16 Unofficial LEGO Minifigs You Can Buy

Despite pressure from fans and the series' stars, LEGO will not be making an X-Files kit. But the reboot is fast approaching and X-philes are looking for the minifigs to celebrate the release. Luckily, there are unofficial pieces available on to fill the void. Of course, these are unofficial and unlicensed, so you’ll have to call the characters Agent Mully and Agent Sculder to avoid lawyers breaking down your door mid-LEGO-reenactment.  

Now that your X-Files crisis has been averted, what about all your other favorite pop culture characters? There are a number of websites that will provide you with all your favorite television and movie characters. Since they’re made with repurposed LEGO elements, they will work with your existing collection. Here’s a sampling of what’s available: 


LEGO will likely never make Game of Thrones characters because of the mature content, but at least we can have Dragon Sword Fighter Force. This eclectic group of copyright-safe doppelgangers comes with weapons, tools, and a wine goblet. Unfortunately, there are no tiny LEGO dragons, but it does come with a tugboat captain named Sir Typesalot. 


This is the perfect minifig to bless all your new creations. 


The Albuquerque Action Squad features a mild mannered chemistry teacher, loveable meth dealer, and hard-boiled DEA agent. Who knows what adventures this trio could get up to? Build your own meth empire, catch a hardened criminal, or maybe just teach a high school class—it’s all in your hands. 


Halloween can’t happen without the Pumpkin King, so make sure he’s present for your next building session. Jack comes with an interchangeable pumpkin head, and fortunately no Santa hat. 


Take this minifig on a journey through New York City, then maybe to get a quick slice of pizza before performing a set at the local comedy club. 


Get your droogs together to play with this scarily accurate Alex DeLarge.


This very presidential minifig will look great in your brick White House. There’s even a tiny American flag pin on the lapel, so any Republican minifigs looking for trouble will have to look elsewhere.


Building and running a model hotel is hard work, so you’re going to need all the help you can get. Consider hiring the characters from the Grand Budapest Hotel for hijinks and quality service in equal measures. 


The gang's all here


Dr. Anatomini is the perfect addition for any classroom, hospital, or haunted house. 


LEGO has an official Frozen castle set, but the characters are not in the traditional minifig shape. If you’re looking for something a little less curvy and a little more geometric, these Ice Queen and Ice Princess pieces are for you. 

12. WALL-E 

Everyone’s favorite robot couple is now in LEGO form. 


Now you can really utilize your monochrome LEGO pieces with this Charlie Chaplin figure. Just be careful where you perform your unauthorized imitations


David Bowie has many looks, but right now the only one you can get in minifig form is the Aladdin Sane style. 

15. E.T. 

You don’t need a VHS player to enjoy this E.T., but it's always good to have a steady supply of Reese’s Pieces.


Relive all your favorite moments from Britain’s royal family, from the Queen’s Jubilee to the royal wedding, to the announcement of Prince George. You can also have a ball with Princes Charles, Philip, and Henry, or the Duchess Camilla. 

New LEGO Set Lets Harry Potter Fans Apparate to the Hogwarts Great Hall

After reading the books and watching the movies, you may worry you've run out of ways to experience the world of Harry Potter at home. But soon, apparating to Hogwarts will be as easy as building a LEGO set. As Nerdist reports, LEGO is releasing their take on the Hogwarts Great Hall later in 2018.

LEGO revealed the first look at the magical structure at this year's Toy Fair in New York City. When fully assembled, the four-story set measures 14 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and 11 inches deep. Comprising 878 pieces, the set packs plenty of features fans will recognize. Minifigures of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Draco are included, as well as those of Hogwarts professors like Dumbledore, Hagrid, and Professor McGonagall. The Professor Quirrell piece looks innocent from one angle, but reverse his head and he morphs into Lord Voldemort. Susan Bones and Nearly Headless are also part of the set.

LEGO builders will have no trouble keeping their characters busy. There's a diverse collection of accessories to play with, like the Sorting Hat, Hagrid's umbrella, the Mirror of Erised, house banners, cauldrons, candles, and wands. There are even a few fantastic beasts hiding in the hall, like Hedwig, Scabbers, Fawkes, and a basilisk.

Fans looking to add the product to their collection of all things Harry Potter can purchase it for $100 when it hits stores on August 1.

LEGO set of Hogwarts.

LEGO set of Hogwarts.

[h/t Nerdist]

All images courtesy of LEGO.

Melanie Gonick, MIT
MIT Scientists Are Building Biomedical Research Labs Out of LEGO Blocks
Melanie Gonick, MIT
Melanie Gonick, MIT

When it comes to microfluidics, precision is everything. Researchers in this field—which analyzes the behavior and control of tiny amounts of fluids— can use a miniscule, flat chip etched with channels (a "lab-on-a-chip") to control the mixing of liquids at a microscopic level. Now, Co.Design reports that MIT scientists have invented a system that achieves the same results using material that most people would recognize: LEGO blocks.

In their study published in the journal Lab on a Chip, the scientists explain how LEGO fits perfectly into their research. They started out carving grooves into LEGO bricks about 500 microns wide—about the width of handful of human hairs—and sealing them with clear film. Next, they built pathways for fluids by interlocking the blocks so the end of one channel lined up with the start of another.

Assembling a custom microfluidics lab this way takes seconds, which is nothing compared to the involved and costly process of building a lab-on-a-chip from scratch. The same blocks used in one configuration can also be deconstructed and rearranged to create a whole new design. As is the case with the traditional chips, the LEGO-based lab can be used in biomedical research to filter fluids, sort cells, and isolate molecules.

The scientists didn't choose LEGO blocks just because they're fun—they're also practical. The plastic toy blocks are some of the most uniform materials available for building modular systems. The molds used in LEGO factories have to meet strict standards, so only 18 pieces of every million created are technically imperfect.

But LEGO toys aren't the ideal building blocks for every microfluidics study. They don't work for experiments performed on the nano-level, and their plastic structure isn't tough enough to stand up to some chemicals. The MIT scientists are looking into developing protective coatings and possibly molding their own LEGOs from stronger materials to open the door to even more research in the future.

[h/t Co.Design]


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