Lego Collectable Minifigures

Over the past ten years, collecting LEGO Minifigures has become very popular in the United States and many other countries around the world.

In 1932, Ole Kirk Kristiansen was a master carpenter and joiner in the village of Billund, Denmark when he started a business making stepladders, ironing boards, stools and wooden toys. The company had about six employees in 1934, when it became known as LEGO, from the Danish words leg godt, which in English means; play well.

In 1978, the first of the minifigures with movable arms and legs, that are so popular with children and adult collectors today, were released by LEGO. The original LEGO minifigures had a yellow skin tone with two black dots for eyes and a black arc for a smile. In 1978, seven different figures were available in three different themes: town, castle and space. It was not until 1989, with the release of the Pirate theme, that LEGO produced minifigures with different facial expressions. In 2003, some of the licensed minifigures like the Star Wars and Harry Potter themes began to appear with natural skin tones. In addition, in 2003 the Basketball theme minifigures were produced with natural skin tones.    

It was not until 1999 that The LEGO Group put out movie theme minifigures, starting with one of the most popular movie series of all time, Star Wars. Lego released sets that contained the minifigures to coincide with the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace on May 19, 1999.  

Some of the minifigures from 1999 that later became highly sought after by minifigure collectors were Qui-Gon Jinn, Darth Maul, Jar Jar Binks, Battle Droids, Young Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Naberrie, Pit Droids, R2-D2, Sith Probe Droids, Young Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sebulba, Gasgano, Scout Troopers, Biggs Darklighter, Luke Skywalker, and Old Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Many of the Star Wars and other licensed figures had to have variations of the standard minifigure parts, to match the characters they were being made for, for example Chewbacca and Sponge Bob.

Some of the other movie theme LEGO sets that include minifigures that collectors like are Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Batman, and Spiderman. Lego has many other themes that come with minifigures too, including City, Space, Castle, Pirates, Sponge Bob, and the recently released Toy Story sets.

There was a book released in 2009 that details all the LEGO Star Wars sets and the minifigures that were included with them.  

These are just some, of the many different minifigure themes that LEGO has produced since 1978.