For over 30 years, the minifigure has made it possible for children to populate their Lego worlds with a diverse cast of characters, from pirates and soldiers to deep-sea divers and aliens. The minifigure has also become an icon that defies cultural boundaries and generational divides, consistently standing small as one of the most revolutionary and popular toys of all time.
The first minifigure in 1978 was based on archetypal characters such as spacemen, policemen, nurses, and knights and were facially identical – yellow skin, two black dots for eyes, and a wide smile – in order to represent people from anywhere in the world. But a lot has changed in 30 years. In 2003, minifigures were given realistic skin tones, facial expressions, and molded hair when they represented real people or named characters from movies or TV series – starting with LEGO Basketball minifigures and continuing with the licensed series.
The Lego minifigures were brought out in these three themes: Town, Castle, and Space. The female minifigures had fancy black hair, the male minifigures all wore hats or space helmets or head armour. The hairpiece for minifigures was later designed in 1979.
Fancy minifigures and their accessories became fancier over the 1980s. Here came the first top hat, briefcase, helmet visors, and castle series welcomed forest-men and knights with crossbows. In 1989 the first pirate series was also produced.
There were so many movies and TV series coming out during this decade. Lego partnered with movies and studios that would produce not only figures and sets, but books, video games, and animation over the years to come.
The new millennium saw tremendous growth in Lego minifigure production. The licensed play themes at Lego included Star Wars series, Harry Potter, Spiderman, Batman, Spongebob Squarepants, Indiana Jones, Superman, The Lord of The Rings, Hobbit, X-Men, Avengers, The Simpsons, Disney characters and Ninja Turtles.
This amazing journey of Lego minifigures hasn’t seen a pause since it began. We’re sure there’s a lot more to come and catch them in action only at Sunday Bricks!