I'm not entirely sure if I should find the Computer Programmer to be delightful or insulting. Kids today get to grow up in a world where busty young women wear "I <3 Nerds" shirts (they don't mean it, of course) whereas I got to grow up during a time where that's a word someone might use before punching you in the gut. For that reason, I appreciate them labeling him "Computer Programmer," although given the adult fanbase of LEGO it seems odd that it took so long. Barbie got to be a computer programmer first, which, really, that's just not right.
Before I get to the figure itself, one of the first things I did when getting it-- which is actually why I jumped on doing this review-- was realize he looked a little like Richard Ayoade's character "Maurice Moss" from The IT Crowd if it had the right hair. So I grabbed the Disco figure's hair, and presto: instant Moss. Well, he could use a better torso, but it's a start.
The figure has a nicely detailed sweater vest with a bow tie, which is a little too much like the "dud" from the Mystery Date game I remember seeing on The Simpsons. The hair is neat, and I think could make the basis for a decent Devo (Nu-Tra era) were the bodies to be found. The deco is simple, although as I've been pulling out my 1980s LEGO minifigures lately, it's not exactly cheap. I remember when we got a blue torso with white outlines, and that was it! This figure has multiple colors and complicated, fine detail. The glasses are particularly dorky, and the eyebrows and smile are of an affable fellow. What's particularly neat are the accessories. A mug with the C:\ DOS prompt is delightful and another nod to buyers over 30. The laptop seems inspired by some of the Dell and Apple designs, with a circle and a LEGO logo on the outside. The interior has no deco to speak of, but there are sculpted keys and a blank screen that begs for a sticker. The laptop isn't jointed, so you may notice some minor stress marks where the plastic folds. (Confidential to LEGO: Playmobil puts separate joints in so they don't snap or tear. I'm just saying.)
This is a perfectly acceptable figure, but I think that history will prove it to be more valuable as a series of parts. The head could be a future Mark Mothersbaugh figure, the hair could be a variety of interesting things, the body has a few decent uses, and I assume the mug and laptop are going to be desirable for anyone making a LEGO office. I've got mugs, but not C:\ mugs. I'm not crazy about "nerd" figures because mentally I always approach them as if they have a post-it note on them saying "Hey Adam, this is what we think you're like" but it's pretty charming. Most figures in this line have a role-- the sports players beg for you to build tennis courts; the historical figures don't really belong anywhere just yet. The computer programmer could go pretty much in any modern-era LEGO scenario, be it in a town or... I guess that's pretty much it. I appreciate the design being something I can use with multiple sets, and it's a great addition to any LEGO City... city.
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