Thursday, September 20th, 2012 at 10:59pm by Jason, BZPower Reporter
Series 8 Minifigures have been starting to appear on store shelves, and now they're even for sale from LEGO Shop online. So it seems like a good time to post a review for them. BZPower Reporter Xccj has obsessively collected all of them, and he'll let you know which ones are the coolest and how to find them. Read on for the review!
It seems like only the other day that the last series of Collectible Minifigures was out. But it was three months ago, and now we're greeted with a whole new batch of figs to pick from. I know I went through the history of the Collectible Minifigures last time around, but I'll do so again for those who don't want to look back at the Series 7 review. Basically, the Collectible Minifigures come in mystery bags, which can contain one of sixteen different figs from the series. The latest releases no longer have barcodes on the back to help you determine the specific figs. (There is a dot system on the bottom of the bags which can be helpful, but it's hard to see, and the black bags make the situation even worst.)
My preferred method of locating specific figs is to feel the bags and finding specific parts that identify the fig. It's a time consuming method, takes some practice, and makes you look a little odd in the toy store aisle. For each fig in this review, I'll give my advice on how to find them via feeling the bags. To begin with, all the packs contain a foldout, a black 3x4 stand, a minifigure torso, and usually minifigure legs and a minifigure head. When feeling, you need to isolate various pieces that are unique to one fig in the series, and I try to suggest the best pieces to use to identify one fig over another, and also give you a warning about parts that appear in multiple figs. (For example, both the Pirate and Conquistador have a feather piece.) Using these methods, you could locate figs so you can get just the ones you want, thus saving you a bit of money since you won't be purchasing extras. But you are also free to simply keep it a mystery; that's the intended purpose of the bags, after all!
The Collectible Minifigures are becoming more common on store shelves these days, but they do tend to sell out, especially the popular figs. The main store that carries these packs is Toys R Us, but other stores have also been keeping them in stock, including WalMart, Target, Fred Meyers (in the Pacific Northwest), Argos (in the UK), Barnes & Nobles (sometimes), and other places. And, of course, they can usually be found at LEGO Brand Stores or purchased online from LEGO Shop. Individual figures can be purchased out-of-bag from places like Amazon, Ebay, or Bricklink, but they often come at exaggerated prices, especially for the more popular figs. The standard price for a pack is $2.99 USD, but prices fluctuate depending on the region or store markups.
The Series 8 Collectible Minifigures are hidden inside a black bag. It's much darker than any of the previous waves, but it still has a bunch of the figs printed on the front, giving you a display of what you might be getting. As mentioned before, these black bags contain one of sixteen figures in the series. Most stores get a box containing 60 bags, and there's usually a consistent fig distribution inside. In general, there are some figs that come five to a box, some that come four to a box, and the more rare ones that come only three to a box. For the individual figs, I've included their distribution rate to help you know how rare they are. The boxes themselves are pretty cool, with a group shot of the figs on the top and then individual images decorating the sides. But I wasn't able to purchase a full box, so I have no pictures of one. Sorry!
Each bag comes with a foldout. One side serves as a checklist, so you can keep track of your collection. The other side could be the "instructions" page, which shows you how to build the figs. I'm sure most people don't need help figuring out how to put together these figs (although the Alien Queen does have a unique build to her) but it's always nice to have something for newcomers.
And now onto the individual fig reviews!
To be honest, this was my list favorite fig when I first previewed the collection. To me, it's a combination of the S1 Robot and S3 Space Villain. He comes with the robots helmet (this time in dark metal grey), a robot arm (the first time it's been black), and a space gun (dark metal grey) with a 3 length transparent red beam. None of these pieces are new or in exciting colors, and as such the set feels like a let down. The torso and legs all have decent red and silver printing on them, and they'll be good for space collectors. But the coolest piece in this fig is the one that's hidden in most of the images: the head. It is black and has a cool alien / robot look to it.
Overall, for those who have many of the previous Collectible Minifigures, the Evil Robot feels very much like a repeat. But the printing on the torso, legs, and head would be great for customizing Space figs. And for a fresh user who's just getting into the Collectible Minifigures, the Evil Robot managed to look very robotic and evil, and they couldn't ask for more than that.
