“Which Collectible Minifigures are Compatible with the Lego Castle Theme?” by S.M. O’Connor

In 2010, The LEGO® Group introduced the Collectible Minifigure™ theme (product line) in which individual Minifigures™ are sold in sealed mystery bags.  One never knows what one will get.  The LEGO® Group hoped collectors would trade Collectible Minifigures™ they did not want for those they did, but in practice collectors sell the Collectible Minifigures™ they do not want or managed to acquire for financial speculation.  Quite a number of the Collectible Minifigures™ have been related to the LEGO® Castle theme, and some of them have been ultimate or archetypical versions of characters that have either turned up over and over again in LEGO® Castle subthemes or were the subject of a particular subtheme.

The Forestman, Collectible Minifigure™ released in 2010 as part of 8683 Minifigures Series 1, is a much more detailed version of the Minifigures™ from the Forestmen faction from 1987-1990. He has a yellow head, light brown arms, dark-green torso, and dark-green legs.  The Forestman has a quiver of arrows.  His printed face includes brown eyebrows, black eyes with white pupils, a brown mustache and goatee, and an open-mouthed smile baring white teeth.  The chest is printed with two brown leather belts, one strung diagonally across his chest and one around the waist.  He also had a light-green cravat.  His dark-green hat has a red feather plume.  He is absolutely compatible with the Forestmen sets.  While the Forestmen were clearly a nod to The Adventures of Robin Hood, Forestman actually resembles (in so far as a Minifigure™ will allow) the film’s dashing Irish-Australian star, Errol Flynn (1909-1959).  In The LEGO Movie (2014), Vitruvius introduces him as Robin Hood.

The Elf, a Collectible Minifigure™ released in 2011 with 8803 Minifigures Series 3, wore a cape and carried a longbow and shield.  He had a yellow head (with pointy ears) and hands, a blond hairpiece, green torso and arms, and brown legs.  He had black eyes with white pupils, a black slash of a mouth, dark brown eyebrows, and light brown lines that suggested high cheek bones.  His torso and legs were printed to suggest green-colored chain mail and a cloak fastened under his neck.  This elf is very much in the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium rather than Santa’s elves (one of which appeared in Series 11).  He can easily be placed with in a set from the LEGO® The Lord of the Rings™ and LEGO® The Hobbit™ sets.  He would also be compatible with the 2007-2009 Castles subtheme (“Fantasy Castle”), although it did not have elves.  Although he resembles Legolas and Haldir Minifigures™ he looks more serious than them.

The Evil Dwarf, a Collectible Minifigure™ released in 2011 with 8805 Minifigures Series 5, had a yellow head and hands, a black torso, gray arms, and short brown legs.  He had a black mustache-and-braided-beard piece.  This same piece was used for the Dwarfs from the 2007-2007 Castles theme.  His eyes were black with white pupils.  He had black facial hair printed on his face (in addition to the mustache-and-beard piece which would have slipped down his neck before his head).  He was armed with a winged helmet, a three-piece battle-axe, and a shield. This figure would be compatible with sets from the 2007-2009 Castles theme, or the LEGO® the Lord of the Rings™ sets, or the 2005-2007 LEGO® Vikings sets.

8805_1488x837Figure 1 Credit: Courtesy of The LEGO® Group Caption: 8805 Collectible Minifigures™ Series 5, released in 2011, included Evil Dwarf.

The Evil Knight, a Collectible Minifigure™ released in 2012 with 8831 Minifigures Series 7, appears to be a more detailed version of a Shadow Knight.  He had a yellow head with hateful expression and red eyes; a black torso, arms, and hands; black legs; black chest plate; a black long sword; and a black kite shield with boar’s head in profile.[1]

8831_1488x837Figure 2 Credit: Courtesy of The LEGO® Group Caption: 8831 Collectible Minifigures™ Series 7, released in 2012, included Evil Knight.

The Heroic Knight from Minifigure™ Series 9, which came out in January of 2013, has armor that strongly resembles the Lead General’s.  He had a yellow head and gray torso, arms, hands, and legs.  His helmet had a visor and white feather plume.  He had a gray cuirass (chest plate) that would have slipped down his neck under his head and was armed with a gray sword and rectangular shield.  This knight has the most detailed plate armor The LEGO® Group has yet to produce.  His coat of arms is a crown on a silver field.  He is compatible with any LEGO® Castle set.

