10 December 2018

New LEGO® colour 353 Vibrant Coral: a speculative look

For the second year running, a new LEGO® hue is being introduced: 2019 sets will include Vibrant Coral, which has the colour ID 353. We simply cannot wait to get our hands on it, so instead we asked LEGO colour aficionado Ryan Howerter to guess how it might look!

Nothing gets me as excited about new LEGO sets as much as brand-new colors, and given The LEGO Group’s modern palette constraints – a color has to be removed from the palette to make room for any additions – that doesn’t happen very often. So it was a pleasant surprise to see salmony parts in the new The LEGO Movie 2 set 70828 Pop-Up Party Bus.
New LEGO® colour 353 Vibrant Coral is in The LEGO Movie 2 set 70828 Pop-Up Party Bus
LEGO has been very good at introducing new colors in a wide variety of basic and specialized parts within the first year after launch, so instead of focusing on the few shapes it comes in so far, let’s explore the potential of the color itself!

Officially, LEGO has made three colors in the salmon range: 101 Medium Red [BrickLink: Salmon] and 100 Light Red [BL: Light Salmon] which were both late-1990s Scala exclusive colors, and the DUPLO-exclusive 123 Bright Reddish Orange.

If we go redder, there’s the desaturated 153 Sand Red; pinker and we’re getting close to the obscure 295 Flamingo Pink from Clikits. From the initial images however, Vibrant Coral looks closest to Medium Red.

How might Vibrant Coral compare to other LEGO colors?

Sure, the real thing will probably start appearing on store shelves in a few weeks, but we’re impatient, so let’s make a rough IRL mockup!

First, I took a photo that included the main colors featured in the Party Bus (shown on the right), with some comparison colors (on the left):



Next, I edited the levels/color balance in the set render (original image via TBB), so the colors matched the ones in my picture as best as I could manage:



And finally, I adjusted just the Sand Red brick in my picture to match the Vibrant Coral in the render:



And now we have a speculative, unscientific IRL photo of 353 Vibrant Coral! Looks like it’s not as orangey-salmon as I thought; it’s closer to the pink range. It still looks much redder/darker than 295 Flamingo Pink, too muted to be considered neon.

How does this fit into the color wheel? I plugged its hex code into Adobe Color, and it made some handy colorschemes for myself. The top row in each section is the hex colors it gave me, and the second row is the nearest current LEGO color.


You could add some darker/neutral tones in there to counterbalance the vibrance of the coral, but this color seems to lend itself to some very bright and fun palettes! For some reason I have a sudden urge to play Splatoon right now…

Of course, keep in mind this is all based on an RGB color (not a pigment) taken from a render (not a real photo), mashed up with my own very imperfect photography, so it’s possible it may end up nothing like this when we get to see the parts in person. But this color seems to fill a gap not just in the current production palette but also in the entire history of LEGO colors. It will be interesting to see how AFOLs incorporate it into their MOCs.

As LEGO has said that their palette is so restricted, with this and the revival of 107 Bright Bluish Green [BL: Dark Turquoise, Peeron: Teal], we should expect a couple of the lesser-used colors to be booted out of rotation. Don’t worry, it’s most likely something rarely-used like 109 PC Black IR. Probably.




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33 comments:

  1. https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/color-of-the-year/color-of-the-year-2019

    I'm just going to leave that right there. And I'm going to hope this is total coincidence, and that we don't end up seeing the color palette gradually get overtaken by flash-in-the-pan trendy colors when there are holes that AFOLs would much rather see filled. Or worse, if popular colors end up getting dropped to make way for these.

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    1. Hmm. Well, it seems that the reveal of Pantone's Colour Of The Year happened a couple of weeks after the announcement of these sets. And Pantone write that their colour can "...enable connection" and "embodies our desire for playful expression", both clear references to the uses and properties of Vibrant Coral LEGO bricks.
      Methinks perhaps LEGO is not to blame for this 'coincidence'...

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    2. See, I'd seen that as a fortunate coincidence, and not a "flash in the pan" thing. I certainly doubt Lego would ever retire a widely used color to make room for an untested one, unless there was some serious issue with the former.

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    3. "Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral"... Further coincidence...

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    4. @Andrew:
      For it to be anything but coincidence, they'd have to have known about it well in advance, which I don't think would even be possible. But it didn't stop a flash of worry from rocketing through my brain when I noticed it.

      Assuming, for a moment, that they did know about this far enough in advance to plan this into their color palette, and announce sets featuring that color before the announcement was even made, there's not a lot of ways it could play out that wouldn't suck. If they swap out the color-of-the-year on an annual basis, it means you end up with an ever-expanding list of dead colors with fairly stunted part selections (something that helped drive them to the brink of failure in the mid-Aughts). If they don't, the color palette will quickly become overrun by colors that are formerly-fashionable, aka tired-and-unwanted.

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  2. I saw this colour being produced during my factory tour in September.
    They were making the quarter circle/pizza slice 1x1 tiles in it.

    It's very sickly pink/salmon.. slightly paler than in your mockup.

