For those of you that don’t yet know, these are monofigs.
Simple, plain, single coloured Lego Minifigures. Lego have long since had a specific palette of colours that their bricks come in, this range has been growing and, over the years, some colours have gone and many more have been added. Someone (I’m not sure who) had the bright idea of creating a simple plain coloured minifigure in an array of all the available colours and, let’s face it, it looks cool.
I first became aware of monofigs when I saw a great post on the r/Lego subreddit showing off a line of about 20+ monofigs in a display frame. I thought it looked fantastic so I decided to investigate. It turns out there is a website dedicated to selling monofigs, the guy who runs it is considered an expert on them and has written a book to help any budding monofig collectors. The book focuses on which minifigs you will need to buy to complete certain monofigs. Some are (obviously) more difficult than others to complete.
A little while ago I went through my pile of unmatched minifigs and pulled out he plain heads and torsos, swapped some hands around and found some legs and hey presto I had myself a few monofigs. I have since tried to expand on my monofig collection and cannibalised a few full figures (nothing that would make it into my display frames) to make several more. Currently my monofig collection looks like this.
I have a bunch of small pieces to fix the incomplete ones, but I am also keeping an eye out for any other colours that I can attain. Some people use the (frankly heretical) method of ‘cleaning’ the torsos or heads of any printing. I personally prefer not to do this if I can. I doubt I ever get past about 16 monofigs, but it’ll still looks cool.
Right now, as you can see, I am looking for some orange and dark blue hands, some proper purple legs (the hips I have are a different shade) and a couple of heads (light grey, dark blue and dark green) I could fork out a bunch of money for the book that tells me where to get them or I could search the internet specifically the oracle of everything that is Lego – bricklink. So that is what I’ll do and, if you’re not too busy, I’ll take you with me for a short while.
So first I go to bricklink and, as I said, I’m looking for hands. so I type in hands. This brings up the classic hand piece and I can then go to that page for more information.
Click on the link and then choose the known colours option for orange hands. As you can see this list shows me all the colours that hands come in, it can be a very useful tool to see which colours Lego make and also how they classify them. When I clock on the option for orange hands it shows me a list of sets and/or minifigs that include the item I am looking for. There are 26 items that include orange hands.. Let’s see what they are.
Scrolling down past the sets I find that there are several new(ish) figs including some I have but want to keep for my collection, notably the Killer Moth entry from the Batman Movie Minifigure Series. That’s great, these are probably cheap on the secondary market (being that most shops will have long sold out of these but they are not that sought after or special) so I could probably pick up a fig with orange hands for a couple of quid. So what else do I need?
I need a proper tanned head, I am using a chima head and trying to trick you but it is clearly a double sided head that I have quarter turned in an effort to make it look all tanned. This is where the ‘cleaning; could come in. I haven’t really looked into it but as depicted in the awesome Lego Movie you can use nail polish remover and a cotton bud to wipe the print away. I have read somewhere that thee are better combinations of chemicals to use to get a perfect finish once you have wiped off the print. I would prefer not to go down that route just yet, so I’ll check bricklink again.
This time I’m looking for a head, so I’ll click on one of the killermoth minifigs and look at the it constituent parts. then click on head, find and choose the plain head and check the known colours again.
This is where is gets a bit tricky. there are three type of plain head. so I have to click on each one and check the known colours, it turns out that only one of them (head type 3626c (hollow stud)) has tanned as a known colour. So if I then look at the tanned heads I see that there are 7 items with a tanned head.
Damn, no minifigs with a plain tanned head, only sets. Mulan’s training day is the set with the least amount of parts so lets look at that and find the specific part.
And there it is. I can then look for people selling this part. It turns out there is a seller in America selling it for about 4p. But I’ll need to spend more than 4p to fulfil the minimum order and make it worth while. I find that ordering from the US is a pain as they don’t include VAT and so customs add some on and you get stung for more than the price. I prefer to order from the EU.
So now I know how to complete two more monofigs I’ll keep looking for parts and try to find a seller that sells the hands and the heads that I need until I have as many as I can reasonably get. Collecting Minifigs (and monofigs) can be an expensive hobby so its slow progress, but the slow and steady progress is sometimes what makes the collecting so much fun.
As with all my Lego minifig collections I will have to figure out how to display it. It is unlikely that I will use one of our frames as they hold hundreds of figures and would look pretty empty with just 16 or so figs in (it would barely take up one shelf). I’m sure I can find a simple yet elegant and striking way to show them off. If you have a monofig collection I’d love to see how you display yours or what you went through to collect them all.