When you mix the an iconic toy brand with the longest running television series, only one outcome is possible – pure, unadulterated hype. To celebrate The Simpsons’ 25th anniversary, LEGO have teamed up with Twentieth Century Fox to collaborate on official licensed Simpsons toys which gave us The Simpsons House set and now, The Simpsons Collectible Minifigures containing the most important (arguably) characters in Springfield in minifig form.
The Simpsons Collectible minifigures represent a bold departure from LEGO’s convention of taking pop culture characters and LEGO-fying them into the usual minifigure form. With ultra detailed head moulds, contoured as precisely as possible to The Simpsons’ characters on TV, they are both bizarre and impressive all at once, and may be a little bit too much if you’re a bit of a LEGO purist and despise custom moulds and looks.
If you’re the kind of person who picketed outside LEGO’s headquarters in Billund when LEGO broke away from their simple smiley faces, you will probably hate these. But if you’re one of the many millions of people who have embraced the viral growth and evolution of the minifigure, I bet you’ll be excited about these brand new minifigures, eagerly welcoming them to your collection.
Released worldwide on the 1st of May, just in time for crossover episode which aired today in the states, The LEGO Simpsons Collectible Minifigures follow the long standing tradition of 16 unique characters hidden in blind bags. These will cost you $4 in the US and $5 if you’re in Australia and can be found in most shops and retailers with a toy department.
I’ve been a longtime fan of LEGO’s collectible minifigure series and I always look forward to reviewing the latest set, which will also include a guide on how to identify and feel them up to help you find the minifigures that you want and hopefully not end up with multiples. No one likes multiples when it comes to collectible minifigs unless you’re in the business of army building. For more information on the box breakdown, availability in Australia and pictures of the instructions, check out my previous post here which has all the finer details.
If you’re a new reader, I typically split up my reviews into 2 parts. For Part 1, I’ll be reviewing The Simpsons family – Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Grampa in addition to some of their closest friends, Ned Flanders and Milhouse.
Homer J. Simpson
Homer is the perfect father, at least in his own mind. He’s loving (of burgers), devoted (to napping), and patient (when he has no other choice). His interests include hanging out with his pals at Moe’s Tavern, and getting fired from his job at the Springfield Nuclear Plant almost every week.
Homer is the bumbling, dim-witted yet loveable father and husband that has become the gold standard when it comes to American sitcom fathers who are well-meaning but hopelessly clueless when it comes to family life.
His minifigure likeness is moulded with absolute precision, featuring an oblivious facial expression that captures his lack of brainpower and ignorance of his surroundings. All that is okay, because he has two of his favourite things in the world – a television remote and sprinkled donut which are great accessories to have. I’m especially fond of printed donut tile.
The printing and moulding of his headpiece are sublime, nailing all the right features such as Homer’s stubble, receding hairline, wispy hairs at the top of his mostly bald head and round bulbous eyes. His attire is a little drab, just a plain white polo t-shirt with no back printing and sky blue pants. I wish they had included more details such as some back printing or even some donut speckles on his shirt, but at least we get a solitary curved line to indicate his beer belly as consolation. That being said, the minifigure is more or less true to his appearance in the TV show, so I can’t fault it there.
How To Find One: Homer is one of the easier minifigs to identify thanks to the remote control which is a flat 1 X 2 tile or the donut piece which is a round 1 X 1 tile. They’re both fairly easy to identify if you spend enough time shaking the bag to let the small parts break away from the other components, and they’re both unique to Homer so you won’t run the risk of mistaking anyone else for Homer.
Minifig Rating: 8/10
On the outside, Marge may look like an average American housewife with a three-foot-tall hairdo, a green dress that she wears every single day, and a necklace made of big red circles. But anyone who would actually enjoy being Homer’s wife and Bart’s mother is a force to be reckoned with!
Marge is instantly recognizable with her trademark extended blue beehive hairdo and is best known for her almost limitless patience in addition to being the voice of reason, sanity and stability in the Simpsons household. Just like Homer, I felt that they replicated Marge’s look exceptionally well and they’ve gone a great job making her into a LEGO minifigure due to her oversized hairpiece which unfortunately doesn’t detach from her head (no Simpsons minifigures have detachable hair or head accessories).
