The 2020 Olympics will finally kick off in Tokyo, Japan after a year-long delayed caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and I thought it’d be a great idea to wind back the clock and revisit LEGO’s shortlived Olympics tie-in – the Team GB Minifigures.
This isn’t quite in Retro Review territory, and I did review the Team GB Minifigures way back in 2012, but as you can see – the production quality of that particular review isn’t the greatest, so I’d love to revisit the series in time for the Tokyo Olympics.
About the Team GB Minifigures Series
The year is 2012, and the Summer Olympics are being held in London, and LEGO drops a limited edition and exclusive series based on Team GB, Great Britain’s Olympic team on 1 July 2012 to mark the opening of the London Games.
An official product of Team GB, this series was one of the first LEGO Minifigures Series to deviate from the previous 7 series – namely that it contained only 9 minifigures, and it was exclusively sold in Great Britain, which has contributed to its rarity.
Team GB was also the first minifigure set to have printing on the minifigure baseplates, which appeared in white for the very first time and contained the words Team GB, logo and Olympics rings printed on them.
Complete sets of Team GB Minifigures are pretty pricey on the secondary market due to the geographic rarity, and this is one of the rarer minifigure sets to get your hands on if you’re a CMF (Collectible Minifigures) completionist.
This of course isn’t LEGO’s only Minifigure foray into sporting events, as four years later, they also released a German Football Team series for the 2016 World Cup. Soccer, in case you were confused.
Team GB Minifigure Lineup
Here are all 9 minifigure names of Team GB, representing some of the more well-known sporting events at the Olympics. You can click on each name to jump straight to the respective minifigure.
As you can see, each minifigure comes with a gold medal accessory.
- Agile Archer
- Brawny Boxer
- Flexible Gymnast
- Horseback Rider
- Judo Fighter
- Relay Runner
- Stealth Swimmer
- Tactical Tennis Player
- Wondrous Weightlifter
Complete with bow in hand, let’s hope this little fella will be on target on the day!”
We start off with the Agile Archer, who sports a keen eye, and a deadlier aim. His dark orange “Superman” hair is so far, exclusive to this minifigure, and he has a great printed torso, with 3-point harness and a massive Team GB Lion on his white shirt.
His pants, have subtle white lines on the side, and he also suitably has a single black gloved hand.
His squinty eye face is also perfect for the minifigure, as he hones in on the bullseye.
How is the Agile Archer so good? He practices with the best in Sherwood Forest.
“Punching his way to the top, this lean machine in blue is ready to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee for Team GB!”
The Brawny Boxer minifigure is one of the most in-demand minifigure of the series – because this is LEGO’s one and only Blue Boxer, a fitting opponent to Series 5’s Boxer.
He comes with a blue headguard, which has the Team GB logo printed on it, and his torso and legs have really high quality printing, with the Team GB belt and fabric details looking especially great on his legs.
Here’s the Brawny Boxer from the side, to better show off the headguard, and his blue boxing gloves.
It’s 2021, and I think it’s high time LEGO give us a proper Blue Boxer that’ easily accessible.
“Balance and co-ordination is the name of the game for this agile Olympic contender.”
One of my favourites from the series is the Flexible Gymnast – with her leotard featuring the Team GB logo. The printing is super sharp, and I also like how well her blue sleeves look.
She comes with a simple balance beam. I made a mistake here, as it’s meant to be a 1 x 4 tan plate, not a 1 x 3.
It’s a bit of a bummer but the Flexible Gymnast has no back printing.
“Riding her way to the last hurdle, this athlete won’t be horsing around when it comes to winning!”
Here’s the Horseback Rider minifigure, ready to trot into the Equestrian category. Sadly, you have to BYO horse, but she does have a great sash with the Team GB logo on it.
The printing is super sharp, and look just how seamlessly it extends across her torso onto her legs.
No back printing, but she does come with a cap, with her dark red hair fused into it. The hat-hair combo is made of soft rubbery plastic.
Here she is on her white stallion!
“Taking down her opponent’s one at a time, this mistress of martial arts knocks down anything in her way to grasp that gold medal.”
Firstly, it’s really progressive that LEGO gave us a female Judo Fighter way back in 2012. It’s not quite a 50-50 gender balance, but this was a great choice to have a female contact sport athlete.
