Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
lego.com (accessed: October 31, 2018)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Oliver Brookes, University of Roehampton, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Nkemleke, University of Yaounde 1, email@example.com
The LEGO Company (Company)
The LEGO Group (accessed: July 6, 2018) is a toy manufacturer founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, in Bilund, Denmark. Having no overt classical associations, they are most famous for their manufacture of the LEGO brick first released in 1958, and minifigures as of 1974. LEGO define themselves as providing "good quality play" through their products that enrich a child’s life, and lay the foundation for later adult development. All of their products are based on the underlying philosophy of ‘learning and development through play*.
The LEGO Brand identifies their core values as "imagination, creativity, fun, learning, caring, and quality'. Through this play, they believe they believe that we learn ‘by putting things together, taking them apart, thereby creating new things, and developing new ways of thinking about ourselves and the world (accessed: May 24, 2018). Aside from the physicality of construction that LEGO offers, there is also the way of learning and development through the use of minifigures. A standard LEGO minifigure, for instance those found in the City theme, may fulfil roles in the police, fire department, or airports. However, as LEGO has grown increasingly in popularity, so has its connection with popular culture. Some of its most popular sets are within the Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, and DC Comics franchises.
Bio prepared by Oliver Brookes, The Royal College of Nursing, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Minotaur figure is approximately 1 inch in height. The primary colour used is brown to indicate the Minotaur’s fur. The figure has two yellow eyes, with two white horns protruding from either side of its head. The only accompanying accessory is an oversized hand-axe that can be placed in a single hand. At its waist, the Minotaur wears a blue cloth with a brown and golden belt.
The LEGO Minotaur strikes a balance between humanity and monstrosity through its design of the minifigure. The size and strength of the Minotaur is emphasised through the use of a custom-made head piece. This not only increases the height of the minifigure - allowing it to stand taller than other standard minifigures - but it also allows for added details to be provided. The shoulders and upper half of the torso are textured as though to give the appearance and feeling of a man. Above this is a large bull’s head, with large white horns protruding from either side. The monstrosity of the Minotaur is emphasised through the simplification of its eyes to just yellow circles so that, in this regard, any element of humanity is omitted and the Minotaur is reduced to being animalistic.
The body of the Minotaur is humanoid, with defined muscles on its abdomen resembling those of an adult man; however, graphic animalistic hair further widens the divide between human and beast. At his waist, he wears ragged blue cloth which connotes tortured humanity. At the front of the minifigure’s feet are hoof graphics which serve as a reminder of its bestial nature. The accessory given to the Minotaur is a large oversized single headed axe. This serves to illustrate his strength. The axe also has Asiatic connotations.
In Greek mythology, the Minotaur is a hybrid monster with the body of a man, and the head and tail of a bull. The Minotaur was thought to have resulted from the union between the Cretan queen Pasiphae and a divine bull sent by Poseidon to King Minos to be sacrificed. Kept alive by King Minos, the Minotaur was sent to live in a labyrinth constructed by Daedalus. The biography of the Minotaur plays with the certain features of the myth. According to LEGO, the reason that he roams the labyrinth is because "he can’t find his way out", not as punishment but to guard a hoard of treasure. Again, our expectations are played with as the Minotaur is not shown to be monstrous, it is the perception of humans encountering him that reinforce this picture as "everyone that he’s met so far either tries to fight him or runs away" (see here, accessed: October 31, 2018).
Genre: a toy inspired by classical antiquity, an object of material culture