As promised a few days back, here is my Collectable Minifigures Series 17 review…
OK, I can hear the moans. “Not another surfer?” Sure, we haven’t had one since the Series 4 Surfer Girl, and before her the Series 2 Surfer, but I get it. There’s nothing spectacular about this figure. He’s a Professional Surfer, and comparing him to a regular Surfer from Series 2, I guess a wet-suit makes you a professional? Speaking of the wet-suit, the print is similar to the ‘Coast Guard City’ Surfer, but with printed arms.
The surfboard ‘shark’ design is pretty rad though! I’ve already planned shots with the Series 15 Shark Suit Guy and this board. It looks like it was custom designed for that Minifigure.
Dressed in a classic chef’s coat with black buttons on the front and on the sleeves and printing on the front of the legs that extends the coat, this little Chef is ready to whip up some culinary treats. And what better way to do than by using the new whisk accessory?
She’s put that whisk to good use whipping up a pie with six strawberries printed on the top.
Her chef’s hat sits over her hair tied back in a bun, and atop the only double-sided head print in this series; one side a grin and the other a smile.
I’d smile too if I had a six strawberry pie!
Hot Dog Vendor
The ‘Town’ and ‘Speed Champions’ Hot Dog Vendors get an upgrade!
With his cheesy grin and freckles sitting under his little paper cap as seen on the Series 6 Butcher, but this time with red trim, who wouldn’t want to purchase a hot dog from him? A white bowtie and red short-sleeved shirt sit under his red and white checked apron with a smiley badge pinned to one of the straps.
He carries a new dark blue rectangular tray with a shake and a hot dog on top. The shake is similar to The Simpsons Suishee with its straw with trans-clear lid, but no printing. There’s also a hotdog in a bun. Not just any hot dog, it’s a new hotdog colour!
Yep, those who know my love for a LEGO wiener will understand my glee upon discovering a dark red hot dog, to add to the red, flesh, black and sand blue ones!
I’ve never been a huge fan of the Minifigures with the 2x2x2 slope brick instead of legs. Playing with them (yes, I play with my LEGO!) they clump around on their monopod, like a clumsy Godzilla with its legs manacled. Shooting them throws up additional challenges, battling angles and reflections.
That being said, the details on the Elf Girl are pretty cool.
The dress and bodice print that continues from the torso to the slope is wonderfully detailed with floral patterns in light blue and silver. The silver patterns with lavender gemstones details on the sleeves are great. Her hair has a silver star woven into the braid at the back.
Armed with a sword and printed shield, her expression leaves me wanting. It feels too “middle of the road”. Maybe if she was either more angelic to compliment her attire, or more foreboding to match her weaponry, I’d identify with her more?
Circus Strong Man
It’s a classic Circus Strong Man, straight out of the circus sideshow. The leopard print leotard, the weight belt, black boots and a handlebar moustache that could probably lift the 200lb weights all on its own, are all instantly recognisable as the iconic Circus Strong Man!
And then there are the weights. They’re straight out of any classic circus scene, one piece, and completed with the printed weight of ‘100’ on each, making the whole thing 200lbs. Or so the Circus Strong Man will have you believe!
The 80s called, they want their Minifigure back!
Wearing a white suit, with the sleeves pushed up, over a pink polo shirt, this guy is straight out of an episode of Miami Vice; the good 80s version! Aviator sunglasses and smug grin sit beneath black hair with possibly too much product in it.
And when the 80s call, what else would they use but the iconic 80s ‘brick’ mobile phone (pun intended)? The phone is made up of a radio, a 1×1 ‘earpiece’ printed tile and a 1×1 ‘keypad’ printed slope.
Is it a coincidence that this Minifigure looks a lot like our dog Lard’s veterinarian, Kate? Probably.
Dressed in veterinarian scrubs, a nametag with a paw print on it, latex gloves and stethoscope, this LEGO vet is ready to attend to any animal. But first patient to attend to is the new little white rabbit. Maybe it’s just a check-up before Easter?
Oh là là!
Beret, check. Striped shirt with red scarf, check. Baguette, check. French Bulldog, check. If this guy was anymore French…I’ll stop myself here in case I inadvertently offend anyone!
The expression on his face is brilliant, with his one raised eyebrow, pencil moustache and side-pursed mouth. His little tan French Bulldog, like all French Bulldogs, is gorgeous!
Some might say this is just another ‘saccharine’ little female addition to a Minifigure Series. They might be right? But I actually like her.
The blonde hair with two pink flowers in the fringe is similar in mould to The Lego Movie’s Wyldstyle. To compliment the pink flowers in her hair, she also has a blue flower on her left cheek. The butterfly print singlet top and pink legs with printed shoes are cute. And the trans-pink printed butterfly wings will be great to shoot against light!
The new Lime flower stem is cool and somehow reflects the young age of the Minifigure.
