Review: 21148 Minecraft Steve BigFig with Parrot

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View image at flickr

Another year, another wave of Minecraft – however, the boxes I have here are a little different to the norm. These are not minifig scale playsets, nor are they inanimate Brickheadz. So what are they exactly? Well, they are called Bigfigs – only they're not the sort of Bigfigs that the LEGO community already know.

The boxes say Bigfig Series 1 – and there are 3 to collect - so quite easy to get them all, but equally worrying about how many series there may end up being. All 3 are priced at £12.99 / €14.99 / $14.99 and I'll be kicking off with 21148 Steve with Parrot.

We'll start with the box – quite a diddy little thing, shown here with a minifig for scale. I have a reservation about the front cover image which I will explain later.

View image at flickr

And here's the back showing the features.

View image at flickr

Inside you'll find a small instruction booklet and three bags.

View image at flickr

Let's empty them out and get a look at the 159 pieces contained herein.

View image at flickr

There are some new pieces, prints, recolours and rare elements – the most interesting of which is the 2x2 tile with vertical 1x2 plate bracket. I can see this being a really useful piece indeed. There's a good smattering of Dark Azure. The 1x2 Brick with Axle Holes, 4x4 plate with 2x2 cutout and 2x4 tiles are recolours, the 1x1 bricks have only been in 2 sets prior and the 1x1 plates, while not rare, are useful if being picked up as a parts pack on clearance. The pair of Medium Azure Technic Liftarms are also lesser spotted. To finish there is a new printed 2x4 tile and a huge axe. That's quite a speciality mold – so I wonder what other sets it will end up in.

View image at flickr

There's just under 20 minutes build here, and this is what you end up with – Steve, standing at 135mm high and a parrot. I have to say it looks pretty good to the source material. The grey ball joints across the hips are a necessary evil but don't look out of place - almost like Steve is wearing a belt.

View image at flickr

It sure isn't pretty from the rear though. This view gives a clue to a small mechanism within the torso - operated by moving a pair of technic liftarms which I'll show shortly.

View image at flickr

Here it is with a minifigure for scale. The 6x6 baseplate is quite essential for stable display, and because of this it does rather limit the leg position options. The new 2x2 tile with 1x2 vertical plates are used for his feet.

View image at flickr

As far as articulation goes, the model is quite limited – though to be fair this is partly due to the source material. The arms can be moved back and forth – they are attached on Technic Axle Pins. Each leg is attached to the torso by means of 2 ball joints and the head is on a single ball joint meaning it can rotated a full 360 degrees and dropped side to side limited only by the shoulders.

If we take him off the baseplate, Steve can be put into more interesting poses.

Sitting down provides a better look at how the new pieces are used for Steve's feet.View image at flickr

View image at flickr

The parrot is quite well done with articulated wings, head, tail, claws and crest. Again, a new 2x2 tile with 1x2 vertical plate is used for the base. I hope someone soon comes up with a snappy title for that element.

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

Now for the play feature. On Steve's back there is a simple push mechanism that moves his axe arm upward. Then release it to drop the arm again. This mimics his in game action quite well swinging the axe up and down.

View image at flickr

Because the arm always drops back into it's lowest position by means of gravity, the pose shown on the front of the box can't actually be achieved without keeping your finger there. However, grabbing a 1x4 plate from my parts bin soon solved that. Placing it across the back holds the mechanism down...

View image at flickr

… so now his axe arm can be held upwards to enable more poses. It must be noted that without the base to stand on, the figure is not especially stable. It needs to be placed on a decent surface and the limbs have to be set in certain positions to prevent toppling.

View image at flickr

The eagle eyed will have noticed a SNOT connection on Steve's head. Steve doesn't come with any armour but that doesn't stop you making your own, or indeed, purloining the headgear that comes in 21150 Skeleton with Magma Cube. Here's how he looks wearing it.

View image at flickr

And finally, here's Steve as the centrepiece of the whole series.

View image at flickr


Overall

So what conclusions can I draw? Well, I think I've kept the review quite upbeat, however I can't get past the fact that it's all just a little bit dull. Brickheadz were often criticized as they were display pieces that couldn't be played with, and I appreciate that this goes beyond, achieving a larger format toy that can be both played and displayed. The features are quite limited though, and you'll likely need 2 of the 3 to get the most out of play.

They don't go with normal Minecraft sets nor are they Constraction figures. They seem to be answering a question that nobody was asking. They occupy a niche within a niche. So who are they aimed at?

I'm guessing Minecraft collectors who have to have everything. Possibly they're pitched at Minecraft players who haven't bought into the minifig sets before – and possibly parents and grandparents who will see these on the shelf and buy them because it has the brand on it. If you didn't like 41612 Steve & Creeper Brickheadz then this could well be the shelf ornament you're looking for.

