The short version
: I've created several bricklists that group CMF minifigures into related themes (links below).Longer version
I collected CMF series sight-unseen up to around Series 10, at which point I started to feel 1) burnout from regular releases, and the effort of feeling through bags, and 2) 'duplicate fatigue' - rehashes of previous minifigs bugged me, and 3) that if the series kept going, there would be no way I could ever display them all. Since then, I've been a bit more picky about which minifigs I buy when a series is released, but I haven't really had much of an approach - I just pick up the ones I like.
Recently I've started thinking more about the types of minifigs that would be useful to me and fit in with my larger collecting habits. I've always loved the 'trade' type minifigs, for example (janitor, welder, etc.) and I could see myself having a framed display of these one day. I'm a huge horror fan, so 'spooky' minifigs have always had an attraction to me. I've started collecting 'citizens' because my modular town is growing to an unwieldy size and it will need a bigger population. And so on.
That has led me to this categorisation project, as a way to help me to prioritise which minifigs I want, and which I can lose (a related marketplace thread will probably follow, though I traded a lot of my CMFs some years ago when I did something similar, but less structured). The Bricklists
In total there are 10 bricklists containing 258 minifigures - the breakdown is 16 series x 16 minifigures + 2 promotional (Mr. Gold and Toy Soldier). The only 'themed' CMF line that is included is Series 14; none of the IP-related CMF lines (TLM, Simpsons, etc.) are included.
One problem with this kind of project is that there will always be overlap between categories - any 'sport' minifig could also be an 'occupation' minifig; the 'mythology' minifigs would fit quite nicely into the 'history' minifigs, as would the 'warrior' category I've come up with. Some of the longer lists could be broken into multiple lists. Obviously the calls made here are going to be subjective.
What's the point in posting this? Well, I figure someone might find it helpful, or at the very least it might be an interesting topic for discussion. If there is consensus around certain categorisations I can make edits accordingly, perhaps with a view to making this a collaborative effort.
Anyway, here are the lists:
- Anthropomorphic: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16079
- Citizens: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16077
- Fantasy, Mythology, and Fairytale: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16082
- History: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16073
- Sci-Fi: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16078
- Suit Guys: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16083
- Spooky Minifigs: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16076
- Sports & Outdoor Pursuits: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16080
- Trades & Occupations: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16075
- Warriors: http://brickset.com/sets/list-16081
Back in the day when we used to have a gallery of CMFs on Brickset we categorised them as follows:
I think you've covered them all albeit with slightly different names/groupings.
Glad people like them. I'll update the lists as new series come out. Hopefully there won't be any outliers that upset the neat categorisation :)
I would agree with adding TLM, as there are quite a number of useful figures in that series that can be used generically.
Citizens and Trades and Occupations go together - these are all "City" figures to me and get used in that style of build. There is too much overlap for me to keep them separate - for example out of citizens, many of them could just as well be occupations: Disco Dude, Kimono girl, Lederhosen guy*, Business man (by definition an occupation?), Dog show man, Babysitter - all could be occupations. *Pretzel girl is classed as an occupation.
Suit Guys are separate, but in with City. Same for Sports.
Anthropomorphic - I don't store these together. Gingerbreadman goes in fantasy and fairytale, Liberty in historical, etc.
Fantasy, Mythology and Fairytale - I split these: Mythology goes in with historical, fantasy and fairytale go in with 'Castle' as that is where I normally use them.
History and Warriors get combined.
Spooky all stay together, with MF.
Sci-fi all together.
I never really sorted them by series as I never displayed them that way. I was nearly always using them for MOCs, so it made sense to keep them with similar figures. I have owned all figures up to the TLM set. I realised I wasn't using some of them so it wasn't worth keeping them all. I think I have owned all figures (except Mr Gold) at some time or other. But keeping them sorted by type also allows me to prioritise and get rid of what I don't use, or get rid of where there are too many. Eg. I sold my S1 Zombie as there are plenty of other zombies and the price to sell was just too good. I also sold off a lot of my Roman soldiers, as I was only really using 30 at most at any one time. There was too much money sitting unused when the price rocketed.
There are still conflicts - where should S3 elves go? Fantasy or warriors? Simple, pull off the heads and hands, replace them with fleshies, and they go in the LOTR box.
This makes me realize how many CMFs I have missed (S1-S15)...all of them...