She’s equipped with a pink handbag that has previously appeared in LEGO Friends sets and a Donut Fancy printed tile. The Donut Fancy magazine appears in The Simpsons opening sequence when Marge is at the checkout counter and is a neat novelty element. They’ve kinda gone crazy with novelty tiles in The Simpsons minifigures which I guess is a cheapish way of printing Simpsons references onto LEGO pieces without investing in more moulds.
Unlike her husband, Marge has some much needed back printing to give her minifig a more complete look. She has a skirt accessory which I guess is an extension of her iconic green dress. You know the one thing I hate more than LEGO sticker decals? These tacky fabric skirt things – they just don’t belong on minifigures. Capes are cool. Skirts are not.
Curiously, Marge’s hair has a fairly large hole embedded into it. At first I thought this was a place to insert accessories such as a LEGO stick piece but it wouldn’t fit, so my guess is that it’s to prevent children from suffocating in the unlikely event of them swallowing Marge’s head.
I did a tutorial on how to fold skirt pieces in my Series 7 review of the Bagpiper. It’s the same kind of piece, so you can use the same steps to properly fold Marge’s skirt/dress piece.
Like Homer, Marge looks great except for the skirt bit and should be a must buy for anyone out there who wants to collect the main Simpsons family. Her accessories are fairly average but I can’t think of anything else I’d include over the handbag and Donut Fancy tile.
How To Find One: Marge is the easiest Simpsons minifigure to feel and identify. Simply look for her elongated oversized head which has a bubbly texture to it. You won’t miss her.
Minifig Rating: 8/10
Bart is a spirited and creative young boy whose antics keep everyone on their toes. That’s a nice way of saying that he’s a mischievous trouble-maker with a poor attention span and impulse-control issues. But underneath that, he’s got a big heart. Probably. Sometimes it’s hard to be sure.
The mischievous Bart Simpson, otherwise known as El Barto is the eldest sibling of The Simpson family. Known for his trouble-making antics and vendetta with Principle Skinner, Bart is quite simply a brat with a heart of gold.
Bart comes with his lime green skateboard which has purple wheels and a red strip printed on it which is a nice touch. LEGO has thankfully spared us from skateboard accessories in recent minifigure series (there seemed to be a skateboard guy or girl in every series early on) so it’s nice to have this accessory return. Bart has quite a blank expression, which is okay but I do wish that they had moulded a more cheeky or mischievous look onto him more befitting of his reputation as terrorizer of Springfield.
A remarkable bit of detail which totally surprised me was this nifty little back printing of a slingshot which extends all the way on to his shorts. I own The Simpsons House and this was absent from Bart, so it was a very pleasant surprise and I have never owned a minifigure with printing on the back part of its legs. Not sure if this is the first time it’s happened, but I absolutely love it. His clothes are plain but that’s just what he looks like in the cartoon.
Speaking of (eat my) shorts, LEGO has introduced special
shorts moulded legs in The Simpsons minifigures where different coloured plastics are used to create the leg, instead of printing. where the thighs have a noticable curve instead of just being straight like regular minifigure legs. All of the squat Can’t wait to see these rolled out to regular minifigs since I like the added twist to short minifigures.minifigures in The Simpsons minifigures have these shorts instead of the normal short legs.
How To Find One: Bart is also easy to find because of his skateboard, which is shaped like a flat pill. Another easy way to tell that you have Bart is by feeling for the skateboard wheels which look like little weights (barbells or dumbbells) and are usually not attached to the skateboard piece. You can also try to feel his spiky hair, which has a flat, oblong shape with spikes on the top.
Minifig Rating: 9/10
Lisa is a constant model of good conduct and creativity. It’s a little lonely being the only completely decent and sensible person in all of Springfield, but Lisa does her best. If nothing else, she always has her saxophone and a new political cause every five minutes to keep her company.
Lisa Simpson always reminds me of my younger sister, the smart one, the one who’s mature beyond her years and quite possibly the only sensible one in the family. Lisa Simpson in minifigure form is another great replica of her TV character, with large thoughtful eyes and her iconic star/spikey hairdo.
Like her mother, she also has back printing, and a jagged skirt piece which I am once again not a fan of. The printing on her neck area is much darker than her skin tone which makes it look very weird, but torso printing that matches the yellow minifig skin colour has always been an issue – something you’d expect LEGO to fix by now.
