Just to prove that this obsession with Lego generally but also the minifig specifically, these are all mine... Ma brought down the two buckets of Lego I had when I was a kid.
Okay, so technically I still have them, but they live at Ma's place and I mostly wanted to raid them for some white plates for the minifig display cases.
These are the precursor to the minifigure from 1975. They had no moveable parts and no faces.
The first modern minifigures were released in 1978. The female minifigure is from around 1980 since that's "Mary" from the 1980 Legoland Ideas Book.
These are newest iterations. The Caveman is from Series 1, 2010 and the Cavewoman is from Series 5, 2011. You've come a long way baby!
Then there's the animal headed Fabuland figures from the 1980's... sadly their leg joints don't work so well anymore, so the cat wouldn't stay standing up for very long.
And before the minifigure, there was the maxifigure. Sadly all I seem to have left of these are their heads and shoulders... the rest of them went the way of all wayward Lego.