20 July 2022

The LEGO® 1x1x2/3 Plate with Open Stud

Posted by Tom Loftus

Is it a brick? Is it a plate? No, it's…both? 

Last December we were introduced to a new member of the 1x1 family: the LEGO® Minecraft candle, aka Plate 1 x 1 x 2/3 with Open Stud (86996). My initial reaction to this stocky newcomer was that it would undoubtedly be useful, but how exactly? Today it's my task to find out.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.

It has appeared in 20 sets so far in a respectable, albeit fairly muted, range of colours:

  • Black (6388352)
  • White (6383985)
  • Yellowish Green (6382547)
  • Olive Green (6382541)
  • Medium Nougat (6383946)
  • Dark Orange (6382577)
  • Red (6397571)
I’ve yet to acquire the most recent addition (Red) which was released in June, though I’m more interested in the Medium Stone Grey (6401023) ones. They have been spied in the upcoming 76911 007 Aston Martin DB5 which Kev recently reviewed, and also 10305 Lion Knights' Castle which Ben reviewed on Monday. The castle actually comes with 83 of the Medium Stone Grey, and in what feels like some kind of terrible tease, also includes a solitary one in Dark Stone Grey (6388133)!

Aside from White, I felt the initial colours available were a bit limiting so I was excited to see Black ones show up as this year progressed. With no Bricks & Pieces to rely on any more, I hunted for a set that included them in a decent quantity. 

I know, I know. Any excuse to get a LEGO Speed Champions set right? Fortunately 76909 Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance & Mercedes-AMG Project One contains a whopping 18 1x1x2/3 plates, so I don't feel too guilty about it. If you're grabbing one too, consider using our affiliate links; New Elementary may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop/for Europe 'Change region'.

Given the crazy techniques the theme typically offers I was a little disappointed to see them as mundane filler brick to negate the use of stacked 1x1 plates. Then it hit me - the element's generic use is actually one of the best things about it because it'll be fairly easy to acquire - something not often true with new parts. 
Hopefully it will be commonplace in all our collections soon so I guess we should find out what it's good for!

Analysing the 1x1x⅔ Plate (86996)

I’ll start with a speedy-quick recap of my initial analysis from my review of 80108 Lunar New Year Traditions

As I alluded to earlier, It's basically two 1x1 plates on top of each other but with the exciting addition of an open stud, originally intended to accommodate the extended base of the small flame element as seen in Minecraft sets. It's also the latest in a small family of ⅔ of a plate high 1x1 elements. Technically there’s a family member missing from my line up though…

Rotate a headlight brick by 90° and it too is two plates tall with an open stud on top and an antistud below. It's almost as if someone chopped bits off a headlight brick to make the new plate - more on that later.

On the hunt for techniques I kept realising that a pair of apollo studs (1x1 round plates with open stud) would often get the job done just as easily, and with greater clutch power. Where the new element does come in handy is when you need a secure bar connection without sacrificing the look of a nice flat surface. A good example of this can be found on the wingtip of Buzz Lightyear’s XL-15 Spaceship which I recently reviewed.

Similarly it's great for compact stud reversal in areas that can’t be hidden away. This works particularly well with the 2L bar also introduced last year as you're not left with any excess bar to contend with. Had the 1x1x2/3 plate been around at the time, I suspect this technique would have been used in place of the 4 apollo studs on Hedwig's tail feathers from 76391 Hogwarts Icons Collectors Edition.

During my initial analysis I mused about threading a bunch onto a flex tube to create some fancy brick arches and architectural details. Now that the quantity in my possession exceeds a grand total of one, I can try that idea out.

Tom Loftus' MOCs inspired by the 1X1X2/3 Plate

Riverside Stroll

Watch me eat my words about the other colours not holding much potential. Here I used them all at least once to represent weathered and water-stained areas on this riverside vignette - Yellowish Green and Olive Green at the base of the arch and Dark Orange and Medium Nougat on the brick wall. I even snuck a black one into the Jonas Kramm-inspired lamp post build.

Headlight Workshop 

Of course I would never actually deface a headlight brick! However, the mental image of a kit-bashed origin story for the plate compelled me to make it in the brick. Bragging rights to whoever can guess the part I used for the disembodied stud on the work bench. You may also be able to spot a couple of elements that will feature in an upcoming parts festival - it'll be out of this world. Speaking of...

The Space Ranger

With the film's recent release and having revisited the XL-15 earlier, I was itching to build something Lightyear related. The 1x1x2/3 plate proved to be the catalyst I needed. 

