Forty years have passed since the first LEGO minifigures were released in 1978 and 71021 Collectable Minifigures Series 18 is celebrating this occasion with an enormous costume party! The first half of this series was excellent and my expectations for the remaining figures are high.
You can read the first section of our review here or continue reading below for part two...
The Spider Suit Boy is probably the least colourful of the seventeen new minifigures so did not really stand out to me in official images. This is still a great figure though, wearing a creepy hat with twin mandibles and four eyes. I like the metallic silver highlights around these eyes and the white head underneath looks brilliant, featuring a single exposed fang that reminds me of the Spooky Boy as well as an alternative nervous expression.
A large rubbery element, designed to resemble a spider, fits around the Spider Suit Boy's neck. A little more moulded or printed detail would have been welcome but the eight legs and segmented abdomen look marvellous. A white webbed pattern on the front of the torso completes the arachnid theme of this minifigure and I appreciate the colour matching between his dark bluish grey gloves and the fangs.
Just in case the giant spider costume was not frightening enough already, a smaller black spider is also included. The boy's nervous expression is lovely, as though he enjoys scaring other people with his impressive outfit but becomes paralysed with fear himself when confronted with a real spider! It would have been nice to see the new spider element in black here, although the classic piece looks good as well.
In stark contrast to the subdued design of the Spider Suit Boy, the Birthday Cake Guy is a colourful vision in white, pink and bright light blue. I love the idea of a minifigure bursting out of a cake and am very pleased with its execution as both the cake and the figure inside look superb. The black hair piece is familiar, closely resembling the component introduced in 1979, but now features a pin hole on top for attaching accessories. The party hat has not appeared in pearl gold before so is also new.
An enormous grin is ideal for this cheerful character and the blue jacket is very attractive, matching the ribbons that run around the sides of the cake. The fixings for the ribbons are shaped like minifigure heads which is a delightful touch and matching motifs adorn the figure's gold bow tie, although they only become visible under certain light conditions.
Removing the minifigure from the cake reveals even more printed detail at the base of the torso and across the legs. I like the splashes of pink icing and the areas of bright light blue visible on his legs, as though the minifigure is bursting forth from the centre of a real cake! In addition, the interior of the cake is pink in colour, thereby matching the splatters on the torso and legs exactly.
I absolutely love the quirky costume worn by the Cactus Girl, not only due to the unusual nature of the subject matter but also because the green colour scheme really stands out among other Collectable Minifigures. A large cylindrical component forms the trunk of the cactus and this is moulded with a series of little spines as well as a ribbed texture, much like that of many real cacti. The arms also include ribs and can be posed just like standard minifigure arms, as demonstrated in the images below.
Removing the central part of the cactus costume reveals matching clothing underneath as well as a double-sided head with smiling and pained expressions. The latter demonstrates the great sense of humour that I have come to expect from the Collectable Minifigures range as the Cactus Girl seems to have accidentally touched one of her own sharp spines!
The Cat Costume Girl was probably my least favourite minifigure of this series based upon images alone. Fortunately, I think it looks a lot better in person as the mask is beautifully printed with patches of white fur, a pink nose and whiskers so complements the design on the torso nicely. It is a shame that the printing does not continue on the back of the torso but the dual-moulded arms and legs make up for this from a visual perspective, presenting a striking combination of black and white from both sides.
Removing the mask reveals some face paint, again intended to resemble a cat. I like the whiskers and the silver eyeliner looks splendid so it is disappointing that no hair piece is included as an alternative to the mask, especially given the obvious effort which has been made to create an authentic face print. Nevertheless, this is an excellent minifigure.
A medium azure fish completes the Cat Costume Girl, adding yet more variety to the broad range of colours in which the fish is available. I am always glad of parts in new colours but wonder why LEGO chose not to use the similar bright light blue accessory which was introduced for The LEGO NINJAGO Movie range last year.
The elaborate costume worn by the Flower Pot Girl appears to have taken inspiration from the Plant Monster in the fourteenth series of Collectable Minifigures. Her flower headdress certainly resembles that of the monster but she looks a lot friendlier, wearing pink petals on her head, a bright green shirt which is decorated with a plant stem pattern and a dark orange terracotta pot around her waist!
Bright green sepals contrast beautifully with the petals but the back of the torso looks rather plain without the stem printing found on the front. Even so, this combination of such bold colours is very striking and the double-sided head is nicely decorated with smiling and worried expressions. Perhaps the latter is intended to be used when the Bumblebee Girl from series ten approaches!
