29 January 2017

Top 10 LEGO® parts and colours

The Pick and Build (PAB) walls found inside LEGO® Stores are extremely popular with AFOLs, being a great source of bulk parts. Choose a small or large cup and fill it with whichever parts you wish - well, whichever are available on the wall at the time. However with so many LEGO elements in existence and so few slots available on the walls, you're unlikely to find that exact piece you wanted, or that rare colour you need in bulk. That could change; a new initiative means that American fans might see more of what they really want in 2018.


About a year ago, the company trialled a new idea: some buckets contained "Fan Favourites";  pieces and colours that AFOLs might want to see on the wall. The LEGO Community Engagement (LCE) AFOLs & Relations Program chose the elements based on their knowledge of the community and the trial ran in two American stores in New Jersey and Texas. It was a success and so this year, the LCE asked some AFOLs which parts they might like to see. Their colleagues in LEGO Brand Retail in the US will hopefully try to include some of the parts in North American stores in 2018. If this works out they may roll the scheme out to Europe and Asia in the future. (There is no word regarding the inclusion of LEGO Monobrand or Certified stores.)

So it is all a long time away and who knows it might not be practical to include all these, but nevertheless I thought it was interesting to see the colours and parts that were chosen. These are just the top ten; the full list given to Brand Retail contains 20 colours and 30 parts .

Most popular LEGO colours

Here are the colours that LEGO fans said they'd like to see on PAB walls (Color ID – TLG name / BrickLink name where different). Click image for a larger version.

  1. 154 – New Dark Red / Dark Red
  2. 141 – Earth Green / Dark Green
  3. 151 – Sand Green
  4. 140 – Earth Blue / Dark Blue
  5. 194 – Medium Stone Grey / Light Bluish Gray
  6. 138 – Sand Yellow / Dark Tan
  7. 199 – Dark Stone Grey / Dark Bluish Gray
  8. 38 – Dark Orange
  9. 308 – Dark Brown
  10. 135 – Sand Blue

Most popular LEGO pieces

Here are the parts (regardless of colour) that LEGO fans said they'd like to see on PAB walls (Design ID – TLG name). I created the image using Mecabricks, choosing Dark Red for the colour given that it is the most popular one and all these parts do actually come in Dark Red!
  1. 98283 – Profile Brick 1x2 Single Gro.
  2. 3004 – Brick 1x2
  3. 2423 – Limb Element, Small
  4. 3024 – Plate 1x1
  5. 3023 – Plate 1x2
  6. 3069 – Flat Tile 1x2
  7. 54200 – Roof Tile 1x1x2/3, ABS
  8. 2417 – Limb Element
  9. 3068 – Flat Tile 2x2
  10. 3005 – Brick 1x1

What do you think?

So who chose these? The survey was executed via the LEGO Ambassador Network (the bridge between the company and adult fans). 42% of registered LEGO User Groups (RLUGs) in the Americas responded, as did 12% in EMEA/Pacific, 5% in Asia, and 20% of registered LEGO Fan Media.

I am interested to know what you think of the pieces chosen. Given that 1x2 bricks regularly appear on the walls anyway, I'd rather have seen more plates instead, especially longer ones. Foliage parts and profile bricks are good choices for bulk but I fear that foliage parts are a poor use of the space available in cups.

I'm surprised Dark Red was the most popular colour! Do you think we will get those rarer colours like Sand Green and Dark Orange? When it comes to bulk, I prefer neutral colours so am glad to at least see some browns and the greys on there. Notably, the chosen colours are very dark and subdued; they are not the 'normal' LEGO palette that the average customer would expect. But then, these Fan Favourites would probably only account for a few of the available buckets on a wall.

Personally, regardless of what comes of this initiative, I think it is a great example of the innovative and progressive ways in which the LEGO Group engages with the adult fans of its product. We get something out of it and the company gets something out of it. I can't imagine any other multinational toy company going to this sort of bother!



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19 comments:

  1. Why are European LUGs so uninvolved in these things? 12%?
    The profile brick is a bit of a surprise. I have a love-hate relationship with it. It can be good in moderation, but when overused I find it starts to look cheap quickly. It is to be treated like fine spices.

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    1. It was made clear when the survey was announced that this initiative will start in North American stores, so it is understandable Europeans were less interested in participating at the present time.
      I'ved noticed the profile brick being very popular in LUGbulk and whenever it appears on a PAB wall. I've never been wild about it either.

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  2. I think it's a shame that Europe still hasn't seen the Sand Green parts that are available in North Americas and now also Dreamworld in Australia.

