I love Lego, but I’m not a collector. Lego is for building, and pulling apart, and building something else. My builds don’t sit on shelves gathering dust (for more than about a week or so). I know many people get enjoyment from buying Lego and putting it in the cupboard unopened – that is so not me.
But that doesn’t mean I’m entirely immune to Lego’s marketing department. They regularly put of a series of ‘collectable’ minifigures as ‘blind’ (you can’t see which figure is inside) polybags. They are generally a step up in complexity from the run-of-the-mill City minfigs, and as they are not based on a licence they are presumably a good money spinner for TLG.
The current series, 17, is in Australian chain stores now. I didn’t live through the Classic Space years, so obviously I am going to need to acquire any new minifigs wearing the space logo to populate my builds. If you want/need a particular minifig from these series’, there’s two ways of achieving it. The first is simply to buy it on the secondary market. Many enterprising individuals buy entire boxes, open the bags and resell the minifigs at a mark-up. The other method is to stand in a shop fondling the bags with a glazed look in your eye feeling for any tell-tale parts.
I needed Rocket Boy (he has the space logo on his shirt) and I figured I’d be able to detect the tip and base of the rocket pretty well. I was also on the look out for a corn guy for my daughter. These are both pretty popular figures from this series, so I wasn’t surprised to go through an entire box in K Mart and only find one of each. The box looked like it had been pretty well worked over by other minifig fondlers. If you are looking for a particular figure that’s not as easy to discern as these two, it’s worth googling “Series 17 feel guide” to find any number of descriptions of what to look for in a a particular minifig.
Rocket Boy is pictured above, along with the spaceman from Series 15 and the Micro-scale Space Cruiser (11910) that came with the book “Great LEGO Sets A Visual History”.