little figure, big story - LEGO celebrates 40 years of the minifigure

little figure, big story - LEGO celebrates 40 years of the minifigure

it’s 1978 — disco dominates the charts, mobile phones don’t exist, the internet is still more than a decade away and LEGO minifigures come to life. fast forward to today where these characters have kept up the pace of our evolving world, offering endless role-play possibilities. 40 years after its first appearance, LEGO celebrates its iconic figure anniversary reliving some milestone moments from its very big story.

LEGO minifigures 40 year anniversary designboom
70s minifigures



the LEGO minifigure story dates back to 1974 when the LEGO building figure was launched, composed of large square LEGO bricks with movable arms but immovable legs. this was followed in 1975 by adding extra figures with solid torsos, immovable arms and legs and no printed features. then came 1978, ushering a new era of LEGO minifigures complete with movable limbs and simple facial expressions featuring black eye dots and a black painted smile. today, 40 years later, there are more than 650 unique faces in the collection.

LEGO minifigures 40 year anniversary designboom
80s minifigures



at the beginning LEGO launched 20 different minifigures including a police officer, doctor, firefighter, knight and astronaut. four decades after, the number of minifigures available has risen to more than 8,000, showing that they can turn their hand to pretty much anything. from pirates to paramedics, engineers to elephant keepers, veterinarian to vikings… the LEGO minifigures even blasted into space onboard NASA’s juno spacecraft in 2011.

LEGO minifigures 40 year anniversary designboom
90s minifigures



the LEGO minifigures may be made for fun but they have also done their part in both diversity and fighting stereotypes. it’s traditional yellow color has been joined by both white and black color on some figures. it has also fought against stereotyping gender roles with female firefighters and ninjas, and through fathers equipped with baby carriers. in the end, the whole point of minifigures is to let children create and be anyone they want.

LEGO minifigures 40 year anniversary designboom
00s minifigures

LEGO minifigures 40 year anniversary designboom
2010s minifigures


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