Thursday, February 25, 2016
Series 15 Minifigures
The Series 15 Minifigures are out now, so it's time to share my thoughts on the new set, as I did for Series 14: Monsters last year. I collect these minifigures in large part to grow my collection of characters and parts for RPG miniatures, and I mostly run medieval fantasy games, so my comments here will reflect that.
Animal Control: This woman is dressed in a fairly nondescript uniform, and carries a net. The real item of interest with this character is the skunk, which is cute and perfectly sized for using as a RPG miniature. It could easily serve as a substitute for a badger animal companion or weasel familiar. (You could also pair it with the Legend of Chima character Skinnet to represent a were-skunk's animal and hybrid forms. Your players might never forgive you, though...)
Astronaut: This astronaut is very similar to others in the Space theme, but he carries a flag with the classic Space logo. For diehard LEGO Space fans, that flag alone might be worth the price.
Ballerina: This minifigure has a tutu piece that fits between the torso and legs. The torso could easily be used for a camisole top in a modern game, while the legs (with their laced-up shoes) could serve as trousers and sandals in a fantasy (or Star Wars) game.
Clumsy Guy: This character has a foot cast done using the two-color injection method found in some recent minifigures. His crutches and head bandage are new pieces. He's unlikely to be useful as a RPG mini, unless you need a victim.
Farmer: The farmer has no new pieces apart from color and printing changes, which include boots done via two-color injection, and a spotted pig. His hat is the same as the Series 11 Scarecrow's but in a different shade.
Faun: In the past, I have built my own satyrs by joining two peg legs to one hip unit, and using binoculars for a syrinx. This "official" faun is quite nice, and one of my favorites in this series. He has a unique leg assembly with backward-bent goat-legs and printed cloven hooves. His headpiece is similar to the Series 14 Gargoyle, but molded with curly hair instead of the heavy brow. His flute is a short bar piece, and can be positioned in his hand to line up with his mouth.
Flying Warrior: This is easily my favorite of the series, useful for angels, winged gods, or Hawkmen. The torso and legs are printed with a cuirass and armored skirt, making it a nice addition to my growing collection of Bronze Age minifigures (such as the Amazon, Legionary, and Gladiator from previous series). The armor piece has flared, feathered shoulders, and studs on the back to attach wings using clip-plates (the same method used for winged Legend of Chima characters). The helmet continues the avian theme, with a bird's head and raised wings. Even without the wings, he makes an impressive "eagle knight."
Frightening Knight: This armored warrior provides a new shield blazon (a menacing bear's head) as well as a new face design: a scruffy villain with a single jutting fang, perfect for the more human-looking end of the half-orc spectrum. His mace is a new weapon, with a hard rubber head that fits onto a bar.
Janitor: The janitor figure is pretty bland, notable just for the gray mop piece, which can be reversed depending on whether he's holding the pole mop up or mop down.
Jewel Thief: This female figure provides a good "catsuit" look, if you don't already have a Catwoman or Black Widow minifigure. She also has Widow's newer hair (from the Age of Ultron sets), but cast in black. Her props (a jewel and grapnel gun) are standard accessories.
Kendo Fighter: The kendo mask first appeared in the Ninjago theme, so the only new thing here is the change in color scheme. The tan wooden practice swords are a nice touch.
Laser Mech: This minifigure is a differently-colored copy of the Evil Mech from Series 11, with the addition of Galaxy Squad robot wings and a Ninjago energy blade.
Queen: The queen has a unique bottom piece (a skirt with panniers, flaring to a 2x4 base) and hairpiece (with a bun and ringlets in the back). She has a red cape and ermine mantle like the Classic King from Series 13. She is one of the most impressive pieces in this series, as befits her royal status. The skirt also makes her one of the easiest characters to identify by feel in this series.
Shark Suit Guy: This minifigure has been unofficially dubbed "Left Shark" by LEGO fans, after the dancer from Katy Perry's Super Bowl show last year. He is suitable either for a wereshark (swap the yellow head for a black or red one for a more monstrous look) or for a smaller species of fish than the classic Pirates shark (just place him face down on the map, with or without legs). The shark head, fin, and tail are a single large piece, which makes him very easy to identify by feel.
Tribal Woman: This minifigure takes the traditional Native American woman from the Old West theme and uses two-color injection and wraparound printing to give her a unique look. The real treat here, however, is the papoose, who attaches to the mother's back via an L-clip around the neck. This swaddled infant would also be perfect for baby Jesus if you wanted to construct a LEGO Nativity scene, as I have considered doing from time to time.
Wrestling Champion: This minifigure's scowl and bare chest might suggest a fantasy barbarian, but his make-up, mullet, and big honkin' belt (complete with world map) may be too jarring to use him outside of certain modern-day genres.
For me, Series 15 has far fewer must-have characters than did Series 14, but I'll be the first to admit that that is a grossly unfair comparison given how perfectly the Monsters set catered to my needs. Compared to any other series in this theme, it's a solid series overall, with only a few characters that I'm completely indifferent to. My personal favorites are the Flying Warrior, Shark Suit Guy, Faun, and Queen.