Again, I feel we’ve seen a Gladiator in Series 5. This Minifigure also feels like the Series 11 Barbarian had a trip to the hairdressers and got a perm and colour treatment.
He’s less ‘battle scarred’ than the Barbarian, but torso, leg and arm printing seems very similar, apart from the golden armour emblazoned with a lion on his right shoulder.
Armed with only a trident, my money’s on the other guy when battle commences.
Corn Cob Guy
The Banana Suit Guy and Hot Dog Man get a new culinary costumed friend!
Like the Hot Dog Man, This Minifigure is plain under the Corn Cob suit. The whimsical expression on his face is great, with his raised bushy eyebrows and his magnificent moustache. The face reminds me of Series 11 Constable, but with out the chip strap for the police helmet, which gives the head more versatility.
Who needs a chin strap for their hair? No one now!
Another stand out in this series! This Minifigure is straight out of a classic 60s space movie.
His sand green spacesuit has cool orange and grey highlights including atomic symbols on each shoulder. His super retro grey space helmet has a yellow fin on top and yellow radio antennas on each side, presumably to receive messages from back on Earth.
The retro space gun is super cool! It begs to be played with, complete with the accompanying ‘Pew! Pew!” that it deserves. Or should that be “Zap! Zap!”?
Again, it’s déjà vu.
We’ve seen the Fitness Instructor in Series 5 and this feels like another iteration of her. The headband, the big hair and the flashy leotard, all seem so familiar. Sure, the ‘big hair’ is new and has potential for some wonderful photographs. And it’s BIG! A lot of attention has been paid to the printing to replicate the 80s; a pink leotard with 80s geometrics patterns, over zebra print tights and light blue boots. The addition of a transparent, light blue drink bottle with H2O printed is a nice addition.
Maybe after her workout, the Yuppie will call past in his Lamborghini to take out for dinner? Somewhere pretentious and overpriced no doubt!
We met the Evil Dwarf in Series 5, however, unlike some of the others in this Series that feel like replicas of their precursors, this little guy is a wonderful compliment to his Series 5 ancestor.
We find the Mohawk and the short beard in red for the first time, which frame his angry little face with red eyebrows and a plaited red moustache. His fur-lined belt is printed on the front and back of the torso and is emblazoned with a boar motif on the buckle. He has a tribal dragon tattoo that begins on his chest and continues onto his right arm.
The boar motif is continued on the hammer with copper printing on both sides. Take that Thor! In case the hammer isn’t enough, he also wields an axe.
Now that’s how you tool up for a battle Roman Gladiator.
To infinity and beyond, cuteness!
This little Rocket Boy is a standout! The retro rocket is such a cool little mould with its red-circled porthole to look out of, red nosecone, four red fins and silver rivet printing. The double-sided ‘hand drawn’ Space Classic Moon logo on the flag is wonderful. And as an added little surprise, there’s a Space Classic Moon print on the light grey torso under his rocket.
Maybe he’s getting ready to travel to space when he grows up?
We’ve been sworn to secrecy regarding the identity of the Mystery Silhouette…
Series 17 Reprimand
Opening these Minifigures, I can’t help but notice that the gender gap remains similar to previous series’, with 5 females and 10 males. And of those females, sure there’s potentially some strong role models amongst them, but I struggle to find a “full on” female character similar to the Kickboxer Girl, the Samurai, or the Battle Goddess of recent series’.
The gender gap is further accentuated once all the packs are opened and the numbers tallied. Each box contains 3 full sets of 16, plus 12 spares. The 5 female Minifigures only appear 3 times each in a box. That’s no spare female characters. Not only are they underrepresented in the series, they are limited in numbers within the box. The only others to not have spares in a box are the Professional Surfer and the Rocket boy.
Series 17 Recap
OK, now that I read back my Series 17 review, it sounds like I’m overly impressed.
I know I said I instantly wanted every single ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Minifigure from the previous series, despite not being a “complete-ist”. Did I want every single one from this series before being sent them? No. But that’s not unusual for me. I usually stock up on the Minifigures I do want and overlook the ones I don’t.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some wonderful Minifigures and accessories in this series. Sure, initially I feel there are some standout Minifigures, and some that leave me wanting more. And who knows, as time passes, some of the ones that haven’t initially thrilled me, might end up in high rotation on in my photos and might never make their way onto my ‘to do’ shelf of the neglected!
Now that you’ve had a chance to meet the latest additions to the Collectable Minifigure family, who are you most looking forward to? Is there a particular Minifigure in this series that you can’t wait to photograph?
Special thanks to our friends at LEGO, in particular Kim, for the opportunity to review these Minifigures before they hit the shelves this May.
