Since their introduction in the 1950s, Lego brand toys have lent themselves to endless customisation, and the miniature figurines that have been part of Lego sets since 1978 are no exception. Called minifigures by Lego, but known to countless fans of Lego as minifigs, they are built from three basic pieces: the head, the torso and the legs (four pieces, if you count hairpieces and other headgear). You can swap these parts among your minifigs with ease. Let's start with changing their faces.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Lego minifigs
- Lego minifig head
- Needle-nose pliers (if needed)
Disassemble the minifig. This can be the hardest step, especially if the minifig has an astronaut or medieval helmet: The suction these pieces create will trap the head piece inside of the helmet. The trick is to separate the helmet from the head first, before you remove the head from the rest of the minifig. If the helmet and head come off together, your only recourse is to use a pair of needle-nose pliers to gently grasp the base of the head while you twist the helmet. Don't hold onto the head too firmly or you'll scratch the plastic head.
Replace the head. The face is painted on this piece, and cannot be changed---but you can replace the head. Simply replace the head with the face you don't want with a head that has the face you want, then reassemble the minifig.
Some minifig heads have two faces, making changing the face a matter of turning the piece around. The first minifig with a double-sided head was the Quirrell character, which is part of the Lego Harry Potter theme.
Consider replacing the head with a custom head. You can also modify a suitable Lego block to create the face of your choice. Lego sells blank heads in five different colours, including clear. Keep in mind that crafting a custom face requires skill and patience to design and decorate the small surface of the block---which is only 1/4 inch high.
Tips and warnings
- The Lego-related Duplo brand also includes people-like pieces in their sets. However, these figurines are not modular and are not intended to be taken apart. There is no simple way to change their appearance.
- Additional minifig heads may be purchased online from Lego directly (see Resources). Go to the "Brick Search" box and select the category "mini figures."
- Minifigures consist of several very small parts, which pose a choking hazard. Lego warns users to keep these away from children under 3 years of age.
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