Looney Tunes Minifigures
In 2010, LEGO released the first CMF Series. This would be six years before the surprise toy craze hit. It’s always nice to see LEGO ahead of the game. While the types of characters found in each series varies widely, they all have at least one unique piece or printing at the time of their release.
Themed CMF Sets
While a new collectible minifigure series would come out 3–4 times a year, having an entire series dedicated to outside intellectual property was rare. In 2014, the series would be completely dedicated to The LEGO Movie. That would soon be followed by The Simpsons minifigure series. As time goes on, these licensed property themes are becoming more and more common. In 2021, eleven years after the CMF Theme launch, the Looney Tunes characters would become minifigures.
Brief History of Looney Tunes
In the 1930s, Merry Melodies and Looney Tunes would become part of the American Golden Age of Animation. By the 1940s, these interchangeable Warner Brothers animation titles were brought under the single Looney Tunes name. Bugs and his cartoon friends were able to give Disney a fight for animation dominance.
While Disney stuck with the wholesome family route, Warner Brothers made their cartoon less politically correct. Their stories were often hyper-violent and used more adult humor and subtle innuendo. This no-holds-barred approach set them apart from the competition. They also cranked out cartoons at an amazing pace: Warner Brothers produced almost 1,000 animated shorts alone between the 1930s and '60s.
What Led to the Minifigure Series
Warner Brothers does not release Looney Tunes cartoons as often any more, but they still have shows trickle out every few years. This particular CMF series was released at the same time as Space Jams: A Legacy was hitting theaters. While we didn’t get LeBron James as a minifigure, we did get the iconic cast of animated characters.
Lola Bunny 71030-1
Lola Bunny is the newest from the list of characters included in the CMF series. While all the other Looney Tune characters originally appeared in the late 1930’s to 1950’s, Lola Bunny didn’t make her debut until the 1996 Space Jam movie. She was created to give Bugs Bunny a love interest in the film. Lola is a straight-talking, no-nonsense woman who is extremely independent and confident. She was originally going to be even more of a tomboy, but producers feared she would be too masculine, so they had the artists put more emphasis on her feminine attributes.
Lola would have the most detailed leg printing of all the characters from this series. Her medium lavender shorts have a black outline near the bottom. The shoes have white soles and laces. The tongue of the shoe is a medium lavender to match her shorts. The side of the shoes have a small circle. This circle reminds me of the Nike Pumps, that were popular at the time Lola was introduced.
The torso piece has her wearing a yellow cropped tank top. The bottom of the toros piece has the top of her lavender shorts. The piece description describes the center section as a belt, but this is actually her midriff. Just like Bugs, she wears a pair of white gloves. The tail printed on the back of the torso piece is also uniquely her own. The tail is more rounded than bugs and fits the cotton tail bunny description much better.
Lola was given a unique head piece. The cheeks and nose are the same shape as Bugs Bunny, but with different printing. Lola has smaller incisors (that’s the upper teeth) and her mouth is not open as wide. While she does have the crinkles above the nose, she lacks whiskers. The top half of the head is where we see the new form. Lola has long blond hair and the ears are folded back. Both her hair and ears are tied back with a scrunchy. It gives us the impression of long hair being tied back in a ponytail.
To connect Lola with the Space Jams’ theme, she was given a basketball. LEGO used an orange Technic ball joint to create the ball. While this is a common piece, only 5 other sets have it in this orange color. I love when single LEGO pieces are used to represent something else.
Bugs Bunny 71030-2
While Bugs Bunny was created back in the late 1930s, he would go through lots of changes. The Bugs we know today would officially debut in the 1940 Merrie Melodies cartoon A Wild Hare. This trickster rabbit could outsmart any hunter, duck or alien. He has become a cultural icon and was the official mascot of Warner Brothers. His catch phrase "Eh...What's up, doc?" is universally recognized and he is the 9th most portrayed film character in the world.
The leg piece is a light bluish grey color. Small white paw patterns were put on the front of the feet to represent Bugs Bunny’s paws. While the cartoon version has a larger area of the foot being white, I think LEGO made the right choice in making it smaller. It did a good job highlighting the toes.
The torso piece is also mostly light bluish grey in color. It has a large patch of white in the center for his chest fur. I like that LEGO included the grey line near the top center. When replicating cartoon characters with simple designs, these small details are extremely important. The back has his rabbit tail printed on. I find it interesting how sometimes LEGO draws these tails on and other times they give the character a separate tail piece.
To capture the unique Looney Tunes art style, LEGO created a new mold for the rabbit head. Unlike the Disney characters, where male and female characters would have the same mold but different printing, the rabbit head with ears sticking straight up was made exclusively for Bugs Bunny.
