My five year old, Oakley, would like to ask

Why don't LEGO men have ears?


I can not give you an answer on behalf of TLG, but I can give you some good reasons as to why Minifigures do not have ears.

Authenticity: Lego figures have never had ears. In fact, the first figures did not even have faces, or articulating limbs. They were very basic. Here is a photo showing the basic evolution of minifigures over the years. The first 'figures' were introduced in the mid-1900s. Evolution of the Minifigure

Functionability: Adding ears to the head mold would greatly complicate things for Lego. Apart from the fact that ears would be likely to be broken off or get damaged, they would affect the compatability of heads.

All standard mold lego heads can fit just about every mold of hat and hair. However, if TLG started making heads with ears, they would have to redesign every single 'headgear' and 'hair' mold so that they would fit around/over the ears. As a result, for figures where ears are necessary, they are part of the headgear mold, not the head. You can see this in these two examples. Elf hat w/ ears Hair w/ ears

I hope that answers your son's question, and that you can simplify the reasons for him :)

  • 2
    Also, since a number of minifig faces have two expressions, one of the front and one on the back, the ears would be oriented wrong for at least one of the expressions.
    – nijineko
    Dec 29 '16 at 17:35
  • True, I did not even think of that! That would certainly be an interesting spectacle :) Dec 29 '16 at 19:00
  • @nijineko That's a much later addition, though. It just prevents ears from being added now, but they could have been added earlier (in turn, preventing introduction of dual-faced heads). Jul 11 '19 at 15:01

Just to add to, or elaborate on, the other good answer(s); It may solely come down to the cost of production. I remember reading on several occasions that the molds were very expensive to make. Having a simplified shape make the part a more universal piece, not just for minifigure heads. That being said, I suppose they could have printed them on. But that has it's own potential problems mentioned in the previous comments.

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