Glued magnet minifig removal!

by admin on January 1, 2011

in Magnets & Keychains

LEGO magnet-sets have been a wonderful way to acquire minifigs without having to buy a whole expensive set. Unfortunately the good times are over. From 2011 all magnet sets are being glued! ๐Ÿ™

The minifigโ€™s legs are glued to the magnet base. In addition, the torso/legs assembly is glued to the torso. The minifigโ€™s heads are removable from the torso, and any crown, hair or other headgear is also removable. Weapons and other accessories are separate and removable. Because the figs are glued to the magnet-base they are no longer useful for much more than as refrigerator dรฉcor.

The LEGO Ambassador for Bricklink contacted LEGO about this and she received the following reply from a LEGO-rep:

โ€œAll Extended Line minifigure magnet sets will as of Jan 1st 2011 be glued. Based on new requirements, the magnet base and the minifigures will have to be permanently fixed together on LEGO Star Wars magnet sets.

To ensure a consistent consumer experience across all LEGO minifigure magnet sets we have chosen to permanently fix the minifigure to the magnet base on all magnet sets moving forward from Jan 1st 2011 (incl. Pharaohโ€™s Quest launching Dec 1st).

This decision has been carefully considered and was not taken easily as we know that many consumers will obviously not like this change.โ€

Of course LEGO-fans are not at all happy about this change and have been trying to rescue their figs from their magnet shackles. So far I have seen people trying to pry off figs with a hobby-knife or chisel. This method will separate the minifig from the magnet base, but unfortunately it also tends to break the back of the legs.

I decided to spend a bit of time myself trying to find a solution that is both safe for the minifig and the person using the method. (Please read our Tutorials Disclaimer for your safety here.) I will start with the process that I found working, and below that I will list my failed attempts for your further amusement (and horror!). ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. THE HOT WATER PROCESS – this works!: Originally I thought LEGO is using some kind of strong glue, like Superglue, and tried methods that I knew could work for glue. However none of these worked. (See failed attempts.) Then I did a little research on the methods LEGO used to glue parts.

I have discovered that LEGO is not using glue at all, but a solvent, that actually loosens the surface of the ABS plastic and allows the molecules to combine. Once the solvent evaporates, it leaves behind a cleanly fused surface with no residue at all.

Reading further on the subject, I found that LEGO has been using two types of solvents. One is called MEK (methyl-ethyl-ketone) and at some point they switched to GBL (gamma-butyrolactone). Iโ€™m no chemist, so I had no idea what these are, but I read that both of them are water soluble at certain temperatures. So, I thought to try loosening the seal between the minifig and the magnet by hot water.

The challenge is that ABS plastic itself has a melting point, which is 176 Fahrenheit (80 Celsius). So, I had to make sure I donโ€™t cross over that temperature.

โ€ข Stove
โ€ข Medium size pot with water (for heating)
โ€ข Strainer
โ€ข Cooking Thermometer
โ€ข Cold water (for cooling)
โ€ข Watch (for measuring time)
โ€ข Kitchen mitts or cloth (to keep your hands from burning)

Remove minifig accessories (tools/weapons, headgear and head)
Bend minifig at the waist so it is in a sitting position (this gives the best angle for the hot bath, and also helps to lift it out of the water)
Lift minifigs hands up, like it is reaching out for something (this also assures the correct angle)

1. Fill pot with water
2. Place strainer on top of the pot
3. Make sure the water level is above the strainer by about an inch
4. Place Cooking Thermometer in pot
5. Heat water to 160 Fahrenheit (71 Celsius) (I found this to be a perfect temperature for the process. Not too hot to damage the plastic, but hot enough to loosen the seal.)
6. Turn off heat (if you have an electric stove, it is best to take the pot off the burner)
7. Place minifig in hot water and leave it there for 5 minutes
8. Remove minifig from hot water (just grabbing it by the neck-stud works great; the water is really not that hot)
9. Hold minifig/magnet assembly in kitchen-mitts with one hand and bend the torso straight back as much as you can (but gently!) to see if the seal is starting to loosen. WARNING! Do not try to wiggle the torso left and right! This will loosen the leg-pins and you will have a fig with very loose legs! ONLY bend the torso straight back!
10. As you bend the torso backwards against the extension plate on the magnet you will see the seal getting loose. At this point the fig may pop right off.
11. If it doesnโ€™t, DO NOT force the fig to come off! Just put it back in the hot water and leave it there for another couple of minutes.
12. Take the fig out again and bend the torso backwards. By this time the fig should either pop right off, or the seal should be very loose.
13. If the fig doesnโ€™t pop off, but the seal is very loose, gently insert a kitchen-knife in the gap between the back of the figโ€™s legs and the magnet-base. (The fig is fused ONLY at the back of the legs to the studs on the magnet. NOT at the bottom of the feet.)
14. Once the fig is off, run it under cold water to cool it off. WARNING! Donโ€™t move the legs and arms until the fig is completely cooled! You can damage the joints and they will become very loose!
15. DONE! ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€ข This method DOES NOT damage the plastic, as we are staying below its melting point. It also wonโ€™t damage the print on the minifig.
โ€ข Once the minifig is off, on the back of the legs you will see where the fig was fused to the magnet is kind of rough. There is not much we can do about that. But at least we have rescued the minifig from its bondage! (I would not recommend sanding this area to smooth it as I have read that the fusing process makes the ABS plastic more brittle. The back of the legsย are already very thin, so smoothingย them down may weakenย them further.)
โ€ข This process may also release the bond between the torso and the leg-assembly. On one of my figs the torso just slipped right off. On another it became loose but didnโ€™t fully come off. I didnโ€™t want to push my luck. ๐Ÿ˜‰

NOW THE HORROR STORIES FOR YOUR EDUCATION AND AMUSEMENT! (In each method listed below I note the process, time elapsed, and the result.)

Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room temp.
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room temp.
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

(Isopropyl Alcohol 50% by Volume)
Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

Method: full immersion
Temperature: warm water
Time: overnight (8 hours)
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

(Baby Oil)
Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

9. THE WD-40 PROCESS – fail!:
Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

10. THE ACETONE PROCESS – badly fail!:
(Regular Nail Polish Remover by Equate)
Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room
Adverse effects on plastic: MELTED
Adverse effects on print: MELTED/CAME OFF (See below:)

In summary, I would hope that LEGO will come up with another solution besides fusing minifigs to magnets to meet licensing regulations. In the meantime you can give your minifigs a niceย hot bath! And if you come up with something better feel free to share it here! Oh, and while you are at it, you may also want to read about removing LEGO minifigs from keychains.

I haveย also written a guide with a list of all glued and non-glued magnet sets to help shoppers identify them easier. ย Read here: Guide to Glued & Non-Glued Magnet Minifigs! Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ˜‰

{ 454 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 2, 2011 at 12:40 PM

I’d like to thank you spending your time and money to find a method to de-glue the magnets

admin January 2, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Thanks! I hope my research helps someone else! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jammiedodger714 January 2, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Great! Thanks for that!
Does the water technique work with keychains too? My Rex’s head is glued inside the helmet, and I want it out!

admin January 2, 2011 at 1:51 PM

I assume it would work as the hot water loosens the seal (assuming that LEGO uses the same solvents for keychains).
Unfortunately I do not have any keychains so I cannot try it out. Maybe you can try and let us know? ๐Ÿ˜‰
I think the challenge would be how to grab the head and pull it out of the helmet. You would have to wiggle it out somehow.

fff January 7, 2011 at 8:06 AM

nice investigation & discovery!! you’re the best!! ๐Ÿ™‚

admin January 7, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Thanks, fff! Also, thanks for the link to your blog! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Max&Otto January 8, 2011 at 11:03 PM

The best way to remove key chain pins from minifigures is to carefully heat up the tips of a pair of needle nose pliers over a gas flame, grab the pin with the pliers and carefully pull. You might need to try a couple of times until the pliers are just the right temperature, but the pin will eventually come off without any damage to the minifigure – except of course for the hole for the pin…

admin January 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Thanks for that tip! I’m planning to write a post about removing pins from magnet figs and I haven’t heard of your method before. Unfortunately I don’t have any magnet figs now, but as soon as I get one I will try your suggestion. Thanks again! ๐Ÿ™‚

Octopunk January 10, 2011 at 1:23 AM

Wow! Fantastically thorough article. Your approach is admirably methodical, and the acetone punchline was hilarious. Thanks. I’m going to have to try this.

I used to work in a model shop where the same type of solvent was used. We called it “juice” but I don’t know what it was really called. I’ve never heard of a counter to it. From my experience removing keychain minifig headgear from heads, it’s the same stuff, and it doesn’t respond well to force.

Thanks to Max&Otto for their tip, as well.

admin January 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Thanks for telling us about the “juice”! Interesting!
BTW, someone just sent me this video about removing keychain pins. It is similar to Max&Otto’s method. looks super easy! See it here: Minifig Keychain Pin Removal

She-Devil January 10, 2011 at 10:01 PM

I had a few keychains I just pulled with a regular pliers & the pin came out very easily. MY question has anyone tried melting or found some substance to make it look like it was never there?
Thanks for the info on the freedom of magnets.

admin January 10, 2011 at 10:07 PM

I’m ordering some keychains right now to do some experiments! (I like to try things myself, so I know it works, how it works, and what challenges can come up.) The question you raised about making the hole “disappear” is great, and I will try to address that.
Personally I would not try melting the plastic. What I have seen people do is using putty or even glue to fill the hole and then paint it. You can achieve amazing results with a little paint! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fuffernoose January 12, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Excellent! Tried it this afternoon on two of the Pharaoh’s Quest figures and it worked! Thanks so much for the tip. I wasn’t able to get the torsos off though. But, hey, I’ll take having the figures free. I was so dismayed to hear that Lego had decided to start doing this. I’m so tired of having to resort to eBay and paying $$$ for some of the more rare minifigures. Now that I know this works I’ll definitely use this method again. Cool tip about the keychain figures too. I have only been able to get the rod out of one with pliers so I can take the head off. I’ll have to see about trying this way next time. Thanks again for doing all the research!

admin January 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Yay! More minifigs liberated! I’m happy for your success! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚
As far as the torso coming off, I found that sometimes it just slips right off, sometimes it doesn’t. I didn’t want to force it either.
I’m getting some keychains right now to try the methods recommend in the video and by Max&Otto. I will do a post on it to report back with the result.

Jargon January 18, 2011 at 3:43 PM

While I’ve been removing the pins from keychain minifigures for years now, I have had no success whatsoever removing the torsos from the legs.
Unfortunately, the 160 degrees method didn’t seem to make any difference for me. That being said, I’d love to see if you have any tricks up your sleeve on the subject.

Garth Danielson January 20, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Hi – This is a great post. I passed it along to the guys (and those few gals) in our local LUG – TwinLUG.

I’m thinking I want to try this. All I need to do is go get a strainer and some mini-magnets.


admin January 20, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Garth, give it a try! Your minifigs will appreciate being freed! ๐Ÿ˜‰
If you, or anyone in your LUG have a question about the process just let me know. But it is pretty easy. ๐Ÿ˜€

Scott January 29, 2011 at 10:58 AM

You rock! I just liberated three Pharaoh’s Quest minifigs for my son. Your instructions were spot on and there is virtually no damage to the figure. The only thing I did different was to put them in the refrigerator to cool them down thinking it might help to keep the joints nice and tight. Thanks!

admin January 29, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Yay! More minifigs liberated! Great idea about sticking them in the fridge to cool! I haven’t thought of that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Chris January 29, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Thanks for the magnet tip…my son loves the figures, and I thought that it would be easy to disassemble those expensive magnets to get the guys he wanted. Poor kids wanted the magnet removed, and it was clear that they didn’t pop off. Found your site and followed your chemistry experiment, and pop, off they came !! Thanks so much !

admin January 29, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Thanks for sharing, Chris! I’m glad your son got the figs he wanted! ๐Ÿ˜€ February 5, 2011 at 1:03 AM

Hej Maxx,
very great job you did. I bought the first Magnet set’s for my son this week (2. Feb 2011) and read after the buy there terrible things about THE GLUE. After I wake up after the shock I looked for a solution what to do. I found on “” the link to your site. Really great job! But I hope that I’ll get the older Star Wars sets that are not glued.
I’m an “old man” but I’ll tell my son that and what I found at your page. He sall tell his friens and their parents.
Greetz – February 5, 2011 at 1:12 AM

oh my god – some mistakes in writing. Sorry but I can’t edit the written things ๐Ÿ™ Typing is not as easy as it seems ๐Ÿ™‚ ….

admin February 5, 2011 at 11:14 AM

No problem about the typos! ๐Ÿ˜‰
I’m glad I could help you guys! If you bought a magnet set (I assume online), and it is a 2010 release, then you will be good. They won’t be glued.
BTW, this post was not written by Maxx. Maxx is the resident color guru, so he will cover colors for me. ๐Ÿ˜€
And yes, spread the word! We gotta liberate those poor figs! ๐Ÿ™‚

Chris Christian March 9, 2011 at 11:05 PM

I just replicated the glue removal process for the Atlantis Magnet Set (853087) with partial success. The heating process did very little overall to loosen the plastic and the knife was required to free all three minifigures. This worked fine with the caveat that using a very sharp knife can lead to unintended consequences of cutting off the pips on the back of the magnet and getting them stuck inside of the legs. I would recommend using a dull knife for this step of the process.

admin March 9, 2011 at 11:22 PM

Chris, thanks for sharing your results! ๐Ÿ™‚
Is it possible that the figs may have not stayed in the water long enough, or the temperature was not hot enough?
I have tried the method on several of my magnet figs and it always worked. But I have not tried any of the Atlantis figs.
Perhaps LEGO changed the solvent to fuse the figs to the magnets? Or perhaps they use different solvents at different locations? These are questions to ponder. ๐Ÿ˜‰
I’m not using the knife to cut away the figs at all. I’m only using it to give a little nudge to a fig that won’t fall off by itself. Any other thin object would work just as well. It doesn’t have to be sharp.
I’m glad though that you were able to free your figs one way or an other! ๐Ÿ˜€

Chris Christian March 9, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Thanks for all the effort spent on researching the best way to separate the minifigures from the the magnet. For an idea of what ended up going wrong with the Crab Warrior due to the use of a very sharp knife, I took pictures at most steps along the way that can be seen here:

admin March 9, 2011 at 11:34 PM

Chris, looks like you did a good job at the end! But yep, that’s a big ol’ knife you got there! ๐Ÿ˜€
BTW, I love your Mandalorians photo! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wilson March 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM

COOL! This is so cool!!! I was like ‘WHAT!?’ when i heard and saw the new glued minifigures on those magnets. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by Lego fans! I’m definitely disappointed by the ‘scars’ left behind after rescuing those minifigures, but well, its better than nothing right? I haven’t try using this method so, i’m curious about this matter, does the scar affect those holes at the hind of the legs and the bottom? Like maybe, not allowing studs to enter the holes of the leg of those minifigs and hold there just like a normal minifig?


admin March 10, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Wilson, yep, I think this was a bad move from LEGO! Once fans realize the magnets are glued they just won’t buy them. Expect them to be on sale soon! ๐Ÿ˜€
The “scars” on the legs depend on how much solvent LEGO injected to “glue” the fig. On some figs there will be more, on some less. It basically just makes the surface of the legs a bit rough and unfinished looking, and probably also makes the plastic weaker.
It seems like the “scars” show up most on black legs the most because the shiny-ness of the black surface. On lighter colored legs it is hardly noticable.
I have not noticed it effecting the usability of the holes.
Also, please note that the solvent is injected behind the legs, not under the feet. So the feet of the figs are not glued, therefore not effected.
If I really-really want a fig in perfect condition, I would just buy the set, or get the fig from Bricklink, even if it is more expensive. Removing the figs from magnets however gives you some cheap figs great for play! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kristy March 12, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Awesome! The hot water trick worked like a charm. 6 minutes and a little prying with a thin knife!!! Thank you soooo much. Really appreciate your research!! Hope LEGO doesnt make it harder eventually!

