Watching How LEGO Minifigures Are Made Is Strangely Upsetting

It might not seem like there’s much to a LEGO minifigure. It’s just a couple of small plastic pieces jammed together and made to resemble a person. With the right paint job or accessory you can even make one look vaguely like a specific person, character, or creature. But to paraphrase William Shakespeare, though they be but little, they are fierce. Because LEGO‘s tiny people must survive a long harrowing factory gauntlet to come out smiling/frowning/laughing/crying on the other side. And no amount of serene music can make this montage showing how they come together any less upsetting.

The LEGO Company previously released this video (which we came across thanks to Laughing Squid), shows how a factory produces thousands and thousands of minifigs every day. That includes painting the heads. The giving them bodies and limbs. And also adding decor and color. Each step is part of a finely-tuned process. One designed to maximize efficiency while producing a product worthy of the public.

And the whole thing is inherently creepy. Not because the end result looks particularly lifelike. LEGO doesn’t design minifigures with realism in mind. They’re merely approximations with little tiny “hands” that form the letter “C.” That doesn’t make their construction any less weird, though. It’s not normal to see a “head” plopped onto a torso. Nor is watching robots jam arms and legs into them.

A collection of yellow LEGO minifigure heads in a drum at the factory

Halfway through this video I realized what this reminds me of. This looks like Attack of the Clones’s droid factory on Geonosis. Only this factory is genuinely scary.

Maybe what this video really needs to evoke less disturbing reactions is for LEGO minifigures of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala to run around. Either that or don’t add faces to the heads until the very end. That way these minifigures aren’t smiling—or wincing—at us while someone sticks a leg in their butt.

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