The iconic LEGO minifigure is an inarguable toy-aisle success story. Ironically, the same can't be said for most other attempts by LEGO to represent the human form. It's hard to imagine that only a few years ago LEGO was nearly bankrupt and if certain changes hadn't been made we may not be enjoying the LEGO Renaissance we currently live in.
In the early 2000s LEGO released the 4 Plus line and the Jack Stone theme. The line didn't last long and was gone within a couple years. The minifigures were larger than standard LEGO minifigures and were a little more 'action figure-y' in their design. You can't take them apart or remove their hair or hats like you can with a normal minifigure. They are able to hold regular LEGO accessories though and stand/sit locked onto LEGO bricks.
I have to admit I kind of like these guys. Especially this grizzled old Fire Chief. He's pulled a lot of cats out of trees in his day!
In researching these guys I even discovered there was a Spider-Man set with minifigures of this design. I might need to track some of those down someday.
This little guy - I don't know anything about him. He is also LEGO and I can only assume he came from a sub-line aimed at younger builders. He's like the missing link between DUPLO and LEGO. Whatever he is, he's happy!
I never set out to add any of these also-rans into my collection, they just popped up in random second-hand LEGO acquisitions. But they're fun to have around and it's cool to see how LEGO has tried over the years to innovate, even when it hasn't always turned out as successful as they would have hoped.
"Just tell me where those 'LEGO Friends' chicks hang out."