admin March 12, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Yay! More minifigs liberated! Thanks for sharing your results! ๐Ÿ˜€

Bob March 14, 2011 at 10:10 PM

who knows if this works for the atlantis (2011) magnets?

admin March 14, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Bob, they should be the same. ๐Ÿ˜‰

carla March 25, 2011 at 5:19 PM

I just tried it with the new star wars minifigures. I used a thermometer to be sure about the temp. The first 5 minutes, it didn’t even look like anything was happening. I put it in another 5. I still had to use a flat butter knife to get them to pop off, but they came off just fine.
Thanks for the help!

admin March 25, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Carla, thanks for sharing yoru experiment! I think how easily the figs pop off depends on how much solvents LEGO uses. I have seen some figs have barely any, and some has quite a bit.
It should not be a problem to keep the figs in the water a few minutes longer. The important thing is to keep the temperature below the ABS melting point. ๐Ÿ˜‰
I have found that on most of the figs I have to use a knife also to give them that final gentle nudge. ๐Ÿ˜€

Brody and Brock March 26, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Thanks. we appreciate the tip. trying it now.

admin March 26, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Brody & Brock, good luck with your project! Let me and other readers know how it went! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Betsi Lujan April 2, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Absolutely worked! Went to the new opening of Legoland Discovery in Grapevine and $200 later, lots of hot water and a fingernail file (hey we are stuck in a hotel…I had to use what was available) they totally popped off! Thank you SO much!

admin April 2, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Hey, Betsi, thanks for sharing your adventures un-gluing you figs at a hotel! LOL! It must have been interesting! ๐Ÿ˜€
And nail-file, eh? I would not have thought of that! But whatever works! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Andy April 3, 2011 at 4:45 AM

Thanks for the great blog! I tried using pliers to pull the posts from key chains but could not do it. I guess I’m not strong enough. I tried to think of a way build a mechanical tool and found a decent way to do it buy taking apart a chalking gun. I attach the pin to one end using wires and I tie the head/body to the other end of the gun. Pulling the trigger a few times frees the pin ! Good luck. Andy

admin April 4, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Andy, LOL! That is ingenious! ๐Ÿ˜€

JJ April 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Thanks for the tip. The figures all came of the magnets easily, but the torsos wouldn’t budge. Tried soaking them for 10 extra minutes, raising the temp of the water a bit, but no luck. At least they are off of the magnets and my son can play with them! Thanks so much for your experiment and blog.

admin April 6, 2011 at 12:35 PM

JJ, thanks for sharing your results! While some of the legs just slipped off for me, most of them wouldn’t budge. I think it depends on how much solvent was used. I didn’t mind it so much though, so I just let them have their legs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stephanie April 9, 2011 at 3:24 PM

THANKS!!! My 7 year old was crushed when he bought the robbers magnet set to play with and couldn’t get them off the magnet. They are now free. At least until he apprehends them and puts them in Lego jail. ๐Ÿ˜‰

admin April 10, 2011 at 1:31 PM

LOL! Yeah, after all, they are robbers on the run! Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to let them go free! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Robert April 11, 2011 at 7:02 AM

Hi, Just got the Yoda, Mace and Dooku set and realized that they were bonded onto the magnet, at first I got in a bit of a flap and went straight to Eurobricks, where someone gave me the reference to you, I just read through it all and I think I’m gonna try it, So I’ll add another comment when I’m done, (Really want yoda to be free from 2011 evil plan!)

Robert April 11, 2011 at 7:13 AM

Oh, Do you know if it would work with yoda, because it’s his feet that are stuck not the back of his legs (I think they changed him because of his height)

Rich and Harvey April 11, 2011 at 7:57 AM

Hey there,

“New requirements” as in “Lego want people to spend ยฃ30 – ยฃ280 on spaceships because they *know* kids really love the figures, and they’ll be doing themselves out of a ton of money if they sell them separately”, I’m guessing.

I bought several sets of minifigures at Legoland yesterday and didn’t spot the minute line of copy on the backs of the packets informing me that they’re glued to the bases now. Cue one very frustrated and upset 7 year-old who just wanted to play with his new toys during the journey home.

But now they’ve all been liberated after a few minutes in a recently-boiled kettle. So thanks a million (and I mean a million) from both of us!

admin April 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Robert, yes, Yoda has the shorter legs, so he is placed on two small bricks and the bottom of his feet is stuck to those. I do not have a Yoda magnet, but I’m pretty sure the process would work the same way. In fact, it should be easier as Yoda’s legs are more sturdy then regular LEGO legs (no joints to worry about).

The hot water should loosen the solvent, and the minifig should come off. You may need to use a sharp flat object (like a knife) to pop it off, but instead of inserting it behind the minifig, you would need to do it under the feet.

Just be patient. Do not jerk the fig to try to get it off, but let it sit in the hot water, even put it back if necessary, and let the solvent loosen before taking the fig off.

Let me me know how it went! ๐Ÿ˜‰

admin April 11, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Rick & Harvey, thanks for the report! I’m glad it worked for you too! ๐Ÿ˜€

My understanding is that the reason LEGO started gluing the magnets has to do with a licensing issue with the Star Wars frenchise and an other toy manufacturer.

This other toy company (I believe it is Hasbro – if not, someone can correct me) has the license for making Star Wars action figures, and LEGO has the license for Star Wars building toys. This other toy manufacturer argued that the LEGO magnet sets are not building toys and crossed the line into their territory; action figures.

As a response, instead of just completely stopping to make magnet sets, LEGO responded by gluing the figs to the magnets, this way making them decorative/gift items, instead of action figures.

And because now they glued the Star Wars figs, to avoid confusion amongst their fans, they started gluing all magnet figs even where there is no licensing issue (like the city robbers Stephanie mentioned above).

Anyhow, that’s a little bit of the history behind this madness. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Robert April 11, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Wow! It worked, I got all of them off perfectly, One of their legs got a big rough but as you said, Theres not much we can do about it, But now I’ve got them I’m really happy, the Yoda came off even easier than the other two, Before I came here this morning, I was actually considering either selling or binning them! Thank you so much for finding a good solution to Lego’s, rather annoying new system,

Thanks again,


admin April 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM

You are welcome, Robert! I’m glad it worked for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jim Durkin April 13, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Thank You so much, got some of these for my sons birthday, only one pack detached from magnets [ the one packed in white packaging ], my son was extremely disappointed that the blue packaged magnets did not detach, a quick google check led me to your solution. thank so much you saved a six years olds birthday [ and made his father look like a hero ]

admin April 13, 2011 at 10:13 PM

You are welcome, Jim! And happy birthday to your son! I bet he will always remember that his Dad saved his minifigs! ๐Ÿ™‚

Peter Smith April 16, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Thank you for your advice. It was very helpfull to get the minifig of the magnet, but i keep struggeling with the legs. I don’t get them comming of the torso. Can you give me advice hot to get it off the torso. I really think Lego made a uge mistake, because of people creating army’s off the minifigs. That doesn’t work anymore… I am very very dissapointet in Lego.

admin April 16, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Peter, I know what you mean; I also had some figs where the legs didn’t separate from the torso. I just left them as they are. You can experiment with keeping the figs in the water longer, or raising the temperature, just make sure you don’t get too close to the melting point of plastic (176 F / 80 C), as I mention in my post.

Also, I have found that as the temperature gets closer to the melting point, even though the plastic may not melt, still the joints of the minifigs get loose. That is why I recommend doing the process at 160 F. I have found this is the lowest temperature to loosen the bond between the legs and the magnet, without damaging the joints.

I’m an army-builder myself, so I feel your pain. I recommend that for army building you get the battle-packs, or army building packs (available in almost any LEGO theme) rather than the magnets. It would be a lot less work, and you can mix and match the legs and torsos any way you want.

And if there are some minifig parts you can’t find in battle packs, shop for them on Bricklink. If I can help you with finding the torsos/legs, etc. you want on Bricklink just let me know. The site is very robust and it takes a bit of learning to figure out how to find what you need.

Hope this helps some! ๐Ÿ˜‰

LozBee April 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Big thank you for this info – what a shocker it was to find my new minifigs glued on. Lego have to milk us for every penny and I guess by glueing the minifigs onto the base we can no longer bypass purchasing more expensive sets (that some of us cannot afford Lego suits!!)

admin April 18, 2011 at 11:55 AM

LozBee, Iโ€™m glad the info helped! ๐Ÿ˜›

Please see my response to Peter above, the change is not entirely LEGOโ€™s fault, however I strongly believe they should use different packaging, and clearly mark these minifigs as MAGNETS.

Like Jim mentioned above; he actually got one set that was glued and one that wasnโ€™t for his sonโ€™s BD. There was no clear and obvious way to tell the difference. That is just WRONG! ๐Ÿ™

erin April 23, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Totally complete explanation. I was so disappointed when I saw new review coming out about these magnets. If I decide to buy a set, I’ll give this whirl. I did share your link on my site, as well, for other moms to read.

admin April 23, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Erin, yes, this has been a very disappointing development. Thanks for helping to spread the word! ๐Ÿ˜‰

erin April 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Exactly! Because they have to phase out the old stock while introducing the new ones so it’s so confusing! And most parent collectors (the ones who buy for their kids) won’t think to look for that tiny print saying that they aren’t detachable. LEGO needs to be more open about this change. Especially when parents are buying direct at the LEGO Stores – those employees are very in-the-know about this change but aren’t being forthright in telling consumers who are making purchases.

I am starting to think the timing of introducing the Lego Minigures Series was spot-on with when they made the decision to change the magnets to non-detachable pieces. So I am glad there is still a way to semi-affordably collect minifigures. But the magnets were always a nice way to add to figures to their Star Wars, Atlantis and Toy Story sets. !!!

I am so annoyed. But your tutorial was spot-on and it really might come in handy for me and other parents who unknowingly buy the NEW Lego magnet sets.

Happy Buzzing (and Building)

Bridget April 25, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Thank you, thank you! The Easter Bunny left some new star wars magnets in my son’s basket. I don’t think he knew about the new solvent on them! Followed your awesome tutorial and we now have three liberated figures and one happy boy!

admin April 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Bridget, glad that my tutorial helped out the Bunny! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lauren May 9, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Thanks so very much. My 5 year old was in tears after his dad gave him the gift of 3 magnets and he found them stuck while his brothers were not glued. We read and followed your process and all three are released with minimal residue. In fact, I did one at a time lengthening the soak to up to an hour and twenty minutes and increasing the temp of the water to 170 degrees F. Absolutely no damage occurred and I think the higher temp and longer soak made the last two come off a little easier with less residue. Again, thanks! You saved my mother’s day.

admin May 9, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Lauren, thanks for sharing your results! You were brave with that temperature! ๐Ÿ˜€
Didn’t it make the minifig’s joints a bit loose?
Always interesting to hear the results of others! Always learn something new! ๐Ÿ˜‰
You have been SUPERMOM for Mother’s Day! LOL! :mrgreen:

liz May 9, 2011 at 4:20 PM

My sons just bought a bunch of these at the Disneyland Lego shop yesterday. Some of them came off easily. Those must have been old packaging (the packages were different, but I have no idea why). Then there was trouble. I just broke the back of Ahsoka’s leg trying to get it off the magnet! This was before looking it up online and seeing your article. Thanks for the information. I’ll give it a try. Luckily, my 4-year-old Ahsoka-lover is okay with the figure. He says it “still works”. Whew!

admin May 9, 2011 at 6:45 PM

LOL! Little kids can be so sweet and so forgiving! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bart May 13, 2011 at 4:58 AM

I’m about to give it a try.
I’ll let you know what the results are..
We’ve got to free are minifigures!

Bart May 13, 2011 at 5:50 AM

One is safed!
Just slightly vissible damage.
Now, 14 more to go, all at once in a very big pot..
I bought 5 magnet sets, only to find, they were glued..
So you’re my savior!

Bart May 13, 2011 at 6:49 AM

Yeah, your method safed another 15 lego figures!
Nothing got broken, only bit loser attachments.
The legs never got lose of the torso, so I guess you were indeed lucky.
That glue-stuff smellsXD.
To get it working i had tempeture above 71 oC, even up to 78 oC.
Could be the thermometer though, cheap crap..from a cristmass turkey .
Figures where in there for 5-15minutes. Those atlantis figures are the hardest, they have an extra 2×1 plate at their feet.
I do have a quetion, where’s the strainer for?

Thx for liberating my lego figures, they will remember your kindness!

admin May 13, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Bart, nice work! Yes, there is some leeway in the temperature and how long the figs need to be in the water. With the temperature you just want to find that sweetspot (depending on your thermometer) where the water is just hot enough that the legs pop off. Cooler temperature = easier on the figs. At the same time you do need to heat the water to a temperature where the solvent would melt. It just takes a little practice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It seems that most commonly the torso will not separate from the legs. I would not force it too much. On my figs I just give them a little nudge and tug and see if the torso would come off. If it slips off fine, if not I let it be. I did force the torso to come off once, but my effort damaged those little internal posts inside the torso. (If you do give the torso a tug, make sure it is straight out! Don’t wigle it side-to-side as this movement will damage the delicate leg pegs and the legs will get loose.) I don’t force the issue; if the fig wants to keep his pants on, fine with me. ๐Ÿ˜†

I use the strainer for two reasons: one is so that the minifigs won’t touch the side of the pot and melt from the heat of the metal as they are swimming around in the water. Two, it is easier to take them out without burning my fingers. 8)

Bart May 13, 2011 at 9:50 AM

That’s smart!
The magets were stuck to the bottom of my pot, due to magnetization. That workts just as good. I used a spaghetti tang to get them out, if that’s even correct english..I don’t know how else to call it.
When there’s a problem there usually is more than one solution.
Thx again!

admin May 13, 2011 at 9:51 AM

LOL! Whatever works! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Holly May 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM

It totally totally worked!!!! Thank you so very much for the step by step instructions, it really helped. Was also fun to read all the other things you tried….I would have tried those as well if you hadn’t advised. Kudos to you!!!

admin May 13, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Thanks for the report, Holly! Yeah, I tried those other methods because I was curious. Then I decided to post them because I knew other folks would be curious too. This way only one minifig got tortured! :mrgreen:

Drake~just May 20, 2011 at 9:09 PM

what happen to the lego?

admin May 20, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Drake, what do you mean? ๐Ÿ™„

בגרויות May 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM

big like! – thanks .

Jeff May 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Great technique – just freed up 3 Star Wars figures for my son – he was ecstatic. The only thing I did differently was to let them soak for 6-8m, then used a 1.5″ metal putty knife straight down between the legs and the magnet backing, all the way to the pins. That loosens the figure, then I used a dull kitchen knife (butter knife) and with a quick twist, the figure pops off. No need to bend the torso backwards and/or risk loosening any joints, and two of the 3 came off VERY clean (no rough plastic). Thanks!

admin May 22, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Thanks, Jeff! Those are great tips! I’m glad you were able to free your figs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hew June 1, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Thanks. I love collecting the minifigs and i was horrified when i heard they were glueing them to the magnets. Im going to the lego store this weekend and ill be sure to pick up some magnets to try your method. I hope they dont catch on and change the glue on us.

admin June 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Hew, if you are a minifig collector you may not be completely happy with this solution as the legs will have some marks from the solvent. Just sayin’. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, please note that many LEGO stores still sell some of the older non-glued magnets. Of course it depends on which figs you want, but if you are building an army or something and you are not so choicy, you may consider picking up those.

Please note that it DOES say somewhere on the package if the magnets are glued. I can’t remember where it was saying that on my packages (front or back) and unfortunately I did not keep the packaging materials, but if someone can provide a picture of where exactly it would be great.

