words Beatrice Galilee
It has been 30 years since Lego launched its much-loved minifigure, designed by Jens Nygaard Knudsen. The familiar little yellow men and women with funny hair and bemused expressions were the culmination of years of work. Knudsen filed and sawed Lego bricks, even experimenting with tin prototypes, to create the stocky flexible design icon we see today – since 1978 the design has only been modified by a matter of millimetres. Each body is three bricks high and comprises eight parts. It’s designed to hold a Lego brick in its hand, and to plug stand or sitting on top of other Lego elements. The figures were totally asexual until the first female figure, a nurse, arrived in 1980. Since then the population has exploded and all sort of personalities from Harry Potter to Steven Spielberg and Spiderman can now be seen to be climbing all over Lego creations all over the world. Here’s a gallery of the best and most creative over the years.