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, starting here.
This series is subtitled “Monsters”, designed to tie in with Halloween. Well, Halloween decorations often don’t show up in stores till midway through October in Australia, but I think these will be a hit nonetheless.
Horror films often end up being marketed to kids. Nightmare on Elm St is a classic example – in spite of a being a film about a murderer who started his career murdering children, there was a huge amount of merch in the 1980s which was targeted at kids. Dolls, costumes, young adult novels, collectables – the list goes on, and it seems kind of weird in hindsight. Of course, this was also the decade that Rambo and RoboCop were turned into kid’s cartoons, so go figure.
So now it’s The Fly’s turn. This one skews a lot more to the 1950s version, as opposed to the gruesome body horror of the 1980s David Cronenberg version. This is probably a good thing, as while it’s an excellent film, Jeff Goldblum’s take on the character was really not suitable for kids.
I was really looking forward to this figure, but I don’t think he turned out quite as well as I was hoping. Part of the problem is just because he’s so dark – there’s some nice green fur detailing, but the rest of him is a little too plain. Still, the head is nicely executed, and it would be pretty easy to make a custom that more or less matched the appearance of the original film, if you have a spare scientist minifig about. Fun, but not as fun as I’d hoped.
Now this guy is really cool! The backstory for this figure is that the plant is some kind of minifigure-eating creature – it goes around swallowing minifigures, then spits them out after a day or two. Which is why the guy inside looks so frightened – he’s trapped in a leafy mass!
The paint and accessories attempt to convey this impression via a plain green body, with vine printing that curls around the front and back of the body. Vine pieces are clicked into the character’s hands, presumably trying to give the impression of an assassin vine or something. I suppose the other obvious touchpoint is Audrey II, from Little Shop of Horrors, though I’ve never actually watched any of its various iterations.
Given that his headpiece looks to be an entirely new mould, I’d be surprised if it doesn’t get used again…possibly as some kind of henchplant for Poison Ivy? We can only hope!
Series 14 doesn’t have much in the way of army builders – but if there’s one character that lends itself to multiples, it’s the Gargoyle. Gargoyles adorn countless buildings all over the world. Traditionally associated with churches, they served both superstitious (they were thought to frighten off evil spirits) and practical functions (they were also there to funnel off excess water, effectively functioning as downpipes).
But in a Lego sense, they’re ideal for anyone who bought the Vampyre Castle or the Haunted House from the 2012 Monster Fighters theme – these guys are the perfect decoration to add an extra touch of Gothic ambience to those buildings. Dark grey paint apps on a light grey body give the impression of a monstrous beast carved from stone. He’s been given the short legs, apparently to imitate the crouched stance of real gargoyles, but I think that’s a bit of a shame – it would have been great to see one stretched to full size.
Nonetheless, the Gargoyle is an excellent minifigure. His horned helmet looks to be a new piece – my tip is that we’ll either get a lot more gargoyles in very short succession, or we’ll get satyrs in the next round of Castle! Either way, I’d be pretty happy about that.
There have been a disproportionately high number of werewolves released by Lego over the last few years. First of all, we got the Wolfman-styled one back in Series 4, then another one that was a little more Dog Soldiers as part of the Monster Fighters theme in 2012. But I’m not complaining! The more werewolves we get from Lego, the happier I’ll be.
One interesting little detail is that this werewolf is apparently the same Lumberjack who appeared back in Series 5. Look at his shirt and nametag – it’s him! This must be one of the first times that the same character has reappeared in a different guise. No doubt customisers with access to a few of each figure will make some kind of transformation diorama – if you find one, post the link here, I’d love to see it.
This one follows the same style as the Monster Fighters one, using a similar yet different head. But for the first time, he has a tail! I believe this part debuted for Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy sets that were released last year. It’s cast in softer plastic, almost like a rubber, and works pointed both up and down. Very, very cool – this was the figure I was most looking forward to from the range; while I wouldn’t say it turned out as my favourite, it's definitely one of the best figures in the series.
Coming soon: Part 3!