Mixels: you either love them or hate them.
When these characters arrived, about three years ago, a lot of LEGO fans didn’t quite know what to make of them. Brightly coloured, with seemingly chaotic design initially, they have developed a reputation for disguising some advanced building techniques in what may otherwise consider a ‘weird, colour themed parts pack,’ with an attractive price tag.
Like Ninjago, Elves and Nexo Knights, I have not invested in the multimedia aspect of the series. Mostly for time based reasons. Other than some of the first wave, I haven’t focussed on Mixels at all in my collection. I have picked up a few for parts, and sometimes it is obvious, looking at the parts for sale, when a BrickLink store has just broken down a new wave of these sets for stock.
So, I thought I would take a look at a random selection of characters from my local department store and see what they have to teach us. I ended up with Tuth (41571) from wave 8, Compax (41574), Sweepz (41573), and Screeno (41578) from wave 9. Unfortunately there were none of the Ninja inspired Wave Nine Mixel sets to be found at my local shop- having been and gone already.
What did they have to show us?
These are simple builds, but as we have seen during the year, some simple sets can have very interesting building techniques in play. Here are some of the things I took away from these five sets:
- There is no need to have the studs on top. Have a look at the top of Tuth’s head: the plate is upside down, with studs meeting in the mouth.
- Arches within Arches. Look at this detail on the side of Compax. I guess this has been a thing over the last couple of years, but this is the first time I have seen it demonstrated in a set. Have you seen it in any other sets? Let me know. There must be a world of colour combinations on offer here that could be pretty neat.
- Those ‘teeth tiles’ don’t need to be square next to be placed next to each other. Sure they are also awesome micro scale grave stones, but they also add a great level of cartoonish aesthetic to any model they appear in.
- Those tools used for Nixel Arms are 2 plates thick – add the extra plate/teeth to make the Nixel body 3 plates (one brick) thick.
- Three sets use brackets for SNOT in three different ways: Upward on top of downwards ( Screeno); Downward above upward (Sweepz) and Upward above another upward (Tuth). Remember- including the base of the bracket, 5 plates has the same ‘height’ as 2 studs .
- An finally: Ball and socket joints are only likely to appear in black/dark bley and light bley (Bley=bluish grey/gray depending on which side of the pond you are on.) There is no doubt that there are some aspects of plastics that are affected by the pigments used. Virtually everytime a set containing the small ball/socket joints gets reviewed, a comment such as: “If only they weren’t grey/dark gray…”is made. I suspect it would be on the agenda for the LEGO Group to produce these versatile pieces in other hues. My personal attempts to stress components such as antennae/levers and sonic screwdrivers into smaller holes than they should fit suggested to me that perhaps the pigments do affect the tensile strength of plastics. I certainly recall many of the trailer hitch sockets from the 70’s tended to break, but they had a different design as well. Given the proliferation of themes that these joints now appear in, I do not expect the problem to be solved until there is a new breakthrough in the pigment or materials science involved. I would like my Elves Dragons to have colourful hip joints!
So, as we say “Farewell” to the Mixels, let us not forget the other things that they have brought us: Eyes a plenty; weird wings and lots of interesting pieces in interesting colors. It is sad knowing that there are not going to be any further releases in this line. Getting to know these few has been quite exciting, and makes me wish I had got to look at some more sooner.
Who are your favourite Mixels? Will you miss them once they are gone? Why not leave a note below.