Lisa comes with her saxophone, an accessory that was sorely missing from The Simpsons House, so it’s nice to not have to borrow it from Series 11’s Saxophone Player. The saxophone mould is an exact copy but Lisa’s sax is made of pearl gold, instead of metallic gold and doesn’t have a different colour mouthpiece. Unlike Bart, she has regular short legs instead of the legs that look like shorts, if that makes much sense. There’s nothing too flashy about Lisa Simpson other than the fact that it reliably looks like Lisa Simpson on TV, which oddly enough, fits her onscreen personality and character.
How To Find One: Two things are easy to identify, Lisa’s spiky headpiece and her saxophone. When feeling through the packets, the saxophone was always very easy to pick out.
Minifig Rating: 7/10
One-year-old Maggie is the pacifier-sucking heart of the Simpson family. She may not be able to speak or walk yet, but this little bundle of joy manages to get up to some surprising adventures of her own. If she can handle growing up as a Simpson, she’ll be able to handle anything!
Maggie Simpson is quite possibly the oldest 1-year old baby in the world. A lovable member of The Simpsons family, she has on several occasions played central role in episodes and is most fondly remembered for shooting Mr. Burns in Who Shot Mr. Burns, in retaliation to him attempting to steal candy from her.
Maggie is a delightful minifigure, underscored by her body, which fuses her legs and torso to make her about two thirds the size of a regular minifigure. I’m a big fan of this torso piece as it can be reused for baby or child minifigures in addition to being exceptionally moulded. The arms kinda stick out because they can’t rest at her side but that doesn’t detract from her look at all.
Maggie is accompanied by Bobo, her beat up teddy bear that once belonged to Mr. Burns. The detailing on the teddy bear is fantastic, with a large tear on the belly revealing the stuffing, his right eye dangling precariously as well as a rough stitch on top of its head. I love that they paid so much attention to detail and did not withhold any of the fine details from Bobo.
Maggie Simpson is cute as a button and is incredibly unique thanks to her custom torso. I wonder if we’re ever going to see this torso again in other LEGO sets. I hope we do, because I’d love to get my hands on more bodies like this in different colours.
How To Find One: You can try to feel for Bobo, which has a very distinct shape. You can also try feeling for Maggie’s body, which has a rather blocky and chunky feel to it due to it’s size. It’s neither a torso, nor a leg piece, so if you feel a body part that’s out of the ordinary, chances are you’ve got your hands on Maggie Simpson. Be sure to double check and find the bear if possible!
Minifig Rating: 9/10
Abraham “Grampa” Simpson
Old Abe Simpson is a babbling fountain of questionable wisdom and advice that is almost impossible to shut off. He clearly remembers taking part in important historical events that happened long before he was born, as well as others that may never have actually occurred at all.
Part patriarch of the Simpsons family and part senile geriatric, Grampa Simpson is one of my favourite characters in The Simpsons due to how old he is and the antics that he and his family puts himself through. Homer seems to dislike Abe most of the time and is a caricature of how the elderly gets treated. One of my favourite Simpsons gags is when Grampa Simpson rallies the other seniors at the Springfield old folks home to go on adventures and cause all sorts of old-people trouble.
Hands down, my favourite accessory in this series – the hilarious Old Man Yells At Cloud newspaper tile. The humour is so juvenile yet it somehow works, which is the cornerstone of the charm and timeless quality of the jokes in The Simpsons. The tile is printed beautifully, with nary a stray print or detail and the inked illustration looking pristine and crisp.
Abraham Simpsons’ face and head is also ridiculously detailed with wrinkles and that old-person texture executed remarkably well. My only complaint is the sloppy printing of his glasses, specifically the black line which I felt could be a lot sharper. There’s also no back printing on Grampa Simpson which makes him look plain, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the source material uses a lot of block colours and minimal details. That being said, Abraham is a great looking minifigure.
How To Find One: Abraham Simpson may seems a little tricky at first and the best way to identify him is to rule out all other possibilities. First off, a good indicator that you’re on the right path is the 2 X 2 tile. The other characters in this series that have a 2 X 2 tile are Marge (make sure there’s no oversized hairpiece, which is fairly easy) and Milhouse and Ralph Wiggum. Milhouse and Ralph both have short legs, so if you identify a 2 X 2 tile, regular long minifigure legs and NO Marge headpiece, you’ve got yourself Abraham Simpson!
