Showing posts with label Old parts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Old parts. Show all posts

9 May 2019

Fabuland Lives On: the colours

This year marks 40 years since The LEGO Group (TLG) launched the FABULAND® theme, with ran until 1989. To celebrate this, we're going to run an occasional series of articles here at New Elementary called Fabuland Lives On! We'll examine the surprising legacy that this theme for 3-7 year olds has had upon the elements and colours of the LEGO System, and the hearts of fans. Kicking things off, we have LEGO® colour expert Ryan Howerter.
Note, in a departure from our usual convention for naming colours, in this article we use the TLG official colour ID and name (followed by the more well-known BrickLink name in brackets, where it differs to the official).

In today’s episode of Fabuland Lives On, to celebrate the history and legacy of everybody’s second-favorite theme, we will take a look at perhaps its most undersung and lasting contribution to the LEGO universe: earth-toned colors!

If we ignore the color anarchy that was The LEGO Group’s first few years of plastic production, the company built its brand around three unwavering primary colors: 21 Bright Red (Red), 23 Bright Blue (Blue), and 24 Bright Yellow (Yellow). Add 1 White and 26 Black, occasionally 28 Dark Green (Green) and 2 Grey (Light Gray), plus a few transparent colors, and you have effectively the entire color palette of the company’s first 29 years. Great for playful, high-contrast models, but not representative of the real world by any means.

Every color used in the entire Fabuland theme. 'Regular' LEGO System colors are in the top row, and new colors used by Fabuland are in the bottom row. Test bricks from the collection of Ryan Howerter. 

When Fabuland was introduced in 1979, it came with new tones that more effectively represent the natural world: 13 Red Orange (Fabuland Red), 18 Nougat (Flesh), 12 Light Orange Brown (Earth Orange), 19 Light Brown (Fabuland Orange), 4 Brick Red (Fabuland Brown),  and — in later Fabuland waves — 5 Brick Yellow (Tan) and 14 Pastel Green (Fabuland Green). These were used not only for the animal figures’ heads but also for wooden utensils like brooms and tables. 25 Earth Orange (Brown), which had come out the year before in LEGO System sets, was barely used until Fabuland came along.

9 April 2019

A long time ago... LEGO® Star Wars™ began

Billund, 9th April 2019: Twenty years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the LEGO® Star Wars™theme began and has remained one of the most popular franchises ever since. Today, the LEGO Group is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the much-loved theme which now includes around 700 different sets and over 1,000 minifigures.

They've provided us with some fascinating pictures to share with you, so we thought it would be fun to look back to a time when Star Wars was the theme introducing new LEGO elements and breaking the mould. All images are © The LEGO Group unless otherwise attributed.

Interesting LEGO Star Wars Element Facts


The 1999 Jar Jar Binks minifigure was the first ever to have a unique LEGO head sculpt. These are a couple of prototype versions of Jar Jar's moulded head that show the development process.

11 March 2019

LEGO® Gears: from Samsonite to splat!

When we first saw the images of LEGO® sets due to be released in 2019, one new type of element caught our eye in particular.  Because of their shape we affectionately called this group of elements 'splat' gears, but BrickLink call them Modified Plate with Gear Teeth / Flower Petals, and the official TLG name is Gear Wheel.


Today we take a closer look at these new elements and their place in the history of the LEGO gear. It turns out there is more to LEGO gears than just Technic; they have appeared in various guises over the years including DUPLO, Dacta and Samsonite. Before we take a look back at the ancestors, let's take another look at the new gears on the block.

7 March 2019

Old Elementary: Duncan gets fly with Insectoids

One of our New Elementary parts festival builders, Duncan Lindbo, casts his mind back to an old LEGO® element that may well be familiar to fans who were youths during the 1990s. Remember the Insectoids? Well, Duncan does.


