Miniatures Spotlight – LEGO Mini-Figs

So recently, I’ve been acquiring the Lord of the Rings LEGO sets. New this year, the sets feature the characters and settings from the Lord of the Rings movies. While I love the sets as is, what I’m really looking forward to,  is using the mini-figs as miniatures in my Dungeons & Dragons games.

I’ve loved RPG miniatures since the early days of lead figures from folks like Ral-Partha. Those miniatures were expensive at the time, and so my ability to collect them (particularly monsters) was limited. With the advent of WotC plastic miniatures, my collection really took off. I have hundreds now, and I love them. That said, however, there’s always been a type of miniature that has lurked in the background, calling out for use.

That’s right – LEGO mini-figs.

Stand a LEGO mini-fig up next to regular 25mm scale miniature, and you have about the same height. The difference, of course is obvious, as width & depth are considerably larger on the LEGO side. Nevertheless, LEGO has one advantage over the average RPG miniature – customization.

This didn’t used to be the case. Back in the 80s, you could only find one size of mini-fig, and they were pretty generic. While their clothing and accessories could be changed (particularly with the space and castle LEGO sets), the faces were pretty plain. This changed with the advent of the Star Wars, Indian Jones & other properties. I remember seeing Ewok LEGO mini-figs for the first time. They were short! At last I could use LEGO mini-figs in my DnD games as I now had a way to represent shorter player characters (like Dwarves & Halflings).

This last decade has seen an explosion of mini-figs. Sets like Harry Potter, DC Superheroes, and Monster Fighters have increased the range & flexibility of the old LEGO mini-fig. Want to play a dwarf revenant? YOU CAN DO THAT. Just use a zombie head and a dwarf body, and customize with a hat/helm and short legs of your choice. In addition, many of the Lord of the Rings LEGO mini-figs have two faces! Did your character just meet up with a Dragon and fill his diaper? YOU CAN SHOW THAT right on the mini-fig! It’s pretty cool all the things you can do!

Here’s the example of the Dwarf Fighter to Dwarf Revenant:

Dwarf FighterDwarf Revenant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, I understand that there are several folks that might find LEGO mini-figs a bit silly for their game. That’s okay, as it’s certainly possible their appearance might break someone’s level of immersion. If that’s the case, no worries! However, if immersion isn’t an issue for you, dig into the closet of that LEGO stash (you know you have one) and dig out the mini-figs. Hell, you can even build some compatible terrain for them to boot!

Finally, to show you some of the range that LEGO mini-figs can cover, take a look at some pics!

Uruk-hai storm the castleA selection of LEGO Mini-figsMore LEGO Mini-figs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I apologize for some of the darker pics. I was in a hurry this morning, and lighting wasn’t cooperating).

I will now step back as everyone rushes out to buy a boatload of LEGO mini-fig parts. Speaking of which, one of the best sites I know for picking up mini-fig parts? Right here.

My name is Randall Walker and This Is My Game

 


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. R.M. Walker, who can be found in numerous places on the internet as “DeadOrcs”, is a long time gamer with some 30 years experience playing RPGs. Despite occasional forays into the bizarre, Randall has always come back to Dungeons & Dragons.


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About DeadOrcs

R.M. Walker, who can be found in numerous places on the internet as “DeadOrcs”, is a long time gamer with some 30 years experience playing RPGs. Despite occasional forays into the bizarre, Randall has always come back to Dungeons & Dragons.
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3 Responses

  1. You’re right, Lego Minifigs are great for miniatures gaming… if you could pick them up easily. They’re very expensive, and you have lots of other Legos you’re “stuck with” (vehicles, little structures, etc.) if you buy a set for the figures. Admittedly, Legos are always fun, but it’s a pretty pricey way to get a set of figures.

  2. I have a modest collection of old castle lego minis, and have been using them as miniatures in both 4e and rpgkids games that I’m playing with my children and some nieces/nephews. I’ve always enjoyed them, and it’s fun to give them new life as minis. They are much more expensive than traditional minis if you’re buying them for this purpose, but if you already have a decent collection, they work great.

  3. You don’t have to buy sets to get minis, you can buy JUST minis through lego.com. I don’t know if it’s still around, but they had a chess set that had tons of fodder for semi-medieval outfitting, which came with (of course) 32 mini figs.

    The sets, though, can be used for terrain. Compared to buying traditional minis and terrain, sets aren’t a bad deal.

    Of course if, like many geeks, you already have a mountain of lego, using them as minis cost nothing, plus the added joy of watching your players gleefully customizing (this can not be emphasized enough!)

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