Fake Lego® Minifigures: Find out if original or fake

🗓 Fri, 05 May 2023

Minifigures are an important and sometimes expensive part of playsets and exhibits in the world of Lego®. They belong to Lego as the bricks and plates belong to Lego.

Minifigures are not only used for playing, but also traded by collectors at high prices. The most expensive Lego minifigures ever are traded up to three-digit prices. For this reason, we want to devote ourselves today to the topic of original and fake minifigures in the Lego world.

History of the Lego® Minifigures

To distinguish a real minifigure from a fake, the history of Lego® minifigures is important. The minifigures as we know them today were first introduced in a Lego set in 1976. Since then, the basic shape has not changed. Changes were made to the facial expressions for the first time in 1989, and were then gradually joined by other color schemes, new head shapes, and in some cases even new figure shapes that had to be adapted to the original model. Decisive theme worlds here are Star Wars, Marvel and Harry Potter. All of these theme worlds use Lego sets from movies and series.

Jabba from the Lego Star Wars series as a new figure form

Jabba from the Lego Star Wars series as a new figure form

In 2011, completely redesigned minifigures were developed for the Lego Friends theme world. These figures are also different from the original figures. Similar minifigures were introduced in the Disney themed world.

In 2023, the minifigures have evolved so far that here can now be printed on certain figures arm prints, legs with two different colors (Duo Moldet legs) and details more versatile. Of course, such figures are also not in every theme world or in the cheapest Lego set to find. Here, then, you have to dig deeper into your pocket.

Duo Moldet legs of minifigures

Here are Duo Moldet legs

Lego® Minifigures Comparison: Original vs. Fake

In this section, we will now compare the minifigures based on different factors. To make this comparison, I bought custom minifigures from Aliexpress and compared them to the original Lego® minifigures.


Lego® minifigures are known to be put together. Legs, body (with arms) and head. If necessary, additional headgear and accessories are attached. Fake figures are always supplied as a fully assembled figure. Here, however, arms and hands must be attached to the body and headgear and accessories must be attached.

Fake minifigure


Original Lego® minifigure

Lego® Minifigures Construction: Original vs. Fake

Mobility very different with Fake Lego® Minifigures

Custom figures sometimes have easier to move legs and arms. But this is very different. I also had three out of 10 figures where the arms almost stuck when adjusting them. The Lego® minifigures always have (except for production errors) a good mobility of the arms and legs and these hold in most positions, which is not the case with the fake figures, because they (usually) do not sit so tight.

Bad and crooked printing of fake minifigure

Custom figures are printed similarly to the original. However, many imprints are not glossy or not exactly centered, which is never the case with the originals. Here, the imprint is shiny (if that's what you want) and the imprints are always centered according to the target. However, it must be mentioned that the custom figures partly have more imprints (e.g. Java with sand on the feet) and the figure is thus partly more detailed. In addition, the fake figures always have arm and leg prints, if this corresponds to the template and can thus be distinguished from the original Lego® minifigures.

Left Fake Lego & Right Original Lego SW1159

Printing Lego and Fake Minifigures

Left Fake Lego & Right Original Lego SW1159

Printing Lego and Fake Minifigures

Printing Lego and Fake Minifigures

Torsonoppe good indicator for fake minifigures

Another distinguishing feature from fake minifigures is the imprint of the Lego lettering on or in the nubs or on the nub of the torso on which the head is placed. The lettering is only present on Lego. It is not visible on the Fake Minifigures (this is also the case with all other bricks and plates from the clamp brick manufacturer).

Fake and original Lego minifigure from above

Left→ Fake Right→Lego

Lego minifigure head


Lego® offers a wide range of accessories. You can distinguish the original figures from the fake figures, because there are only four different forms of blasters in the Star Wars themed world. The fake Star Wars figures always have more detailed blasters/ rifles that fit the figure better. Regarding the headgear, my Fake test figure had a black line on an orange background, which is of course very bad. But this can happen more often, which should never happen with Lego minifigures due to the professional production. With Lego, however, it must be mentioned that the weld-on point is always visible on the Clone visors, which is not the case with the Fake figures. In addition, the visors of the fake figures are often also printed, which is more like the model from the movies (see Commander Cody visor).

