Friday, May 6th, 2016 at 6:10pm by Andrew, BZPower News Manager
Today we're bringing you another set review! BZPower Forum Assistant Nuju Metru is taking a look at 71012 Disney Collectible Minifigures, the latest lineup in the collectible minifig series and the first based on Disney. There are eighteen figures to collect, spanning decades of animated films, both Disney and Pixar. Which are the ones you need to feel for, and which should be left in the box? Read on to find out!
Hey guys, and welcome to BZPower's review of 71012, the Disney collectible minifigure series! As always, I'd like to heartily thank both TLG for giving us at BZP free stuff... I love my job and I love my free LEGO. Read on to see my thoughts - captured for you in both a video and a text/image format - on these figures. Will these representations of beloved cartoon characters fit the brick, or are they better left on screen? Let's find out together.
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the set.
Like every collectible minifig series to date, the pouches of 71012 come in a neat display box. TLG shipped me a whole box (hooray!) so I got to fold up the display stand and everything. My photo tent immediately felt like a toy store. Up top, all eighteen figures are displayed, and the same character images wrap around the sides of the box. Three rows of pouches face us, each promising a mysterious figure inside! In a few places, the series advertises that it includes 18 figures, which is a first for LEGO Collectible Minifigs.
Here's a closer look at the individual pouch, the sort of thing a normal consumer is more likely to purchase. A selection of characters adorn the front of the pouch. In a fun way, the watermark question marks that fill the background (most prominent here near the top) are joined by some Mickey Mouse silhouettes. The back of the package makes a big deal out of trademarking the The Incredibles logo, I guess because they use it for other merchandise. Pretty sure there's nothing on the packets which tells you which fig is which, but I'm also not the sort to know where to look for these codes.
Packaging isn't anything surprising, for good or bad. It's just the same sort of thing we've seen before.
Half the fun is had building the set. How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
Aside from whichever figure parts you get, each 71012 pouch contains a folded piece of paper, on one side of which is the standard collectible fig series checklist, and on the other side of which, a set of instructions for the more complex minifigs, just in case you didn't know how to make them. Not all figs pictured.
Putting together minifigures is the LEGO building equivalent of breathing - practically unconscious. So there's not much to say in this section, other than that the hardest part of my "build" turned out being finding all 18 figures.
Now that the set is complete, we can critique how it looks from every angle. New or interesting pieces can also be examined here.
Ta da! Here they all are. Let's take a look at them one by one.
#1: Stitch, Lilo and Stitch
Stitch uses short legs to good effect to represent his character's short stature. The color choices the designer made are all pretty perfect for recreating Stitch's movie look (although I can't help but wish a four-armed version would be possible!). Printing here is simple but effective, and aligns nicely with the original cartoon's style. I like the foot detail, and the unique mold of Stitch's head is pretty perfect. Overall a great version of the character which loses nothing in the LEGO translation.
#2: Little Green Man, Toy Story
Probably the least exciting figure of the 71012 wave, this Little Green Man looks nearly like a carbon-copy of the figure we got with LEGO Toy Story sets back in 2010. Simple on the point of boring (but character-accurate), it employs a familiar head mold and basic torso printing on both sides. The only real change here is a wraparound boot print on the bottom of those lower legs.
#3: Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story
Buzz is another character we've seen before because of LEGO's previous foray into the Toy Story universe. This figure, however, comes rather more changed than the LGM. Most notably, instead of having a custom-molded head, like the first version, this Buzz Lightyear utilizes a printed purple minifig head. Personally, I preferred the custom-molded head; this face doesn't really look as much like the movie character, so I don't understand why they made the change. The improvement in this version comes mostly in terms of printing... Look at that arm and leg printing! The detail is phenomenal (even if the upper part of the torso was left hilariously blank). Side-printing of limbs is a big new thing TLG has gotten into lately, and it's used to some great effect on Buzz.
#4: Aladdin, Aladdin
Simple but effective. Once more, the wraparound leg printing here captures a crucial aspect of the character, transforming our hero's pant style to be more accurate. In terms of new parts, the only new mold is Aladdin's hair-and-hat piece (the fez and the tousled locks are one part). This is also, I guess, a comment on the original character's aesthetic: but I find Aladdin to be excellently color-balanced and dynamic and interesting from a color scheme point of view.
#5: Genie, Aladdin
You'll never have a fig like me! Unless you collected LEGO's Minifigs Series 6 genie! Nah but actually, this cartoon character differentiates itself from the previous genie, even if the lower body is the same part... for one, Genie's got medium blue skin, rather than teal skin. Big distinction. The printing is simple, but tasteful; I love the slavery cuffs, and the red sash at the waist, which is printed onto the lower body part, and the black-colored hair on that golden feather. However, I feel like from the neck up, this minifig's silhouette doesn't really resemble Genie... the seam of the headpiece bugs me, too much prominence is given to the ears, the hair-feather bit doesn't really work for me, and the lower half of the face - pointed nose and square jaw being absent - is all wrong. It's unfortunate that so much was lost in translation on this fig.
