Vault Review: LEGO
Minifigures – Series 5 (+ Decoder)

Over the weekend our local ToysRUs received their first batch of LEGO Minifigures Series 5. I’d been anticipating this for the last couple weeks, making sure to visit each time they got a new truck in. Friday night paid off and I spent way too long deciphering dots and crinkling baggies. Man, I miss those barcodes.


UPDATE:  This time around the LEGO Group has made decoding by the dots a bit trickier.  The figures are now being produced in batches and the dot patterns are changed between each batch.  You can find the batch number stamped in the area where the dots appear.  Our cheat sheet is based off of batch #125B1.


This series is colored in a dark blue packaging, and like usual, Toys R Us is the first to get the new series in. But there’s a little different setup this time. It seems TRU and The LEGO Group have made arrangements to carry these figures specifically on the endcaps of the LEGO aisles. Instead of boxes TRU is putting them on pegs, similar to Target. But the good news is they’re back down to $2.99 here.

Click here to go directly to our Printable Decoder


Unless otherwise noted, the figures below all have new heads, torsos, and legs.


#1 Boxer
I like the Boxer way more than I thought I would. He’s got a brand new headgear piece, but my favorite part is his gloves. I expected they would just make giant gloves to fit over his hands, but instead they created new boxing glove hands that replace the normal minifigure hands. This way they don’t look cartoonishly big. Hopefully we’ll see a guy in another color or trunks and gloves for him to spar with soon. Decoding Tip: This one’s a bit hard, but you can feel for the larger gloves on his torso piece.
#2 Cavewoman
This Cavewoman is pretty cute for a Stone-Age gal. She’s kind of got a puzzled look on her face, like she’s trying to figure something out. I also like the little dirt smudge on her cheek. Plus, she’s got that Pebbles Flintstone vibe with her red hair tied up with a bone. There’s also a great cavegirl bikini printed on the front and back of her torso, and that little onyx jewel she’s wearing is a nice touch. She’ll make a great date for the caveman of Series 1. Decoding Tip: Feel for her large club.
#3 Egyptian Queen
The Egyptian Queen is a great LEGO representative of Cleopatra with her shining gold jewelry and white dress. She also makes a great partner for Series 2’s Pharaoh. I just wish she came with more than just a green snake. A LEGO ankh would have been pretty cool, or even just a new scepter. Decoding Tip: It’s very easy to feel for the large sloped brick that’s the bottom of her dress.
#4 Small Clown
I’m really curious how many circus themed characters are going to be made. This Small Clown fits in great with the regular Clown and Ringmaster from previous waves. Plus, he comes with pies to throw at people. You’ve got to love that. Also, his bowler hat is a great new piece and I can’t wait for it to appear in more traditional browns and blacks. Decoding Tip: Feel for the round serrated edges to his pie.
#5 Evil Dwarf
I had no idea this dwarf was evil until I checked the LEGO website. But I guess not all dwarves are happy just digging through the earth for a living. I really love these fantasy dwarves. It’s just too bad that their sculpted beards cover up most of the great printings on their faces and chests. This guy has an all new armor pattern and face, but you can’t see most of it when he’s wearing everything. The Evil Dwarf comes with a double bladed axe and a shield with a new pattern. Decoding Tip: This one’s a bit difficult, but you can feel for the stick to his axe handle or his winged helmet.
#6 Ice Fisherman
Someone at The LEGO Group is obsessed with fishing I think. This is the third series in a row to include a fishing character. Not that I mind, I just think it’s odd how many we’re getting. But it makes much more sense for the Ice Fisherman to have a fishing pole instead of a gnome. Plus, I really like the hood on his parka since he can actually turn his head in it. Decoding Tip: Feel for the long and thin fishing pole.
#7 Fitness Instructor
This Fitness Instructor looks a lot like the Pop Star from Series 2. Is this a future look at her after her career’s downhill a bit? What I really find odd about this character is how much she reminds me of the 80’s. I don’t know why, I just get that vibe from her. Maybe it’s all the garish colors? Even her boom box is a bright purplish pink. Decoding Tip: Feel for the rectangular boom box with its textured speakers.
#8 Gangster
They did a great job of giving this Gangster a wiseguy face. With his pencil-thin mustache and mischievous look, you know he’s up to no good. I also really like his pinstripe suit. You don’t see too many of those in LEGO fashion. The Gangster comes with a revolver and an empty violin case. The machine gun’s too big to fit in it, but it looks like it can hold a LEGO violin. I wonder if we’ll be seeing that new piece soon. Decoding Tip: Feel for the thick and oddly shaped violin case.
#9 Gladiator
I’m really surprised by how historically accurate this Gladiator is. The tampoed armor on his body looks fantastic, and they even printed the customary manica armor going down his right arm. The two new pieces in this set are also terrific. There’s his short gladius sword and his large fish-shaped murmillo helmet. Not only does the helmet have great sculpted details, but you can even see his eyes through the holes in the faceplate. Decoding Tip: Feel for the short sword or the large helmet with its jutting fin.
#10 Graduate
The Graduate is one of those character’s I never would have thought of making. Dressed up in his nicest sweater and slacks, his graduation robes are a fabric piece that goes around his neck like a cape. I actually really like it and would rather see the Harry Potter characters in this rather than a cape. The Graduate also comes with a brand new mortarboard with a molded tassel hanging down and diploma to hang on his wall. Decoding Tip: Try to feel for the small square shape of the mortarboard hat.

