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Minifigure Definition - I Love That Minifigure Book

So, I picked up the "I Love That Minifigure" book yesterday, and I noticed at the end, they have a definition of a minifigure!
Wondering why one of your favorite LEGO characters isn't in this book? Then maybe it isn't a minifigure! Most minifigures are made from three standard parts: a head, a torso, and a pair of legs; and any LEGO character that doesn't include at least two of those parts doesn't get to call itself a minifigure.
They go on to show a few things that they don't consider to be minifigures:
  • Skeletons (Various skeletons pictured)
  • Droids (R2-D2 and battle droid)
  • Mini-Dolls (Friends figures)
  • Big Figures (Big trolls from Fantasy Era)
  • Creatures (Monkey and Alligator)
I thought this was interesting particularly because I used to be pretty strict about what I considered a minifig, and I had a different definition.  I used to say "anything with a minifig torso is a minifig".  Hence, I didn't count droids and skeletons and such.

But what I thought was funny was that while every minifig they feature has a standard torso (IE, following my old rule), they do have at least one that sorta breaks their rule!  On page 132, they show Pythor:

He doesn't have two "standard" components of "head", "torso", and "legs".  He's just got the torso!

Granted, they never really say what constitutes "a head", so you could argue that the snake thing up there is "a head", but then again, you could make the same argument to say that a skeleton body is "a torso", and make it count as a minifigure.

It hardly matters at all, but an interesting bit of trivia.


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  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    The lower body, although are not your normal minifig legs, is similar to Medusa, The Ocean king and the Mermaid in the Collectible Minifigures Series. That may explain why they included Pythor.
  • Came64Came64 Member Posts: 50
    Pitfall69 said:
    The lower body, although are not your normal minifig legs, is similar to Medusa, The Ocean king and the Mermaid in the Collectible Minifigures Series. That may explain why they included Pythor.
    But I don't think they count as legs.
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Member Posts: 1,643
    ^trouble is, all those would be in regardless as they have normal heads.
    I think the definition must be more complex, or at least open to disambiguation. Pythor has at least got a head that fits the standard minifigure body, vs a droid head for example. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,229
    I think we need a LEGO oversight committee to clear up these issues.

    I agree that both the Pythor 'head' and Pythor/Medusa/Mermaid 'legs' would independently constitute minifigure parts for the purpose of categorization.

    Another example would be the Olaf mini-build.  I would categorize that with the droids and the Sentinel and Groot figures.

  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Member Posts: 1,013
    ^would this committee be able to rule on UCS vs not and modular vs not?
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,229

    (Frankly, that would be my actual intent.)
  • sklambsklamb Member Posts: 516
    Dreamer! ;-)
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Member Posts: 7,637
    I think it counts as legs if it has the leg-top nubs designed specifically to be inserted into a torso instead of studs. I don't have any of the snake tails but I know the mermaid tails have leg nubs. Should explain why Pythor counts.
  • brumeybrumey Member Posts: 1,002
    edited January 2016
    for me slopes also count as "legs" (skirt) if they are printed to fit stylewise to a torso!

    i m also having a ghost minifigure! its only got a minifigure hat ("ghost costume") and a white torso. the rest arent minifigure parts (if you dont count the black unprinted head piece). so is a ghost not a minifigure ? 
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Member Posts: 1,643
    edited January 2016
    Yup, skirts don't have "leg-top nubs" but I don't know any minifigure that has a skirt brick and no 'normal' head, so that would still technically work even if they were not counted.
    The line has got even more complex now with things like the faun legs from s15, but the connection is probably as good as anything to go by.
    What about the new venom (4 heads but no body) and professor Brainstein (no legs) though...

    Presumably he gets in as a minifigure (he is on brickset)
  • andheandhe Member Posts: 3,941
    Brainstein still has two parts 'fig' (head and torso) whereas Venom only has the heads so I'd say no (the head element is used in a number of different ways outside of figs, eg the eye of Sauron, a pineapple, and a mixel eye).
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Member Posts: 1,643
    edited January 2016
    ^my point was he does get in, but looks barely different to the venom which obviously wouldn't despite being a representation of a character.  It's a really arbitrary line in the sand to make just on counting parts.
    And as for the minifig head being used in different ways - it does, but if it's representing a head then it's a head right, whereas when it is an eye it clearly isn't a head.
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU Member Posts: 644
    edited January 2016
    Alien Villainess, skirt brick legs, special molded head, only a minifig torso. but I'm sure everyone agrees that she is minifig, even more so than pythor with the same number of traditional minifig parts. (Also Alien Commander, too)
  • andheandhe Member Posts: 3,941
    She does have a head part, but in this case it's used to represent a brain (?). But yes, counting parts does seem to be splitting hairs.
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Member Posts: 1,643
    ^ & ^^ but these do have a head part under the helment.  So in theory they would still count.
    Interetingly, if I get Market Street and wedge one minifigure head on in somewhere and some legs somewhere else then it becomes a minifigure apparently.  A minifig modular - the ultimate in collector items (or the worst nightmare of every CMF/modular collector on here).
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,229
    Not sure why a special molded head wouldn't count.  It's a head.