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Series 17 Recant
PS After sitting in front of my computer for hours writing this and editing these photos with all 16 Minifigures staring back at me, my initial disenchantment with some is starting to dwindle. Maybe I should look at each new Minifigure as new, and not make comparisons to previous iterations? Without comparing these Minifigures to previous releases, they are wonderful! If I didn’t know there was a Series 5 Fitness Instructor, this Series 17 Dance Instructor would’ve impressed me greatly. I’m sorry little Dance Instructor. I’m sorry Professional Surfer and Roman Gladiator.
Thanks for a great round-up of the new series Brett. I’m inspired to start to stock up (on most of them) as soon as they appear. The retro space dude and rocket boy need to be in my collection now!
The Retro Space Man and Rocket Boy are wonderful. And they make great companions, almost like a Superhero and his sidekick. I predict some great adventures for these two!
I like them all, I love the Rocket Boy, Retro Spaceman, Connoisseur, Hot Dog Vendor, Circus Strong Man… oh heck, all of them! Especially more seeing them in photos rather than the 3D rendered versions from Lego.
I usually get the full set and then get a few more of the ones I want more of, like the farmer guy from a previous set to have a bunch of pigs, or the arctic explorer to get more penguins.
There are times where I’m like: “I don’t think I like you so much, looking at a minifig. Then the little bugger grows on you.”
Oh and I love the Dance Instructor’s hair, but I wish they would complete the prints of the cuffs like her sweatbands and the Roman Gladiator.
But yes, I can’t wait for them to show up in stores. I’ll be hitting up the Myer in Geelong again most likely and harassing the staff to pull them out on May 1st. 😛
They do have the habit of growing on you. Crafty little buggers!
The ones that surprised me were the Butterfly and Elf Girls. I wasn’t terrible interested in them from the photos I’d seen, but they have definitely got under my skin!
The four you listed, before caving to them all, are my favourites so far too, especially the two space comrades! And who doesn’t want, no NEED, a NEW wiener colour?! 😛
Oh, and I’ll see you in MYER on May 1! Let’s catch up for a coffee post harassment? 🙂
Brett, Another great review! You really do have a way with these. 🙂
I agree that the series as a whole is a little underwhelming, but there are a few gems worth collecting. The french bulldog, the retro space guys, the elf (she will get real legs from me) and the little fairy (love the wings) to name a few instant standouts.
Im super disappointed that not only are there not many women, but only three female character to a box. Only men and boys like the CMF’s? Are women really that small of a market for LEGO? Is this a LEGO outreach issue or is there a larger issue at play here? I have no answers but I was thinking about the whole problem of women CMF characters. What female character would you like to see in an upcoming series? I came up with a few I wouldn’t mind seeing:
1) female artist modeled after Frida Khalo. Then I wold have a cool strong female artist to go with my french artist and with the (slightly racist) Mexican character from S2
2) Rosie the Riveter or something similar. I know that we have a construction worker from the LEGO movie set, but that hat would be cooler if it was a kerchief
3) Anne Bonnie the famous female pirate – and no skirt, put her in breeches like she should be!
4) How about a female sheep? Not only would that character go great with the pig, but it would accurately portray how women are seen in the US media.
5) Classic Femme Fatal – noir character. Instead of a block for a skit, give her a short skirt a la the Helen Bonham Carter character from The Lone Ranger and a fabulous hat like from Casablanca
6) Steam punk – anything steampunk!!
7) Victorian character, someone to play opposite a Sherlock Holmes character
8) A mini figure based on Artemis would be great
9) female office worker. we have plenty of guys in suits, but what about the women. Im pretty sure they go to work too. Then I can create a Clarice Starling mini figure
10) Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler!!
11) The Bride of Frankenstein would be lovely. We have like 3 or for Franks, doesn’t he deserve a mate?
12) an 80’s disco dancer. There are so many retro guy characters, but where is their dance partner?
I will admit that finding interesting female character to base interesting female mini figures on is not that easy. But I think you can see from my list, that it can be done.
Who would you like to see for a strong female character in the next series? Im curious who you would add?
And right here, we’re well on the way to an entirely female series! Oh how wonderful that would be!
I agree, whilst we see replications of previous females, we rarely see female variations of male versions; artist, office worker, etc.
Frankie would love a girlfriend! The Vampire and Zombie do, but not in CMFs. And a streampunk girl? WOW! What an ace way to kick off a streampunk line! And I don’t get why a female head can’t be used for the food theme, like the banana, hotdog or corn cob. Maybe I’m missing something with this?
I’m with you on the characterisation of women in Lego, I’ve always been sad that Lego brought out the “Friends” range to try and appeal to girls rather than create those types of sets for Lego City with standard minifig forms.
I just went through my book of minifig sheets and wow, didn’t even realise just how disproportionate it is. The first four only had three female characters and the remaining (non-branded) have had five of 16 characters as women.
