6 March 2017

Minecraft 2017: the new parts

What would Jonas Kramm (Legopard on Flickr) do with six LEGO® Minecraft sets? We will find out in the coming weeks, but first, to bring you up to speed he's written a great rundown of the pieces in the new range: 21129 The Mushroom Island, 21130 The Nether Railway, 21131 The Ice Spikes, 21132 The Jungle Temple, 21133 The Witch Hut and 21134 The Waterfall Base. He's even added a helpful catch-up of other interesting parts the theme has introduced over the years.


The LEGO® Group has been producing sets in minifigure scale within the LEGO Minecraft theme since 2014, but these sets still seem to be pretty unpopular in the AFOL community. That is probably the reason why nobody noticed that a new wave of LEGO Minecraft sets popped up in the product line.

I was the lucky one on the New Elementary team to receive the six new sets to give you a look at the new parts… perhaps I am the only one who has ever played Minecraft?

I don’t really know what I expected, as I haven’t bought any LEGO Minecraft sets yet. Of course I knew about the special Minecraft elements like minifigure heads, heads for the blocky animals or the pixelated tools and weapons, but when I took a closer look at the parts I realised there is much more that’s new in LEGO Minecraft than just those special parts.

The New Mould in LEGO Minecraft

Let’s start with the most exciting element in my review!


The part is named “Plate 2x2, w/ design” by TLG and has the Design ID 27928 and appears 24 times in 21130 The Nether Railway in Reddish Brown with Element ID 6163991. It is strange and interesting at the same time. If someone would have showed me this piece without reference, I would have guessed I would find it in LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™, due to its 45° angled wedge section. But for now the part is exclusive in this LEGO Minecraft set and it seems to be designed just for its purpose there: to allow the building of curves into the track system of the Nether railway without getting a gap of a half brick between the tracks. This is needed to let the lore smoothly glide over.


Due to the interesting geometry the elements can be placed directly beside each other. Furthermore it can be combined with any other element that features the 45° wedge section as Tile 2x3 Modified Pentagonal (Design ID 22385) or the Tile 2x2 Facet (Design ID 27263).


Instead of categorising it a wedge plate, I would actually say it is a modified 2x2 jumper plate because, as you can see in the picture below, this describes the positioning of the stud the best.

For a better analysis of this new element and ideas how to use it, stay tuned for further articles in my LEGO Minecraft 2017 series here on New Elementary.

Existing Parts in New Colours

LEGO Minecraft sets have always been a good source for basic parts in new colours, and we get a few exciting ones in this wave as well.

The Plate 6x6 (Design ID 3958) comes in four new colours. There are three in Dark Brown in 21130 The Nether Railway as well as seven in Dark Red, while a single Medium Nougat [TLG]/Medium Dark Flesh [BL] is found in both 21133 The Witch Hut and 21131 The Ice Spikes, and the latter also contains five in Light Royal Blue [TLG]/Bright Light Blue[BL].


Also new is the Plate 2x8 (Element ID 6174940|Design ID 3034) in Earth Green [TLG]/Dark Green [BL]. Six of these are supplied in 21132 Jungle Temple.

In combination with the primary structures of LEGO Minecraft sets which are built entirely out of basic bricks and plates, the designers use smaller parts to show the Minecraft-related details. I especially like the use of Tile 1x1 Round Half Circle Extended (6174154|24246) and Tile 1x1 Round Quarter (6150607|25269) in Dark Green [TLG]/Green [BL] to represent the lily pad design from the game. The former is currently exclusive to 21133 The Witch Hut and the latter can be found in a couple of other 2017 sets including LEGO BrickHeadz 41588 The Joker - see our review.

The Lattice Plate 1x4x3 in Medium Nougat (6167599|62113) is another great addition to the selection of parts in that special colour, of which there have been many in 2017. Five of these are found in 21131 The Ice Spikes.

For collectors of mono-chromatic minifigures I have good news: the first appearance of plain minifigure heads with recessed stud (Design ID 30011) in Transparent Green [TLG]/ Trans-Green [BL] (Element ID 6179551) and Transparent Red [TLG]/ Trans-Red [BL] (6173950). These are both found in 21133 The Witch Hut; sadly just one of each.

Revivals

Furthermore, there are elements that are getting a revival in these LEGO Minecraft sets and are worth a mention as well.

First is the Plate 6x12 in Earth Green (Element ID 4264818|Design ID 3028) that was previously used just once in a Castle set in 2010. The last time that Tile, Modified 4 x 4 with Studs on Edge was used in Bright Blue [TLG]/Blue [BL] (6114272|6179) was 1998, in LEGO Belville.