I’m also working on putting together a list for glued and non-glued magnet sets. I will try to to finish it this week. Stay tuned. ๐Ÿ™‚

admin June 3, 2011 at 10:43 PM

UPDATE: I have put together a guide to differentiate glued and non-glued versions of current LEGO minifig magnet sets. I thought this would be helpful for shoppers.

This includes a list of all newly released magnet sets as well as re-releases currently available at LEGO and other retail stores. There are also guidelines on how to identify them. Check it out and let me know what you think! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is the link: Guide to Glued & Non-Glued LEGO Magnets

Wendell Aymond June 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM

But wanna say that this is invaluable , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

admin June 18, 2011 at 8:42 PM

You are welcome, Wendell! ๐Ÿ™‚

Shpoppy June 22, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Can we demonstrate outside a lego shop about this? Lego have let us down badly.

admin June 22, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Shpoppy, I have found that the best way to commmunicate with LEGO is to call their customer service. They actually do listen and try to solve customer problems. The more people call about the magnet issue, the better.

And of course as a last resort, we could set up big boiling pots of water in front of LEGO stores and throw in all the magnet figs! They would probably get the point! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

zACH July 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM

This worked like a charm… You made my little guy very very happy!

admin July 2, 2011 at 11:05 PM

zACH, I’m glad it worked for ya! Enjoy your freed minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

steve July 3, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Thank you so much! It was really helpful. So far, we have only tried the magnets. We can’t wait to try the key chains! I wanted a Minifigure, and I couldn’t wait to play with it, but when I opened it, it was stuck! I was sad. So we googled it, and there it was! A way to un-stick the minifig from the magnet. I was so glad we found it.

Thanks! From two kids.

admin July 3, 2011 at 10:38 PM

You are welcome! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cid July 8, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Nice article!!! Water method worked wonders. What I did was boil water and take it off the stove then submerged the sitting minifigs just to where the legas and stand connect. Then I used a palette knife and the minifigs were liberated!!!

Thanks for doing all the legwork!!!

Cid July 8, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Nice article!!! Water method worked wonders. What I did was boil water and take it off the stove then submerged the sitting minifigs just to where the legs and stand connect. Then I used a palette knife and the minifigs were liberated!!!

Then I have a glass full of ice water to cool them off and save the joints from loosening.

Thanks for doing all the legwork!!!

admin July 8, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Thanks for sharing your results, Cid! Yes, submerging the figs in ice-water is a good idea to cool them off! I put mine in the fridge! ๐Ÿ™‚

admin July 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Sorry about that, Cid! Your comment got stuck in my spam-filter, just got it approved! ๐Ÿ˜‰

brickboy707 July 10, 2011 at 4:23 AM

thanks sooo much , i just had 2 magnet packs sent over from london and i was sooo unhappy that they were glued because i really needed these figres for a lego display!!! ps i am going to try it later this week and i really hope it works!

admin July 10, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Good luck with your minifigs, brickboy! Jsut read the instructions carefully, and you should be fine! ๐Ÿ™‚
Also, some readers here added little tweeks that might be useful for you, so you might want to read some of their comments. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sanne July 22, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Fantastic! Thanks – worked like a charm -except รณn Master yoda. He is still stucked on to small LEGO bricks under his feet. But thanks anyway count duko was liberated.
Cheers Sanne

admin July 22, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Sanne, I’m glad your Count Doku is liberated! I would suggest you give Yoda an other bath. The little bricks should come off from his feet with no problem. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sanne July 22, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Thanks I will try that ;o) And I will try liberate our keychane figures as well.

admin July 22, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Sanne, there is a comment a good bit above yours, from a reader named Robert (from April 11th, 2011), who says that for him the easies minifig to remove was Yoda. So there is great hope for your Yoda fig! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yoda is glued at the bottom of his feet, so once you place him back in hot water and let him soak a bit, you may use a thin and rigid object (like a knife) to pop him off. May the Force be with you! ๐Ÿ˜›

Diane August 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Thanks so much for this tip ~ my 10 year old son was so disappointed today when he found out he couldn’t play with his new pan of hot water later and he has his Lego Ninja’s ready for action (instead of being glued to their sodding magnets)

admin August 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Diane, I’m glad your son is happy with his liberated minifigs! Also, I suggest to keep the magnets! They are still great to display his figs on metal-surfaces like a refrigerator or metal-shelf. ๐Ÿ˜‰

starwarsmagnetbummer500 August 2, 2011 at 1:15 AM

Wish we’d seen this earlier!!! Actually I think I did, but it looked to hard and we are not patient folks! I ended up prying them off with an awl (and got myself a coupla holes in my fingers in the process-NOT recommended method!) Last year we got a Star Wars set with Boba and were so happy they came off base. This year so unhappy to find them glued, and I felt so bad because I’d told a lady in the store they come off! Oops! Anyway our new set had an Ewok who has short legs and my method didn’t work. Instead of breaking it, we have been freezing it cuz I thought that would unhinge the glue. Now we will try this since I read the whole thing and see how easy it is –for adults–

admin August 2, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Yes, the process is very easy. As you see from the comments plenty of people have done it with great success. And it is also fun! Part playing with LEGO, part evil scientist experiment! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ
Let me know how it went! And watch out! Don’t hurt yourself! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nathan August 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Thanks for the tip guys, my son is delighted!

admin August 2, 2011 at 3:32 PM

You are welcome, Nathan! ๐Ÿ˜€

K August 10, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Thanks sooo much! My little boy and I have been wanting the minifigs without the magnets.

admin August 10, 2011 at 9:26 PM

You are welcome, K! Enjoy your minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Car August 16, 2011 at 10:55 AM

The clerk at our Lego store told us some sets were glued on (If it says magnets on the front in 3 different languages, then they are glued on.). He confirmed the Hasbro/patent issue and the decision to glue all the minifigure sets (and mentioned the hot water method). He was very helpful, so either we got lucky or Lego decided to let customers know before buying. I was delighted to find your instructions, so we will pick up a set (already on sale) and give it a try. A better choice for the patent issue: either ditch the magnets for small building sets with the same characters OR put a small building/platform in with the magnets (They did this with Santa), so the magnets qualify as a building set :). I dislike buying a large set to get 3 characters. Aside from the cost, we have tons of bricks already and the kids just want the figures.

admin August 17, 2011 at 7:05 AM

This is amazing! LEGO-employees actually suggest the hot-water method???!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
Your suggestion is excellent about releasing some small sets rather than having to deal with the whole building toy vs. action figure issue with the magnets! I would strongly suggest to contact LEGO with your idea! They do, in fact, listen! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Car August 18, 2011 at 6:20 PM

I just sent them a message with the idea. Here’s hoping!

Ash August 18, 2011 at 8:32 PM

I just came into a lego police station sales floor display. The one currently on display in stores. It appears to be glued together (the few pieces i’ve seperated have chunks of clear residue inside). I’m wondering if it’s known what glue this is and what the solvent counter might be? I don’t want to ruin the stickers with hot water immersion, so is the a safe way of removing the stickers first also?

admin August 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Wishing you the best! Let me know what response you get! We are all holding our breath and crossing our fingers and toes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

admin August 18, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Ash, I would suggest to check the glue closely. Does it look like a solvent (no build-up, but the bricks you are able to separate look rough where the solvent “melted” them together). Or does it have globs of opaque or clear color glue?

It is is a solvent it is best to leave the model alone as the bricks will show some damage even if you can separate them. it is just not worth it. If it is actual glue, you would have better luck separating them without damage. But it will take some work. Let me know what you see and I can give you some ideas if it is glue.

As far as stickers, unfortunately stickers start to show signs of damage as soon as you take them off the first time. They will show some wrinkles and creases, and will have less stickiness next time you apply them. So, if at all possible best is to leave them alone, or if you absolutely need to remove them I would suggest to just buy a new set of stickers on Bricklink. I don’t know which police set you have, but if it is a current set, the sticker-sheet should not be very expensive.

Actually, I recommend buying extra sticker-sheets for all sets that you really like, while the set is still in production. It is so hard and so expensive to try to replace them later, and they definitely don’t last forewer. ๐Ÿ™

Car August 18, 2011 at 9:54 PM

Here is the reply:
“Thanks for getting in touch with us.

We can understand your disappointment about hearing that our magnet sets are now glued. As a company, we partner with other companies that allow us to use their licensed images for our sets. It is important that we respect these licensing agreements and not resell minifigures that are not included in the original sets. We want to provide the most consistent experience possible to our consumers. In order to do this, we have decided to glue all of the magnet sets we sell. Our magnet sets still continue to be popular items and itโ€™s a great way to add some LEGO fun to mundane areas such as a kitchen refrigerator where you display your childโ€™s artwork or good grades.

As always we appreciate you taking the time to contact us in regard to this matter. Your opinion is very important to us and I will be sure to pass along your comments to the team in charge of Marketing and Development for the magnet sets for future consideration.

There are many other ways to get mini figures though! Weโ€™ve just launched our own line of exclusive mini figures that you can collect or trade with friends! Also, lots of the smaller sets include mini figures. Just go to – the biggest LEGO shop in the world – and check out the ‘Themes’ section. You can also ask for a catalog to be mailed to you, or it’s free to call one of our experts at 1-800-835-4386 (Monday to Friday, 8am – 10pm or Saturday to Sunday 10am – 6pm) to find out more. Once again I do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Happy Building!”

admin August 18, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Hm…nice reply…and it was fast too! Thanks for sharing! The more LEGO-fans write them about this the better! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yes, people are still buying magnet-sets because they are not aware the magnets are now glued! I know because I hear from them all the time! I believe the magnet’s popularity will die soon enough as shoppers learn about the change. On the other hand it is true that LEGO has been making great efforts to satisfy our minifig infatuation with small impulse-sets, collectible minifigures, etc. ๐Ÿ˜†

So let’s see what the future brings as far as the magnets…

Ohaider August 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Thanks for this! I noticed in the latest LEGO Club magazine that they are giving out magnets during Bricktober. The forester is one of my favorite minifigures, and i wanted find out how to get them off in advance. Thanks for the way to free them!

admin August 31, 2011 at 2:40 PM

You are welcome, Ohaider! Yes, the forester is a sweet minifig! ๐Ÿ˜€

Niall September 25, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Thank you. My son was so excited to get two packs of star wars figures but then found that they are not exciting to use.

Really appreciate that you shared your efforts and solution. Amazing all the trials you did. Worked well. 10 mins later a happy boy.

Lego should be ashamed. I am sure like many others that have spent hundreds of dollars on big sets it’s nice to have a low cost option for a few figures to compliment these.

admin September 26, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Niall, thanks for sharing! I’m glad your son is happy! There will be some awesome new LEGO Star Wars battle-packs coming out next year, so those would also be great to get some more SW figs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jim September 27, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Took a few tries! Didn’t want to melt the guy, so I took it slowly. In the end, FREEDOM!

admin September 27, 2011 at 4:43 PM

LOL! I’m glad your minfigs are free, instead of melted! ๐Ÿ™„

Alvin P October 8, 2011 at 2:32 PM


Excellent guide! I am wondering if you’ve tried this method for removing magnets from inside lego minifigures….


admin October 8, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Alvin, you mean from inside the legs of the old-type of magnet figs?

Alvin P October 8, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Yes I do. There used to be older SW magnet figs with the magnets inside the minifigs.

admin October 8, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Alvin, no I have never tried that. Those figs work fine as regular figs even with the magnets in their legs, so I just didn’t think of it.

But I assume the process would work, as long as there is some way to grab the magnet or pry under it to pull it out, once it is heated.

An other things I would take into consideration is that the magnet may get too hot too fast, thereby melting the plastic. So, once in the hot water, I would check if the magnet is loose more frequently.

If you are planning to experiment with this, you might want to share your results here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Alvin P October 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Apparently, this method doesn’t work for the minifigs with magnets inside of them. It seems as if the torso piece is permanently fused with the legs. TI tried submerging it in 180 degree water without success.

Do you also have a guide for how to re-stick peeling Lego stickers? What’s the best glue to use?

admin October 8, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Alvin, removing the torso fr0m the legs of glued figs is a challenge. There are lots of little cravices for the solvent to flow into, so the bond can be very strong. IMHO, it is not worth trying to separate the torso from the legs. The torso has all these thin and delicate dividers inside that can be damaged easily.

As far as stickers, yes they can and will peel off after some time. My #1 suggestion is to always get an extra sticker-sheet, especially for valuable sets (like the Maersk Train). You can get an extra sticker-sheet at BrickLink, or even from LEGO directly. Get the extra sheet while the set is still available at stores, because later sticker-sheets can go up tremendously in price.

For re-sticking a peeling sticker I recommend ordinary school-glue or glue-stick. They will not damage the sticker, or the LEGO-piece, and is easy to apply. I do not recommend stronger bonding glues as it will be tough to take off the sticker, if you later choose to do so, and it may also damage the part.

Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Peter M October 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM

I just got a set of 3 Ninjago magnets. I knew when buying them that they were glued, but I was fairly confident I could find a removal method online. Sure enough, there you were like a beacon of hope. The method worked for the most part. However, my set is a little different than others I guess and I had a tough time.
There is an extra 1×2 piece between the back of the legs and the magnet base. I think it is there because the Ninja’s have a sword holder on the back of their hood which sticks out and without the 1×2 they would not stand up straight. Someone earlier mentioned about the Atlantis set having an extra piece too, not sure if it is in the same spot.
Well getting the magnet base off was fairly easy using your method although leaning the fig back did not work because there was too much of a gap. I pried it apart with the handle of a butter knife. Then the tougher part began: getting that 1×2 separated from the legs. The hot water loosened the glue, but there was not an easy way to grip it and pry the 2 pieces apart. I used a combination of pliers, an exacto knife, 2 butter knives and my finger nail. I finally got both removed from the fig (actually the third one in this set was a skeleton that was quite easy to remove as it doesn’t have normal legs). One of the ninja’s is perfect aside from the minor rough spot, the other is mostly good too but one of his legs got a touch bent out of shape, still fully functional but if you look closely you can notice.
On another note, I was thinking that a tiny bit of paint should mask the rough patches a fair bit, especially on black pieces. I’ve never used paint on a minifig so I could be way off base, just thought I’d offer the suggestion.

Peter M October 14, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Oh forgot to mention that the 1×2 piece was destroyed for both the magnets after all the prying and squeezing I did, but the bases were both intact.

admin October 15, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Peter, thanks for sharing your exprience! Although I don’t have the Ninjago magnet figs, from your description I can imagine it must have been really tough removing those 1×2 plates! I guess LEGO likes to give us a good challenge. LOL! ๐Ÿ˜

One thing I might have tried with those 1×2 plates is the LEGO brick separator. It is a great tool for removing stuck plates, and I’m wondering if it would work in removing the 1×2 plate from the back of the minifig’s legs, once it has been loosened by the hot water. The brick separator has an excellent grab on plates, and a great angle to just pop them off. You might want to give that a try next time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have an article about the LEGO brick separator in case some readers are not familiar with it: The LEGO Brick Separator

admin October 15, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Peter, thanks again for sharing your experiments! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tyler October 18, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Amazing! This worked astonishingly! Had a lego magnet giveaway and the clerk gave me 2 so i said what the hell. i decided to take them off. Amazing sir. I appreciate your time and effort into doing this.

admin October 18, 2011 at 8:46 AM

You are welcome, Tyler! Thanks for sharing your results! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristin October 22, 2011 at 9:55 PM

My 7 1/2 year old son says, “You’re a genious!” ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

admin October 22, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Oh, thank you, Kristin and son! I’m always happy to make children happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristin October 22, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Would be even better if his mom could spell GENIUS correctly! ๐Ÿ˜‰

admin October 22, 2011 at 11:00 PM

LOL! It’s all-right. I call that “creative spelling”! And why not? ๐Ÿ˜‰

ANTHONY October 29, 2011 at 9:29 PM

Just a heads up the Ninjago Magnets come with a 1 x 2 plate stuck between the minifig and the magnet so when you pop off the minifig the 1 x 2 plate is stuck to the minifig’s legs. And it is impossible to get the plate off without damaging the legs.

