Hey guys, welcome back to the second and final part of my review of The Simpsons Collectible Minifigures! We’ll be taking an closer look at Apu, Chief Wiggum, Ralph, Nelson, Mr Burns, Krusty the Clown, Itchy and Scratchy for the second installment of my review. In Part 1 of my review, I checked out the main Simpsons family and some of their close friends. Part 2 will dive into some of the other colourful characters that call Springfield home.
Apu, the proprietor of the local Kwik-E-Mart store, seems to work every hour of every day (much to the dismay of his wife Manjula, who wouldn’t mind a little help with their octuplets). Occasionally, Apu likes to sneak up to his secret Kwik-E-Mart roof-garden for spiritual replenishment – and to spy on his competitors at the nearby Gulp ‘N’ Blow.
Apu is Springfield’s favourite convenience store owner, best known for his chirpy “thank you, come again!” greeting. Apu is one of the more delightful Simpsons minifigures, standing out thanks to his coffee-coloured skin. The printing on his torso is well done, looking exactly like he does in The Simpsons TV series down to his curly chest hairs peeking out. Unfortunately, Apu is an unfortunate member of the no back printing club. On the topic of back printing, I think The Simpsons series has one of the lowest numbers of characters without back printing on their torsos, which is a bit of a shame.
Apu’s face is great as well, with the printing on it generally quite sharp and accurate. His eyes are white and he doesn’t suffer from the slight yellowish tint that some of the other Simpsons characters suffer from. Not much to comment upon other than the fact that LEGO did a pretty good job getting his appearance just right. I also like his printed moustache.
Apu comes with a single accessory, a Squishee (Springfield’s version of a Slurpee) cup which is a modified version of the cup of takeaway coffee that debuted with Larry the Barista. The shape is all wrong since a Squishee should look like an actual slurpee cup with a plastic dome lid so this was a bit of a letdown. The printing is nice, but I would’ve loved it we had gotten a new beverage accessory though I understand that LEGO would want to use this cup as much as possible.
How To Find One: Apu is easily identified by feeling for the Squishee cup, which feels like a 1 X 1 round brick. There’s no other element shaped like it, so just feel around for a stubby cylindrical shape to find Apu.
Minifig Rating: 8/10
Clancy Wiggum, the donut-devouring Chief of the Springﬁeld Police Department, will do whatever it takes to keep order in his town…as long as it doesn’t involve any actual police work. Or having to wake up from his nap.
Chief Wiggum is everybody’s caricature of the fat, bumbling and useless cop that so happens to be the head of Springfield’s law enforcement. The first thing you’ll note about the minifigure is that he looks uncharacteristically skinny. It’s a little too much to expect LEGO to deviate from their iconic minifigure mould, but this is one of those times that I wish LEGO would create either an altered torsomould or a bib-like accessory to create minifigures with large bellies. It just looks a little wrong to me.
The printing on his torso is quite nice and can be used again for other police-type minifigures. He also has a belt as well as a pair of handcuffs and what I believe is pepper-spray printed on his legs, which is a really cool bit of detail since we don’t usually get a lot of leg printing. He has no back printing but he has two patches printed on both his arms which is another nice touch. It almost makes up for him not being fat. Almost.
Despite his body not looking as it should, they managed to replicate Chief Wiggum’s face and expression remarkably well, which is some form of consolation. He’s got a police hat attached to his head and a pretty oblivious stare that sits right above his pig snout-shaped nose. His look is further enhanced by a rather large and flabby neck.
If you stare very closely at his head, you’ll see that it’s actually made up of two plastic parts fused together, a condition that some other Simpsons minifigures also suffer from. It’s a really minute detail that you won’t be able to spot unless you go looking for it, but it looks really prominent through a macro lens.
To aid in his law enforcement duties (or scream at his officers Eddie & Lou), Chief Wiggum comes with a megaphone (or loud hailer) as well as a short grey-coloured police baton. It’s a pity that they didn’t include a donut tile with Wiggum as I think his gluttony and stereotypical love for donuts far eclipses his police duties. The megaphone is quite an interesting accessory because of the orange print on it, which I believe is a first when it comes to LEGO megaphones.
How To Find One: I wouldn’t normally advocate feeling the Simpsons minifigures heads since they’re quite hard to tell apart but I’ll make an exception for Chief Wiggum, since his headpiece is quite distinctive thanks to the flat area on his police hat which has a wide brim around it, which should make him quite easy to identify but if that’s not working you can always try to feel for his baton and megaphone. His megaphone feels like an extended 1 X 1 round brick, with a cone-shaped end and a little handle sticking out at a perpendicular angle.
