17 December 2014

Love handles

Posted by Admin

A short post for a small set today! A weeny Creator set isn't normally the kind of thing I discuss here, but I had to get my hands on 2015 set 31028 Sea Plane just as soon as I could, for one reason and one reason alone.

Wow, handles on both ends! The LEGO® Group call it "Plate 1X2 W. 2 Shafts ظ 3.2", the Design ID is 18649 and this initial one in Black has an Element ID of 6099483. Here it is alongside some other plates with shafts, or handles, or bars, or 318s... whatever you like to call them!

I have often desired a 1x1 plate with handle, but I imagine TLG have avoided that since modified 1x1s are not as stable as modified 1x2s. Although 1x1s with clip exist, I've sensed TLG have moved away from modified 1x1 parts in recent times. So whilst this 1x2 isn't as useful, it does at least fulfil one of the purposes that two 1x1s would have been good for. Plus it does something crucial which two 1x1s could not have: it can form part of a double joint, for example making limbs. I've shown a leg here... but that's not a great example as the friction would likely be insufficient for a body's weight. Maybe the Mixels added to the impetus to create this part - they often use bar/clip connections for limbs.

I think the most exciting aspect of this new part is what further new parts it possibly signals... can we expect a range of double-ended bar or clip parts? I have no insight unfortunately, but an equivalent part with clips feels like the next logical step. Or a clip at one end and bar at the other?... many wonderful options are possible!

Ignoring the functional use, it might work as a snowboard for kids alongside the existing larger snowboard accessory. Or the top of a 1x2 column. I'm sure there will be many decorative applications, as the symmetry makes it a most elegant element.

Now let's see how it is used in 31028 Sea Plane and what else the set has to offer. It's a miniscule set - just 53 pieces plus a half-dozen or so spares - and so it comes in a miniscule box.

Aside from the thrilling new part - of which sadly only one is required - there are no other new parts nor recolours. Which is hardly surprising. But it's a nice enough inventory if you're after some Bright Orange [TLG]/Orange [BL]. Here are some of the less common parts included:

It's a 3-in-1 model; the seaplane obviously being the primary model. The detailing is really nice for such a small model and the red and green lights made me think of Classic Space, which is always a nice thought! I love the shape of the water rudders. But what of our new piece? It connects the fuselage to the water rudders using bar holders with clip.

The second model is a catamaran, which has an asymmetrical design to attach the sail which can be rotated a bit - a nice enough play feature for a tiny set. Our special new plate is simply used decoratively.

Same again in the final model, which is a swamp boat at minifig scale - with no minifig supplied, of course. It's a bit blocky, but there's a decent amount of shaping going on. The steering handle and the arm rests are nice details, but this is the least successful of the three models.

To summarise, this is a nice enough pocket money set for kids and I'm impressed by the variety of aquatic vehicles they've developed with so few parts. But like I said at the start, there's only one thing in here for me! At US$4.99, it's pricey for just a single instance of that part and doubtless it will appear in many sets in 2015 - but right now, this is the only one I am aware of.

It is officially released on January 1, 2015 but is already available in some places in the US - including US LEGO® Shop at Home. In fact, here's an affiliate link :o)

Sea Plane

If you're wondering about general availability of 2015 sets, Brickset are posting occasional homepage articles summarising worldwide sightings. We've got several 2015 sets with exciting parts to discuss here over the next few weeks, so keep checking in with New Elementary!

Our thanks to LEGO's Community & Events Engagement Team for providing this set. Consider using our affiliate links to buy it (or anything); this helps support New Elementary!


  1. Might as well call it the love handle plate. I feel like that name just works.

  2. I'd love some click hinges that are double sided like this. and mixels female plates with the slot oriented the other direction

  3. Keep this up and we'll be calling all our parts after your names. I'm cool with "Love-handles plate" for the name of this. I love how reading your blog gets me to think about parts in different ways. My brain got hung up on the mechanical aspect of this part, I didn't even think about the decorative aspects till you pointed them out. Thank you for unsticking my mechanical brain. lol

    What other terms for parts have you coined Caper?

    1. Haha, it seems the only times my nicknames stick are when they're accidental! Apollo stud is the only one I see sometimes.

  4. Remember the old "non-click" hinge pieces from the 80's and 90's? If these double-sided parts start coming out in quantities, using them with the clip elements could be an effective replacement for those older-style hinges that have unlimited poseability as opposed to the discreet positioning of the click hinges.

    1. The finger hinges from that time are still superior for one reason. They are completely flat. With these guys, you have to make room for their hinging areas.

  5. Flamzer
    From the next mixels series has one of these too.

    1. Nice spot. In fact it looks like three of them? HELLO, PARTS PACK

  6. There are two in #75090 Ezra's Speeder Bike from Star Wars Rebels, I picked it up tonight at a Target here in NYC and each bike has one in the nose to which the steering vanes are connected. Several other nice parts, and a whole bunch of beautiful dark green, hoping my lug chooses to draft this badboy

  7. I would suggest a Revell model kit that requires using an x-acto knife, glue and paint, if your mommy will let you. You will need to grow up some day so quit playing with baby toys.