The Forest Maiden, also from Series 9, has a yellow head and hands, light-brown arms (representing sleeves), and dark-green torso and slope.  Her torso and slope-dress are printed to indicate her dress is held together with a brown leather belt with a brown bag tied to it.  A small amount of (yellow) skin is showing under her neck under which light-brown laces hold the dress together.  There is brown trim at the bottom of her skirts.  She has a long brown braided hairpiece.  She is armed with a longbow-and-arrow piece and a kite shield.  Her coat of arms is a dark-brown brown tree with light-green leaves on a dark-green field.  She is compatible with the Forestman and the Forestmen sets.

The Wizard, a Collectible Minifigure™ from 71007 Minifigures Series 12, released in 2014, is far more elaborate than Majisto.  He has a blue pointed, conical hat; a wizard’s three-piece staff capped with a gemstone; mustache-and-long-beard piece; purple fabric cape; and slope instead of legs (representing a floor-length robe).  His torso, arms, slope, hat, and cape are blue.  Gold and silver stars and crescent moons are printed on his hat, torso, and slope.  His eyes are black with white pupils.   Overall, he is the most impressive wizard Minifigure™ The LEGO® Group has yet to produce.

The Fairytale Princess, a Collectible Minifigure™ that was also released in 2014 with Series 12, had a yellow head and hands, an auburn hairpiece, and lavender-colored conical hat, torso, arms, and backwards slope (to represent her dress).  Her eyes are black with white pupils.  She carried a green frog.  Her head has two faces to show different expressions.  She is compatible with all LEGO® Castle sets.

The Classic King, a Collectible Minifigire™ released in 2015 as part of 71008 Minifigures Series 13, is the most detailed king Minifigure to date.  He looks like an archetypical Northern European king, a combination of King Arthur, King Randor from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, King Théoden in The Lord of the Rings, most depictions of Aragorn as King Elassar of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor in The Lord of the Rings, and The Burger King. He has a large crown with brown hair, a brown full-beard-and-mustache piece, a gold great sword, and a cape with ermine trim.  His gold great sword may have been recycled from the King Minifigure™ that came with the King’s Castle from 2013.  He is compatible with all LEGO® Castle sets and the Fairytale Princess.

The Evil Wizard, who strongly resembles Ming the Merciless, also came with Minifigures Series 13. He has a yellow head with printed black eyebrows, red eyes, a black mustache-and-long-beard piece, red torso, red cape, and red slope.  His torso and slope (representing a floor-length robe) have gold-colored lines revealing a red under robe.   A gold-colored skull rests where one would normally find a belt buckle.  His cloak was printed black and red to resemble flames.  The black two-piece wizard’s staff or scepter is capped not with a gemstone but a red fire piece previously used to represent a torch’s flame or dragon-fire.

In addition, the Goblin came with Series 13.  This Minifigure™ had a green head, arms, and hands and brown torso and legs.  There were bits of green printed on the torso and legs to represent part of his chest not being covered by his brown vest, his lower legs sticking out of his ragged pants, and his bare feet.  His pants were printed with a rope belt.  He had a brown skullcap. The skullcap and pants had printed patches.  The head included green pointed ears that stuck out from the head.  His printed face consisted of black eyebrows, yellow open eyes, and a black mouth with pointed teeth.  He had a gray, nicked scimitar and a brown bag, no doubt full of loot.  Overall, he was a sinister-looking character and would be compatible with sets from the 2007-2009 Castles theme, or the LEGO® The Lord of the Rings™.  He bears some resemblance to the Moria Orcs from LEGO® The Lord of the Rings™ The Mines of Moria (Set #9473), released in 2012, but is not exactly like them.

The Queen, a Collectible Minifigure™ released in 2015 as part of 71011 Minifigures Series 15, appears to be the consort of the Classic King.  She has a yellow head and hands, red torso, and hoop skirt piece.  The torso and hoop skirt pieces were printed to reveal a blue dress with yellow flower pattern underneath the red robes.  The top of her torso is printed with a gold necklace.  The hoop skirt was printed with gold trim. The gold line along the bottom of the skirt sports, alternatively hearts and diamonds, seemingly a reference to the Queen of Hearts and Queen of Diamonds from packs of playing cards and the Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  Her cape has an ermine trim line the Classic King’s.  She has a brown hairpiece and a gold open crown.  Her face has brown eyebrows, black eyes and eyelashes, white pupils, and red lips pursed in a thin smile.  She is compatible with all LEGO® Castle sets, the Classic King and the Fairytale Princess.

