The Mysterious Miniature Highwayman
This month marks the arrival of the 21st (!!!) new set of LEGO Minifigures blind bags! These have been ridiculously popular all across the board, from kids looking to add a few citizens to their cities, to collectors who resemble Will Farrell from The LEGO Movie. I’m not typically a fan of blind bags myself (I don’t have enough cash to risk ending up with three of the same stupid figure), but even my stingy willpower is weakened by their allure.
This set comes with a few fun doozies, including a mohawked warrior dwarf, a totally tubular jazzercise gal, and a mustachioed man in a corn costume. Say what you want, but I live and breathe for little yellow people awkwardly dressed up as food.
For the past few months, however, this series has been getting a ton of attention for another reason. For the first time ever, LEGO kept the identity of one of these “minifigs” completely secret from the public. It’s been teased in other LEGO sets, and the internet exploded with theories. Even now, with the bags in stores across the globe, LEGO refuses to mutter its name.
There were oodles of guesses. Some people assumed it was a new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed figure, to coincide with the upcoming movie. Others thought there was a connection between the mystery figure and Kylo Ren’s new outfit in The Last Jedi. Others still had high hopes that it was going to be another impossibly-rare gold minifigure, and LEGO was trying to make the hunt more intense for adult collectors.
None of these hypotheses turned out to be true. The real identity of this silhouetted figure was at once more boring and more fascinating.
This is the Highwayman:
A highwayman was a type of robber in Elizabethan era Europe who stole from travelers while on horseback. They often worked alone, often resorted to violence to steal from the wealthy, and often got away with their crimes. As you can imagine, this raises at least three pretty big questions: Why call him “The Highwayman” if he doesn’t have a horse? What makes Highwayman so special that LEGO has to keep him secret from all advertising? Is it because he is such a threatening character?
I did some serious digging. There is no reference to anybody resembling the Highwayman in any of LEGO’s upcoming projects, including the Ninjago film or the LEGO Worlds video game. There are no sets coming out this year that would center around the time period in which highwaymen would make an appearance. And, no, nothing about this character has anything to do with Kylo Ren (unless I’m missing something really big concerning Kylo’s stance on tricorn hats).
I have no clue where this guy came from, or why, and that mystery is almost more intriguing than a hunt for another rare figure. I mean, Highwayman looks incredible. While every other character is either pleasant-looking or outlandish, Highwayman means business. His entire outfit consists of dark colors, including some really nice dark, muddy browns that we rarely see on minifigures. He’s got two flintlock pistols at the ready, and a face that looks like every twisted rendition of Jack the Ripper. In a pinch, this guy would make a great 18th century London serial killer if you swap out his guns for a knife or two. An officially-licensed LEGO slasher? If you can’t appreciate that, then we’re not even speaking the same blocky language.
I’m not the only one investigating this guy. Every single LEGO fan site has been asking the same question, and no one has a clue. My deduction is that this is LEGO issuing a new gritty reboot of the entire Minifigures line, featuring such life choices as drug dealers, prostitutes, alcoholics, and politicians.
Either that or they were just trying to hype people up. Who knows? All I’m hoping for now is the next “mystery figure” to be the Highwayman’s missing horse!