When feeling for the Evil Robot, there are a few parts you could try to identify. One of them is the 3 length beam, although many other figures also have tools that will feel similar. You could also locate the space gun, but the Alien Villainess also carries one, but without the beam. Additionally, the robot hand clip should be easy to isolate and find, and it is unique to this set. The robot helmet is rather bulky and can too easily be confused with other headgear, but if you can feel out the antennas on the top, that might help you. Instead of feeling for an individual piece, try to locate multiples to determine that the set contains the Evil Robot.
The Evil Robots come 5 to a box. Since they are common and similar to previous Collectible Minifigures, I expect them to be leftovers in boxes on store shelves.
"You do realize that you just borrowed from our themes, right?"
We have another historical fig, today in the form of a Spanish explorer. Although he has some nice pieces, none of them are exclusive to him. The helmet is an old mold from a 90s pirate theme, although this is the first time it's been released in pearly gold. The Foil sword is also a lovely mold, but it originated with the S4 Musketeer. The armor mold is nothing new for Castle fans, but it is pearly gold and has some excellent printing on it. Unfortunately, this means that the torso piece underneath it is just unprinted dark red.
Overall, he makes for a nice historical fig, but he lacks the ingenuity of some of the previous historical figs, like the S2 Spartan or S6 Roman. Compared to them, he feels a bit plain. Plus, Conquistadors don't have as glamorous a history as the Spartans. (Or rather they didn't have a major action movie based off them recently.) The fig still delivers, especially with the pearly gold armor, but in my opinion, he's a bit lackluster.
When feeling for the Conquistador, search for the Foil sword or the armor. The sword will be thinner than most of the other tools and it will have a very distinctive round hilt. The armor will be bulkier, but you should feel the gap between the two sides where the torso fits, but its also similar to the armor worn by the Football Player, so be careful. The feather element will also be easy to isolate and identify, but the Pirate Captain contains the same piece, so make sure not to fool the two up.
The Conquistador comes 4 to a box. While he probably won't be the star of this series, I predict that he will be fairly popular.
"I claim this island in the name of LEGOlandia!"
The Lederhosen Guy comes along to represent another European culture. And he comes with a cool new pretzel mold too! The pretzel is cool but I'm slightly disappointed that the edges are too small to grip with a fig hand, so he's forced to hold the middle of it. Still, it's always cool to get a new food mold. He comes with lederhosen printed on his legs and torso, and sports the forestman's hat (the same mold found with the S1 Forestman) in dark green. He also comes with two small white feather plumes. It's cool to see the inclusion of an extra piece again, which hasn't happened since Series 2 figs. Overall, he does a good job at representing the culture.
When feeling for the Lederhosen Guy, I would try to isolate the small feather plumes. They're the smallest piece to be found in any of the Series 8 figs, and this fig comes with two of them, so if you can find them both, you know who you have. The pretzel is also something to feel for, but it's a tough mold to recognize, and it can be mistaken for other elements.
The Lederhosen Guy comes 3 to a box. He's fairly rare, but I don't see any reasons why he would or would not be popular. I think he embodies the basic idea of Collectible Minifigures, which is to create fig characters that haven't been seen before. With that said, I think he makes an excellent addition to anybody's collection. That, and the pretzel is cool!
"Want a pretzel?"
The Cowgirl is an example of a theme that's been used before (in this case, the S1 Cowboy) that has been released with the opposite gender. Luckily, this cowgirl has more differences that just lipstick, and she's a character all of her own. She has boots printed on her legs, a stylish torso printing, and a smiling face with freckles. She carries around a brown lasso, which is the same mold carried by Wonder Woman. She also wears a white cowboy hat, with a golden star printed on it, that's combined with a medium flesh colored ponytail. I'm not a huge fan of the hat / hair combination pieces, but this one fits the cowgirl very well. Overall, she looks like a classic gal from the West who's ready to wrangle up some cattle.
When feeling for the Cowgirl, the piece to look for is the lasso, which will contain a thin loop. The hat / hair piece also has a distinctive feel, but make sure to differentiate it from other headwear, like the Cheerleader's ponytail or Businessman's bowler hat.
