Welcome to the second part of my LEGO Minifigures Series 12 review where I’ll be checking out the remaining 8 characters: Video Game Guy, Wizard, Prospector, Lifeguard Guy, Jester, Genie Girl, Dino Tracker and Hun Warrior.
For my review of Rock Star, Piggy Guy, Space Miner, Swashbuckler, Battle Goddess, Fairytale Princess, Pizza Delivery Man and the Spooky Girl, check out Part 1 of my Series 12 review.
In case you missed my previous post, I’ve changed my Minifig Rating system to a 5-point scale. Here’s what the numbers mean:
5/5 – I love it
4/5 – I really like it
3/5 – I like it
2/5 – I don’t like it
1/5 – I didn’t really like it
0/5 – I hated it
There’s no need for back story such as the distribution of Series 12 minifigures, so let’s get straight to the review!
Video Game Guy “Prepare to face my ultimate super mega ultra combo move!”
The Video Game Guy is an expert on anything and everything to do with video games. He’s recorded all of the top strategy tips, memorized every combo, and found all of the hidden rooms and bonus coins – even a few that the game programmers themselves didn’t know about.
Although he’s played every kind of video game that you could name, the Video Game Guy’s favorites are the classics. There’s just something about those clunky old 8-bit graphics and those bleeping, blooping tunes that really gets his gamer adrenaline racing. Plus, it’s way easier to get the high score when nobody else remembers how to play!
It makes perfect sense to have the Video Game Guy be one of the central characters in Series 12 when LEGO also simultaneously launched LEGO Minifigures Online, an online game featuring characters from the Collectible Minifigures Series. Personally, I think Video Game Guy is such a clunky name – I would’ve preferred for him to just be called a Gamer.
The Video Game Guy isn’t your stereotypical geek or nerd, since playing video games has been a mainstream activity for quite some time now – he actually looks pretty cool with brown wavy hair that’s swept to the side. He also has a large pair of earphones fused to his hairpiece that first made its debut with Series 8’s DJ. He’s got square rimmed glasses which are pretty fashionable today and black t-shirt with the words “Player 1” printed on them. The words are slightly pixelated which is a nice touch.
His pair of jeans also has some pretty interesting details such as a smartphone peeking out of his right pocket (note the camera lens) as well as a portable USB drive dangling from a chain. I think he’s a bit more of a techy geek than a gamer, but those aren’t mutually exclusive, I guess.
A LEGO Gamer wouldn’t be a Gamer without a video game controller in the form of a printed 2 X 1 tile that pays homage to Nintendo’s Super NES controller‘s button colours and D-Pad. In keeping with today’s modern video game controller, we also get twin analog sticks.
The controller is a really neat accessory and I love the nod to the SNES buttons. I can’t think of a better accessory to include with the Video Game Guy.
I quite like the Video Game Guy, since I quite like video games myself – something which most LEGO collectors can also identify with. Let’s face it, collecting LEGO is still considered a pretty geeky (but in a good way) hobby!
How To Find One: The best way to identify Mr Video Game Guy is by feeling for his video game controller tile – his only identifiable accessory. Be careful that you don’t confuse him with the Jester, who has two similar sized tiles but has a forked pointy Jester Hat. The Video Game Guy’s hairpiece is fairly round and you should be able to tell it apart from the Jester’s hat quite easily.
Minifig Rating: 3/5
Wizard “Now, where did I put that potion? I know it’s in here somewhere…”
The wise and kindly Wizard has studied the magical arts for many years, and few are better than he at crafting spells, enchantments and useful elixirs. He knows just the right rhymes for undoing curses, and can cure hexes with a touch of his crystal-tipped staff. He’s even mapped out all of the dragon caves in the land so that everybody can avoid them.
But the Wizard’s problems began when he created his mystical Robes of Many Pockets. It sounded so useful to be able to carry his vast collection of potions, scrolls and spellbooks around with him all the time, but he forgot to write down the instructions, and now he can’t figure out what pockets hold what. When he reaches into one, he can’t predict whether he’ll pull out a rabbit, a wheelbarrow, or a hungry troll!
It’s quite remarkable that we’ve had to wait this long to get an actual Wizard character within the Collectible Mnifigure Series but LEGO has done an absolutely magical job with this version that I can happily say that it was worth the wait.
It would’ve been pretty easy for LEGO to half-ass a Wizard character and rehash the Wizards that first appeared in Castle sets but I’m glad that they went the extra mile this time. The Wizard looks impressively magical and mystical, with his blue robes that have shiny stars and moons scattered across it.