#6: Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty
Maleficent, on the other hand, looks very much like herself... And I think she's my favorite of this whole series. The choice of skin tone is perfect. The purple-and-black cape is the stuff of dreams. The rubberized headpiece looks so nifty. Subtle purple-on-black printing lends depth without upstaging the character's darkness. Facial printing is brilliant both because it looks like Maleficent, and because it cleverly tapers the chin line to recreate the character's gauntness. Look at that staff. TL;DR I'm a big fan of this figure. Only thing missing is a raven.
#7: Alice, Alice in Wonderland
Aside from the fact that Alice looks a bit happy to be lost in Wonderland for my tastes (that place gives me the heebie-jeebies), I find this representation of the protagonist from Disney's version of the Carroll classic absolutely delightful. A new molded bow-in hairpiece in bright blonde looks great, even applicable elsewhere. The skirt, such a necessary part of the character's shape, comes here a little ruffled up, but I don't mind; it's far better than no inclusion! Plain white legs with black shoes will probably prove a godsend to anyone trying to make Napoleonic soldiers. Alice makes use of LEGO Simpsons-style Multi-Color Arms (henceforth SMCAs, they show up a lot), which have certainly never appeared in medium blue and flesh combo before. I haven't seen this movie in a long time; so, while I remember what the "drink me" bottle is, I forget what Alice's other prop represents. Somebody help me out, here.
#8: Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland
Another short-legged figure, the Cheshire Cat is the stripiest figure I've ever seen. Striped arms, striped torso on both sides, and even striped short legs - the LEGO Bart Simpson pattern, in shades of pink - this version adheres closely to the cartoon's original appearance. The Cheshire Cat uses Rocket Racoon's tail in a different color, so the only new mold is that creepy, creepy grinning cat face, which I can't imagine using anywhere else.
#9: Daisy Duck, Mr. Duck Steps Out
Daisy Duck is one of two ducks released in 71012; we'll look at her man (er, mallard) in a moment. The two have a lot in common: simplistic printing, the duck head mold (Daisy's bow is detachable; Donald's hat fits in the same small peg hole) and duck tail, which sits between torso and hip pieces. Daisy features white and pink SMCAs, and also white and keetorange SMCLs (Simpson-style Multi-Color Legs) with pink wraparound shoe printing. The in-bill and eye printing on that head mold capture the character impeccably.
#10: Donald Duck, The Wise Little Hen
Half of what I would say about Donald, I've already covered in discussing Daisy: SMCLs, duck molds, detaching hat, simple printing on torso, complex printing on head. The yellow cuffs printed on the bottoms of his arms are unique, though. I'd also say that while the new duck molds are great for these characters, I once again find myself sorta bummed by their exclusivity. Where else could I, as a MOCer, employ these parts? It's hard to imagine many potential uses.
#11: Minnie Mouse, Steamboat Willie
Minnie and Mickey, similarly to Donald and Daisy, share a main head mold, with a small pin hole for accessory, and Minnie uses the same bow element as Daisy Duck did. She also employs the new skirt piece, as seen earlier on Alice. Both of these reused parts come in vibrant pink with white polka dots. Minnie also employs SMCAs and SMCLs to good effect, mimicking her dress' short sleeves and her bloomers. Something worth noting about the legs is that they're not just double-color molded: they also have printing, to recreate the bloomers' pattern. This is a level of detail I think we've never seen before, and I consider it very exciting!
#12: Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willie
Probably one of the most iconic characters in the world appears for the first time in the LEGO System! Mickey uses the same head mold as Minnie, but without a headgear accessory. In a bold, minimalist statement, Mickey has no torso printing whatsoever; this is made up for on his legs, which are color printed SMCLs in red and black. I don't have much to say about Mickey: the figure looks like the cartoon (notice a common theme yet?). I do wish, though, that Mickey and Minnie had gotten tails like Donald and Daisy.
#13: Mr. Incredible, The Incredibles
We reenter the Disney/Pixar realm with Mr. Incredible. Understated front torso printing and a bare back print recreate the Incredibles costume without much character; I almost feel like with just a little alteration, one could apply this torso to the rest of the Incredibles family. The rubber boot/glove combo from the movie is recreated here with red and black SMCAs and SMCLs. Love the printed orange waist. The new thinning hair mold, in tan, looks great, and I can imagine several uses for it. I really dig the 2x2 printed tile accessory- it's a bonus, nonessential touch that does a lot for the character.
