Average legs, short legs, tall legs and medium legs. Today, LEGO fans enjoy more minifigure leg height diversity than ever before. But that wasn’t always the case…
For 24 years, all LEGO minifigures shared the same legs. The LEGO Group made them work, but soon came to realise that changing a minifigure’s height can greatly improve their accuracy. With the torso a complex piece though with multiple parts, the only way to adjust the height is through the legs. In 2023, LEGO fans can purchase a total of four different sized minifigure legs, made available through various sets.
Average height legs made their debut in 1978 and were used for all LEGO minifigures up until 2002. This specific leg piece is what most people associate with the standard minifigure and appears the most frequently of any leg size. Average sized minifigure legs are one brick and two plates tall. Because they are the most commonly used legs, these types of legs are available in the highest quantity of unique colours. However, one major problem posed by only using these types of legs meant all characters had to be the same height. Even children, like the young Anakin Skywalker from 7171 Mos Espa Podrace, had adult sized legs!
In 2002 LEGO Star Wars was the first theme to introduce short legs with Yoda. He appeared in a total of three sets, including 4502 X-wing Fighter. Thanks to the shorter legs, not only could children be depicted more properly in LEGO minifigure form, but all shorter characters could be better represented. 2002 brought LEGO fans properly scaled Ewoks from Star Wars in 7139 Ewok Attack, as well as goblins from the Harry Potter world in 4714 Gringott’s Bank. Since then, characters like Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob SquarePants or Frodo from The Lord of The Rings have been made possible. Short minifigure legs are exactly one brick tall.
Upgrade your LEGO hobby! If you take out a subscription to Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, you’ll get each issue first and at a discount, plus other perks including a free digital subscription and the chance to win LEGO prizes every month.
Tall legs made their big comeback in October 2022, appearing in every LEGO Avatar set released. Standing at about two bricks and two plates tall, the LEGO Group decided the extra height was key in creating the towering Na’vi warriors seen on screen. But this was not the first time taller minifigure legs were used. Back in 2010, Woody from Pixar’s Toy Story featured the same extra-long legs to portray the lanky toy cowboy. Another new element was created to pair with the long legs – torsos that feature longer arms. This allows the taller minifigures to maintain a more visually pleasing proportion.
Medium legs made their debut in 2018, first appearing in the LEGO Collectible Minifigures Harry Potter series. With only average and short legs available, depicting Harry as a child or an adult could work. But the LEGO Group took things a step further by creating a new leg size for the character: medium legs. The important distinction between these and the barely smaller small legs is that they actually bend, like regular legs. Now Harry and his friends could be properly depicted as they aged throughout the films, from children, to teenagers, and into adulthood. Medium legs are becoming more widespread than ever and have been used for minifigures like Porky Pig (Looney Tunes), Robin (DC Comics), and America Chavez (Marvel Comics).
Currently, all four leg sizes can be found across a variety of sets. Creating different sized legs not only contributes to greater minifigure accuracy but gives LEGO fans more options when building their minifigures. Being able to take your minifigures of the past and update them with short, medium or even tall legs has become a reality. The LEGO Group is continually releasing each leg type in new colours, offering even more possibilities for minifigure customisation.