ANTHONY October 29, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Sorry Just noticed peters comments. Nevermind about the Ninjago. I will have to try the nail file.

admin October 30, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Anthony, good luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mark October 31, 2011 at 10:07 PM

My son (age 9) earns and spends his own money, and was so excited at Legoland to buy a C3PO, Leah and Admiral Akbar minifig set (all New Hope versions). We have bought magnet minifig sets at downtown Disney for years without them being glued, so this came as such a shock to the poor guy. He has the biggest case of buyer’s remorse right now, with tears and all, so this solution will make his day, thank you. But he told me even if it does work, he’s never buying magnet minfigs again. I think his whole honeymoon with Lego is drawing to a premature close over this. Lego’s loss – he’s telling all his friends to save their money!

admin October 31, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Mark, thank you for your comment! It is so well written, echoing the so many other similar comments from disappointed LEGO fans, that I will send it to my contact person at LEGO. I encourage you to involve your son in my “secret underground black-hat process” of removing the figs. Because the process is so fun, illegal and unconventional, it wil probably make him feel a lot better! Just make sure he is safely under your supervision as the water is quite hot! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Linp November 2, 2011 at 9:50 PM

You are mental! ๐Ÿ™‚

Darkdragon November 5, 2011 at 9:27 AM


Here’s what I did to liberate a more difficult minifig from his bonds. For instance Barbossa and other figs with a 1×2 plate on the back of the legs.

Had to do a second hot water bath, then VERY CAREFULLY I used a razer blade to cut the plate in half between the legs (so the legs can move independently again). Second step was to VERY CAREFULLY cut the plate off each leg. This leaves a little bit of stud still inside the leg, but it was easy to stick a flag pole into the foot at an angle and pop the stud out the back.

The key here is this has to be done while the plastic is still warm and of course it has to be done carefully or you will cut the minifig (or yourself, but you will heal).

admin November 5, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Excellently done! I’m thinking of doing a separate post about this as I have been asked several times about how to remove the 1×2 plate. Would you like to write the post? And even more importantly; do you have pictures of the process? I know your post would be VERY popular! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Darkdragon November 5, 2011 at 6:28 PM

I’d love to write a post about this. I can do some photos, I just need to get another magnet figure with this issue – I’ll be making a new order on S@H next week and will add an appropriate magnet figure set in the order.. I’ve also successfully separated the torso from hips and I could include that in the same post I think. Feel free to email me.

admin November 5, 2011 at 9:45 PM

I’m sending you a PM about this. It will be a fun project! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Naibi November 8, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Like so many others I wanted to thank you for this solution. You have made my 7 year old very happy. We just came back from Legoland Florida and he bought a set of magnet minifigures there. As soon as he realized they were glued, he was so shocked and frustrated, he started to cry, a bad ending to a wonderful magical day. I immediately searched for a solution and found your blog. We just finished taking the minifigures apart and my young lego fan is happy again. One of the minifigures had the extra plate on the back, but I just repeated the hot water bath and it came off. I cannot believe Lego is gluing these pieces. I actually asked a few years ago if they recommended a glue for a lego set that I wanted to preserve and they told me that gluing legos went against their philosophy, children were supposed to break things apart and create new pieces. I guess they had a change of philosophy, very disappointing.

admin November 8, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Naibi, thanks for sharing your story! I’m glad your boy is now happy! That is very interesting what you said about LEGO’s philosophy! Maybe we should remind them? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jessie M November 20, 2011 at 2:19 PM

You just whittled down how much I’m going to have to spend on large Star Wars sets my son wants for Christmas! He really only wants them for the mini figures anyhow. : ) Thank you so much!

admin November 21, 2011 at 6:07 PM

You are welcome, Jessie! And happy holidays! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ruby November 30, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Thank you very much! We did it. Unfortunately we didn’t know that they were glued as my son (10) bought the 3 figures today. He was so sad about it, he wanted to play the figures and not put them on the fridge door.
It worked with the hot water and the knife, and he is very happy now.
Thank you so much! Ruby

admin November 30, 2011 at 5:15 PM

You are welcome, Ruby! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

William December 1, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Thanks for the helpful advice. I tried it out three separate times. Slave Leia gave a little in the legs and one split a slight amount (I got a little anxious), the royal guard did better (more rounds in the drink), Boba Fett came out in the best condition, more rounds of hot water seemed to work well and there was minimal damage. I ended up heating the hot water up in the microwave and then putting them in to float or propped on my thermometer. I carved at the sides of the legs to force the separate on my terms to reduce the chance of the leg splitting and that seemed to work. Thank you so much!

William December 1, 2011 at 9:15 AM

I usually overshot the mark on temperature on the water but once the temperature dipped down to the right level I’d plunk the figure in. The ceramic cup maintained a decent temperature.

admin December 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

William, thanks for sharing your results! Yes, patience is key with this process. You don’t want to submit the plastic to too high temperatures. ๐Ÿ˜‰

JoshCap December 1, 2011 at 1:47 PM

a lot of woodburning sets have a point tool of some kind. That works fabulously. You don’t have to be strong. My kids don’t care about the holes, so I haven’t tried to patch them, but I’d be excited to try someone’s solution.

JoshCap December 1, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Set my people free! I’ve been saving this trick for a while. Well, I can probably now be certified as a minifig remover too.
Tips from a scientific approach: Jesus, be gentle with the minifigs. Any knife edge used for this should only be used to pry the pieces apart.
Once you get the water temp right, it is easy. So having 3 unreliable thermometers, I heated the water to 160ยบ and gave it a try. No go. I slowly raised the water temp until it came easily. I had the minifigs in a bath for 20 minutes before I got the temp right. (One of my thermometers said something like 198ยบ!) Be patient, persistent and gentle.

admin December 1, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Josh, yes, you are now an officially certified Minifig Remover! ๐Ÿ˜‰

zokopop December 3, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Thanks Admin, your system worked perfectly. Freed two out of 3 figures off the bases, one had the 1×2 plate on the back and we have not got it off yet. Thanks again for the tip.

zokopop December 3, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I got all of the figures off. Yay!!!

dj December 3, 2011 at 4:31 PM

This was the first hit for when i searched for the answer to this question. Tried 1 -and it was a success. Great advice – thanks!

admin December 3, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Thanks for sharing your results! ๐Ÿ™‚

admin December 3, 2011 at 5:41 PM

DJ, I’m glad it worked for you too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Philipp Barth December 6, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Vielen Dank aus Deutschland !!!! Der Nikolaus hat Magnete gebracht und der Tip war super ! (Thank you so much from Germany, St. Niclaus had brought magnets and your advice saved parents from catastrophy!)

admin December 6, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Philipp, you are welcome! I’m glad I could help St. Niclaus (and parents) a bit! ๐Ÿ˜‰

OJ December 6, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I have bought Lego magnets in the past and when I first opened a newly purchased pack I thought there was a rogue Lego employee in a factory somewhere playing a joke! I then opened the other three I purchased and felt like my world came crashing down (well, not really, but I feel like being dramatic). Fortunately for me, I did the thing any sensible person does nowadays – go to Google! Thanks for figuring this out and posting! Works great!

admin December 6, 2011 at 11:04 PM

OJ, thanks for sharing! Yes, Google to the rescue! ๐Ÿ˜€

Jayko December 12, 2011 at 8:45 PM

I was at toys-r-us today and they were selling the bricktober minifigures by themselves so I went ahead and bought 10 of them. Then, of course I found out that they were all glued. Thankyou so much for finding a method but it didn’t seem work for me. I have put the same minifigure in the pot over and over and have cept on reheating it but it just doesn’t loosen up. Any idea why?

admin December 12, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Jayko, there are certain things you may consider adjusting: have you kept the figures fully immersed in the hot water long enough? Perhaps you can try a few minutes longer. Is the water hot enough? Sometimes thermometers are not so accurate. Try slowly raising the temperature. Keep a close eye on the figs, and check them every 2-3 minutes to see if they are loose. Do not try to twist the legs off, but insert a knife between the magnet and the legs (like you see on the picture) and gently try popping the minifigure off. It takes a bit of patience, but the process works. Once you get it on the first figure, the others will be a piece of cake. So give it another try and let me know how it goes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

will December 13, 2011 at 2:49 AM

mine didn’t work at all, do the star wars magnets apply as the same as the rest of the logos?

admin December 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Will, yes, the Star Wars magnets are the same. I would suggest that you give it another try. You may read through the tutorial again, and also the comments. Sometimes people needed a bit more time or a bit higher temperature depending on the accuracy of their thermometers. Once you get to the right temperature, the process is very easy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Robert Caine December 13, 2011 at 3:29 PM

I have one with yoda, since he is smaller than regular minifigures, is the process the same?

admin December 13, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Robert, Yoda is standing on two small bricks, that are attached to the magnet. (Yoda’s legs are glued to the small bricks and the small bricks are glued to the magnet.) Yes, the process is the same, in fact it is easier, because Yoda’s legs are more sturdy and less prone to damage.

Please note that about half way up the comments here, there is another reader named Robert who asked me the same question. Robert later came back and shared his experience. He also said that taking off Yoda was easier then the other mininifgs. So, give it a try! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Auntie December 13, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Thanks for your time and effort. My nephew had lost all of his Lego’s when his house burned down in October and the first thing he said to me was “Auntie, my Lego’s are gone.” I took him to the Lego store and at the recommendation of a salesperson bought a package of them, as he told me they are the same as the figures in the kits, and he was right. It wasn’t until I purchased several packages off of the Lego website that I realized they were glued. Although the back of the legs are a little rough, your method is much better than trying to pry them off with a knife. I sort of ruined Darth Vader’s legs. Thanks again.

admin December 13, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Auntie, thanks for sharing your story! I’m really sorry to hear about your nephew! Hopefully he will be able to rebuild his LEGO collection. I’m glad that you were able to help him. ๐Ÿ™‚

Robert Caine December 14, 2011 at 3:46 AM

I found it took about 3 times longer ๐Ÿ™

admin December 14, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Robert, a lot depends on how much of the solvent actually ends up on a minifig. The solvent goes on kind of like SuperGlue, it is a liquidy, runny substance, that gets in between the parts, then melts them together. I have found minifigs with very little damage done by the solvent and they came off easily, and some where the whole back of the legs was covered by it, taking longer to snap them off. Same for separating the torso form the legs; some just slipped right off after the hot-bath treatment with hardly any sign of the solvent, some won’t come off at all, so I don’t force it. The main thing is to remove the minifigs from the magnets anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

iichan December 14, 2011 at 4:01 PM

I wish I read your site before using glue remover and failed! I now have a crying 5 year old who blames me for destroying his new boba fet mini figure I gave him for his pre-birthday present. Its going to be a long night.

admin December 14, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Oh, dear! I’m really sorry to hear that! ๐Ÿ™

Jayko December 15, 2011 at 1:48 AM

After a bit of expirimenting it worked! And now I have been able to raise a small army of Bricktober knights. Of course, they all have their “battle scars” (Some more than others) but it was deffinately worth it. I have named their leader Sir Admin after you. Thanks again!

daniel. B December 15, 2011 at 2:54 AM

I got a toy story magnet pack, since woody is bigger than regular minifigs, would it be harder to get him off

admin December 15, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Jayko, LOL! Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜›

admin December 15, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Daniel, the back of Woody’s legs are the same as regular LEGO legs, so no issues there. The only issue you will run into is that you can’t just bend the minifig back at the waist (against the back of the magnet) to pop him off, as Woody’s waist-level is higher then the back of the magnet. So you will need to work more with a thin blade to pop him off. Every few minutes tro to GENTLY insert the blade, and once it slips in you can create the leverage to pop him off. Good luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nate December 15, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Thanks for the Acetone tip. I’m gonna make some zombie/monster minifigs with it.

admin December 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Oh, dear! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Frankfurt December 18, 2011 at 4:41 AM

Thank you! we have just freed lord VAder, Chewbacca and Obi Wan from their sockets. Only one of them snapped off, the other two I had to use the knive on, but the result is perfect. you know, it was a Lego shop employee who told us that we would find a way to do this in the internet.

Chris December 18, 2011 at 9:13 AM

The hot water method worked wonders! Thank you very much. I have successfully “liberated” 6 minifigs yesterday.

admin December 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Frankfurt, I’m glad your minifigs are now free! ๐Ÿ˜‰

admin December 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Chris, sounds like you had a fun weekend project! ๐Ÿ˜€

Bob December 19, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Thanks so much for your help. It really works! My son was so disappointed that his new minifigs were permanently attached to their magents. I was even considering something as drastic as trying to saw them off. So glad I found your process first! Still can’t figure out why Lego is doing this, though…

admin December 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Bob, I’m glad it worked for you! LEGO had a licensing issue therefore they decided to start gluing the magnets. Although to be honest I could think of at least half a dozen other solutions that would have worked better! ๐Ÿ™„

Bob December 19, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Hmmm, interesting. And yet, there are so many minifigs sold with full sets that are apparently not restricted by this licensing issue!

admin December 19, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Bob, LEGO’s licensing issue was with Star Wars only; Hasbro had the license for Star Wars action figures and LEGO had the license for Star Wars buildling sets. Hasbro complained that LEGO crossed the line by the magnet sets, which were basically nothing more than action figure sets, rather than building sets. So, LEGO choose to glue the magnets to alliviate the complaint. And to be consistent across the board, and avoid consumer confusion, they have decided to now glue ALL magnet sets. However in execution this didn’t turn out so well because both LEGO and other retailers are still selling both versions of the sets almost one year after the initial change! ๐Ÿ™

Bob December 19, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Ahhh, now that sheds a bit more light on the situation. I guess it’s better to avoid a big blowup with Hasbro so LEGO can continue to market the Star Wars minifigs, rather than be forced to stop making them altogether. Especially since, luckily for all of your readers, we now have this workaround that allows us to use them as we like!


iichan December 19, 2011 at 10:33 PM

I thought they glued it so parents will be forced to buy the $80 slave ship lego set just so their son can get their little hands on boba fett mini figure. after I ruined the Boba Fett magnet we had to take our son to the store to pick up the set. Luckily he had $50+ in birthday money saved up so our portion was minimal. I say shame on Hasbro to making a stink about it!! kids who loves lego mini figures are not going to stop buying lego mini figures and go buy star wars action figures instead!! I almost want to stop buying Hasbro stuff!!

admin December 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Iichan, the toy-market is a brutally competitive field. If companies have any reason to open a case against a competitor, they will. Just surviving in this arena isn’t easy. It is unfortunate, but that’s how it works. ;(

OJ December 21, 2011 at 6:19 AM

I was removing more minifigs last night and had one which had a 2 stud plate behind it’s legs. This brought on a new challenge because the “bend back the torso” method didn’t help. I resorted to soaking the minifig in the hot water and prying a pocket knife blade between the fig and the plate all the while prying gently to free the legs. I was able to free one leg cleanly (is that a word?), but the other one ended up with a stud permanently lodged in the back of the leg. Overall I think it went well. The minifig is free and playable!
BTW, I had another minifig which had it’s arm glued in place as well. I soaked it and easily broke the bond thereby allowing the arm full movement.
I will not rest until all LEGO minifigs are FREE!

admin December 21, 2011 at 9:52 AM

OJ, you may want to check out the comment from Darkdragon on November 5th:

“Hereโ€™s what I did to liberate a more difficult minifig from his bonds. For instance Barbossa and other figs with a 1ร—2 plate on the back of the legs. Had to do a second hot water bath, then VERY CAREFULLY I used a razer blade to cut the plate in half between the legs (so the legs can move independently again). Second step was to VERY CAREFULLY cut the plate off each leg. This leaves a little bit of stud still inside the leg, but it was easy to stick a flag pole into the foot at an angle and pop the stud out the back. The key here is this has to be done while the plastic is still warm and of course it has to be done carefully or you will cut the minifig (or yourself, but you will heal).”