I agree with Brett, it would be cool if for the costumes they had double-sided heads, one side a male face, the other female. Most of the costumes would suit either male or female wearers.
At the very least they should even them out, give us an 8 x 8 split of ladies and men.
But enough ranting, I have folks coming over and have Lego strewn across almost every flat surface in the house, I best go make some space to entertain the guests. 😝
Your photos sell these more than the standard stock photos. It makes it even more exciting. I’m excited for the French Bulldog and the Vet. Whilst I don’t know how much I’d photograph the dance instructor, I can see the hair from that making some appearances cause it totally makes that figure.
I love the rocket boy and corn cob guy to add to the collection of minifigs in costumes. I can see some fun being had with the yuppie guy. I know my niece will love the butterfly girl.
I do agree with you on the whole make to female ratio of figs and then with the role model side. I’ve found more inspiring female figs in other sets. But the vet is at least good though reminds me more of a vet nurse than a vet itself.
But I am looking forward to grabbing a box of the figs when they are released. Great review Brett and looking forward to seeing more photos of these figs from you.
Thanks Kristy. As we are toy photographers, we try yo review these Minifigures a little differently than usual. Sure, I geek out about a new wiener colour, and a lot of the other new pieces included, but photography is our main angle for reviews. It makes reviewing a little bit more a challenge, and takes a little longer to get the reviews out there, but hearing responses like yours make me know we’re doing something right. Thanks again!
Wow! What great figures! Although I agree with every word you say about female characters. There should definitely be more. And don’t beat yourself up about comparing these guys to the previous series. That’s what we all do. Some of them are better than previous versions, some of them are not. They’re probably all connected somehow, since there is a caveman and a cavewoman, male and female viking, several Indians one of whom has a baby (maybe from one of the others), and so many more. They have got to be a part of some kind of scenario.
Let me do a before and after 🙂 Before reading your review, my favorites were the Corn Cob guy, the French Bulldog (not really a dog person, but it’s too darn cute!), the Rocket Boy and the fitness instructor (it’s the hair!). After your review, I’m thinking about getting the battle dwarf, the vet and the hot dog vendor too. Butterfly girl is incredibly cute, but I’m allergic to blonde hair, even in Lego form 🙄
Thank you for such a great review and great photographs. I was so excited when I read earlier this week about it and as usual, you didn’t disappoint!
Thank you! And apologies for making you want more! 😛
Let’s hope the gender gap lessens in future series!
I mostly just like certain elements of the minifigs, like the surfboard, the gourmet chef hat/hair, strong man’s leopard print, vet’s hair, french bulldog, and dancer big hair. The only full character I really dig are retro spaceman and rocket boy!
I love your reviews and images! Can’t wait to get my hands on these!
The Surfboard? You? 😛
There’s some great pieces in this batch. The 80s “brick” phone is ace. I remember having one like it. Dang I’m old!
And yeah, the Space duo are super cool.
I’m glad you like the reviews. 🙂
Great review Brett, thanks! 🙂 I can’t wait to get at least 6 of them. The retro spaceman and the french bulldog are the one I want to most I think! May 1st is too far away… Haha
Thank you! May 1 is getting closer… 😀
Another great review, Brett. I can’t wait for this set. I’m a hopeless completist when it comes to the CMFs. Rocket Boy and Retro Spaceman are the standouts for me. Although who could resist that French Bulldog! I just wish that the heads came with two printed sides (where possible). It just adds more expressions and extension of posing possibilities. I also agree we need more females in the series. A Retro Spacewoman will be great!
Thanks Arvin! At least being a completist takes the dilemma of choice out of the equation and there’s no pangs of regret at not grabbing certain Minifigures when there were on the shelves!
Agreed! The Rcoket Boy and Retro Spaceman are my faves too. And a Retro Spacewoman would indeed be wonderful!
Fantastic review and photos Brett. Your pictures make me want these minifigs even more! As expected, I’m looking forward to the female minfigs the most – especially the veterinarian, the Chef and the Dance Instructor (love her hair!). I think the Yuppie could be fun to photograph and I already have at least one photo idea for him.
I completely agree with everything you and Shelly said about the female characters and the distribution of minifigs per box. When I first saw the distribution last week (someone posted it on Twitter), I was very upset. I can’t figure out why we should have 5 Circus strongmen per box but only 3 veterinarians? I get frustrated by the lack of availability of female minifigs in general. It’s been a sore spot for me lately, especially with the lack of Leia minifigs compared to the abundance of Han Solo minifigs. I keep hoping that LEGO will realize that there are lots of female fans out there and make the female minifigs (from all product lines) more available.
Your review was fantastic though. Great post!
Thanks Lynn! I’m glad you like the review.
Yeah, it’s such a shame about the plastic gap between the genders. And the numbers per box! Maybe if we all wish hard enough, a series full of wonderful female Minifigures will happen.