Minifig Rating: 7/10
Ralph Wiggum, the police chief’s son, has a uniquely innocent and child-like outlook on life, as well as an extremely vivid imagination. He once claimed to have found a moon rock in his nose.
Ralph is one of my favourite Simpsons characters because of his really weird personality, underscored by plenty of his bizarre remarks and love of picking his nose. He’s a bit of a slow child, and seems to have the intellect of a child much younger than his age. One of my favourite lines from Ralph is when he eats some weird berries and exclaims “It tastes like burning” while rolling on the ground in pain. His minifigure is absolutely adorable and one of the more faithfully reproduced Simpsons minifigures, unlike his *ahem* father.
His facial expression is priceless with a wide smile and a blank stare that betrays the fact that there isn’t a whole lot going on up in his brain. He’s attired in a blue long-sleeved collared shirt, which has a belt printed on it which also has no back printing. I can look past the lack of back printing in this case because of just how adorable Ralph looks in LEGO-form.
When you look a bit closer, you can see that he lacks any sort of blemish on his face, which tells you that his face wasn’t fused onto his head. He has straight hair strands that creep down his head from a central source which further adds to his charm. From the top it looks like a sea urchin took up residence on his head.
Most of The Simpsons characters have neutral facial expressions, which detract from their minifigure’s look sometimes, but LEGO have curiously got Ralph’s personality infused into his expression, which is what makes Ralph a fantastic minifigure.
If that wasn’t enough to make you squeal with glee, Ralph also has a novelty tile, a Valentines Day card that he made for Lisa in an episode where he had a huge crush on her. It’s crazy adorable and is tied with Grampa Simpson’s newspaper tile as the best accessory referencing a specific Simpsons episode.
The only thing that I hated about Ralph is how difficult he is to find because he has the exact same accessories as Milhouse. It took me forever to tell them apart, and I was second-guessing myself all the way. Other than that, Ralph is nothing short of cute and lovable.
How To Find One: As mentioned, Ralph has the same accessories as Milhouse, a 2 X 2 tile and they both have short legs which means the only way to tell them apart is by feeling for their heads. First, you have to find a 2 X 2 tile AND check that they have short legs. Once you’re certain, you have to feel for his head. Milhouse’s head has a lot more detailed and feels a lot rougher compared to Ralph. Ralph’s head is a lot rounder and smoother compared to Milhouse. Good luck telling these apart because you’re going to need it!
Minifig Rating: 9/10
The oldest and biggest kid in Bart’s fourth-grade class, Nelson Muntz began his bullying career at the age of six months. As a three-year-old, he successfully took candy from a trained United States Marine. He probably won’t be a very upstanding citizen when he grows up.
Nelson is Bart’s chief nemesis and resident bully in Springfield, famous for making fun of unfortunate souls by pointing and delivering his signature “Ha-Ha” laugh. In minifigure form, they did an alright version of making him look like his TV counterpart, although I would’ve preferred him to have a more scowling or sinister look which could’ve been achieved by arching his eyes slightly.
He’s definitely one of the more boring looking characters when compared to the others due to his very plain and underwhelming torso and choice of accessory – a baseball bat. His torso is pretty terrible looking, consisting of two curved lines which are supposed to represent his vest that he wears over his t-shirt. It just comes off as lazy, as I felt that a few more fabric details (or a tummy) would’ve made him look a lot more palatable.
At least the moulding and details of his head are pretty nice. His hair is quite good looking, with a small tuft at the front and long hair on the back. Nelson’s look is very neanderthal-like thanks to his extended mouth, protruding teeth and slouchy posture. I also wish that they had enlarged his nose slightly as I felt that it looks a bit too small on his face.
The lackluster torso print (no back printing too) and boring accessory makes Nelson Muntz one of the least desirable minifigs in this series, which is a shame because they could’ve added in another Springfield character in his spot such as Moe or Comic Book Guy. Actually scratch that, Comic Book Guy wouldn’t be a great addition until we get a properly large bellied minifigure so he doesn’t look weird like Chief Wiggum.
How To Find One: Look for Nelson’s baseball bat, which is a long thin stick that has a rough indented texture near the handle.
Minifig Rating: 5/10
Itchy is a zany cartoon mouse who cheerfully squishes, crushes and mangles his perpetual unwitting victim, Scratchy the Cat, to the delight of young television-watching children everywhere.
