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LotR Minifigures with Different Head Pegs


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#1 Deathleech

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:03 PM

I first became aware of this after reading the big LotR 2012 thread (page 324).  Right after it was brought up the new Hobbit minifig pictures were released and this issue got pushed to the side.  
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It seems some of the LotR minifigures have their head pegs filled while others have the 3 bar design.  Even more odd is that figures from the exact same set can have a mixture of filled and non-filled pegs.  I went out the other day and picked up another Uruk-Hai Army set and in it 3 of the Uruk-Hai have the 3 bar design on their head peg while 1 of them has it filled.  This doesn't seem to effect any of the flesh colored minifigs as every one I have has a filled peg (do yours?).  At first I thought maybe they were just produced in different factories, but now I have no idea seeing different kinds in the same set.

The only other figures this seems to effect besides the Uruk-hai, are the Mordor Orcs which all seem to have the 3 bar design.  I have been trying to figure out the reason but so far have no idea why this is.  Does anyone else have any ideas?  What types of heads does everyone else have?

#2 Hive

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:19 PM

It seems strange to me, as I thought LEGO introduced the "3 bar" version back in the days to counter choking hazards if kids put the heads in their mouths. So why would they abandon it?  :look:

#3 Spider-Man

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:21 PM

Is there a benefit (besides not choking to death) in either one of the heads? Or could it be that pieces in the set were made in separate factories and yet still put in the set? That seems like and awfully expensive way to do things.
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#4 SheepEater

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:26 PM

Deathleech: Same deal as yours... my 2 Mordor Orcs have the 3 bar design, and every LOTR fleshie, Moria Orcs, Nazgul, Lurtz & Berserker have the filled head stud, and 2 out of my 8 generic red Uruk-Hais have the 3 bar design. One of those 2 came from Orc Forge, the other is either from 9471 or 9474, I have no way to find out now.

View PostHive, on 10 July 2012 - 08:19 PM, said:

It seems strange to me, as I thought LEGO introduced the "3 bar" version back in the days to counter choking hazards if kids put the heads in their mouths. So why would they abandon it?  :look:

It's strange that you didn't know about the change, look in your collection for any minifig from 2011 or 2012. All of mine have the filled stud.

EDIT: Well maybe forget what I said about 2011. The only 2011 set I have here in my appartment with a minifig in it is 5771 and I bought it this year, so it may be a late run batch of set.

Edited by SheepEater, 10 July 2012 - 08:38 PM.


#5 Combee

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:34 PM

They probably just have multiple molds. Some may be newer (3 bar design) but they're using all of them. Personally, I don't prefer one over the other.

#6 S_alvyn10

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:35 PM

I've been trying to raise this issue for a couple of times now. The minifigs do seems to come from different factories, in my opinion. I've got two Eomers. One is filled and one is not. Here is what I noticed when carefully examining them. The one that was not filled - the colours on the torso and legs were more accurate, i.e, the were exactly as the pictures on the box, instructions book, and the webpage. While the one that was filled was not exactly the same. I have also notice this on my Theoden Minifig, which is filled. The colours on the Armour do not match exactly the ones that are on the pictures. Same applies to the Uruks - I have 2 versions of them - Different paint on the torsos!

Edited by S_alvyn10, 10 July 2012 - 08:39 PM.


#7 Deathleech

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 08:36 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 10 July 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

Same deal as yours... my 2 Mordor Orcs have the 3 bar design, every LOTR fleshie + Lurtz + Berserker have the filled head stud, and 2 out of my 8 generic red Uruk-Hais have the 3 bar design. One of those 2 came from Orc Forge, the other is either from 9471 or 9474, I have no way to find out now.
The vast majority of my Uruk-Hai have the filled design.  I have 31 normal Uruk-Hai right now and of them, only 7 have the 3 bar design.  The rest have it filled.  I have no idea if it's the newer or older LotR sets that have the bar design, but it seems the newer do(the set I bought today had 3 out of 4 with the 3 bar design where as before I had 27 Uruk-hai all bought a month and a half ago when they were first released and all but 4 had the solid filled peg).


View PostCombee, on 10 July 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

They probably just have multiple molds. Some may be newer (3 bar design) but they're using all of them. Personally, I don't prefer one over the other.
I kind of like the filled design more, but really don't care.  It more so bothers me that they arn't all the same  :hmpf_bad:

Edited by Deathleech, 10 July 2012 - 08:38 PM.


