One of things I'm most looking forward to about having a baby is the unavoidable Lego, once the baby levels-up to child. Gizmodo have yet another exclusive Lego video. I don't recall if I posted the last one... I can't find it here when I search. Here's the links. Anyway, the new video is a demo of the minifig assembly process. Quite impressive.
First, the raw plastic material is put into the molds to create all the parts: the head, the torso, the minuscule hands, the hips, and the left and right arms and legs, plus any minifig complements, like helmets or tools.
• The head and torsos are always decorated. This is a complicated process that makes the minifig the most expensive part of any Lego set. This is why sets like the Death Star diorama are among the most expensive. The stamping of the colors is usually made in several passes. In older times, the faces always had the same designs. Today, however, they have different features that require different layers (personally, I like the classic ones more than the ones with different faces).
• Once they are decorated, the torsos are put into the body assembly machine, where the left and right arms are put into them mechanically. The same machine then places the hands inside the arms with absolute precision at lightning speed.
• The torsos are then taken to the packaging production line, where they are put together in the bags along with the head, hair/helmet/hat, and legs with hips. Before, the machines also connected the heads and legs, so the Lego aficionado would find the minifig complete inside the box. Now, however, this is left for the player except for the vintage minifig set, which comes with the minifigs completely built.