Itchy is a cartoon character from the Itchy and Scratchy TV show that is extremely popular with kids in Springfield due to its graphic violence – a caricature of how accepting American culture is of violence on television screens. Think of it as a gory version of Tom & Jerry and you’ll get the idea. Itchy is a mouse who often outwits his counterpart Scratchy, who usually ends up dismembered in the episodes.
Itchy has a specially moulded mouse head which is unfortunately made out of squishy rubbery plastic – a bit of a letdown since the texture and quality of that plastic is always inferior to regular LEGO. This also means that his snout and ears are slightly flexible and bendable. I also noticed a few fine cracks in the head, which probably occurred when the rubber hardens during the manufacturing process. Again, it’s a really minute detail but I like my LEGO to be as perfect as possible. On the left side of his face, there’s also a strange round imprint.
Despite these niggling flaws, Itchy’s minifigure is pretty cool looking (because we don’t get Mouse-minifigures that often) and he comes equipped with a Caveman’s club, a useful weapon when it comes to bludgeoning his feline counterpart. The printing on his torso is decent, with details like his orange vest and body. Overall, I found the minifigure to be pretty average – not too flashy but unique enough to not be boring.
How To Find One: Itchy’s spiked club is pretty easy to find thanks to its unique shape. If that fails, you can alternatively try feeling for his headpiece, which feels rubbery and squishy and is easily identifiable thanks to Itchy’s big round ears.
Minifig Rating: 7/10
Scratchy is a thoughtful and kind-hearted cartoon feline who wants nothing more than to eat his best friend Itchy. Unfortunately for him, Itchy is a lot better at tormenting cats than Scratchy is at catching mice!
Turning the convention of cat’s being the one terrorizing mice, Scratchy is the unfortunate victim of Itchy’s schemes and tends to end up in a violent pile of severed body parts in The Itchy and Scratchy show. I like Scratchy’s minifigure a lot more than Itchy’s due to his much more interesting appearance. He’s essentially a giant man-sized cat monster, which sounds every bit as awesome as you might imagine.
Scratchy’s head is ridiculously detailed and like Itchy’s is also made out of squishy plastic although it doesn’t feel as rubbery as it’s got a much more compact design with only his ears sticking out. Everything from his sallow coloured eyes, pink button nose, pointy teeth and tongue sticking out work quite well together to create a very feline look.
Scratchy also has a very peculiar and noticeable round spirally imprint at the back of his head, which looks really weird and reflects on the sloppy manufacturing process. I understand that it’s a really unique mould but you’d think that LEGO would be able to reduce the number of noticeable flaws.
Scratchy has one of the more interesting accessories that LEGO have produced in a long time, an actual tail which goes in between the torso and legs! It’s a really unique way of making him slightly taller than your usual minifigures and a neat way of adding a more sizable tail to existing minifigures. He also comes with an axe, which isn’t particularly new. I can only think of one issue when it comes to reusing his tail with other minifigures – matching the colour exactly, which I guess can be circumvented by using Scratchy’s legs to ensure colour uniformity.
How To Find One: The axe accessory is quite possibly the easiest element to pick out but you can also try feeling for his tail-piece or head-piece. Shouldn’t be too hard finding Scratchy with so many unique elements.
Minifig Rating: 8/10
Monty Burns is the owner of the Nuclear Plant, Homer’s boss, and officially the Most Despised Man in Springﬁeld. A merciless multi-billionaire with a heart of lead, Mr. Burns enjoys taking long walks on the beach…where he dumps radioactive waste into the ocean.
Everyone’s favourite person to hate in Springfield, Mr Burns is an excellent addition to the LEGO Simpsons minifigures series and one of the figs that I was initially excited about. He’s like an evil Scrooge McDuck, using his enormous wealth to push around the little people and unnaturally extend his health, which may or may not have deteriorated due to his constant exposure to radiation from the Nuclear Power Plant.
Montgomery Burns comes with two fantastic accessories, both of which are great references to specific episodes in The Simpsons. The first is a transparent green lightsaber piece, better known as the Inanimate carbon rode which you might remember from The Simpsons opening montage – the one that Homer throws into the air which ends up on his back. The inanimate carbon rod also happened to win the Worker of the Week Award at the Power Plant over Homer, which is one of the most memorable gags in the TV series. It’s a great accessory that is the perfect companion to Mr Burns.
The second accessory is Blinky, a three-eyed goldfish that mutated due to the toxic radioactive sludge that comes from the Nuclear Power Plant. Blinky sits within a transparent minifigure head much like a fishbowl and is a charming accessory. I wouldn’t mind several of these as decorative pieces simply because printed clear transparent minifigure heads don’t come along very often.
