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Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

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Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby Staff » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:13 pm


71005 The Simpsons - 1


The Simpsons licensed line is a strange one. There is some potential in having The Simpsons be the first licensed, location-based theme (vs a vehicle-based one like Star Wars). 71006 The Simpsons House set would just be the starting point into the town of Springfield. Other locations could be made into sets like Moe's Tavern, the nuclear power plant, the school, the town square complete with Jebediah Springfield statue, etc. They all could have been great sets to own and be something that Town and Train fans could incorporate into their layouts. But what we get instead is just the Simpsons' house and a line of Collectible Minifigures. Each minifigure's likeness is spot on to their on-screen counterparts. No duh. That's really not surprising considering they each have a custom molded head, so how could they not look like the characters they're supposed to portray? Gone is the familiar minifigure head element and any accessories; it's replaced by a single molded element. They look great, the heads. Spot on in fact, like I said earlier. But they are so spot on that the head looks it was taken directly off of an action figure than a LEGO minifigure. And that's what they actually end up looking like: heads taken off of an action figure and stuck on top of a LEGO minifigure torso. And this is where I have a huge problem with these things: the head. The head is so un-LEGO like and so gigantically disproportionately large, it actually turns me off to the idea of LEGO licensed themes a little.



Back when images of the special LEGO episode of the Simpsons show were being released, this one screen shot in particular caught my eye:


LEGO-Simpsons-Still


The style is so much more familiar as LEGO pieces than what was actually made into a toy, it made me wish that this was the approach that LEGO took to creating the figures. Looking at Bart and Lisa, as an example, I can imagine that they are using a standard minifig head element with a custom hair element. If this were made into a toy, they would just like any other LEGO minifigure: legos, torso, head, head accessory. And the head would be compatible with every other head accessory and/or any other element that had a stud. Want to put a hat on Bart or Homer? How about giving Lisa a pony tail? That wouldn't even be an issue with what could have been a GREAT licensed toy line.


71005 The Simpsons - 2


But sorry, you can't do that with the minifigures we have because there is no interchangeability beyond sticking the head on another torso. We could have gotten regular minifigure heads with printed facial features and head accessories. Instead, we get molded eyes, a molded nose, a molded mouth, a molded hat, molded hair, molded everything. And to me, they don't really look like LEGO anymore.


71005 The Simpsons - 3


Aside from the head and looking at the series as a whole, fans of the Simpsons or all licensed things from LEGO will delight in having these figures. The Simpsons family members look much better than their counterparts found in the House set mostly because they don't have that stoned expression on their faces. That may be the only reason to seek out the family members: to replace the House versions. Chief Wiggum has to be the worst looking of the lot. He looks like he recently had gastric bypass surgery. I think a clamshell design like the Ewoks to enhance his and Homer's rotundness would have been a good approach. And Mr. Burns without Smithers is like an Oreo cookie without its creme filling. I suppose there's always going to be that one character you wish the line had. But had The Simpsons been a location-based theme, a lot of holes could have been filled with sets and the minifigures included with those sets. Moe and his tavern, Comic Book Guy and his shop, Smithers and Mr. Burns' office or limo. It's quite obvious one series of Simpsons Collectible Minifigures isn't enough and unfortunately it doesn't look like there's anything Simpsons-related on the horizon.

You can find these pretty much everywhere, even places like Walgreens. You can also order them directly from LEGO Shop@Home (limit of 32 figures per order). Without any other sets other to support the characters found in the Collectible Minifigure line, it doesn't score beyond a 3. They're just okay. Pick them up if you're a fan, but I don't think you'll regret not getting them.


71005_alt1

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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby rushiosan » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:48 pm

It really depends if you are a fan of the show. For fans in particular, I think this would score a 5/5 without a doubt. For any other collector, who doesn't care much about The Simpsons line, it's certainly a 3/5 like you pointed out. Not LEGO fault. It's a product for a somewhat limited audience, it really delivers the product at a maximum quality/design rate, but unfortunately has a limited part usage outside the universe because of the huge molded heads. That's the same deal as most Star Wars sets that brings non-generic characters...

The hand accessories, torsos (with the exception of Maggie's body), pants, skirts, skate, printed tiles are extremely useful for Town MOCs. The mutant fish in a bowl is my favorite.

I'm not sure if I'll be collecting this series. The price gone skyrocket comparing to prior CMF lines, and a single dollar makes a huge difference in the final price here in Brazil.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby buriedbybricks » Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:24 pm

I would consider myself a fan of the show, or at least I used to be. I still watch it regularly, but it simply isn't that funny anymore.

I have zero interest in these. If, like Ace mentioned, they looked more like they did in the episode, it would at least be tempting for me. As is, they can't even turn my head by way of neat accessories. I personally don't think these are a good fit for LEGO, because the show isn't appropriate for younger kids. The house as a D2C set was fine, but again as Ace said, these are everywhere.

That being said, I encourage all the consumers to buy these like crazy and maybe it'll be a good model and prove the sales are there for a licensed CMF line like Marvel/DC.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby Oky Wan Kenobi » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:09 pm

Just a friendly advice: you should proofread your reviews better. They have been riddled with mistakes lately and even this short review has several typos.

