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23 May 2022

LEGO® Minifigures review: 71033 The Muppets

Posted by tobymac

Ever since 21324 Sesame Street was announced I have been looking forward to today’s set, or rather, series of sets: 71033 The Muppets Collectible Minifigures. Capturing the unique looks of the characters would be impossible without introducing some new parts, so naturally we’re gonna take a closer look at them. The series consists of 12 characters, all coming with newly moulded heads, and most bringing new prints for the torsos and legs.

If you're a human being, take a break from the race
Take a load off your feet, wipe the load off your face
Got a lot to do and we do it for you
Everybody take your place
Here come the Muppets tonight!!

Muppets Tonight was my first real contact with the Muppets, in 1996. I was already aware of their existence, but for some reason I was never really interested in them, perhaps because my ASD-head couldn’t comprehend the Muppets co-existing with normal humans in the same world. By the time Muppets Tonight aired, I was 13 and my English was getting good enough to understand the untranslatable puns. Since then, I've watched most of their movies and a load of classic The Muppet Show episodes.

Rowlf


First up is Rowlf the Dog, originating from 1962. His first appearances were in Purina Dog Chow commercials, followed by The Jimmy Dean Show and finally ending up as the resident piano player on The Muppet Show.

  • Head in Reddish Brown (89677)
  • Torso in Reddish Brown (6385045|76382) with fur-print, including the arms.
  • Legs in Reddish Brown (6385016|99544) with fur print 


The musician comes with a book cover with a sheet music print (6385010|99897). The sheet music is for Sonata No.8 “Pathètique” 2nd Movement by Ludwig van Beethoven. The composer also makes an appearance in the form of a bust. The white head (6385011|99898) is dual sided, showing a standard face on the front. His reaction to classical music is the same as mine: the rear side shows a sleeping face.

Dr. Bunsen Honeydew


Next is Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, the scientist who keeps tormenting Beaker. The doctor was introduced in 1976 in the first season of The Muppet Show.

  • Head in Yellowish Green (89534).
  • Torso in White (6385041|76832), of course with a lab coat print. I’m rather fond of this one, as most lab coat prints include an ID-badge, stethoscope or other medical items.
  • Medium legs in White (6390515|66145) with a button and black shoes print.

Bunsen is holding a Transparent Clear Erlenmeyer Flask (6390368|38029), appearing for the first time with Dark Pink fluid.

Beaker

"Mi mi mi mi, mi mi mi mi mi. Miiii mi mi mi mi mi mi!"

– Beaker 

Introduced in the second season of The Muppet Show, Beaker functions as the butt of jokes as he is tortured by the inventions of Dr. Honeydew. It’s a wonder he is still alive! 

  • Head in Light Nougat head (84862)
  • Torso in Yellowish Green (6385040|76382) sports a lab coat.
  • Legs in Yellowish Green (6385186|1043). The legs have Light Bluish Grey lower legs moulded in with a White shoe print.

Beaker is holding a Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Grey radio with a new printed 1x2 tile (6385018|99572) showing a speaker and a needle. I assume this is some sort of Geiger counter?

To my fellow New Elementarian Caz Mockett’s delight, this is the first time we see hips in Yellowish Green. Finally she can finish the corresponding minifig for her habitats. It does involve taking off Beaker's legs, but that's all in a day's work.

The Great Gonzo


Gonzo has been around since the start of The Muppet Show and it's unclear what he is exactly. The 1999 movie Muppets from Space suggests he's an alien, but according to Gonzo himself, “that’s just a movie”.

  • Head in Bright Blue/ Blue (84859) featuring his signature gigantic nose.
  • Torso in Bright Yellow/ Yellow (6385035|76382) features a black tie and red chilli peppers. It’s nice, but I would have preferred one of his daredevil costumes.
  • Legs in Sand Yellow/ Dark Tan (6385022|99588) have a belt and White shoes print.

Camilla the Chicken, the love of Gonzo's life, is also included. She gives us a new print for the Chicken in White (6385020|99576), featuring Dark Turquoise eye shadow.

Kermit the Frog


Of course, Kermit can’t be left out of the group. Debuting in 1955, his first appearances were on the TV show Sam and Friends. Fun fact: it would take until 1971 before Kermit was officially revealed to be a frog. 

  • Head in Bright Yellowish Green/ Lime (89515)
  • Torso in Bright Yellowish Green/ Lime (6385034|76382) shows his collar in a Yellowish Green print.
  • Medium legs in Bright Yellowish Green/ Lime (6385050|37364) are a plain recolour.


