A Critique of the Upcoming LEGO CMF Series 19

On Thursday night, my Instagram feed was filled with the images of the new LEGO CMF Series 19. Some of the images, like the dachshund and the rugby mould, have already leaked a few weeks before, but some were brand new. I thought I’d take a quick look at the new minifigures and their accessories and share my first impressions with you.

As I was searching for images to use here, I came across a video titled “Why LEGO Minifigures Series 19 is disappointing“. It was by just2good. Now, I usually don’t watch review videos, but when I do, his videos are my first stop. I have to admit I was intrigued by the title. I mean, I know I was a bit disappointed in the latest CMF series, but the reactions I got from my friends were usually positive. So I went on to watch his video.

Collecting LEGO CMF Series

Personally, ever since their first appearance in 2010, I have always liked the idea of the CMF Series. Since I mostly collect minifigures rather than sets, it made my life easy to get a single minifigure for a reasonable price. I have always been picky, though. I never got the whole set of any of them. Well, there is one exception, but it was a gift, so doesn’t really count.

Whenever the images of a new CMF series is leaked or released, I start going through all the minifigures. I look at the whole figure, look at their parts, accessories, and pick which ones I want to add to my collection. If I don’t like the figure, I don’t even bother getting it. If I only like the accessory, I get that instead of the whole set. That’s how my process works.

Lately, I’ve realized a few changes in myself. Whenever a new CMF series image is released, I tend to focus more on the accessories and less on the minifigures themselves. Until today, I never really gave it much thought. I just told myself so many minifigures are being released each year, it’s hard to get a great one all the time. I even went as far as to say “Maybe I’m not as excited about LEGO sets & figures as I used to be”. Which, if I’m being honest, is a little scary, but couldn’t be farther from the truth. I still get excited when I see the smallest and simplest of sets.

It’s all about timing…

Something I heard on just2good‘s video made me dig a little deeper. He said “Any LEGO minifigure series, if you showed them 10 years ago, would be incredible, including this one”. It’s been almost 10 years since the first release of the LEGO CMF series, and if we compare CMF Series 1 and CMF Series 19, and take a quick look at every other one in between, it’s easy to see how much they have evolved. The face prints, the body prints, the hair pieces, double moulded legs, new moulded accessories… yes, there are so many new parts and designs, even if some of them were not created solely for the CMF Series.

They also give us the chance to own some minifigures that otherwise would not be included in any other set. Sure, we can get a firefighter or a nurse in a city set, we have ninjas in Ninjago sets, and astronauts in Space sets, but wrestlers, mimes and gamers are a little harder to come by. They are good for collecting, for adding variation to our cities, and for photographing. All in all, the LEGO CMF Series seem to be perfect in every way.

So why aren’t they?

Picky picky!

After thinking about the reason for a while, watching the video several more times, and looking through the released images, I decided to put on my not-so-critical glasses on and write about what the LEGO CMF Series 19 really made me feel. Which minifigures I thought were a must-have, which ones were okay, and which ones were meh – or even worse.

Saying this makes me sad, but none of the minifigures feel like a must-have to me. Sure, there are some cool parts and accessories, and some I really like. However, remembering how Poison Ivy from the LEGO Batman Movie made me feel (OMG!!!! I GOTTA HAVE HER AT ALL COSTS!!!), I can easily say that non of them excite me as much as she did.

Worth getting

Moving on to the okay ones. There are three of them which fall into this category: Coder Girl, Fox Girl and Rainbow Bear. I like the Coder Girl, because she actually reminds me of myself when I was young… ehm, I mean, younger 🙂 The binary code on her shirt which translates to LEGO is a really nice touch, and so is her simple necklace. I’d have to agree with just2good about the hair. While I really like the model, it would have been nice to have a different color.

I have always liked costumed minifigures in the CMF Series, whether it was an animal costume or food. So there’s no wonder why I like the Fox Girl, even though I barely remember her appearance in the LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. Her accessories are disappointing, though. We already had a chicken in that color, and the sack is nothing new. While it completes her character, it would’ve been nice if we finally got a System fox.

As for the Rainbow Bear… There are actually a few reasons why I like it. First, I’m a big fan of color, and it has lots of it. Second, the head and one of the arms seem to be made of the new coral color, which happens to be my favorite LEGO color so far. And last, it reminds me of Care Bears, which was one of my favorite shows as a child. Okay, so it looks like three bears mixed into one, but it’s still a Care Bear in my eyes.

