Will you customise your wooden minifigure?

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View image at flickr

The plain wood finish of 853967 Wooden Minifigure announced earlier today makes it perfect for customisation and to encourage you to think about the possibilities LEGO has a number of modified examples created by professional artists and designers on display at a pop-up shop in London's Covent Garden today.

Take a look as some of them after the break.


View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr

View image at flickr


Will you be spending £110/$120 on a figure then covering it in paint?

59 comments on this article

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By in Bulgaria,

These are amazing!

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By in United Kingdom,

If I bought one, I'd varnish it or oil it, and leave it. If you are going to cover it in paint or dress it up in clothes, then why not just buy a much cheaper alarm clock version. With the added bonus that it actually has articulation like a real minifigure.

I guess these ones must have been pre-production prototypes, as the legs differ from the production one.

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By in United States,

As cool as some of these look, there is no way I'm spending $120 on a wooden figure.

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By in United Kingdom,

I could make a Lego figure with moving joints out of wood... so no thankyou :)

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By in United Kingdom,

O’dear... that looks very poor quality.. non moving legs, plastic hands.. wood finish out of the box looks poor.. glad I didn’t sign up for the pop up shop event!

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By in Germany,

This is just plain rubbish. Who in the heck thought these nightmares up?

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By in United Kingdom,

Lovely art and craft ideas! But for these you need a pulp card minifigure like the stuff for decopage in Hobbycraft and The Range, not a beautiful wood statue that could be larger, all wood and oiled. Generally in the UK you start a home craft model project with a cheaper base product!

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By in United Kingdom,

Hang on... the pictures on the article above have static legs, and the article about introducing LEGO originals on the main site show poseable legs for the figure? Which one is correct?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ The ones in the other article are correct. But they are not posable either. They are rigid just without the join between the legs - I assume these ones were early prototypes sent to the designers/artists for decorating.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Fireheart: The official information from Lego says the finished product is static.

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By in Netherlands,

None of them appeals to me. I find the last one even a bit creepy...

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By in United Kingdom,

What sort of professional - Lego or mixed media artists? The examples are OK, but need a little more something to set my world alight.

This is no different to the concept of blanks that sideshow and other adult toy companies produce from time to time for customisation, and they can be a lot more expensive.

Lego has a very large AFOL base who do more than purely collect Lego, and the product makes sense if they are trying to widen their portfolio of products. Whether they are going about the marketing of that the correct way is debatable but like the fish I think ideas like this are interesting, if overpriced, but possibly should be branded distinctly for an art/collectibles market and allowed to flourish or flop on its own merits.

That said, a cheaper vinyl version would be more suitable for this sort of application.

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By in Germany,

@camberbrickGreen You are on to something here... It seems that it is again proof that Lego's management is too far removed from normal people & families. To even suggest to ruin such an expensive item seems ridiculous. But not if you are a member of the 1 percent.

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By in United States,

cool, if your willing to spend $200 USD on the whole thing,including art supplies.

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By in Australia,

I think these are amazing and imaginative. Not sure I will get one or not yet, but I don't have the talent to be as creative as these, so oiling would be my only change.

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By in Australia,

I think the key word here is ‘professionals’!

I wouldn’t touch mine for fear of ruining it.

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By in United Kingdom,

Some of these are very cool. But if I had just spent £110 on a wooden minifigure, I wouldn't do anything to do it that:

a) I might mess up

b) couldn't completely reverse

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By in United States,

I am a woodworker, as well as a Lego enthusiast. I love this. $120 for an oak toy of this size is not that expensive. I plan on finishing mine with the same food safe (and child safe) butcher block oil.

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By in United Kingdom,

You can't polish a turd. But you can roll it in glitter.

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By in United Kingdom,

@legoengineer For a handcrafted item using premium materials, it would be a reasonable price.

However, you can get high quality, made in Denmark, oak wooden toys of a similar size for about half the price of this. And of course less premium wooden items for much less.

I believe there is a market for something that nods to the history of Lego, but I wish they hadn't tried to take such a premium route with it.

