New Harry Potter minifig gallery

Posted by ,

Minifigs are arguably the best part of LEGO sets and it's great that websites like BrickLink catalogue them and provide details about which figs are in which sets, and allow us to use that information here to track our collections.

However, one shortcoming with the BrickLink catalogue images is that they are not always very good and are not consistent: they are taken by many different people of varying competencies over a long period of time, which means that when you view them all in a gallery (like you can here) it doesn't look as good as it could.

So, I've decided to do something about it. I will be photographing my own minifig collection to a higher, more consistent, standard and will present them in a new minifig gallery to showcase figures from specific themes. The first theme I've done is Harry Potter, because (a) it's my favourite licenced theme and (b) I have all the figs.

If it's well received I will add more themes in the coming weeks, so let me know what you think!

I'd appreciate your feedback on the photography, too. It has been quite interesting finding the best way to photograph the figs. They are actually quite hard to photograph because of their shiny plastic nature: it's easy to get light reflections all over them. I'm reasonably happy with the results, but I'm sure there's room for improvement and I suspect as I do more themes I'll get better at doing it. For those that are interested, I used a Nikon D7000 with AF-S 105mm f2.8 Micro lens (at f11), with three remote flashguns (SB600 at the top, a SB-R200 at each side, through diffusers) plus the on-camera flash. The images were then cropped and levels adjusted to whiten the background and give the colours some punch.

83 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Nice - the pics look great !

I agree it's challenging to photograph these guys. After experimenting a lot I ended up not using a flash, turning up the light sensitivity of the camera (I"m sure there's a technical name for this....) and employing the digital macro, but my results still fall short of what you've achieved.

It might also be worth capturing the backprints of the figs that have them, if you've not already done so, as alternative views.

So, you've cut your teeth on something fairly manageable, now to go get the daddy - Star Wars ! All those figs should keep you busy ... :-)

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Thank you Huw, Harry Potter is my favorite Theme and having this is a really fantastic addition to Brickset!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Hello Huw, This is a great addition to Brickset but I'm confused about the green tick icon (I own this minifig). It seems to show that I own all the Harry Potter minifigs when I don't own any of them.

Gravatar
By in Japan,

Thanks! This is a great resource. I've just done series 1-3 of the collectable minifigs. I can appreciate the work that goes into getting the lighting right.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@NM: Hopefully it's OK now: it's a CSS caching issue again. I've renamed the CSS file to force a reload.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@DrDave, I gues that's the ultimate challenge. Unfortunately I only have 70-80% of the figs, though, so I'll have to bring my portable minifig studio round to your house to do the rest :-)

Gravatar
By in United States,

That's going to be a huge, but fun, undertaking. Thank you for the effort!

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

The pics are great! I don't now why,but I like that little shadows :-)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ I think the soft shadow is important otherwise the fig just looks like it's 'floating in space'.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Truly great work Huw. I too would like to see Star Wars minifigs given this treatment, then Indy Jones (maybe Indy is a bit more manageable!).

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I should be able to do Indy, SuperMan, Batman, PoP and Toy Story fairly easily as I have all the figs. Then I'll move on to small non-licenced themes before tackling Star Wars I think!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ SuperMan! Assume you mean Spider-Man unless I've completely missed a theme ;-)

Collectible minifigs is a small non-licenced theme worth tackling in my opinion.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Great work this is very good. The pictures are high quality and look great. I hope there are more of these i the future.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Er, right, yes, *Spider* man!

Gravatar
By in Denmark,

This is awesome! Do you mind if I use these pictures for a video montage to upload to YouTube?

Gravatar
By in United States,

Really nice! I can't imagine the photography being much better. It's interesting to see all the figures on one page like this and to note how the characters have evolved since 2001.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

Great work! And a great idea! It's nice to see all the figs in one easy spot.

Hate to be nit-picky though, but you are missing the Troll from the 'Troll on the loose' set (4712). I wouldn't have mentioned it, but being part of the Equality of Troll Recognition International group requires that I do so.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Your amazing attention to detail and high quality shines through Huw. You run a phenomenal site and manage it beautifully!

Gravatar
By in United States,

I love this! For some reason my Diagon Alley minifigs are not checked off, though. I went back and made sure that I had checked the "I Own This Set" box; it's right, but none of the minifigs for that set have the green check mark.

