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  • Writer's pictureChloe - UB Team Member

Evolution of the Minifigure

Currently all across the world we are facing something that, for a lot of us, have never had to deal with before in our lifetime. With the majority of people in lockdown, including us, we want to encourage you all to stay home and stay safe. Which is why we decided to help brighten up your day by sharing with you some interesting facts that we have learned about the evolution of the Minifigure!

So, we love Minifigures, and we are sure that you do too, but did you know that Minifigures haven't always looked the way they do today? In 1974 LEGO released their LEGO family, which were people made of bricks and let's just say they weren't exactly mini, and so it would come as no surprise that later that same year LEGO developed a 'Mini' figure that, although it does resemble the Minifigures we have today, is a noticeable difference in that they didn't have functioning limbs! It wasn't actually until 1978 that the Minifigure would take it's final form and since then the world has come to love this version of the Minifigure so much so that the design hasn't really changed since. Also, for the first year, in order to give a Minifigure a design, stickers were stuck onto them. It wasn't until the following year that LEGO introduced Printed Torsos with their Classic Space Minifigures.

In the late 1960's the first human stepped onto the moon, so with the world so interested in the idea of outer Space, LEGO decided to create their first ever Minifigure in Space in 1978. Fun Fact: Did you know that Male Minifigures all wore helmets until in 1979 which is when their hair pieces were invented. The Red Spaceman featured the iconic logo still used today but the gold often rubbed off easily. Continuing the world's fascination with all things Space related, in 1997, the minifigure discovered its alien counterparts in the UFO theme.

So nowadays LEGO releases a lot of different licensed sets, but do you know what the first ever licensed Minifigures were? STAR WARS! In 1999 LEGO created the first Star Wars minifigures and since then roughly 1121 different Star Wars minifigures have been created, along with several other licensed themes. Continuing with the Star Wars theme, also in 1999 the first ever specially moulded Minifigure head was created for none other than the Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks!

So, although the design of the Minifigure hasn't really changed since 1978 one thing that LEGO has done is try, "Do or do not. There is no try.", and improve their Minifigures by making them more diverse, and one way they did this was by introducing their small legs which allow for minifigures to be made into children, gnomes, dwarfs, and even hobbits! But did you know that the Minifigure that introduced the small legs to the world in 2002 was none other than Yoda!

Another way that helped diversify Minifigures was that in 2003 LEGO introduced their first skin toned Minifigure parts. Before this time all Minifigures simply used yellow heads and hands. Nowadays all licensed Minifigures use the skin toned Minifigure parts in order to be more accurate to who they are depicting but did you know that the first Minifigures to use the skin tone parts were the NBA Basketball Players.

So 2016 was a very big year for LEGO because it was the year that the LEGO Baby was born, although they technically aren't a Minifigure, they are still quite cute! Also, along with that adorable addition to the LEGO inventory, 2016 was also the year that the Minifigure wheelchair was introduced to the world. 1% of the world's population, which is around 65 million people, use wheelchairs and so it was fantastic to see that LEGO was broadening their representation of so many people through their Minifigures.

In 2019 the Minifigure celebrated it's 40th Birthday and since their creation, according to National Geographic, it is estimated that around 4 billion Minifigures have been produced, making it making it the biggest population group.

We hope you enjoyed reading these facts about minifigures and we hope that perhaps you have learned some things you didn't know about them! If you know any facts about Minifigures why not head over to one of our social medias and let us know!

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