The latest series of Lego Minifigures - one of the top-selling toy lines in supermarkets - has gone on sale in Tesco a month ahead of other retailers.

The supermarket has been given a one-month exclusive period to sell Series 8 of the blind-packed £1.99 collectible figures - the first time a UK retailer has been given such an opportunity with the Minifigures brand.

The only other outlets that are selling Series 8 in the UK before 1 October will be Lego’s nine branded shops.

Tesco, which described itself as the number-one retailer of Minifigures in the UK, sells the toys in about 800 stores and some petrol stations. It recently extended distribution of Minifigures to its One Stop chain.

Some 10 million Minifigures have been produced since the range launched in 2010, and it is regularly the top-selling toy line in the grocery channel - its low price point helps to attract impulse purchases. Lego claimed 43% of UK households with boys have bought Minifigures at least once.

In an exclusive interview with The Grocer in June, Lego brand manager Danielle Brazier said like-for-like sales of Minifigures were up year-on-year, a trend she expected to continue throughout 2012.

Minifigures Series 8 comprises 16 new figures including an actor, a pirate captain, an evil robot and a vampire bat. Each Minifigure includes character accessories, a display stand and a collector’s leaflet.

In July, the Minifigures range was expanded with a series of nine Olympic-themed figures.