The Cowgirl comes 4 to a box.
"Look what I wrapped up while I was out in the prairies."
When this fig's theme was initially announced, I'm sure a bunch of Americans groaned. We were getting another generic Football / Soccer player? But we already have the S4 Football Player, as well as an entire sports theme dedicated to soccer from ten years ago. But nope: this guy is made for the rough and tough American sport! He has some torso gear, with the number 12 printed on both side. However, like the Conquistador, this means that he had an unprinted white torso underneath it all. His helmet and visor are reused from the S4 Hockey Player, but they fit in well enough. The one disappointment is that he isn't carrying an American Football; instead he's given a golden trophy. The trophy mold is new mold, smaller than those used in World Racer sets. Both the handles and stem can be held by fig hands, but unlike the classic LEGO chalice piece, a stud will not fit firmly into the top. The trophy reminds me of the trophy statues that came with the S2 Karate Master, S3 Sumo Wrestler, and S4 Football Player. As such, I predict future sports figs will include this trophy element in silver and bronze to match with the gold.
Overall, it's cool to see a new fig made for a new sport. Unfortunately, he's lacking an actual football, which will make it hard to recreate a game. Most of the other sports figures have been released with special gear, like hockey sticks, baseball bats, or tennis rackets, but the American Football player only gets a trophy. Even his armor and helmet are the same molds used for the Hockey Players. As such, the fig is a bit of a disappointment. LEGO, the next time you release an American Football player for the opposing team, give him a new football mold!
When feeling for the Football Player, look for the trophy, which should have very distinct handles. The torso armor is also fairly easy to find, but don't mix it up with the Conquistador.
The Football Player comes 4 to a box. Since some people will need a full sports team, they might buy extras of him, but this will force all the team members to have the number 12, which isn't ideal. Plus, since they don't have an actual football element to play with, it would be hard to stage a game. So while the idea of the fig is great, he is a little plain compared to some of the other figs.
"My sport is totally rougher than your sport."
I was a little put off when I heard that another diver was going to appear in this series. After all, the S1 Deep Sea Diver wasn't the most amazing fig ever, and LEGO has had plenty of sea exploration themes in the past. But this Diver blows them all away. He's modeled after classic diving suits, and sports a medium flesh and dark grey color scheme. Instead of flippers, he uses two 1x1 dark grey plates as boots, which is a cool addition. He also carries a basic spear gun in silver. But the coolest element is the deep sea helmet. It's massive and has lots of amazing detail in the mold, including a stud on the top. But the best part about it is the face screen. I was expecting it to just be an opening to let us see the fig's face, but instead it's an actual lens that magnifies the fig's face for us. Pretty awesome.
Overall, this fig tackles a new style for deep sea divers and does it very well. In my opinion, he's one of the best concepts in Series 8, and he's also fairly original. I expect him to be one of the most popular figs from this series.
When feeling for the Diver, you could attempt to locate the helmet. It is fairly bulky, and is the largest single element out of any of the figs in Series 8. The two 1x1 plates should also be easy to isolate and identify. The spear gun should also be easy to find, but make sure you don't mistake it for one of the other swords or beams found with other figures.
The Diver comes 3 to a box. Because he's rare to begin with and likely to be popular, I predict that he will be a hard fig to come across. I think he'll be the star of Series 8, so if you can find him, he'll be a great addition to your collection.
"Hey, I found a new species of fish!"
Here's another case where we see a female version of a previous fig, in this case the S2 Skier. The Downhill Skier seems to be more casual than the previous skier. She has a medium lavender jacket, light blue and white snow pants, and purple goggles, all of which allow her to go on a pleasant ski trip. She has the newer ponytail piece in tan, two ski poles in white, and two skies in magenta. The skies and ski poles are the same molds used by the previous skier. They have been designed so that two of them can be held in a fig hand together, so the skier can carry her equipment around when not on the slopes.