  • davee123davee123 Member Posts: 854
    So, I like that definition of legs being "anything with hip-nubs".  Hence, a minifig skirt piece (2x2x2 slope) would NOT count!  But since they've usually got heads and torsos, they're fine.

    Out of curiosity, using that definition, and my most recent copy of the BL database, I put together some pages:

    Figures (according to BL) with NO head/torso/legs (excluding Duplo, Friends, "Droids", Belville, Bionicle Mini, and a big chunk with no inventory), supposedly NOT minifigs:

    Figures (according to BL) with 1 head/torso/legs, also supposedly NOT minifigs:

    Figures (according to BL) with 2 head/torso/legs, supposedly counted as minifigs:

    Interesting!  I definitely don't like considering things like "Scutter" to be minifigs (but he's got a head and torso):

    And I'd probably consider Splinter a minifig (only has the torso):

    Just goes to show you that no matter what, LEGO can and will come up with bizarre combinations that will break whatever rule you thought you could come up with to categorize things!

  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    edited September 2017
    It looks like zombie skater is making another appearance in another DK book ...

    A Sainsburys exclusive in UK.

  • OdeinoichusOdeinoichus Member Posts: 361

    Ok, that's just cheating. I mean come on, give us a Zombie Lifeguard, Zombie Surfer (Dude or Chick I don't care which), Zombie Alien, Zombie Robot or even Zombie Caveperson, don't just re-pack the same Minifigure in a new book as an exclusive. Who needs more than one of those?

    Incidentally, what's the contents of the book like? Is it worth a purchase?

  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    Apparently all repeated pages from a few other books.
  • OdeinoichusOdeinoichus Member Posts: 361
    Ouch, that's a bit of a shame.
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Member Posts: 1,783
    Ha, I just spotted that myself and logged on to post a picture. £4.99 if you are wondering. 
  • OldfanOldfan Member Posts: 706
    TLG has never been consistent with its own definitions over the years, so I feel good about ignoring their description of a minifigure and using the collective common sense/OCD tendencies of the AFOL community.

    But at least they consider Market Street to be a modular! (ducks head)
  • AanchirAanchir Member Posts: 3,037
    The difficulty of pinning down exactly where the definition of a minifigure begins and ends is exactly why I tend to focus more on keeping track of characters in my collection than minifigures. After all, I don't see any reason why major brick-built characters like Unikitty or Metalbeard should have less significance to my collection than generic crowd-filler minifigures from the same theme just because they happen to be brick-built.

    Granted, I understand why this sort of categorization might be more important to sites like BrickLink, since there are plenty of sets like #8962 or #70904 where a brick-built character might make up 90% of the set's contents, and it wouldn't make much sense to have separate listings for them as a set and as a figure. Although, then again, would that really be so different from having separate set and minifigure listings for things like collectible minifigures and single-figure polybags? Hmm… :/
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    I prefer the "character" definition too, since it includes things like Santa's Little Helper and Scooby Doo, and can be extended to much bigger characters like Smaug. Smaug does get an entry at BL, whereas Treebeard / Ent doesn't, neither does Groot, for example. So while it is possible to sell Smaug, you cannot sell Groot there (unless you do it as an incomplete set or custom lot).
  • FauchFauch Member Posts: 2,679
    but some "characters" are only made from common bricks. some robots for example.
    I think the only thing unique about treebeard are the eyes?
  • AanchirAanchir Member Posts: 3,037
    Fauch said:
    but some "characters" are only made from common bricks. some robots for example.
    I think the only thing unique about treebeard are the eyes?
    Fair, but likewise a lot of minifigures are made from pretty common elements. Also, LEGO has been fudging their definition of minifigure for a long time to include minifigure-sized robots, even those built from common bricks. In set #6702 (Minifig Pack/Space Mini-Figures), two of the six figures are brick-built robot.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    Yes, just because something uses common parts doesn't mean it is not a thing. Especially on a marketplace site, not allowing people to catalogue and sell something like an Ent or Groot is plain stupidity. I had a number of Groots, I tried listing them as custom lots at BL and people didn't buy them. Whereas they sold almost instantly when I put them on ebay, for more than I listed them at BL.

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