Today I would like to introduce you to another LEGO customizer in our featured customizers lists. Minifigures.com is a UK-based custom minifig shop, focusing on premium custom printed minifigures that they can ship all over the world. Recently I had the chance to check out their products personally, so I thought to share my review with you. 🙂
Minifigures.com is a micro-business with only four people running it, based in the countryside of Hertfordshire, UK. It is a venture by the same people who run FireStar Toys, one of the largest LEGO minifig marketplaces, offering both genuine LEGO and custom minifigs and accessories. So while Minifigures.com is new, the people behind it are very familiar with the custom LEGO market. And whereas FireStar Toys is geared towards LEGO fans who are deeply into the hobby, Minifigures.com is focusing more on corporate clients and the gift market. In fact, they have already established a name for themselves; their clients include Pixar, Google, Fox Studios, Blocks Magazine and the London Excel Center. 40% of their orders are from outside of the UK, including mostly the US and Asia, along with emerging markets like China and Peru.
While their main target audience is corporate clients who are looking for branded merchandise or gift items, Minifigures.com also offer individual minifigures for collectors. Although their current selection is still small, they already have a nice collection of celebrities, TV and movie characters, sci-fi heroes and political figures. And I was told by Danny, who runs the company, that much more will be added in the near future, including new categories like horror, military and other popular genres.
The main features Minifigures.com prides themselves on are the quality of their minifigures and their customer service. I will cover my experiences with both below, but first lets take a look at the Minifigures.com website. When I first visited the site my initial reaction was that it is very clean and easy to use with only three navigational buttons on top, then the list of minifigures they currently offer, neatly organized in categories. It is really not possible to get lost here – unlike the FireStar Toys website that is so chock-full of products, you can be looking around for a long time (it is an awesome website though with amazing items). While the minifigs pictured on the front page and the category pages are all digital images, if you click on the each characters, you can see the actual custom printed minifigure in detail. There is also a spin feature that allows you to turn the minifig around and see it from all sides, so you know exactly what you are getting.
As Minifigures.com is a UK based company, the prices for the minifigs are listed in British Pounds, but they do ship all over the world. Shipping is a flat fee of £5.95 with global express anywhere with a 3-5 day delivery, or you can also choose standard mail which is cheaper, but also takes longer. Converting the prices from British Pounds to US Dollars, minifigs run between $20-$22, which is on par with the prices of other minifigure customizers who offer fully printed minifigs. The flat fee global express shipping converts to about $9, which is pretty high, but you get a tracking number and your package gets delivered very fast. I would say that if you are considering placing an order from outside the UK, it makes sense to get all the minifigs you want at once to minimize shipping fees.
My package was shipped out very fast and I was really surprised how quickly it arrived – if I remember correctly it was three days. Everything came in a sturdy white box to protect the minifigs. I got two custom printed figures; Michael Jackson in a red jacket with a microphone, and Stan Lee the legendary comic-book writer. I should mention here that the packaging of the minifigs is very impressive. They come in a sturdy plastic case with a custom-printed and full color card including the minifig’s name at the front and a little description about the character at the back.
Although I really like the presentation and the packaging, one thing I was not happy about is that the clear plastic case is heat-sealed and it’s not possible to open it without damaging the package. I mentioned this to Danny, and his response was that “the packaging has been designed in such a way that it keeps the figure in place perfectly, even during transit. Unfortunately, this does mean that the figures are heat-sealed into the packaging in two spots along the side. We’ve done it this way as it enables the package to be opened without the use of scissors, making it a bit safer. It also increases the collectability of the figures as people are less likely to want to break the seal to open them, meaning the aftermarket value for the figures is much higher, almost making them an investment rather than just an impulse purchase.” As someone who likes to play with my minifigs instead of keeping them locked away, but also appreciates the nice presentation, I hope they will reconsider and come up with a packaging design that could be opened easily without damaging the case.
The printing on the minifigs is superb, and in fact better than LEGO’s own printing. You can especially see this on the skin-colored printing on the torso that actually matches the minifig’s head – unlike LEGO’s own, which often has the wrong shade (see the printing on Stan Lee’s neckline, and a little bit on MJ). Also note that the white shirt both on Stan Lee and MJ is actually white, without the color under it showing through. Also, extremely impressive is the tail of the jackets that falls over the hips; perfect color matching and alignment here as well, compared to LEGO’s own printing which is pretty bad at both. And, as you can see on MJ’s jacket and Stan Lee’s glasses, they can print metallic colors!
Stan Lee has printing on the front and back of his torso and the head, and MJ has a front and back printed torso, head printing, and printing on his jacket sleeves (thus he is a bit more expensive). It is also nice to note that the printing is in line with the official LEGO minifig style, so although these minifigs are custom printed they blend seamlessly with other minifigures in your collection. As far as quality, you can’t get better than this. I also got this funny care guide for minifigures with my package.
Minifigures.com also offers something called Minibucks, which is basically a customer loyalty program similar to the LEGO VIP program where you earn points for future purchases. For every £1 you spend, you earn 1 Minibuck and every 50 Minibucks gets you £5 off your next order, which is like earning double VIP points. You are also able to earn Minibucks by signing up to their newsletter, and other ways may be offered in the future.
All in all these minifigs are definitely top of the line. They are designed to be collectible but also built to be playable. If you are a LEGO fan who has everything and would like something unique and premium quality, or if you are looking for a very specific character for your own display, stop-motion video, or other project, Minifigures.com is an excellent place to look. These custom printed minifigures also make great gift items for others. Also, if you are looking for custom printed minifigs for an event or for your company, you can contact the folks at Minifigs.com through their website and they will walk you through the process of creating the characters you want. They definitely offer very personal service and want to make sure you are happy.
I hope this review helps you in case you are searching for custom printed minifigs, or a customizer who can print your own ideas. What do you think? How do you like these custom printed minifigures? Do you have a favorite? What other characters would you like to see? Feel free to share your thoughts or any questions you might have, and I will make sure Danny sees them and answers them for you. 😉