Overall, the Downhill Skier adds some variety to the skier theme, and while she's not exactly original, I still think she can stand out on her own. My favorite aspects of this figure are the pastel colors she comes with. This is the first time medium lavender has been used on a standard fig, since it originated with the Friends theme, and the magenta skis are also awesome.
When feeling for the Downhill Skier, you could attempt to locate the skis, which will be long and flat, with a slight tip at one end. You could also feel for the two ski poles as well, which will be thin, short, and have notches on them. If you can locate two of each of these, then you can figure out which figure you have.
The Downhill Skier comes 3 to a box. She's fairly rare to come across, but I don't expect to find her in high demand, so if you're looking for her, you'll probably find her in half-full boxes.
"Let's hit the slopes!"
In my opinion, the Business Man is as plain as plain can be. LEGO City has seen plenty of business men on its streets, so the theme is nothing new here. His torso is rather plain, and the only neat thing is that his tie is purple. He's carrying a basic brown suitcase and a 2x2 tiles with a newspaper printed on it. The tile is for "The Financial News" and includes some graphs depicting the stock exchange on the LEGO City market. The coolest part is the bowler hat. While this mold isn't brand new (it comes with the S5 Clown, the 2012 Riddler, and Monster Fighter Doctor Rodney Rathbone) this is the first time it's been seen in black. Overall, this guy would fit in well with any LEGO cityscape, but his best characteristic seems to be how well he'll blend in. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view.
When feeling for the Business Man, search for the suitcase, which in unique to him. You could also find the 2x2 tile, but the DJ also has a similar element, so don't confuse the two. If you can locate the bowler hat and feel out the rims, that could work too, but it's very similar to other hats, so I wouldn't use it exclusively to determine the figure.
The Business Man comes 3 to a box. He's rare but not super exciting, but he'll certainly have a place in your collection if you get him. That place might just be blending in with the background, but it's still a place!
"If you wanted some stock tips, you could've just asked."
I wasn't quite expecting a Fairy fig, but I'm sure she's appealing to the growing female LEGO audience. (In fact, I've noticed a lot more female Collectible Minifigures that will likely appeal to LEGO Friends fans.) The most notable piece she has are the fairy wings, with are trans light blue and fit like a backpack. The design is very awesome, and I predict that they'll be used again in the future. She also wears a light lime green skirt, similar to the S3 Hula Girl, S4 Ice Skater, and S7 Bagpiper. I'm not a big fan of the skirt, because it restricts leg movement and leaves an awkward opening in the back. Her torso and swimsuit-printed legs also come in light aqua. She wears a medium flesh colored hairpiece that was also seen on the S4 Ice Skater and S6 Flamenco Dancer. I'm also not a big fan of this hairpiece, because the swoosh in the front looks too large and unnatural. But that's just my personal preference, and it's always nice to see hairpieces in new colors. She carries and older wand piece and has sparkles printed on her face.
Overall, the Fairy looks very much like a fairy, and the light pastel colors work well with her, although the shades of green, blue, and pink are a little much, and they should've tried to make it a little more consistent. I think she'll appeal to the female community and would also be great for customizers.
When feeling for the Fairy, try to locate the wand. The star on the end of it should make it stand out from other elements. You could also attempt to locate the wings, but they aren't quite as distinctive.
The Fairy comes 3 to a box.
"Your dress might be nicer, but I have cooler wings!"
Ho Ho Ho, Santa's on his way. We've seen a plethora of LEGO Santas before, from Christmas Advent calendars to extras in LEGO video games. (Have you ever played as Santa the Sith in LEGO Star Wars?) But this Santa is the most detailed of the bunch. He has special torso printing and a unique red and white cap. The beard is the same one that came with the S3 Fisherman and S4 Gnome, but it fits him well. He also has a new accessory, which is a medium flesh colored bag. In my opinion, the bag element is a little lame; it's awkward for Santa to hold onto and is needlessly bulky. Plus, you can't fit presents in it! It seems better fitting as a garbage bag Santa's going to throw out. On the plus side, it does have the ability to connect to a stud, so Santa can set it down on a base plate with ease.
Overall, despite the lame bag piece, this Santa figure is the most detailed yet. The only reason not to get him would be if you already have an army of Santa figs and don't want another. And the odds are LEGO will continue to release new Santa designs in the future, so it won't be long before a better replacement comes along.
