The Lego Minifigures line was introduced in 2010 as a way for collectors to get great Lego minifigures without having to purchase cumbersome and expensive building sets. Through the first five waves of the line, there was a total of 80 minifigures released. Despite so many unique figures being released in only a couple years, there wasn't a bad figure in the bunch. In such a well-produced line it's difficult to pick and choose your favorites, but 10 minifigures from Series 1 through Series 5 do stand out from the rest.
10. The Monster (Series 4)
Even though The Monster doesn't include any accessories, it still stands out thanks to its great design. It's pretty obvious The Monster is based on the classic Frankenstein design, and to accomplish that look perfectly, Lego created a unique head piece that adds to the figure's height and gives him the prominent brow he deserves.
Some criticized Lego for not creating an entirely new head piece that better suited the character, but I appreciate this design choice. It gives people two display options and a new normal head to use without the added piece. Another great thing about this figure is that it adds to the pantheon of classic monsters in the Lego Minfigures line, alongside the Zombie, Werewolf, Mummy, and Vampire.
9. Sumo Wrestler (Series 3)
The Sumo Wrestler is without a doubt one of the most eye-catching minfigures to be released in the Lego Minifigures line. Thanks to its almost total lack of clothes, the Sumo Wrestler is hard to ignore. The character fits the style of minifigures so well, and includes a great accessory and brand new hair piece. There just aren't many figures which convey the character they're based on as well as the Sumo Wrestler. The simplicity of this figure makes it look incredible.
8. Punk Rocker (Series 4)
The Punk Rocker minifigure stands out because it introduced two new pieces into the Lego brick assortment. Both its pink mohawk and electric guitar were brand new molds, and both are very well done. Even if this particular figure isn't to your liking, the ability to use its hairpiece and guitar with other figures is a great opportunity that wouldn't be possible without the Punk Rocker.
The Punk Rocker also features a fantastic torso design, with a classic '80s rock skull graphic placed front and center. The facial expression is dynamic, but generic enough that using it on other figures is definitely possible. This figure has a lot of potential for fun customs, and looks great on its own. It fits so well with the Lego Rock Band video game too.
7. Fisherman (Series 3)
The Fisherman was considered to be the rarest figure of Series 3, and resulted in collectors trying to track the figure down, only making it rarer. That made the Fisherman popular enough, but it's a good figure too. The nifty accessories include a really well-done fishing pole, with its own fishing line and hooked fish. There's also a cap and bushy white beard included to complete the Fisherman's look. It's a fun figure that looks great, and one that has a lot of interesting parts to use with custom figures.
6. Caveman (Series 1)
The Caveman is a well-made figure that looks fantastic thanks to the tussled hair on his head and face. The totally new hair and beard piece used on the Caveman looks incredible, and has a ton of potential uses for a variety of custom minifigures. That simple fact alone makes the Caveman a valuable addition to the Minifigures line. The figure is also enjoyable on its own right thanks to its giant club and the fun historical period from which it hails. The Caveman just needs a giant Lego dinosaur to fight.
5. Lifeguard (Series 2)
Lego minfigures may not be the best medium to represent curvy female body types, but that's what adds to the charm of this figure. The Series 2 Life Guard is quite clearly based on the buxom women of the classic Baywatch TV show, making it one of the most fascinating figures in the line. Even more fascinating is the thong-styled bikini bottoms the figure is clearly wearing.
To add to the intrigue, consider the mystery surrounding the letters "G.T." emblazoned on its chest. It's definitely an allusion to the Baywatch character "C.J.", but no one seems to know what "G.T." actually stands for, aside from a few rather derogatory suggestions.
4. Forestman (Series 1)
The Forestmen theme is one of the most-loved in Lego history. It took the forest adventures of Robin Hood and brought them to life with fantastic tree-based sets. Every kid loved building their very own Lego tree house and defending it with bows and arrows. This Forestman figure was a return to that classic theme, and lots of collectors were lured by nostalgia to get a brand new Forestman. This minifigure is an iconic representation of the classic theme, and as close to Robin Hood and childhood as a minifigure can get.
3. Robot (Series 1)
The Robot stands out thanks to the use of unique pieces in its construction. Much like a makeshift robot, this figure features a special right arm and claw hand to make it look considerably more individualized than the average minifigure. Its giant helmet is another neat piece with a ton of cool sculpted robotic details. This figure is extremely easy to notice, making it a great addition to any collection.
2. Zombie (Series 1)
When the Lego Minifigures theme was first announced, the Zombie figure garnered the most attention from fans. A horde of cute but horrific Lego zombies was something a lot of collectors happily envisioned sitting on their desk. Thankfully the figure didn't disappoint. With its great ghoulish skin tone and perfectly-designed tattered clothes, the Zombie was a huge hit.
The shovel and "turkey leg" (which could really be any kind of severed limb given the right imagination) accessories made the figure even better. The Zombie also suits mixing and matching with other minifigures to make new custom zombies. This is a classic Lego minifigure in every sense.
1. Elf (Series 3)
The Elf is one of the most popular figures from the Lego Minfigures theme. In order to build armies of Elf warriors to go with their Castle and Forestmen sets, collectors sought out as many Elf figures as possible upon its release. An Elf had never been represented in the world of Lego up until that point, and collectors looking to add a fantasy flair to their medieval sets tracked down as many Elf figures as they could. This makes finding an aftermarket Elf figure both difficult and expensive.
The figure itself is really good too. It includes a ton of accessories, and a brand new hairpiece that gives the figure pointed ears and slicked-back hair. This is one of the best-looking and most enjoyable figures to come out of the Lego Minifigures line's first five waves.