He’s got a Gandalf-esque beard and a simple staff that’s made out of a brown lightsaber blade attached to a brown telescope piece that ends with a blue gem piece.
If you think his star studded Wizard robes were trippy, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Flip the Wizard around and you’re treated to a lovely dark purple cape speckled with silver stars and crescent moons. The high collar adds so much to the Wizard’s look and makes him look more like an Archmage a lowly Wizard.
Removing his beard also reveals a face etched with wisdom and deep, soulful eyes. He kinda looks like a cool grandpa that you can always turn to for sagely advice.
Here’s a better look at the two standout accessories. His Wizard Hat is an absolute masterpiece of a LEGO accessory. Like everything else, it’s covered in stars and has a delightful little crease where the tip points downward. The creases just ooze with quality and makes the Wizard hat look so much more impressive than the traditional wizard hat that has a wide brim.
On the right are two separate pieces of fabric that make up the Wizard’s collar and cape. The fabric is slightly different to the ones used in normal LEGO capes, most likely because it has an extra layer of sparkly sheen. It has a similar feel to the cape that was included with Young Virtruvius.
A Wizard is not an groundbreaking character, but what LEGO has done with this Series 12 version is nothing short of exceptional. It is a gorgeously crafted and designed character, with a spellbinding amount of thought and detail poured into the end product.
It’s not a stretch to consider this the best Wizard that LEGO have ever produced. Sorry Gandalf and
Double Door Dumbledore, you’ve been outclassed.
How To Find One: The Wizard is really easy to find, just feel for his sloped skirt piece and you’ve already done most of the hard work. Just make sure you don’t confuse him for the Fairytale Princess, who also has a sloped skirt piece. The Wizard’s accessories such the lightsaber piece, which will feel like a thin rod or telescope piece should make him pretty easy to identify. You can also try feeling for his pointed hat, but also keep in mind that the Fairytale Princess’ hat is also cone shaped, but has a braid of hair extending from the base.
Minifig Rating: 5/5
Prospector “Whoooey! Mine, mine, mine!
The wacky old Prospector is always trying to get rich with some hare-brained scheme or another. If he’s not digging for gold out in the desert, then he’s hoping to strike oil with his pickaxe, or find buried outlaw treasure, or uncover a crashed flying saucer that he can sell to a museum. None of his plans ever pan out, but he just comes up with a new one and heads right back out into the wilderness to try his luck again.
Some may prefer being a city-slicker with a roof over their heads, but that’s no life for the Prospector. Give him a sky full of stars, a campfire and a tin of beans, and he’s as happy as a prairie dog in dirt. So what will he do with all of that money when he finds his fortune? Why, that’s easy, pardner – he’ll get a new hat, maybe finally change his shirt, and buy himself the biggest tin of beans in the entire Old West. Yee-haw!
Fans of LEGO’s shortlived Western theme will feel as if they’ve struck gold with the Prospector. However, if expanding your Cowboy town isn’t one of your main priorities the Prospector will feel like a hunk of junk as he’s quite an unremarkable character.
I may find the Prospector’s character quite plain and boring, but I will still have to concede that LEGO have done a commendable job with his design, perfectly capturing the look and feel of an individual sent into a frenzy at the discovery of Gold. The Prospector has a large hat that’s folded upwards with patch printed onto it that covers a face that struggles to hide his obvious passion for a Gold Rush. Oddly enough, the Prospector has a slightly shaven face but a very generous neckbeard.
I also quite like his torso and legs, which have some great details such as a spotted pattern and suspenders that gives him a very rustic look. Sadly, the spotted pattern doesn’t extend to his arms, a very glaring and disjointed design flaw. That said, the Prospector isn’t shabbily designed but he’s just quite a boring character – I guess you have to allow for one or two in each Series.
How To Find One: Feeling for the Prospector’s hat is quite risky as you might easily confuse its shape with the Swashbuckler’s hat. His pick axe is by far the easiest thing to identify him by, but you can also try looking for his beard piece, which has a very peculiar shape. If I could describe it, it would be a halo shaped piece with a slightly and pointier half.
Minifig Rating: 2/5
Lifeguard Guy “Nobody’s getting in trouble while I’m on duty!”
No one knows what the Lifeguard Guy did before he became a lifeguard. He just showed up one day, fully trained and licensed, and started keeping the beach safe. He sometimes talks about a past full of action, intrigue and martial arts, but if there’s any record of his adventures, nobody has been able to find it.
