Lego Guys Are Getting ‘Angrier’ – Still Hurt Like Hell When You Step On Them

Lego Minifig Angry Once upon a time in a faraway land and by faraway land I mean in your kid’s toybox all your Lego guys were happy little guys with smiley little faces but now they are all mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore! Grrrr! Actually, a study conducted by Christopher Bartneck of New Zealand’s University of Canterbury Human Interface Technology Laboratory shows that since their introduction in 1975, Lego figure faces have been getting crankier and crankier. That’s right, your Lego has bitch face. From Popular Science:

“Our cluster analysis shows that toy design has become a more complex design space in which the imaginary world of play does not only consist of a simple division of good versus evil,” the researchers write, “but a world in which heroes are scared and villains can have superior smile [sic].”

Through the Amazon Mechanical Turk marketplace, 264 study subjects in the U.S. viewed photographs of 628 different heads that appeared on the 3655 Lego Minifigures released between 1975 and 2010, and evaluated how intense their facial expressions were on scales for anger, happiness, sadness, disgust, and surprise. (They were paid one cent for every evaluation.) The face was then categorized by the expression people rated it as most often.

Starting in 1989, Lego began introducing more variety into their figures’ facial expressions. While overall, the Minifigures’ expressions featured happiness most often, the characters are increasingly moving toward angrier expressions, and the authors write “it is our impression that the themes have been increasingly based on conflict.”

“They were paid one cent for every evaluation” — LOL bad job. What does this mean for us as parents who have children who love Lego and leaving Lego all over our floors? That our kids are being exposed to crankier Lego guys. I think it probably this has to do with the fact Lego has some many popular movie tie-ins and popular movies usually feature a battle of good versus evil so it’s not like you can really have a super happy looking Lego HULK guy or something. Hulk is usually pretty cranky.

Because I know you guys love Lego news here is some bonus Lego news for you! Our friends at The Mary Sue are asking that more LADY lego minifigs be made which would be awesome because Yay GIRL LEGOS and then we can have more lady Legos who look just as cranky as the boy Legos do. I’m all for this, our girls need figures that represent them that aren’t just part of the Lego friends series who are busy getting their legs waxed or serving up frappes at the local pink Lego cafe.

(Image: the Daily Brick)


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  • Alex Lee

    Got off the phone with Lego Customer Support. Unfortunately, they won’t “swap heads” for free. If you don’t like the side-eye your toy is giving you, your only options are:

    1. Go to a Lego store and buy an entirely new customized minifig (minimum qty: 3)


    2. Sandpaper

    Aside from all that, though, Lego is about having the right part for the situation. If that situation, however fantastic, requires an angry expression, then no harm done.

    You’ll probably want to draw the line at Game Of Thrones reenactments, though:

    • Eve Vawter

      You are truthfully the best

    • Véronique Houde

      how in the world did they get that done in only two weeks is beyond me

    • SDA

      OMG. Love it.

  • LiteBrite

    All of my son’s Lego guys look royally pissed off. They are not nearly as pissed off as ME though when I step on one of them.

    • Alex Lee

      I’m thankful we avoided the whole “Bionicle” phase.

      ANY ONE of those pieces will send you to the emergency room.

  • A-nony-mous

    Hmm…they probably are but I still like the more nuanced faces. I got tired of every Lego person having the exact same opiate stare.

  • Rachel Sea

    If I were the boss of Lego, every piece would be formed around a wee bit of iron so that all Legos could be picked up with a magnet sweeper.

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