The First LEGO Minifigure: History of the Lego Minifigure

by Nikita P.

There exists a lot of action figures in the world. Many of them came into existence over a period of fifty years. Out of the numerous types, the original LEGO Minifigure seems to be most loved. There is hardly any person that is involved in action figures that do not know about the first LEGO Minifigure, thereby making it one of the widely recognized action figures in existence. 


For more than three decades, these small blocky figures that are usually of yellowish hue have continued to be loved by kids. We grew up loving those tiny yellow figures, and there is a great chance that you grew up doing the same. Those figures were what made me fall in love with everything their manufacturers churned out regularly, from new sets to new Minifigures. If you step into my abode, there is a great chance that you will see a lot of them displayed. I have numerous Lego Technic sets and even modular buildings standing tall in my home. This is how much I love them. The reason some of us fell for this Minifigure is the fact that they oozed of simplicity.


Lego Minifigures history


These Minifigures usually come with a head, legs, facial expression on their face, a torso, as well as hair. Sometimes, the hair can be changed to some kind of headgear. There is a great chance that you must have come across different Minifigures with different styles


Now, there exist close to 865 billion figures. This amount doesn't take into consideration those that are created by swapping accessories, arms, or even the hand. 

lego minifigures

One would have envisaged that the LEGO Minifigures would be a thing of old in today's society, but that isn't true. The fact that there are a lot of complicated sculpts in today's society has not in any way displaced the Minifigure. It is still a cult culture in the action figure industry, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. 


You can see kids and collectors going crazy about the numerous Minifigures in existence, and we don't blame them. Who wouldn't want to go berserk for them? 


When you stare at the iconic and classic design, you will see why many people keep on being mesmerized with the Minifigures. 


We will look at the history of these tiny figures that usually take the yellowish undertone. We will analyze how they got to the point that they are today. 


The Plan of First Lego Minifigure:

When the plan was created to create First Lego Minifigures, it was made so that they can be seen as an action figure. The idea of them being action figures came about later on down the line. 


They were created to take the form of these bricks that their manufacturers were known for.


They were seen as merely three non-articulating pieces that were placed on the other one, though they were created to seem like a human being form. They were not made in the manner that we know them for now. 


The ancestors of today's Minifigures do not look like how they currently look like. If you had stared at them then, you would have been surprised. There is no facial expression on their face. It was blank. You won't have seen any sign of hair or headgear painted on their head. The only thing that seemed to make a bit of sense was the fact that the Minifigure could put on various hats when he or she wanted. 

lego minifig evolution

You see how the modern Minifigure is today, the first one that toed that line was created in 1978. This was the era that the manufacturers decided to do something new. Can we say that this was when the first LEGO Minifigure as we know it today was created? We won't be wrong if we did. 


The design of the modern-day Minifigure was greater by Jens Nygaard Knudsen. Jens, a designer, decided to think outside the box. He was tired of seeing the dull Minifigures that dotted the scenery. He wanted something new. He had worked with the Lego Group for a long time before this idea fell into him. 


Jens Nygaard Knudsen


He felt that the LEGO world was awesome, being made with a lot of cars, buildings, as well as landscapes dotting the scenery, but there was basically no character there to have fun with them. 


Imagine having a lot of gadgets, from awesome modular buildings to Technic cars, space ships, trains, bikes and so much more, yet there was no discernable LEGO character that could have unlimited fun with it. This made Jens decide to create something new, something that a lot of fans, collectors and kids would love. He created a Minifigure with a facial expression that mimicked human emotion. Some felt angry, and that could be discernable with their expressions. Some looked happy and they could be discerned in a similar manner. 


The need that he saw, the need for a character to exist to live in the world created of bricks, that made the Minifigure, as we know it today to be created.


Before it came to fruition, Jens had to try more than fifty times. He spent his time, trying to refine the Minifigures and removing any imperfection that he thought of. Finally, he had gotten that design that he created for. One that would ooze out the human expression and interaction aspect.


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The Minifigures that he created came with hands that allowed them to hold onto things. It came with feet that allowed them to stand without falling. It came with legs and arms that could easily be moved. You could pose it in any manner you wanted, and on any brick, you craved for.


Jen was the father of Lego Minifigure, as we know it today. It became as we know it today, as one of the popular action figures in existence, if not the most popular one of them.


The Existence of First Ever Lego Minifigure:

The first Lego Minifigure came into existence in 1978, and it was first seen in the Lego Set 600. This set is one of the classic sets in the LEGO universe, and a lot of collectors would do anything to have their hands on one. Who wouldn't want the first set that ushered in a Minifigure into the universe? I, for one, won't mind having it. 


first lego minifigure


The set had a basic police car and a Minifigure of a police officer. This figure was smiling continuously, and we believe this was done to show the police in a positive light, like the ever-smiling human. 


When you compare the first ever Lego Minifigure to others that were created recently, you will realize that the Minifigure has evolved. It is not as interactive or advanced as the sets that we have currently. The police car is seen as basic, compared to what we have in today's society. Not minding this, that set released in 1974 was what altered the way that we see LEGO today. 


It can be said to be a milestone to the Lego Group. From then, everything that has been produced by the company has been a hit. It has grown to be one of the most formidable sets in existence. 


After the police officer came out, other basic Minifigures could be seen in other sets like Castle, Space and Town sets. Everyone was a hit. 


A New Face:

From then onward, the Minifigures changed like human evolution. For the first decade after the ushering in of this Minifigure is 1978, the other ones released during that period remained the same.


In 1989, the Lego Pirates was ushered in, and we noticed that a lot of changes had been made. This was the first major one that had been noticed. This set came with brand new designs, especially on the face. It was no longer seen as a face that bore only a smiley. Now, Minifigures started to come with eye patches, beards, glasses and so much more. They were designed to be versatile, taking the form of different human features. The mouths were now being expressive and didn't have to rely on only smileys to communicate their thoughts.

first lego minifigure

As the sets were becoming advanced, the Minifigures that accompanied them were also taking the advanced undertone.


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