Bricks for Brains).
It's not a euphemism, an insult or a new action hero. Ballshaft is the name I'm using for a relatively new element officially known as 3.2 Shaft W/5.9 Ball and, on BrickLink, Bar1L with Towbar (Design ID 22484). The ballshaft was introduced early in 2016 in the Nexo Knights range. It was first produced in Transparent Fluorescent Reddish Orange [TLG]/Trans-Neon Orange [BL] (Element ID 6131711) in four sets, and in Transparent Bright Green (Element ID 6139234) in one set. Now the Transparent Bright Green version is available in a second set, 10255 Assembly Square.
It is also available in Dark Stone Grey [TLG]/Dark Bluish Gray [BL] (Element ID 6158469)—a much more useful colour for MOC builders like me. So I was delighted when New Elementary sent me a small batch of dark grey ballshafts to play with. With shafts inserted, the exposed balls can be used represent various things, such as elements of a hairbrush.
Currently the dark grey ballshaft appears in only two sets: Ninjago set 70596 Samurai X Cave Chaos, in which there are two; and Carl Greatrix's wonderful Ideas set 21307 Caterham Seven 620R, in which there is only one. However, grey ballshafts are beginning to appear on BrickLink in reasonable quantities now. (Where do these sellers get them from?) Again, the dark grey version also now appears in 10255 Assembly Square.
A load of balls
But thanks mainly to the launch of Mixels and the Chima Legend Beasts in 2014, a new batch of elements with the 5.9mm balls was introduced, together with associated socket elements. Importantly, unlike the sockets used for towbars, these sockets afford a tight push-fit, enabling the Mixels to be posed.
Some ballshaft build ideasJust for fun, I've had a play with a few simple build ideas using the ballshaft.
For "Spacers", this element offers numerous new options for landing legs, gantries, weapons, etc.
The contrasting sizes of the 5.9mm ball and 10.2mm Technic ball joints commonly used in Bionicle sets (such as Design ID 32474) made me think of a Van De Graaff generator.
Or scoring markers in board games like the 1970s classic, Mastermind.
Or spokes on 'jacks'.
ConclusionThe ballshaft is a lovely addition to the ever-expanding catalogue of LEGO elements, and particularly to the existing Mixels ball joints elements. I know I've only scratched the surface of potential build ideas—but you wouldn't want me to spoil all your fun! Of course, we eagerly await its production in other colours.
Products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not the LEGO Group.
Shopping on Amazon? Consider using our affiliate links to buy your LEGO sets (or anything); this helps support New Elementary!