18 thoughts on “Vault Review: LEGO
Minifigures – Series 5 (+ Decoder)

  1. I really really wish Lego didn’t screw around with the blind bag and ‘LIMITED! BUY NOW!!’ crap, because damn. It would be so fun just getting these, every series, not fighting scalpers.

    This series? Lizard Suit guy and Detective are clear wins and I like the look on Zookeeper’s face, like “yeah, yeah, whatever” is her default view on life.

    Also stupid massive props to Vault for knowing his Gladiator regalia. 🙂

    Oh, Fitness Instructor and the ’80s vibe? It’s the feathered hair and headband.

  2. I love the evil dwarf. I know we’ve seen the dwarves before, but this one is so cool. I also love the face on the cavegirl. It’s so vacant… Maybe she’s just waking up after getting conked on the head…

  3. Oh crap… time to start hunting for these again!

    The reptile guy and Sherlock are all mine!

    I love the Lumberjack! Also could be called “redneck”. The pic of him chasing down the zombie is priceless!

  4. I received an e-mail from Five Below today, as I am on their mailing list.

    They will be carrying Series 5 of Lego Minifigs. Selling them for $2.99 each!

    I will most definitely be heading out to 5< tomorrow to seek these out!

  5. They really are pumping these series out fast. It seems like as soon as I buy the newest series, the next series is only a month out. Nice review as always Vault.

  6. yeah i tride the lizard man i use this code and instead i got the royal guard yes the guard matched the lizard man, well i used this one and i thought it was lizard man but it turned out to be royal guard and the dot pattern didn’t match any of the codes.

    1. The codes go in batches now. This is only the code for the first batch– number 125B1. If your set has a different batch number, these codes won’t work.

      1. You say that like we were supposed to just know it. Maybe you should put that information on the cheat sheet instead of the comments. Just a thought.

        1. That guy doesn’t work for IAT, so don’t bother with him. Wait for the official word from Vault or Noisy.

          I’m actually glad to know their might be a problem with the codes. I’ve gotten a couple wrong ones this week and I thought I was doing something wrong. 🙁

        2. The modified decoder with the batch number is done and Noisy will be uploading it later tonight.

  7. Hey everyone,

    I just wanted to update you one what’s happening.

    The LEGO Group has changed up their procedures again. This time they are making the sets in batches and are changing the dot patterns so that each batch has its own pattern.

    The batch number is stamped at the bottom of each package in the same area as the dots. Our decoder is for batch #125B1. I’m not sure how many batches there are in total, but our TRU got in two boxes that both have the same batch number. So a batch will include multiple boxes.

    I’m really sorry for all the confusion and I’ve updated the article to reflect this change in the decoder system. We’ll try to keep on top of any future changes The LEGO Group may implement, but we’d definitely appreciate a heads up from any of you who come across the information before us.


  8. FYI – Just picked up a Gladiator and the dots were in the same pattern; just reversed. That is, both the dot pairs on the left and on the right went from top left to bottom right, rather than top right bottom left as in the decoder. We all know sometimes the dots are hard to distinguish on the bags, but there’s no doubt about these; they’re definitely the reverse of what’s posted.

    Also got a Royal Guard and his dots were pretty close – the pair on the right were more offset than tightly bunched as pictured.

    Confirmed both bags are from batch 125B1. Bought at TRU.

    Finally, the sequence is different on the included check-off list from your numbering in the post. (I only mention this because your numbering has matched in the previous four series.) Per the sheet, the “official” numbering is:

    1 – Graduate
    2 – Gladiator
    3 – Royal Guard
    4 – Ice Fisherman
    5 – Cavewoman
    6 – Lizard Man
    7 – Zookeeper
    8 – Lumberjack
    9 – Small Clown
    10 – Fitness Instructor
    11 – Detective
    12 – Evil Dwarf
    13 – Boxer
    14 – Egyptian Queen
    15 – Gangster
    16 – Snowboarder Guy

    Thanks for all the great work!

      1. I read on a different site that there can be alternate codes for the same item, even within the same batch. “Mirroring” was one of the alternates. Can’t find that site now though….

  9. It’s so hard to find anything about these damn things now. I looked for additional (American) checklists for an hour last night before I posted that comment and couldn’t find any. I checked my beef eaters against this (I have 4) and they were all correct but then I noticed that the Fitness Instructor was really close. I looked for them again at TRU today; found no beef eaters and found that the fitness instructor AND the lumberjack in the newest box (same batch number) BOTH match the beef eater pattern. There were also some new patterns that I hadn’t seen. Maybe they were the mirrored ones but I forgot to check that. This is getting way too complicated! Gotta give Lego one for being so damned good at it, though.

  10. Just do the thing that is really easy and feel for the the unique parts on the minifigure you are looking for. It is a lot easier then the code and gets you what you want all the time (unless the mistakes were made by the buyer). I usally get the ones from each series I want from doing this.

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