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By in United States,

A reproduction of one of the old ducks or fire engines would have been nice. This is a waste of perfectly good wood. Pass.

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By in United Kingdom,

How long until someone does a youtube video of one on fire?

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By in United Kingdom,

Hey, if someone gave me a free one like all the 'artists' LEGO has conscripted I'd happily slap some paint on it and dress it up in Build-A-Bear's hand-me-downs. But for £110, it's a different story.

If you want to customise a big fig, then get a second-hand clock or torch figure (around the same size) from eBay and get to it. I've got a pile of policemen missing their helmets if you really want cheap, as I used the helmets to turn other torches into Spacemen. (See the 'Upscaled LEGO' group on Flickr).

For £5-£10 for a resin or fibreboard figure from HobbyCraft for the kids to paint, this would be fabulous. But for £110? Jog on.

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By in United Kingdom,

What a complete waste of time

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By in United Kingdom,

Just been to the pop up shop....have to admit, this is a good idea to ask people to pay for overprice item, almost everyone attended did make a purchase (including me). Obviously I could have waited for at least some discount on this WOODEN FIG.....

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By in United States,

I love the idea of customizing an upscaled minifigure - but couldn't have been a vinyl blank? That would be much more cost-effective. I would love to see what the community could/would come up with in mixed medias (textiles, paint, etc.) and upsized accessories, etc. $120 USD for a wooden figure, I'm afraid I'd be more than a bit hesitant to mark it up. :(

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By in Russian Federation,

>Will you customise your wooden minifigure?
This question implies I will be buying this monstrosity. But I wouldn't want it even if it was offered for free.

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By in United States,

I'm not sure I'll get one, but I love the idea of the product, and if I do get one it will be for the express purpose of painting it. I've recently branched out from Lego into gunpla and action figure customization, and it's a new creative outlet for me that traditional Lego wasn't satisfying. This art toy joins multiple types of creative play together.

Could Lego have made a cheapee vinyl customization set like the licensed stormtrooper helmets inspired by Art Wars, or even something more basic like custom Funko Pop toys? Absolutely ... but then, that wouldn't be very "Lego," would it? They don't want to release just another hunk of vinyl with paint and stickers; they want people to look at this as a thing with weight and history.

I'm not surprised this is the most polarizing Lego product in recent history. However, I am disappointed at the negativity and condescension. It's definitely not for everyone, and it may not be for you, but if it literally makes you angry, consider this: maybe you could benefit from aspiring to Lego's cultural identity of innovation and creativity in your in life.

(On the other hand, maybe this is an overpriced limited edition cash grab from the pretentious, but even then, let other people have their fun.)

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By in United Kingdom,

Looks like Im not going to London tomorrow after all. Hard Pass.

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By in Germany,

If you are not a professional, any attempt at "customizing" such an expensive item could reduce its value to next to nothing.

At least for me, one of the nice things about Lego is (if you exclude stickers) that you cannot screw it up. :-)

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By in United States,

Way too overpriced for a static, over-sized, non-Lego product. Won't even get it for $20, let alone $120.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is probably the most polarising product that LEGO has made to date. I’m in the ‘not for me’ camp although I’m sure someone will like it. However, I know some people have mentioned that this is LEGO being innovative, well I hate to tell you but this is LEGO being anything but innovative. It’s more like LEGO cashing in on the retro fad that is popular nowadays and also appealing to collectors that will buy anything exclusive that LEGO makes. It’s not a bad product by any means but I just can’t understand why it was made and who it is actually for and I know I’m not the only one who thinks this.

(By the way I noticed an advert pop up for BRIO while scrolling the comments, how ironic! At least they make proper wooden toys)

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By in United States,

I love how most of these artists covered up the hands and/or heads to cover up or blend in the jarring yellow.

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By in United States,

mmmm not for $120

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By in United States,

Didn't realize it was so small.

I like some of these, but I agree with the general consensus down here. I wouldn't buy something for $100+ and then paint all over it.

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By in United States,

This is an easy pass. Hopefully this tanks and Lego sticks with what they do best from now on...