While the long ears, wide cheeks and rabbit nose are great, it’s those tufts of hair on top that show the care LEGO took in creating this new head. The printing made sure to also capture those important character details. The big front teeth, long whiskers and crinkle of skin above the nose look great. I love that LEGO went with showing us his open mouth and tongue. It's an important trait for a character who always has something witty to say, unless he’s eating a carrot.
For his accessory, Bugs get a carrot to munch on. To match the carrots we see bugs chomping on in the cartoon, LEGO used an orange carrot or club piece and a bright green carrot top or twig piece. The CMF series now come with extra pieces, so 2 twig pieces come with the set. This means people can pretend that Bugs not only has a carrot to eat, but has already finished one.
Wile E. Coyote 71030-3
Wile E. Coyote debuted in the 1949 “Fast and Furry-ous” cartoon. This genius coyote would continually try to capture the Road Runner with his wits and complex gadgets purchased from ACME. Of course, his attempt to catch dinner always failed spectacularly. To be fair, most of this was because of Cartoon Physics which allowed the Road Runner to speed through pictures of doors, while Wile E. Coyote would simply slam into a solid object… unless there was a long drop on the other side.
Wile E. Coyote rarely spoke and usually used signs to communicate, but Mel Blanc would occasionally give him a refined, ego-maniacal, almost English accent for those rare moments he did use his voice.
The reddish brown leg piece with the 6 toe pattern is an original piece. It looks very similar to Taz’s legs, but our Coyote has regular sized legs and the Tasmanian Devil uses the newer medium bendable legs. Getting this new piece in different sizes is great for people who like to do custom minifigure work. This dark reddish brown color is a nice option for minifigure creatures people might want to make.
The rubbery plastic tail piece is the exact same one used for the Tasmanian Devil. However, the reddish brown, fluffy tail is a handy piece to have. I’m okay with not having every piece used for this minifigure being unique.
The reddish brown torso piece is a great example of LEGO being able to help give 3d texture with 2d printing. The tan chest fur spiking out at the top does a great job replicating the shaggy haired look of Wile E. Coyote. I like that LEGO used the zig zag pattern for the center of the chest, instead of the straight lines used in the cartoon. It helps make that messy hair pop even more. The rounded line around the middle separates the chest from the stomach area of our scrawny coyote.
The new head mold is amazingly sculpted. Let’s start with that long nose. It’s not just a straight elongated nose. LEGO included the wrinkles to create the saggy skin, a droopy black nose and his lip underneath. The large fluffy cheeks couldn’t be a better match to the cartoon. The tall ears not only have ridges along the outside to create the fur, but are also slightly curving forward. The furrowed brows molded into the plastic capture that determined look as he tries to catch dinner. The printing on the eyes highlighted his predator nature.
For his accessory, Wile E. Coyote comes with an anvil. I was extremely excited to see LEGO work in this classic comedic prop. The anvil falling on the head is a staple of the Looney Tunes slapstick comedy. The build itself is simple and effective. The 1X1 round tile with bar and pin holder looks nice as the base and allows it to fit easily in Wile’s hand. A 1X1 brick with stud on side is used for the main body. The cheese wedge slope created the horn and the 1X1 plate extends out the heel.
Road Runner 71030-4
The Road Runner first appeared in the 1949 cartoon, “Fast and Furry-ous”. Which brings up the question, does Vin Diesel owe his career to the famous Road Runner and Coyote cartoons? While most of the animal Looney Tune characters take on more of an anamorphic form, the Road Runner looks like a giant bird. Although, I have always thought he looked more like an ostrich than a roadrunner.
Since real roadrunners can reach speeds of 26 miles per hour and our cartoon hero has exceeded supersonic speeds, I think a lot of creative license is allowed. The Road Runner speaks by saying “beep beep”, but this is often misheard as “meep meep”. He also uses tongue noises to communicate.
The dark orange leg piece has a line running down the center of the foot to create the Road Runner’s toes. That small marking makes this an original piece. However, it was this leg piece that ruined the entire minifigure for me. The Road Runner is shaped more like an animal than human, so giving him thick human legs instead of thin bird legs destroyed the illusion for me.
I think modified skeleton legs or maybe even two peg legs would have worked 1000 times better. This would have broken the 2 of 3 minifigure part ration needed to be an official minifigure, but LEGO through that rule out the window when they included Unikitty in the LEGO Movie 2 CMF series.
I do like the rubbery tail piece. This unique mold replicates the cartoon perfectly. I am loving all these new costume tail pieces that came in this CMF series.