Minifig Rating: 9/10
With the Simpsons as his next-door neighbors, Ned Flanders has to put up with a whole lot of noise and trouble – and does so with infuriating cheerfulness. The more decent and kind he is, the more it drives Homer crazy. He can’t figure out what’s wrong with the guy!
Hey diddly-ho, it’s everyone’s favourite neighbourino, Ned Flanders! Ned is almost like family to The Simpsons. The ultra-religious next door neighbour that often gets taken advantage of by Homer because to his Christian values and timid nature is one of the funnier characters in the TV show thanks to how straight-laced he is, in addition to his constant fear that the devil will corrupt his two sons.
Being a friendly neighbour, Ned is always ready to land a hand (and tools) to Homer Simpson who most of the time conveniently forgets to return it to his neighbour after he’s done, which has led Ned to label most of his belongings. The printed toolbox is a thing of beauty and is a great accessory to be included thanks to how personalised it is. We get another novelty cup, this time to honour one of TV’s most popular left-handers with the slogan “I love South Paws” written on it. It’s a great touch and extremely generous of LEGO to include two accessories.
Ned is attired in his trademark green sweater over a pink shirt and sadly doesn’t have any back printing as well, but that’s almost to be expected of collectible minifigures to not have back printing. His face is marvelously detailed, with his bushy moustache and glasses taking centre stage. That said, his hairpiece looks a strange attached to his face with a slight noticeable gap if you look really closely. Ned’s still a great figure and one of the most prominent characters in the TV show, and his minifigure does not disappoint at all. A Bible would’ve been the perfect accessory but I can see why LEGO would want to avoid including any overtly religious symbols in a children’s toy.
How To Find One: Ned Flanders is reasonably easy to find – all you gotta do is feel for his toolbox or cup. Both of those accessories are exclusive to Ned. Do make sure that you don’t confuse the cup for Marge’s handbag as the handles can feel alike when rustling through the blind bags.
Minifig Rating: 9/10
Milhouse Van Houten
Milhouse is Bart’s bespectacled best friend. He may look like a nerd, but don’t be fooled! After all, nerds are smart. Poor Milhouse…won’t he ever get any respect?
Milhouse is Bart’s unfortunate best friend, often teased and bullied because of his nerdiness. Milhouse was also one of the internet’s ancient memes and also has a huge crush on Lisa Simpson. Despite misfortune constantly befalling him, Milhouse did get a cameo in The LEGO Movie as a Master Builder, so it’s not all bad for him!
Milhouse looks plainer than usual and not very flashy, due to him not being a central Simpsons family member as well as having a light purple torso which doesn’t stand out as much as other bright colours. What he does have going for him is a pretty detailed head and a blank facial expression which looks a whole lot like he does in the TV series.
What’s a nerd without his comic books. Milhouse has a 2 X 2 tile with superhero Biclops, the two eyed Cyclops on it. It’s a cool nod to the TV series but nothing too outstanding if you’re not a hardcore Simpsons fan.
As mentioned, his best feature is his detailed head which looks fantastic from all angles, as well as his bushy eyebrows. The blue hair printing does look a little strange on his left parting, since it looks out of place but it’s a very tiny detail. Overall, he’s a great addition to The LEGO Simpsons ensemble, but he’s just Milhouse – not very exciting or attractive at the end of the day.
How To Find One: Milhouse and Ralph Wiggum are both an incredible pain to identify. They both only have a 2 X 2 tile as an accessory, and have short legs so the only way to tell them apart is by feeling the shape of their heads, which is a lot harder than it sounds. Because The Simpsons minifigures heads are so ridiculously detailed, it can be hard telling them apart. Milhouse’s head is not as round as Ralph’s head and has a lot more bumps and edges. It took forever to find both of them and I was always terrified that I’d make a mistake. I’ve been identifying LEGO collectible minifigures since Series 1 and I have never encountered such a difficult minifig to tell apart till these two. GOOD LUCK, cause you’ll need it!
Minifig Rating: 7/10
That concludes Part 1 of my LEGO Simpsons Minifigures review. Stay tuned for Part 2 where I review and check out the remaining 8 Simpsons characters in the next few days. Have you gotten any of The Simpsons minifigs yet? Let me know which ones are your favourite and what you thought about them in the comments!
Thanks for reading!