For many AFOLs, the late 1990s were a low point in set design. They think there were too many overly specialized parts, and they’re not entirely wrong… but because of that, there’s a lot of interesting parts that tend to get ignored by the AFOL community. Today, we’re going to explore a couple of Transparent Blue [TLG]/Trans-Dark Blue [BL] elements from the Insectoids line (1998-1999).

18 February 2019

LEGO® Xtra 40341 Sea Accessories

We're always excited to receive new sets from The LEGO Group but this supplementary set was definitely one of the stranger offerings... so after scratching our heads we challenged a man who will seemingly face any LEGO® challenge, Tim Goddard (Rogue Bantha), to actually build something with them!

The LEGO® Xtra line is a very welcome one, offering a chance to purchase some useful parts at a reasonable price. The Xtra set 40312 Streetlamps released last year contains particularly great parts such as the new lantern (Design ID 37776). I was sent three copies of the new 2019 set 40341 Sea Accessories to, um, review I guess.


There is something a bit fishy about this Xtra set though; the parts are not quite so useful as those found in other sets in the range and I am not sure I would be tempted to buy a copy myself.

17 February 2019

Brickset: A history of Technic pins

Occasionally we see an article about LEGO® parts that we love so much, we republish it here on New Elementary. (With permission, naturally!) Well our good friend Huw Millington of Brickset wrote this great rundown about the humble Technic pin and we definitely didn't want any of you to miss out.

I can't quite believe I'm writing an article on such a seemingly mundane subject as the history of Technic pins but, given the popularity of last week's article about one such pin, perhaps there'll be similar interest in this one too.

The first Technic sets launched in 1977 came with just one type of pin; however, the very first 'Technic' pin produced predated them by some 7 years, and it wasn't made from plastic...

27 December 2018

LEGO® MOVIE 2 review: 70821 Emmet and Benny's ‘Build and Fix' Workshop!

THE LEGO® MOVIE 2: The Second Part is assembling in cinemas in February 2019, and the tie-in sets have just been released in stores. 70821 Emmet and Benny's ‘Build and Fix' Workshop! is the second set we are taking a closer look at. It has 117 parts, including new Emmet and Benny minifigures, and is now available priced £17.99/ 19,99€/ US$19.99 at Amazon USA and Amazon UK as well as all usual retailers. 

70821 Emmet and Benny's ‘Build and Fix' Workshop! is particularly aimed at preschoolers and young builders. Such sets were previously branded as LEGO® Juniors, now it seems they just carry a large 4+ age mark. The Juniors moniker was introduced for kids who knew they were getting too old for DUPLO and wanted "grown up LEGO"; perhaps the name was dropped as they didn't want something marked as junior either?

Conversely, it seems no grown up is too old for this set.

26 November 2018

LEGO® Technic 42080 Forest Harvester

Ryan Welles is back, to review LEGO® Technic 42080 LEGO Technic Forest Harvester which is priced at £119.99 / $149.99 / 129.99€. It is available at Amazon USA.

There were times the LEGO® community dreaded the idea that the Technic Pneumatic system might disappear. The golden years of airtanks, valves, compressors and pumps and at least one set a year that contained Pneumatics seemed long gone. This fear grew with the arrival of Power Functions (which was hard to combine with air pressure) and linear actuators (that had functions similar to Pneumatics, more control over movement and a more challenging building experience). Between the years 2006 and 2009 none of the sets released had Pneumatics. In 2010 there was a revival with set 8049 Tractor with Log Loader, without any new parts. But part innovation was just around the corner.

18 November 2018

Old Elementary: The Modulex Integration Explanation Part 2

Ralf Langer is a German builder who seems to have a real knack for integrating Modulex into his LEGO® creations. This is the second part in a two-part series; read the first part here.

1x3 Modulex Bricks & LEGO plates 

Surprisingly, a Modulex 1x3 brick fits any 2-stud wide LEGO plate (except for the 1x2 plate). Better still, Plate 2x2 allows three Modulex 1x3 bricks to connect, and it fits perfectly.


