The best historical LEGO minifigures – from astronauts to artists

From pilots to philosophers, painters to presidents, there is a surprisingly wide range of historical figures from across the centuries who have inspired their very own LEGO minifigures. Galileo Galilei will be the next to continue this trend, with the astronomer and physicist winning the latest Ideas contest for a future gift with purchase diorama at the LEGO Store. Building through bricks is certainly a fun way to learn about different aspects of history, and the people who have been pioneers. 

Come join Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans, as we borrow the Tardis to time travel through some of the best historical minifigures yet…

Amelia Earhart 

Amelia Earhart’s story is one of both immense achievements and tragedies, as she became the first woman aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic, yet sadly disappeared over the Pacific Ocean as she tried to fly around the world. Her minifigure from 40450 Amelia Earhart Tribute celebrates her flying life, with classic aviator goggles and her signature kerchief is printed around her neck. She also comes with a unique 2×2 tile that’s got a classic style map of her Atlantic crossing. 

Vincent Van Gogh 

Like many great artists before him, Van Gogh’s work wasn’t truly appreciated until years after, when Impressionism was truly embraced. In his lifetime he painted over 2,000 canvases, including multiple self-portraits, which is what inspired his minifigure in 21333 Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night. Van Gogh looks like a painting himself, printed in swirling brushstroke lines across his body and torso. Even his beard has tiny little orange lines. And of course the painter wouldn’t be complete without a paintbrush and matching palette. 

Read our review of 21333 Starry Night and hear from the designers of the set in future issues of Blocks magazine! To get the LEGO magazine for fans, every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via

Mae Jemison 

All of the minifigures in 21312 Women of NASA are absolutely brilliant, but one of the most iconic is Mae Jemison. She was the first Black woman to travel into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and her minifigure is appropriately dressed in a striking orange NASA spacesuit. Her torso includes plenty of accurate printing, including a mini Endeavour logo, and the seals ready for her astronaut’s helmet. 

Abraham Lincoln

If there was one thing that 71004 The LEGO Movie Collectible Minifigure series provided, it was a lot of unexpected characters. Some were totally made up, like Marsha Queen of the Mermaids, and then there was Abraham Lincoln. Sporting a top hat and printed waistcoat the President looks very serious, with a newly moulded beard element completing his expression. Very cleverly he also comes with a tile printed with the opening to his Gettysburg address. 

William Shakespeare

To be a minifigure, or not to be a minifigure. That is the question. Another surprising entry from 71004 was a minifigure of perhaps the most famous writer of all time. Practically worthy of its own sonnet, Shakespeare’s minifigure is an ode to 16th century fashion, with dark red clothing suggesting velvet combined with gold printing for embroidery details. He comes ready with quill in hand to write a LEGO play…

Jane Goodall 

Who doesn’t love watching cute monkey videos? It’s thanks to the work of leading anthropologist Jane Goodall that we understand as much as we now do about primates, specifically chimpanzees. While she’s probably the simplest minifigure on this list, Goodall’s minifigure is ready for exploring the jungle in khaki outfit and binoculars so as not to disturb the wild animals. Her warm, kindly expression is absolutely perfect and 4530 Jane Goodall Tribute wouldn’t be complete without some exclusive chimpanzee figures. 

With the LEGO Group continuing this historical trend hopefully there will be plenty more of these minifigures in the future. Is there a historical minifigure we’ve missed, or one you’d like to see? Let us know on any of the Blocks social media channels. 

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