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Simpsons Mini Figures
Lego

Simpsons mini figures by Lego


I love the Simpsons - always have, always will. There have been good seasons and bad (I think they are currently in one of the good), but overall the show has been one of the greatest in television history.

I was thrilled to hear Lego would be producing building sets and mini-figures based on the show. The only thing keeping me from going all out Lego with some of their other lines - like Batman or Indiana Jones - has been sheer force of will. Sadly, they finally found the license that would break me.

I haven't been able to find the Simpsons home set yet, but I did come across the first series of mini-figures at a local Meijer. These are blind bagged - more on that in a minute - and there are 16 in the first wave. I got eight different figures in my first try, which I'll cover tonight. I have Homer, Maggie, Apu, Flanders, Nelson, Ralph, Itchy, and Milhouse. I'm on the hunt for Marge, Lisa, Bart (you'd think those three would be easy to find), Grampa, Krusty, Scratchy, Mr. Burns and Chief Wiggum.

Expect to pay around $3 each once you find these.

Packaging - *
I hate blind packaging. No, let me rephrase that - I despise blind packaging. The idea that it's okay to hide from me the contents of the package so I have to buy more than I need is ridiculous. It is the number one reason why, no matter how cool I've thought the Lego single pack mini-figures have been, I haven't collected them.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Simpsons mini figures by Lego
Simpsons mini figures by Lego
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Simpsons mini figures by Lego
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Simpsons mini figures by Lego
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Simpsons mini figures by Lego
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Simpsons mini figures by Lego
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Simpsons mini figures by Lego
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Simpsons mini figures by Lego
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Simpsons mini figures by Lego

But the bastards at Lego have me now. This is a series I have to have, and I'll stand in the aisle, squishing the bags, trying my best to find the ones I don't have and cursing the company the entire time. I bought 10 packages on this first outing, and got 8 unique. While picking out Krusty, Marge and Lisa should be easy peasy, the rest are going to prove annoying. Others will gaze upon me with the same pitying eyes that I've reserved in the past for other collectors as they've tried to decipher the secret contents of a Lego baggie.

Sculpting - ****
From the neck down, most Lego figures are pretty much the same. That's true here, with the exception of Maggie.

They give us three different style bodies for the adult, kids, and baby. The adults, like Homer and Apu, have the standard mini-figure body with the usual articulation. The kids (and Itchy) are slightly shorter, thanks to the different legs. And while Maggie is about the same height as the rest of the kids, the has a solid lower body, without a cut waist.

If you're looking for perfect scale, this isn't the line for you. All the adults and all the kids will be pretty similar in size, and Homer isn't going to be fatter than Flanders.

But the head sculpts allow them to make these much more character specific. Don't forget - these aren't the first Simpsons block figures. Remember Blockos? The big difference here is the cool head sculpts that look much more like the cartoon counterparts.

I think they did an excellent job on this entire set of eight. I'm particularly impressed with Apu, Homer and Flanders - they really did a great job on these three. On the bottom end are Itchy and Milhouse, who's heads both seem oversized in comparison to the body. Still, with half of this first series in hand, I'm very happy with the overall look.

I keep mentioning that these are mini-figures, and assume most humans from birth to death know what size that is. For those having lived their lives on another planet I'll point out that the adults are just 2" tall.

Paint - ****
A lot of what I'm calling paint is really tampo style work. This is really a printing, not a painting, process. It's much nicer than using stickers, much cleaner than hand painting, but can be off center or sloppy if they aren't careful.

For the most part, everything is even and straight. There's a few small issues, like Flander's shirt collar, but generally the work is solid. I'm particularly impressed with the eyes, since they are all properly lined up with no walleyes or wandering pupils.

There are a few places that seem too plain, even by Lego standards, like Maggie's clothes or Milhouse's shirt. But overall, I'm pretty impressed.

Articulation - ***
These are Lego - let's keep that in mind. As such, they have the usual Lego articulation.

Each has a cut neck, cut shoulders, and cut wrists. That's it for Maggie, since her smaller lower body is all one piece. It is sculpted to look like as though she's wearing a onesie, dragging it in the back.

The others also have a cut waist, which finishes it up for the kids. They have the solid legs, designed for smaller figures. The adults finish off with the usual hinge hips that allow for independent forward and backward movement of the legs.

Accessories - ***
Each figure comes with at least one accessory, some two.

Homer is one of those with two - a donut and a remote. While they are oversized in the usual Lego way, they still both fit inside his hands.

Ned Flanders also has two accessories, a red tool chest, and a cup that says "I Love South Paws". The tool chest handle doesn't stay in his hand particularly well, but the cup works great.

Everyone else has one accessory, at least in this first 8. Maggie has her teddy bear, beaten up and torn. They use paint to get this across, which doesn't work great due to the bright colors, but is probably as good as it gets.

Apu has a Squishy, which doesn't fit in his hand but does fit properly on one of the block posts.

Nelson has a bat, a deadly bully weapon. Ralph has a copy of "Choo Choo Choose You", while Milhouse has a copy of the comic Biclops.  While these are large and thick, they do fit inside their hands, and look just like they should in the Lego universe.

The coolest extra of this bunch belongs to Itchy - he has a dangerous looking spiked club, perfect for smashing Scratchy, if I ever find him.

Obviously, all eight come with a small black Lego block base, although they all stand find on their own as well.

Fun Factor - ****
C'mon, man- they're Lego! If you've lived on the planet Earth for any period of time, you are already sold on the wonders and virtues of Lego. This little Milhouse figure even made his film debut in the new Lego movie, which if you haven't seen, you need to. Right now. Go!

Value - **1/2
I'm pretending that the price of $3, which is pretty standard for Lego mini-figures, is all you're spending for each. In reality, the blind bagging makes buying each figure more expensive - remember, I spent $30, and only got 8 figures, resulting in a $3.75 each price point. That only gets worse as you try to complete the set.

Things to Watch Out For -
You'll have to do the feel test to find the figures you want, since Lego stopped the dots and the other ways you could make out what was inside each package. Yes, you get to look like a complete fool, standing in the toy aisle feeling up little Lego bags.

Overall - ***1/2
These figures have one glaring flaw - blind bagging. Take that away, and I'd be in Simpsons heaven.

Even with the packaging nightmare, these are every bit as cool and fun as I expected. I can't wait to finish up this series and find the house building set - c'mon, Lego, make us a Moe's Tavern!

Score Recap:
Packaging - *
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Your best bet is to grab  these at your local store. I found them at Meijer, but I'm sure Target, Toys R Us and other major retailers will be putting them out soon. They were $3 each at Meijer. You can search ebay for a deal as well.

Related Links -
I've covered a tn of Simpsons product over the years. Most recent was the mini-figures from NECA, as well as the first series of NECA's larger figures in two parts, here and here. I have a full listing of my past Simpsons reviews here, as well as a long feature on the World of Springfield here.

Discussion:
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Simpsons mini figures by Lego


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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