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Glued magnet minifig removal!

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.

TOOLS NEEDED:
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)

PREPARE MINIFIG:
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)

PROCESS:
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™‚

NOTES:
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.)

2. THE GOO-GONE PROCESS – fail!:
Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room temp.
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

3. THE VINEGAR PROCESS – fail!:
Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room temp.
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

4. THE ALCOHOL PROCESS – fail!:
(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

5. THE SOAPY WATER PROCESS – fail!:
Method: full immersion
Temperature: warm water
Time: overnight (8 hours)
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

6. THE MINERAL OIL PROCESS – fail!:
(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

7. THE LEMON-JUICE PROCESSย  – fail!:
Method: full immersion
Temperature: normal room
Time: 1 hour
Results: NONE
Adverse effects on plastic: NONE VISIBLE
Adverse effects on print: NONE VISIBLE

8. THE EUCALYPTUS OIL 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

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
Results: PLASTIC MELTED, BUT MINIFIG/MAGNET SEAL INTACT
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… add one }
  • Marc January 5, 2012, 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, 4:01 PM

      Marc, thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ed January 5, 2012, 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, 8:56 PM

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

  • Derek January 9, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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˜‰

  • erytop January 21, 2012, 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, 10:12 AM

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

  • erytop January 22, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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€

  • tanja February 13, 2012, 11:50 AM

    YOU ARE GREAT!
    THE GREATEST JUST GOT SOME STAR WAR MAGNET FIGURES AND SUCESFULY SEPARATED THEM USING YOUR METHOD! MY 6 YEARO OLD IS THRILLED! MANY THANKS!

    • admin February 13, 2012, 11:55 AM

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

  • steffany February 13, 2012, 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, 8:32 PM

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

  • janny226 February 16, 2012, 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, 9:56 AM

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

      • janny226 February 17, 2012, 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, 10:27 PM

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

  • JoshG February 17, 2012, 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….

  • rB) February 19, 2012, 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, 12:55 PM

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

  • Turkey February 19, 2012, 10:35 PM

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

  • Mickey February 24, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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, 10:37 AM

      Scott, you are very welcome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • MN-Dad February 28, 2012, 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, 9:20 AM

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

  • fodsta March 3, 2012, 8:43 AM

    You, sir, are a legend!

  • Bestbuilder's dad March 3, 2012, 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!

    • JoshCap March 3, 2012, 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, 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, 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˜€

  • Jeremy Tarling March 3, 2012, 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!

    • admin March 3, 2012, 11:53 AM

      Good luck, Jeremy! Have fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Bestbuilder's dad March 3, 2012, 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, 7:37 PM

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

    • admin March 3, 2012, 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, 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, 11:07 PM

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

  • Areader March 10, 2012, 4:29 PM

    I love you dude. I’M GETTING EMBO AND AURA SING

  • Jarod Lawrence March 11, 2012, 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

    Help!!!!!!!

    • admin March 11, 2012, 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, 3:36 PM

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

    • admin March 11, 2012, 3:38 PM

      Yay!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Michael Khoury March 17, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 5:29 PM

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

  • karen March 25, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 10:00 AM

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

  • Jim April 21, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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˜‰

      • questforcastle April 28, 2012, 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!

        • admin April 28, 2012, 7:03 PM

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

  • Martin Saunders April 28, 2012, 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, 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, 7:00 PM

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

  • Btown May 2, 2012, 4:09 PM

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

    • admin May 2, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 6:28 PM

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

    • admin June 2, 2012, 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, 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

    • admin June 8, 2012, 8:56 AM

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

  • nguyen June 8, 2012, 4:51 AM

    sorry
    you can do the same way with other minifigures.

  • nguyen June 8, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 12:08 PM

      Nguyen, mummies are actually quite cheap. You can pick up a full horde of them on BrickLink for a buck each: https://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?pg=1&q=mummy&catLike=W&v=2

      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, 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, 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, 10:09 AM

    admin, how can i see the seller ?

    • admin June 11, 2012, 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, 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 bricklink.com . I have never bought things online before

    • admin June 13, 2012, 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 admin@theBrickBlogger.com. 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, 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, 12:26 PM

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

  • legodoughnut June 19, 2012, 8:53 PM

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

  • Hydreigon 44 June 24, 2012, 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, 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, 9:09 AM

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

  • mark July 16, 2012, 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.
    Brilliant.

    • admin July 16, 2012, 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, 8:12 PM

    Thank you so much! Worked wonderful!

  • Michael July 29, 2012, 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, 5:13 PM

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

  • J.C. August 17, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 2:30 PM

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

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

    YOU ROCK!!!!!

    • admin October 6, 2012, 10:51 AM

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

  • Mike October 13, 2012, 4:35 PM

    THANK YOU for posting this! You are awesome!

    • admin October 14, 2012, 9:19 AM

      Mike, you are very welcome! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • dina October 22, 2012, 1:12 AM

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

    • dina October 22, 2012, 1:26 AM

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

      • admin October 22, 2012, 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, 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, 1:36 PM

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

  • o1i November 3, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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.
      Thanks!

      • admin November 29, 2012, 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™„

  • Hhp November 29, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 8:13 PM

      Good job! Enjoy your minifigs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Mithrandir December 1, 2012, 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, 11:07 AM

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

  • Amber December 8, 2012, 4:14 PM

    You just saved Christmas with this advice. Seriously.

    • admin December 9, 2012, 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, 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, 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, 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, 3:54 PM

          Glad it worked for ya! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Breygon February 6, 2013, 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, 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.

      • Mike December 24, 2013, 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, 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˜‰

  • Wilson February 10, 2013, 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, 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, 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, 9:18 PM

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

  • zako11 February 13, 2013, 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, 10:25 AM

    hi,

    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.

    Ben

    • admin February 13, 2013, 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˜‰

  • oscar February 13, 2013, 10:57 AM

    Its really works, Simple tutorial but superb

    4 thumbs up

  • zako11 February 13, 2013, 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, 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, 4:14 PM

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

  • bonnie soe February 27, 2013, 9:44 AM

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

    • admin February 27, 2013, 12:41 PM

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

  • Denise March 12, 2013, 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, 10:40 AM

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

  • ges May 5, 2013, 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…
    http://shop.lego.com/en-US/LEGO-Star-Wars-Boba-Fett-Magnet-850643

    • admin May 5, 2013, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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™‚

      • Breygon June 24, 2013, 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).

        http://shop.lego.com/en-US/L EGO-Star-Wars-Chew bacca-Magnet-850639

  • Beata June 6, 2013, 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, 1:43 PM

      Beata, you are welcome. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Luis June 25, 2013, 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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kunhas/9132625099/
    Feel free to use it if you want.

    • admin June 25, 2013, 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, 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, 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, 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, 10:13 AM

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

  • Aubrey July 5, 2013, 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, 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, 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, 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, 12:19 AM

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

    • admin July 31, 2013, 9:21 AM

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

  • K July 31, 2013, 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.

  • Sebski August 3, 2013, 5:23 AM

    Hiya,
    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, 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, 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.

    • admin September 30, 2013, 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™‚

  • Will September 30, 2013, 2:23 AM

    works like a charm. $ saver. Thanks!

  • rezzza November 18, 2013, 8:39 AM

    I try putting it in the freezer and it works.

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