I built these Bigfigs before I knew the price, and the RRP reveal is pretty much what I'd guessed at. It's not outrageous for an IP based set, but I can foresee discounts coming quite quickly. As an AFOL, previous Minecraft sets have given me a surprising amount of enjoyment. Unfortunately, I haven't felt the same amount of reward and satisfaction here and this will be in my parts bin pretty quickly.

I'd say that the majority of people can safely let this one pass by, but if you adore Minecraft then it's a worth a glance.

Thanks to LEGO for providing the set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

39 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I have to say I think this looks really bad, like almost Brickhead bad.

But I must also say I'm thankful for LEGO for trying new things. They could have just made some lame Brickhead (which would be cheaper) but with Minecraft they try all kinds of new things. Started with macro sets, then System scale and now these. Keep on reinventing the theme LEGO.

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By in United Kingdom,

Every day we stray further from God's light.

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By in United States,

Looks pretty cool honestly.

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By in United States,

Lego couldn’t let their mistake stop at brickheadz. Had to take it a step further. What next? The horror?!?

Edit: Realistic? You kidding? My friend these are anything BUT realistic. Minecraft in general is anything but realistic.

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By in United States,

These are much larger than the brickheadz, more posible, and more realistic. I have never bought a brickhead, but I might get one of these if they make some star wars ones or something.

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By in United Kingdom,

I feel like these could be a pretty good companion to the “bigfig”s we’ve gotten in the superheroes sets, but the exposed rears and posing problems make them feel a bit unfinished. Not a bad a idea, but not that well executed either.

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By in United States,

I hope this is not the constraction line they were hinted at to replace Bionicle / Star Wars CCBS...

Although I personally don't care for Minecraft and dislike the overall look of this set, it might still make for a decent parts pack. Shame they didn't release a bunch of new inverted tiles to cover up the back. But I am intrigued by that weapon piece and am wondering about the best ways to incorporate it into a MOC.

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By in Norway,

They look awesome. Like brick built version of the large action figure line (those with action features)

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By in United States,

I do like brickheadz, but in my opinion these are pretty terrible.

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By in United States,

Will there be reviews of all the Minecraft figures, or are they generic enough to be covered with this one review?

That said, I'm far more interested in these as part packs than as builds, and mainly deciding based on whether I think dark grey or white for the tile with plate piece.

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By in Finland,

Man Lego should do a series of figures that are like Giant-man and Ares

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By in United States,

About a dozen inverted plates, part 11203, would solve the looks of the back and make this set look great.

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By in Germany,

The next big failure. I really want to write something nice to encourage Lego to try new things, but I can't. It's a terrible idea.

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By in United States,

Nice article! These new bigfigs are definitely... interesting. As for a name for the new 2x2 tile with 1x2 vertical plate, how about something like the “T” tile?

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By in United Kingdom,

Despite fairly widespread disdain for BrickHeadz on here it is clear that they have been a success so I guess Lego might also be right with these figures.

Not for me (which I initially said about BrickHeadz but I do own a few now) and I feel the same about these. I can't really see them working beyond Minecraft but as a little self-contained set I can see them selling quite well.

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By in United States,

Curious on kids thoughts on a line that is more kid oriented. I suspect my son will like these, especially with multiple kids of mine wanting brickheadz this year.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm going to take a guess and say few previous posters have ever played Minecraft (ignoring the ones who turn up on every thread just to gripe tediously, and frankly ignoring them is precisely the best thing to do).

As recreations of the player character model, these are basically spot on. Anyone who likes the aesthetic of Minecraft will love these. They're less toy and more collectable sculpture. I don't know how well they'll sell to the general public, or even if anyone is still playing Minecraft, but as display pieces for fans of the game, they're both cheap and accurate. Still not gonna buy one though.

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By in Canada,

Brickheadz are great in comparison to these. These suck and I would not like to see Brickheadz be replaced by them.

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By in Sweden,

I think they look good for what they're trying to be. It'll be interesting to see if these sell or if they end up warming shelves, since they'll be of limited interest to anyone but the kids.

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By in Australia,

I don't doubt that it's a realistic representation of the guy from Minecraft ... but as a Lego set, no, it still looks pretty ghastly. Where I live, the SW constraction sets were shelf-warmers for years (even Toys R Us, in its very last days, had piles of them from "Rogue One" that it literally couldn't even give away). I hope nobody orders too many of these, because I can't see them doing anything other than collecting dust (alongside the Unikitty sets that are sitting there, unwanted, despite the *rest* of the Lego aisle being pillaged, this close to Christmas).

Although that photo where he's sitting down, holding his axe ... it looks like Pac-man is on a direct course for his crotch. So that's something.

