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Minifigure heads


So I have a question about heads...

When minifigures were first introduced, the stud on top of the figure's head was solid. At some point, it was turned into a hole with a kind of three-pointed thing in it (like a Mercedes logo) so it looked a bit like a tiny plughole. I always believed this was because the size and shape of the head made it possible to get it stuck in a kid's throat and choke, but having the hole there made it just possible for them to breathe until the head could be fished out. I don't know if this is true or not.

Now I have noticed that the stud is solid again, but the top of the stud is recessed into the stud itself. I don't know when it changed but I would guess it was at some point in the past couple of years because when I look at some older series of collectible minifigs, they have the head with a hole (there is surely a Nine Inch Nails related pun in there somewhere) but newer ones are solid. So I guess that means either the choking thing is not actually true or it is not perceived to be a danger any more.

Which is it? Or is it something else entirely? Enquiring minds need to know...



  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca Member Posts: 619
    I had the same conception of the evolution of minifigure heads as you. I remember noticing as a small boy that any Lego heads from before 1992 were solid studs, and from 1992 onwards, the top stud was trifurcated so air could pass through, presumably as a choking safeguard. However, it was about three years ago that the heads sealed up again. Personally, I don't like it because it makes the heads harder to remove or adjust. By sealing the top stud, it allows air to be trapped when adding the head to the body. Do it too quickly, and that little pocket of air inside the minifigure head will make it just that more difficult to remove. The old heads did not have this problem because as you slid the head on, displaced air flowed out through the top stud.

    This is definitely a mystery I wish Lego would discuss. It is clearly some kind of design choice, and serves a function. Whether that is in manufacturing, safety, or play, I can only guess.
  • bobabricksbobabricks Member Posts: 1,842
    1989 or 1990, the same year new faces were intriduced was when the heads converted from solid to hollow. 2011 was when recessed studs were first introduced I believe. Since then they have been gradually converted until 2013 they were fully converted.
  • AndorAndor Member Posts: 252
    I don't remember that exact page it was on, but in the book "LEGO minifigure: Year by Year" it says that hole was there to prevent choking. But it doesn't say why they reverted it back to the solid head again.
  • SombuxSombux Member Posts: 7
    I thought the initial solid stud was removed because the "Lego" mark on top prevented it into fitting tightly into some of the headgers... Not really sure how kids choke on Lego parts, but I guess the little hole wouldn't make a difference if the head was stuck in a kid's throat sideways (that is a weird topic we're discussing here now btw!). I just recently started coming out of the dark ages and indeed noticed the studs are full again in recent minifigures, but they're hollow in series 7 CMFs.
  • NorlegoNorlego Member Posts: 449
    This puts me off choking on Lego heads.
  • KiwiLegoMeisterKiwiLegoMeister Member Posts: 212
    A solid node no more prevents choking that a typical 1x1 brick which has a solid node. As a kid, we idly sucked these (so that they stuck to our tongues) all the time.
    A recessed node, like so many other bricks, allows some minor pieces to be inserted; so they are more universal.
    I always thought the holes, and even the recessed nodes allowed a very minor saving in plastic. Multiple that by '00s of billions of bricks, will be quite sizeable.
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