20 September 2022

LEGO® Minifigures review: 71034 Series 23

Posted by tobymac

The LEGO® Minifigure theme keeps on bringing great new ideas. At the start of the year, 71032 Series 22 was released (reviewed by Kev Levell) and then in May I reviewed my favorite series to date, 71033 The Muppets. Today, I’ll examine the third series of 2022. 


Aside from the new minifig parts I’m happy to notice some interesting new elements, so let’s dive in.

The figures in this article were kindly provided by UniekeBricks, whose optional ‘opened packet’ service guarantees you will receive a full set of the 12 figures. The author's opinions are their own.

Series 23 offers 12 new figures, which all seem to fit within the idea of costumes. There is a split though, as 5 of the figures are clearly connected to the Christmas season, and the others are more random, although the Turkey Custom could fall under Thanksgiving. The minifigs are still packed in the standard blind bags, with the cardboard boxes to be introduced in a later series.

Nutcracker

This doll originates from late 17th century Germany, where they were often given as gifts, and at some point got associated with Christmas. The Nutcracker is also the main character in Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker from 1892.

The figure comes with a newly molded Shako hat (1704), a dual sided printed head showing the classic face with closed mouth on one side, and a big grin on the other. The torso shows a soldier uniform with gold epaulets printed on the arms. The legs are dual-molded with black boots and silver laces print.

Besides his sword, the nutcracker is carrying a walnut printed on a Tile Round 1x1, making this the 343rd print for this part as of writing (and yes, I have almost all of them). Both the sword and the walnut also come as a spare part.

Sugar Fairy

I have to admit that I don’t directly imagine the Sugar Fairy being connected to Christmas. But seeing she is carrying around a candy cane, I’ll place her in this category.

The fairy comes with a recolor for Headwear Accessory Crown / Tiara in White (6399461 | 33322) and Hair, 2 Ponytails in Bright Light Yellow (6355695 | 35701). Her head features a dual sided print with a smile and open mouth, with sugar sprinkles on her cheeks. The fairy is flying around with a Minifig Neckwear Wings Fairy (10183) spotting a new silver pattern print. She’s wearing what seems to be a ballet outfit, what could make her the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker ballet? The torso spots the same silver patterns as her wings, and the short legs have the same sprinkles print as her cheeks. The tutu is a new print for the Minifig Hipwear Ruffled Ballerina Tutu (24087) with a bright pink top and silver dots print.

The fairy is carrying a newly molded Candy Cane (6389611 | 1621). The straight part of the cane is a standard 3.18mm bar, with a thinner bent at the top. At the bottom is a small hole, but this seems to be a sprue mark, as it doesn’t fit a small pin.

Snowman

The snowman is not a true snowman, but rather a minifigure wearing a snowman costume. The mask is a new mold (1609) featuring a stud on top and a 3.18mm hole in the front. The head has a single sided print showing a sweaty face in a white mask or hoody. The torso has a simple print of 3 black coals, and the legs are plain.

The snowman has the standard attributes: a top hat, scarf and a broom. 

The nose is interesting though: at first I overlooked it, thinking it was a standard 89522 Creature Body Part, Horn (shown above left), but it turns out to be a newly molded carrot (in the center and on the right). The Creature Body Part, Snowman Carrot Nose in Orange (6392921 | 1756) is a little shorter and a bit thicker than the unicorn horn. There are 2 ridges where the carrot gets abruptly thinner. These ridges go straight around the carrot, unlike the spiral found on the unicorn horn. The middle section is close to 3.18 mm, fitting in a hollow stud.

Reindeer Costume

The reindeer costume brings us another newly molded mask (1616). The Dark Brown antlers are also a new mold (6389603 | 1613). The dual sided head shows a face smiling and grinning. The person has a gap between her front teeth, or diastema. At first I thought this was a pun to the term ‘buck teeth’, but those seem to be outstanding front teeth rather than gapped. The Medium Nougat has a white fur print, along with a necklace with a bell. The legs show printed Dark Brown hoofs.

The reindeer is carrying a present made out of a recolored Container Box 2 x 2 x 1 in Medium Azure (6399455 | 35700) and a new printed Tile 2 x 2 with a red bow. Inside we find a Tile 1 x 1 Heart with Cookie, White Icing print, (39739) both a new print and a recolor in Dark Orange, making this the 5th print and the 10th recolor for the mold.

Christmas Elf

We’ve seen multiple elves over the years, but the designers have managed to come with something new again. The elf is wearing a newly molded elf hat (1622), which is very similar to the 13787, aside from the nice orange pigtails made out of a more flexible plastic than the rest of the hat. The torso with a red collar and reddish brown belt print is a variation on the other elf minifigs. The green legs feature a white stripe molded in, with black shoes and white toes print. The dual sided head shows the elf with freckles and smiling.



I love the accessories for this fig. Underneath a Brick Round 2 x 2 x 1 2/3 Dome Top with White Spots (Snow) print (30151) we find a little winter village house. The door and windows are printed on a reddish brown Plate 1 x 1, making this the 21st print for this mold, with number 22 appearing in 21189 The Skeleton Dungeon. With both the roof piece and the printed plate coming as spare, you have the start of a microscale winter village.

We now move away from the seasonal figures. 

Cardboard Robot

The robot mask in Medium Azure is a new mold (1191), and is printed as a classic robot. On the top and the sides is a stud to add things like an antenna. The dual sided head shows the cosplayer with a normal smile and a ‘robot grin’. The Medium Azure torso has dual molded arms with Orange sleeves and duct tape and an on/off switch print and Dark Turquoise hands. The legs are also dual molded with Orange boots and rivets printed on the toes.

