There's no mistaking this Elf LEGO Minifigure for anything other than Legolas of Lord of the Rings fame. In 2011 when he debuted, LEGO had not yet announced Tolkien-based sets. Those would come in 2012. A number of characters that were similar to famous licensed faces but just different enough to dodge any squirmy copyright issues have come out of LEGO and Playmobil in their blind bagged line, most of which were generic concepts that weren't that similar to pop culture. The gorilla suit guy could be just any guy in a suit, and mummies aren't exactly unique to Universal Studios.
In a particularly clever reuse of parts, the Elf's painty ears and hair are the same piece as the werewolf of series 4. Even in series 3 the ingenuity combined with the economy of parts resulted in some pretty nifty things, but the fun of a new license means more funding for more new parts, so the proper 2012 Legolas Greenleaf minifigure got a whole new hair with ear piece.
The printed deco doesn't disappoint, with visible armor, belts, and straps plus a painted fake clasp for his real cloth cape. The determined expression looks fantastic, and the color selection is perfect for one of the first (if not first) "fantasy" elf figures from LEGO. While numerous spins on woodland warriors like Robin Hood have been in various Castle lines for years, LEGO's interest in fantasy didn't crop up until relatively recently with a number of ogres and orcs and dwarves, many of which are of their own design. Knights are nothing new, there are plenty of those.
This figure has proven popular and now commands $12-$15, give or take, on eBay. With the awesome deer shield and the adequate bow with arrow, it's a hard figure to ignore. The classic yellow heads probably appeal to a lot more of the older audience, and the figure proved popular enough to warrant a "Forest Maiden" in series 9 as a sort of a lady elf. While not explicitly elven, the similar coloring and gear are hard to ignore. If you can get the not-Legolas on the cheap, I suggest that you do so. I really dig how he turned out, and unless you have too many LEGO men I'm sure you'll dig this one too.
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