I thought you might want to give that a try. ๐Ÿ˜‰

mikemost December 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Thanks again, it worked – see tweet / shout out

admin December 23, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Mike that is an awesome picture! Your minifigs look very happy! ๐Ÿ˜€

Kumax December 24, 2011 at 8:20 AM

We tried out the method without being able to regulate the temperature lacking a proper thermometer. Instead finger-stick-method and guessing…
It worked very good. 4 figures – 4 successes. My son is really happy
and thinks I am great…

Thank You and a happy christmas time

Kai-Uwe from Hamburg, Germany

admin December 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Kumax, that is great! I guess you got a big SuperDad badge for Christmas! ๐Ÿ˜€

CJ December 25, 2011 at 6:44 AM

It’s Christmas day. Got my 6 year old some fab presents but all he kept asking abouot was minifigures. Finally unpacked the minifigures but they are the fridge magnet type – we told him we’ve heard they can be freed and would try to do it later. Tried to interest him in other toys but, no way, he just wanted to know when we can get the minifigures free. Luckily I found your page – first minifigure is free and 5 more to go. 6 year old little boy happy on Christmas day – THANK YOU – you’ve done something great!

admin December 25, 2011 at 1:39 PM

CJ, comments like yours make my day! Merry Christmas to you and your family! ๐Ÿ™‚

CJ December 25, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Just to let you know – all 6 came free without any problem – really so grateful that you took the time to do this. It made his Christmas day and so ours too. Merry Christmas!

Supermom December 25, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Almost a year after your instructions were posted you are still changing the world one minifigure at a time! Thank you for helping me free six minifigs and making me a superhero in my son’s eyes on Christmas Day. I was worried about freeing Yoda after he had been very stubborn for many people, but ours popped off just by using a butter knife behind his legs and tipped to apply pressure to the back of his legs—no wedging under his feet was needed. As you said, every figure was different depending on how much solvent was used to adhere the base to the minifig. 160 – 165 degrees worked for us and it took 7 – 10 minutes for each in the water. Thanks again!!!

admin December 26, 2011 at 9:52 AM

CJ, thanks for the update! Merry Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

admin December 26, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Supermom, thanks for sharing your results! Great that your Yoda was cooperative! I’m glad that my post is still helping LEGO fans a year after I originally posted it. The sad part though is that this is still an issue! I was hoping that LEGO will either totally switch over to glued magnets and make them clearly marked in a different type of packaging so people won’t be confused, or that they come up with a different solution to their licensing problem. Unfortunately neither of those happened. So, we just have to continue giving those minifigs a bath! 8)

Fred Terry December 26, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Thank you very much for posting this! I bought a number of the magnet Star Wars characters for my 5 year old boy’s Christmas. He wanted them removed and your work saved me from mistakes and heartbreak.
I used a double boiler to control temperature. On my thermometer, I found that 170-175F yielded the best results. Also, I seemed to have the best luck wtih using knife to start the separation process and gentle pressure from the knife blade to break the seal. I separated 11 figures with excellent results. Thank you again.

Brenna December 26, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Thanks so much for sharing this. Santa did not know that the figures were glued. We were able to remove ours in less than 10 minutes. You made a 5 year old Padawan very happy. Happy New Year!

admin December 26, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Brenna, the power is strong with your young Padawan! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

B- December 30, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Thank you very much for sharing. You made our 5 year old very happy. BTW- Yoda takes a little more work as his feet are glued instead of his back. Soak for him for alittle longer and then pry off with knife, pushing downwards. ๐Ÿ™‚

admin December 30, 2011 at 9:23 PM

B, thanks for sharing your epxerinece! Yes, Yoda require that we use the Force. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rob January 1, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Just wanted to drop a quick note to thank you for the work you put in and the great walk through. I had to soak mine for a bit longer and use the knife on all of them, but I was able to get all 20ish figures off the magnets and make my boys very, very happy. Thanks!

admin January 2, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Rob, thanks for sharing! You saved a big batch of those minifigs! Lots of good karma should be coming your way! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Randomkerness January 3, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Thanks this really helped cause I found this just after I got a bunch for christmas and it really does work for those who are wondering

admin January 3, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Thanks for sharing! I’m glad it worked for you too! ๐Ÿ˜€

Marc January 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Great piece of research, and very effective method. Here are the twists I found necessary in my home laboratory (kitchen).

I had to replenish the bath with freshly reheated water in order to keep the temperature consistently high enough to loosen the solvent.

I also found that residue from the magnet brick could be removed by re-dipping the legs of the figure in hot water for a few minutes, and then scraping off the residue with my fingernail.

That aside, the method just simply works.

admin January 5, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Marc, thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ed January 5, 2012 at 7:49 PM

We too got a slew of these from Santa, and my kids weren’t too happy to find they were glued to the magnet bricks. First Google search I initiated brought me to your site, and after 15 minutes or so in a hot water bath, our Lego figs are also free from their bricks. Thanks so much for your insight! This really works. Newbies, Just have some patience..

admin January 5, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Ed, thanks for sharing! I’m glad your minifigs are now free! ๐Ÿ™‚

Derek January 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Thanks a bunch. I didn’t have a strainer or thermometer so I just put the magnet on the end of a butter knife and kept dipping and running my thumbnail between the base and legs till they broke free. Worked like a charm. Boba Fett, Leia and the Emperors guard have been freed from bondage!
Thanks again

admin January 9, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Derek, I guess that works too as long as you are careful about the temperature, which it seems you were. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ˜€

Abe Marya January 11, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Thanks for the tips! Just tried the method on the Atlantis magnets and it worked. I had to leave the minifigs in the bath for much longer though.. but ultimately same results as you.

admin January 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Abe, thanks for sharing your success! I have found that the time of how long you need to keep them in the bath depends on things like the accuracy of your thermometer, the elevation of your location, and also how much solvent was used on the minifigs. So, it just requires a bit of patience, but it works. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Afonso January 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Hello! For me, there was no way to remove the 1×2 brick. Do you have any other ideas, maybe? Thanks!

admin January 12, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Afonso, you can remove the 1×2 brick by just cutting it off with an X-acto knife, then popping out the remaining stud. ๐Ÿ˜‰

erytop January 21, 2012 at 4:48 AM

I used an 4.8mm drill and drilled carefully at the back of the magnets thru the two points where the legs are gleud.
Then with a screwdriver it is easy to flip the figur of.

admin January 21, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Erytop, nice work! Thanks for sharing! More options, the better! ๐Ÿ˜€

erytop January 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM

After doing a few, it seems that not all the figures are only gleud on the legonips, but also on other points on the legs (messy). Thats why it is better to use a knife to cut carefully thru after drilling.
But just like mention there wil always be marks of gleu on the back of the legs.
But who looks at the bottom back legs ๐Ÿ˜€

Edelle January 27, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Thank you very much! I was missing an Ahsoka minifig in my collection, and didn’t want to fork over $120 for the Clone Turbo Tank construction set, when the Ahsoka/Anakin/Senate Commando magnet sets were on sale at the Lego store for $3.50.

I successfully applied your technique to two magnet sets, with the following variations:

– My cooking thermometer has a minimum gauge of 90F, and so I had to wing it with the temperature (making sure that the needle stayed far below 90F). The water was steaming and had bubbles on the bottom of the nonstick pot, but it wasn’t actively simmering. I kept the pot on very low fire to sustain the temperature while the minifigs were submerged.
– My average submerge time was 10 minutes for each minifig.
– For one of the minifigs, there was a little bit of solvent on the bottom of the feet, which made it more difficult to pop it out of the brick magnet. This minifig sustained the most solvent damage and even had a crack at the bottom of one foot, but it still was playable (though wobbly).
– For the first three minifigs, I had a hard time with step #9, most likely because the water was not at ideal temperature. I had to bend the torso over the extension plate with a bit more force. This created a slight arc imprint on the plastic (where the top of the rounded extension plate meets the torso). I suspect the ABS plastic was getting too soft, and I forced the bend too much.
– For my second set of minifigs, I skipped step#9 altogether. With the minifig out of the water and still in bent position, I used an offset spatula between the extension plate and the back of the legs (making sure I pushed against the plate, and not the back of the legs). The minifigs popped right off with hardly any solvent damage/residue.

All in all, I recommend using a stainless steel offset spatula vs. a knife. It is much thinner and so much more pliable than a knife (which I also tried). It also doesn’t have a sharp edge that might cut into your minifig legs.

Thanks again! I’ll definitely be referring your site to all my Lego enthusiast friends!

admin January 28, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Edelle, thanks for sharing your results! Yes, there is going to be some variation depending on the amount of solvent on the minifigs, water temperature, the accuracy of the thermometer, tools available, etc. I do agree; the thinner (but still rigid and strong) the blade, the better. Someone in this thread mentioned they used a nail-file, so yeah, whatever works! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tom February 1, 2012 at 4:39 AM

Really great site.

Your technique worked on most of my minifigs. I only had problems with two of them. Which were Thi-Sen (Star-Wars) and Barbossa (Pirates of the caribean). Those figs have a Lego plate pasted to the legs.
I got them of the magnet with your method, but the plate didn’t come of. It seems they have applied a diffrent kind of glue there.
I had them in the water for about 20 minutes without any result. So I put boiling water into the bowl and after letting them soak for about 2 minutes I was able to remove that plate also. You have to be a little more careful at that temperature. One of my Thi-Sen is a little bow legged now ๐Ÿ™‚

admin February 1, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Tom, thanks for sharing! The solvent used to attach the legs to the extra plate is the same. It is just more stuck. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You may want to check out the comment from Darkdragon on November 5th for an excellent solution for removing the plate:

โ€œHereโ€™s what I did to liberate a more difficult minifig from his bonds. For instance Barbossa and other figs with a 1ร—2 plate on the back of the legs. Had to do a second hot water bath, then VERY CAREFULLY I used a razer blade to cut the plate in half between the legs (so the legs can move independently again). Second step was to VERY CAREFULLY cut the plate off each leg. This leaves a little bit of stud still inside the leg, but it was easy to stick a flag pole into the foot at an angle and pop the stud out the back. The key here is this has to be done while the plastic is still warm and of course it has to be done carefully or you will cut the minifig (or yourself, but you will heal).โ€

Steve February 4, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I am having trouble with the atlantis minifigs as well. I got them off the bases, but the torso will not separate. Any ideas?

admin February 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Steve, as I mentioned in the tutorial, the torso may or may not slip off depending on how much solvent is used. The inside of the torso has so many attachment points that if the solvent got deep into the plastic the torso may not separate. I would suggest not to force it as you can damage the internal support system of the torso making it pretty much useless after you separate it. If it comes off great, if not, just let it be. ๐Ÿ˜‰

tanja February 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM


admin February 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

You are very welcome, Tanja! Enjoy your freed minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

steffany February 13, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Oh! I’m so glad I found this! I did just what you said and my son and I had no problems getting the figures off the bases with the hot water trick! Thank you so much! You really made our day!! ๐Ÿ˜€

admin February 13, 2012 at 8:32 PM

You are very welcome, Steffany! Enjoy your freed minifigures! ๐Ÿ™‚

janny226 February 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Thanks! We have a Fangpyre magnet that we NEED to get off so he can conquer the world! I found your post after my own Goo-gone stage and just as I tried a bit of acetone, which I quickly rushed to rinse off! We will try the hot-water process tomorrow.

admin February 17, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Janny, oh! I’m glad you rinsed off the acetone quickly! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

JoshG February 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Barbosa’s 1×2 came off pretty well for me, gave them a slightly over 5 minute soak, used the back side of a kitchen knife for thickness, and made sure that the 1×2 was coming loose in the process from the legs (careful wiggling to make sure the desired result was acheived), have a 1×2 that still works though it has some black and white discolorations….

janny226 February 17, 2012 at 8:22 PM

It worked! I read through all the comments and found the other guy who had a Ninjago magnet, and realized I was trying to pry off the 1×2. So, tried it again, and pried FangDom *with* his 1×2 off the magnet back and base, and he and Fang Sui are already hatching evil plots. We’re perfectly happy to leave the 1×2 in place, he stands better on our carpet that way. Thanks again!

admin February 17, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Janny, I’m glad it worked for you! Happy playing! ๐Ÿ™‚

rB) February 19, 2012 at 11:47 AM

awesome, we did the heat-up-not-boil-in-a-pan method, and it worked great…..

thanks for the info!!

two happy kids here right now

admin February 19, 2012 at 12:55 PM

RB, I’m glad you had a succesful minifig rescue mission! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Turkey February 19, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Has anyone had success doing this with the 2012 Super Hero mini-figs?

Mickey February 24, 2012 at 10:40 PM

I used a super glue debonder. Worked great on 2 out of 3. The 3rd I left it on a little too long, jokers legs got a little discolored. The trick is to put 1 drop on each leg and 1 drop on the feet (seems like the feet are also glued on the newer figs) let it sit for a few seconds and then wiggle the figure off with a knife holding the magnet with pliers. Quickly rinse the figure in water to remove any excess debonder. Then place figure somewhere safe for an hour or so, just to make sure the plastic on the legs is not soft. Joker was my first attempt and I used way to much debonder and it softened the legs too much.

Mickey February 24, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Forgot to mentio, this was before I found your site. I am going to give your method a whirl next. Thanks!

admin February 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Mickey, thanks for sharing! I’m thinking of trying your method! What brand of debonder did you use?

c scott February 26, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Thank you so much!!!!!! I just tried your method and it totally worked!!!! Can’t say thank you enough for spending your time to figure this out!!!!

admin February 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Scott, you are very welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

MN-Dad February 28, 2012 at 11:05 PM

I should have read your site prior to trying some of my own methods. We scored some Pirates Of The Caribbean at the LEGO store at MOA. I was able to cleanly pry off Barbossa (the one with a 1×2 plate on his lower legs) just by pulling him off and this was without chemicals or hot water. I was surprised with how easy it was. Captain Jack Sparrow and the Zombie dude weren’t as easy (and didn’t have the 1×2 plate). I tried to put them in the freezer, but wasn’t patient enough to find out if it worked. I used the knife method and broke the lower back of the legs on one of them – dumb. For Jack, I used Goof Off and he came off very easily. Even when I immediately put him in a water bath, I was disappointed to see a slight color damage. Next time, I’ll give your method a go. Thanks.

admin February 29, 2012 at 9:20 AM

MN-Dad, thanks for sharing your experiments! That’s how we learn! ๐Ÿ˜€

fodsta March 3, 2012 at 8:43 AM

You, sir, are a legend!

Bestbuilder's dad March 3, 2012 at 10:10 AM

manage to separate thi-sen figure (from magnet base) ok, just using Hot tap water (75 degrees centigrade)

Couldn’t take torso away from legs but the lad is happy ๐Ÿ™‚

Not happy with this from Lego – just being difficult in my opinion.
They make tons of money as it is…
Gold diggers!

Jeremy Tarling March 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Great post, thanks for posting this information. I am off to the kitchen to try it now on some recently acquired magnets!

JoshCap March 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM

We’re all upset that lego does this. Think of it though as they have to do it. Hasbro and other companies think minifigures are biting into their action figure market and had some legal complaint based on their licensing agreement. Hence the glue. Damn.
Also, I’ve used this method to separate everything, heads, legs from torsos. Over 40 times. Each figure takes at least 5 ‘baths’. I get the water really hot. About 5 are in the hot tub at once. I work on each in rotation a little at a time. Impatience leads to broken pieces or marred torsos.

admin March 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

That is actually a great idea! Try to just run the minifig under hot tap water! Some may separate, some don’t depending on how much solvent is used. Then you can apply the hot-bath method on the ones that won’t separate by just tap-water. I guess it is worth a try to save the hassle! ๐Ÿ˜€

admin March 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Josh, looks like you are more a pro at this than myself! ๐Ÿ˜›
The importance of patience (as you have mentioned) cannot be over emphasized. Make this a fun weekend project and it will be a success! ๐Ÿ˜‰

admin March 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Good luck, Jeremy! Have fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bestbuilder's dad March 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Mm i left the figure in a bowl with the hot water running, perhaps for an hour, it took a bit of prizing off too. (gentle prizing!)
Pleased for my first attempt though ๐Ÿ™‚

jeff March 3, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Thanks, Batman is free!!!! Worked like a charm. You really can find anything on the internet!!!!!!!

admin March 3, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Jeff, yeah, that is right! The Internet is a great resource! I’m glad your minifigs are free! ๐Ÿ™‚

Pinky March 3, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Used our hot tap on our Primo water dispenser and it worked like a gem. Thank you so much. You can often find these magnets in the clearance bin and we have bypassed them since we thought they were permanently glued. Thanks for sharing the information! We are now happy owners of free standing Lego Dudes.

admin March 3, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Pinky, I’m glad your minifigs are now free! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Areader March 10, 2012 at 4:29 PM


Jarod Lawrence March 11, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I got the NY minifigure and I got the New York sign on the first try but the Minifigure is still on. ๐Ÿ™ Trying everything. Dont have a cooking thermometer. Tryed Boiled Kettle Water…… Extermelly hot Tap Water


admin March 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Jarod, I would NOT recommend doing this process without a cooking-thermometer as you can melt the plastic. You can get a cooking-thermometer at any department store for a couple of bucks. You have to keep the minifigure fully immersed in the water for some time. Make sure you follow all of the directions. Good luck! ๐Ÿ˜€

Jarod Lawrence March 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Got the Minifigure off…. No damage done. ๐Ÿ˜€

admin March 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Yay!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Michael Khoury March 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM

This process works. Leaves the the lego guy with a little something to remember his time in bondage by, but at least they’re free! In our case, the clerk at the Lego store was kind enough to tell me that these things were glued on and recommended “Googling” for a solution, this was the first hit. Great stuff, thanks!

admin March 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM

You are welcome, Michael, I’m glad it worked for you too! ‘YAY’ for more freed minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜€

Sue March 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

We have tried this with multiple soakings in up to 80 celcius and did not work for us. Removed some of paint on figures Maybe they have changed the glue. ..

admin March 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Sue, I’m doubting that LEGO is using anything new. Also the water shoud not remove the paint at all. Something must not be right. I have never heard of this method not working. And I personally know at least one person who used the method on over a hundred figs. I wish I could be there to help you out, but obviously I can’t. I would suggest to read through the instructions again and see what you may be missing. Good luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Random Kid March 18, 2012 at 4:27 PM

I tried this method on my Super Heroes Magnets, and it didn’t work after several tries, all 160F. However, I did take the arms off of the figs. Do you think that would affect the process?

Thanks Again

admin March 18, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Hm… you are the second person today who mentioned that the method didn’t work for them. Maybe LEGO did change something. This method has consistently worked for everyone who tried it, so make sure that you are following the process closely and give it enough time. Temperature, elevation, the amount of glue used can all have an effect. Also, make sure the minifigure is FULLY IMMERSED.

I’m also going to try the method myself on a newly released set of magnets (like the Super Heroes) to see if I notice any difference. I don’t see why LEGO would do a change on the solvent used, but it is not impossible. ๐Ÿ˜

No, removing the arms should have had no effect…

Tim March 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Thanks for this tutorial! I might actually go back to buying magnet sets again because of this.

According to my manager at the LEGO Store, the change to glued magnets came about because each company that licenses Star Wars gets exclusive rights to certain specific kinds of toys–building toys, action figures, etc. IIRC, the magnet sets are technically considered action figures if left unglued, so LEGO had to make the change in order to avoid infringing on another toymaker’s rights. Sadly, per your excerpt above, LEGO has decided to make that change to ALL magnet sets for the sake of consistency within their brand.

admin March 19, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Tim, yes that is correct. The issue was with toy-maker HASBRO. I would suggest that you get a cheap magnet set first and try out this method to see how you like it. It works great removing the figs, however please remember that the residue from the solvent will leave some roughness at the back of the minifigs’ legs. If you can live with that, this is going to be a great way for you to get rarer minifigs on the cheap. ๐Ÿ˜‰

paul from wales March 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM

just managed to seperate my super heroes magnets . batman just came straight off and only slight damage to robins legs cheers

admin March 22, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Paul, I’m glad your rescue mission was a success! ๐Ÿ˜€

karen March 25, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Wow! Thank goodness for your tried and true blog. We’ve bought several clearance magnet sets through the years–we had no idea that they are now glued! Today we purchased a Star Wars magnet set at the Lego store. Mace Windu and Count Dooku came off with a little help from a kitchen knife after five minutes of soaking. Yoda was more problematic. Due to his shorter size, Yoda has an extra base brick layer–he’s glued at the feet–and he doesn’t bend at the waist! It took several pan soaks at 160-168 degrees. One base brick broke with kitchen knife assistance. One foot was really glued down. It helped to insert a small screwdriver into the base brick opening and pop the brick off. We were lucky to keep Yoda intact. Thank you!

admin March 25, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Karen, thanks for sharing! It is always sad to hear when people buy the magnet sets, thinking the minifigs are removable. LEGO should be doing a better job making it clear they are glued! Anyhow, I’m glad you guys were able to liberate your minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜€

TMoon March 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Thank you so much. This worked perfectly and now I have one happy Ninjago fan on my hands!!!! I’ve had a couple of mishaps with acetone-based nail polish remover as well…Count Dooku’s Solar Sailer falls apart so easily that I thought I would be smart and glue it…..until I glued it together incorrectly….the nail polish remover helped me turn it into the Count Dooku’s Solar “Not-So-Much Sailing Going On” Sailer. Thank you once again!!!!

admin March 31, 2012 at 2:55 PM

TMoon, thanks for sharing! I’m glad you were able to free your minifigs! Yeah, I have heard complaints about the Solar Sailer before. I don’t glue my LEGO sets, but if you ever need to glue something, plain school-glue works just fine. Some of the largest LEGO model artists use it as well. It is safe for both you and your LEGO and will keep fregile LEGO creations together. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jim April 9, 2012 at 11:48 AM

First off I’d like to say i think LEGO’s excuse for gluing is bogus. we all know its to prevent people from buying the magnets and then selling them for crazy amounts on eaby!

This process worked like a charm for Yoda, but Mace Windu and Count Dooku are still stuck on the magnets. I will give it one more try! ๐Ÿ™‚

admin April 9, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Jim, it takes some patience, but you should be able to remove the rest of your minifigs just fine. Maybe raise the temperature a bit and keep them soaking a bit longer. Remember; each minifigure will have different amount of the solvent, so some take longer than others. Good luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Heather April 11, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Thank you, thank you! We just took our boys to the Lego store yesterday and we were especially thrilled to find out we could remove the minifigures off the magnets because the boys had earned the money to buy them themselves. I followed your directions exactly and after 5 minutes in the water, I just had to give it a little more leverage with a cake knife and the Star Wars guys popped off! Thanks again!

admin April 11, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Heather, you are very welcome! I’m glad your boys can now play with their SW minifigures! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mathias April 20, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Thank You!
The metod worked just fine. Some of them (Royal Guard and Mace Windu) needed longer time in the water while som of them (Yoda and Count Dooku) came of very easy. In fact is hard to see that they once were attached to a magnet…
My son, and myself, is very pleased!

admin April 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM

You are welcome, Mathias! Yes, sometimes you luck out and very little residue remains! ๐Ÿ˜€

Jim April 21, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I meant to post an update over a week ago. i did raise the temperature a bit and soaked them longer and finally count Dooku and Mace Windu came free of their bonds. my son was so excited he took them to school the next day to make all his friends jealous… ๐Ÿ™‚

admin April 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Jim, thanks for the update! I’m glad your minifigs are now free! You must have been the superhero for the day! ๐Ÿ˜€

questforcastle April 28, 2012 at 6:55 AM

Thank you Brick Blogger for this wonderful post and your other posts on dismantling LEGO keychains and magnets.

I have a couple of 1980s LEGO keyrings that I’ve been dismantling thanks to your inspiration. I have made some progress, but certain bonded parts are not budging with the hot water process. Any recommendations?

My photos and experiences here:

admin April 28, 2012 at 8:55 AM

I’m not familiar with keychains from the 80s, so yeah, it is possible that a different kind of glue was used. I do remember reading somewhere that the bonding material was changed a few times. I would also add though that torsos may or may not come off with the hot-water method. I would say I was able to separate them maybe 50% off the time (recent minifigures). It just depends on how much of the bonding material has been inserted in between the legs and the torso. Personally, I don’t force the issue. If the torso comes off great, if not I just let it be. The main goal of the hot-water method is to remove minifigures from magnets. Hope this helps some! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Martin Saunders April 28, 2012 at 2:25 PM

This worked well for me, but I did have to leave the figures to soak for more than 20 mins before they finally released from the magnets. Top tip, thanks all!

questforcastle April 28, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Thank you for the response. Yes, I think it may be some combination of a different bonding method back in the 1980s and/or torsos not coming off too easily with this method in any case. I gave it another try at a slightly higher temperature and for a longer while (10+ minutes at a pretty constant 73-75 Celsius) and it made no difference. Didn’t damage the minifigures either, so there was no harm in trying. In any case, thank you for the information is this and your related posts!

questforcastle April 28, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Thank you for the time note. Maybe I too have to try for a significantly longer period (like 20-30 minutes), although my case with the 1980s keyrings is probably a fundamentally different one. I do note that many of you have mentioned needing a longer time for the process, so thank you for that. I do think a longer exposure may increase the danger of damage, though, so gotta be careful.

admin April 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Martin, I’m glad your minifigs are free! ๐Ÿ˜€

admin April 28, 2012 at 7:03 PM

You are very welcome! And if you come up with a solution for your older figs let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

Btown May 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Does this work on Keychain Minifigs as well – as far as removing the legs? Thanks.

admin May 2, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Btown, yes, technically it does, however it depends on how much solven was used. Please remember that the inside of the minifigure torso is very delitate with lots of tiny compartments the solvent can leak into. So if a good amount of solvent was used and it went all over the place, I would not try to remove the torso as the process can damage the internal parts. However if there was only little solvent used, then yes, this method does work to separate the legs from the torso. Hope this helps some! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Josh Capistrant May 2, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I’ve done a ton of the keychain figures. If you don’t care about legs coming off, leave them on. There can be a lot of damage done just trying to pry that torso off, its really quite a task. I’ve broken off studs from the legs off inside the figure. They tend then to need some craftsmanship to get them to fit back together right. If you insist on doing this, a nail file is your friend in making things right again.

sjors May 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM

my lego ninjago minifigs wont come off. it looks like there is 1 piece betweene the figure and the magnet? what could i do?

admin May 11, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Sjors, you may want to check out the comment from Darkdragon on November 5th for an excellent solution for removing the extra plate:

โ€œHereโ€™s what I did to liberate a more difficult minifig from his bonds. For instance Barbossa and other figs with a 1ร—2 plate on the back of the legs. Had to do a second hot water bath, then VERY CAREFULLY I used a razor blade to cut the plate in half between the legs (so the legs can move independently again). Second step was to VERY CAREFULLY cut the plate off each leg. This leaves a little bit of stud still inside the leg, but it was easy to stick a flag pole into the foot at an angle and pop the stud out the back. The key here is this has to be done while the plastic is still warm and of course it has to be done carefully or you will cut the minifig (or yourself, but you will heal).โ€

Since this was shared several readers mentioned that this process worked for them excellently. Good luck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

gedren_y May 13, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Would this work for chess pieces? Some of the chess piece minifigs I see on bricklink are listed as glued, and I’m wondering if I can score some great army builders.

gedren_y May 13, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Also, for the keychains, wouldn’t it be better to try removing, or at least softening the solvent before you attempt to remove the metal pin? That might make the pins easier to remove. Just an idea.

admin May 13, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Gedren, sure, it can probably be done that way. Although I have to say that nothing ocmpares to the soldering-iron method; it is clean, efficient, fast and cheap. There is no need to put the plastic under unnecessary stress. ๐Ÿ˜‰

admin May 13, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Gedren, please note that this method is recommended for removing minifigs from magnets. The torso and leg-assembly may or may not separate, depending on how much of the solvent was used. However it is very likely that glued heads, and headgear would get removed very easily. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lego collector June 2, 2012 at 3:27 AM

most people who collects lego, like me, mostly colllect the mini figs, and the magnets were a great way to do so. when they say

To ensure a consistent consumer experience across all LEGO minifigure magnet sets we have chosen to permanently fix the minifigure to the magnet base on all magnet sets moving forward from Jan 1st 2011

it means to make sure people are buying sets and not just minifigures we are now going to screw u guys up. its all about money to them, what
when they say
This decision has been carefully considered
they were more considering their wallets. dammit if lego didnt have mini figures i wouldnt even touch them

admin June 2, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Yeah, some people do believe this was a financial decision. I’m not an insider and can’t say for sure, however LEGO consistently say that this was an issue with HASBRO and their rights for Star Wars action figures. LEGO could have faced a major lawsuit if they don’t comply with HASBRO’s demand. Again; that’s what they say. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tydroid Ninja of NINJAGONESS June 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM

My minifig is still not completely free: his body and legs are still glued! ๐Ÿ™

admin June 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM

Tydroid, if the torso and legs won’t separate from each other after a bath, I would not force it. There are lots of delicate parts inside of the torso of that can get distorted or even break if you try to force it. Remember; the glue inside the minifig’s torso can flow in so many places, and depending on that the torso and legs may or may not separate. Just be happy your minifig is free from the magnet and leave it as it is. At least that’s my suggestion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

nguyen June 8, 2012 at 4:49 AM

i like your way to remove the minifigure from the magnet
but i think i have a better way
if you like the anubis guard, and you don’t want to loose it, i think you should buy a keychain of the anubis guard , then you exchang the body and the head of these two to each other , and now you have a perfect anubis guard and a magnet anubis guard keychain , it costs only 3 -4$ to buy a lego keychain.
you can the same way with other minifigures

nguyen June 8, 2012 at 4:51 AM

you can do the same way with other minifigures.

admin June 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM

That’s a good idea and can certainly be done with some of the minifigures. ๐Ÿ˜‰

nguyen June 8, 2012 at 12:08 PM

i want to ask admin about the amset ra keychain . a normal amset ra mini figure has 2 faces , but i don’t know the keychain has 1 or 2 face

admin June 8, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Nguyen, I don’t have that keychain, but it is VERY LIKELY that it has a double face. In all the keychains I have gotten where the normal minifig has a double face, the keychain version ALWAYS had a double face too. Even though this doesn’t make sense as the second face would never be seen on a keychain – unless you take apart the keychain, of course – I guess LEGO just didn’t want to bother printing a separate head for keychains. ๐Ÿ˜‰

nguyen June 9, 2012 at 2:03 AM

admin , of course , a keychain will have 2 faces if 2 faces are seen. but with the keychain with a helmet , or something that hide its face, like the amset ra , the golden face is hiden by the hat, it won’t make sense if LEGO prints the golden face. i want to know because i’m going to buy this. please help me.

admin June 9, 2012 at 8:46 AM

Nguyen, that is exactly what I was talking about. So sorry if I wasn’t clear. In my experience minifigs that in normal sets come with dual faces only, also have dual faces on the keychain version, even if they have a helmet, hair, or other headgear on that makes the second face invisible. 8)

nguyen June 10, 2012 at 2:37 AM

oh yeah, thanks admin so much , i’m a new LEGO collector, i don’t know much about LEGO.