Lego Weapon vs Fake Lego Weapon

Helmet from Fake Lego Minifigure

Welding point on original clone sights clearly visible on Lego

Lego Star Wars clone helmet accessoires

Accuracy of fit

Here I noticed, especially with the clones, that the helmets often don't fit exactly on the head if the character is wearing a backpack or jetpack on his back, for example. This is annoying and the helmet can fall off more easily. Also, the accessories sometimes can not be attached exactly to the hand, because there is no handle here. The visors of the clone helmets should also be mentioned. With the figure of Commander Cody, the visor can't be folded up and down well, because it gets stuck on the helmet.

Plastic quality

Lego® always uses the same plastics for their parts and minifigures. The fake figures always have different plastic qualities and you don't know which plastics were used. But this can also be related to the manufacturing process, which is different from the original figures. However, the principle of the minifigure does not change.

Compatibility with Lego® bricks

The original figures hold on every Lego® nub. This must also be the case. The custom figures are always stated as "compatible with Lego", which is true. However, some of the figures are easier and harder to put on. Say, if you turn a Lego plate with a custom figure on it, it might fall off easier than an original one.


There have been many cool Lego® minifigures released in the Star Wars universe over the years. There have also been many improved reissues of popular figures. However, you often read that there should be other and certain figures of Star Wars, which have never been available as a Lego version. Here, the custom figures are at an advantage. You get figures as Force ghosts, which never existed from Lego, which would actually not be difficult to manufacture. Also, there are many different clones of the custom figures and their imprints are all different.


The original Lego® minifigure is always available in sets, GWPs or at events. So let's take the figure prices from Bricklink to evaluate them. The figure prices always vary according to the theme world and availability of the sets and number of sets in which the figure is/was included. Basically, you can say that the more popular and less frequent a minifigure is/was included in a set, the more expensive the figure is and the higher the resale value increases when the figure is no longer sold in Lego sets.

The custom figures also vary by theme and popularity. But compared to the originals they are always cheaper to get and sometimes in larger numbers (e.g. droids from Star Wars). Basically you can expect a price of $1.00 to $10.00. Of course, this can be higher for a rare figure, but I have seen this so far only very rarely.

My order included the 5 Bad Batch Clone, C-3PO, Java, Commander Cody, Fennec Shand and four Battledroids and it cost under $20.00. To get these figures from Lego, you would either have to find them individually on internet platforms, like eBay classifieds or Bricklink and would pay at least four times as much. Alternatively, you would have to buy Lego sets in which the figures are/were included. The C-3PO figure with the red arm, for example, does not exist in any Lego set that is available on the market in 2023. So here you also have to look for used sets on eBay or Bricklink.

Are fake minifigures worth the money?

Are fake minifigures worth the money? Our opinion

My (personal) conclusion about the minifigures is that you should first be clear about what I need the figures for. When I buy a Lego® set, in most cases the corresponding minifigures are included. Of course, an ATAT (75313) should contain more snowtroopers. But for the beginning I always have suitable figures.

If you want to build a large droid or clone army to represent a scene from the movies, I would tend to go with the fake figures, as they are cheaper to buy and find in large quantities. Since almost no Lego sets on the market in 2023 include clones and droids, this must also be taken into account.

If I don't have a lot of money available, but still want to start collecting minifigures from certain themed worlds, then I should also rather look around at the Fake figures, because here I get (almost) all the figures for little money. In addition, there are also many characters from movies in the Fake section that have never been produced by Lego and thus you can, for example, put together many different Mandalorians. And let's face it. No Lego expert would see a difference between the original and the fake figure at first glance. As an example, I can say I bought the Star Wars Boba Fett from 2002 as a custom figure for $8.00 in 2022 for my minifigure collection. For comparison, the original figure costs a middle three-digit amount of money. For this saved money you can buy new Lego sets with many minifigures. And important to mention, the older the figure, the more expensive and difficult it is to get them as originals.

Basically, it must always be considered, do I always want to have the original Lego minifigure, do I need the necessary change and do I have to spend more money for it sometimes or is the cheap fake figure enough for me.

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