    A bit surprised that a 1x2 Brick in Dark Red is so highly requested. Not saying it's a poor piece but rather it was widely available around early 2014 (from my own experience and Wall of Bricks data).
    Maybe a lot of people in the survey didn't catch any or have ran out...

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    1. They were two separate questions; favourite colours and favourite parts. So a Dark Red 1x2 was not specifically suggested. I just made my examples Dark red as I had to choose something, so the number one colour seemed appropriate!

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  3. These parts and colors certainly aren't bad, but I can't help but be a little disappointed at how conventional many of them are. No "Friends colors" (purples and pinks and azures, for instance) that I'd love to have an easier time getting in bulk. Very few parts that are more specialized or niche than bricks, plates and slopes—the only ones that come close are the foliage and masonry bricks, and while the choices that were made would certainly be useful in building most of them aren't much different from the sorts of things we normally see on the walls anyway.

    I suppose I should just be thankful for what we have gotten through other initiatives like the "Pick-a-Model" (which are often a great source of parts like Mixel joints or printed eyes).

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  4. glad to see smaller parts and 2x2 tiles on that list. Liking the colors as well

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  5. I get the impression that many people that don't use the wall, voted on the wall. I have three walls within close driving distance. I regularly visit the walls. Based on this I would only get the 1x2 tile and 2x2 tiles. Those are good for the finishing touches. I like the dark red and dark blue though.

    Let's hope the next batch has more tiles, or unique useful pieces. Those hex pieces would be cool to see on the wall.

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    1. That wouldn't surprise me. Frequently if you ask people what they would like to change, those who want a change are more likely to respond than those who are happy with the status quo.

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    2. I suspect it's a case that, like myself, the people who responded to this poll the most are ones who rarely find anything of interest at PAB. Most of my LUG complained when the Build-A-Model was introduced, but I felt it actually brought a handful of interesting parts to the mix where previously there had been none. Doesn't mean I started buying lots of PAB, but it wasn't a complete wash anymore.

      Then again, none of the colors listed here, and very few of the shapes, really appeal to me as something I'd want to buy at PAB, either.

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    3. Yeah, the pick-a-model is great. It wouldn't surprise me if it enables LEGO to put slightly more specialized bricks on the wall than usual, considering one of the issues that keeps them from doing so normally is that a casual buyer might not know how to use them. The pick-a-model concept gives LEGO a way to demonstrate the usefulness of parts like Mixel joints to people who are only familiar with more basic LEGO building.

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  6. No love for normal Tan? :(

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    1. I guess not! Well not in the top ten anyway. The overall sense I get is that people want rarer colours. And bleys ;)

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    2. More subdued colors for naturalist environments, it seems...

      Maybe not rarer colors per se, just less common colors that look natural...

      /Håkan

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    3. Well, at least some of us want actual greys. But I know that's not going to happen.

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    4. I want Teal! And Reddish Orange!

      /Håkan

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    5. Pretty sure the poll was limited strictly to colors on the current LEGO palette… neither teal or reddish orange would qualify.

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  7. I think they might be drawing from too small a sample size. I think they could certainly use some of their social media presence and poll a general public as well as targeting more AFOL related sites. Resorting to RLUGs only is such a small cross section of the actual AFOL community though. LUGs are nice and all, but there still is a large majority of AFOL's who aren't part of them and still aren't even aware of them. Why don't they actually do surveys on the brand retail sites? This whole thing just seems wonky to me. I'd like to see results from a better source before giving any of the results credence.

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    1. Yes I agree Dave, and they're also aware it is not a huge sample... by presenting results here I'm perhaps the one giving the survey more credence than it 'deserves'. I just thought it was interesting.

      Obviously getting everyone's opinion would be ideal, but the LEGO Ambassador Network was set up as the means for the company to interact with the community, as dealing with all (or even a lot of) fans is impractical from a resource perspective on their side. It's worth noting they are continually expanding the reach of the LAN by bringing in new RLUGs and RLFMs (Recognised LEGO Fan Media, which is what New E falls under). Many of these are quite different to your traditional LUGs, such as photography collective Stuck in Plastic or social media collectives like #brickstameet, so certainly a broader and more diverse range of AFOLs is being reached as time progresses.

      Re brand retail site survey, I do not know the answer but can imagine that the resource involved in setting that up may outweigh the value. But this is only the 2nd year of this trial and they have expanded the sample reach from the first year, so if it proves successful they may well put more resource into reaching more people in future.

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    2. Also meant to say - I will feed back on the LAN with suggestions for next year so will certainly make your point about brand retail.

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