Three Points of the Compass has a look at what was probably the first hiking minifigure released by Lego. To find this little chap you had to work through the various windows in an advent calendar in 2008.
Lego released their first ‘Building Figures’ in 1974. The small range comprised Mum and Dad with their children, a boy and girl. A granny figure was included who could stand, or sit on the included bench. These were little more than standard Lego bricks with the addition of heads with clip on hair pieces, plus an upper torso piece to which could be clipped posable arms. They had true play value but were perhaps a little large in scale to buildings etc. Not that this would have bothered the majority of children. Smaller Lego ‘stage figures’ were introduced in 1975 and I showed one of these when looking at a different Lego Hiker, released in 2018. A link for this is included below.
Attempting to increase playability, collectability and ultimately, profits, Lego designer Jens Nygaard Knudsen and his colleagues developed the first Lego minifigure. The minifigure differed from the previous Lego human figures that Lego had produced in that it was additionally posable. Minifigures had moveable, posable arms and legs, painted facial expressions, hair and a large variety of accessories. Play value was increased for the younger brick builder but for the older collector, the market subsequently exploded, with thousands of themed figures released over the years. The first minifigure debuted in set 600 in 1978. This was a police car and policeman. Albeit a car that was too small for the figure to sit inside. Knudsen went on to be Lego’s Chief Designer throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Lego City Advent Calendar Set 7724-1 was released in the US by Lego 26 August 2008 and remained on sale until 21 February 2009. (28 August 2008 – 18 November 2008 in the UK). Aimed at a 5-12 year old age group, there were 196 pieces and ten minifigures amongst the 24 days revealed in turn. Lego Hiker (7724-23) with his white backpack and ice-axe was revealed on day 22. A snowmobile was revealed the following day and Hiker could be paired with this if wished. He could even be sat in this, as could almost any other minifigure.
Day 1: Minifigure and chicken drumstick
Day 2: Barbecue
Day 3: Table with mug and frying pan
Day 4: Female with Ice Cream
Day 5: Freezer and umbrella
Day 6: Ice-cream Cart and ice-cream
Day 7: Fireman with radio
Day 8: Kitten in a tree
Day 9: Ladder
Day 10: Chef and pizza paddle
Day 11: Table with pizzas
Day 12: Pizza oven
Day 13: Diver and speargun
Day 14: Life-vest, fins and buoy
Day 15: Underwater scooter
Day 16: Police Officer and camera
Day 17: Mugshot studio
Day 18: Criminal
Day 19: Train worker
Day 20: Pallet trolley
Day 21: Pallet of bottles
Day 22: Hiker
Day 23: Snowmobile
Day 24: Snowman and little girl
Our minifigure is a bit of a grumpy hiker. I am not sure why, but he definitely seems to be lacking any festive spirit. He has dark green trousers with no added painted detail, a red skateboarding ‘Lego gravity games’ torso with blue sleeves and three small white and silver logos across his chest. This has no further detail on the back. This body part (973pb0274c02) has been used on at least 23 Lego minifigures.
Above Hiker’s twisted grimace or smirk, his painted face has no nose but he is wearing orange tinted glasses over his eyes and frown. He doesn’t have any hair detail but does have a knitted grey cap. This is angled and can be rotated on his head to either sit proud of his eyebrows, or low across them. He was given two accessories to carry- one was a grey ice-axe with six ribbed handle that he could grip in either hand. This was a new Lego part at the time (part 30193). The ice-axe will also clip into the side of the snowmobile. Hiker also had a white backpack (part 4598712). This backpack had already been used by Lego in many previous sets where Star Wars Rebel Trooper minifigures had it included as part of their uniform. With so many colours included on this six-part figure it is apparent that Lego has simply thrown it together from mostly existing parts with little thought as to co-ordination. He is a fun figure nonetheless and the knitted cap and bad temper does at least set him apart from the very few other Lego hiking minifigures.
In addition to Lego Hiker (2008), Three Points of the Compass has also had a closer look at: