Just in time for the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics later today, 27 July 2012, I finally got my hands on my Team GB minifigs thanks to my buddy Jaron who was lucky enough to be in London a couple of weeks ago!
Here’s a look at the coveted packs of the Team GB minifigs. I say extremely coveted because unlike the traditional Minifigure Series, these are only available in the UK, and cost about £2 each. An Official Product of Team GB, the official nickname of the British Olympic Team, comprising England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and other smaller minor dependencies and territories. There are Nine unique minifigs in the Team GB lineup all of which are obviously athlete-type characters. Being an avid collector of the Collectible Minifigures, the moment these were announced, I knew I had to get my hands on them.
Here are the back of the packs, in case any of you were wondering. The pack’s design prominently features Team GB’s Lion, decked out in Union Jack colours.
I bought about 25 packs at random, which was a first for me since I usually feel out the minifigs I want. Decided that since these were going to be rare, especially outside of the UK, I asked my friend to get me as many as he could and he came back with 25. THANKFULLY, I managed to get at least 1 complete set. I would’ve been so bummed if I missed out 1 minifig.
And here we go, the lineup of the Team GB minifigs, representing some of the major sporting events at the Olympics. With only 9 to choose from, I think Lego managed to pick out a decent selection of sports although I would’ve loved to have a Discus or Javelin person.
I love that Lego totally went out of the way to make this commemorative series as special as possible with the brand new baseplates in white, emblazoned with the Team GB Logo and the Olympics Rings. They normally come in black, so this was very nice to have and completely pumps up the display potential of the Team GB minifigures. Anyway, on to the individual shots of each Team GB athlete!
Tactical Tennis Player “First on the court in his gleaming whites, this tennis ace will knock the white socks off of any competition.”
Yes, the cheesy name and bio came from Lego themselves. Presenting the Tactical Tennis Player! Now, this is Lego’s third tennis minifigure after the girl from Series 3 and her male counterpart from Series 7. The Tactical Tennis Player (yes, I am going to refer to him indiscriminately as this) has your typical Polo T-Shirt attire in Team GB colours, with the proud Lion printed on his left breast. Compared to the other Team GB minifigs, he doesn’t have the most interesting clothes and I found it especially odd that he’s wearing long sleeves. I don’t think I’ve seen a long-sleeved tennis player in a long long long time. We also get a new racquet colour – this time in grey, which is nice.
One of my favourite features of the Team GB minifigs is that most of them are sweaty! I think it’s an excellent touch from Lego to give them really sporty looks. The Tactical Tennis Player has quite a confident look on his face and the side-parted hairpiece. Overall, a decent looking piece.
Brawny Boxer “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!”
Personally, the most anticipated minifig out of the lot, the Brawny Boxer was a long time coming, simply because we finally have a blue boxer to pit against the red one we got in Series 5! The Brawny Boxer’s design is great, with Team GB’s Lion printed on his headgear as well as on his left breast, in white. True to his Brawny Boxer moniker, he’s got a beefy looking, well defined body evident from the outline of his bulging chest muscles and rock hard abs. To cap it all off, he’s got the words “GB” on his belt and some nice wrinkle designs on his pants which have red and white stripes on the sides. The Brawny Boxer looks really great in Blue, and the boxing gloves are just wonderful substitutes for regular Lego hands.
Horseback rider “Riding her way to the last hurdle, this athlete won’t be horsing around when it comes to winning!”
A surprise addition from me, seeing as how Equestrian events aren’t very definitive Olympic events in my book but a very welcome one either way! The Horseback Rider, which funnily enough doesn’t have an exaggerated adjective to her name, looks smashing in her riding attire. Decked out in a black coat, she sports a scarf (or is it a cravat?) around her neck, white pants and black riding boots! She’s got a nice sash which has Team GB running along it.
The standout accessory for the Horseback Rider is without a doubt her riding cap which…wait for it, is attached to a hairpiece! Haven’t seen these outside of the Friends Summer Sets, so it’s great that I finally own a hat like this. Although I have to say that I was pretty disappointed that it’s made out of the rubbery kind of plastic and not regular Lego ABS plastic. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that even compared with other rubbery plastic Lego accessories, the Horseback Rider’s feels exceptionally low quality and cheap. To add insult to injury, when I removed it from the packaging, there was an incredibly strong plastic smell to it. The smell has since faded, but it just reeked of some cheap toy that rolled out of a dodgy Chinese factory. Also, the printing is shoddy as well, where the cap ends and the ponytail begins. Not cool, Lego.
Relay Runner “Sprinting to reach the winning line, could this give Team GB a relay team victory?”
Personally, the most boring minifig out of the bunch, the Relay Runner is a decent attempt by Lego to capture the spirit of one of the more exciting and high profile Olympic events, Athletics. Seeing that track athletes don’t have props and usually just rely on their legs to compete, there wasn’t really much that Lego could do to jazz it up beyond this. The Relay Runner sports the same spiky hairpiece as Series 6’s Sleepyhead, and is attired in pretty traditional looking track singlet. Strangely enough… Lego has always had problems with getting the minifig’s skin colour printed on torsos to match the actual yellow, but in this case they almost nailed it. I hope this sets a precedent for other sets. We also get a little Easter Egg in the form of the “1948”, which was the year London last hosted the Olympics. Pretty neat! Oh, and he also comes with a relay baton, which in my honest opinion, is way too long and just looks weird.
Wondrous Weightlifter “Powerlifting his personal best, the crowd looks on as this burley guy weighs up his chances of going for gold.”
Yes, he’s really called the Wondrous Weightlifter. Wondrous. I’ve never heard a weightlifter being labelled that before. One of the standout figures thanks to his eye-catching red colour scheme and weights, Lego perfectly captured the look and feel of Olympic weightlifters with the Wondrous Weightlifter. His expression is oddly fitting as well, confident but looking like he’s going to crap his pants at any moment, accentuated by the beads of sweat running down his face – Lego have pretty much designed the ultimate constipated face. The Weights come in blue and are exactly like the ones in Series 2’s Weightlifter. I really like the Weightlifter and I wish I had gotten more out of the packs.
Judo Fighter “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.”
The Judo Fighter is another one of my favourites from Team GB, owing to the simplicity and minimalist design of the Judo uniform. I think Martial Arts Lego Minifigs are always neat (like Series 2’s Karate Master) and fingers crossed we get some Muay Thai figs next. The Judo Master has a very calm and collected expression going on, which is suited to Judo’s fighting style I suppose. She’s got the Team GB Lion printed on her left breast. Oh, the Judo Fighter also has the distinction of being the ONLY Team GB minifig to have back printing, which is why she scores pretty highly in my book.
Here we go, a spectacular monochromatic Team GB lion on the back. Very very stylish.
Flexible Gymnast “Balance and co-ordination is the name of the game for this agile Olympic contender.”
Got to say that after the Brawny Boxer, the Flexible Gymnast comes in second for my favourite Team GB minifig simply because it’s pretty much perfectly designed. Right from the hairpiece, to the facial expression, to the wonderfully designed Leotard, the Flexible Gymnast scores all the right kind of points. The Leotard design deserves special praise, and I’ve seen some other builders convert them to Synchronized Swimmers as well. The Flexible Gymnast has one of the sweetest smiles I’ve ever seen on a female minifig. In addition to the great fig, you also get a little balance beam, made out of 2 white 1×1 bricks and a tan 1×4 plate which is a nice little touch. Would’ve been terrific if we had a ball, but hey I’m not complaining. If there was anything that prevents the Flexible Gymnast in being the perfect minifig, it’s the lack of back printing.
Agile Archer “Complete with bow in hand, let’s hope this little fella will be on target on the day!”
Another great addition to the Lego Team GB squad, the Agile Archer is a cute piece of work, that hits the bullseye when it comes to minifig design. First up, the hair piece! If it looks familiar, it maybe because you’ve seen it on Superman previously, and now we get it in ginger! The winking face has got to be one of the neatest facial expressions on a Lego Collectible Minifigure head since the Mime and I can see a whole lot of applications and uses for it. Also nice that the colour of his eyebrows matches his hair. He’s got a cheeky, almost cocky smile going on which fits perfectly with his wink. His attire is not bad, with a noticeable guard on his left side on a V-Neck Team GB shirt, capped off with a blue track suit with white lining on its sides. He’s got a black gloved hand and a regular bow to hit the target. A very pleasing addition to the Team GB contingent.
The Stealth Swimmer “Like a fish in the water, the Stealth Swimmer is ready to torpedo through the water into pole position.”
Yes. He really is called the Stealth Swimmer and no, I don’t know why. I didn’t know stealth was an important element in swimming, or in any sport for that matter. The Stealth Swimmer was the rarest minifig in my haul of 25 packs. I only got 1 out of them all. In comparison, I got like 5 Judo Fighters. First up, damn, what a sexy minifig, with his ripped body and water dripping all over him and those tiny, tiny speedos! They used a generic naked male torso with little water droplets on it, and I foresee it coming in handy for any beach scenes I might create in the future. His cap has the team GB logo on it, although you can’t really see it in this picture. Oh, and he doesn’t have a reversible head like Series 7’s swimmer. Overall an okay minifig, I’m not that big a fan of swimmers.
Each Team GB minifig also comes with a gold medal, the very same one that was introduced in Series 7’s Swimmer. I kept them out of the individual shots as they kind of obstruct the view of their attire and torsos.
As I was taking pictures of Team GB, I decided to shoot a few fun ones, to show them in action and got a little help from Lego’s Collectible Minifigure alumni…
Here’s the Horseback Rider on her horse. Yup, that’s the very same steed she loaned from Gandalf. The Nazgul horses were unfortunately barred from competing in the Lego Olympics.
Series 2’s Weightlifter goes up against Team GB’s contender. Looks like he’s struggling with his weights!
I’ve been waiting SO long for a worthy opponent for my Red Boxer. This is one of my favourite pictures I’ve taken of my minifigs.
I like this picture too, of the relay runners passing the baton to one another.
Don’t mess with the Judo Fighter! She’s break you!
Hitting the bullseye should be a piece of cake for Team GB’s Archer.
Tennis masters from the Lego universe go head to head for Olympic glory. Who will emerge triumphant?
And last but not least, a showdown between Team GB’s Archer and some characters that should only belong in fantasy – an Elf, and Hawkeye from The Avengers. Not sure if Hawkeye’s technologically advanced bow should be allowed..
Final Thoughts: A great addition to the Lego Collectible Minifigures roster, this time with a fully sports-oriented lineup of minifigs. If you can somehow get your hands on them, I highly recommend doing so simply because of how rare and exclusive they are. Sellers from the UK are going to make a killing on these minifigs, selling them to collectors around the world. A good mix of everything, and no noticeable duds, just the fact that we get real life athletes shrunken down into minifig size is reason enough for you to pick them up. Also a great way to get into the Olympics spirit!