Between 2001 and 2004 LEGO released a line of “juniorized” sets called LEGO 4-Juniors. These were aimed at kids who grew out of DUPLO, but may not be ready for regular size LEGO. The sets were simple to build, and included 2-inch tall minifigures – easier to handle for smaller hands, than regular LEGO minifigures.
A lot of enthusiastic LEGO fans have a dislike of the LEGO 4-Juniors line, thinking of them as too childish, however there are some cool sets and parts in this series. And in my opinion there is no such thing as useless LEGO. 😉
I particularly like the LEGO 4-Juniors figures (also called Jack Stone figures). They have interesting features not available on regular LEGO figs. Also, they are extremely cheap on Bricklink, Amazon and eBay! (Click on any of the links to take you to relevant listings.) Most sellers just want to get rid of them, so we can use this to our advantage! 😀
However because the figures are larger than regular minifigs, it requires some imagination to incorporate them into a regular fig-scale MOC, but it can be done! As an example, here is JasBrick’s conversion of a LEGO 4-Junior’s figure to Avatar’s Jake. I love this fig!
Also, because the LEGO 4-Juniors figs’ head is the same size as regular minifig heads (except they have cute little nosies – sorry I just had to say that!) with a little modification their heads fit quite nicely on regular minifigure torsos. Once the modification is done you will see how nicely they blend in, and ad some variety to your minifig collection.
This modification is not for the faint of heart, as we will have to cut off the LEGO 4-Juniors fig’s head. But other than that, it is quite an easy process. (You can click on any of the pictures for a larger view of the procedure.) If it helps, just remember that we are going to resurrect the little guy into a new body. 😉
(Before attempting to perform this “operation” on your LEGO 4-Juniors figures please read our Tutorials Disclaimer for your safety.)
1. Choose a LEGO 4-Juniors figure that has the facial features you like. Here is a list of all the LEGO 4-Juniors figures: LEGO 4-Juniors Figures
Please note there are 2 types of LEGO 4-Juniors figures; some of them have more angular facial features, and some have more rounded heads. I personally prefer the rounded head version, because they are more like regular LEGO minifig heads. However I will show you a modified angular-face minifigure as well, so you get an idea how it looks after being modified.
3. You will see a stem inside the neck, going all the way up into the head. Use your knife (small, sharp scissors also work) to remove as much of the this as possible. (This is probably the hardest part of the process. I just insert my knife into the neck-hole and chop and scrape the stem, until it is no longer in the way.)
Make sure you are filing the neck down in the correct angle. Otherwise the head won’t sit straight on the torso.
5. Start enlarging the neck hole. You can use various tools for this. I just insert my small scissors (it has a sharp outer edge) and keep rotating it inside the hole, shaving off the access plastic, until it reaches the correct size. I check from time to time to see if it fits on the torso – if not I continue enlarging the hole.
6. Attach the modified head to a regular minifig body, and there you have it – a cute minifig!
What to do with the rest of the LEGO 4-Juniors fig’s body? In case you are wondering; here is how the rest of the LEGO 4-Juniors figure’s body looks disassembled:
If you are into customizing, I’m sure you will come up with something for the rest of the LEGO 4-Juniors figure’s body parts. I personally like their boots, so I cut them off and line them up in a shoe-rack for my LEGO houses.