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mostlytechnic

Review: 5005358 Minifigure Factory

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Lego 5005358 Minifigure Factory

As part of the 40th Anniversary celebration by Lego, they're giving this set as a freebie with $75 purchases in April 2018. I got mine for buying some sets I wanted and figured I'd share this cool free set.

Name: Minifigure Factory

Set Number: 5005358

Pieces: 86

Price: $Free (with $75 purchase)

Minifigs: 1 (plus 5 microfigs)

Theme: n/a

Year of Release: 2018

Links: Bricklink Brickset

The Box

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An unusual box, since all the normal print is a paper wrapper around the actual box. 

The Back of the Box

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That is a massive number of warning languages. 

The Wrapper and Box

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The wrapper slides off, revealing a printed box underneath. The box itself is not sealed at all - it just has a tab in a slot on the top.

The Contents

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Inside are the manual, a printed interior, a grey plate that's glue into place in the box, a printed card, and the bag of parts. Interestingly, the bag is not the normal type of plastic that Lego uses. This plastic is softer and not crinkly. 

The Minifigs

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The Lego worker is a GREAT figure. The choice of yellow for the shirt is awkward though. I know it's the standard employee shirt (such as in Lego stores), but on the yellow-skinned fig it's weird. Is it a long sleeve shirt? If it was short-sleeved would we even know? Or is it sleeveless? But enough about him. Check out those microfigs! I think the white "hat" on the policeman is weird since it's not an actual hat, but I can overlook that. 

The Minifigs' Backs

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There's no second face on the figure, and limited printing on the microfigs, but I can't complain. 

The Build, 1

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Not shown, you first build a little red cart. The main part of the build is shown like this - building on the grey plate - but the actual plate is glued into place in the box. Makes things a little more difficult for the big-handed among us, but nothing too hard. 

The Build, 2

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The Build, 3

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The assembly line itself. 2 of the 3 printed parts are shown here. The set includes 1x2 printed tiles in the yellow/black stripe pattern (4 of them), a 1x4 tile in the same pattern, and a 1x2 tile with a segmented arrow that's from the Boost and Ninjago City sets. But why green paint on the brush? They made a new paintbrush with medium azure paint on it for the Easter set - why not make that set and this one share a brush in a more common color, like red or blue? I'm thinking there must be another use for the medium azure brush coming, but that's just me thinking Lego wouldn't have made a custom printed brush for that one freebie set. Then again, they did custom print the egg for it....

The Build, 4

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The assembly line sits onto the base and then pins are inserted from the back.... I sense a play feature coming! The card goes onto the pins and is held in place by Technic half bushes. Unfortunately, the card covers up the 2 printed photos on the back of the box (or at least one a time, depending on how the line is positioned). I love the detail Lego put into these - it wouldn't be a Lego set without a coffee cup, and they tied the green paintbrush in with the left picture. 

The Build, 5

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This is why that card was added. As you slide the line back and forth, the picture in the window changes to match the microfig below. Simple but so cool of a feature to add. And nice representation of the minifigure patent hanging on the wall.

The Build, 6

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And we have the figure in his spot, working hard inspecting the microfigures. Not shown is one big flaw that I can't believe made it to production. You cannot slide the line far enough to the right to have the Pixal image fully in the window. It needs to go another stud over, but it can't. There's a stop on the underside of the line, plus it's hitting the side of the box. 

The End of the Manual

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The end of the manual has a 2 page spread of the history of the minifigure. 

The End of the Manual, 2

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This page covers some more recent minifigure advances. Short legs, baby figs, but why is Mr. Gold on here? He was part of Series 10, so not the start of the collectible lines, and he's a figure that many fans are bitter about since he was so hard to find. 

The Conclusion

I love this freebie. The microfigs are great representations of classic figures (well, most of them - I'm not sure that Pixal is worthy of inclusion) and it's a clever set. It closes back up nicely for storage, but this is one that will be sitting out on a lot of shelves I'm sure. 

The Ratings

Value: 10/10 - It was free with purchase. And you get a custom box, custom printed microfigs, a cool minifig, and nice play features. 

Design: 8/10 - The box is great, but the line can't slide quite far enough to the right. 

Minifigs: 10/10 - IMHO, Pixal should have been something else. A castle fig would have been better, but I suspect Pixal was chosen both to represent Ninjago AND because the purple stands out. 

Playability: 8/10 - Small and simple, but clever design.

