Here we are, at the final part of my Series 11 review where I’ll be writing about the Diner Waitress, Scientist, Island Warrior, Gingerbread Man, Mountain Climber and Scarecrow.
For Part 1 where I featured the Yeti, Welder, Saxophone Player, Constable and Holiday Elf, click here!
For Part 2 where I featured the Evil Mech, Pretzel Girl, Grandma, Barbarian and Lady Robot, click here!
I’ve saved the best minifigs for last, so let’s get ahead with my review!
Diner Waitress “Really? You’re sure that’s what you want?”
“Hi darlin’, my name’s Tara and I’m your waitress tonite. What d’ya feel like eatin’?” Here’s a very American concept, the roller-skating diner waitress. I did some research (read: Googling and Wikipedia) and discovered that the correct term for them are carhops, as they were waitresses who would bring food to people in their cars at drive-in restaurants in 1950s America.
The Diner Waitress catches your eyes immediately with her pale yellow torso and legs. I’m quite a fan of this new shade of yellow. She’s got a brand new hairpiece which has her hair up in a ponytail with a cool little swirl up the front. Unfortunately, from the moment you pick her hairpiece up you can immediately tell that it’s from China as the quality feels very suspect. No defects or anything, in fact the colour is pretty nice but it just feels too light to the touch.
She’s got a very nicely printed head, sporting a huge friendly green and bright blue cat eye glasses. The Diner Waitress also has the distinction of being the only minifig in Series 11 with dual-sided face printing. Her alternate face shows her more irritable side, quite possibly because of fussy customers.
Her torso printing is nice with a heart necklace on her as well as her “Tara” nametag. The only thing that feels a little off is that her neck area isn’t the same shade of yellow as her heads of arm but that tiny detail will escape most people. She’s even got a cool little apron that extends down towards her legs and if you look really closely, you can see her order pad tucked into it. It’s pretty neat but can look disjointed if you bend her legs too much.
In terms of accessories, she’s a clear winner. She’s got a new oval tray with a little hole in the bottom which she can comfortably hold on to. We’re also given a sundae which is made out of a tall transparent glass with pink bubbles attached to it. The pink bubble piece is pretty rare so it’s always nice to get some. Topping her whole look off are her bright pink roller skates which fit nicely and tightly on her legs. They have a hole at the bottom so that they fit nicely unto studs. There’s quite a few hit and misses like her hairpiece and weird neck printing but after awhile, the minifig’s kinda grown on me and will have no problem fitting into any food-themed City sets.
How To Find One: I’d say the most obvious giveaway is her oval tray which is easily identifiable due to its shape and little hole in the middle. You can also try feeling for the tall glass. The roller skates might be a little hard to feel seeing as they’re quite small (think a 1×1 tile).
Minifig Rating: 7/10
Scientist “I wonder what will happen if I put THIS together with THAT…”
Meet Professor C. Bodin, the unwitting Series 11 Minifig that has been making headlines across the web as Lego’s first female scientist! Check out just a small sample of articles featuring her:
- Shattering The Plastic Ceiling: Why It Matters That LEGO Just Created A Female Scientist (Think Progress)
- Lego Unveils First Female Lego Scientist (ABC News)
- Breaking Brick Stereotypes: LEGO Unveils a Female Scientist (Scientific American)
In the same way that Computer Engineer Barbie set the world alight when she was first introduced, Professor C. Bodin is also making waves amongst progressive blogs simply due to the fact that women in scientific fields are a bit of a rarity. Writers across the web have lauded Lego’s decision to feature a female minifig in not only a non-female stereotype role but in a role that is traditionally associated and dominated by men.
I can definitely see the appeal of a female Scientist minifigure and I am fully behind voices calling for more female representation in Lego. From Series 1, we’ve always had more male minifigs in each series which I can understand seeing as how most Lego fans are boys. You know what, I have too many male Lego minifigures, so I’d love to see more female minifigs included and no, not just in the aimed at the female market Friends sets (which I am a HUGE fan of, by the way).
Back to the review! The Scientist looks great, with her hair tied up in a neat ponytail and a confident smile on her face. I love the bit in her bio that tells us that she won the coveted Nobrick Prize for her discovery of the theoretical system/DUPLO Interface). It’s pretty cute and I encourage you to read her entire bio on the Lego website. The Scientist has a lab coat on over a purple top which peeks through her neck area.
Her coat has some very nice detail on it, with a breast pocket that has a purple pen inside as well as her name tag, which is really tiny that I had to download a Magnifying Glass app on my phone to properly read! Her lab coat runs all the way down to her legs, which also has 2 pockets on it, which speaks volumes of the Scientist’s sensible nature since most women’s pants have no pockets or barely functional decorative ones. She’s got 2 light blue latex gloves and 2 beakers of blue and green chemicals. Perhaps she’s experimenting with new Lego brick colours?
How To Find One: The parts for the Scientist are a little sparse so your best bet would be to find her beakers.