The Race Car Guy has made a tremendous effort with his costume, sporting full racing overalls along with a model car around his waist! This is a fun design and the colour combination of blue, white and red really stands out against other minifigures in this series. Racing overalls are usually covered with advertisements, providing the graphic designers with an ideal opportunity to include numerous puns and references to past LEGO themes which cover almost every available surface.
For instance, the classic Rocket Racers logo appears on the driver's left breast and the 'Clutch-Drive' advertisement on the back of the torso is an obvious reference to the clutch power which holds LEGO bricks together. The arms are decorated with a 'Grand Brix' emblem and the sides of each leg features 'Cross Axle' branding, making reference to the common Technic components. I like the red and white chequered designs on the crash helmet too.
The car slots neatly between the torso and legs, presenting an attractive contrast with the minifigure at its centre. The rotating wheels are useful for play and I was pleasantly surprised by the balance of the car, allowing the minifigure to stand with ease on a flat surface despite the presence of a large accessory around its waist.
However, the car is not immediately identifiable as LEGO when removed from the minifigure and it might look rather better with a few more exposed studs. The chequered design, blue stripes and printed headlights look great though and the number 40 is a neat reference to the anniversary of the minifigure. A printed tile is attached to a stud towards the rear. This element depicted an engine cylinder head in 70902 Catwoman Catcycle Chase last year but represents the whole engine very effectively at this scale.
Perhaps the most unusual of the twelve costumed minifigures in this series is the Cowboy Suit Guy who, not satisfied with merely dressing up as a cowboy, is also dressed as the cowboy's horse! The reddish brown minifigure legs line up perfectly with the legs of the horse and I love its familiar style, closely resembling that of minifigure-scale horses. Even the white printing along the forehead is faithful to the standard reddish brown horse.
This element is made from a soft plastic so does not always fit tightly around the neck of the minifigure or flush with its torso which is unfortunate. It still looks pretty good though, much like the reddish brown tail on the back. Removing these accessories leaves behind an archetypal cowboy minifigure, complete with a large Stetson, a red neckerchief, a teal shirt and a cow print fringe waistcoat. Even the legs do not look out of place to me.
I like the Cowboy Suit Guy's confident smile and his short sideburns feel appropriate for a cowboy. The hat is also perfectly suited to this figure and is new in tan, having only been worn once before in black by Sheriff Not-a-Robot from The LEGO Movie! This is easily my favourite cowboy hat design so I am pleased to see it return, particularly in such a useful colour.
Not every minifigure has chosen to wear a costume for the party but the Birthday Party Boy is smartly dressed in a white shirt with blue polka dots and a striped tie. Dual-moulded arms depict short sleeves and the legs are also dual-moulded, representing a pair of dark blue shorts as well as some shoes. I like the white decoration on the toe caps which is similar to that on the corresponding Birthday Party Girl.
The blonde hair piece is brand new, with a swept back style at the front and some additional texture at the rear. It looks superb on this minifigure but is also sufficiently generic that it could be adapted for many different characters of either gender. Hopefully this element will soon appear in a few other colours for even greater versatility.
A couple of accessories are included for the Birthday Party Boy. His orange balloon features a white string with a hand grip while the parcel is wrapped in red paper and tied with a blue ribbon. The 2x2 tile on top can be removed to reveal two Collectable Minifigure packets from the very first series. These are represented by printed 1x1 tiles and look fantastic, showing the Spaceman and the Tribal Hunter at the centre, just as on the original packaging!
The Collectable Minifigures are sometimes criticised for returning to past designs and swapping their gender. Such figures tend to be rather repetitive and the Unicorn Guy follows that trend unfortunately, sporting a medium azure version of the costume worn by the Unicorn Girl in 2015. This is disappointing but I actually think the blue unicorn design works reasonably well, especially in combination with gold accents.
I was somewhat concerned that the blue mane and tail would blend with the medium azure colour of the head, torso and legs. In fact, they are remarkably distinctive and I like the blue highlights on the feet. The winking facial expression is fun too as designs like this one are quite rare but can be very useful for creating some emotion in a display.
The Unicorn Guy is prepared for battle, carrying a pearl gold sword and a printed shield. This unicorn design is brand new and includes some attractive metallic scrollwork behind the central unicorn figure along with a nice medium azure border to match the predominant colour of the costume.
I was thoroughly impressed when the first images of 71021 Collectable Minifigures Series 18 were revealed and the resultant collection is even better than I hoped! There are a couple of figures which do not match the high standard of the rest in my opinion but the vast majority are magnificent and this is certainly among my favourite series released so far, due to both the exceptional design of certain minifigures and the consistent quality of the range.
I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the minifigures in the comments below.
This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.