#8 Jimbobulus

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:15 PM

Never noticed this before! I have checked a load of my figures, and they all have the three point design.. only my ver old (early 90's?) don't!  :oh3:
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#9 SheepEater

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:59 PM

View PostJimbobulus, on 10 July 2012 - 09:15 PM, said:

Never noticed this before! I have checked a load of my figures, and they all have the three point design.. only my ver old (early 90's?) don't!  :oh3:

Keep in mind that the very old 80s-early 90s design is a full, normal, raised stud, as seen on all normal Lego bricks, while the newest filled design is a stud that is much like the ones we see on technic bricks (all lengths) and 1x2 jumper tiles.

Edited by SheepEater, 10 July 2012 - 09:59 PM.


#10 Hive

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:15 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 10 July 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

It's strange that you didn't know about the change, look in your collection for any minifig from 2011 or 2012. All of mine have the filled stud.

EDIT: Well maybe forget what I said about 2011. The only 2011 set I have here in my appartment with a minifig in it is 5771 and I bought it this year, so it may be a late run batch of set.

Really? I haven't noticed any of my own recent figs having that filled stud... not even the collectible minifigs, which we known for sure are made outside of Billund.

#11 Deathleech

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:43 PM

View PostS_alvyn10, on 10 July 2012 - 08:35 PM, said:

I've been trying to raise this issue for a couple of times now. The minifigs do seems to come from different factories, in my opinion. I've got two Eomers. One is filled and one is not. Here is what I noticed when carefully examining them. The one that was not filled - the colours on the torso and legs were more accurate, i.e, the were exactly as the pictures on the box, instructions book, and the webpage. While the one that was filled was not exactly the same. I have also notice this on my Theoden Minifig, which is filled. The colours on the Armour do not match exactly the ones that are on the pictures. Same applies to the Uruks - I have 2 versions of them - Different paint on the torsos!
Hmm, interesting.  Does anyone else have the 3 bar design on their flesh colored figures?  I have only seen it on the Mordor Orcs and Uruk-hai Orcs.  I also can't tell any different with the quality or colors with the rest of the figure other than the peg being filled or not on the head.

Edited by Deathleech, 10 July 2012 - 10:48 PM.


#12 Clone OPatra

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:33 AM

I got a mixture of both in 7913 Clone Trooper Battle Pack in January 2011. I really can't see how it matters. Even just knowing that some are different - so what? It really bothers you that there's a difference within the stud of the head? Just put head-covering pieces on them then.

The Collectible Minifigures never have the filled head. Regular minifigure heads do not come from the Chinese factory where the extended-line collectible minifigures come from. Regular-line might come from different European factories, but they don't come from the Chinese factory.
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#13 Deathleech

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:55 AM

Well it's not something I sit there obsessing over, but yes it does sort of bug me that they aren't all the same.  It more so makes me wonder why some have it, and some don't though.  I could understand different factories having slightly different molds, but what I don't get is why the same set will have both kinds in it?

And as for just covering the holes, that isn't an option for all the minifigures.  As I pointed out both Mordor Orc's have the 3 bar stud on their head and only one of them comes with a head piece.

#14 SheepEater

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:07 AM

View PostHive, on 10 July 2012 - 10:15 PM, said:

Really? I haven't noticed any of my own recent figs having that filled stud... not even the collectible minifigs, which we known for sure are made outside of Billund.

Aside from LOTR, I have here with me these sets whose minifigs all have a head with filled stud:
4433 Dirt Bike transporter
4436 Patrol Car
5771 Hillside House
5766 Log Cabin

#15 TheDarkness

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:19 AM

Not really concerned considering most of my minifigs will have some form of headgear.
I am more annoyed that we didn't two sets of hair and ears with the Mordor orcs than the different head pegs.

#16 Nightshroud99

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:24 AM

Wow I've never really noticed, I don't pay attention to such minutia...

That being said, I will go look. But it doesn't matter either way.
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#17 Deathleech

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:36 AM

Does anyone have any other new sets like the Monster fighter series, or new Star Wars sets from Summer 2012?  What do they have, filled heads or the 3 bar?

#18 deskp

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:44 AM

here is a possible solution



2 factories makes heads, while 1 factory does all the printing  then after that they go into the same set.