#14: Syndrome, The Incredibles
Syndrome's 2x2 printed blueprint of his killer robot achieves the same end: even without that element, after all, he'd be unmistakeable. With gorgeously silver-detailed SMCA/Ls, the iconic "S" across his chest, a self-satisfied grin, and hair which could just as easily exist on a guy from Dragon Ball Z (with which I have zero familiarity), Syndrome struts straight out of the movie into brick form. Even though Edna Mode would condemn it, I find his cape dashing. Notably, Syndrome/Incrediboy's characteristic bright blue eyes come in blue, on white irises - I can't recall the last human LEGO figure with colored irises like this. This is definitely another one of my favorite figures from 71012.
#15: Peter Pan, Peter Pan
Peter Pan here is a great example, like Syndrome, of how complex legs/arms are the new double-sided heads/torsos in minifig couture. All four of his limbs feature both multi-color molding and printing. If the basic torso printing is designed to make up for this, I hardly care, because the cartoonish style fits Peter Pan's original Disney appearance. The figure comes with golden knives, which I took note of only because in the box/etc. images, he carries a grey or silver one. The new mold here, a hair-and-hat combo like Aladdin's, features cute ears and a dandy feather.
#16: Captain Hook, Peter Pan
Hook feels pretty inevitable, given Peter Pan's appearance in this wave. With a colossal (like, REALLY BIG) hat/hair mold, a golden rapier, frilly cuff printing, a long red coat (embodied with SMCLs and printing down the legs), and his signature metal fish-grabber, the minifig could be no one else. Something in the face isn't quite right, though... maybe he's missing that under-the-moustashe scruff, or the grin is off, but the face doesn't scream "Hook" at me like the rest of the figure does.
#17: Ursula, The Little Mermaid
I think the Ursula figure is one of the best figs in 71012 in terms of translation from cartoon to figure. All the colors are spot-on. (Then again, how many shades of black can one do? Ask Batman.) The two new molds - hairpiece and lower torso - accurately recreate the shape of the character. Note how the octopus body part climbs up on front and back of the torso, making Ursula more rotund. That's a terrific touch, as are the grey stripes on the sides of her hairpiece. I like the inclusion of Neptune's trident.
#18: Ariel, The Little Mermaid
I did the math: Ariel is actually the only Disney Princess to show up in a wave of 18 Disney figures! I'm sure we'll get some more in future waves. Or maybe that market has already been cornered by the Friends-style LEGO Disney Princess Line. Who knows. Ariel-as-minifig has a less princessy silhouette than Ariel-as-minidoll, but the hair mold in this version (which is new) much better recreates her billowing tresses than an appropriated Friends recolor did. The shell is sorta weird as a choice of accessory... I wish TLG had included her friend Flounder, who has already been molded and printed in a Disney Princess set, instead.
The other half of the fun is in playing with the set. How well does the set function and is it enjoyable to play with?
These Disney figures are great display items. But there's also a world of play possibilities, given that most of them come in matching pairs...
Buzz brags to the LGM about his "falling with style" method.
Aladdin sure wishes he had more wishes!
"Don't worry about it, Alice, you'll be fine..." the Cheshire Cat lied.
Happier than two ducks in a pond.
"C'mon, Mickey!" Minnie called back. "More merchandising deals this way!"
"I see your 2x2 printed tile, and I'll raise you THIS 2x2 printed tile!"
When Peter and Hook dueled with their most expensive swords.
If Ariel could still talk, she'd be swearing like a sailor.
Stitch and Maleficent couldn't settle on a pose together.
All these new characters almost inspire me to build settings for them. And isn't inspiration the greatest play value of all?
Once it's all said and done, how does the set stack up? Should I get it?
Well, that's the lot of it. Let's tally things up...
What's to like?
- 18, not 16, different figures
- Accurate representations of Disney characters, for the large part
- Mass of new, character-specific molds
- Staggering employment of complex limb coloring/printing techniques
- Use of zany, interesting colors across the board
- Characters inspire more building
What's not to like?
- Some figures, like Genie, don't translate well to minifig form (this being a matter of my personal judgment)
- Little Green Man blatant rehash
- New molds are almost all too character-specific to use on anyone else
- Few characters come with accessories
71012 represents a big step forward in the detail that designers can endow minifigures with; and there's no better group of iconic characters to implement these advances on. The 18 characters of this collectible figure series represent their original versions quite well, for the most part, introducing a bounty of new molds to fill the unique needs of their designs... but, from the point of view of a MOCer, that very specificity goes somewhat to waste in terms of reapplying the new parts. I think this series will be a real treat for Disney fans, whether or not they're into LEGO.
Stitch and Maleficent finally found a pose that worked (for one of them).
Thanks to Nuju Metru for putting together this extensive review! Let us know in the Talkback what you think and ask us any questions you might have. There are more reviews in the pipe, so keep checking back for those and more LEGO news, right here on BZPower!
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