A Guide to Turning LEGO® Keychains into Minifigures

A few years ago, the LEGO® Group released set 76013, also known as The Joker Steam Roller. It contained the first Batgirl Minifigure. I didn’t buy the set. I wanted Batgirl and Joker from that set, but the rest of the kit didn’t appeal to me. I let the set go into retirement. While we have gotten many nice Batgirl and Joker Minifigs since then, I have always felt like I missed out a little. I was intrigued to see that LEGO® released a keychain version of the Batgirl Minifigure. The keychains are, after all, just Minifigures attached to a chain and ring. But, the question remained, how easily could you get rid of the chain and ring?

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The first keychain I attempted to turn into a Minifigure… my worn out Superman.

I decided to test the separation process out. But, I didn’t want to ruin a brand new keychain in case it didn’t work. Luckily, I had a worn out Superman keychain from a few years ago that was reaching the end of its life. So, I tried it out, and it worked. I even found a double-sided face that I never even knew my Superman keychain had. I don’t  believe for a minute that I am the first person to try this, but what follows is my little guide to turning a LEGO® keychain into a Minifigure.

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Separated from his chain, Superman seems like a new Minifigure!

With Superman a success under my belt, I decided to try again with Batgirl. Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: select your keychain

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The subject of my keychain-to-Minifigure experiment.

Step 02: locate ring connecting chain to Minifig

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A ring connects the chain to the pin in the Minifigure’s head.

Step 03: pry open the ring with needle nose pliers

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There is an opening in the loop, and a little twist with pliers will have it coming right off.

You can repeat step 03 to also separate the printed LEGO® tile from the chain, and get an extra brick.

Step 04: remove the pin (with some force)

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You’ll need to use some force to pull, and probably twist a little the same time.

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The pin is quite long, don’t be afraid to use a bit of muscle to yank it out.

Step 05: enjoy your new Minifigure

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With the pin out, you have a regular Minifigure, more or less.

So, what are the pros and cons of turning LEGO® keychains into Minifigures? We’ll start with the cons, because I generally like to get the bad news out of the way first. First off, the legs are glued to the torso, so pulling the pin out doesn’t solve that issue. Secondly, the hairpiece, head, and neck all have holes in them from where the pin was. Finally, any accessories the original character may have come with are not included. Those are all minor issues in my books, but I can understand how they might bother some.

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Batgirl, free of her chains.

Now for the pros. First, you get access to the hidden double-sided face. Second, even though the legs are not removable, the head, hair, cape, and hands all are. Third, keychains are way cheaper than actual sets. The Joker Steam Roller retailed for $59.99 in Canada, which is a lot to pay for a set that I didn’t want just to get the Minifigure. A keychain costs $5.99 at the LEGO® Store. I admit that $5.99 is more than you would pay for a Minifigure from the blind-bag series, but here you know which one you are getting. Also, keychains often go on sale. This Batgirl cost me $2.99, which is less than a blind-bag. Finally, you are getting real LEGO® parts, which beats buying the cheap fLEGO (fake LEGO) stuff on the internet, or paying re-sale prices.

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Batgirl’s alternate face, which you can’t access in keychain form.

All in all, I was quite happy with my new Batgirl Minifigure. It doesn’t bother me that the legs don’t come off, because I wanted this particular Minifig, and wouldn’t be trading parts anyway. The holes left behind by the pin are also not a major issue for me. The only one that I wish I could get rid of is the one on her cowl, as it would hide all the other ones. I am sure some epoxy or something could solve that issue. Will I be trying this again? For sure. I hope this little tutorial was helpful. If you have tried this before, or have something to add, feel free to comment below.

Until next time,

-Tom

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And just like that, a new Minifigure prowls the rooftops of LEGO® city.

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