Gravatar
By in United States,

This is really cool, thanks for doing it

Gravatar
By in Germany,

The pics look great and I really like being able to see what sets the figures come in with the "Appears in X sets" pop up. We have the 4842 Hogwarts but for some reason it doesn't show that we own Professor McGonagall, Professor Flitwick, Argus Filch, Voldemort, the 2 Dementors or the Gryffindor Knight. It does show the green checkmark for the other 4 figures in the set though

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ & ^^^ - I have a similar problem; the figs in The Burrow aren't marked as 'got' even though the set is in my inventory here. I'm sure Huw will sort it out soon :-)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@TheLEGOmaniac, sure, as long as due credit is given.

^ & ^^ & ^^^^ Make sure you click on the 'update your collection' link at the bottom of http://www.brickset.com/mySets/. When you add a set to your collection, the minifigs are not automatically added to your minifig collection, you need to click on this link from time to time.

The reason it's like that is that it used to take a while to run the database queries to update things but since we moved to a new SQL server they are much quicker so I can probably get it to do it in real time now. I'll look into that for a future update.

@Dodge, I didn't include the troll although I did photograph him. I know BL considers him to be a minifig but I thought he might upset the balance of the page, maybe if enough people complain I'll add him. Get your fellow ETRI members to do so :-)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Does anyone else (in the UK) think Ollivander's head would make a great Lord Sugar? (with a bit less hair of course) :-)

Gravatar
By in Denmark,

@Huw, of course, I'll add a link to the minifig gallery once I upload it. Thanks!

Gravatar
By in Spain,

Huge effort, really, but the pic looks awesome!!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Huw - D'oh. Thanks for the reminder :-)

Gravatar
By in United States,

This is great!!
The only things that could be added, which I think other people have said already, are maybe the backprints on the torsos and the alternate faces on some of the heads. Besides that, this is just pure awesome.
I can't wait to see it in other themes. Batman and Spiderman will be probably be the easiest in licensed themes to do next.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Re: The Troll - it's a tricky call really; if you include the troll, should we also include the other magical creatures (Buckbeak, Fluffy, the Hungarian Horntail, ...) ? Alternatively, the troll does make use of a common 'minifig' element (the head piece), & none of the other ones do, so perhaps that is the discriminator?

Gravatar
By in United States,

Amazing! Great pics, be amazing if we ever get a castle one ha

Gravatar
By in United States,

Pirates and Castle are popular non-licensed themes - perhaps the most recent releases of them wouldn't be too hard.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Great photos -- a "Brickset" watermark would be good too ;-)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ I thought about a watermark, but personally I don't like them, and if they are to be not intrusive -- in the white area -- they'd be easily chopped off, negating the purpose of them.

Gravatar
By in Croatia,

Wow! Pictures are great!

And I don't want to be picky, but you have wrote 'Knight Bus Driver'.
On Bricklink it says: Knight Bus Driver / Conductor
This is Knight Bud driver in movie:
http://www.mugglenet.com/news_images/ernieprang.jpg

So this is probably Stan Shupnike.
I am sorry for bothering you after such a hard job, but I can't understand why is he named 'Knight Bus Driver'.

Once again, I am really sorry.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

VERY nice, thanks Huw! :) Just a little problem: When you roll-over a link, it doesn't show the little "shadow" anymore! :( I liked it... :( Not even a Ctrl + F5 fixes it! :(

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

This is great, Huw. Nice job!

Gravatar
By in Germany,

BTW, Huw, it would be nice to see the what's on both sides of a double-sided head! As it is now, you can only see one side of the head!

EDIT: It would also be nice to see what's under "covered" pieces, like Dumbledore, for example! With his beard on, you can't see his face and torso!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thanks, Huw. Updating my minifig collection worked. Now all the Diagon Alley figs are marked.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Great Job Huw!!!! :D

Unfortunately seeing this makes me want those few sets that I've missed over the years even more :/ lol

Gravatar
By in Sweden,

Great iniative Huw. And very clean and sharp picture. The only minute little detail I could think of would be that some of the fig hairs appear almost too shiny, like they were polished. But maybe that's the way they are? Anyway, like I said, a very minute detail.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Very classy. I can't believe you have every single HP figure, that's dedication! It's pretty cool to be able to see the evolution of the detailing on these. The newest batch are so much better than all those that came before them.