For me, as a builder who is using a lot of small pieces, the revival of the very versatile Minifig Neck Bracket (6167602|42446) in White is a highlight. The part was only ever included in LEGO Star Wars 4502 X-Wing Fighter from 2004 — until now.

Actually, TLG has changed the mould in recent years, so you can tell which period it is from by inspecting a minor difference — two holes on the backside. Otherwise, both brackets are identical and whether the additional holes allow for new building techniques or not just has to be tested ;-)

Fresh Parts

TLG is producing a lot of parts in new colours recently, so here is a overview which of these fresh pieces can also be found in this new LEGO Minecraft wave.

Introduced with the BrickHeads, the Bracket 1 x 2 - 1 x 2 Inverted (Element ID 6174856|Design ID 99780) in Reddish Brown gets used more often in these sets: four times in 21129 The Mushroom Island and six times in 21133 The Witch Hut.

21131 The Ice Spikes brings us five of the Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with Clips Horizontal in Medium Nougat (6167698|60470) which first appeared in LEGO® Batman Movie 70904 Clayface Splat Attack.

In addition we get a great number of Tiles 2x2 in Light Royal Blue (6162894|3068)… 32 are used in this set, while LEGO Creator Expert 10255 Assembly Square contains only two.

Also found in Assembly Square, the new Macaroni Tiles 4x4 (6163989|27507) and 2x2 (6163990|27925) in Medium Stone Grey [TLG]/Light Bluish Gray [BL] are both fresh moulds for 2017 and can be found in 21130 The Nether Railway in quantities of four and six respectively.

2x2 Bricks in Dark Brown (6092677|3003) and Transparent Fluorescent Blue [TLG]/ Tran-Medium-Blue [BL] (6109713|6223) were both used in the LEGO Minecraft wave of 2016 and appear here again.

Minecraft Parts and Printed Parts

On top of this already-great selection of useful elements in neat colours, we get a variety of special Minecraft parts. Most of them are not new at all, but as we don’t review Minecraft sets regularly here on New Elementary, I will show them all.


If you own the whole wave, you get a wide range of characters and creatures; some in double or even triple quantities.

Next to the familiar faces from previous waves are three new cube heads. On the left is a Magma Cube (Element ID 6176402), the first Minecraft cube head in Dark Red. The Witch (6178021) in the centre is a new mould; I had hopes that the hat could be removed but it and the head are a single piece. Last in the row is a Slimer (6179172), the first cube to be cast in a transparent colour: Transparent Bright Green [TLG]/ Trans-Bright Green [BL].

To utilise these heads not only for minifigures but also for brick-built characters, TLG made an extra mould in 2016: a Tile 1x2 Modified with Minifig Head Post (Element ID 6133390|Design ID 24445). Using an ordinary jumper plate was probably too fragile a connection. Note that it does not have a groove; unlike the jumper plate, it is easy to remove.

To represent the Minecraft animals, TLG inroduced two extra moulds with individual colours and printing.


Regarding the first of these two moulds, new for 2017 are the head for the Mooshroom (Element ID 6176402), a cow/mushroom hybrid from 21129 The Mushroom Island, shown on the left in the picture above [EDIT: readers have mentioned this also appeared in 2014's 21116 Crafting Box], and the Medium Azure dyed sheep (6176402) that comes in 21134 The Waterfall Base, shown second from right.

The second mould, used only for the Ocelot, already came in Bright Yellow [TLG]/ Yellow [BL] (6128659) and comes in this wave in Black (6176387) as well.

Not new, but still interesting if you've not seen them before are the body moulds of the Witch (6185612), Enderman (6101874) and Creeper (6192875). The Witch is a Medium Lilac [TLG]/ Dark Purple [BL] Villager torso from the enormous 2016 set 21128 The Village. (Actually the Element ID of the Creeper changed from 6101877 to 6192875 for this wave, but I don’t have an old one to compare the moulds to see if there is a difference, but I suspect it’s just the normal LEGO ID madness.)

To protect your main protagonists, Alex and Steve, you get different sets of armour. A full set contains a helmet (Design IDs 19730/34091), a breastplate (19723) and legs (73200). The leather armour set appears in Dark Orange first in this LEGO Minecraft wave and is one of the 2017 sets that brings back Dark Orange minifigure legs (Element ID 6172566), for your monochrome minifigures.

Even more variety is found in the tools. With all six sets you get four different swords (Design ID 18787), bows (18792), shovels (18791) and two kinds of pickaxes (18789). Each LEGO colour represents a material from Minecraft: iron is Silver Metallic [TLG]/ Flat Silver [BL], stone is Medium Stone Grey, diamond is Medium Azure, gold is Warm Gold [TLG]/ Pearl Gold [BL], wood is Reddish Brown and enchanted items are Medium Lavender.