The famous frog comes with 2 accessories: First up is his banjo that he played in the swamp in the opening of The Muppet Movie, giving us a new mould. The number moulded on the part is 80716, and the Silver Metallic/ Flat Silver banjo comes with a White skin, Black neck and Silver strings print (6384974|99261). The neck of the banjo and the bar inside it are of the standard 3.18mm diameter, making them fit clips and minifig hands.

The other new element is a new rainbow print on a Tile 2 x 2 Macaroni, shown in the right on the comparison photo while the LEGO DOTS version is to the left. This is of course a reference to the best song from the franchise: The Rainbow Connection. I’m hoping we’ll also get an update to the Tile 1 x 1 Quarter Round and Tile 1 x 1 rainbow prints.

Miss Piggy


Miss Piggy is a force to be reckoned with. I do not understand how Kermit has put up with her for so long. 

  • Head in Light Nougat (84860)
  • Torso in Light Purple/ Bright Pink (6389870|78568) shows her classic dress, with dual moulded arms showing long Lavender gloves.
  • Legs in Light Purple/ Bright Pink (6384988|99342) also comes with a dual mould, giving her Light Nougat legs with a Silver shoes print.

Of course, being self-obsessed as she is, she carries a large portrait of herself, printed on a White Tile 2 x 3 (6384983|99270).

Fozzie Bear

“I know a mechanic who can tell what's wrong with any car just by listening to it: He's a real engine-ear! Wocka, wocka, wocka!” 

Fozzie is easily my favourite Muppet. His jokes are so bad, they go full circle and become hilarious again. It’s very adult humour, because they are full-groan.

  • Head in Nougat (89646)
  • Torso in Nougat (6385036|76382) features his signature scarf. The fur print is in shapes identical to Rowlf, but in Dark Red here, where Rowlf’s fur-print is Dark Brown.
  • Legs in Nougat (6384982|99269), also with the same print as Rowlf.

The comedian doesn’t bear any new elements among his accessories, as they are the standard microphone stand and a banana. I would have liked to see his horn here.

Animal


Animal is another of my favourites. His first appearance was at the very start of The Muppet Show, in the 1975 pilot, where he was chained in a cell while not onstage.

  • Head in Bright Red/ Red (89647)
  • Torso in Bright Yellow/ Yellow (6390042|78568), with dual moulded arms with Yellow sleeves and Orange arms, and printed bracelets on his wrists.
  • Legs in Reddish Brown (6384996|99867), with a printed rope as belt, and dual moulded Orange bare legs.


Animal comes with the largest attribute in the form of a little drum kit. It’s a nice build, with the bass drum cover showing a new print of a large mouth with a golden tooth on a Tile Round 2 x 2 in White (3684992|99347). He comes with magic wands for drumsticks and, because they originally were designed to be wands, I forgot he should be holding 2 of them in the photos.

Waldorf


Waldorf and Statler are the meanest Muppets you can find. They are constantly heckling the show, and in particular Fozzie Bear, who's a usual target of their insults. A clue as to why they always mock the show was tweeted by @CaptnAmbivalent: they used to be headliners in the same theatre!

  • Head in Light Nougat (97458).
  • Torso in Dark Brown (6385043|76382) with a suit print
  • Medium legs in Dark Brown (3685196|1053) with black shoe print

The smaller of the two grumps carries of a cup with saucer and a White Tile 2 x 2 with ‘ZZZ’ printed on it (6385003|99412). The saucer is not a new mould, as it appeared previously in 2018’s 71022-11 Sybill Trelawney, but had a print in that set. This is the first appearance without a print and comes in White (6390372|38799). 

A closer look shows the element is basically a disc with a (hollow) stud and an anti-stud. The disc is slightly thinner than half a plate and has the width of a stud plus 2 distances between studs, making it just  bit wider than a minifig head. The element will make great wheels for carts, a greeble in piping, eyes, or with a yellow round tile, a fried egg.

Statler


Waldorf and Statler are usually seen together, and in the series they appear next to each other as well as #9 and #10.

  • Head in Light Nougat (97459)
  • Torso in Earth Blue/ Dark Blue (6385044|76382) with suit print
  • Legs in Earth Blue/ Dark Blue (6385009|99429) featuring a print identical to the legs Mickey received in 40478 Mini Disney Castle from last year, appearing there in Red (6359129|79799).

The bigger grump is carrying a laptop made out of a book with a keyboard-tile, where the screen shows a new print in White (6385006|99424) of Scooter. This seems to be a reference to the current show, Muppets Now.

