Sunday, 6 September 2015

Lego Minfigures Series 14: Monsters (Part 1)

Huzzah -- they’re finally out in Australia!  

Minifigures Series 14 had an official release date of September 2015, but as is often the case they began showing up earlier in the US and UK. Well, now they’ve made their ways to the sunny shores of Sydney, and you can read my take on them.

This series is subtitled “Monsters”, designed to tie in with Halloween. I’m curious to see how it sells over here – anecdotal reports suggest it’s selling gangbusters in the US and UK, but while Halloween is getting bigger, it’s still not an especially huge occasion over here. Trick-or-treating was unusual when I was a kid, though it seems to have taken off in the last few years.  

Serving as an ominous reminder of our own mortality, the spectre is a surprisingly gloomy topic for Lego to tackle – but they have been making ghosts for years, so I suppose it’s not that shocking. Bedecked in a hooded robe and loud clanking chains, this one dispenses with the traditional legs. It instead uses a new piece which was introduced with this year’s Ninjago theme – a kind of smoke-waft, which gives the illusion of a hovering ghost while still providing adequate support to stand. It’s cast in semi-translucent plastic, which adds nicely to the effect. Regular readers will be well aware of my fixation on glow in the dark items, so I was extremely pleased to discover that his face does in fact glow in the dark too!

Tiger Woman
Though she’s obviously meant to be a woman in a Halloween cat costume, one of the good things about Minifigures is the way they can be used as backdoor characters for other settings too. So she could also serve as Tigra from Marvel Comics, or at a bit more of a stretch, as Cheetah – Wonder Woman’s archnemesis.
She’s a fun figure, and I can see her being one of the rarer/more expensive figures as time goes on – these human-animal costumed characters tend to be incredibly popular.    

Wacky Witch
I’ve never been all that enamoured of the pop culture version of witches; Suspiria was pretty entertaining, but they’ve never impressed themselves on my consciousness in the same way as other horror archetypes.   

Nonetheless, as cartoon witches go, this one is fine. She reminded me a bit of Witch Hazel from Looney Tunes at first glance, though on close inspection the only real similarity is the purple dress. The best part about her is probably her cat. The cat is black, as one would expect, and has also been rendered with a frowny face – it’s a fun little accessory for just about any Lego scene, though would work particularly well for Catwoman. She’s not as cool as the one in Series 2, but is very Halloweeny.     

Skeleton Guy
This is easily one of my favourites out of the entire series. Explicitly described as a guy who wears a costume to fit in with the Monsters, he is excellently executed. And as this is a minifigure of a guy wearing a suit, you can swap out pretty much any head you want, for when he’s un-costumed!   
His trick-or-treat basket is particularly cool. Decorated as a jack o' lantern, it's another item that you could hand off to pretty much anyone if you felt like making a Halloween display. I knew he'd be cool, but I didn't expect to like him this much.

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