The torso piece is the same mold used for Seasame Street’s Big Bird. Rather than being a mono yellow color, we get a medium blue torso and blue bird wings. The piece does a good job matching the colors and simple lines used to draw the Road Runner cartoons.
Once again we see the care LEGO took in creating these unique head molds. The neck might not be as long as the Road Runner's, but it's significantly taller than most minifigures. They not only have the beak curving up, but also managed to get the smile running along the side. This expression is so important for a character that is continually eluding his enemy's elaborate traps with the greatest of ease.
I think it was a great choice for the Road Runners top feathers to be a separate piece for a couple reasons. One, having it part of the head mold would probably have been fragile and easily broken off. Second, the rubbery plastic does a better job matching the texture of the back tail feathers.
For his accessory, the Road Runner was given a bowl of bird seed. The 2X2 round dome bottom is not a unique piece, but this would only be the 5th time we would see it in a sand green color. To raise the bird seed up, so it looks to be piled high like the cartoon, a round 1X1 plate was put inside. The bird seed was represented by an ice cream scoops piece. While this is a common piece found in over a 100 sets, it would be the first time it came in a yellow color.
Tweety Bird 71030-5
Tweety Bird made his debut in the 1942 cartoon “A Tale of Two Kitties”. While sometimes referred to as a rare Tweety Bird to help the plot, Tweey is actually a canary. His name is a play on the words sweetie and tweet. The character was based on Red Skelton’s “Junior the Mean Widdle Kid”. This sweet looking baby bird has a malicious side and would kick Sylvester even when he was already down. While the introduction of the Granny character tamed his mean spirit and heightened his cuteness, we can still see that evil spark every now and then.
Since Tweety is significantly smaller than Sylvester, LEGO used the short non-bendable kid legs. This light orange leg piece had a black line down the center of the foot to create two toes. Many people complained about Tweety being a minifigure and not a creature piece included with Sylvester, but I liked getting him in minifigure form. While this made his size proportions off, he was a big enough character among the Looney Tunes cast that he deserves to be his own figure and not an accessory.
The torso piece is almost completely yellow. There is a small orange line on the front, to show us his chest. His wittle bird tail is printed on the back. While I think a rubbery tail piece would have looked better, it also would have also added more height to the figure. Since people were already complaining about Tweety’s size, I can see why LEGO would make this choice.
The head mold used for Tweety did an amazing job capturing all those great character details. The chubby cheeks on the bottom, tiny beak, large cranium and three tufts of feathers on top are a perfect match to the cartoon. The printed eyes captured that sweet innocent look of this mischievous bird. The long eyelashes were a must.
Tweety probably came with the most complex accessory from this series. He was given a mallet made from 6 LEGO pieces. A mallet itself is nothing special. I mean…Harley Quin might disagree, but we’ve seen these builds a lot. However, the oversized weapon used by such a small character lives up to the zany humor found in the Looney Tunes cartoons.
Sylvester the Cat 71030-6
Sylvester James Pussycat Sr. would make his first official appearance in the 1945 “Life With Feathers”, but early versions can be found back until 1939’s “Naughty but Nice”. He is usually the antagonist of the story as he chases after Tweety, Speedy Gonzales or Hippety Hooper, but sometimes he gets to be the hero. Sylvester tends to spray people with saliva as he talks with a lisp and tongue hanging out. His catchphrase “Sufferin’ succotash” is one of the top Looney Tune lines.
The black leg piece with white paws looks great. Black lines on the foot area give him six toes. What I love most about the printing is the separation from the white paws and black legs. Usually, we see a straight line separating the foot from the legs, but this time LEGO put rounded bumps to simulate the different fur colors coming together.
The rubbery cat tail piece has been used a lot, but this would be the first time we get it in black with a white tip. It’s amazing how just a splash of color can add so much to a simple piece.
The black torso piece has a large patch of white fur printed on the front. The belly fur on the minifigure is much more elaborate than what we typically see in his cartoon appearance. In the cartoon, Sylvester’s white fur runs in a smooth line from his head all the way down to his legs. Since the minifigure white fur printing stops near the neck and is not on the leg piece at all, the flared ends on the top are a nice way to give the chest fur more area to cover and trick the eye into seeing a closer resemblance to the cartoon. White hand pieces were used for his paws.
The head piece did a fantastic job capturing the shape of Sylvesters head. I love the oversized patches of fur puffing out at his cheeks. The large red nose and printed whiskers add some great detail. The pointy ears and tufts of hair on top round out the character's detail. I’m glad that LEGO took the time to print the white on his ears. It’s those small details that make recreating these simple cartoon drawings into more accurate and recognizable LEGO minifigures.