I am torn on these figs myself. I have no problem with molded heads and when it comes to licensed figs, I usually prefer accuracy over versatility. But on these, it just looks off somehow. I think the problem may be the size of the heads. If they weren't so huge, it wouldn't have looked as if they were taken from an action figure, and we have seen TLG make detailed small molded heads in other themes like Toy Story and Star Wars, so why couldn't they make these smaller and thereby more proportionate to their bodies? :S
I might still get the main 5 family members and maybe a few others, just because I love licensed figs and hope that the success of these will mean more licensed series down the line, hopefully Disney and Marvel.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby onions » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:02 pm

straying a bit off topic, i don't think i had that many errors. i did go back and fix a few that i found and probably ended up missing some. but by all means, i am more than open to someone correcting my mistakes. if you have the time and care to, hit me up with a pm.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby rifflestein » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:26 pm

I'm really sorry for the ramblings you're about to read, but one thought lead to another and I don't really have any other relevant place to post this. Sorry again. :|

I'm not so sure this should be called a review, but rather and editorial. You haven't really gone into to detail with the figures, you've just posted your opinion on the series and added a couple of pictures. That being said, I do agree for the most part about what you're saying. I can't stand the heads, and even if I received one of these for free I'd throw the head out and keep the rest. The exceptions being Scratchy (the only other cat heads we have are the Chima lions, and I hate those more than Galidor) and Ralph (how could you not want a Ralph mech?). I do wish they'd gone with the same aesthetic as the TV episode.

The big thing I think you're missing is the usefulness of the parts. The doughnut and remote tiles, short sleeves in multiple colours, short legs with shorts printed on them, Scratchy's tail, a dark green suit, cloth skirts in new colours, dark bley Billy club? Some of the re-colours might not seem necessary on their own, but having them means you don't have two identical pies in a bakery, or two identical cups (I will say I think that part is completely redundant) on a table. I know this site is dedicated to licensed themes, and because of that the reviews will tend to focus more on what's relevant to the license itself. I know I'm being biased here, and that different people stuff for different reasons. I just feel like you're glossing over a key part of what makes Lego Lego. I feel the same way about the people who make ridiculous custom Minifigures that don't even look like Minifigure anymore, the people who flood the Lego Flickr group with photos of Stormtrooper Minifigs sitting in a human chair, and the people who buy all of the pop culture sets and stick Batman figures in the Simpsons' house and try to make it clever. I'm not going to tell anyone what they can and can't do with what they're buying, or that they're not playing with it the "right" way. While Lego is a construction toy, it's still a toy and how you play with it is completely up to you. But it just seems weird to buy Lego and not use it as Lego.

And here's where I bring it full circle and pretend I planned this format all along. I think TLG went a little too far toward the action figure side with this line. I will say that the molded heads are slightly more acceptable here than on the TMNT figures (seriously, what warranted making a slightly blobbier head?), but they still just don't work.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby MyrmidonX » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:34 am

Speaking of reusable parts, I'm thinking Maggie's torso/body would be a perfect fit for Yoda.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby Trooper10 » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:16 am

And there is always the chance to do this... https://flic.kr/p/nmLfw1
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby hobbie » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:47 am

As skinny as Homer and Chief Wiggum look, I think Mr. Burns is far too fat. But I like him the most because of his Blinky accessory.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby jonutah » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:04 pm

Isn't the argument that the heads don't allow for customizing (with hair, helmets, etc) just part of the greater argument that customized pieces in general have taken away from the imagination of the toy itself? If you like pre-printed pieces, special molded laser guns, etc....well, those things are not a huge step away from molded heads.

It doesn't bother me so much that there are molded heads, but if I had a choice between really specific parts made to look just like the real-world item and more just general bricks, I'd choose bricks. I use them more (as do my kids).

- Jon
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby onions » Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:54 pm

jonutah wrote:Isn't the argument that the heads don't allow for customizing (with hair, helmets, etc) just part of the greater argument that customized pieces in general have taken away from the imagination of the toy itself? If you like pre-printed pieces, special molded laser guns, etc....well, those things are not a huge step away from molded heads.



you have a point but one could argue that pre printed pieces and laser guns are still more highly compatible than the molded heads. we don't even have the option of putting bart's hair on another minifig head because you simply can't.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby redbeardlegoman » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:31 pm

I bought the whole set just because I know I would eventually want to, and better to get it while it's as cheap as it will ever be.

I'm in agreement that I'd much rather see the minifigures look like they did in the TV special. I don't find them awful, but I would have found a compromise between the two styles better. And I could have also gotten more use out of the parts if they were more compatible.

That being said, I can still find uses for them. I think a few of them will make excellent additions to my ever growing Hallowe'en party MOC.
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby onions » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:35 am

@rifflestein you are absolutely correct in that I did gloss over the individual figures. i honestly didn't feel like each figure warranted an individual review or even mention unless there was something exceptional, good or bad, about them. and like i said, they are all sort of the same quality. i do agree with your point about the non-head parts being useful and maybe i should have mentioned it. it helps that the characters are in yellow, making parts like the torsos and legs compatible with regular lego figures. and that may be enough of a reason to push the rating from a 3 to a 4 from a parts aspect, but as a whole figure in a strange theme, they are still just "ehh".
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Re: Review: 71005 LEGO Minifigures - The Simpsons Series

Postby gomek » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:21 am

Umm... just casting my vote for the molded heads. I know someone likened the TV episode Simpsons to that ill fated 1st gen Squidward figure. When I hold those side by side (1st gen and 2nd gen), I really gravitate to the molded head version. Not really even close.

Not to mention, Lego has a history of molded heads for Aliens and Cartoon characters, and general non-humans. Personally, while I love 'bricks' it's always been my preference that all organic things (or at least non-plants) not be brick built. I never cared for the brick built horses from the original castle sets, for example. I love the ability to customize, as you can with the recent dragon, but I still think these things require their own molds. just my two cents.
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