Shopping Cart

The Allure of LEGO Minifigures: A Collector’s Dilemma

LEGO sets have long been a source of joy for both children and adults, known as AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO). Among the myriad of reasons for collecting LEGO sets, one allure stands out prominently: the minifigures. Many of us have succumbed to the temptation of buying entire sets just to acquire those special, unique minifigures that fuel our nostalgic desires. In this article, we will delve into the intriguing world of LEGO minifigures and explore whether the pursuit of these tiny plastic characters is a wise endeavor.

The Temptation of Minifigures

As collectors, we often find ourselves contemplating purchasing sets solely for the coveted minifigures they contain. Memories of our younger days when we were limited to a few sets per year clash with the reality of being adults with disposable incomes, allowing us to splurge on LEGO sets, even if just for the figures. Take, for example, 76012 The Riddler Chase, where the temptation of owning The Flash may have led us to overlook the rest of the set’s contents.

In our pursuit of coveted minifigures, we sometimes justify buying sets by considering the other valuable pieces they offer. 75236 Duel on Starkiller Base might not have been the most appealing set, but it contains elements like white plant pieces and unique rock parts that become a valid excuse for acquiring the set, especially when it includes a desirable Kylo Ren minifigure.

Sets like 21312 Women of NASA may entice us with exclusive minifigures, but their appeal extends beyond that. This set, for instance, comes with a printed Hubble telescope image and other valuable printed tiles, further justifying the purchase for collectors and space enthusiasts alike.

The Secondhand Market

While buying complete sets is a common approach, the advent of the secondhand market has provided alternative options for obtaining sought-after minifigures. Websites like eBay offer opportunities to purchase individual figures or parts from sets, often at a fraction of the original set’s cost. This has led to a growing trend of collectors acquiring specific minifigures without committing to buying entire sets.

Prices, Prices, Prices

The rise of the secondhand market has raised interesting questions about the cost-effectiveness of purchasing individual minifigures versus complete sets. Consider 76116 Batman Sub and the Underwater Clash, where the primary interest might be acquiring the antagonist, Ocean Master, from the Aquaman movie. The minifigure alone can be found for nearly half the set’s price, prompting a dilemma for collectors looking to maximize value.

Larger sets present even more significant conundrums. Take 75810 The Upside Down, a set inspired by the TV show Stranger Things. While it offers an iconic Demogorgon minifigure, the set’s price tag might give collectors pause. On the secondhand market, the Demogorgon can be found for a significantly lower price, but the question remains: is it worth foregoing the set’s other incredible details to save on the minifigure alone?

Diminishing Returns?

The dynamic nature of supply and demand means that the prices of minifigures and sets can fluctuate significantly over time. Discontinued sets, in particular, can become collector’s items, driving up their value on the secondhand market. A prime example is Darth Malgus, a rare Expanded Universe Sith Lord minifigure, which now commands a high price due to the limited supply.

Is it Worth It?

While some may view the pursuit of minifigures as an expensive and uncertain endeavor, there is more to it than meets the eye. Collectors and consumers ultimately determine the value of these items, and the satisfaction derived from owning coveted minifigures can be immeasurable. Each collector must weigh the allure of individual figures against the overall cost and decide what brings them the most joy.


LEGO minifigures have a magical appeal that captivates both children and adult collectors alike. The temptation to acquire these unique characters can lead us down various paths, from purchasing entire sets to exploring the secondhand market. While the costs may vary, the joy of owning these beloved figures is priceless. So, whether you’re a seasoned collector or a budding enthusiast, the journey of acquiring LEGO minifigures is a thrilling adventure—one that sparks joy with every tiny, plastic character.


  1. Is collecting LEGO minifigures an expensive hobby? Collecting LEGO minifigures can be pricey, especially if you seek rare or exclusive figures. However, budget-conscious collectors can find cost-effective ways, such as exploring the secondhand market or focusing on specific themes.
  2. What makes LEGO minifigures so appealing to collectors? LEGO minifigures are iconic, nostalgic, and often associated with beloved franchises. They offer a tangible connection to favorite characters and stories, making them highly desirable among fans.
  3. How can I display my LEGO minifigure collection creatively? There are various display options available, such as custom-built shelves, shadow boxes, or specialized minifigure display cases. Choose a method that showcases your collection while complementing your space.
  4. Are LEGO minifigures considered valuable collectibles? Yes, certain rare or discontinued minifigures can become valuable collectibles over time. Their scarcity and demand among collectors can drive up their prices significantly on the secondhand market.
  5. How do I protect my LEGO minifigures from damage? To preserve your minifigures, store them in a clean, dry environment away from direct sunlight. Consider using small ziplock bags or specialized display cases to shield them from dust and potential harm.