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Studio Updates

Updates from rdflego as well as reviews and custom builds.

Arguments of scale; minifigures or mini-dolls? - rdflego builds a city

When you look at the city of an adult builder what do you see? Order, chaos, simplicity, eccentricity? When I look at the city of some YouTubers the first thing that catches my eye is the complete disregard of scale that some of them find acceptable. I don’t say this to be mean, instead I highlight it because those cities must be difficult to navigate from a minifigures perspective. These cities are cluttered with too many vehicles on not enough roads while trains hurtle through the centre of town without any regard to safety for the townsfolk.

Seeing the different ways that a city can break even the most basic public safety laws has inspired me to focus on a safe environment for my theme parks miniature inhabitants. My theme park should be built with the park visitors in mind and scaled appropriately for their size. The environment should be safe for any visitor which is why I have to face the decision of whether I will be building for minifigures or mini-dolls.

I have to consider this decision to determine the scale I will be working at but also to determine the safety measures I will need to put into place throughout the park. Minifigures are just over four bricks tall and take up a 2x4 space around them due to their wide body and bulbous head, whereas mini-dolls are closer to five studs in height and better represent the human form. The main issue that I am struggling with is the height difference between them because a mini-doll would help me scale my park closer to a human environment. A minifigure on the other hand has a greater amount of customisation and will allow me to populate more of my park.

Argument for scaling to mini-dolls

Mini-dolls were designed to look like a slightly cartoonish human form that had been scaled down to fit into most modern LEGO sets. I like mini-dolls for this reason because they allow me to increase the accuracy of something in real life when I replicate it with LEGO. I can take real-world measurements and roughly bring them down to the scale of a mini-doll in order to create more realistic looking builds. The issue they present is that they do not have realistic articulation which makes the simplest of items a difficulty to recreate. Think how difficult it would be to create a chair for mini-dolls as an example; without knees the mini-doll might as well sit on the floor instead of having their legs hang out in mid air.

Argument for scaling to minifigures

Minifigures are the native species to the LEGO universe and are better scaled to the utensils around them. They can drive every car and sit in every chair whilst being able to reach a lever, steering wheel, etc. They also travel the galaxy with spaceships designed to fit their body type to explore alien worlds that match their scale. To sum up they are clearly more advanced than mini-dolls are at the moment who appear to just be getting the hang of robotics. But outside of these canonical speculations the buildings they inhabit are too big for them. A minifigure cannot reach most shelves, climb stairs and a lot of the work surfaces they use are at standing height.

To cut both arguments short when I boil both down I cannot find a clear winner. Both have valid reasons why neither of them should be the scale I work with but I do have to choose something. That is why I have chosen to build at a scale that will be inclusive for both minifigures and mini-dolls. Instead of scaling for one design over the other I will build my park to suit both designs that LEGO is producing. I will have to make rides that can seat both designs, create railings at two different heights and steps so that minifigures can reach the highest shelf. This theme park will be an inclusive environment designed to work for minifigures and mini-dolls with amenities & rides designed to hold both.

Other exclusivities to consider

Last year LEGO finally introduced the minifigure wheelchair that can be pushed by either design so my park should be suitable for disabled minifigures throughout. This will mean a step-free environment from the moment a disabled figure enters the park gates and all shops should be wide enough to have a wheelchair go through the aisles.

Last year LEGO also introduced the baby figure so I must also scale for buggies and pushchairs by possibly having special, covered parking spaces outside of certain rides. The toilets must have changing facilities and, even if I don’t build a creche, there should at least be signs for one somewhere in the park.

Finally the only other type of minifigure are children who look identical to their adult counterparts apart from having shorter legs. Children will not be able to ride the roller coaster so height signs should be at the start of the queue for all of the rides and I could create signs for a play area.


I’m curious if any of you can think of a better figure that I should base my park around of if you have a better argument for one design over the other. Leave your thoughts in the comments section down below or contact us via the social links on the CONTACTS page. We’ll keep you up to date with the park over on twitter (@rdflego) and right here at rdflego.com

Roan FryerComment