Gravatar
By in Poland,

Very good pictures, maybe could be a little bit more sharp. It is a pity that there is no "back". I congratulate the plans, it is really hard and tedious work, I played with Pharaoh's Qeust's minifigures (http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=457194 - if you want I can share my photos with you, if you wish). I plan to take the same kind of photos for Indiana Jones and Aventurers series, but it scares me a bit.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Nori, your photos are excellent! I certainly would like to use them here. Is that all of the PQ figs?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Alemas. I liked the shadow too. Can you put it back please Huw?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Great initiative, looking forward to other themes!

Huw, have you tried using fixed lights and a tripod without a flash? That may reduce the very shiny appearance a bit while still giving very good detail. There are some great tips on this site: http://www.nxtprograms.com/help/photos/index.html

Gravatar
By in Poland,

@Huw, yes, these are pictures of all the figures in this series, I will add one more photo - the mummy's photo without the cap from behind. If you wish, it will be an honor for me, when you use these pictures. If it is needed, I can send you them in bmp format.
Figures from the Indiana Jones movies have also been photographed, I just need to edit photos.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Excellent job Huw! These are great pics and great reference.
Are their turnaroundson the figs...like any back printing?

Love to check out when you tackle Star Wars and Indiana Jones...:)

Gravatar
By in United States,

Excellent job!

My only question is printing on the backs of torsos or backs. Is it possible to add a note or a picture-in-picture of the back if it has additional printing?

Thanks for all the great resources, Huw!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

what will be youre next theme to do?

Gravatar
By in Norway,

Great job! Some minor complaints about names... The first "Death Eater" should be called Lucius Malfoy, as much as I like seeing how the Death Eater mask has evovled over the years I'd much rather see all variations of Lucius, the most recent one is called Lucius Malfoy, thus, we don't get all Lucius Malfoys or Death Eaters. I can see how it's tricky, but I think it would be really nice if you fixed it!
Also, as someone pointed out, it's not "Knight Bus Driver", it's Stan Shunpike.
Finally, as far as I know there's a Fred-minifigure and a George-minifigure, I don't know if the box says who's who, but they have different faces, don't they? I think it's up to you to decide which one's which, unless they both have double-sided faces, making me think there were two different figures. Hoping to get Diagon Alley one day myself, can't buy all the new remakes, but since 1/3 of that set is original and there's a lot of exclusive figures I think I will get it one day...

Gravatar
By in Germany,

I just had a terrible thought... Huw, will you try... *gulps* to photograph... EVERY SINGLE Town minifigure EVER?

Gravatar
By in United States,

Awesome work Huw. Great addition to the database.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

How about showing the back of the figs as a mouse-over?

Gravatar
By in United States,

Great work. It looks a lot better now!

Gravatar
By in Germany,

As a side-note: Good job on keeping the capes in good condition, Huw! :)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Duq and others, Backs of figs: good idea. I'll do them for the next theme and maybe come back and do them for HP later.

@duq, "fixed lights and a tripod without a flash" I don't have any other suitable lights at my disposal, or the room for a studio setup, but I agree the shine needs improving. In fact I've been playing a bit more tonight and I think the next batch will be better in that regard.

@SapmiSatan, I was guided by the BrickLink names when determining character names. Someone else mentioned Stan Shunpike, so I've changed it. Which Malfoy/Death Eater fig do you think needs changing?

Fred and George are the same fig, with a reversible head. I guess it wouldn't hurt to include both of them.

Thanks everyone for the feedback, it seems it's a worthwhile exercise to continue with this, so expect another theme soon...

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Huw Wow the Nikon D7000 and 3 external flashes, me jealous! I use an old lamp and an even older D80.

Are you using the on-board as just the commander to fire the external flash units, or is it also helping light the subject at the time of exposure? Only advice I have is to only use the on-board for controlling the diffused external flash units to cut down on the hot spots. That and bouncing the light off the ceiling (you are probably already doing both these things :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

Huw, this is perfect! Just what I have been wanting: a very collected, accountable, consistent (and very bright pictured) catalogue of minifigures...just great. Please (if you can) apply this to some other themes (ahem...Star Wars...). Thanks!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I love it, it was fun seeing how the mini-figures have evolved ^^

This has probably been said (I'm far too lazy to look thru all 58 comments) but why not have a 'half minifigure' gallery? You could put all the things that *could* count as a minifigure (like the troll) but aren't the normal, average Joe, type of minifigure body. (like harry potter)

Gravatar
By in Australia,

@ huw on the professor quirriel minifig the voldemort head is showing also the Marauder's Map Statue
is actually called the 'Gunhilda of Gorsemore' statue

Gravatar
By in United States,

ITS AWESOME!! Please do more!!!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Great Huw you do a lot that we should all be thankful for. One problem through The chess queen hardly stands out from the white background.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Higgins, for these pictures the on-board was firing, to help brighten the front of the figs, but in doing so it also causes 'hot spots' on the hips and other places.

