Did you see the news that The LEGO Movie topped the box office results with $129 million in receipts the past two weeks?
Before I saw clips from the movie on the news, I wondered how you could make a movie about little interlocking bricks. Then I learned it’s about these little plastic characters that have been a big part of the LEGO brand for some time. This inspired a little investigative work.
It turns out that the company began including small, plastic, articulated (movable joints) figurines in the LEGO construction sets in 1978. Some of these minifigures are inspired by specific characters (such as Star Wars), or of LEGO’s own creation, but many are designed simply to fit within a certain theme (such as police officers, astronauts and pirates). Believe it or not, over 3,655 different LEGO minifigures (or minifigs, as the collectors call them) have been introduced, and total production has now reached nearly 4 billion. (that’s billion, with a B) With popularity like that, no wonder they made The LEGO Movie.
It should come as no surprise that there is an Elvis/LEGO connection. Back in May 2010, ElvisBlog showed this photo of an Elvis bust at the LEGOLAND Park in San Diego, California. Kind of old school with Elvis actually made out of the little bricks. Here’s another, with Nathan Sawaya, the artist/builder, standing next to a full-body Elvis statue to give a sense of how big it is.
It looks to me like the artist got a little bit of Abe Lincoln into his Elvis image.
What I find more intriguing are the number of different LEGO Elvis minifigs out there. They seem to have become a very popular collectible. In addition to the official LEGO models, it seems like some other companies have made their own LEGOish creations. Let’s look at some of the best, regardless of where they came from.
This one is a genuine LEGO product. Note the clunky feet like the minifigs in the movie trailer. I called this one “Red Cape LEGO Elvis” until finding out LEGO calls it the “Las Vegas Edition.”
This what I call a LEGO Elvis Minifig Impersonator. The legs and feet look better, but the legs don’t seem to have the articulated joints. Kids probably don’t care – he looks fine riding in their space rocket or pirate ship. How about the full-length cape. Elvis tried one like that once, but it was too heavy for comfortable maneuvering around on the stage.
Back to the typical LEGO legs and feet for this one. But what’s up with the collar? It looks like the one worn by Ming the Merciless, Flash Gordon’s main villain. And that looks like a college sweater he’s wearing. I guess there are no rules for pseudo LEGO Elvis minifigs.
This one has the mic and the Elvis sunglasses, and the jumpsuit appears to be a simplification of the Sundial design Elvis wore on his last concert in May 1977.
This image is a little fuzzy, but it is the only photo of a LEGO Elvis minifig holding a guitar.
This is a weird outfit design – not a gold lame suit and not a jumpsuit. I think a good name would be Liberace LEGO Elvis.
This one is a little scary. They made Elvis look like a mad scientist. Not Cool.
Hey, who let these guys in? If you don’t recognize this as a homage to Abbey Road, you aren’t a Beatles fan.
Do we really need a zombie LEGO Elvis?
This is an impressive way to display your Storm Trooper LEGO Elvis.
The popularity of LEGO minifigs has led to expansion into other areas of artistic expression.
Just what every kid needs – a LEGO Elvis key ring.
How about a parody of Elvis’ first album using a LEGO minifig.
This is even better. Clever title.
A lot of artists have painted Elvis, but this guy painted a LEGO Elvis minifig.
All of this leads to the conclusion expressed on ElvisBlog many times:
Elvis is everywhere !!
© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net