A Lego minifigure, commonly referred to as a minifig, is a small plastic articulated figurine produced by Danish toy manufacturer The Lego Group. They were first produced in 1978 and have been a success, with over 3.7 billion produced worldwide. Minifigures are usually found within Lego sets, although they are also sold separately as collectables in blind bags, or custom-built in Lego stores. While some are named as specific characters, either licensed from film, television, and game franchises, or of Lego's own creation, many are unnamed and are designed simply to fit within a certain theme (such as police officers, astronauts and pirates). Minifigures are collected by both children and adults. They are highly customizable, and parts from different figures can be mixed and matched, resulting in many combinations.
Minifigs often appear in Brickfilms and are usually animated using stop motion animation. There are three recognized races of Minifig. The Brickonian, the yellow-skinned natives to Brickonia, the Bricktopians, generally found in Bricktopia and are usually recognizable for having skin colors similar to whites, blacks, and other human races. The third Minifig race is the Brickmisc, which refers to any Minifig that has a skin color or body type that differs from the other two races. While this has become a controversial way of grouping non Brickonian and non Bricktopian Minifigs as many of the Brickmiscs believe this grouping robs them of their identities and heritage, many Minifig scholars and sociologists have found sub groups or ethnicities for Brickmiscs to better differentiate them from one another. Many of these ethnic groups have been officially recognized by Brickonia and Bricktopia governments as well as other nations.