The cosplayer is still working on her costume, carrying scissors and a new Medium Azure Tile 2 x 2 with Screen and Buttons print. I like the new robot mask, but it looks too good to me, if that makes sense. I would prefer to still be able to see that this is a home-made cosplay in progress, like some unpainted sections showing the cardboard, or pieces of tape like we see on the arm. 

Popcorn Costume

This one is a bit of a let-down. The newly molded popcorn bucket suit (1623) looks very nice and features a new dual sided head, but that’s it. No printed torso or legs, and no accessories. I would at least expect a normal sized popcorn bucket, or maybe a tile with a movie ticket print?

Wolf Costume

This one had me confused for a while. I could swear I had seen that wolf mask (1702) before, but it turns out to be a new mold. Underneath the mask is a new dual sided head showing the wolf liking its lips, presumably spotting the three little pigs. On the other side the wolf is blowing down the pigs’ houses. The wolf is covered in fur and wears a blue overall. The legs are dual molded. The tail has been around since 2014.

The wolf is carrying around a Medium Nougat Sack with a new Patch/Stitches print (10169), This figure goes together well with Pig Guy from 71007 Series 12.

Turkey Costume

This figure could be considered a seasonal fig as well, as turkeys are often featured in a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. The mask is a recolor and new print of Costume / Mask, Bird (25971). The dual sided head shows the character laughing on one side, and realizing what people do to turkeys on the other. The torso is a recolor for Torso with Bird Wings in Reddish Brown (11938). The Legs Dual Molded with Red Boots is new in Reddish Brown. The costume also features a new mold: Minifig Hipwear Turkey Fan Tail in Reddish Brown (1612).


Not much going on with the accessories: the turkey is carrying around a pumpkin.

Ferry Captain

The figure sticking out the most literally is the Ferry Captain, wearing a complete ferry as a costume. We’ve seen this type of large hipwear costumes before, with the most in 71021 Series 18 with Race Car Guy, Birthday Cake Guy, Cowboy Costume Guy and Flower Pot Girl. The ferry costume is a new element, dual molded in White and Black (01820). It uses 2x Bar 2L with Stop in Center in Red (6399645 | 78258) as chimneys. The hat spots a new print with a black visor and gold braid print (12895). The head has a single sided print with a large white mustache and beard. The Dark Blue torso with White hands is a new print showing a captain’s uniform with gold epaulets on the arms. The legs are plain.

There are no accessories for the captain, but we do get a spare Bar 2L.

Knight of the Yellow Castle

Knight of the Yellow Castle seems to be based on the 10305 Lion Knights Castle (Review by Ben Davies here), where the weapon of a crown on a pink background first appeared (as far as I know at least, I’m not really a Castle builder). The Plume is new in Dark Pink (6400206 | 64647), and the visor in Pearl Gold (6400204 | 2594) has only been seen in 10305 before. The dual molded head shows a smile and an angry/irritated smirk. The  Armor Breastplate in Flat Silver (2587) shows the weapon, as well does the torso. The Legs and Hips Medium are new in Light Bluish Grey (6399680 | 37364).

The knight comes with a load of accessories. The shield with crown print (6400203 | 3846) was already seen in 10305, and the Weapon Sword / Shortsword Elaborate Hilt is new in Pearl Gold (6400207 | 76764).

My favorite accessory is the toy horse (6400202 | 77073). LEGO designer Esa Nousianen mentioned in an Instagram post that it is based on an actual toy horse that LEGO produced in the 1950s, back when the company still produced wooden products. 

Green Dragon Costume


Despite looking good, this one is definitely my least-favorite figure in the series. Where the Popcorn Costume at least came with a new costume, this one seems to be mostly a recolor from the Red Dragon Costume from 71021 CMF Series 18. The only true new element is the dual sided head showing a smile or an angry face. The dragon mask (35694) has the same print as the red version, as does the torso, tail (35756) and legs. I’m not sure why we get this repeat. Maybe the red version has a large fan base, demanding a green version?

Like the red version, this figure comes with a spare horn.

Conclusion

Even though I closed with a bit of a downer, the other figures make up for that, in a big way. Despite all of them being costumes, the figures feel very diverse, bringing us a lot of new minifig parts that can be used in MOCs, LEGO cities or Winter Village displays. It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite, but if I had to, I’d pick the Knight of the Yellow Castle because of the great Easter egg with the horse. 


Let me know your thoughts on CMF Series 23 in the comments, and also let me know what figure you would love to see in upcoming series.

READ MORE: LEGO® Avatar new parts review: 75571, 75572, 75573, 75574 and BrickHeadz 40554

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5 comments:

  1. Good review!

    A minor note—the heraldry of the "Knight of the Yellow Castle" is sourced, appropriately, from the original Yellow Castle. The crown heraldry in that set was originally stickered on the shield and tabard of one of the knights in that set, but now appears printed for the first time.

    The horse head for the hobby horse is just begging to appear with a plainer print on a knight for a tiny chess set.

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    1. Yeah, '78 revolution's permanent! I hope the old castleheads will show you mercy!...

      (It would be nice to see a retro-helmet produced in Light Bluish Gray, though, since the Old Gray Classic Helmets are coveted by both Castlemasons and Intergalactic Engineers and tend to cost a hefty sum second-hand...)

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  2. Thanks for that review! And I love the info about the old Lego wooden hobby horse, that kind of info is so cool to me.

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  3. Maybe the little winter village that the elf is carrying is a hint to this year's Winter Village model. Or maybe is a miniature Elf Club House.

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    Replies
    1. According to tipsandbricks it's a model of the house from Home Alone

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