Produced by Lego | Released February 2013
The ninth wave of Lego's super-popular line of blind-bagged minifigures has just landed at retail. Although my initial thoughts on the concept were less than enthusiastic (see this Review here) I've come to a new understanding with Lego toys - and the minifigures - and so here's another look at the line with the subject of today's Review, the Waiter.
I'm going to assume our readership is already familiar with the core Lego minifigure and so am not going to spend a lot of time discussing the basics of the figure. If you've never seen them before (and if not... HOW?) all you really need to know is that each minifigure sports seven points of articulation spread across three core pieces (head, body, legs), augmented with unique tampo work and accessories, all wrapped in a neat little blind-bagged foil container.
So with that out of the way, let's take a closer look at the figure itself.
As you can see, the Waiter sports a pretty neat waistcoat/bow tie decal and a unique facial transfer, featuring a fun little snarky attitude and super-smooth mustache. It's a neat, very cool look (I especially dig his white ''gloves'') that would look just as much at home serving customers in a Lego City diorama as he would be acting as valet to the Monster Hunters' Dr Rathbone.
The core figure is augmented with a neatly-combed hair piece, serving tray and wine bottle (or ''fine green plastic bottle with a picture of grapes on it'' as the official site describes it). The bottle's neck is a perfect fit in his hand and although the tray's underside is an equally good fit, the surface is completely smooth, meaning the bottle sits upon it in a very precarious manner that leaves it prone to falling off. My guess is that the tray was previously used by some form of ancient warrior figure as a shield, hence the smoothness of the surface. It's a minor annoyance but I can understand Lego re-purposing the piece in this way.
The Waiter is not the most complex of minifigures. The tampo work is neat enough, I like his little white gloves and the accessories work well enough to define his role, although it is a little disappointing that the bottle doesn't attach to the tray.
As a fan of sci-fi/fantasy toys I was hoping for one of the mythological beasts or alien warriors, so I have to admit that finding this slightly more down-to-earth figure in the pack left me a little cold at first. But as I reflected upon it, I came to realize that this was actually a pretty neat figure that offered more than I initially thought. As I mentioned above, he'll work perfectly alongside the Monster Fighter line. Or maybe he could be a superhero's butler. Or even - with a few accessory swaps - as a 1920's gentleman detective. And looking over the line-up, it seems he's not the only figure that could be incorporated into different settings. I like toys that encourage children to use their imagination and I could see kids coming up with some very creative uses for the Waiter and some of the other figures that the designers probably didn't foresee.
The Waiter is not the most complex or innovative of minifigures but he's still a fun figure with lots of potential for multiple roles in your Lego Universe.
Final Score: B