Parts: 9/10 - I always love having the printed hazard stripe tiles, but these will be staying in this set. Otherwise nothing special, but nothing more was really needed.

Overall: 9.5/10 - It's hard to complain about a freebie, but I do wish the line slid over further and they'd picked a different last microfig.

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Top notch review! Funny I didn't notice the pictures on the back with the laughter at the guy getting paint-splattered (or that the card covers them up) nor did I notice that the Pixal doesn't fully show in the window (though I didn't even know who she was prior to this promo's announcement :laugh:). And agree about mr gold being a weird choice to feature in the timeline, many characters could have filled a spot on the timeline better.

Great review. This is one of my favorite promo freebies ever.

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A well done and comprehensive review, excellent work! :thumbup:

By the way, do you have a Classic Blue Spaceman or TLM Benny* figure? It'd be fun to have a shot of either one of those two holding their microfigure likeness. :wink:

Speaking of Benny, it looks like he works part time as a mischievous factory worker according to the back of the packaging for this set. :laugh:

12 hours ago, mostlytechnic said:

IMHO, Pixal should have been something else. A castle fig would have been better, but I suspect Pixal was chosen both to represent Ninjago AND because the purple stands out.

Being the successful theme that it is, it's understandable why Ninjago is represented in this commemorative set, but they really should have chosen someone else besides PIXAL for that job I think.

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Interesting review.

I did order sets to get this for free, but I was pretty nonplussed about it. The nanofigs are neat, but I agree on being confused on the inclusion of some of them. I'd prefer a castle nanofig. Looking at it, I really only wanted the Classic Space nanofig, and only because of Benny, so I'm guess I wasted money. I'll likely either keep it sealed (which is pointless) or part it out and trash the box, which is the bulk of the set, so I don't know what to think.

Thanks for sharing. My response seems bitter, so I think I'm just over LEGO these days.

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In the timeline, what does the Arctic figure from the year 2000 represent, I wonder? The other milestones are fairly understandable but this is neither the first female minifigure, nor the first Town minifigure, nor the first minifigure to use any particular part or color. Did this figure have some other new development for the time that isn't obvious from the picture, like back printing? I know that was something that first showed up around that time…

I think Pixal as a choice of Ninjago minifigure makes a lot of sense. She is super recognizable even shrunk down (unlike, say, a typical ninja minifigure, which at this level of detail might be easily confused for a figure from another theme). Her color contrasts well with the other figures, she adds a bit more gender diversity to the set, and she's a character who's been woefully under-represented in sets despite her fairly consistent presence over the past six seasons of the show (so having a new version of the character is always nice!)

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18 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

I think Pixal as a choice of Ninjago minifigure makes a lot of sense. She is super recognizable even shrunk down (unlike, say, a typical ninja minifigure, which at this level of detail might be easily confused for a figure from another theme). Her color contrasts well with the other figures, she adds a bit more gender diversity to the set, and she's a character who's been woefully under-represented in sets despite her fairly consistent presence over the past six seasons of the show (so having a new version of the character is always nice!)

For a female Ninjago character, I would've instead preferred a Nya microfigure, one that probably takes after her 2015 ninja costume in design. With a Dark Red and Dark Azure dual color scheme, it also could be more easily passable as a cartoonish, nonspecific ninja figure, something that could be better incorporated into a generic microscale MOC.

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Great review, and thanks for all the photos.  I'm also not keen on the inclusion of Pixal, and I think a Castle minifigure would have been better.

One thing I wanted to inquire: did you account for the money spent to obtain the set in your value assessment?  It may be a freebie, but you had to spend over a certain amount to obtain it.  Sometimes that value is worth it, other times it isn't.

Again, nice review!

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3 hours ago, Aanchir said:

In the timeline, what does the Arctic figure from the year 2000 represent, I wonder? The other milestones are fairly understandable but this is neither the first female minifigure, nor the first Town minifigure, nor the first minifigure to use any particular part or color. Did this figure have some other new development for the time that isn't obvious from the picture, like back printing? I know that was something that first showed up around that time…

I think Pixal as a choice of Ninjago minifigure makes a lot of sense. She is super recognizable even shrunk down (unlike, say, a typical ninja minifigure, which at this level of detail might be easily confused for a figure from another theme). Her color contrasts well with the other figures, she adds a bit more gender diversity to the set, and she's a character who's been woefully under-represented in sets despite her fairly consistent presence over the past six seasons of the show (so having a new version of the character is always nice!)

I also wondered about that Arctic fig - that's part of why I added the photos of the timeline, to see if the EBers had explanations for them.