Not too bad

The next three only interest me because of their accessories, mainly, their animals. Even though I’m more of a cat person, the French bulldog managed to stay my favorite LEGO animal for quite a long time. I kept calling it a pug, and after a while named him Pagi (if you read my posts regularly, you know how terrible I am with naming my figures 🙂 ). Getting him in another color will make a nice addition to my collection. I’m excited about the Dachshund, too. I’ve been complaining here and there about how the Friends theme have so many different animals and there isn’t enough in the System line, so I’ll even have another dog if it’s System. And then there’s the poop. I feel weird saying it, but I’m excited to have a LEGO poop 🙂

Next we have the flamingo. While the Pet Owner doesn’t say much to me – even though her hair color is pretty cool – her flamingo will feel right at home in my aviary. According to Bricklink, there are 76 air animals. However, the majority of them are either different colors of the same mould, fantasy creatures, or brick-built. The only original air animals the System line have are the parrot, the bat, the seagull, the eagle, the owl, and the newly released dove from the second Disney CMF Series. Another winged creature definitely won’t hurt.

I left the best one for last: The chameleon. As far as I know, there have been only two types of chameleons so far, and both belong to the Friends theme. The new mould released last year is none other than Rapunzel’s Pascal, which also came in the form of the first chameleon mould. The other two re-colors of that mould appear in both Friends and Elves sets. This new mould is not only our first System chameleon, but it is much more detailed and honestly, looks much more realistic. His companion, however, the Explorer, just looks like a Johnny Thunder wannabe. Either that, or Johnny here decided to roll with the times and got a huge makeover. Whichever it is, the minifigure itself isn’t very impressive.

Just for parts

As far as I understand from the leaked images, many of the minifigures have double sided heads. From a photographer’s point of view, that’s always welcome. Even the simplest of expression can change a picture drastically, and seeing others use them in alternate scenarios is always fun to watch. To that point, the head pieces of the Shower Guy and Dog Walker are a must have. Shower Guy’s rubber duck, while not exactly brand new, can be a good addition to the ducklings from the Fun Fair People Pack. The Pizza Guy’s costume looks great, but the rest doesn’t call out to me much. If I’m being honest, he looks a bit stoned, and doesn’t really know what he’s doing there.

I really like the Video Gamer’s controller, it was about time we got a proper accessory like that. While I’m not a big fan of space minifigures from the CMF Series, the wanted sign the Intergalactic Bounty Hunter holds looks really cool, mainly because of the color and the “Built or Broken” text on it. I’m also curious about his (her?) face.

No thank you

The Monkey King, Black Knight, Mummy, Firefighter and Rugby Player falls under this category. They do have some interesting parts and prints, but not enough to get the minifigure, or even the part itself for that matter.

There’s one minifigure I left out, as you’ve probably noticed: Mountain Biker. She doesn’t excite me that much, even with her coral torso and cool helmet-hair combo, but she is still pretty significant. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the first time we’re getting a vehicle in a CMF Series. That alone is a good enough reason to get her. It’s also quite promising as to what else LEGO may squeeze in the upcoming CMFs.

Final Thoughts

Even though the minifigures themselves aren’t that special, if I look at the overall variety of parts, LEGO CMF Series 19 looks pretty rich. It does bring another question to mind, though. Is LEGO releasing this series for the minifigures, or the accessories? Take a few of the above-mentioned accessories. Most of them wouldn’t be suitable to add to a regular set. But if you release a minifigure just to release that accessory, you wouldn’t need to worry about fitting it into a set.

Something to think about, wouldn’t you say?

Anyway, these are just my ramblings as usual. Let me know in the comments section which minifigures you’re looking forward to the most. Are you excited about the new CMF Series 19? Or like just2good, are you disappointed in them?

 

My super special thanks to just2good for the inspiration.

Images are from Brickset and The Brothers Brick. The names of the minifigures are also taken from Brickset, and they may not be the final names of these minifigures.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. I wonder how you define LEGO System… Because to me LEGO Friends (and Elves and co) are LEGO System. They use the exact same bricks and are 100% compatible with other LEGO sets. It’s not because the scale is a bit off with Minifigures that it’s not System. It’s as much System as is the micro-scale Hogwarts Castle or the Creator vehicles. What changes is the scale… And Minidolls scale is by far the closest to Minifig scale. I don’t see why you couldn’t reuse an Elves fox with a Minifigure.

    1. That may have been a poor choice of words. You’re right, they are 100% compatible, but the Friends (and Elves) animals have larger heads and eyes which make them seem more like baby animals rather than adult ones. Of course that doesn’t make them any less significant, and I really appreciate the range they have brought. Still, when I put a System cat next to a Friends cat, the System version always seems more appealing. I guess it’s just a matter of aesthetics.

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Pinar

Some girls play with Barbies while others create small worlds with minifigures and continue to do so when they grow up. You can probably guess which group I belong to :)
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