lego minifigure historyINTRODUCTION
You don't have to be tall to make history. Gandhi was 5'3" , Beethoven 5'3" and Picasso was 5'4" . Between them they led India to indepence , wrote the Fifth Symphony
and cofounded the Cubist movement. Well , the LEGO minifigure and has them all beat. At only 1 1/2 inches tall , it is the shortest superstar of all time. For over 30 years,
the minifigure has made it possible for children to populate their LEGO worlds with a diverse cast of characters, from pirates and soldiers to deep-sea divers and aliens. The
minifigure has also become an icon that defies cultural boundaries and generational divides ,consistently standing smaall as one of the most revolutionary and popular toys
of all time. The first minifigures in 1978 were based on archetypal characters such as spacemen, policemen, nurses and knights and were facially identical , yellow skin , two
black dots for eyes, and a wide smile in order te represent people from anywhere in the world. But a lot has changed in 30 years. In 2003 , minifigures were given realistic
skin tones , facial expressions , and molded hair when they represented real people or named characters from movies ortv series, starting with LEGO basketball minifigures
and continuing with the lincensed series
LEGO Minifigures have gone global and their ranks have grown to include over 2500 different characters from around the world and beyond! Now there are minifigures for
movie characters like harry Potter, Luke Skywalker and Idiana Jones , as well as original LEGO creations like Johnny Thunder, Captain Brickbeard and the LEGO EXO-FORCE
Minifigures have digital lives now as well: computer-animated versions with greater articulation and mobility than real minifigures appear in short films usch as the Star Wars
inpired Revenge of The BRICK and as playable characters in videogames including LEGO Star Wars: The video Game, Lego Indiana Jones : The original Adventures and LEGO
Batman : The Video Game.
Not only are minifigures perhaps the most diverse toys in the world , they 're also the fastest growing. Every second, 3.9 minifigures are sold, which means over 122 million are
sold every year , with over 4 billion in existence. At 12 times the population of the United States and 66 times the population of the UK, minifigures represent the biggest
population in the world. There are so many of them in the world that they would fill 170 swimming pools.
Standing Small is an affectionate look back over the past three decades of the mini icon 's reign over the pop culture landscape. The minifigure has changed the lives of millions
of people by being the spark that fires their imaginations and their compagnion on countless adventures. Let 's go exploring !
THE ORIGINS OF THE MINIFIGURE
In The mid-1970 's LEGO system designer Jens Nygaard Knudsen and a team of collegues conceived the first version of the minifigures. He sawed and filed down excisting
bricks to create a prototype minifigure made of a single flexible piece with no hands or facial expressions. Knudsen went bacht to the drawningbroad and came up with 50
different new prototypes. He began by carving bricks again, but later abandoned this approach and cast his more refined concepts in tin. These new versions were leaps and
bounds beyond his originals they had eyes and a smile, hands that could grip accesories, and their legs and arms could move. The minifigure made its debut in 1978 in LEGO set
600, which featured a policemand and his patrol car. An icon born and role play was added to the LEGO play experience
Minifigures are made of acrylonitile butadiene styrene, or ABS, a tough plastic compound that makes LEGO minifigures durable. This plastic is melted into specially designed molds
that produce the different parts of the minifigure- head, torso, arms, hands, legs, hips and the accescoires like swords, shovels, and walkie talkies. Heads and torsos always require
further decoration and sometimes the arms and the legs do as well. This meticulous printing process is why the minifigure is the most expensive party of any set. After the paint jobs
arms are attached to the torsos and hands are put into the arms, while legs are snapped onto the hip piece. Finally, all these pieces are bagged, ready for the LEGO builder to put
togehter. Originally, LEGO minifigures came assembled, but now the parts are kept separate so that children get the joy of building their minifigures.