As with all previous LEGO Minecraft sets there are no stickers in this wave, which results in a great number of printed parts. Mostly these are the heads shown above, but there are also some printed bricks and tiles.


New are these four pixelated prints of the Enchantment Table, a book, a compass and the eyes of a big Magma Cube. The compass seems to be useful, while an advantage for the design of the others has to be found.


I didn’t expect to find this many new elements in this underrated production line, and now I’m looking forward to using them in my builds. I will post the results at a later date here on New Elementary!


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.

This range is now available in stores. Shopping on Amazon? Consider using our affiliate links to buy your LEGO sets (or anything); this helps support New Elementary!
USA: Amazon.com Canada: Amazon.ca UK: Amazon.co.uk Deutschland: Amazon.de

10 comments:

  1. Great writeup! I'm particularly excited to see more Earth Green parts and the neck brackets in white.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great summary of all these new and interesting parts!

    I imagine that "rail tie" piece could be very useful. While its use in these Minecraft sets justifies itself (by virtue of allowing for much better rails than in the Minecraft theme's first year), I can also see all sorts of interesting architectural uses for it. Looks like it'd make for a great wall sconce!

    I'm a little disappointed with the armor, not because I personally had any interest in it but rather because I hoped it would mark the first use of the new Copper Metallic outside the Ninjago theme. Though if it is supposed to represent leather I guess Dark Orange makes more sense—I assumed it was meant to be copper!

    Also, a minor critique—some of the colors in these photos seem a little distorted, especially the Medium Nougat (which I almost thought was Warm Gold at first). Looking at my own Medium Nougat parts at hand the color difference between them and what's displayed in these photos is stark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andrew, Jonas had some lighting issues that he corrected in Photoshop, causing the distortion. Noted for next time.

      Delete
  3. Nice article. Always great reads here. However, as mentioned in a previous comment the colours in the photos are way off. Medium nougat looks very yellow, almost like warm gold. The green lily pad tiles look like bright green. BL blue looks like medium azure. Something is going on with the lighting perhaps?

    Also, the track spacer element is described as preventing a half brick space between pieces. I assume you mean between the macaroni tiles. But each spacer fills a half stud gap so that the pair fills a full stud width gap between the macaroni tiles. Perhaps the confusion here is the use of the term half brick instead of half stud. Was brick intended to mean two studs? This is confusing because there are one stud wide bricks. I feel studs is a better reference unit.

    Finally, sorry to sound so negative in this post as I love the site, but can you PLEEEEEASE remove the navigation feature where swiping on the side of the screen goes to the previous or next articles? Why? Because, on my iPhone at least, pinch and spread to zoom a page to look closely at photos activates this feature. It's very frustrating to try and zoom in on a photo only for the previous article to suddenly load. No other site I know of has this issue and it happens all the time.

    Anyway, still love the site and will keep coming back for useful info, great pics and great writing. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can tap an image on mobile to load it, from there you can safely zoom. I'm unlikely to have time to figure out the navigation unfortunately; the virtually uncustomisable Blogger mobile template has to be figured out in the code.

      Delete
  4. Regarding the Minecraft track jumper, this is the second time I've seen someone claim it allows you to build track without leaving a half-stud gap between track sections. That's only slightly true. Straight sections of track are built half a stud offset in one direction, so the ends line up cleanly with each other without the need for these pieces. The curved track is double-offset, which is where the gaps come from. The three types of jumpers serve partly to create the look of railroad ties below the rails, and partly to provide a smooth surface between the rails for the minecart guides to ride over (I'm assuming there are a couple 1x2 round plates hanging down between the rails to keep the cart centered on the tracks). The need for these parts could have been avoided with more careful placement of the track sections, but it would have forced a few conventions on the layout. You'd never be able to place curves immediately adjacent to each other, but would always have to add a minimum of a 1x2 straight between curves as a spacer. This simply allows you to avoid that complication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, but I missed to say that the track system is based on a 6x6 grid, so you can rearrange the modules to build different track layouts. Without the new mould they wouldn't be that flexible.

      Delete
  5. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with these new pentagonal plates. My wife has named them birdhouses.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Other Mike9 Mar 2017, 11:15:00

    I've been somewhat surprised that the Minecraft sets don't get more love from AFOLs, at least older ones and those interested in the early days of Lego. After all, every set used to have a similar blocky aesthetic.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I propose referring to the hexagonal track base plate as the "home plate".

    ReplyDelete