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By in United States,

JUMPER PANEL

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By in United States,

It's amusing how many AFOLs seem to think stuff like LEGO Minecraft or Star Wars buildable figures are too niche to have any redeeming value, but also don't understand why LEGO doesn't make more train or monorail sets.

As of this October, Minecraft still had a monthly userbase of 91 million players: https://www.businessinsider.com/minecraft-has-74-million-monthly-players-2018-1 So I don't think the idea that "nobody plays Minecraft anymore" (which I've been hearing since the first LEGO Ideas Minecraft set launched) has all that much merit.

Certainly, Fortnite has made a really big splash in the past two months, including a lot of overlap with the core LEGO audience, but it's too early to say how many of its 200 million registered accounts continue to log in and play regularly in the years to come, and if LEGO had launched Fortnite sets in 2019 we'd be seeing loads of Brickset comments asking what Fortnite is or calling LEGO out for taking a foolhardy risk on a video game IP that hasn't even been out for half a year.

Not only that, but three $15 sets using mostly standard parts (only like four new molds between them) is hardly an outrageous investment for an ongoing licensed theme. If these don't do great, its no big deal, and if they do, good for them — but either way, I see no reason at all for this much cynicism right out of the gate, particularly from people who are just as cynical about other LEGO Minecraft sets and buildable figure sets alike.

Anyway, that new bracket looks useful! I wonder what other Minecraft characters/creatures become sets in the future.

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By in Australia,

^ Yep. Unikitty and SW Constraction sets are for kids!

But, as an aside, someone needs to tell the kids that.

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By in United States,

Actually yuffie, Brickheadz has been a bit of a failure to the point that there were rumours it would end and that the 2019 sets will probably just be S@H exclusives as stores don't want to waste space with them.

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By in United Kingdom,

As a massive fan of Minecraft and lover of every single Minecraft set Lego has ever released... I cannot say much positive about this...
The parrot looks cool I guess. And the new pieces will prove interesting in future building designs. Seriously though this really has no point. The jumbo minecraft action figures are essentially the same thing, but cheaper and actually looks good from every angle.

I'm suprised no one has mention this but the gap between the eyes and the hair is way too big!!! It looks like he has a massive forehead.

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By in Poland,

Listen guys. The best thing is these cost almogst as much as other figures of minecraft. But this time it's Lego, so the price is actualy great.
I think they will sell REALLY well.
Can't wait for enderman or Creeper honestly.

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By in Norway,

Maybe you can use Duplo pieces with this to build a Minecraft landscape?

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By in Italy,

Personally, I find these figures better than Brickheadz (I have the 41612 pack though), so I'm really interested in these sets! They'll be a must-buy (if not day-one buy) for my collection!

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the new snot piece was probably designed specifically to be the feet of these things.

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By in Germany,

Imho the funniest thing about this new piece, as useful as it might generally be, is that for the function it performs here it was totally unneccessary. They could simply have used the standard bricks (like the 1x4) with studs on the side, put those on two 2x2 jumper plates, and then went on from there, standard studs on top construction. But I guess that't not trendy enough. Why do it the easy tried-and-trusted way when they can use this as an excuse to introduce a new piece that no one asked for.

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By in United Kingdom,

The cynicism in here is delightful. You'd think after four years of these sets, people might accept that Lego actually know what they're doing, but no, clearly these highly-playable and faithful renditions of characters from a massively-popular video game are a terrible idea that can only fail.

It's even extending to the new pieces. Why would you complain about having more Lego pieces? It's not like the footplate has a very niche use.

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By in United States,

I've really been wanting to see brick-built "Constraction" figures for a while now.
... Just not Minecraft ones...

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By in United States,

I actually like these guys, and can’t wait to read the reviews on the other two in series 1 and the future ones. I just think the hair would have looked best yet if it was printed. It looks like Steve has extra long hair hanging down.

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By in United States,

I'm olny interested in the Skeleton, Magma cube, and Chicken.

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By in United States,

I'm going to join the few who are rolling their eyes at the negativity. These look remarkably similar to the characters they are modelling. Last time I checked, creating a realistic Lego model of something was admirable. This might be the easiest thing to model in Lego, but nonetheless it's the closest version to the source material Lego has created as far as I can tell, much closer likeness than the Minecraft minifigs.

We are suffering from an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the quality and variety of Lego sets today. Let's enjoy while it lasts.

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By in United States,

I don't have much interest in these guys right now, but if Series 2 has a Zombie I'll definately reuse it as a Giant in my Minecraft display. The Magma Cube from the Skeleton set may allow for the same thing.

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By in United States,

Go back to making your own stuff, Lego. You've proven yo can't handle licenses anymore time and time again.

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