Friday, November 18, 2011

The Budget Review: Character Building Micro Figure Series 1

Mini-Fig collecting is certainly a more niche field these days, but in contrast to the past, there's quite a few more lines available now than there ever have been. Lately I have been fascinated with the little guys, I suppose Lego's blind packaged figures have really made their impact on me, though I can't say I've been enamored of EVERY one of those figures.

The other day the wife and I were at Target doing grocery shopping, and as I usually do I hit the Trading Card aisle on the way out (because we know there's never any new GI Joes at Target) and I happened upon a new blind-bagged trading figure from our friends at Character Building, you know the folks who do the Doctor Who Construction Kits. Yup, following on the heels of Lego, Mega Blocks and Playmobil, CB is doing blind trading figures.

Here's the cool thing, they're a whopping TWO BUCKS at Target! AND there are three levels of rarity spread over 12 figures. These are perfectly compatible with the Doctor Who figures, as well as the previous Her Majesty's Royal Forces figures. This series is a bit mundane when you look at what's available, but what's here is pretty darn cool. Initially I only bought one figure, but I was drawn back to buy a few more just a few days later. I noticed that they're not available in every Target too, so if you're looking for these make sure to ask for them.

Character Building Micro Figures Series 1 Review

Packaging: 3 of 5

It's a foil wrapper, it's yellow. What more do you need? It's quite eye-catching and it shows off a couple figures. I didn't take a pic.

Instructions: 3 of 5

While what's here is totally adequate, a double-sided full color sheet showing all the figures available, complete with a rarity key, there could have been a BIT more, such as a catalog for their other products which are compatible, but I guess at this price point what you get is what you get.

Sculpt: 4 of 5

Each figure in this series is based on either a male or female buck, and they are different. The female body is slimmer than the male and has bumps in the right places. Take a gander at the female Red Ninja and Amy Pond and you will notice they are the same body, while the Doctor shares his body with the other boys. That's actually a nice touch that Lego and Mega don't usually do. The heads and accessories are the only real unique pieces in the series, and each one is done quite nicely.

I'll say this too, boy that picture makes Amy's head look humongous!

The most interesting aspect of the head sculpts to me is the way they designed the helmeted figures, it appears that they are several pieces sonically welded together, which saves money on paint I suppose. For example the construction worker's head is at least three pieces: the yellow cap, the brown hair and the flesh tone face and neck. The astronaut has his white helmet, a flesh colored face and a very tiny bit of brown hair. The Ninja though is only two pieces as the flesh part of her face is painted on, while the mouth covering is a separate piece.

Decorations: 4 of 5

MOST of the painting is done tampo style and it looks pretty good on these guys. The Astronaut is a real stand-out due to the intricate detailing on the breathing apparatus. Their shoes are painted on, and on a couple of them the paint work is a bit sloppy, but nothing overly terrible.

Accessories: 3 of 5

I admit that I'd like to see a stand with these guys, so that's one point knocked off. The second point is knocked off because not every figure HAS an accessory. There's a cool sword with the Ninja, and a pick-axe with the Construction Worker. The Astronaut gets a backpack, but the race-car driver gets NOTHING. Unless you count the visors on both the Astronaut and the Driver, but I don't. In a series like this, each figure should have SOMETHING extra, but at two bucks I guess we're lucky to get what we get.

Price: 5 of 5

TWO BUCKS A FIGURE! That's downright cheap. Lego figures are MSRP at $2.99, as are the Mega brand lines, and Playmobil is at $3.99, so you're getting a bargain here.

Overall: 4 of 5

Yeah overall I give these guys a 4 out of 5 mostly for the sheer fun factor and the solid price point. Let's face it, these guys are going to end up being different costumes for my Amy and The Doctor mini-figs, and that's fine by me. I've already got a couple of comic strips in mind, but I don't want to spoil them now.

These are being imported into North America by JDNA a Canadian company. I can only hope that in the future maybe I'll see the Doctor Who blind packed figures at Target. I can hope right?

NOTE: These figures were purchased by the reviewer. I am, however, more than happy to review whatever you like if you want to send it to me. Please email me at

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