When LEGO Friends was first released back in 2012 there was a lot of curiosity – and even controversy – surrounding this new line of sets developed for girls. Since then LEGO Friends has become one of the most successful and popular themes, along with LEGO Disney Princess and LEGO Elves. All three of these series use LEGO Friends style mini-dolls instead of standard LEGO minifigures – another cause for controversy. 🙂
Some LEGO fans immediately started experimenting with the new type of figures to see their potential. In a previous article we discussed some of the customizations (see LEGO Friends Undergo Plastic Surgery…). I haven’t seen such drastic customization efforts since that time, and LEGO Friends figures have been pretty much accepted as they are – especially since the introduction of more male characters. However there are still LEGO fans who alter the mini-dolls by painting and custom accessories. Today I thought to show you some of my favorite altered LEGO Friends mini-dolls.
The LEGO Friends Star Wars figures above were hand-painted by Melan-E. I think Rey, Finn and the Rebel Pilot look particularly fantastic. Old Han Solo also looks good. The only figure that’s a little odd is the First Order stormtrooper, but I think the big helmet just makes it more funny.
Tyler Thompson shares that he really likes the LEGO Friends mini-dolls and is planning to make a whole series of Friends of the Apocalypse. The figure on the right is his first attempt. GI Julie on the left is by Victor Fernandez who also got inspired to customize LEGO Friends characters.
This pair of heavily armored figures by Larry Lars are actually fully brick built, except for using LEGO Friends head pieces. LEGO Friends characters look really good with LEGO Exo-Force hair elements, so if you have some in your collection try out this combination.
LEGO fan AFK My Homework created these two fantasy LEGO Friends figures (the left one inspired by Mandalorians). Besides the custom paintjob, they also come with custom accessories.
Here you can see LEGO Friends characters Andrea, Olivia, Emma and Mia as Ghostbusters. Simple, but very nice paint application by .SilentMode. Unfortunately they don’t have ghostbusting backpacks because their hair is in the way – but that’s a problem girls often have. 😀
The pilots pictured above are by my favorite LEGO designer, Mark Stafford. He even wrote a little back story for the two blue pilots: The mutant community of Heartlake City sits in the middle of a massive wasteland of nuclear devastation. Patrolling it’s borders are many heavily armed vehicles. The Dolpinex was built to patrol Heart Lake itself. Full of underwater caves and tunnels the Lake is often invaded by monstrous creatures who eat the picnicking citizens on the lakeside. Protecting the civilian families who live in idyllic Heartlake City from this harsh world and it’s dangers, is the destiny of all citizens who must complete a five year service period or leave forever. Zanta and Mike both want to be Marine Biologists, if they survive their mandatory service, their experience will be invaluable to Heartlake Aquarium. The recklessness of men in combat situations has led to a high death rate amongst them and has led to population distortion with almost nine women to every man. That might make it seem like a good place to live, but death is around every corner in Heartlake City… The Ultra Violet Pilot on the right doesn’t come with a story, but she still looks fabulous.
The LEGO Friends Wonder Woman by tikitikitempo on the left, and Stephanie in a Supergirl outfit on the right by Fat Tony both look really sweet with nice paint applications.
And no discussion on custom LEGO Friends characters would be complete without mentioning the work of M.R. Yoder, who was one of the first to customize LEGO Friends figures and created a whole series titled LEGO Friends in Space. His beautiful steady-handed paintjob inspired many other LEGO Friends customizers.
So what do you think? How do you like these custom LEGO Friends characters? Do you have a favorite? What other styles or themes would you like to see LEGO customizers to explore with the mini-dolls? Have you ever customized your own LEGO Friends figures? Feel free to share in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
My brother and I can’t help but buy some Friends and Elves sets. (There are some really good pieces in there sometimes.) But we REFUSE to allow minidolls in our house. We gleefully (and immediately) discard everything but their hair and go to great lengths to prevent our niece and nephew from even discovering their existence.