She’s dressed in a white and black Judogi, which has a small coloured Team GB logo printed on her left breast.
One of the few Team GB minifigures with back printing, she has a large black Team GB logo on her back.
Here she is slamming Series 2’s Karate Master into submission.
“Sprinting to reach the winning line, could this give Team GB a relay team victory?”
The Relay Runner represents the Track and Field category, with a really nice minifigure with cool details such as sweat dripping on his face, and a cool little nod to 1948 on his bib number – 1948 is a reference to the last time that London hosted the Olympics before 2012.
No back printing, but he has side leg printing, which was a rarity back in 2012.
The Relay Race is all about your teammates, so thankfully, the Relay Runner has Sonic the Hedgehog on his team.
“Like a fish in the water, the Stealth Swimmer is ready to torpedo through the water into pole position.”
I’ve always found the name of the Stealth Swimmer funny – like what’s the need to sneak around? Maybe he works as a spy for MI5 as his day job when not swimming laps.
The Stealth Swimmer features a rare topless torso, and tiny speedos, and I also like the presence of water droplets across his face, torso and legs.
He has a white swimming cap, with the Team GB lion on it, which is a great accessory.
Tactical Tennis Player
“First on the court in his gleaming whites, this tennis ace will knock the white socks off of any competition.”
Here’s totally not-Andy Murray – the Tactical Tennis Player, which sees him in a Wimbledon-ready white shirt and shorts, with red, and blue trim on his shirt and shorts.
He comes with a grey tennic racquet, and he’s been made to work up a sweat, with little swear droplets across his head.
This Tennis Ace is ready to serve his way to Gold!
“Powerlifting his personal best, the crowd looks on as this burley guy weighs up his chances of going for gold.”
Last but not least, we have the Wondrous Weightlifter with a red and blue powerlifting suit, which shows off his impressive musculature. The details are pretty spot on, with a weightlifting belt, and a small Team GB logo on his left thigh.
The blue barbell weight is quite a rare element, as this is the only blue variant, and has only made an appearance in Series 2’s Weightlifter in black, and the 21108 Ghostbusters Ecto-1 in metallic silver.
He has a grimaced smile, and also sweat droplets across his face.
Not content with winning at the Olympics, he’s also keen to beat Superman and The Hulk at deadlifting.
The Team GB Minifigures was a really cool series, and the first of its kind to focus on a singular theme, and in this case, the Olympics and Sports-focus worked really well to introduce new characters, or alternate versions to the Minifigures Series.
While it was a really nice memento of the 2012 London Olympics, it was unfortunately marred by its very limited and exclusive distribution, which meant that if you didn’t know anyone in the UK, or were not willing to spend a small fortune importing the series, you were out of options to acquire it.
It’s unfortunate that LEGO only had such a minor relationship with the Olympics – they did release a smaller set for the 2016 Rio Olympics, which again, was also exclusively available in Brazil, but I really would’ve liked a 2020 Tokyo Olympics version as an update to Team GB.
Sports, creativity and play work so well with one another, and especially with LEGO’s current relationship with Adidas, I would absolutely love to see more sports-themed minifigures or sets in LEGO’s lineup.
Maybe in 2022?
Do you own any Team GB Minifigures? Let me know which ones were your favourites in the comments, and if you’d like to see more sports-themed minifigures!
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this retrospective look at LEGO’s Olympics-themed minifigures!
In case you missed it, check out some of my recent reviews and articles.
- New April 2023 LEGO GWPs revealed includes 40590 Houses of the World 2 and more
- Review: LEGO 43212 Disney Celebration Train
- LEGO Amazon Australia sales – March 2023
- LEGO 2K Drive looks slick but sets a dangerous and predatory course towards microtransaction hell
- Review: LEGO 76914 Ferrari 812 Competizione
To get the latest LEGO news and LEGO Reviews straight in your inbox, subscribe via email, or you can also follow on Google News, or socials on Facebook, Instagram (@jayong28), Twitter or subscribe to the Jay’s Brick Blog Youtube channel.
Man I wish they still did this – they would sell like crazy!!
Watching the Olympics opening ceremony live now as I type this! I have this set and so glad I got it on the secondary market as soon as they came out. It’s one of my favorite CMF sets I own! As a huge tennis fan, it’s also cool that Andy Murray of GBR won the gold that year! Thanks for posting this article, Jay!