When feeling for Santa, the best element to go for is the beard. You should be able to feel out the ring that fits around the neck, and it will be slightly rubbery. In my experience, Santa is one of the tougher figs to find, because he doesn't really have any other distinctive pieces to him. The hat is too similar to other head gear, and the bag's shape is too generic to recognize while feeling. As such, I expect Santa to be one of the harder figs to recognize via feeling the bags.
Santa comes 4 to a box. I don't expect there to be a big demand for him, because there are plenty of other Santa figs available, and because he is difficult to find via feeling. In fact, I except that he might be one of the figs people pick up by mistake, just because they weren't able to recognize his components and mistook him for another fig.
"Now that there are two of us, we can split up the toy distribution process!"
Let's be honest; this Vampire Bat is basically a recolor of the Man Bat from the latest Monster Fighters theme. However, most of the monsters in that theme are copies of ones that first appeared in the Collectible Minifigures series, like the zombie, vampire, mummy, Frankenstein monster, and mad scientist. For all we know, the Man Bat concept was thought up for the Collectible Minifigures series, and then "borrowed" by Monster Fighters and released a little earlier. (Or not.) The point is that the figure's shouldn't be valued based off his appearance in another theme. Besides, the Man Bat fig only appears in the $99.99 USD Vampire Castle set, whereas our Vampire Bat can be obtained for a mere $2.99 USD.
The Monster Fighter debacle aside, the Vampire Bat is still an awesome figure. He only comes with four pieces, but the wing/arms on the torso are ingenious. They have the same mobility with the wrist and shoulder (although the wings do hit the hairpiece if lifted too far up.) The angle makes it more awkward for him to hold onto weapons, which is likely why he didn't have any accessories included with him. But the wings still look pretty awesome. He also has a new headgear mold; it's similar to the elf-ear hairpiece that came with the S3 Elf, but this one has larger bat ears to fit with the character. Yes, he is basically a black version of the brown Man Bat from Monster Fighters, but he's still a pretty awesome character.
When feeling for the Vampire Bat, search for the winged arms, which will be unique to him alone. If you can also feel out the large ears on the hairpiece, that could help, but focus on the arms first.
The Vampire Bat comes 4 to a box. He might not be as popular because his brown brother can be found in the Monster Fighters sets, but he is still cheaper to get if you can find him, and besides, you could always use more bat monsters in your collection!
"I think I see the family resemblance."
Another musical fig enters the scene. The overall DJ figures is kind of plain; he has printing on his leans, a stylized Minifigure head printed on his torso, and a simple smile. The coolest part is the new hairpiece, which has silver headphones set over black hair. A very cool idea, that is. He also comes with two tiles; one is an album and the other is a round record. (You can tell that this fig is aimed at an older audience; kids these days probably have no idea what a record is. Heck, it's even a little old for me, since I grew up with cassette tapes. Clearly some of us are too young to appreciate this.) The album cover has some almost incomprehensible writing on it, which I believe spells out 'dj rhuzky hollywood dawez.' Maybe there's some secret meaning there, or maybe I just can't read out the words correctly? I'll leave that up to your interpretation.
When feeling for the DJ, try to identify the round 2x2 tile, since that is unique to him. You could also identify the 2x2 square tile, but the Business Man also has one of these, so to be safe just find two tiles to confirm that it's the DJ. Don't bother with the hair; it's too similar to other hair pieces to really help out.
The DJ comes 5 to a box, making him one of the more common figs. The hair piece is cool, but he is a little lackluster overall, so I don't expect him to be super popular. As such, he will probably be one of the leftover figures in the boxes; when I was searching for figs, I certainly kept coming across DJs over and over again. So if you do want one, he's out there; just be careful not to mistake him for another fig you're after. Then all you'd need is a proper turntable.
"Let's pump up the volume!"
