Collecting real life LEGO figures involves tons of money, trips to Walmart, and many, many duplicates. I think I prefer LEGO Minifigures Online's take on the hobby.

You're still opening bags in Funcom's upcoming MMO, slated for a summer 2004, but these bags feature fully-playable characters, each with their own stats and special powers. You can battle with them, level them up, customize them and share them without every leaving your comfy chair or stepping on errant pieces.

Plus we don't have to wait until this summer to start collecting. Funcom launched the LEGO Minifigures Online website today, peppered with collectible stars visitors can collect to earn levels and unlock new figures in the gallery. Consider it an MMO pre-game show.

A Game About Collecting LEGO Figures Sounds Better Than The Real Thing