All through the hot summer, he scans the water with his binoculars, ready to spring into action at the slightest hint of trouble. If anything goes wrong, he’s there in a flash and a splash, using his floating rescue buoy to help tired swimmers get back to shore. And what about his mysterious history? A few of his co-workers think that maybe it was all just a role he used to play on TV, but there’s no doubting that he makes one swell lifeguard!
It’s taken LEGO years but we FINALLY have a David Hasselhoff minifigure. LEGO officially calls him the Lifeguard Guy but we ALL know that he’s really the hunky German from 80s staple TV series Baywatch.
I quite like the minifigure itself – he has a really cool face with his sunglasses, a smug smile and a muscular shirtless torso. Shirtless chests are quite a rarity when it comes to LEGO, especially yellow skin toned ones. Unlike other cases, the colours are all uniform, a huge plus!
For quite a plain character who is essentially a male version of Series 2’s Lifeguard, the Lifeguard Guy has quite a bit of charm that I can’t quite put my finger on. A cute little Easter egg that they managed to include with the Lifeguard Guy is the initials “J.T.” on his red swim shorts, which match the initials “G.T.” on the female Lifeguard – a nice little nod that they’re a married couple!
LEGO has a long standing practice of introducing opposite sex genders of characters introduced in the Collectible Minifigure Series and the Lifeguard Guy is another great way to honour the tradition.
How To Find One: There are a ways to tell the Lifeguard Guy apart, namely by feeling for his binoculars or his red float which has a very distinct shape.
Minifig Rating: 3/5
Jester “Hoo-hoo-hoo! Stop me if you’ve, ha-ha-ha, heard this one, hee-hee, before!”
The ever-jolly Jester just can’t keep himself from laughing at his own jokes. He’s a pro at puns, riddles, tongue-twisters and card tricks, but as much as his audience may appreciate his wacky wisecracks and medieval celebrity impressions, he appreciates them even more. He can’t even get through a simple knock-knock joke without bursting into peals of laughter before he gets to the punchline.
It’s hard to be funny all the time, but the Jester makes it look easy. Everything he sees – and says – tickles his funny bone until he’s left giggling, guffawing, chuckling, chortling, and rolling around on the floor during each performance. And once he gets going, the King, the Queen, and the whole royal court can’t help but join in the fun and laughter, too!
It seems like LEGO is going all out with medieval Castle-type characters in Series 12 – not that I’m one to complain! Joining the Wizard and Fairytale Princess is the brightly coloured Jester. There have been multiple Jesters in LEGO’s history but it is the first time we’ve had him suited up in orange and purple.
Because we’ve had different versions, a mere colour change isn’t quite enough to make the Jester a must-have minifigure but I will admit that it’s been quite a while since we had a Jester minifigure so I guess I’m 50-50 on him. The colour scheme is certainly the most appropriate so it’s quite fair to say that this is the best Jester yet.
The Jester comes with cards, a Jack and an Ace in the form of 2 X 1 tiles. Coincidentally, these two cards make a Blackjack. Not sure if LEGO are really trying to advocate gambling… but it’s still great to have playing cards in the form of tiles. It also seems to me that this Jester isn’t the type who juggles balls but more of a illusionist or magician-type entertainer.
I just feel that the Jester is an average minifigure. It’s a rehash of an established LEGO Castle character that didn’t get the same exceptional treatment as the Wizard. That said, it is still a handy character to have, especially if you like the Castles and require some entertainment for your Lords and Noblemen. The fact that it’s really accessible to builders thanks to Series 12 is a positive in my book.
How To Find One: The Jester’s two 2 X 1 tiles are the best indicators that you have him in your hands. Just make sure that you don’t confuse him with the Video Game Guy who only has 1 tile. The Jester’s hat is also a great way to verify him as it has two prongs that kinda feel like horns turned downwards.
Minifig Rating: 2/5
Genie Girl “Are you suuure that’s what you want?”
The Genie Girl considers herself to be a professional Wish Consultant. Most genies will grant the exact spoken wishes of anybody who rubs their magic lamps, but she likes to make sure that whoever is wishing really knows what they’re getting themselves into. She doesn’t want there to be any silly wish mistakes on her watch!