Swedish Chef

"Børk! Børk! Børk!"
- The Swedish Chef
I really like this character, but I have always wondered: what do people from Sweden think of him? Is he an insulting stereotype, or a symbol of Swedish pride? Let me know please. His first appearance was in the 1975 pilot episode, where his dialog was given Chinese subtitles.

  • Head in Light Nougat (84863)
  • Torso in White (6385042|76382) shows his usual outfit of a white apron over a blue-striped shirt. I love that the stripes are also added to the arms and the back, making it a great-looking piece.
  • Legs in White (6385002|99411) are dual moulded, showing Light Bluish Grey boots with Reddish Brown soles.

The chef is cooking up something using a whisk and a tomato consisting of a leaf and a minifig head with a printed face in Red (3685000|99409).

Janice


Last but not least is Janice, the lead guitarist in The Electric Mayhem. I love her laid-back attitude. No matter how crazy things get, she stays chill, fer surely.

  • Head in Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange (84861)
  • Torso in Bright Purple/ Dark Pink (6385038|76382) shows a shirt and Orange arms and hands. 
  • Legs in Medium Blue (6384991|99345) with an Orange belt, Bright Light Orange legs and Light Bluish Grey shoes.

Naturally Janice carries a guitar, showing a Tan pick-guard and Silver strings on a Dark Orange electric guitar (6384989|99343).

Conclusion

I have been looking forward to these figures and it was worth the wait. The heads are great new moulds with a lot of detail in them, capturing the Muppets as best as possible. I do still have some reservations on them though, which goes back to the first The Simpsons CMFs. For me, LEGO should be easily reusable for other builds, and these single-use moulds are hard to apply elsewhere. No matter how you use his head, you’ll always see Kermit. (If you did succeed, please share your design with us!) On the other hand, no print on a standard head would ever work I think. It’s hard to criticize something if you can’t come up with a good alternative. Seeing the need doesn’t take the little nag in the back in my head away completely, but I can live with that. 

Besides the new heads we get a lot of great torsos and legs, most of which can be utilized in your own designs. The added attributes are nice as well, with my favourite being the new banjo.

With more than a thousand Muppets having appeared in the shows, movies and specials, it's hard to pick just 12 for the series. There will always be characters missing, and included characters you would like to see replaced. All we can do is hope this CMF series will be followed with a second, or even better, with bigger sets!

Products in this article were purchased from Unieke Bricks in the Netherlands, using their 'opened packet' service to obtain the complete series. 

LEGO® Minifigures 71033 The Muppets are available now priced US$4.99/ £3.49 (1 June in Australia priced AU$5.99), although availability is patchy. They are also sold in boxes of 6 bags. Buying from LEGO.com? Consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: UK LEGO Shop | USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop, for other countries 'Change Region'.

Editor: Chris Baginski

READ MORE: LEGO® DOTS 41945 Neon Tiger Bracelet & Bag Tag parts review + MOC by Eero Okkonen

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8 comments:

  1. Nice review!

    Regarding the rainbow tile, the Dots theme will be introducing new 1x1 straight and curved rainbow tiles in set 41953, but sadly those will NOT match the one from Kermit (using thinner stripes of different colors). I guess if we'll ever get ones that match this lovely 2x2 curve, we'll have to wait a little longer.

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  2. I'm excited for the saucer, for use as custom wheels. Currently there are a few times I really wanted something smaller than a 2x2 round tile, but not as bulky as a minifig head. My only very minor gripe is I wish they were hollow so a bar could pass all the way through, which would make for potentially sturdier connections.

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    Replies
    1. I feel like the saucer piece also has potential as a hubcap for slightly larger wheel pieces (sort of like how the original Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set used the weight piece from the CMF weightlifter).

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  3. About Swedish Chef, to parapharase a wise statement from a blue buzzard-whatever-ish; "That's just a fictional character".

    Swedes tend to think he's funny, but he's just so weird in general, he barely fits the idea of a Swedish stereotype, to begin with.

    (Then, Swedes generally don't get particularly offended by more classic Swedish stereotypes, such as meekish males, suicidal fine art film directors or buxom blonde bombshells, anyway)

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  4. We honestly need Muppet sets! I'm working on a 1950's Studebaker MOC (a bear's natural habitat, in case you didn't know), but would love it if Lego would actually do sets based off the films / tv shows!

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    Replies
    1. Please share some images! I'm re-watching the first movie.
      "Moving right along, dumdumdum dumdumdum"

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    2. I made a Eurobricks thread about it... it's only a digital MOC for now, but it work IRL: https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/190878-the-muppet-movie-fozzie-bears-rusty-1951-studebaker/

      Delete
  5. Lego Regular Show Minifigures Series

    ReplyDelete