Surprising and Funny History of LEGO faces

December 15, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-

How do you feel today ? Happy, bored, joyful, surprised ? Sometimes it's enough to look at your facial expression and everything is clear. Our face reveals a lot about our state of mind even though by the time we're adults we've learnt to mask our true feelings quite well. Either by pretending interest and smile or behave indifferently even if we're interested. Of course, we're not perfect actors. Fortunately. :-) And that's a good thing !
Even LEGO Minifigures are not perfect actors and they do not hide their true feelings behind polite masks. However, it hasn't been always the case for them in past ! During first 11 years of their existence, every minifigure was supposed to smile all the time. They didn't have a choice. By 1989 we've known only smiling minifigures.
Until 1989, we've known only smiling Minifigures 
And because no one believes a person who smiles all the time, in 1989 LEGO came up with first minifigures with different facial expressions. The 1980's were also a golden age for headgear. Even the very first minifigures with blind faces were wearing hats !
As Shakespeare said many and many years ago: "Clothes make a man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. " This doesn't apply to Minifigures. If he had talked about Minifigures in that time, he would have said it differently "Hats make a Minifigure. Minifigures without hat have little or no influence on society." :-)
1980's Hats make a Minifigure
First female Minifigure was introduced just a few months after the male one. That's not surprising, though. :-) Not the first time in history when man takes precedence over a woman. :-) What's interesting is that the first female minifigure wears trousers, not a skirt. The skirt is introduced after 12 years in 1990. In history, it was the complete opposite. Skirts have been worn by women until the early 20th century.
First female skirt introduced in 1990
Let's go back to the faces, that's what interests us today ! In the 1990's it's getting wild ! Minifigures begin to experiment with hair and beards. No wonder ! They're all teenagers ! :-)
1990' Minifigures experiment with hair and beards
If I said that in 1990's it was getting wild, in 2000's it was getting even wilder. :-) With start of license sets, Minifigures slowly change from ordinary people to super heroes with supernatural abilities or aliens and other film based characters. More often we recognise famous face of the celebrity we know from TV, cinema, theatre, ... Sometimes you come across a really weird creature either with two faces or head sculpted into a different shape.
First Minifigures with two-sided face appear in 2001
You cannot stop evolution ! :-)

What is the most unusual LEGO face you have in your collection ?

I will be very happy if you let me know in comments bellow.

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18 December 2016 at 19:04 delete

I don't know if I have any "unusual" faces in my collection. I like the flirtatious ones, I guess, so any winking faces.
I still love the original smiley face, but I enjoy getting new faces I've never had before. My brother and I try not to have two of the exact same Minifigures in our town, so the different faces help us maintain that policy, even if the rest of the Minifigure is exactly the same.
I definitely prefer happy and positive faces. There seems to be a plethora of angry/tough-guy faces these days.

Lego Girl
19 December 2016 at 10:36 delete

Yes, there are many angry faces but sometimes you need them as well. I'm sure that smiling faces / positive faces are still in majority, and that's important ! :-)
Btw, I love your rule of having no two identical Minifigures in your town. :-) I guess that it can be quite challenging in such a big town as your is.