Laughing Buddha Custom Minifigure [Review]
Custom minifigures can be just as alluring or even more than LEGO produced ones. This particular Laughing Buddha captured my attention as I thought it was a great as a gift for a friend who constantly has very difficult colleagues at work. I decided to pick this up at $26.90 Singapore Dollars (est. USD 20) to support the local scene with a cleverly designed and appropriate local theme. A Buddha which is supposed to be all calm and clearheaded, a reminder to always keep cool and don't sweat the small stuff, or in this case, letting shit go!
Like it or not, it will have to be compared to a LEGO minifigure in all aspects - quality, playabiity and out of the box use. I decided to take the layman approach just as if someone who just wanted to buy a minifigure, and enjoy it. Read on to find out my experience about this.
As a LEGO fan, walking into any store without a specific objective in mind can be dangerous, you end up looking at stuff and once you realise you have everything you need (and possibly want), you start to hunt for stuff you don't have. I spotted this that was perfect for a friend who would definitely need this! I took a quick look, crossed legs, interesting. Understanding that some 'fix' would be needed, I grabbed a piece and went home.
The packaging is quite done up quite nicely. Upon purchasing, my first experience is that there's no instructions! Well, as a seasoned LEGO Fan, what could go wrong?! I'll just apply the very same thing I know so familiar. First things first, I noticed that hmm, I could not figure out what the two 1x2 black plates were for. Looking back at the photo image I took earlier, ah, revelation - with the leg piece removed, it will require additional height to lift the torso. The second observation is, gosh, the minifigure is intact! Which means I'd have to pry the legs apart from the hips. My last attempt on a LEGO figure landed me a permanently damaged figure. :-( It did leave me with some reservations.
Nothing too difficult and overly unexpexted than the already mentioned concerns about removing the leg piece.
Ok - I have to admit, this is probably(?) my fault. I was curious about this "custom part" and wanted to see how flexible it would be, and the hard lesson I had, it's EXTREMELY BRITTLE and broke as soon as wanted to make adjustments WARNING: REALLY REALLY BRITTLE. HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE!
I really wished they had provided some kind of warning or label about how 'unadjustable' these beads are. Immediately, I had to remind myself that I "NEED TO LET THAT SHIT GO" - how appropriate huh? As a perfectionist I had to keep chanting that to myself repeatedly. I guess that's lesson number one from the purchase of this minifigure.
Assembling the Minifigure
Removing the leg pieces is something that I've done before, but I took extra care to be a little more careful this time. My suggestion is that if one needs to target the non-AFOL community, some insturctions would be needed surely to explain how a minfigure leg could be removed to the intended pose advertised.
Had I not taken a photo of the original display piece, it would have taken me a little longer to figure this part out. *Yeah, I'm pretty dumb sometimes*. LOL!
All that's left at this stage is the placement of the legs.
So at this point, I'm left with a broken prayer beads, and a minifigure pose ready to be displayed. Chanting the mantra again and again, I need to let that shit go...
I decided to fix it myself with a bit of a UHU glue - and at the same time, shorten the beads for easier handling (and lesser gluing). Problem solved, but still with a heartache that it did break and no longer perfect! :-(
Quality of the Minifigure
So this is important for a hard core minifigure collector like me. While its OKAY and undertstanable that custom print won't be using the same process as the LEGO factory, I did like the overall quality. It's not PERFECT, but it's good enough as most minifigures won't be seen closely. I did find a bit of a pain yet again, if you take a closer look at the face print, there seems to be something like a faint imprint of fingerprint of sorts. I tried rubbing it off, but it would not come off. So it must be from the 'print factory' GAHHHH... yet again, I need to let that shit go!
I did have to keep reminding myself that I need to let that shit go. It did leave me with a less than satisfied experience, while undertsanding that these things happen. I really would have liked to see a warning of sorts for how fragile the beads were, some basic instructions for non-hardcore AFOLs which are just attracted by the figure and give a pointer on removing the legs and where the two 1x2 plates would go. The simple things matter sometimes.
I did reach out to Brick Generals to ask if I could purchase a replacement bead set which is something I wasn't expecting it to be this fragile, and I'm sure others would be in the same situation. I will update this if I hear from them on the costs involved.
Disclaimer: This post is obviously not sponsored by the manufacturer Brick Generals and fully purchased at a local store upon chance. Views are all mine and mine alone.
You can find many other interesting custom minifigures from pleasant events such as wedding couples and even extreme naughty ones! You can help yourself to figure out if any of these catch you interest! Here's bunch of them on the rack at the store.