The official rules say that the Genie Girl isn’t allowed to tell her lamp’s holder what to ask for, but she can still nudge wishes in the right direction by pointing out their possible accidental down-sides (you wouldn’t want to ask for super-powers and get the proportional speed of a slug, or wish for a castle and end up with one that’s under water). Once you’ve picked the right wish, all she has to do is wink, and it’s granted!
Joining the Lifeguard Guy as an opposite sex version of a previously released minifigure is the Genie Girl. While Series 6’s Genie was based on the Genie from Aladdin, I would probably guess that Genie Girl loosely draws inspiration from 60s TV series I Dream of Jeannie, albeit in a totally different colour scheme.
I love that we get more uses out of the Genie’s wispy leg piece, this time in blue. The Genie Girl has a suggestive wink expression, another rare and unique instance of facial expressions that isn’t anger or surprise on minifigures. The usablity of her head might be a little tricky since she has silver diamond shaped sparkles on her cheeks.
Genie Girl has back printing of her torso – a very Egyptian/Middle Eastern belly dancer-type outfit which shows off her midriff and has little tassels dangling from her top. When I snapped this picture… I immediately realised that I made a huge error – I had her “legs” assembled to her torso backwards.
The side with the sparkly bits should have been facing the front and not on her back! Nevertheless, the added details to her “legs” are a huge improvement compared to her male counterpart.
The Genie Girl has the same hair mould as the Dino Tracker, except that hers is blonde. I really like the new long ponytail hair mould, it’s a really high quality piece of plastic and it looks fantastic.
The Genie Girl gets instant points simply because it’s a female Genie. The unique Geniefigure is further accentuated by small improvements such as the great new hair piece, speckled legs and all the nice little touches like back printing.
How To Find One: The Genie Girl’s most recognisable part is her hair piece. The long pony tail is extremely easy to pick out, just make sure that it’s not the Dino Hunter. You can verify that it’s a Genie Girl by feeling for her leg piece, which has the same width as a torso except that it ends with something that feel like a tail or her Genie lamp accessory.
Minifig Rating: 3/5
Dino Tracker “From Allosaurus to Zuniceratops, I’ve caught ‘em all!”
You never know when wild dinosaurs might pop through a time portal or escape from a crazy scientist’s lab. When pesky prehistoric reptiles go on a rampage, there’s only one person you need to call: the daring and dauntless Dino Tracker!
As a member of an elite team of dinosaur hunters, the Dino Tracker has the gear, the experience, and the know-how to take down plant-eaters and carnivores of any size. Moving swiftly and silently, she sneaks up close and then fires a tranquilizer arrow to knock out her titanic targets so they can be picked up and transported to the dino nature reserve. She might get a few scuffs and scrapes along the way, but it’s all in the name of keeping both civilians and saurians safe!
Katniss Everdeen uh, I mean the Dino Hunter. LEGO is really pulling out the stops when it comes to creating more opportunities to feature strong female characters – this time in the form of a tough and rugged Dinosaur Hunter.
Apart from her name revealing that she hunts down Dinosaurs, her minifigure’s look gives no real indication of her profession – she could be a generic poacher or mercenary.
She has a battle-hardened look, with a large scratch on her left cheek as well as tear marks on her clothes, which probably came from a close shave with a frenzied dino. Her torso and legs pack an incredible amount of detail such as a bandolier of tranquiliser ammo, belt and even printed pockets.
The Dino Tracker is armed to the teeth with an arsenal capable of taking down a Brachiosaurus-sized beast. She has a lime green syringe that also doubles as a tranquiliser dart, fired from her futuristic bow.
I like that she’s old school and uses a bow to hunt down dinosaurs instead of a rifle – which just makes her even more bad ass.
I initially didn’t give too much thought about the Dino Tracker as I assumed that she was going to be a pretty boring minifigure. Once I got her in my hands, I was pretty impressed at the level of detail they managed to squeeze in.
She has back printing, with her clothes and bandolier continuing down her back. I don’t say this often but quality-wise, this is one of the most impressive torsos in the entire Collectible Minifigures range. Bonus (and surprising) bit of detail: side pockets printed on her legs!
While I still feel that a Dino Tracker is quite an unremarkable character, I still recognize that this is an exceptionally crafted and designed minifigure.
How To Find One: Like the Genie Girl, her most distinguishing part is her hair. You can easily pick apart her ponytail. Her bow and syringe are also quite easy to feel.
Minifig Rating: 3/5
Hun Warrior “C’mon, I’m not so bad!”