The Frightening Knight from Series 15, has a yellow head, black hands, gray arms, and green torso and legs.  His helmet was a great helm (rather than a close helmet with a visor) with a green feather plume.  Both the torso and legs are printed with a green robe over light gray chain mail armor.  The torso was printed with a dark gray gorget under the neck and between the shoulders and brown leather belt over the robe.  He is armed with a morning star (spiked mace) and a triangular shield.  The coat of arms on his shield consisted of a red-eyed gray-colored bear with an open mouth baring fangs in front of a red field.  Little can be seen of his printed face through the eyes lit of the great helm but he is frowning.  The eyebrows and eyes are black and the pupils are white.  His name is an allusion to the villainous fantasy/horror Fright Knights, but he does not resemble them and is more realistic looking.  This is another highly detailed knight and can be paired with the Evil Knight, or set in opposition to the Heroic Knight, and is also compatible with any LEGO® Castle set.

The Rogue, a Collectible Minifigure™ released in 2016 with 71013 Series 16, is seentially a green ninja.  He has a yellow head and one left yellow hand, a brown right hand, green arms, green torso, green-and-brown legs.  The one brown-colored hand indicates that is a gloved hand.  His green torso and arms represent a tunic, his green legs represent pants, and his brown feet represent boots.  The chest was printed with a brown leather vest underneath which was a brown leather belt strapped diagonally across his chest.  There was a second, larger brown leather belt around his waist.  A red scarf was also printed on the chest over the left shoulder.  A gray-colored wolf’s head-shaped clasp pinned the scarf and vest together.  The green hood is similar to, but not exactly the same as that of the Ninja from Series 1.  The printed face included black eyebrows and black eyes with white pupils.  He is armed with a bow-and-arrow and a quiver of arrows.  While the Forestman is supposed to be a hero, the Rogue is supposed to be more selfish, according to his official biography.  He is sorta/kinda compatible with the Forestman and the Forestmen sets.  He would make a suitable gift for someone who is a fan of the DC comic book character Green Arrow, as well as for a child who like the LEGO® Ninjago theme.

The Battle Dwarf, a Collectible Minifigure™ released in 2017 with 71018 Series 17, has a yellow head, arms, hands, and torso, and a short brown legs.  His hairpiece is a red mohawk.  He also has a red short beard piece.  The printed face is grimacing.  It consists of red eyebrows, black eyes with white pupils, a red mustache that reaches the beard piece (when it is on the neck under the head) and an open mouth baring white teeth.  The bare chest is muscular with a thick printed leather-and-fur belt.  He is armed with both a gray war-hammer and a gray two-piece, battle-axe. This figure would be somewhat compatible with sets from the 2007-2009 Castles subtheme, and, to a lesser extent, the 2005-2007 LEGO® Vikings sets, but not the LEGO® the Lord of the Rings™ sets because he looks too modern.

Series 17 also included the Elf Maiden had yellow head and hands, and light-blue torso and slope.  Her arms are yellow and gray.  The shoulders – both as printed on the torso and on the upper arms – are gray, indicating she is wearing a small amount of body armor over her dress.  The slope is printed with a pink skirt revealed under a light-blue outer garment.  She is armed with a gold-colored great sword and shield.  The shield has gold trim.  Her coat of arms is a gold flower on a light-blue field.  Sher has a brown hairpiece and yellow pointed ears like the Elf.  The Elf Maiden is readily paired with him.  Like him, she can easily be placed with in a set from 2007-2009 Castles subtheme, and, to a lesser extent, the LEGO® The Lord of the Rings™ and LEGO® The Hobbit™ sets.  She is not compatible with the LEGO® Elves theme, introduced for girls in 2015, which uses Mini-dolls rather than Minifigures™.  [Mini-dolls, introduced in 2012 with LEGO® Friends, have more realistic hair, skin color, clothing, and articulation than Minifigures™.]  However, a daughter, granddaughter, niece, or little sister who likes LEGO® Elves may appreciate the Elf Maiden.

ENDNOTE

[1] The long sword had been introduced with the Highland Battler, which looked suspiciously like Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart (1995).  He came with 8827 Minifigures Series 6, issued in 2012.

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