When people complain that Series 8 has too many repeats, their first example will probably be the Red Cheerleader. She is pretty much a recolor of the original S1 Cheerleader. She has the same torso design (only red and with an A printed on it), same skirt design (with red highlights), same pom poms molds (again, red this time), and even the same hair piece (this one is in black, which is a first for this mold.) In some ways, it makes sense to have a second cheerleader to represent the opposing team, but she is almost too similar to the original to be worth much. On the other hand, the S1 Cheerleader was harder to come by, so those who missed out back then now have a chance to snag the new one. Older collectors may complain about the sameness of the figs, but newer collectors can still appreciate the design.
When feeling for the Red Cheerleader, attempt to locate the long ponytail. It's similar to the hat / hair piece worn by the cowgirl, but distinct enough that you should be able to tell the difference. Beware of the pom poms; their rough round shape makes it difficult to identify them, and they've confused me a few times.
The Red Cheerleader comes 4 to a box. For some of the reasons I listed above, this fig doesn't appear to be the most popular one. I've certainly come across many extra cheerleaders in my search for figs. But if you want a full squad of them, you can enjoy that fact that there are plenty of extras left over.
"Give me an A! Not an M, an A!"
The Actor, or Thespian, or Shakespeare, or whatever you want to call him, is another nice historical fig. Only this time, instead of an ancient warrior, you get a classic dramatic actor. The only new element here is his fluffy neck piece, which has a notch in the bottom to fit snuggly on his shoulders. His head is also double sided, to show his variety of acting skills. He can be serious, or he can be frightened. That's the limit of his expressions. He also comes with a skull head, classic black female hair, and detailed printing on his dark green torso and brown legs.
When feeling for the Actor, you could try to locate the neck piece, which will be round and have a rougher feel to it than the DJ's round tile. If you can also locate two separate head pieces, you can verify that you have the Actor.
The Actor comes 3 to a box.
"Look, you're not saying your lines right. It's 'To build or not to build, that is the question.'"
LEGO has had many Pirate Captains in its history; it's a side effect from releasing so many Pirate Themes. This Pirate Captain has it all; hat with skull and crossbones, patch eye, golden hook for a hand, and a peg leg. Seriously, he's lost a lot of limbs in his pirate life. He also wields a golden cutlass, which is new in this color. Overall, he does pull of the seafaring pirate look, but he's not that much different from previous pirate figs, so he's not that unique. Still, who can say no to a pirate like him?
When feeling for the Pirate Captain, you should attempt to locate the cutlass, which will have a shorter blade and distinct hilt compared to the Conquistador's foil sword. You could also isolate his white feather, but the Conquistador has that piece too, so make sure not to mix them up.
The Pirate Captain comes 5 to a box. He's fairly common and is similar to other pirate figs of the past, and as such older collectors might leave him behind. But he still has the pirate appeal, and younger collectors who missed out on the previous classic pirate themes will enjoy him.
"ARG, this isn't my crew!"
If you thought you had collected all the lime green extraterrestrials from Alien Conquest, you were mistaken. In steps the Alien Villainess / Queen, who reuses the same head design as the Alien Commander and Alien Cyborg. Only the Queen comes with a bright pink minifig head, a trans pink skull cap, and a lime green alien face with lipstick, which are all new colors / styles. She also wields a space gun with a rare trans pink round stud on the end. She wears two capes, similar to the Zurg fig from the Toy Story theme, both in dark purple. One is just a plain cape, while the other is a mini-cape that points upwards. She also has a dress slope for legs, with a printed design that matches up with her torso.
Overall, the figure comes with lots of cool purple and pink elements, and they all come together to form a menacing Alien Queen. Is she here to help the Alien Commander take over human civilization, or is she just berating him because he forgot to do his household chores before he left for Earth? You decide!
When feeling for the Alien Villainess, attempt to locate the dress slope. It is a large and distinctive piece, and it's unique to her in this series, so if you find it you know who you have.
The Alien Villainess comes 4 to a box. I don't think she'll be super popular, but she's a great addition to an Alien Conquest army, and she's fairly easy to find.
"You were supposed to wash the dishes before you started an interstellar invasion! Now I'll have to punish you."
That's all for now. Hopefully this can help you determine which figs you want and how to find them. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the talkback topic. Good luck with your collection, and see you back here for Series 9!
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