Mr Burns’ head perplexes me because I can’t quite figure out the motivation behind the design process. He is the only non-animal Simpsons minifigure who has a head made out of the squishy rubbery plastic – the same ones used for Itchy and Scratchy’s head. It just feels off that he’s the odd one out and I’m not a fan of the quality because I’m afraid that the plastic will deteriorate after a couple of years and become mucky, much like old LEGO tyres.
That said, it kinda… fits in with Mr Burn’s character because the rubbery plastic gives his face a very unique texture and feel – something that I thought was a conscious decision given his frail health and prolonged life. Despite that rationale I came up with, I was extremely disappointed that his head wasn’t made out of the same material as every other Simpsons minifigure and is a huge flaw which would otherwise have made Mr Burns one of the top minifigures in this series. You can bend his nose and mouth, which just makes his minifigure feel and look cheap.
How To Find One: You can try feeling for the green carbon rod which is the only one of its kind or Blinky’s goldfish bowl which is in the shape of a normal minifigure head.
Minifig Rating: 8/10
Krusty The Clown
Krusty the Clown is an all-around funnyman, entrepreneur, and TV kiddie-show host. As a child, young Herschel Krustofski would do anything for a chance to entertain. As an adult, Krusty the Clown will put his name and image on anything if it will help him make a quick buck.
Closing off my review of The Simpsons minifigs is everybody’s favourite deadbeat, substance-abusing children’s entertainer – Krusty the Clown. Being a clown, he’s one of the more unique looking Simpsons minifigures thanks to his colour palette and bright green hair. Add lime green pants with a pink shirt (no back printing as well) and you have one of the most gaudily coloured minifigures in this series. Krusty comes with a pie accessory which fits into his whole clown persona.
Krusty’s face is a mess, in a completely good way. Unlike the other Simpsons minifigures that have blank soulless stares, Krusty’s face is lit up with the zaniness that you’d expect out of a clown. The colours used are vibrant and eye catching, especially his hairpiece which extends out from his head.
The paint job is a little sloppy and you can see the parts where his face is fused to his head but that’s all compensated by his giant grin (with noticeable teeth!) and red nose which just screams FUN FUN FUN! I am quite glad that they used proper plastic to mould his head instead of using the same material as Mr Burns.
How To Find One: Your best bet would be to feel out Krusty’s pie which is quite easy to single out. Alternatively, Krusty’s head is quite distinctive thanks to his hair, which are pointy and stick out the sides of his head.
Minifig Rating: 9/10
That concludes Part 2 of my review. The second batch of minifigures were a bit of a mixed bag and very hit and miss, in my opinion. Out of the 8 that I reviewed in Part 2, I have to say that Ralph, Apu, Krusty and Scratchy were my favourites with a special mention going to Mr Burns. I still can’t get over the fact that he was the only human Simpsons character to receive the inferior plastic treatment. If not for that, he would’ve been one of the highlights in the entire series.
Final thoughts: I’m quite a fan of The Simpsons minifigures. After 13 series of regular minifigures, it’s refreshing to have licensed minifigures for a change and I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting license than The Simpsons.
Overall, the quality of these minifigures have been great especially because of unique head moulds. The Simpsons is a fantastic theme to explore and after having a taste of Springfield, I have to admit that I am hungry for more. I hope the incredible demand and popularity of The Simpsons minifigures will compel Twentieth Century Fox and LEGO to work together on a full fledged Simpsons theme with buildings and locales from Springfield.
In terms of accessories, this series has been a little lackluster with not as many new accessories added unlike previous editions – it’s not that big a deal since LEGO would have invested in all the new moulds for the Simpsons heads. The other thing I didn’t like was how difficult it was to tell apart some of the minifigures owing to the lack of accessories, thankfully compensated by the fact that LEGO reverted the ratio of sets found in a box back to 3 complete sets so it wasn’t TOO difficult to track down all 16.
For the most part, the novelty tiles and cute little elements like Blinky are still great additions alongside the new “shorts legs”, Maggie’s body and Scratchy’s tail piece. The Simpsons minifigures look fantastic on display and are a must-buy for any minifigure collector. Being a landmark license and debut of a brand new kind of minifigure also makes this series all the more special.
Now the long wait for Series 13 (?) begins! Can’t wait to see what LEGO surprises us with next. Speaking of future Collectible Minifigure Series, I do hope we get another Simpsons-themed one simply because there are a wealth of characters in Springfield just begging to be turned into LEGO. Here’s to some good news out of Billund in the coming months!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my review of the Simpsons minifigures! For Part 1 of my Simpsons Minifigures review, check it out here.