Saturday, 20 September 2014

Minifigure Week! Day 7: Pharaoh (Series 2, 2010)

Minifigures are one of my favourite things about Lego – and series 12 is on the way (possibly even out in your country by the time you read this). So to celebrate this upcoming release, every day this week, we’ll be looking at a different minifigure from the series that have come before. This is by no means a comprehensive overview – nor even necessarily a look at my favourites – but it’s an example of some of the unusual figures the line has produced since it debuted back in 2010. So on the final day of Minifigure Week, we take a look at the Pharaoh all the way back from Series 2. 
“That spot looks just right for a pyramid!”

This Pharaoh of ancient Egypt woke up in a museum one day, and he’s been a little confused ever since. He doesn’t know how or why he’s in the modern world, but it’s definitely taking some getting used to! He’s not used to taxi cabs and supermarkets yet, and he can’t figure out where all the sphinxes and crocodiles have gone, but he’s trying to make the best of things in his strange new circumstances.

First off, the place is definitely going to need some pyramids…so with the help of his friends at the museum, the Pharaoh is taking matters into his own hands and using all the bricks he can find to build his own. Now he has a little piece of home to share with everyone!

Back in 2011, when I was in a full-fledged stage of Minifigure obsession, I bought a complete set of Series 2. It was expensive, but nowhere near what you’d pay for a full set these days. And somewhat foolishly, I also passed up the opportunity to own a complete set off Series 1 for around $150AUD. Again, expensive then, but ridiculously cheap now…sigh. As David Sedaris has said, it's the things you don't buy that stick with you the longest. But enough of past regrets and onto the present.  

I love Ancient Egypt, so the Pharaoh was a must-have figure as soon as I found out about him. I always wished Lego would do something Egyptian-themed when I was a kid, but I missed the late 1990s sets, and I'd have to wait until much later for my wish to come true -- but I'll expand on that in a forthcoming review.  
The paintwork on series 1 and 2 was good, but viewing the sets in comparison to series 3 onwards, it's clear that the designs were a little more basic back then. In the case of the Pharaoh, this isn't really to his detriment, as he's wearing relatively little and doesn't need a whole lot of detail. He's been given elaborate eyebrows to simulate kohl eye makeup, which was very common in ancient Egypt -- even the gods wore it. His cheekbones are also unusually pronounced -- is he meant to be one Pharaoh in particular?
Aside from this, the only detail I would have added is feathers in the wings on his scarab beetle chestpiece. 

He comes with two accessories: a golden Nemes headdress, reminiscent of Tutankhamen and a golden staff with a cobra-esque snake moulded around the top. A crook and flail would have been better, but it works well as a possible cheeky reference to the story of Moses and Pharaoh's magicians too. 
The Pharaoh is an excellent minifigure -- one of my favourites from the entire Minifigures range line. It's just a bummer that he's relatively expensive for new collectors to track down. There were some really cool figures in the first 2 series of minifigures, and it's unfortunate that they never made it all the way to Australia. Also, he makes a nice companion for the Classic Alien. Since they built the pyramids together, after all.  

As Minifigure Week comes to an end, I would be remiss if I did not thank Brickipedia. One of the best Lego sites on the web, this place has a tremendous amount of content on Lego both new and old. Writing some of this week's installments without it would have been near imposible!  

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