Minifig Rating: 7/10
Island Warrior “Go away now!”
Here’s one of the standout minifigs of Series 11, the Island Warrior. He features prominently on the packaging simply due to his giant tribal mask. At first I was pretty excited to get my hands on the Island Warrior but when I ripped open the packaging and his parts fell out I was a little disappointed because the material that his mask is made of isn’t your typical sturdy ABS plastic but the rubbery variety we’re starting to see more and more recently.
I was also surprised that the mask was attached to his head via the neck as I expected his headpiece to be full headgear that goes right on his head. I was also delighted to find out that he has a hairpiece and bone attached. If you’re old enough like me, you’d remember the Islanders theme, a short-lived Pirates subtheme in the early 90s. I have fond memories of the Islanders theme as I owned the Enchanted Island when I was a kid. It’s great to see Lego giving us a minifig from that era and only serves to confirm my suspicions that we’ll be getting a brand new Pirate theme in 2014 with Islanders.
The Islander has some pretty cool tribal tattoos printed on his torso as well as some tribal accessories such as a necklace and sash that looks like it was made with bones, teeth and a shrunken skull. He’s got a neat grass skirt which is very nicely painted on as well as a traditional spear as his weapon.
Alas, I seemed to have terrible luck with Series 11. When I opened my package I discovered that my Island Warrior’s Tribal Mask was a little warped out of shape. If you look at the image above, you can see that the neckpiece is a little bent out of shape which makes the mask sit at a very lopsided angle on the Island Warrior.
Look at how weirdly it sits. Frankly, it’s a bit of a disappointment that the quality of minifig accessories are once again not up to scratch. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’re quite accustomed to me complaining about the abysmal quality of Lego parts that I’m starting to encounter. I know that it’s unrealistic to expect 100% perfection when it comes to manufacturing but these defects are cropping up more and more and from a company built upon the philosophy of “Only the best is good enough”, it’s a little disheartening. Lego, I love you to bits, but you’ve gotta tighten up your QC standards.
You get quite a lot of bang for your buck with the Island Warrior, especially the impressive looking mask. It would’ve been perfect if the mask was a proper helmet and made out of proper ABS plastic but even despite these flaws, its still a remarkable minifig and I am looking forward to a new Pirates theme!
How To Find One: The Island Warrior is one of the easiest to identify due to his big squishy mask. It’s soft and rubbery and if you can’t find it, you can also try looking for his spear. Just make sure you don’t confuse it with the Scarecrow’s pitchfork!
Minifig Rating: 8/10
Mountain Climber “No cliff too steep, no peak too high!”
Here filling in the spot for Adrenaline Junkie minifig previously filled by luminaries like the Daredevil and Skydiver is the Mountain Climber. He’s a pretty average minifg, as there’s nothing that really stands out.
The Mountain Climber has a bright red helmet, the same type as the Skydiver’s one and countless Skateboarders and is arrayed in bright red climbing gear. On his torso and legs, he has an array of cables and carabiners which should keep him safely tethered to the mountain side and prevent him from falling to his death. He also has a badge that suggests that he’s a medical personnel and more of a rescue climber than one that scales the side of cliffs as a hobby. He’ll walk into any Rescue-themed City set without much trouble.
We’re given a new (I think) rope piece that’s made out of rubbery plastic and a pickaxe. It’s a peculiar addition to a Mountain Climber since pickaxes are more often than not used to break rocky surfaces. I struggle to think what a Mountain Climber would do with one as it’s a piece of equipment more suited to a Miner. My guess is that it’s supposed to be an ice axe but Lego were unwilling to commission a new part just for this specific minifig. So just use your imagination and pretend it’s an ice axe!
How To Find One: The pickaxe is pretty easy to pick out (pardon the pun!) due to its unique shape. You can also try feeling for the rope piece, which I encountered a lot when feeling through bags of Series 11.
Minifig Rating: 6/10
Gingerbread Man “Try and catch me!”
The Gingerbread Man is one of Series 11’s most anticipated minifgis and the hype is totally justifiable. He’s such an incredibly cute minifig and with his incredibly unique headpiece, was in no doubt of being a hot favourite among collectors.
A staple fairy tale character and a common sight in bakeries around Christmas, the Lego designers absolutely nailed and captured the essence and charm of the Gingerbread Man. He’s got a little biscuit head with some stuffing in the middle (think an Oreo cookie), a body that’s peppered with little dots that makes him look like something that’s just popped out of an oven.
Viewing him from the side gives you a better look at his head. It’s fascinating that Lego went with this direction instead of giving us a solid head and I’m rather impressed with it as it makes his head look more like a cookie. He’s got a goofy smile made out of icing and eyes that sink a little it into his head to give it more texture and depth.
He’s also got some neat icing arm printing which is beginning to become a norm with the Collectible Minifigures. Unfortunately the back of his head and torso are devoid of detail, which is a pity but it doesn’t detract too much from the minifig.
