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

22 November 2019

Old Elementary: The 1x2 plate with handle

Let's take a momentary break from our amazing Parts Festival to enjoy another look back into LEGO® element history. Skye Barnick suggested we discuss a tiny change to a familiar piece that occurred in 1983 and stepping up to the task we have Inthert, a UK-based builder who participated in our earlier Parts Festival this year.

Coming alongside the introduction of the beloved minifigure in 1978, the 1x2 plate with handlebars (Mini Handle - Design ID 3839) was among the first LEGO® elements to feature 3.18mm diameter bars, essentially meaning it was perfect for being held by tiny minifigure hands… or was it?

12 November 2019

2019 Parts Fest #2: Yvonne Doyle's marine research

Our next Parts Festival participant is Yvonne Doyle, a UK-based Irish builder who likes to dabble in the different scales offered by Belville and Scala. She also has the rare honour of having been immortalised as a green Classic Space minifigure, in LEGO® Ideas 21109 Exo Suit. While other participants have seemingly battled with using the Friends marine multipack parts, Yvonne has flourished!

Biff is Buffing



Biff is buffing his quarter scale model car. The new pieces from Mini Accessory, No. 11 in Silver Metallic ( 50018 | 6266977 ) are interesting and great for attachment points, while the little Octopus from Accessories, Marine Life, No. 1 in Vibrant Coral (6262127|49595) reminded me of some cleaning cloths.

9 October 2019

Fabuland Lives On: the hidden side

This year marks 40 years since The LEGO Group (TLG) launched the FABULAND® theme, which ran until 1989. To celebrate this, we've been running an occasional series of articles here at New Elementary called Fabuland Lives On! We're examining the surprising effect that this theme for 3-7 year olds has had upon the LEGO® System, and the hearts of fans.


So far we have looked at the colours and the elements that are still present in sets today. This third post focuses on some of Elspeth's favourite Fabuland elements that popped up unexpectedly in other themes over the years but sadly are no longer in production; the hidden side of Fabuland.

1 October 2019

Old Elementary: Insectoids

Duncan Lindbo returns today with another look at a weird LEGO® part from history and how it might be used in your creations.

Today, we’re going to venture back into the dark days of the 1990s once again and take a look at some more parts from the Insectoids theme. Last time, we looked at some of the properties of the Insectoid wings; this time we’re looking at the legs. Bug legs! Weird biomechanical big legs!


25 September 2019

Old Elementary: The 1x2 plate with the arm that moved

Today's look back into LEGO® part history comes from Felix Stiessen, an avid LEGO enthusiast from Austria who is always interested in discovering new and interesting techniques to exploit the unique geometry of certain LEGO bricks.

Making its first appearance in 1984’s LEGO Castle range, the basic design of the LEGO® 1x2 plate with a vertical bar attachment has now been around for 35 years. However, in 2008 LEGO introduced a subtle design change that might have gone unnoticed by many.

This article will explore the difference between Design ID 4623 - Plate W. Hook 1X2, and Design ID 88072 - Plate 1X2 W. Vertical Schaft (sic).

22 September 2019

How the LEGO® element team designed the new gear wheels

We’ve really enjoyed this latest Parts Festival, which now draws to a close, and we are so grateful to the talented artists who gave us their time and creative talents for everyone’s pleasure; in no particular order – Jessica Farrell, Inthert, Jaap Bijl, Duncan Lindbo, Samuel Pister, Sarah Beyer and Jaroslaw Walter.

To complete the festival we will take another look at what are arguably the most noticeable parts in the selection; the new gear wheel plates that we affectionately named ‘splat gears’. You may recall back in March, Elspeth wrote a fantastic post listing the different kinds of LEGO gears through history, including an examination of the new splat gear family.


It seems LEGO enjoyed her post too! – we later received this fascinating email from Marinus Jasperse on behalf of the Element Design Platform Team at the LEGO Group about the development of the new gear family...

29 August 2019

2019 Parts Fest #1: Inhert's Splat Gear Experiments

Back to the Parts Festival fun today as our LEGO® fan builders find uses for 2019 parts. Following his discoveries with the big yellow star, Inthert returns today with fascinating analysis of the gear wheels.

Perhaps it was their bright colours or unusual shape but the three sizes of the affectionately dubbed ‘splat gears’ immediately caught my eye as I emptied all the parts onto my build table.


  • Vibrant Coral Gear Wheel 6X6, Z14 (Element ID 6258385 | Design ID 35446)
  • Dark Stone Grey [TLG]/ Dark Bluish Gray [BL] Gear Wheel 4X4, Z10 (6252371|35443)
  • Medium Lilac [TLG]/ Dark Purple [BL] Gear Wheel 2X2, Z6 (6238330|35442)

3 August 2019

Fabuland Lives On: the elements

This year marks 40 years since The LEGO Group (TLG) launched the FABULAND theme. In total, 99 Fabuland sets were released from 1979 until 1989, plus the theme featured licensed products such as books, clothing, key rings and for the first time an animated TV series. To celebrate this, we're examining the surprising legacy that this theme for 3-7 year olds has had upon the elements of the LEGO® System to this day.



We thought it would be interesting to take a look at the influence of this theme by finding some current LEGO elements that started their lives as Fabuland elements.

28 June 2019

LEGO® Inside Tour 2019: new and exclusive parts

Every year The LEGO Group run a few “Inside Tour” events where they open their doors to a small group of fans. The lucky participants – I say lucky because although they are paying for the pleasure, tickets sell out almost instantly – are given behind the scenes access to LEGO HQ, hang out with designers and receive all manner of goodies. The most notable goodie is the Inside Tour set, a set designed for the tours that (sometimes) remains unavailable elsewhere. Each celebrates an aspect of LEGO history such as the Ferguson tractor, or the LEGOLAND train.

This year’s set is especially exciting to New Elementary as it contains a new element, produced exclusively for the set. It is 3D printed rather than injection moulded, so while its quality is much lower than regular LEGO pieces, it’s still super exciting... and rare. Participants were told it is the first 3D-printed piece ever to appear in a LEGO set (unless any of you readers know otherwise?). They’ve even given it ID numbers; Element ID 6286866|Design ID 66237, but don’t expect it to ever become available anywhere!


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.