I get that Ninjago has sold a ton of sets and been popular. I still don't think of it as classic in the way the rest of the microfigs are. 

34 minutes ago, x105Black said:

Great review, and thanks for all the photos.  I'm also not keen on the inclusion of Pixal, and I think a Castle minifigure would have been better.

One thing I wanted to inquire: did you account for the money spent to obtain the set in your value assessment?  It may be a freebie, but you had to spend over a certain amount to obtain it.  Sometimes that value is worth it, other times it isn't.

Again, nice review!

I didn't factor in the cost of the purchase - I was comparing it in my mind to other freebies. Assuming I'm spending $50-100 on Lego anyway, I thought this was a way cooler freebie than most of the ones I've gotten over the years. 

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16 minutes ago, mostlytechnic said:

I didn't factor in the cost of the purchase - I was comparing it in my mind to other freebies. Assuming I'm spending $50-100 on Lego anyway, I thought this was a way cooler freebie than most of the ones I've gotten over the years. 

Fair enough, and you're right, it is!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the review!

18 hours ago, mostlytechnic said:

40551218224_042871ed76_c.jpg..

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I spy an error. That 2002 minifigure? As far as I know, none of the parts existed back then.

I can't pull up Bricklink to double check, but that hair wouldn't come out until the Skater Boy(CMF Series 1), the torso is from more modern holidays sets, and although short legs were introduced with the Ewoks, I'm pretty sure blue wasn't one of the colors...again, could be wrong.

(It's probably in there to mark said short legs - the SW license probably doesn't allow them to use the actual figures - but it would have been nice if the minifig was period accurate, like the rest...)

Oh well. Still a nice set!

Edited by Lind Whisperer

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18 hours ago, mostlytechnic said:

39455800890_f6e13a83ae_c.jpg

The assembly line itself. 2 of the 3 printed parts are shown here.

I count 8 printed parts in that photo (or 7, if one draws the distinction of the paintbrush being "painted" rather than "printed"). Very fine review otherwise, though!

Even with the minor issues, I think this is an excellent set as promotional freebies go. A unique minifigure, five printed nanofigures* (!) - including a Classic Space nanofigure (!!!), additional printed tiles, and a nifty box that actually does something? Very sweet. I picked up one on April 2nd when I went to my nearest LEGO Store for Minifigures Series 17 plus one of the Anniversary sets, and another today with the LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle plus a couple more Minifigures. I'm thinking of trying to get third near the end of the promo period, when it overlaps with the forthcoming Star Wars one for the Darth Vader pod. Just having a CS nanofigure is a source of joy for me, and everything else is just icing on an already-sweet cake. I'm sure I'm not the only person contemplating nanoscale Classic Space builds using this figure!

And as noted, the printed "caution" tiles are also great. It's kind of amazing to get so many of them in a freebie now, when regular retail sets these days often use stickers for the same effect, and still don't offer as many as this one has.

*I think "microfigure" is in fact the "official" term for this figure type, but the same term was also used for the figure style introduced with the LEGO Games line. It seems peculiar that LEGO would use "microfigure" so casually to two totally different figure types when they're so precise about exactly what counts as a "minifigure", but there we are. For myself, though, I like using "nanofigure", since it helps me distinguish between these and the LEGO Games figures.

1 hour ago, Lind Whisperer said:

Thanks for the review!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I spy an error. That 2002 minifigure? As far as I know, none of the parts existed back then.

I can't pull up Bricklink to double check, but that hair wouldn't come out until the Skater Boy(CMF Series 1), the torso is from more modern holidays sets, and although short legs were introduced with the Ewoks, I'm pretty sure blue wasn't one of the colors...again, could be wrong.

(It's probably in there to mark said short legs - the SW license probably doesn't allow them to use the actual figures - but it would have been nice if the minifig was period accurate, like the rest...)

Oh well. Still a nice set!

I agree. The overall figure certainly wasn't around in 2002. I do think, as you do, that it was chosen to represent the innovation of short legs, and I can understand the booklet's creators doing it for that reason (and thus it not strictly being an "error", since it was likely a deliberate decision made with full awareness of what was accurate and what wasn't about it), though I personally wouldn't have gone that way.

FWIW, LEGO's second version of the Slave I did indeed feature short legs for young Boba Fett in medium blue, and that was indeed in 2002. These legs don't quite appear to be medium blue, though - they look more azure to me - and the entire hair mold didn't exist at all then, nor did the print design. But oh, well.