admin June 10, 2012 at 9:47 AM

You are welcome! Just hang around here a bit and you will be an expert in no time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

nguyen June 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

oh yeah, it’s a dream , and someday , you will ask me about LEGO, and i will tell you : ” just chat with me a bit , you will be an expert like me” :))

admin June 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Nguyen, there are many authors here and you are also welcome to contribute as well. The LEGO hobby is extremely versatile and no one person can know it all. My favorite area is minifig customization, and castle/fantasy themes. Other contributors focus on other subjects; like the history of LEGO, mosaics, sculptures, trains, particular themes (like Star Wars, Ninjago, Lord of the Rings, City, etc.), some like collecting, some building… there is a lot to cover. It is a never ending, always evolving hobby! ๐Ÿ˜€

nguyen June 10, 2012 at 11:42 AM

my favorite area is creating new things . but my creatures are not so beautiful . they look weird. and i like collecting minifigs too, i wish i would have a mummy army , but i have too little money.

admin June 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Nguyen, mummies are actually quite cheap. You can pick up a full horde of them on BrickLink for a buck each:

You can improve your building skills by looking at other people’s work, reading LEGO books, or just by trial and error. IMHO there is no such a thing as a faliure when it comes to building with LEGO. Only happy accidents. ๐Ÿ˜‰

nguyen June 11, 2012 at 2:05 AM

admin,thanks for giving me the link, but i live in vietnam . if i buy these, i will have to pay for shipping , it costs a lots .

admin June 11, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Nguyen, actually shipping minifigs internationally is not that expensive. I do it all the time (both sending and receiving). I just did a quick check shipping a small package from the USA to Vietnam. A one ounce package (that would be 3 minifigs or so) is $3, and a 2 ounce package is $3.74. A five ounce package (that would be a lot of minifigs!) is $5.96. Nothing out of the ordinary. BrickLink sellers may tack on a $0.50-$1.00 fee for packaging materials and handling, but that’s still not that much. I believe shipping from some European countries can get expensive, so always check with the seller before ordering. But the point is; if you want an army of mummies, the dream is not impossible. ๐Ÿ˜‰

nguyen June 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM

admin, how can i see the seller ?

admin June 11, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Nguyen, there are many sellers who carry each of the items from all over the world (usually). Just click on the small number below of one of the mummies you are interested in (from the previous link I sent you). It will open up a new window with details. There is a link called Price Guide. Under it you will find all the sellers who are selling that particular minifig. Click on the little green box next to a price and quantity you like. This will take you to the seller’s store. You can go from there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you are interested in more than just one variety of mummies, create a wanted list. You will be able to check which store has everything (or most of the things) you want, thereby saving you on shipping and all. Have fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

nguyen June 13, 2012 at 3:14 AM

admin, do you have a yahoo account? I want to add you to my list to ask you about buying lego on . I have never bought things online before

admin June 13, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Nguyen, no, I’m not on Yahoo, sorry. However I’m on Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and you can also email me at If you would like to ask questions about BrickLink, you my also want to do so on the BrickLink post, so others can also benefit form our conversation: Shopping for LEGO on BrickLink

Andrew June 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Thank you for your hard work on this. Batman and friends a free and I have a very happy Child!!

admin June 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Andrew, thanks for letting me know! Always happy to hear about minifigs getting freed! ๐Ÿ˜€

legodoughnut June 19, 2012 at 8:53 PM

wow this could be helpful (even though i don’t have any magnet figs)

Hydreigon 44 June 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

How bout trying to cool down the torso so that the torso will contract around the legs as the heat could have expanded the torso. So the next time the torso may not drop off again. Just a proposal.

pete July 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Holy crap, you are my hero. (And I am now my son’s hero!) Thanks for posting this!

admin July 16, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Pete, yay, for heroes! Your son must thing you have magic powers! ๐Ÿ˜‰

mark July 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

This method has worked perfectly for me, I have just managed to liberate Batman, Robin, The Joker, Two Face, Wonderwoman & Superman. My son is now well happy.
He was really disapointed at the minifigures being glued onto the fridge magnets, what child wants to play with fridge magnets, I ask you what were lego thinking of (apart from money). We even had tears at legoland when I told him they were not worth buying as being fridge magnets they were useless, anyway he insisted on using his pocket money regardless. but thanks to this information we now have the minifigures he wanted.

admin July 16, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Mark, thanks for sharing! I’m glad you guys were able to free your minifigs! Getting them this way is so much cheaper then having to buy a bunch of sets! ๐Ÿ™„

Charlie July 22, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Thank you so much! Worked wonderful!

Michael July 29, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Thank you so much for this! I now have half a dozen super hero minifigs standing on their own two feet!

admin July 29, 2012 at 5:13 PM

You are welcome, Michael! I bet your minifigs are dancing when you are not looking! ๐Ÿ™„

J.C. August 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Oh, thank you! My brother got a Ninjago magnet set, (because our cousins had some pre-2011 magnets and we didn’t know about the fused ‘figs,) and we’ve been trying to get them off.

admin August 17, 2012 at 9:10 PM

J.C., you are welcome! Yes, a lot of people are not aware that the magnets are now glued. It is sad. But you should be able to free them just fine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kelley August 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Thank you so much for sharing this method. After returning from the Lego store to find his figures were glued to the magnets, my 7 year old was so disappointed. I tried goo gone before thinking that someone had probably already solved this problem…and I found your detailed directions quickly online. It took less than 10 minutes and we are all very happy with the results!

admin August 26, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Kelly, thanks for sharing! I’m glad your minifigs are now free! ๐Ÿ˜€

Tracy 'Mark's Mom' October 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM


admin October 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I guess that means more minifigures just got freed! ๐Ÿ˜†

Mike October 13, 2012 at 4:35 PM

THANK YOU for posting this! You are awesome!

admin October 14, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Mike, you are very welcome! ๐Ÿ˜‰

dina October 22, 2012 at 1:12 AM

I tried to take mine out, it’s the harry potter series, but won’t work… ๐Ÿ™

dina October 22, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Just tried it again, and it worked!! thanks…

admin October 22, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Dina, yeah, it takes a little patience as some of the minifigs are more stuck then others. So just need to do as you did; try again. I’m glad it worked out for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Jcroisez October 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM

It woooorks !!!! and perfectly !
Just came back from a lego store and now i got those 3 babies freed !!
Thanks a lot!

admin October 23, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Jcroisez, thanks for sharing! Have fun with your minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜€

o1i November 3, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Yesterday I freed two packages of Star Wars Magnets :).

I was not able to free them by “bending back”, but I used a swiss army knife in the gap to separate the figures from the magnets after a 8 minute 70 degree water bath.

All figures survived the process, just one can’t stand on lego nobs any more, the feet are not holding anymore. No big deal, 20 EUR is still a very good price for 6 figures.

admin November 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Thanks for sharing. Yes, the process takes a little patience, but it is worth it. I’m glad your minifigs succesfully survived. Some minifigs have more glue than others, so it can take a little longer to separate them, or as you did, just give them a little help with a knife. ๐Ÿ˜‰

MrsRoboto November 4, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Thank you so much!!! My son got a Star Wars pack for his birthday yesterday and the gift giver didn’t realize they were magnets. I had to heat the water to 175* and left them in for about 20 minutes before I was able to pry them off with a knife, but it worked!

admin November 5, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Thanks for sharing! Yes, the temperature, and the amount of time needed can vary by several factors; the amount of glue used, the elevation you live at, and the accuracy of the thermometer used – but the process always works, may just need a little adjustment, as you did so well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

GLB November 17, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Thanks for the tips! It took over 20 minutes of soaking but eventually we freed Frodo, Sam, and a Wraith. By the way, the feet were also bonded on the little guys which took some extra prying!

Thanks again!

admin November 17, 2012 at 10:30 PM

GLB, thanks for sharing! Yeah, the little short-legged guys are harder to remove because of the extra glue under their feet. I’m glad your patience paid off though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Eric November 29, 2012 at 12:19 AM

I went out and got 3 star wars magnets and it looks like they’ve changed the design up a bit.
There are now 2 pegs that stick into the back of the legs making the glue infinitely harder to remove with just hot water.

Eric November 29, 2012 at 12:42 AM

I re-read the directions and I see you mentioned the pegs but I obviously missed that.. So after adjusting my prying technique to account for the pegs the other 2 dudes popped right off just like you said.

Hhp November 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Thanks v much for this info! I also just freed frodo, Sam & Ringwraith from their magnets. Like what GLB commented, the little hobbits were tougher to free. Using butter knife, I pried them off the magnets but 2 little bricks still glued to their feet. Took more soaking in hot water then finally I unstuck those little bricks by using a brick separator & apply strength. Luckily they survived! But I had scratched them a little with the knife. Oh well, battle scars…

admin November 29, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Eric, I’m glad it worked out for you! Yeah, reading the directions helps. But it is also fun to experiment. ๐Ÿ™„

admin November 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Hhp, one other thing someone recommended in regards to short minifigs, is that once they minifig is separated by the hot water, use a razor-blade or other thin blade (like an x-acto knife) to simply slice off the bricks glued to the feet. It is very easy to do. The studs will still be inside the feet, but it is easy to pop them out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

neopiate November 29, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Love you Lego Dude! You have made my kids so happy as Boba, Leia and the Royal Guard are now free.

admin November 29, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Good job! Enjoy your minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mithrandir December 1, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Thank you for your advice. After some experimentation due to not having a thermometer, we have managed to free Sam, Frodo and the Ringwraith from their prison. Thank you!

admin December 1, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Mithrandir, I’m glad it worked for you, even without a thermometer. Enjoy your freed minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜€

Amber December 8, 2012 at 4:14 PM

You just saved Christmas with this advice. Seriously.

admin December 9, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Amber, yeah, I know what you mean… I have heard from desparate parents before. Finding out that the minfigs are glued can cause some MAJOR distress and disappointment. I’m glad you found the answer and can help out Santa! ๐Ÿ˜‰

blopa January 31, 2013 at 10:18 AM

It didn’t worked for me =(((( I tried with the Marvel Super Heroes pack, leave it for 5min. Nothing. Then I heated the water again, leave it for 15min, nothing. Then I use my brutal force and broke part of the leg’s back =(

admin January 31, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Blopa, the process works, but you do have to be both patient and gentle. Remember; you are dealing with delicate plastic parts. Brute force will only get the parts broken, as you have already experienced. This is especially true if the parts are still warm. Make sure you follow the instructions. Did you use a thermometer to make sure the temperature is correct? Did you immerse the minifigs fully? Did you test the legs every few minutes to see if the seal is starting to get loose? Did you slide a knife (or other thin and strong object) behind the legs to help with popping them off? Again; be patient and gentle and your minifigs will be just fine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

blopa January 31, 2013 at 2:25 PM

YES! Like you said, I just needed to be patient ๐Ÿ˜€ now it worked. Thanks!! Luckly the leg from Magneto which was damaged is regular red, I will change for a new one. Thank you so much ๐Ÿ˜€

admin January 31, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Glad it worked for ya! ๐Ÿ™‚

Breygon February 6, 2013 at 2:52 PM

how about for short characters, like Yoda or (in my case) hobbits? their legs can’t be bent back.

also, will this work for keychain mini figures?

admin February 6, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Breygon, short legs can be removed as well. Instead of bending them back, you can wiggle them a bit and once you see a tiny gap appear insert a thin blade between the torso and legs. The good thing about short legs is that the parts are not as delicate. The bad thing that it does take a little bit more effort to remove them. But it can be done. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As far as keychain minfigs, you mean separating the legs from the torso? You can try, and some of them will come apart right away, and some won’t. It just depends on how the solvent flows thru the parts during the gluing process. If the torso and legs won’t separate after a few minutes of soaking I would not force them as the inside of a minifig’s torso has some very delicate, thin parts that would easily get damaged.

Wilson February 10, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Man, this solution was awesome.

First I’m a little afraid about the temperature, because I don’t have a thermometer. But I warm the water until boiling and turn off. I wait like 2 minutes and put the figures.

Warm the water above the 80 farenheit maked the plastic be soft. Wait some time until try the procedure. The best for me is using a knife behind the legs and with light gestures of left-right the minifigures go free, without any harm.

Thanks for the water procedure.

admin February 10, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Wilson, I’m glad it worked for ya! Yeah, without a thermometer one has to be careful not to make the water too hot as it can melt the plastic. It is really best to buy a thermometer; it only costs a couple of $s and readily available at most stores. But I’m glad you were able to follow the procedure even without one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Christian Fries February 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

If you do not have a thermometer at hand, the use 1 part (glasses) of water at room temperature (20 deg celsius) and 2 parts (glasses) of boiling water (100 deg celsius). This gives you (100+100+20)/3 = 220 / 3 = 73 deg celsius. Worked for me. Also nice to teach kids math and physics ๐Ÿ™‚

admin February 12, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Christian, thanks for sharing! That’s actually a GREAT IDEA! ๐Ÿ˜€

zako11 February 13, 2013 at 10:06 AM

its not working ๐Ÿ™ ive been trying for hours -legs not loosening one bit- dont have a thermometer but tried the 1 cup room temp water, 2 cups boiling method but it still wont work ๐Ÿ™ looks like ill have to get boba, royal guard pack on ebay- not glued

Ben February 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM


your explanation is flawed.

The solvent would have long ago evaporated so dissolving it in water is not what is happening here!
Basically all you have done is partially melted the plastic at the joint, which as you mentioned is slightly more ‘brittle’ than the rest. a higher temperature at a shorter soaking time may also work.
Basically heating the joint up does the same as the solvent did in the first place allowing you to separate them.


oscar February 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Its really works, Simple tutorial but superb

4 thumbs up

zako11 February 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM

ok so i FINALLY got it to work, but i had to use a bit more brute force then gentleness

once heated for 5 minutes i got the bluntest thinnest knife i could find and pushed it down the bum area (as shown in the pic you posted) but not too far, i then placed the minifig back (with knife still down butt)in the water for a further minute adding a bit more boiling water (just a tad) near the minifig (oh and i didnt use a strainer, i gave up on using one hours ago). took it out and pushed the knife down further- after another minute the fig popped off. it did require quite a bit more than “gentle”-ness to push the knife down the minifig butt but it finished off intact and now i have a classic Boba (with slightly weird legs) to go with my classic Jango ๐Ÿ™‚
but thats the last time i buy a magnet set- much too faffy.

admin February 13, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Hm… that’s an interesting explanation. It makes sense though. I’m not a chemist, so I was coming from a different angle; just trying different methods to free my minifigs until I found one that worked. Thanks for the insight! ๐Ÿ˜‰

admin February 13, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Zako, I would really recommend getting a thermometer. They are super cheap and you could have saved yourself from all this trial and error. Especially if you ever decide to get more minifig magnets. ๐Ÿ˜‰

THP February 25, 2013 at 4:14 PM

THANK YOU! I just had to gently pry it apart.

bonnie soe February 27, 2013 at 9:44 AM

It’s work! Thanks to admin. Bonnie fr Indonesia ๐Ÿ™‚

admin February 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Bonnie, I’m glad it worked for you too. Have fun with your minifigs! ๐Ÿ™‚

Denise March 12, 2013 at 12:48 PM

I have just deglued 6 lego figures using your tutorial, I now have 2 happy boys! Thank you very much

admin March 14, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Denise, you are welcome! I’m glad your boys are happy! ๐Ÿ™‚

ges May 5, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I have been very successful with the method so thanks again for sharing! Has anyone tried the new magnets? I have not seen them in the store yet but they appear different as they now have a different magnet attachment. See the lego store…

admin May 5, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Ges, I have been curious about the nex magnets myself. There is no LEGO store near me, but I would love to check these out! Maybe pick some up online. At this point I’m not even sure how they are attached or to what.

