Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
lego.com (accessed: November 5, 2018)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Oliver Brookes, The Royal College of Nursing, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Nkemleke, University of Yaoounde 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
This minifigure is of average height of around 1 inch tall. His head has curled grey horns protruding from his skull, with goat like ears and curly brown hair. On his chest, he has curly hair on his pectoral muscles. The minifigure’s skin is coloured yellow and his legs are brown and goat-like. The sole accessory that accompanies the minifigure is a short brown flute.
The biography depicts Faun as carefree, living in the forest where he "plays his flute, makes up silly riddles, and dances all the day long…he gets along with all of nature and wouldn’t dream of living anywhere but his forest home" (see here, accessed: November 5, 2018). The biography comments upon his strong link with nature and his determination to help all animals, from talking to birds and helping squirrels collect their food.
Although the minifigure is called Faun, the iconography bears a much closer resemblance to the god Pan.
Pan was a god who was believed by the ancients to dwells in the mountains and forests of Greece. Pan was a pastoral god known for his patronage of shepherds and flocks, and for his protection of wild spaces. He has horns sprouting from his head, and from his waist downwards he has the legs, tail, and hooves of a goat. Unlike other minifigures who oscillate between monstrosity and humanity, it is clear through the colouring and use of human features that Pan is human first, and animal second.
The colour yellow is often used to evoke humanity and is used for human minifigures, with monsters excluded. The use of this colour allows the individual to see at a glance that although he is a hybrid, he is not monstrous. The curly hair on his pectoral muscles evokes a sense of youthfulness. A striking feature of minifigure are its custom legs which are painted brown, and shaped like that of a goat to convey the hybrid nature of the Faun.
The ancient god Pan was typically associated with music and the various feelings that it can evoke and was credited with the creation of the syrinx or panpipes. The Faun minifigure mimics this by including a flute as an accompanying attribute to the figure. This reinforces the biographies statement of his love of music. The Faun in popular culture often carries and plays a musical instrument of some kind, with the most popular kind being the flute.
The name Faun is much more general and avoids any immediate negative connotations with Pan - such as his inclusion in horror literature* and his Lovecraftian influence. Faun also carries allusion to characters in popular children’s fiction such as C.S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the witch, and the Wardrobe with primary character being Mr Tumnus - a faun - who aids the four protagonists.
* See Arhur Machen’s 1894 work The Great God Pan.
Boardman, John. The Great God Pan: The Survival of an Image. London: Thames & Hudson, 1988.
Lewis, C. S., & Baynes, Pauline. The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. New York: HarperTrophy, 1994.
Farshtey, Greg. Lipkowitz, Daniel. LEGO Minifigure: Year by Year A Visual History. London, Dorling Kindersley, 2013
LEGO. LEGO Faun biography (accessed: November 5, 2018).
LEGO Group. LEGO Group About us page (accessed: August 3, 2018).
LEGO Group.LEGO Group brand (accessed: August 3, 2018).
Genre: a toy inspired by classical antiquity, an object of material culture