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't think it is that innovative at all either. I think it has more to do with trademarks. Now they are making wooden minifigures, they are legally using their trademark at that scale for both design items and play items, and can take action against the companies that have been making large wooden, concrete, metal, etc minifigures for display art for the past few years.

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By in Russian Federation,

Actually, it is not so bad idea.

And it may be even humorous in some degree - official LEGO wooden fig (even without much articulation).

Some of customs is very smart.

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By in United States,

Not wild about most of these 'artworks' -- and look: the legs on these aren't even fully divided like the official product photos show them.

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By in United States,

They are wonderfully expensive, but they have a ton of possibility.

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By in United States,

Wow. These are weird.

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By in United States,

Maybe for the extreme fan with money to burn.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Wooden.
Wooden who?
Wooden a wooden LEGO figure be bad for the environment? Chop them trees down!

Pinocchio syndrome, wants to be a real LEGO figure.
The plastic hands and non moving legs are going to make this item an odd duck.

Termites! Run little wooden LEGO boy! Run!
Oh, wait, you can't.

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By in United Kingdom,

I wouldn't have bought one even if I had been there, I would rather spend my £110 on actual Lego rather than a useless statuette.

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By in Germany,

If they were 20 Euro each, I wouldn't mind the drawbacks, get a couple of them and probably do some modding like in the examples shown. At least some of them look really cool and imaginative. Others, not so much.

But for 120 Euro, I wouldn't dare touch it once I had bought it.

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By in United States,

This thing feels like the answer to a question nobody asked.

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By in United States,

The last two are the best imo, although you gotta have some serious talent to do something like that.

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By in United States,

I wouldn't paint it, though I like the cover picture for the article and might do something like that. Still too expensive for me though.

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By in Estonia,

An unnecessary product made worse, treated here as another weird piece of wood, not remotely connecting with LEGO values (official or perceived). There is nothing professional about these artists, an Artist could have made the figs appear better. Most AFOLs would probably have achieved a better result.

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By in United States,

I am much more interested in the mini classic duck in the first picture. I would love to get a clearer view of that to recreate and add it to my collection of ducks which currently includes 2011-2, the "Classic Duck Pull Toy" from JK Brickworks, and the pair of ducks from the 2019 Inside Tour.

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By in Australia,

I love the look of it, but lack the skill to customise it with non LEGO techniques. I do love Crystal Fontana’s rainbow figure, and Mel Caddick’s woodworker in the shed. A great opportunity to show off some of the LEGO designer’s design skills with an alternative medium.
I might present one to an art-design student I know, and see what she comes up with.

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By in Canada,

If I had the capabilities to do artistic stuff such as this, I would have the capabilities to curve that by myself. It could've been a nice $39 decoration, but for that price ? The justification to price it like that is to make the UCS star destroyer look like a great deal.

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By in United States,

As seen on one of the figs:

"The moment when you will forget how 2 play is the moment when you will become old"

After reading the majority of comments here... yeah.

Guys, please don't forget how to play.

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By in United Kingdom,

I wonder how many people that were booked to attend the pop up tomorrow will no longer attend....

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By in United Kingdom,

They suggest we spend THAT much money in it, and then PAINT it?!!!?
This product is so weird.

(Although I like the last one, showing that if you buy one and disembowel it, a rainbow comes out!)

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By in United States,

@deikoon:
You clearly haven't played around with many "illegal" building techniques.

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By in United States,

Old coventional wisdom: the Lego community isn't just another consumption-based collecting fandom, it's about creativity and play.

New conventional wisdom. "It's $120 and they want me to ruin it with paint?!"

Again, it's fine if this isn't for you, but I can't believe how many of you literally don't understand what it is and who it's for.

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By in United States,

Walmart has birdhouses or Matchbox sized cars for a dollar that I can paint. I did it a little bit with the cars and trucks as a kid as an early hobby.

Yet, $120. If I were crazy enough to spend that, it would be kept on a high-up sturdy shelf, so that no one can touch it. I wouldn't dare mess with it. And besides, I have the hand-eye coordination of a three year old.

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