with a couple fellow AFOLs so we can all guarantee getting a full set. It seems a little unsporting doing things this way, kind of like fishing by dropping a depth charge into a lake and scooping up all the fish when they rise to the surface, but you can thank LEGO for that - it was they that started all this by removing the barcodes....
So anyway, back to Series 8, which is actually the ninth series of collectable minifigures for us in the UK as we've also had the Team GB minifigures over here, not that I'm rubbing it in or anything....

I'm always interested to see the reaction when a new series of collectable minifigures appears on the shelves. While there are sometimes one or two figures in a series which seem to get the thumbs down by common consent, opinions are otherwise often surprisingly divergent, with one person's favourite not infrequently being one of the weakest for someone else. For my part, there are definitely a couple of Series 8 minifigures which rank as my favourites, and the first of these is the Alien Villainess (below).

Honestly, I just love this minifigure. As well as seriously looking the part, this female alien badass is also more intricately constructed than the average collectable minifigure. There's actually a standard minifigure head hidden beneath that alien exterior, albeit dark pink in colour and unprinted; her lime green face wraps round the front of it, and her transparent pink 'brain' sits on top. The magenta printed dress and torso with metallic highlights look great, and are appropriately accessorised by way of a purple cape and collar, of which even Ming the Merciless would approve, and a pink-tipped ray gun. As an added bonus, this figure will fit beautifully into any Alien Conquest dioramas out there.

My other top pick from this series is the Fairy (above) who is proof positive that the new Friends minidolls don't have a monopoly on cute. Her sweet face and endearing expression, neat flick hairstyle, lovely transparent blue wings (which I believe are unique to this figure) and pretty torso print are just perfect, and if those aren't enough, she's even got a transparent pink magic wand. My wife is seriously enamoured of this figure, which means that realistically it's just a matter of time before it magically disappears....

Although the Alien Villainess and Fairy are my favourites, a number of others have also particularly caught my eye. I love the DJ's headphones (which are unfortunately fused to his hair rather than a standalone accessory), his torso print and his prized old-school 12" vinyl. Another figure which brought a big smile to my face was the Lederhosen Guy, with his stereotypical little 'tache and monster pretzel, while the Actor looks superb with his Elizabethan ruff and quizzical expression; the Actor is even helpfully supplied with a LEGO skull so he can be effortlessly posed in an "Alas poor Yoric..." moment...

I don't really dislike any of the Series 8 figures; a couple of them - the Evil Robot and Red Cheerleader - are ever-so-slightly lazy rehashes of previous collectable minifigures, seemingly identical except for a different colour scheme, but even then I still quite like them. Truth be told, it's actually quite hard to pick out a single dud from among the 16, and I find it quite astonishing that after eight series LEGO are still able to churn out such imaginative, high quality figures as these; it's testament to the designers that after so many series I'm still looking forward to the next one and can't wait for the first images to appear so I can discover what they'll come up with next - very impressive.

If you're hungry for more on Series 8 I can highly recommend WhiteFang's exhaustive and superb review on Eurobricks which includes a ton of superb photographs - click here to check it out.


  1. Anonymous12/9/12

    Since Series 3, I have resorted to just buying a full set of 16 on ebay. I have never paid more that $56 including shipping. It is definitely less expensive to buy a box and split it among a few AFOLs, but I don't have anyone that I could do that with. Plus, you have to figure out what to do with the extras once everyone has a full set. I like this set, but I don't love it like some of the previous series. But there are some good accessories as well as a few wonderful minifigs like the ones you highlighted.

  2. What I like to do when I buy a new minifig is I choose randomly. Sometimes I even close my eyes. I just really like the element of surprise. A couple weeks ago a bought my first minifigure from series 8 and it was the red cheerleader. She's pretty cool and I'm not disapointed at all of her.

    Great post as always!

  3. Anonymous16/9/12

    Alien Villainess is my favorite of this series. There are several great mini-figs this time.