LEGO Minifigure Factory review: Hands-on with a custom minifig
Late last month, The LEGO Group unveiled a new online experience for customizing your own minifigs. From the debut almost two weeks ago I have since received my own brick render in the mail and today we are taking a hands-on look at what expenses $12 for the LEGO Minifigure Factory Online Experience.
LEGO Minifigure Factory hands-on
Some of the most flagship LEGO retail stores have long had a way for guests, often tourists exploring big cities and the like, to get out of the brick-and-mortar location with their own custom minifigure. Physical displays would allow builders to customize their own figure and have it printed moments later.
All of this experience has now been handled online, with the launch of the LEGO Minifigure Factory. Debuting at the end of July, our original coverage offers a deeper look into the real-life virtual customization experience. Today we take a look at the finished product and what will actually show up on your doorstep. So if you’re not sure whether expenses $12 on a single figure worth it, the answers are waiting for you below.
Custom Figure Unboxing
Right out of the box, or in this case bubble mail, the LEGO Minifigure Factory package is a fairly basic paper bag with appropriate branding for the experiment. Breaking the seal on the back lets you pour in the contents, which include five different essential pieces for any minifig, an extra brick we’ll get to in a second.
Each of the custom figures starts with a headdress which is naturally paired with a hairstyle of your choice. From there, you’ll select a base design with plenty of iconic LEGO cabinets making the cut, including the Classic Space logo and more. Then you just have to choose the pair of legs you want to complete. You also get a printed LEGO brick which contains a QR code, although it is not currently used. Scanning the code will probably have some sort of link to the experience once it leaves the beta and I suspect this will allow you to share links to custom designs in the future. But for now, this is just one more inclusion in the set.
By far the best part of LEGO Minifigure Factory has to be the printed elements. Earlier this year, The LEGO Group launched an online Build a Minifigure service that allows builders to use existing bricks to assemble their LEGO image. Now for the new and improved experience, you can actually go in and design a whole new torso print for your signage or whatever character you’re looking to put into LEGO form.
Today’s online editor isn’t the easiest tool to use, but the possibilities are truly endless. You can stack graphics to create highly detailed designs, add text that can say almost anything, and more. In my case, I chose to choose a LEGO hoodie as a base and then put a crab with flames behind it. On the back there is a pair of skulls with the text You can’t kill me in a way that matters. So as long as you don’t try to use some of the limited words that the LEGO Group prohibits, you can pretty much customize the figure however you want.
Clearly still in beta, in some ways
As happy as I am with the final product, mainly the sharpness of the print, there are a few tweaks that would go a long way towards improving the experience. Currently, the online version of LEGO Minifigure Factory is in beta, as noted by the company, and this is mostly seen in the limited nature of customization options.
Faces and hair styles are the two biggest offenders, with a fairly limited selection of options to choose from compared to the wide range of items available. I did my best to create a Rikka figure as close to real life as possible, but there just weren’t too many options that really felt like real life. LEGO makes options that would be a better representation of myself, and many other builders for that matter, they just aren’t available on custom figures.
On that same note, the LEGO Group should really open up more customization options. I won’t even go into what the ability to apply the same custom patterns to a character’s legs could do, but being able to at least change the color of your character’s arms would be huge.
And finally, the removal of the one per household limit currently in place for LEGO Minifigure Factory will be crucial for families looking to recreate the whole group. This shouldn’t stick around indefinitely and will likely be removed once the service leaves beta. Hopefully it won’t be long before you order as many custom minifigures as your LEGO collection can handle, but right now having a limited quantity makes the experience a little less compelling.
Taken from 9to5Toys
To $12, it’s easily an experience every LEGO builder should have a go at. It’s honestly so much fun to be able to design your own minifig and receive it a week later in the mail. The print is on par with what you’d expect of mass-produced figures from the LEGO Group, although the customization options might take some work.
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