It isn’t easy being a Hun Warrior. Just because your empire has a reputation for rampaging across the countryside, conquering and plundering everything in its path, everybody thinks that you must be a bad neighbor. Well, this is one warrior who’s out to change that view!
Instead of pillaging towns, the Hun Warrior visits them with plates of cookies (though it’s best not to ask what’s in them). He decorates town walls with homemade art, and hardly ever smashes them down and rides over the rubble on horseback. He even baked a friendship cake once, but when he went to cut it with his sword, things got kind of messy. It’s only if all of his attempts to be neighborly fail that he shrugs and goes back to the conquering and plundering. Hey, at least he tried!
I decided to save one of my favourites (that’s not a Pig or War Goddess) for last – the Hun Warrior! I’m a sucker for historical minifigures and I was beyond delighted when a Mongolian warrior was included in Series 12. I also like army building and you can’t just have one Hun Warrior so collecting a small horde is quite high on my to do list.
The Hun Warrior is a warrior-type minifigure done right. He’s got an epic horned helmet that also has a white fur trim. He also has a very Oriental-inspired Lamellar armour and leather pants.
The Hun Warrior’s heavy fur cape was a huge surprise to me. From early pictures, I thought that his cape was going to be made out of the usual material but I discovered that it’s a completely new fabric that really feels furry on the outer side. His cape is also much thicker, possibly because of the new fabric.
I have several Hun Warriors and in some of them, the capes came bent and folded awkwardly like in the image above – a minor negative but an understandable one since the capes are not as rigid as the usual ones.
Here’s the Hun Warrior from behind. He has no back printing but that’s okay since his cape obscures most of his back, even going all the way down to his feet. The Hun Warrior comes equipped with a longsword and and round wooden and steel shield. The accessories aren’t flashy but they do the job.
Every once in awhile, LEGO produces an amazing historical warrior minifigure – the last notable ones to me were Series 7’s Aztec Warrior or Series 6’s Roman Soldier. LEGO have done it again in Series 12. I consider the Hun Warrior one of the most excellent candidates to build an army with as they’ll look amazing in numbers.
Outside of the Ninjago theme, it’s also been a while since we’ve gotten a minifigure with Oriental facial features, which is also why I rate the Hun Warrior so highly.
How To Find One: To find the Hun Warrior, your best bet would be to try feeling for his sword or his round shield. You’ll have to remember that his shield is flat, compared to the rounded one that belongs to the Battle Goddess. You can also feel for his horns that are attached to his helmet, but because they are so small, they can be quite difficult to make out if you’re inexperienced with feeling through blind bags.
Minifig Rating: 5/5
And that’s it! We’ve come to the end of Part 2 of my review of Series 12. I really hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my thoughts on all 16 characters
Like the numbered Minifigure Series, I’ve really enjoyed the rich diversity of the characters introduced in Series 12. I’m pretty sure that I’ve spent more money on Series 12 than any other Series, purely because of the strength and quality of the cast.
Sadly, many of my biggest peeves about the Collectible Minifigure Series have still not been addressed. In case you aren’t aware, Minifigures from this series are made in China and suffer from huge disparities in quality from regular minifigs you get in sets.
The minifigure legs are still flimsy and feel a lot lighter than usual, one of my biggest complaints. Erratic back printing details are also a minor annoyance as is cases of sloppy printing on some parts. Oddly enough, I also noticed the LEGO printing inside both legs, as opposed to Collectible Minifigures usually only having them printed inside one legs. Only a very small percentage of my Series 12 minifigs had LEGO printing in both legs.
Read this post to find out more about the differences between China-made and regular LEGO minifigures.
I’m not sure what to make of this change, but I expect that LEGO is making it harder to visually identify China-made minifigures. One of the only reliable ways now is to look for the black square printed on minifig torso necks, if a minifig doesn’t have one, chances are it’s from China.
These flaws I highlighted are only an issue to a very small but detail and quality orientated LEGO fans but they won’t hinder the popularity of Series 12. Going back to the positives, Series 12 is still a stellar lineup of characters, quite possibly one of my favourites alongside Series 6 and 7.
The accessories included are a little on the generic side, but it’s a minor minor issue that’s overwhelmed by the great bunch of minifigures. If you’re still on the fence on Series 12, I urge you to get the whole set as you won’t want to miss out. Okay, you may be able to give the Swashbuckler a miss.
Series 12 is another feather in LEGO’s cap and just makes me more excited for what the designers at Billund throw our way for Series 13.
Here’s a fun little picture to close off my review. Thanks for reading!