For all plate sizes longer than Plate 2x2, there needs to be gaps as every second Modulex 1x3 brick conflicts with the tubes under the plates. If that's not you want in your model you may prefer to connect multiple 2x2 plates together, as shown above.

15 November 2018

Old Elementary: The Modulex Integration Explanation Part 1

A year ago we published a post by LEGO® history geek Francesco Spreafico about an old LEGO product called Modulex. At the time there were some mixed feelings towards the post, primarily because Modulex is often thought of as incompatible with the LEGO System bricks we all know and love. More recently we came across Ralf Langer, a German builder who seems to have a real knack for integrating Modulex into his creations. Ralf was happy to offer some insight into his methods.


I bought my first Modulex bricks back in June. I'm not quite sure why I finally decided to give it a try but most probably it was Terracotta, a nice muted earth tone. I really like using muted colours and the Modulex colour Terracotta is a tone that seems to be suitable for roofs or decorative strips for houses.

28 August 2018

The LEGO® Minifigure at 40: development prototypes

The LEGO® Group have sent us these amazing images to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the LEGO minifigure and we just had to share them with you.

Meet the minifigures before minifigures. Here are three of the original minifigures released in 1978 alongside their rather spooky developmental stages. Tap/click any image to enlarge.

Development of the LEGO® police minifigure



  1. I'm glad they ditched ol' lumpy-squarehead guy pronto. 
  2. The second one you probably recognise, as this non-moving style of minifigure was released in sets in the mid-1970s. It is interesting to note the filenames of the images we were sent indicate these are called "stage extras", a name I've never heard before.
  3. Amusing that it took until 2013 for TLG to release the third one, but pretty cool that they did!
  4.  The final figure as released in 1978 – note the stickered torso. Boy did I hate those as a kid! Sort of charming now though.

7 July 2018

Sustainable LEGO® elements: 40320 Plants from Plants

Here at New Elementary we usually talk about new shapes and colours of LEGO® elements but today we’re looking at a new material from which some botanical elements are now being made. By 2030, The LEGO Group (TLG) intend to use sustainable materials in all of their core products and packaging.

This article is a collaboration between Are J. Heiseldal who met TLG employees Matt Whitby (Environmental Responsibility Engagement) and Bistra Andersen (Senior Materials Platform Manager) at LEGO Fan Media Days in Billund, Tim Johnson, and Elspeth De Montes who has her hands on the limited edition gift-with-purchase set, 40320 Plants from Plants.

LEGO plastics

The first bricks made in 1949 were made from cellulose acetate, which warps over time. After some research by plastics companies, TLG replaced it in 1963 with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, used to this day.

4 February 2018

LEGO® Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle

Sven Franic found some surprising things inside LEGO® Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle. The set has 962 pieces and is now available, for an RRP of £69.99 / US$69.99 / 69.99€. 

Another weird and wonderful set has recently emerged from the LEGO® Ideas platform. A team effort from fan designer Jake Sadovich and LEGO model designer Tiago Catarino went through what seems like a tough job: adapting a glass bottle into a feasible construction for a set.


6 November 2017

10259 Winter Village Holiday Station

Can we talk about Christmas yet? I guess so; LEGO® Creator Expert 10259 Winter Village Holiday Station



 has been available for over a month now (902 pieces, priced £74.99 / US$79.99 / 69.99€). Today, Sven Franic explores the new parts included and gets inspired to build.

A year since we saw the 10254 Winter Village Holiday Train, presumably picking up passengers randomly along the line, a train station is finally here to restore some order to the holiday chaos.



Although the Winter Village Holiday sets are part of the Creator Expert line, there isn't all that much expert in them. This is also acknowledged by the 12+ marking on the box compared to most other sets in the line which are 16+.

2 November 2017

Old Bricks: What is Modulex?

Back in the 1960s the LEGO® Group created a new kind of brick, for adults. Self-confessed LEGO history geek Francesco Spreafico has kindly agreed to translate another of his great articles for us, which he first published in Italian on his excellent blog Old Bricks.