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  3. Mesdames and messieurs, place your bets. Which colour is being honorably discharged? I am putting my money on Bright Green. Although it would make more sense to lose one of the blues.
    Looking forward to the new tropical tone.

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    1. Bright Green is still being used in one of next year's Ninjago sets at least, for an apple. So if it will be retired it hasn't happened just yet.

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    2. 37 Bright Green has also been common in Duplo sets for many years, arguably more so than 28 Dark Green (classic green). It's used conspicuously in already revealed 2019 Duplo, Classic, Creator, BrickHeadz, Disney, Friends, and Seasonal sets.

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    3. "Very Light Bluish Gray" is apparently being listed as produced in 2018 on Bricklink. (Too lazy too look up which piece.) But it seems to be barely used, and a rather likely bet.

      Medium Azure and Medium Blue appear to be rather similar, but on the other hand, unlike VLBG, these are quite popular colors with a lot of parts in their palette...

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    4. Looking it up, it seems to be a cape cloth, which technically might not be a part, so it might in reality have been retired a long time ago. It's also been suggested that the cape cloth is mislisted, and should really be under Light Aqua, instead...

      https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=20375#T=S&C=99&O={"color":"99","iconly":0}

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    5. Håkan S.: https://brickset.com/sets/40388-1/Mini-Doll-Dress-Up-Kit
      VLBG is still used in model shops (I saw loads of basic bricks in the color at LLDC Schaumburg last year), but it isn't on the official palettes. Maybe they're just using up old stock?

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    6. @Håkan:
      The Azures have a distinct green tint to them, where Medium Blue is more of a greytone. There's no way they'd feature Medium Blue in Friends/Elves/Princesses, especially if it meant breaking up the Azures. Medium Blue, on the other hand, seems to be more favored with the Creator theme, and I can't imagine the HP flying Ford Anglia in any other color (in fact, early this year I finally got to build the MOC version I'd been wanting to make since Friends launched and I got suckered into buying two copies of Stephanie's Cool Convertible for the fenders).

      The sails are fabric, and fabric has _totally_ different rules than molded parts. We know this because one of the Modular designers mentioned that he only got to include the chromed mirror element in the Detective's Office because the plastic used falls under the "fabric" category and the rules that would have prevented him from doing the same thing on the window glass element didn't apply if he did it on "fabric".

      @Ryan:

      VLBG was originally used for the Jellybean Knights and the NXT-generation Mindstorms sets. They're done with both, so I could see it going away. If the IR plastic that's been mentioned here a couple times is different from the stuff used on the PF remotes and receivers, that's probably also expendable.

      @Sven:
      Bright Green gets used for a lot of plants. Like, a _LOT_ of plants. Of the parts that are still in production, the only ones that have not also appeared in regular green are the little curly-cue plant shoot, and the HP CMF Mandrake root leaves, but it's the preferred color for the new trefoil leaves.

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    7. @Purple Dave
      Yeah, I realized it was fabric afterwards (and quite possibly even wrongly listed fabric), so that it might not count.

      @Sven
      @Purple Dave
      Also Bright Green seems to be used quite a bit in themes less popular among AFOL's, such as Duplo, 4+ and Classic.

      One other guess I'd have made is Nougat (Bricklink Flesh), which has been used quite sparingly, and almost only for skintones, with next to no practical parts produced. But then, I realize that it's the chosen reboot color for Olivia in the Friends theme, which would be a favorable point for keeping it.

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    8. Hmm, as for Nougat (Bricklink Flesh), I realize now that the more common Light Nougat (Bricklink Light Flesh) also has very few actual parts produced. Probably a deliberate choice to avoid having builders construct naked people...

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    9. @Purple Dave: Besides Stephanie's Cool Convertible, it's interesting how many Friends sets have used Medium Blue, even when it's a new mold/recolor that could have just as easily been swapped for one of the Azurs. So, I think it's pretty well accepted by that demographic… just not for the same uses that the Azurs are preferred for.

      @Håkan S.: Agreed about that as a probable rationale about Nougat/Light Nougat's scarcity, though another factor might be that people who are used to thinking of it as "flesh color" might be sort of grossed out by seeing it on something that shouldn't look fleshy, like a building. According to the LEGO Creator Expert website, one of the Nougat colors was considered as a possible color for the brownstone apartment building in #10218 Pet Shop, but rejected for more or less this reason: https://www.lego.com/en-us/themes/creatorexpert/articles/10218-pet-shop-9da233396f5645f89716e5e0997b25da

      And yeah, that cape is definitely Light Aqua, according to the inventory from LEGO Customer Service/Brickset.

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  4. Evidently the set image is an actual photo, not a render. My bad.

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  5. While I'd kind of hate to see it go for nostalgic reasons, I think one of the easiest colors from the current palette to drop (aside from ones like PC Black IR or Conductive Black that might already be retired for all we know) would be Transparent Fluorescent Blue (https://flic.kr/p/oGSttu).