Yeah, the sets are very sweet. BTW, Friends mini-dolls sell really well, so instead of just throwing them away you might want to allow someone else to enjoy them, and also make some money for yourself for future LEGO purchases. Or just send them to me. I think they are very cute, and in our house they get along with minifigs just fine. 😉
NEVER! Alll Minidolls deserve the ignominy of a landfill burial. 😉
Ahhh… now you make me sad… 😥
E.T. Phone Home!
That was completely uncalled for. It would be much appreciated if you would not talk in that way anymore.
Why tho? It’s not like they’re fake Lego or something. I don’t mean to offend, but you’re sorta being a helicopter Aunt.
I wondered about these mechs, but apparently the connection between a minidoll’s neck and head is the same width as a regular Lego antenna…
Still, it’s a bit hard to figure out the connection used from the images…
Anyway, I have a few minidolls I’ve got from second hand thrift store bulk sales… I might try doing something like that…
Yes, Friends heads fit on standard LEGO rods. Larry has a whole series of figures built in this style. If you look at the images you should be able to figure out the connections. Here is his album with more ideas using the same technique: https://www.flickr.com/photos/28192677@N06/sets/72157622473522355
A wand through a 4733 brick with studs on four sides?
A 4697 T piece and clips?
Interesting. I’m always a little conflicted about paint jobs though. I feel like that’s kind of like using non-Lego pieces. I’ll show this post to my 10 year old daughter later and see what she thinks. My favorite of the bunch is the one with purple hair by AFK My Homework but that’s a very quick judgment as I skim through this.
I’ll be honest with you… it is best to keep LEGO customization to adults. I have seen way too many horribly ruined minifigs “customized” by kids. Minifig customization is a highly skilled artform. When children get the idea that it’s okay to paint LEGO, pull out their markers and start drawing on minifigs, they can ruin an entire collection in one afternoon and make it worthless. If a child is artistic, it is best to give them more suitable and cheaper mediums. Just thought to give you a fair warning about this…
I painted a few minifigs when I was about tennish-tweenish… Variable results… I might have decreased the collector value somewhat, but I still have a nostalgic feeling enough to feel it was an improvement…
Personally I’m glad my siblings and I never heard of minifig customization until later in life. I know we would have wanted to “improve” them, and looking back at my tween self, it would have been a really bad idea. 🙄
No worries. She’s not going to paint her Friends collection. She’s more likely to horrify AFOLs by mixing Barbie Megabloks with Lego Friends in a MOC.
Her favorite by the way here is the superheroes, especially Stephanie as Supergirl.
Funny, I’ planning to write an article about mixing LEGO and Mega Bloks, as I have been also experimenting with this heretic edge of the hobby. And I just ordered the MB American Girl collectible figures. 😈
Personally, I could mix Lego with Kre-O and Cobi, but Mega Bloks feel a bit too off to me…
Barbie Mega Bloks feels too bulky and specialized to my taste… Like old Lego Belville and Scala sets…
Mega Bloks now actually make small Barbies. They are just a bit taller than LEGO Friends figures, and the builds for them use standard LEGO size elements. I don’t like Mega Bloks elements either. The plastic feels cheap, the elements are either too tight or too loose, and the color consistency is not very good. But I really like the micro action figures that come with their Collectible line (Halo, Call of Duty, Assassin Creed, TMNT, Terminator, and this year they are also adding Star Trek and Destiny). The only brand I found that has the same quality as LEGO is Oxford. And they have beautiful sets too. However here in the USA they are more expensive than LEGO…
i love the rey minidoll, I think it looks really nice. I had to do like a double take when I saw it, I mean it looked like an actuall minidoll, like it belong and not a moc. I also liked the super woman. I liked all of them but those 2 the most..i wish Lego would make them real minidolls, il totally get them.
An artist can do magic with a smooth paintbrush and enamel paint…
Yeah, she looks really nice isn’t she? That hair piece actually look better on her, then on the regular minifig version.