Well I think it’s safe to say that the Series 9 Collectible Minifigures have finally been released, and it’s that time again when people go crazy with collecting, scalping and hoarding. Thanks to a few heads-ups over on Brickset, I was able to buy my customary two boxes’ worth of figures before the official release date, and after some effort I was able to obtain a full set for my collection.
The most noticeable thing about this series is the distribution of the figures: for the first [legitimate] time there are some figures that only appear two to a box, while the others either appear in fours or even sixes. The distribution is as follows:
2x Waiter, Hollywood Starlet, Plumber, Forest Maiden, Roller Derby Girl, Fortune Teller
4x Chicken Suit Guy, Mermaid, Roman Emperor, Mr. Good and Evil, Battle Mech, Judge
6x Cyclops, Good Knight, Alien Avenger, Policeman
I’m going to be honest (as I always am) and say that I wasn’t keen on this series when the pictures started showing up. It wasn’t until I came into contact with these figures that I became impressed; there doesn’t seem to be any quality issues, and each of the figures has just the right amount of detail. I’ve often found that’s usually the case, because CGI can’t hold a candle to actually holding a product in your hands. I don’t know about you, but I’m often turned off by rendered images and even box art.
The Waiter is very well executed, and is proof that a minifigure doesn’t have to have lots of intricate details – despite what some people think – to be great. I would have preferred him to come with a circular tray part instead of an elliptical one, but I guess it doesn’t matter too much. The fact there are two of them to a box means there aren’t going to be hundreds of waiters floating around – take notes S2 Ringmaster.
The Plumber could be substituted for any kind of working man, given the right equipment, and that’s the best thing about this figure: it isn’t too specialised. The plunger part, while not very functional, is a nice to have.
From the beginning one of my favourite figures in this series was the Hollywood Starlet: glamour with sheer simplicity. It’s another opportunity to get hold of those gold trophies if you don’t have them. I had suggested she was based on Marilyn Monroe, but she could easily be someone more contemporary, such as… well, one of these faceless actresses.
Being a fan of the various animal suits – and I’m going to stake the claim that I made them cool after the Gorillas fiasco – the Chicken Suit Guy is very decent. Those arms are new wing moulds, and it would be interesting to see if they show up elsewhere… but where the S7 Bunny Suit Guy fell with oversimplification, the Chicken Suit Guy gets it right with a lack of black outlines. Even the minifigure head is potentially useful in other applications.
A surprise hit for me personally was the Policeman, and again its strong point is that it isn’t a specialised minifigure. These come in sixes, so in no time you can assemble your own police force – but why not create a Police Academy tribute? Whether or not you would, these particular policemen are more suited to wandering around town than most of the incarnations LEGO has previously put out.
Finally the Mermaid is hot too. I don’t know how useful the starfish will be, but the blonde hairpiece and head will make very nice additions to my collection. The torso is perhaps a little too detailed, but I can live with it. I do like the fact that the old-style mermaid tail has effectively been replaced with one with a more natural shape.
It’s a much more difficult decision that I’d ever imagined, but I think the Chicken Suit Guy gets the title of most favourite figure in the series: it’s the only figure I wouldn’t consider trading. I won’t accumulate as many chickens as gorillas, but I will eventually put them to use.
SilentMode’s least favourites
As with one or two of the previous series, Series 9 isn’t about having a “worst” minifigure as it is about having a least favourite.
Mr. Good and Evil was a strong candidate for my least favourite from the beginning, mostly because I have no use for this kind of figure. I think it would have been better for it to have a double-sided head, or perhaps even two interchangeable heads, instead of having half and half. However, it’s saved from having the title by the flask with purple liquid; if I had to trade these figures I’d probably have to give away the vial as well.
The Battle Mech is also one I’m not keen on (and I can hear the fanboys lining up to tell me “I disagree“), again because it’s not one I find myself having any use for, but it also resembles a minifigure-scale Hero Factory. It reminds me of this car advert a bit too much.
I’m not too hot about the Roman Emperor either. My biggest concern is that it matches the colour scheme of the S2 Spartan more than the S6 Roman Soldier, even down to the laurel being gold rather than green. It’s also not a figure I’d have any use for, but it’s saved by being not too specialised; replace the head and hair and you have a figure with more than one application.
The title of least favourite figure has to go to the Good Knight. I had actually suggested/requested that a “heroic” knight figure would be in Series 9, and I was thinking in terms of a literal “white knight”. However, what we have is something that’s too detailed for my tastes: the armour doesn’t need that many outlines! The absolute worst thing about this figure is the head, which (for me) kills the concept entirely. However the shield is nice to have, if you’re a collector of shields.
- By far the most popular, scalped and hoarded figure in the series will be the Forest Maiden, who funnily enough is officially related to the S1 Forestman rather than the S3 Elf. While it is a decent figure in its own right, my guess is that people care far more that it only appears in twos. Expect to see this figure missing from boxes in store, and astronomical prices on feeBay and BrickLink – because that’s usually what happens. It took me buying 132 figures in total before I’d even managed to obtain one; I now have two.
- People will find some way of trading or selling Series 9 figures without the accessories but with plenty of excuses. Mr. Good and Evil‘s flask will probably be the most hoarded part.
- The Alien Avenger will become increasingly popular, despite being in sixes.
- We’re going to see an influx of courtroom MOCs, no doubt featuring the Judge and Policeman/men.
- We’ve already seen people taking a liking to Chicken Suit Guys, but we’re going to start seeing people collecting armies of animal suits from here on in.
- As usual I will be ganged up on.
As a whole Series 9 is a very decent series with something for everybody. I’d even say it’s as good as Series 4 and 7! But what do you think?