Do you collect Star Wars minifigs? There's an app for that!

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Today a new iPhone/iPod app has been launched that aims to help you keep track of your Star Wars minifig collection. Called SWMinis you can get it in the AppStore for £1.19 or US$1.99.

I downloaded it myself this morning and have been testing it on my iPad. The first thing to note is that it's not an iPad app, unfortunately (Is it really that much harder to make a Universal app than just an iPhone one? I don't know) but it does of course run fine on it.

The figs are listed in alphabetical order, and by year introduced. Clicking on one takes you to a full-screen image of the figure, together with any accessories they came with. I have to say, the photography is excellent and consistent throughout, at least as good as my own efforts in this area.

On this page you can mark the figure as owned or not and once you've done so they appear with gold coloured text next to them in the listings. Reference is made to the BrickLink minifig number and also the sets the fig appeared in. You can also rate the fig 1-5 stars, and rated figs then appear in a 'My favourites' list.

My verdict: This is an excellent app and well worth a few dollars if you have any interest at all in Star Wars minifigs. Of course, it doesn't do anything more than can be done here at Brickset, but if you want to carry your collection round with you, so to speak, it does the job nicely. The pictures are great and until I get my finger out and get the SW figs photographed for Brickset, they are the best that I've seen of them.

I don't really have any criticisms of it, but would like to offer some suggestions:

  • iPad native please, with nice big images!
  • Combine with a set database (using the Brickset web service, of course) to provide links on the set number listings to images and info about the set, and also a list of all figs that came in it.
  • Provide an 'I own them all' shortcut :-)

There's more screenshots and information the app's website.

17 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Ya thats cool, But I wish it was free.

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By in United States,

@miniclipsean, maybe after a while it will become free!! ;p

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By in United Kingdom,

@ Huw 'Provide an 'I own them all' shortcut :-)'
Do you own them all? If so are you going to photograph them for Brickset?

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By in United States,

This sounds like a nice app, the only problem is that it's $1.99 :(

I'll post another comment after I review and/or buy the app to let you all know if it's worth it if you're sceptic about spending money on apps.

UPDATE: I just finished reading the review for SWMinis - Minifig Collector (which is its full name) on the App Store and it seems quite worth the two bucks they also catagorize the minifigs by characters (like they group all the Lukes together and all the Darth Vaders together). So hopefully this will be quite a successful app!

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By in United States,

Is LEGO getting a share of that $1.99?

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By in United States,

@MisterFubar - Probably not, the app was developed by Cherry Hill Technology, LLC and was labeled "unofficial" so I would highly doubt that.

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By in Curaçao,

C'mon guys, give the developer of this (and every other app in the store) a break: writing apps as good as this takes huge amounts of time and effort and it's only right that he should receive some recompense. Without it he won't work on it any more and update it, and that's in nobody's interest.

Two bucks is peanuts particularly compared to the prices of apps and games on other platforms (DS, PSP etc.)

@LegoCoastGuard, I do now, apart from Boba from Cloud City.

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By in United States,

@Huw - The reason I was upset that it was $1.99 was because first off, there's no free version or way to know for sure that you'll like it or not without having to pay. Also, I've seen great apps (like Gun Bros) that take tons upon tons of time to develop, but they cost nothing, but allow you to buy in-game stuff so they still make a profit. Obviously it's hard to come up with in-game stuff to offer on this kind of an app, but if they made it so that you would get like 5 minutes on the app to make sure you liked it or not, then locked it until you paid for the app (I think the appropriate price would be $0.99 though) would be a good idea.

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By in United Kingdom,

Awesome! If this goes on sale or I get some more money I want to get that! : D

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By in United States,

Thanks all for the encouragement and suggestions.
After looking at the figs I collected over the years it seemed like it would be fun to view them all on a handheld. It took several months to learn object C and organize the database of info and photos. Taking pictures of white figures was challenging since they needed some backlighting. Some kids gave me really good ideas like including shots if the correct weapon with each fig, and I got other tips from the Lego community for design ideas and how to list the figures. I had thought I had all the figs, but had to buy a whole bunch that I couldn't find or didn't know existed, since I wanted to use my own pictures. Thanks to my wife who did the dishes for four months! Anyway, I plan to next update it to be universal for more than just iPad 2x support but as a native iPad, but the things are sold out. I wanted to get this app approved first as well and get it out there. I was thinking of a different layout too, and going beyond just being native. If there are any figures screenshots you want to see at the website I can post those, or if you have a correction for any info let me know. I want it to be as factual as possible. Thanks for your support!

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By in United States,

@Cherryhilltech - Thanks so much for such a great app! I love the app soooooooooooo much and I'm working on rating and marking the D's right now. I hope many more come to love is app, too! I now get why you priced the app at $1.99, and I hope I didn't offend you. I figured that you were some app-building company that just got Lego to give you a copy of every fig, but now I see that it is truly worth every penny. I was also wondering if you were going do to this for other themes (i.e. Indiana Jones, Atlantis, or Batman). Love the app!

UPDATE: I noticed a small typo for the "Hoth Rebel: Version Four" page. For the set it says "Echoe Base(7749)" when the correct spelling would be "Echo Base(7749)". I also wanted to say that I've already marked and rated all the minifigs for A to H! I LOVE THIS APP!!!

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By in Australia,

Good job on just getting the app built and up there!! If I can offer only one tip, your app doesn't come up when you search for star wars lego - if there's any way to improve your meta data so it does, I'm sure you'll sell a pile of them :)

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By in United States,

@Cherryhilltech Did you have to contact LEGO and/or Lucas(Whatever)/Star Wars to see if they'd be OK with this? How did you figure out the legal stuff?

Did you know objective C before you started the project?

Is this your first app?

Where did you get the idea?

@Brickset - A POST INTERVIEWING THE CREATOR OF THIS APP WOULD BE REALLY COOL!

By the way--at $1.99, that's cheaper than ONE Collectible Minifig!

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By in United States,

Wow, I LOVE this app. I just finished rating EVERY SINGLE MINIFIG in this app! It took a long time, but it was really fun! This is for anyone who's having a hard time deciding whether or not to buy this app: BUY THIS APP YOU WON'T BE SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By in United States,

I just noticed SWMinis is #1 in the reference section under New and Noteworthy! I took a quick screenshot before that changes... I added a few more screenshots on the website swminis.blogspot.com talking about some of the screenviews.

To JB's questions - I sought professional council on the legal issues. I did not know Obj C at and it was not easy. It took a week sometimes to figure out how to do something such as collapse a table section by clicking on a header, or swipe past one table section into another section - little things like that are the most frustrating. Designing it so the personalization settings don't get overwritten on future updates was tricky too. Its my first app of course. I got the idea from watching my son play with his figs and talk about it with his friends. They all trade them at school and didn't know the differences between the figures, and a lot of them had or want iPod Touches.

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By in United States,

@cherryhill congrats on your #1 spot. the brickset effect strikes again!!

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By in United States,

Awesome. I don't have an iPod, but I know some kids who do.

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