Last year I made a series of cats in a blocky, minimalistic style so naturally I had to build a Sox with the same approach. I thought the element’s clean look and open stud would be Purr-fect for his computer-compatible tail with the addition of a screwdriver piece. Things soon got out of hand because I thought you just can’t have a Sox without a Buzz. 

Before I knew it I was recreating his less iconic (but in my eyes cooler) XL-15 orange flight suit along with an IVAN auto-pilot cartridge and his rank plaque to accent the display stand.

My intention was to use the new plate in Buzz as well but I only managed one inconsequential use in his innards. 

Closing Thoughts

Between this and the curved slope I looked at previously, it seems I have a knack at selecting incredibly versatile yet rather mundane elements to analyse. I suppose you could call them ‘fertiliser elements’ rather than seed parts - both incredibly useful but lacking an enduring wow-factor. 

However, as the go-to choice for filler instead of fiddly stacked 1x1 plates, the 1x1x2/3 plate should be pretty easy to come by. Throw in the fact it has significant value for compact SNOT work for areas where looks matter, I’d say this element is a win-win-win situation.

Editor: Chris Baginski

READ MORE: LEGO® 10305 Lion Knights' Castle - all the new and interesting parts

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  1. Oh man, that Buzz figure is ridiculously cool. And that stud reversal using the 2L bar is certainly be a handy trick!

  2. A great review of a neat new part!

    Beyond the new building opportunities offered by this part, the simplification it offers over a pair of 1x1 plates is welcome in its own right. In sets, using this part reduces the need to carefully align 1x1 plates when stacking them, and makes disassembly easier. It's a slight shame that the Sonic the Hedgehog set (which used many, many stacks of two 1x1 plates for its checkerboard ground pattern) didn't make use of this part, which would have not only made it a great source of them but also would make the build a lot less tedious!

  3. Nice review, must try the 2L stop bar soon.

    https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=30256#T=A ?

  4. Shame it wasn't created earlier
    Would have been nice to use in the Green Hill Zone ideas set instead of all those 1x1 plates.

    1. It was available when that set was being developed. A designer stated somewhere that I cannot recall that it was deliberately NOT used because there were concerns about kids being able to identify 1 x 1 plates, 1 x 1 x 2/3 pieces, and 1 x 1 bricks from one another in the instructions if all three pieces were included.

    2. It is interesting they concluded that. I thought the hollow stud was partly chosen so it would be easier to differenciate.

  5. Certainly, it will be useful for seamlessly securing all sorts of plants in the ground, like carrot tops or the flower stem that ends in a bar.

    1. Good thinking! I hadn't even really considered how much of an advantage the square profile of this would give it in that respect.

    2. I remember reading an interview somewhere with a builder of a vast microscale city scene, and his #1 "Wish Brick" was a 1x1 plate with an open stud for just that reason. This double-thickness plate could work in the same way. It would be a little less trouble than burying a 1x1 Technic brick in a landscape, but the biggest advantage would be that it already comes in colors Technic doesn't.

  6. Wow, the stud reversal with the 2L bar is mighty: so valuable! Overall, it's yet another delightful and insightful review, coupled with such lovely builds. ❤️Thank you and well done! 🙏

    1. Yeah that's a great technique, glad to learn it.

    2. Thanks Nick! Glad you found this one interesting :)

  7. The 'loose stud' seems to be a sprue-leftover? Can't find out which one tho. 4073 has more of a cross shape, and the ninjago throwing star looks bigger.

    1. Top of a candle? Witgvthe rest buried in the table.

  8. My best guess for the stud is an "arm piece with disk and 2 fingers" that's cleverly buried, though it's hard to tell with the focus if that's a raised LEGO logo, a hole, or a slot on the top.

    1. Aaahh... There seems to be some part below it that's been built around, somehow.


  9. I'd guess 30256 2x2x5 tile with bar and stud on top. (Looks like an antenna on a 2x2 tile base).

  10. My first guess was 24445 Tile, Modified 1 x 2 with Minifigure Head Post, but I also can't tell whether the build or this part includes the raised Lego branding on the stud. My collection is sadly lacking this short-lived element, as well as most of the fantastic suggestions above.

    1. Whoa that's an interesting part I never knew about, and it's fairly recent too!

    2. Oooooo That's a great guess! I forgot about that element too.

  11. That stud looks like the top of a 1x1 tap (4599b)

    1. I think that's the most plausible answer yet. And one of my favorite parts.

  12. Great stuff. Love the Sox cats.

  13. My thought was one of the syringes (87989) but I'm not sure it was ever released in white

  14. Is the stud made of the end of a train track connection/stacking piece?