This is perhaps the most hilarious novelty cup to be included with a minifig. There’s just something intrinsically funny about a minifig inspired by a cookie to be holding a cup with the words “Dunk Me”. It’s the best novelty cup yet and I hope we get a lot more of these cups.
The Gingerbread Man is a hot favourite and perhaps the most popular minifig in Series 11 but is it my favourite? Ever since the pictures of Series 11 were leaked online, I thought this would be my favourite pick from Series 11 but it seems to be have been bested by another. Read on to find out who my favourite is.
How To Find One: The Gingerbread Man’s head is really easy to find because of its flat circular shape. You can also try feeling for his cup.
Minifig Rating: 10/10
Scarecrow “Let me know if you see any birds around here!”
I have to say, the Scarecrow absolutely blew me away. I didn’t expect this minifigure to be so endearing and I have to admit that it only slightly edges out the Gingerbread Man as standout minifig of Series 11. It strikes off every single criteria I have of a great minifig, which is something you don’t often come across!
First off, the moment you look at it you can instantly tell that it’s a scarecrow. The hallmark of every great minifig is in its details and how easy it is to identify it and the Scarecrow achieves both with relative ease. We’ve got a new hat which looks amazing. It’s not your typical fedora either as it has a wider and floppier brim with a piece of string surrounding it. They didn’t have to do it, but they even painted on a little patch on the left side of the hat. Stunning attention to detail and it gives the Scarecrow so much more flavour.
The Scarecrow’s head is nothing short of amazing. With eyes made out of buttons, a sewed on mouth and eyebrows and scuff marks al around his face to give it a look that his head is made out of hay – his head is a beauty to behold.
I’m going to be featuring more photos than usual simply due to the fact that there’s just so much detail on the Scarecrow, I feel obliged to show him off as best I can. Moving downwards to his torso, he’s wearing an old brown coloured flannel shirt with holes that are covered in a number of different coloured patches. Have I said how amazing the detail on his torso is? You can see bits of hay and straw sticking out of his shirt in areas and even a small head of corn sticking out of his breast pocket.
He’s got a small sash tied around his waist that extends all the way down to his legs, which are painted blue and covered with 3 more patches that are in two different shades of brown. To drive my point further about the level of detail, he’s even got sleeve printing on both arms which includes a patch on his right arm AND back printing. Amazing, amazing stuff. Truly one of the most perfect detailed minifigs I’ve ever encounted in all 11 Series of Collectible Minifigures.
To top it all off, he’s got a black crow perched on top of his hat which we first saw in Johnny Depp’s character, Tonto in The Lone Ranger theme earlier this year. We also get a pitchfork which is always nice to have since we haven’t been getting any farm-themed sets in some time. All in all, Lego absolutely nailed it with the Scarecrow. I’m definitely going to be picking up multiples of him.
How To Find One: Avoid looking for his hat since you could get confused with the Saxophone Player. The best way to find him would be his pitchfork. Do be careful that you’re not confusing the pitchfork with the Tiki Warrior’s spear since they’re both long and skinny to the touch.
Minifig Rating: 10/10
Final Thoughts: So that concludes my review on the smashing Series 11 of Lego’s Collectible Minifigures. I have to say that in terms of the characters and parts included, this has been the most interesting Series so far. They didn’t include any gimmicks like Series 10’s Mr. Gold so they really had to pull out the stops and make Series 11 as interesting as possible and to an extent they did.
My favourite picks in Series 11 have to be the Scarecrow, Yeti, Constable, Grandma, Saxophone Player, Welder and Gingerbread Man. It seems that we got quite a female-versions of minifigs that appeared in previous Series which is a great thing for collectors and those that like to display minifigs. We also got a fair number of minifigs with arm printing, which is something I expect to see more from Lego in the coming months. More detail on minifigs are alway better.
The not-so-good parts were the huge number of manufacturing defects I encountered. I asked around in other Lego forums and was stunned to discover that these cases were not isolated and that many others had discovered shoddy printing on their Holiday Elves. I know how much of a cash cow the Collectible Minifigures are to Lego and I really hope that they start cracking down on shoddy parts and manufacturing processes and reduce these instances of less than satisfactory products rolling off the production line.
Will this be the last Series we’re getting? I’ve heard so many rumours that Lego is going to be retiring the Collectible Minifigs and that Series 11 would be the last, to rumours that we’re getting Superhero/Friends blind packets next. I think this isn’t the end of the road and that Lego still have tons of characters for future Series down the road. I’ll definitely be waiting patiently for Series 12.
Thanks for reading and if you’re still hunting for these minifigs, this weekend will be a great time to pick them up if you’re living in Australia. David Jones has 20% of all Lego this weekend and Myer has 20% off this Saturday (21 September 2013). If you’re a Myer One member, you get 10% off with this coupon.
Previous Series 11 Reviews: