Famous Faces as LEGO Minifigures

16th October 2023

LEGO red carpet

Hundreds of new LEGO minifigures are released each year, and the total number of minifigures ever released goes into the thousands. Therefore, I was surprised to find that only a very small number of LEGO minifigures depict famous people.

However, thinking about this some more, the fact that less than 100 minifigures of real-world people exist, shouldn't have come as a big shock. Many of LEGO's themes are based on popular movie and TV franchises, which are centered around fictional characters. Then there's LEGO's homegrown themes, which either have characters of their own or are populated by generic, nameless minifigures.

The sets that are based on real-life franchises, places or things are mostly aimed at adult collectors and often don't come with minifigures.

Famous minifigures have therefore primarily been confined to promotional sets or subthemes, or LEGO Ideas, which gives LEGO fans an opportunity to get their most-wanted creations into production.

Below, we have provided the very exclusive list of famous people who can say they have their own official LEGO minifigure.

Famous arts and entertainment LEGO minifigures

Left to right: Vincent Van Gogh, George Lucas, Walt Disney

Arts / Entertainment

No. Name Theme / Subtheme Year Released
dis140 Walt Disney Disney 2023
idea106 Vincent van Gogh LEGO Ideas 2022
gen107 Hans Christian Andersen LEGO Brand 2018
- Cheryl Cole LEGO Brand Store 2014
- Anthony McPartlin LEGO Brand Store 2014
- Declan Donnelly LEGO Brand Store 2014
tlm160 George Lucas - Not released

One of the most distinctive and accurate real-life minifigures is Vincent van Gogh, which was included in the 21333 Starry Night set. He's also the only painter to have been given the LEGO minifigure treatment.

Three of the names above might look unfamiliar to you if you live outside the UK. Cheryl Cole, Anthony McPartlin, and Declan Donnelly are British TV personalities that were all born in the Newcastle area and were included as minifigures in an exclusive set given out at the LEGO Gateshead store grand opening event. However, the minifigures themselves are made from non-exclusive parts and the same is true of Hans Christian Andersen.

If you're just learning there's been a George Lucas minifigure, you can be forgiven. This was a prototype and reportedly only given out to members of LEGO's design team in Billund. Needless to say, it's extremely rare and we've never seen one come up for sale.


Famous music LEGO minifigures

Left to right: John Lennon, RM, Will.i.am

No. Name Theme / Subtheme Year Released
edu006 Will.i.am Educational 2016
idea025 John Lennon LEGO Ideas 2016
idea026 Paul McCartney LEGO Ideas 2016
idea027 George Harrison LEGO Ideas 2016
idea028 Ringo Starr LEGO Ideas 2016
idea151 V LEGO Ideas 2023
idea152 Jin LEGO Ideas 2023
idea153 Suga LEGO Ideas 2023
idea154 RM LEGO Ideas 2023
idea155 Jungkook LEGO Ideas 2023
idea156 Jimin LEGO Ideas 2023
idea157 J-Hope LEGO Ideas 2023

LEGO Ideas gave us the 21306 Yellow Submarine set and more recently, 21339 BTS Dynamite. These saw an old and new supergroup created in LEGO form.

Any fans of Will.i.am will need to have deep pockets to afford his minifigure, as only 400 copies of him were produced, making him one of the rarest minifigures ever. The Will.i.am minifigure was custom-made but officially licensed by LEGO as was given out at the 2016 "Best Brunch" charity event in Los Angeles.


Famous STEM LEGO minifigures

Left to right: Mae Jemison, Gustave Eiffel, Seymour Papert

No. Name Theme / Subtheme Year Released
gen116 Seymour Papert LEGO Brand 2017
idea034 Mae Jemison LEGO Ideas 2017
idea035 Margaret Hamilton LEGO Ideas 2017
idea036 Nancy G. Roman LEGO Ideas 2017
idea037 Sally Ride LEGO Ideas 2017
twn373 Buzz Aldrin Creator Expert 2019
twn374 Neil Armstrong Creator Expert 2019
gen161 Jane Goodall Promotional 2022
gen171 Gustave Eiffel Promotional 2022

In 2017, the 21312 Women of NASA set was released, with featured Mae Jemison - the first African-American woman to travel into space, Margaret Hamilton - a computer scientist who developed on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo program, Nancy Roman - a prominent astronomer, and Sally Ride - the first American woman to travel into space.

The rarest minifigure in this category is Seymour Papert, who was a professor of mathematics and education at MIT. He collaborated with LEGO to develop programmable LEGO sets and later became the first LEGO Professor of Learning Research in 1989. The minifigure was not included in any set, but instead handed out in schools and copies were available at MIT’s media lab. The minifigure came with an orange printed Mindstorms tile (as the LEGO theme was named after Papert’s work) and a printed 1x8 tile saying “Thinking about thinking about Seymour”.


Famous historical LEGO minifigures

Left to right: Abraham Lincoln, William Shakespeare, Amelia Earhart

No. Name Theme / Subtheme Year Released
tlm005 Abraham Lincoln CMF (The LEGO Movie) 2014
tlm008 William Shakespeare CMF (The LEGO Movie) 2014
adp025 Ole Kirk Kristiansen BrickLink AFOL Designer Program 2019
gen152 Amelia Earhart Promotional 2021

Surprisingly, it was the LEGO Movies that gave us minifigures of two iconic historical figures from either side of the pond. William Shakespeare appeared in the first movie while Abraham Lincoln appeared in both movies.

Ole Kirk Kristiansen is a name every serious LEGO fan should recognise, as he founded the company in 1932. The journey the company has taken since those early days was commemorated in a fan-designed LEGO Story set (BL19008), which made it to production in 2019 through Bricklink's AFOL Designer Program. This set contained four vignettes showing milestones in the production and design of LEGO toys. One of these depicts Ole Kirk making wooden toys at his milling machine. Sadly, the sets coming out of the AFOL Designer Program made use of existing LEGO parts, so we didn't get the unique minifigure the company's founder deserves.


Famous sports LEGO minifigures

Left to right: Zinedine Zidane, Kobe Bryant, Megan Rapinoe

No. Name Theme / Subtheme Year Released
soc044 Zinedine Zidane Sports (Football) 2000
nba001 Kobe Bryant Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba002 Jason Kidd Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba003 Toni Kukoc Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba004 Tim Duncan Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba005 Ray Allen Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba006 Pau Gasol Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba007 Vince Carter Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba008 Dirk Nowitzki Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba009 Gary Paynton Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba010 Allen Iverson Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba011 Steve Francis Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba012 Karl Malone Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba013 Chris Webber Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba014 Allan Houston Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba015 Tracy McGrady Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba016 Paul Pierce Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba017 Jerry Stackhouse Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba018 Steve Nash Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba019 Kevin Garnett Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba020 Predrag Stojakovic Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba021 Jalen Rose Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba022 Shaquille O'Neal Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba023 Tony Parker Sports (Basketball) 2003
nba024 Antoine Walker Sports (Basketball) 2003
rac022 Michael Schumacher Racers 2004
rac023 Rubens Barrichello Racers 2004
rac036 Felipe Massa Racers 2007
rac035 Kimi Raikkonen Racers 2007
dfb001 Joachim Löw CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb002 Manuel Neuer CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb003 Jérôme Boateng CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb004 Mats Hummels CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb005 Benedikt Höwedes CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb006 Shkodran Mustafi CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb007 Bastian Schweinsteiger CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb008 Mesut Özil CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb009 Thomas Müller CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb010 Toni Kroos CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb011 Sami Khedira CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb012 André Schürrle CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb013 Marco Reus CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb014 Christoph Kramer CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb015 Mario Götze CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
dfb016 Max Kruse CMF (Deutscher Fussball-Bund) 2016
- Michèle Mouton Promotional 2020
- George Best Promotional 2020
- Denis Law Promotional 2020
- Bobby Charlton Promotional 2020
soc155 Samantha Kerr Sports (Football) 2023
soc156 Asisat Oshoala Sports (Football) 2023
soc157 Megan Rapinoe Sports (Football) 2023
soc158 Yuki Nagasaki Sports (Football) 2023

The majority of famous LEGO minifigures, including the very first, have come from sports-related sets. In 2000, Zinedine Zidane was included in a special edition of the 3401-2 Shoot 'n' Score set. The minifigure had Zidane and the number 10 printed on the back of the torso, which is just as well, as it bears little resemblance to the actual footballer.

Many more sports star-based minifigures followed in 2003 when LEGO released a series of NBA sets. These contained minifigures of many of the top NBA players at the time. Some of these players got two minifigures: one of them in their home kit and one in the away kit.

Interestingly, because of the shaved haircuts of many of the NBA players, these minifigures were the first (and last) to feature hair printed on the headpiece instead of separate hairpieces. The minifigures also had longer arms and spring-loaded legs for shooting LEGO basketballs.

Besides Zidane, there have been a large number of other famous soccer player minifigures, although their quality has differed wildly. Some of the best examples are those of the German team from the 2016 World Cup, which made up a Collectible Minifigure series released to celebrate the tournament.

On the other side of the spectrum are the three Manchester United legends, George Best, Denis Law, and Bobby Charlton. These came in a promotional set given out as a GWP with purchases of the 10272 Old Trafford set when it was released in January 2020. Although it essentially came as a free bonus set, the choice of plain red torso pieces with no printing was very disappointing.

Turning to motorsports, given the large number of sets featuring Formula 1 cars, there have only been a handful of racing drivers that have been given their own minifigure. LEGO have had a long standing partnership with Ferrari, so it's not surprising that Michael Schumacher is one of these. He's appeared in three sets, as has Felipe Massa, while Rubens Barrichello and Kimi Räikkönen have appeared in two sets each.

These minifigures were released in sets under the Racers theme, which was a predecessor to Speed Champions. Anyone who has built a Speed Champions set will unfortunately be aware of the theme's heavy use of stickers and the same was true of the Racers theme. That reliance on stickers even stretched to the minifigures, so the details from the driver's overalls and helmets weren't printed on.

The most coveted minifigure from the list above is Michele Mouton. She was the first woman to win a World Rally Championship event and her feats were commemorated in a promotional blister pack that was produced on the 40th anniversary of the Audi Quattro. Only 50 copies were given out to winners of a social media raffle that was limited to Spanish residents.

So there you have it, all the famous LEGO minifigures. While this list is small, we expect it to grow in the years ahead. Recent LEGO Ideas submissions have shown there is plenty of appetite for sets based on real people, particularly pop stars.

Posted by Graham on 16th October 2023

Graham is a passionate LEGO collector, who has a penchant for the Castle, Pirates, and Western themes. You can usually find him monitoring the latest developments and giving his opinion on what's hot and not in the LEGO world.