In the discovery documentary thing about lego they talk about factories and such, watch that!

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#19 Legonardo

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:35 AM

It doesn't bother me, although when A fig has 3 bar I find it easier to remove then with all my plain stud ones.

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#20 Ferrik

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:52 AM

Well I have a mixture of both filled and 3-bar minifigure heads. :laugh: I guess I don't really mind which one, but if they all had a standard design that would be better.
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#21 ChaoticSound

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:22 PM

In my 9474 and 9471 all Uruk-hai have 3 bars design, except the berserker, while all the fleshies have filled pegs.

I checked another set i have here (4204 - The Mine) and 2 of the 4 minifigs have the 3 bars design while the others have filled pegs.
Haven't checked other sets yet.

#22 Deathleech

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 03:40 PM

View PostFerrik, on 11 July 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:

Well I have a mixture of both filled and 3-bar minifigure heads. :laugh: I guess I don't really mind which one, but if they all had a standard design that would be better.
Is this just  in your LotR sets, or are you talking about across all your Lego themes?  And if your LotR sets, is it just the orcs or flesh colored heads as well that have the 3 bar design?

Edited by Deathleech, 11 July 2012 - 05:04 PM.


#23 Nightshroud99

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:46 AM

View PostDeathleech, on 11 July 2012 - 03:36 AM, said:

Does anyone have any other new sets like the Monster fighter series, or new Star Wars sets from Summer 2012?  What do they have, filled heads or the 3 bar?

Ok I did check and this problem is even in Monster Fighters, many of the new figures this wave seem to alternate between filled and unfilled.
In fact the new Boba Fett and old Boba fett have different heads. The new one is filled and the printing is sharper, the old one has the three pegs and printing is lighter.
It is my understanding that the headpiece wasn't changed. Though I may be mistaken.

Also, a good thing about these filled heads is that there is more suction so hair and other headpieces stay on easier. :thumbup:

So, now I am curious as to why this is happening.  :blush:
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#24 Greedo24

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:40 AM

View PostSheepEater, on 11 July 2012 - 03:07 AM, said:

Aside from LOTR, I have here with me these sets whose minifigs all have a head with filled stud:
4433 Dirt Bike transporter
4436 Patrol Car
5771 Hillside House
5766 Log Cabin

I also have the Forbidden Forest set in which Voldemort has a filled head..strange :wacko: (Or should I say "Belitrix Lestrange!" :laugh: )
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#25 Deathleech

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:25 AM

Well I did some searching around and this thread seems to have a bit of information in it regarding the filled head peg vs the 3 bar design for the Lego minifigures.  

Long thread short, TLG basically used to use the filled head design when they first started making minifigures.  They switched over to the 3 bar design as a safety precaution so small children who swallowed the head could still get air.  More recently they decided to go back to the filled peg design so that they could stick their "Lego" logo in the head peg and make the heads even more brand recognizable.  The minifigure head, along with the 2x4 brick are supposedly the most iconic and the minifig head hasn't had any Lego stamp on it for some time.  There really is no where else it can go that is still easily viewable, and also doesn't obstruct the detail of the minifig's head.  With a growing number of brick building competitors (Mega Blok/Kre-O) Lego decided the branding out weighed the relatively small safety measure and decided to go back to the old filled peg design for the heads (not that the 3 bar design did any good for a side ways lodged head anyways.. and what 6 year old chokes on a minifig head anyways?!?).  

So then, how do we still have all current sets coming with both designs, and even more perplexing some sets coming with two different head designs in the exact same box?  Well Lego still uses all their working machine molds for production.  They most likely have a mixture of older machines with the 3 bar head molds they are trying to phase out and won't get rid of until they break down, and some newer machines with the filled head molds.  At any given production facility they may have several molds for the same piece.  For example the Billund factory in Denmark may have 10 head molds with 3 of them being the 3 bar design and the other 7 being the newer filled design.  This would make sense considering the vast majority of my LotR figures (~80%) have the newer filled design.  What I don't get is why only the Uruk-hai are being produced on the older machines and none of the flesh colored figures.

If I had to guess I would say since China is a relatively newer factory, their 3 bar head designs seen in all CMF are from newer molds that were made right before the transition.  We probably won't see any CMF with the filled head design for awhile from them.  Btw, I gotta give credit to davee123 as he was the one who explained most of this to me and gave me most the info.




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