    Not only is it very similar to the much older and more widely used Transparent Light Blue (https://flic.kr/p/oQ14HE), but from 2009 onward, it's hardly ever been used in contexts where it really gained much from being fluorescent or not having a slight bluish-green/azure tint. So far, I haven't spotted any obvious uses of it in next year's sets. And its use in sets sharply declined from 2017 (7 different molds in 15 new sets) to 2018 (2 different molds in 3 new sets), suggesting that LEGO may be in the process of phasing it out.

    In the past, it only made it into 10 or more sets annually from 2003 to 2007 and 2012 to 2017, but even so, three sets is the fewest sets it's been in since its introduction. Two of the other fluorescent colors it was released alongside in the first wave of Bionicle sets were retired much earlier due to lack of use: Transparent Fluorescent Red (https://flic.kr/p/oKVE4n) and Transparent Fluorescent Yellow (https://flic.kr/p/oKUEps). None of those three colors ever saw as extensive use in System themes as their predecessors from LEGO Space, Transparent Fluorescent Reddish Orange (Trans-Neon Orange) or Transparent Fluorescent Green (Trans-Neon Green).

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    1. Hmm, that's a good hypothesis, but I would have suspected there would be different quotas/ allotments for opaque, transparent and chrome colors. Are you certain that's not the case?

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    2. I don't want that color getting the boot! Quite frankly, of all the transparent blue shades, it's my favorite shade, and the one I use most. =( It's the best color for doing icy mocs. which is my specialty! in fact, i mix the different transparent blue shades to get the best, real effects.

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    3. @Skye:
      I'd prefer to not see that happen because the two shades are so different (TLB works great for tropical scenes, while TMB looks icy). TFR was so one-and-done that Bricklink doesn't even recognize it, and instead lists the original Bionicle brain as Trans Dark Pink, but I did score a nice pile of Trans Fluorescent Yellow 1x1 round plates a few years ago, on top of owning both Bionicle parts in that color and some starfish.

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    4. I feel like both colors are pretty effective at looking icy. Transparent Light Blue compares particularly favorably to the famously colorful and clear ice that forms on Lake Baikal in the winter: https://allthatsinteresting.com/turquoise-ice-lake-baikal

      Tr. Light Blue's slight greenish tinge also helps enhance ice-themed models' and characters' contrast with fire-themed models and characters in themes such as Bionicle, Ninjago, and Legends of Chima, since those themes' color coding tends to use a lot of red to represent fire.

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  6. It's great to have a new colour! But I hope a popular colour isn't replaced because of it. I was hoping the new colour would be a revival of medium red. I absolutely love that colour, so I hope vibrant coral isn't too dissimilar....

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    1. Medium Red? Is that Bricklink Salmon? I had kinda hoped for a true Bright Reddish Orange (like Vermillion), the only tertiary color missing (although it might look better in my head than in practice). But real Bright Reddish Orange, which seems slightly less pink than Scala Salmon, I think, only appears to have been distributed in a few Duplo sets.

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    2. Yes, Medium Red, as used in Scala, known on Bricklink as Salmon. That was what the new colour looked like to me at first glance. But yes I was also hoping for Bright Reddish Orange, as used in Duplo. I love that colour too and it would be great to get that! I keep emailing Lego.com with suggestions. They do take customer feedback seriously, but I'm not sure whether they can practically listen to customer requests. Maybe if many customers requested a certain colour....well, you never know!

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    3. Peter, what would your top 3 choices be for a new LEGO color? Emailing LEGO.com is great but if you get a chance to share your opinions and wishes with us Designers, then you are going straight to the source.

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    4. That's a tough one because I love all colours! But particularly I love the colours that look more realistic as in nature, so that when I look at a Lego model it looks life-like, rather than a collection of coloured plastic bricks. So more browns and greens I suppose. I'd love a green in between Dark Green and Green (Earth Green and Dark Green - TLG), also I'd like to see a revival of Medium Green (TLG) or something similar. Also I'd love a brown that looked really realistic as wood, for furniture. Medium Nougat (TLG) is quite good but a more realistic Lego wood colour would be nice. Having said that I'd love the Bright Reddish Orange to find its way into general Lego sets and for Sand Red to be revived too, particularly as baseplates and mountain elements.

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    5. Part of me would like to see a revival of the Light and Medium Green used in Paradisa and similar girl-oriented themes. There's a significant lack of smaller plates and tiles to make natural gradients between Light Green Paradisa and Regular / TLG Dark Green baseplates.

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  7. I would have liked to see Sand Red brought back into the rotation. In my mind, it fills a bigger color gap and would have great potential with the modular building line.

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    1. Indeed, bricks and slopes in sand red could be very useful for buildings.
      Sand Red was my 2nd wish after Dark Turquoise, that came back this year :)

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    2. Sand Red! I miss that colour! I did email lego.com about Sand Red recently. It would be great for a Martian landscape...especially if they recoloured the old crater baseplates....

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  8. To me it seems like we get a minifig in this color as well
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/tormentalous/46541188542/in/dateposted/

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  9. Hmmm, from the blurry images, I figured it was Dark Pink yet again… Instant Buy for q_159 and his Flickrstream, then...

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