2023 LEGO House Exclusive Set Celebrates 45 years of Minifigure

This year, we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the debut of the LEGO® Minifigure in 1978. While we have seen some amazing changes since those early days, perhaps some of the biggest changes to the original figures with their simplistic prints, and even simpler smiles were seen in 1989 with the arrival of LEGO Pirates: We got the first named character: Captain Redbeard in some markets, he was full of innovations: a red beard and eyepatch were added to his face; he gained a wooden leg, and a hook for a hand: both seen for the first time. We also saw the first feminine Minifigure released in that theme.

Continuing its theme of celebrating key moments in LEGO History, The LEGO House has just announced that their exclusive set for 2023 celebrates the Minifigure’s 45th birthday with a giant replica of Captain Brickbeard, resplendent in all his Brick Built Glory!

Designed by Stuart Harris and Markus Rollbüller, this set adapts Captain Redbeard to stand over 30cm tall, and realised with 1041 pieces.

This year’s LEGO® House Exclusive set “A Minifigure Tribute” (40504) is a celebration of the LEGO minifigure – an indispensable part of the LEGO history since 1978. For 45 years, the tiny character has made it possible for children and adults to step into any adventure built in LEGO bricks. This limited edition set will be released on March 1, 2023. 

Every year, the LEGO House Limited Edition set celebrates an iconic moment in LEGO history. One such moment was the launch of the LEGO minifigure in 1978. The small figure magically gives you the opportunity to become part of any LEGO adventure you choose to build – whether you dream of a noisy battle at sea, putting out a fire in LEGO city, entering hyperspace in a rocket, or hosting a feast in a castle. That magical ability turns 45 this year.

That’s why this year’s LEGO House Limited Edition had to be a heartfelt tribute to the more than 10 billion minifigures that have conquered the world since the launch. And it’s done with a big scale version of the legendary Captain Redbeard minifigure – now with special details!

Kathrine Kirk Muff, LEGO House CEO, said:

“Can you imagine LEGO play and the LEGO House without the minifigure – I can’t! The tiny, charming figure, just four LEGO bricks tall, is a standing invitation to LEGO fans of all ages as an empowering tool to tell unlimited stories. To highlight a significant part of the LEGO Group history – namely the invention of the minifigure – this year’s exclusive LEGO House product simply had to be a tribute to the minifigure. The minifigure can be found everywhere in LEGO House, not least in the Character Creator and World Explorer play experiences. We also started the 2023 season with a photo exhibition where the minifigure was at the center.”

But which minifigure? 

Since the first minifigure was launched in 1978, LEGO designers have created a staggering 8,000 different minifigures with every imaginable face expression, hairstyle, hat, beard, dress, or superhero cape. Since 2010, they’ve even had their very own LEGO minifigures collectible series.

LEGO Group Designer Jens Nygaard Knudsen was the master of the minifigure design that we know and love today. He had to go through at least 50 different prototypes before finding the perfect design – a small figure that fits perfectly into the LEGO System in Play scale.

Captain of the ship

The original Captain Redbeard minifigure from 6285 Black Seas Barracuda was created by Niels Milan Pedersen and we chose to recreate this iconic figure in large scale for this year’s LEGO House Limited Edition set. Niels has been involved in the development of many popular LEGO sets during his long but still-active career as a LEGO designer. However, of all his many sets, his favourite set is still the 6285 Black Seas Barracuda from 1989.

Captain Redbeard is an intricate design with lots of fun details such as a hook for hand, peg leg, epaulettes on his shoulders, and a black captain’s hat with the ‘Jolly Roger’ emblem. All of that is meticulously recreated in this new set. The build stands 30 cm tall and consists of 1041 LEGO bricks and as a little extra detail, the pirate has a LEGO House bracelet on his hook hand and a treasure map in his hand with a secret reference to the designers behind the product!

Captain Redbeard is LEGO House Exclusive set number four.

LEGO House Exclusive: A Minifigure Tribute (40504) is only available at the LEGO Store in LEGO House, Billund, Denmark, and goes on sale on March 1, with a cost of 599DKK (126 AUD/85USD/80€/£70

I love the look of this model, and I cannot imagine a figure that better represents the innovations seen in LEGO Minifigures over the first couple of decades than this!

What do you think of this set? Will it see you planning a trip to the LEGO House over the next 12 months or so? Why not leave your comments below and until next time…

Play Well

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