Monday, 1 February 2016

Lego Minifigures Series 15 review (Part 1 of 4)

Wow! Well, it has been a frustrating, laptopless few weeks. But now I've got a new computer sorted and things should be back to their semi-regular programming. So although we have a belated start to 2016 here, it's a good one -- Minifigures Series 15 is here!

The collectible Minifigures have really been on an upswing of late. While series 10 and 11 were a mixed (though still pretty good) bag, things have been going gangbusters since series 12 onwards. And series 15 is particularly excellent. Read on for Part 1 of 4 of my thoughts on them.


Like the Hot Dog Guy back in series 13, this guy is the real breakout success from this series. I’d assume that it’s inspired by Katy Perry’s Super Bowl 2015 performance, when the now infamous Left Shark introduced it to the world. It does actually take quite a bit of time to develop a new mould, so it’s possible the figure was already in the works prior; however, the paint apps on the face have definitely been inspired by the event. One side of the face depicts a happy and excited face, while the other side shows a face in a state of panic, complete with bead of sweat trickling down the forehead.   

Naturally, this means you should have two of them, to replicate the full Katy Perry effect. This compounds the breakout success of this figure even further…and now we have a more extreme situation than the Hot Dog Guy on our hands. I ended up just ordering my two off eBay, as I was almost certain that I wouldn’t run across any in the wild. I have run into a couple since, but if you come across them, don’t just buy all of them and scalp them for an outrageous price. That ruins it for everyone.  

By contrast, here is the leading contender for least favourite figure from Series 15. If you run across a near-empty box, at least 90% will be Janitors.

It’s a shame, really; the Janitor may not have the most glamorous job in the world of Lego, but he’s a very well-executed figure. And really, kind of essential to any well-running Lego City or modular setup. His uniform is printed with all sorts of cool little details, including a rag sticking out of his right pocket which has some suspiciously brown stains on it. Good (perhaps too good) attention to detail guys. Kids (and me) will find this hilarious. But perhaps the real genius move is making the mop head slot on the handle both ways – no matter which way he holds it, you can have it look right. No gravity- or physics-defying antics here, which means Neil DeGrasse Tyson can rest easy.


Of all the figures in Series 15, this guy is probably the best for army building. Series 12 had the Space Miners and the Battle Goddess (who make excellent Amazons to accompany Wonder Woman). Series 13 was arguably the best for army builders of any series so far, with the Galaxy Trooper, the Egyptian Warrior and the Goblin. This leaves Series 15 a little light by comparison, though there will certainly be plenty of people who invest in multiple Astronauts too. 

But for those who want to keep their Mechs as standalone characters (as I have myself), you’re not without precedent; the Mechs from Series 9 and Series 11 could easily serve either function. This guys is the most elaborate of them so far, equipped with a laser sword (which amazingly manages not to look like a total lightsaber rip-off) and transparent “energy” wings. It’s a little too busy for my personal tastes, but I do really like the Tron-inspired blue, black and silver colour scheme.   


Lego has been getting quite a few Greek mythology characters into the Minifigures theme. The Minotaur in Series 6, Medusa in Series 10 (I really must track one down), the Battle Goddess (*cough*Athena*cough*) in Series 12 and now the Faun, which is definitely not the god Pan. 

Beloved by ancient Greeks in times past and by many neo-pagans in the modern world, Pan was worshipped as a fertility deity, among other things. Given the connection our forebears saw between crop success and human sexuality, some of his traditional depictions are decidedly NSFW by modern standards; ithyphallic sculptures being some of the tamer ones.  

He’s also been tremendously influential on modern pop culture, though largely in a negative sense. You know the horned, goat-man version of the devil? Well, that didn’t come out of the Bible – a bunch of evidence suggests a lot of it stems from Pan, to cut a much longer story short. But on the more positive side, he did make an appearance in The Wind in the Willows as a good guy.   

Lego has chosen the family-friendly route for this depiction of Pan, which is not surprising. His headpiece and legs are both new pieces; I assume we’ll get some additional figures that incorporate use them in the future. Maybe we’ll finally get some Greek or Roman mythology-inspired sets? That would be pretty amazing. But in the meantime, the Faun is a fun little figure. The main problem with him is that he’s been given a flute, not a set of Pan Pipes – yep, he’s where the name came from, so this seems like a bit of an oversight. Given that Satyrs are plural (and Wikipedia tells me that Pan himself was at times too) this could conceivably be an army building figure, but I think I’ll keep him singular. If you're particularly keen, you could probably make a custom Mr Tumnus from The Chronicles of Narnia as well.    

Well, this wraps up the first part -- look for the others coming soon! 

1 comment:

  1. The janitor figure looks like the person in a teen horror movie that you never suspected, but turns out to be the one that was killing everybody -- Seymour Knutts