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6 hours ago, Aanchir said:

In the timeline, what does the Arctic figure from the year 2000 represent, I wonder? The other milestones are fairly understandable but this is neither the first female minifigure, nor the first Town minifigure, nor the first minifigure to use any particular part or color. Did this figure have some other new development for the time that isn't obvious from the picture, like back printing? I know that was something that first showed up around that time…

I assume it's just meant to represent a typical minifigure from that time, not a specific minifigure innovation.

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16 minutes ago, Blondie-Wan said:

I count 8 printed parts in that photo (or 7, if one draws the distinction of the paintbrush being "painted" rather than "printed"). Very fine review otherwise, though!

You are (technically) correct :-)  - I was mentally excluding the microfigs just like we don't count minifigs in "printed parts"

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Posted (edited)

I got mine today, and I love it. Ninjago is currently my favourite line and so I very much appreciate Pixal's inclusion, but as a fan of historical themes I'd have prefer the one to represent the the 2000s/cmfs be the forest man from series 1 or a castle (aka fantasy era) princess or something because the cop and the nurse it feels like they've got two 'modern day' or city themed figs and yet no castle representation, the forestman might have upset the gender ratios but they could use a female pirate to fix that. (thought something else I'd really want would be a little redcoat solider, maybe they can make one for 100th anniversary of the minifig :laugh: (hoping Lego doesn't go bust before then:wink:.))

I was pleasantly surprised by the little feature which is simple but effective. thought it is funny how none of the figs have green on them, despite that being the colour of the paint, (which was funny as I got the iconic bunny with the same order and his paint brush has blue paint which makes more sense for this, thought is was a different shade.)  

Edited by Agent Kallus

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Just now, mostlytechnic said:

You are (technically) correct :-)  - I was mentally excluding the microfigs just like we don't count minifigs in "printed parts"

We don't?  :look: :wink:

(I count them as such myself, since of course that's what they are, but I do notice many reviewers here typically omit them when cataloging a set's printed parts, for some reason. I do intend to practice things a bit differently if and when I ever start reviewing sets, though there's no telling when that might happen. :blush: )

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I too would have liked a classic knight instead of that Pixel figure. I also would have preferred a miniature of this one instead of the figure that is supposed to represent the year 2010.

26412008137_c84a5a3246_z.jpg

1989? Goes to show how much they know about their own history. Sad, really. 

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1 hour ago, Blondie-Wan said:

We don't?  :look: :wink:

(I count them as such myself, since of course that's what they are, but I do notice many reviewers here typically omit them when cataloging a set's printed parts, for some reason. I do intend to practice things a bit differently if and when I ever start reviewing sets, though there's no telling when that might happen. :blush: )

I think it's because it's a given that figs will be printed. And figs usually get their own discussion in reviews. So they're left out of the "printed" section. At least that's always been my logic. Same reason I didn't mentally include the brush in the printed stuff group - they're always printed, so nothing special to report unless it's a new style.

1 hour ago, 3797 said:

I too would have liked a classic knight instead of that Pixel figure. I also would have preferred a miniature of this one instead of the figure that is supposed to represent the year 2010.

26412008137_c84a5a3246_z.jpg

1989? Goes to show how much they know about their own history. Sad, really. 

You're right - that exact fig is from 1994 (https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?M=pi022#T=S&O={"iconly":0})

I suspect they were thinking about Captain Red Beard (https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?M=pi055#T=S&O={"iconly":0}) since that's the first use of those legs. Why wouldn't they have gotten that right? And why wouldn't they have used Red Beard - has the same hook and leg, but looks so much cooler than the pirate used.

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I agree that some texture lines on the employee shirt would have gone a long way. While I think it would have been nice to see different/better representation in the microfigures, I think Lego makes unexpected selections in what they promote. The same goes for their minifigure timeline. 

Still, there’s a lot of start of the year stuff to buy, so this was an easy pick-up for me. And I prefer this set for the exclusive/special pieces over the earlier microbuild promo from Jan. 

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Nice freebee but sad to see so many flaws. Don`t they know their own history..

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I suspect that as a freebie it may have been able to bypass the Historical Accuracy department - but no need to have paid for that, they could have leaked the instructions to Eurobricks a month early and we've picked it to shreds for them for free! (to shreds you say)

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Nice review, mostlytechnic. Glad to see these unique micro statues which can be quite suited for Micromachines. :tongue: 

Thanks for sharing. 

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