It's been a long time since LEGO last sold items made from wood so the release of 853967 Wooden Minifigure in London today is something of a big deal.
It's also something of a departure from the company's usual product portfolio. This isn't designed to be built, or played with, or even bought by those who usually buy LEGO products: the price will ensure that.
It is, however, a beautiful well-made piece that, if you can afford it, will grace your home or office.
It arrives in a very nice box that is not sealed at all, so can be opened and closed again without destroying it.
The figure sits inside on a printed backdrop, along with a polybag containing 29 parts, and a small pamphlet.
The backing card lifts out of the box and to remove the figure from it you'll need scissors to cut the plastic band at the back holding it in place.
The polybag is numbered 11926 (yes, it's in the database now)
The 26-page pamphlet contains information on the history of LEGO and wooden toys, the material that this is made from, some ideas for accessories to build with the parts provided, and profiles of a couple of the artists that produced the pieces that we wrote about earlier.
The minifig is certainly smaller than I was expecting, but it is very well made and finished to a high standard.
As stated in the press release, there is no articulation except of the wrists. I think I would have preferred one of the arms to be at its side, rather than have it in this permanent zombie-like pose.
The holes normally found on the back of the figure's leg are machined out of the wood and look perfect.
There are no holes on the bottom of the feet, though, just information about the wood and where's it's made: Vietnam.
The stud on the top of its head has the familiar LEGO logo laser-cut into it.
The cut is quite deep.
It's hard to tell from the pictures just how tall, or not, it is, so this will give you an idea of what a height of 20cm looks like.
Here are a couple of the suggested builds. The 2x2 round bricks fit loosely in the hands, there is no clutch and they don't flex so there has to be something above them to stop the accessory slipping through.
This is a well-made and desirable item aimed at affluent adult collectors and others that appreciate the iconic design of the minifigure.
It is expensive, that's for sure, and for £110 I was expecting it to be somewhat bigger when I first heard what it was. However it is a quality piece that will display well either in your LEGO room or elsewhere: I don't think you will have too much trouble persuading a spouse to allow you to put it somewhere more prominent!
A lot of people have commented on the plastic hands and that wooden ones would have been better. I actually think the plastic looks OK. Wood would have been nice but, given their thinness, very likely to break if you forced something into them, and you certainly wouldn't want that on an item of this price.
As for customising it as LEGO would like us to... maybe if I was confident in my skills I'd have a go but as it is, I'd just ruin it. At the price, that's certainly not something I, and I suspect most people, will want to risk.
Bottom line, if you can afford it, you'll love it. If you can't, it's not for you. Much like any luxury item, really...
It will be available at LEGO.com from the 3rd November priced at £109.99 / $119.99.
Thanks to LEGO for providing the item for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.