Tonight I've been experimenting more, including turning the on-board flash off, and think I can improve things for the next theme which will be Batman. Trouble is, I need to break open by MISB Batcave to do so :-)

It's not so much the shadows and highlights that are the problem but trying to get the background a consistent shade of grey so that when adjusting the levels it can all be turned white, since I don't intend to 'cut out' the figs from the background (too much work!) The best method seems to be to fire a flash above and slightly behind the fig (the SB-600 set at +1EV) through a diffuser to illuminate the white card.

Once I've perfected things I can always do HP again: it doesn't take long once you have the figures to hand and the camera set up (plus the EyeFi card helps...)_

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@Huw: Sorry to bother you, but... I WANT THE LINK SHADOWS BACK!!! Look at my first comment for an explanation...

Gravatar
By in United States,

I so agree with the "(a)" statment Huw, Harry Potter is my favorite liscenced (and out of any) theme too!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Calm down, Alemas!

There's a minor CSS problem which I'll fix first thing tomorrow morning, when the site is quiet.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Your photos look professional - they look like official LEGO set promo photos with white backgrounds cropped down so that you can only see the minifig. I love it!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Woah. O_O
Those pics are better than LEGO's! Man, wish I had the equipment to take pictures like that. Anyways, I like it a lot.

Gravatar
By in United States,

THey look awesome and I love the idea of getting the great quality photos. I have a habit of going to the lego site and grabbing the images of the figs because I will use them as icon or what ever else I can find a reason to use them.

One note you said you had all the figs but are you missing one of Harmonie? the one from the under water rescue? maybe it is a 2 faced set and you have a different face forward.

Keep it up PLEASE!

Gravatar
By in United States,

this is a great idea, but, do think you can do all the star wars figs next. Please! Ill be your best friend.

Gravatar
By in United States,

This is great feature. I enjoyed looking through the image gallery. The pictures are swell.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@Huw: YIPEEEE!!! SHADOWS ARE BACK!!! :D Thanks Huw! :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

Excellent work and quality results. Thank you very much for taking the time for this monumental effort.

Gravatar
By in Norway,

@Huw: Well, the Lucius Malfoy that's been called "Death Eater" should be called "Lucius Malfoy" and sorted with the rest of the Lucius Malfoys. Since Fred and George are the same minifigure I wouldn't do anything about it, not unless you add pictures of the reversible faces. If you think there's not enough Death Eaters that'll probably change once "The Battle for Hogwarts" is released. Saw you fixed Stan, nice.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Yeah, I agree with SapmiSatan, but I'd show two Fred and Georges.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Wow, Dobby is scary! ;)
nbenz: it is a double face
Alemas: on that hidden detail idea, I would actually rather not see Dumbledore's bare chest.
Huw: I think they mean the Goblet of Fire version.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Wow just used the Harry Potter pics as a guide to my own collection..trying to arrange my figures in chronilogical order and this was a great help.
Then I find I have a second Vernon Dursley which isnt in the list?

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

These are amazing pictures. Perhaps for the minifigs with reversible heads (Quirrell, Fred & George etc) you could put a box in the corner showing the alternate head.
Also it's Rubeus Hagrid, not Rebeus.

Gravatar
By in United States,

jezzatheshed: Actually sometimes Vernon's head is used in CITY sets, maybe that is where you got it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

This might have already been commented on, but i noticed the ogre/troll creature was not in the gallery of minifigs.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Thanks Berrybrick..I conducted a little search and found him in a doctor and patient set (allbeit with wrong hair but right shirt and trousers) I bought a number of sets secondhand and it seems he was a glory seeking minifig with ideas of stardom! The good news is the figure count for the sets I bought is correct.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Great idea!

Gravatar
By in United States,

I don`t care about Harry potter.

Commenting has ended on this article.

Return to home page »