I would love to have one of each minifigure from the various LEGO Minifigure series. Unfortunately, as you receive a random minifigure in each package, this is more difficult than it should be. I either have to purchase a lot of extra packages and hope that I eventually span the entire set, or I have to pay exorbitant amounts on the Internet for the minifigures I need to complete my collection.

Is there a simple and reliable way, when I am in the store, to determine what minifigure is in the package?

  • 8
    The most reliable method known is: open the bag.
    – Joubarc
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 21:18
  • 3
    @Joubarc: I did that for every single bag in every single set. Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 18:54
  • I've also read of people trying to weight them (with high precision, I guess it makes sense), and someone with access to an x-ray machine used it successfully.
    – Joubarc
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 10:41
  • 2
    I'm not an expert on the subject, but the x-ray machines I've seen are not simple to bring into a store. Commented May 6, 2020 at 7:14

7 Answers 7


It can be done, but you need to be able to handle the packages. Different minifigure series may require different approaches, from barcodes to patterns of dots or dimples to feeling for certain characteristic parts in the bags. Those approaches have been documented in a number of places:

Also, since every box has a set quantity of each minifig, if you buy a full unopened box of 60, you will get a full set of the minifigs. (More than one set in fact, but you'd have to look at the per-box quantities to see if it's 2 or 3.)

  • 3
    I did not realize each box was guaranteed to contain a complete set. However, I imagine 60 times X dollars/euros is more than buying a set on eBay. Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 19:21
  • Bumps and dots have been the least reliable in my experience.
    – Ambo100
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 19:24
  • @Ambo100: Given that TLG has moved away from the bumps and dots, those are more for historical interest (and an exhaustive answer) than practical use at this point.
    – retracile
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 19:30
  • As far as I know, the contents of a box is fixed, at least for series 5 it is.
    – Joubarc
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 20:57
  • Could you try to update this for Series 6? Commented May 18, 2012 at 1:54

I managed to get the five minifigures I wanted, right every time by feeling the bags. It takes patience and a good understanding of how different bricks feel. There are some guides online that show you which individual pieces to look for.

Use the process of elimination. If you're looking for the Witch minifig, look for a bag with slope instead of legs. The Witch is the only minifig in it's series that has no legs piece.

Working in a store that sold collectible minifigures, I can tell you that you cannot differ each minifigure by barcode.

  • The individual bags are packaged randomly inside a box of 60.
  • There is an uneven quantity of minifigures so some are rarer then others, the quantity of each minifig is the same for each box.

In the end, nothing's more reliable then your own X-ray machine...

  • 2
    That's what I call dedication.
    – pcantin
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 18:11
  • Ironically, the witch could be found by bar code, as Series 2 did differentiate by them - one UK retailer has a very religious MD, and they'd ordered their boxes without the Witch or Vampire figures :( But I've had very good success with the feel method, especially for the dwarf and gladiator figures in series 5 Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 18:43
  • @Zhaph Which religion prohibits vampires?
    – Random832
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 19:39
  • I've no idea, but was told he was a Christian. It's certainly nothing I've ever heard mentioned in a sermon, but others beliefs may vary ;) All I know is they had a sign on the boxes stating that they didn't contain any witches or vampires, and when I asked how and why was informed about the barcodes and religion respectively. Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 22:31

My boys and I purchased a precision scale for nine dollars from Harbor Freight and set it to grams. We purchased ten Lego minifigures series nine. We measured the ten empty packages for a weight of 19.8333 grams and divided by 10 to get an average wieght of 1.983 grams, or rounded to 2 grams. We then weighed the ten inserts showing the 16 numbered, named and pictured figurines, they weighed 28.8333 grams and divided by 10 to get an average weight of 2.833 grams, or rounded to 3 grams. We then made a list from 1 to 16 and named each number with its respective figurine and weighed each to get the following and adding the weight of the insert plus the package for a total package weight of:

Lego Minifigures Series 9
Number, Figure Name, Figure Weight in grams, Figure + P&I weight for total weight

-1 Waiter 0.0

-2 Cyclops 0.0

-3 Starlett 0.0

-4 Knight 6.8 11.7

-5 Cesar 5.3 10.2

-6 Cop 5.4 10.3

-7 Chicken 0.0

-8 Skater 0.0

-9 Cleo 7.0 11.9

-10 Judge 5.9 10.8

-11 Alien 7.3 12.2

-12 Mermaid 7.6 12.5

-13 Spaceman 6.2 11.1

-14 Jekle/Hide 5.4 10.3

-15 She Shield 7.5 12.4

-16 Plumber 0.0

Insert  2.9g           Total wt. 28.8333g
Package 2.0g           Total wt. 19.8333g
P&I 4.9 grams (this will be added to each individual figurine weight)       

Note that the missing weights are the figurines we still lack. We got 3 repeats and their weight varied by less than 0.01 gram. So, what we did next was to go on our hunt and stealthly enter the toy stores, break out the digital scale, zero it out and weigh the package. We made the list from heaviest to lightest and what we are going to do is to purchase just those weights that we do not have. Following is said list:

Number, Figure Name, Weight in grams, Figure + P&I weight for total weight,

  1. Mermaid 7.6 12.5

  2. Maiden 7.5 12.4

  3. Alien 7.3 12.2

  4. Cleo? 7.0 11.9

  5. Knight 6.8 11.7

  6. Spaceman 6.2 11.1

  7. Judge 5.9 10.8

  8. Cop 5.4 10.3

  9. Good/Bad 5.4 10.3

  10. Cesar 5.3 10.2

  11. Waiter missing 0.0

  12. Cyclops missing 0.0

  13. Starlett missing 0.0

  14. Chicken missing 0.0

  15. Skater missing 0.0

  16. Plumber missing 0.0

As we find the new weights I'll try to repost and upgrade the new information. If someone has the figures we don't have and could post just their figure weight, we would greatly appreciate it.

Lastly, the insert weights were right on the money and exact to each other, but the packages did vary above and below the average by around 0.15 grams. What would have been more scientifically significanly would have been if we had weighed each bag that came with each unique figure, but we were so much in a hurry to battle that we lost focus. I think the varience in the package bag weight has to do with sloppy manufacturing than stratigic engineering to confuse us.



The cheapest approach is to buy a box online, keep the figures you want, and sell the rest.

The most hassle-free approach is to buy the figures you want online. Either individually or as a set.


Another option to help finish off your collections is BrickLink, sort of the eBay of LEGO. There are plenty of sellers in the US with a large amount of reputation

Here is a link to BrickLink with a listing of the Collectible Minifigs:


Be sure to buy the 'complete set' figs otherwise you will probably not get the accessories.


Theoretically, it shoud be possible to tell the minifigures apart by weight, but you would need highly precise scales to do so.


i find it rather easy to feel for the minifigures. All you have to do, is identify a uncommon trait that only that minifigure has, and then feel for that. for example, the conquistador has a breastplate. just feel for something bendy, hollow on 2 sides. its not that hard.

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