Joseph June 3, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Excuse me,

I have not tried this method yet with any LEGO magnet sets. However, I would like to feature these instructions on YouTube. I have a LEGO channel (13hammertime62’s LEGO Set Reviews) that specializes in LEGO set reviews, how-to videos, and current and past LEGO news.

I would like to feature this article in a how-to video for “how to remove glued LEGO magnet minifigures”.

Thank you for your time. I hope to try this method myself.

Joseph (13hammertime62)

admin June 3, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Joseph, thanks for visiting! Yeah, if you have some of glued magnet minifigs and you would like to remove them, give it a try. If you have any questions just let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ian June 4, 2013 at 2:03 PM

What about the newer Lego magnets? Can you make a post about removing them, I can’t find anything online about it.

admin June 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Good question. I haven’t seen the new type of magnets at my local stores yet, but I will pick some up as soon as I can and see what they are like. Stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

Beata June 6, 2013 at 1:16 PM

It’s really works.Thank You .Figure was removed from brick ,but I can’t remove legs ,but it is enough for my son.Thank You

admin June 6, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Beata, you are welcome. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Breygon June 24, 2013 at 8:45 PM

went to my local lego store, and only saw the new ones. here’s a link to one on the store site; (spaced to avoid any possible legal or script-based hassles). EGO-Star-Wars-Chew bacca-Magnet-850639

Luis June 25, 2013 at 7:35 AM

In the new magnets the minifig is pinned to the back. The pin is shorter but wider that the ones on keychains.
I used the hot water method to soft it up then used brute force to pull the minifig. The back image sticker got ruined from the water, but the minifg came out perfect (except for the hole in the back!)
The minigig legs are glued but the head can be removed.
You can see a picture here:
Feel free to use it if you want.

admin June 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Thank you, Luis! This is very valuable to know! You could probably also use the removing minifigs from keychain method I share in another tutorial using a soldering iron, but looks like the hot water method also worked great for you. It’s a shame that the hole is on the back! Poor minifig! ๐Ÿ˜•

Luis June 25, 2013 at 11:29 AM

There’s no place to heat with a soldering iron. The whole back is covered with a magnet, maybe removing it can give us access to the pin, but it is strongly glued so I didn’t tried it…

admin June 25, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Luis, I see. Then the hot-water method would be the best. I can’t wait to pick up one of these magnets myself and tinker with it some. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Eric July 2, 2013 at 4:49 AM

Hello! This page is great, I’m so happy someone took the time to come up with a solution to this magnet problem. Like Luis, I had one of the newer, round Lego magnets that are only attached in the center of the figure’s back with a screw and glue/solvent.

I’m happy to report the water method worked PERFECTLY on the 1st try! Just brought a sauce pan full of water to it’s boiling point, then turned the heat off and moved the pot on a cool surface. Using a strainer I placed the flat, magnet side down under water with the figure in a seated position and half submerged in the water. (I wasn’t sure if the Iron Man designs would get messed up so I was afraid to dunk the entire figure.) 6 minutes later I came back, gave a few tugs and it popped right off. Thanks!

admin July 2, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Eric, glad to hear it worked for you on the new magnets too! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

Aubrey July 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM

“This decision has been carefully considered and was not taken easily as we know that many consumers will obviously not like this change.”

So why do it then?

admin July 5, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Aubrey, LEGO is not allowed to release stand-alone figures due to the agreement between LEGO, Hasbro and LucasFilm. So they could either stop releasing Star Wars magnets altogether or have them glued so they can’t be considered action-figures. Once the decision was made to glue the Star Wars magnets, it made sense to glue all other magnet minifigs as well so as not to create further confusion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dorcas July 22, 2013 at 3:35 PM

This is hilarious but can’t wait to try it! We made the mistake of purchasing one of these from the Lego store as darth vader since he only appears to come with the Death Star! Lol. I thought we’ve been hipped and almost took it back when I googled how to take it apart because I was sure someone has tried and found you! Thanks. Will try when we r home!!!

admin July 22, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Dorcas, let me know how it goes! It’s a fun project! If you do it together with your kids there are also some science lessons there. ๐Ÿ™‚

K July 31, 2013 at 12:19 AM

lots of comments! congratz. This is very educational! (but not for me, being purist and all) tyfs!

K July 31, 2013 at 12:36 AM

This post was very complete. You usually entertain and advise very well, but this took it to another level by actually helping people avoid wasting time or mini-figures. Thou I will never try this, it is a great service what you did. kudos.

admin July 31, 2013 at 9:21 AM

There are a few posts in the Ninjago section with around 10,000 comments. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sebski August 3, 2013 at 5:23 AM

Great blog!

Re: the new circular ‘disc’ magnets.
Ive tried the hot water method on one of my minifigs and took some effort to get it to come off (the figure was slightly damaged due to impatient me using knife as leverage).
I use a soldering iron for keychain removal (which i can do really easily now) and was wondering if this can work on these too?

After my first attempt as described above, I took the circular magnet pad off the back (using sharp pliers/scissors to cut into the disc a little – it comes off quite easily) and can see that it the middle of the plastic circle is the end of the metal pin (that goes into the back of the figurine). Do you think this could be heated with a soldering iron to then pull the figurine free?

On another note: capes are annoying on these types of figures as they end up having a hole in them as well! :p I guess they can be replaced though.

admin August 3, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Sebski, if there is enough room to attach the soldering iron to the metal without directly touching the plasstic and enough room to grab the end of the metal pin to pull it out, then yeah, it should work. Do it slowly and carefully, as it takes very little difference in the heat applied to pull out the pin and melt the surrounding plastic. Let me know how it went! ๐Ÿ™„

jayns01 September 30, 2013 at 12:19 AM

I just finished taking a Darth Maul off of one of the new circular magnets. I started by just using the hot water method, but after about 3 five minute soaks at 160 F (monitored with a candy thermometer) I wasn’t making much progress. So I removed the magnet with a small flat head screwdriver to reduce the mass of the heat sink, but after 2 more soaks and the use of a plastic putty knife (to limit marring the figure) I was beginning to see some gap. So I decided to break out the soldering iron. There isn’t really anywhere to get a purchase on the pin from the back, but I found that you can grip the figure with one hand and pull it while you touch the pin with the iron. It came off pretty easy that way.

Looking at the figure and the back as well as considering that the cape moved and the figure could spin while attached to the back, I don’t believe that the new magnets are chemically fused. I think that they are relying on the mechanical attachment using the pin, and as such I believe the solder iron method might be the better method for the new magnet design.

Will September 30, 2013 at 2:23 AM

works like a charm. $ saver. Thanks!

admin September 30, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Youl could very well be right on that. After all the keychain minifigs are not glued at the pin either. It it just the pin itself. However the torso and the legs are fused with the glue/solvent. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

rezzza November 18, 2013 at 8:39 AM

I try putting it in the freezer and it works.

Caleb December 4, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Very cool idea and easy to do as well.

Mike December 24, 2013 at 2:25 AM

Thanks for putting this together. What a great guide and worked for me for two of three on set 852555. Running into problems with Yoda though. His feet are attached to two single lego pieces, which are then glued to the magnet. I was able to get the magnet off for Yoda. Just can’t seem to loosen those two single pieces attached to his feet at all. Wondering if they might be attached with something other than the solvent.

admin December 24, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Mike, glad you were able to free some minifigs! In regards to Yoda, his feet are glued with the same solvent, however the bond is quite strong because it is a combination of the bond of the glue as well as the studs. Some people who commented here before did the following successfully: take a razorblade or x-acto knife and cut the plate in half under Yoda’s feet (in between his legs). So now he will be standing on two 1×1 plates, instead of one 1×2 plate. Now you shoudl be able to wiggle them a little. That shoudl be enough to be able to remove the plates after inserting Yoda in the warm bath. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Charlie January 28, 2014 at 11:52 AM

The new magnets have a backplate. Have you tried to remove these ones? I’d love to see a post about it. Thanks!

admin January 28, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Carlie, if you look at previous comments just a bit ealier we have discussed those here as well. The methods to remove them are not a whole lot different, but you are right; I should do a new tutorial. I’m putting it on my to-do list right now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tina March 12, 2014 at 9:05 PM

This worked perfectly! I used it on both the old type and new type of magnetic legos.

admin March 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Tina, I’m glad it worked for you. Have fun with your freed minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜›

Aubrey May 25, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Hey admin, sorry if this has been asked before. I don’t think I see mineral spirit on your list of failed methods. Have you tried it? I just saw the Lego Movie and I hope it didn’t mislead audiences like myself.

admin May 26, 2014 at 1:13 AM

Hm… that’s a good question. I should give it a try. Please note though that the dad in The LEGO Movie was using superglue. The magnet minifigs are technically not glued but fused together with a solvent, so the process to unglue them would be different. I guess whatever would remove superglue would work – of course the question is will the plastic survive. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Andri May 26, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Hi admin,

Great tutorial! Quick question: I want to separate the torso from the legs, replacing the legs with new shiny ones ๐Ÿ™‚ From your experience, would new legs fits nicely to the torso or it would be loose?

admin May 26, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Andri, removing the legs from the torso is iffy as there are so many delicate connection-points inside the torso. I’m fine when it happends, but when it doesn’t I don’t force it as the thin inside supports of the torso can easily get damaged. It really depends on how much solvent got in there and how it distributed.

So to answer your question, sometimes the legs just easily come off, there is no damage at all, and you can replace the legs just fine. At other times it is best not to force it. The main goal of this method is to remove them minifigs from the magnets. The legs becoming removable is just a plus. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jason June 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM


I tried this method and unlike anyone else who posted positive results this method was an epic failure for me. I even tried playing with the temperature range and time but nothing worked and attempted this on 12 different mag figs…

Any other ideas?

admin June 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Jason, sounds like something is off, but it is hard to help with something like this over the Internet without seeing exaclty what you are doing and where could be a problem. What I would suggest is that you take the cheapest, most undesirable minifig from the magnet figs you have, and you take it under some serious experimentation. Consider this kind of like a fun science project. ๐Ÿ™‚

How I would do it is to slowly and gradually increase the temperature, and try removing the minifig every 5 minutes from the water and see if the magnet can be pried off as described in the tutorial. If not, put it back in the water and continue raising the temperature. I would also take notes throught the process, noting the temperature and the time as I go.

A simple thing like elevation or the hardness of the water could make a difference on what the right temperature needs to be, so having precise notes about your own experiment could be the key to solve your mystery. I would continue raising the temperature until the magnet comes off. Make sure you note the temperature at this point. Then let the minifigure cool off and examine it. Did it get warped by the higher than recommended temperature? If not, you can use your own temperature and time needs listed in your notes for removing your other magnet minifigs. If there is warping, you can continue to experiment to work out the right balance. Hope this helps some. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bob August 7, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Get lego to just sell minfigure packs without magnets would be the best solution

admin August 7, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Bob, LEGO can’t sell minifigure packs of licensed product lines. It is part of their contract. This is because the license-holder usually have a contract with another company for action figures.

Jesse October 15, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Hello fellow Lego lovers –

I have a bit of a predicament: I recently purchased 11 minifigures off eBay that were previously on display at a store. The minifigures are in perfect condition EXCEPT For one leg on each has some glue and a piece of plastic attached. I was wondering if you think this glue removal trick will work on just the leg? Please help! On the bottom is a link that will take you to the picture I hope.

admin October 16, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Jesse, nice find of display figures! What LEGO is using there is regular glue, NOT the solvent that is used on magnet figures. Personally I would try something less involved first. Can’t you just pop off the glue from the plastic? They shouldn’t be fused together as on the magnets. If they don’t come off easily, you can try warm water, but do not heat it to as high as in the method mentioned in the article, so you do not get as close to boiling point. Just hot enough that you can put your hand in it and still melt the glue. I think that should work, but I never tried to remove this kind of glue before. LEt me knwo how that goes. I’m curious about this too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Antony December 31, 2014 at 8:53 AM

I was just at Legoland Florida and I bought a magnet minifigure but the magnet was attached to the figure with a metal stud. One end of the stud was embedded into the back of the figure and the other end was attached to a large plastic circle with magnet glued to it. It was easy to remove the magnet and cut away the plastic but there was no way to remove the stud without damaging the figure. The best I could do was to use a wire cutter to cut the stud off as close to the base as I could. There is still a little bump but it can be removed with some careful grinding.
I did a little better with some minifigure key chains that were on sale for $1.50. Again there was a stud embedded into the the neck of the figure that went through a hole in the head and and ended with a small ring that attached to the key chain. After removing the key chain from the ring, it was easy to clip off the small ring at the end of the stud. This allowed the head to be removed so you could cut the stud off below the level of the head. Unfortunately this leaves a small hole in the head of the figure but my son did not mind.

admin December 31, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Anthony, thanks for sharing! For metal studs I personally use a soldering iron. I wrote about this in an other article. And your method is a viable solution too. But yeah, the removed pin leaves a hole. Kids don’t seem to mind though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dave May 14, 2016 at 4:41 PM

Hi Admin,
Does this method work on the minifigs as well as I got a classic Futron space fig I got it free as it was a mistake purchase (not by me) the helmet is stuck onto the head and so is the visor and hips and legs (the legs move).

admin May 14, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Dave, it’s a bit iffy if it would work or not. It really depends on how much glue was used to attach the parts. Some minifigs got more than others, and it also depends on how the glue flowed inside the part. For the magnet minifigs, some easily came apart, while others didn’t. The issue is that if you heat the minifigs up too high, or keep them in the hot water too long, the joints start to get effected and can become loose. They are small parts, so they react to the hot water more.

My suggestion would be to perhaps give it a try one time. Just follow the directions for the temperature and the time requirements, and don’t keep the minifigs in the hot water longer than necessary. You might luck out and the parts may come apart easily. If not, don’t insist so as not to damage the joints. If the minifigs looks nice otherwise, and none of the parts are damaged, there is really no reason to take it apart. Hope this helps some. Anything else, fell free to comment again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dave May 15, 2016 at 3:04 AM

Thanks Admin ๐Ÿ˜€

admin May 15, 2016 at 10:26 AM

You’re very welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚

eccolo March 23, 2017 at 9:22 AM

Hi admin,
I bought an original exhibition Lego set from an user but some or almost all the parts of bricks Seem glued …..
Do you know some advice before you try method of hot water?

admin March 23, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Hmmm… are you talking about one of those LEGO display-models in acrylic display cases that they have at TRU, Target and other stores? Those are always glued. I wouldn’t recommend trying to take them apart. The fusing method LEGO uses is meant to be permanent.

Using hot water to separate the pieces can work on small items (like the magnets), because the pieces are tiny, and the fusing agent doesn’t have much to grab on to. But in larger models where there is a lot of surface area to fuse together, the bond is going to be permanent.

Also, the fusing agent LEGO uses damages the surface of the parts (marring the surface like this and “melting” the plastic together is what creates the permanent bond). So, even if you could take some of the parts off, they wouldn’t be as good as new. It is not so visible on the magnet minifigs, as they are only bonded to the magnet bricks at the back of their legs, but on larger pieces it would definitely be very noticeable.

To summarize, I wouldn’t recommend trying to take full sets apart glued by LEGO themselves, as the bonding agent they use is meant to be permanent. However, you might be able to take off some of the smaller pieces, simply because they don’t have that much surface area. The minifigs in those display cases are usually attached using regular glue, and they should come off fairly easy. (You will see a milky glob around their feet to indicate this.) As this is regular glue, not a fusing agent, the minifigs should be fine.

eccolo March 23, 2017 at 1:10 PM

i don’t have an assurance but i think it’s like did you decribe….from the beginning at the end ๐Ÿ™
I disassembled manually the half part of the bricks but there is a small with trace of dry glue near every brick (above all coloured)….
However I want to prove the hot water method…..only to understand ๐Ÿ˜‰
I let you know in the next days…

admin March 23, 2017 at 1:18 PM

Sounds like an interesting science project! Good luck, and let me know how it goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

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