In past articles I mentioned Modulex bricks a few times, but I never fully explained what these bricks actually were; I think that now the time has come to write a brief introduction about them.

At the beginning of the 1960s Godtfred Kirk Christiansen had to design a real building and, as an extension to regular drawings, he created a physical model of the building using LEGO® bricks. Since he had found this process to be very useful, he decided to have a new system developed, a system that was not compatible with the LEGO System, but that was optimised for this kind of architectural design. These new bricks – the Modulex bricks – were put on the market in 1963 and they were intended only for architects, the category they had been created for.


23 October 2017

The new LEGO® vehicle mudguard

I'm not a big fan of vehicles, but I love a good arch. That's why I store my LEGO® mudguard pieces in my box of arch bricks instead of my 'vehicle bits' box! Mudguards make interesting arches, especially for the tops of windows.

So I was happy to see a new mudguard come out last summer, called 'Mudguard 3X4, W/ Plate, No. 1' by TLG and 'Vehicle, Mudguard 4 x 3 x 1 with Arch Curved' on BrickLink. I chose it, in Dark Stone Grey [TLG]/ Dark Bluish Gray [BL], to be one of the pieces featured in our PdC Parts Festival workshops in Portugal where it proved very popular. Today I want to explore its geometry a little more, in the hope of inspiring you to use it in interesting ways.

3 August 2017

Rambling Brick: Underneath the Arches

We love a good arch brick here at New Elementary, so when our good friend Richard Jones posted this article on his excellent blog The Rambling Brick recently, we just had to share. He's kindly allowed us to re-post it here as a guest post.

One of the great things about LEGO® bricks is the system: the way elements fit together and interact with each other, sometimes in unexpected ways.  Studs and tubes are easy to understand. As are minifigure hands and the way they plug into the end of a tube or anti stud, or clip over a 3.18mm bar. Every so often you come across a new set of interactions, and wonder just how far these relationships between elements extend.

IMG_6901

18 July 2017

Bricktastic: Colourtastic (Part 2)

Today, Elspeth De Montes continues her parade of LEGO® pieces in different colours! Why? Because LEGO. 


The hugely oversized Spider (Part 30238) is a force to be reckoned with, appearing in over 110 sets in 10 different colours. My own personal favourite is the Glow In Dark White [BL]/White Glow [TLG] breed which you see on the left (glowing thanks to the magic of Photoshop). It crawled into one LEGO Lord of the Rings set and four Monster Fighters sets, all released in 2012. Flat Silver [BL]/ Silver Metallic [TLG] only appeared in 30238 Spyclops Infiltration as part of the Ultra Agents theme, while Black is by far the commonest colour to be used in sets. See the full range of available colours and their current prices on BrickLink.

17 July 2017

Bricktastic: Colourtastic (Part 1)

At Bricktastic, the LEGO® show in Manchester in aid of Fairy Bricks, New Elementary had a table featuring Nexogon models by Luc Byard, Tim Goddard and Gary Davis as well as models by Jason Briscoe and Rod Gillies. And then there were the delightful, random Colourtastic creations by Elspeth De Montes! 

It’s no secret that I love LEGO® colours. I have been seen immersed in Dark Azure here in the past, but recently I joined New Elementary for some colourtastic fun at Bricktastic, which is a great show because there are lots of young, excited LEGO fans, no barriers around the models and plenty of time and space to interact.

26 April 2017

NEXOGON: The Inexorable

Tim Goddard (Rogue Bantha on Flickr) is certainly no stranger to Neo-Classic Space creations but our parts festival using the new hexagonal LEGO® part 27255 is pushing him to greater heights. His latest ship, The Inexorable, now takes off...

For this build I started with a tablescrap (a small build, normally of no particular purpose, a bit like a doodle) and that turned into an engine. More detail on that in a moment, but first let's look at the main body of the craft.