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

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.

17 April 2017

NEXOGON: Flying Saucergon

Kevin Levell is back with another new creation using the LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™Combo Power shield, part 27255. Also, he's back on Flickr, so you can keep up with him after this parts festival is over!

As my previous builds had been, for the most part, geodesic, I wanted to start off at least by using the Nexogons as a flat building platform (of sorts). I had intended to do something other than another spaceship, but the Nexogon is just such a sci-fi looking object! Despite trying various explorations of the part, I kept being led back to all things sci-fi, in my failure to avoid another spacecraft I have built a flying saucer.

12 March 2017

Old Bricks: Brick Yellow & Brick Red

Francesco Spreafico returns with another guest post today containing more interesting historical facts about LEGO® colours. Francesco first published this article in Italian on his excellent blog Old Bricks.

About a year and a half ago, Kevin Hinkle of the LEGO® community engagement team told us a bit of trivia he had heard from his colleagues in the Materials and Research & Development department: the reason why the LEGO colour that is commonly called “Tan” is officially called “Brick Yellow”.

7 March 2017

NEXOGON: Platform and Slugship

Duncan Lindbo (donutsftw on Flickr) has completed his initial creations using part 27255, the Combo Power Shield from LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™. Let's start with two of them today.

Normally, I get referred to as "the mecha guy", since giant robots tend to dominate my displays at public events... but I welcome the opportunity to flex my creative muscles, and the NEXOGON parts festival has given me the opportunity to do just that!


30 January 2017

Old Bricks: 5 Classic LEGO® Colours

LEGO® fans of a certain age will fondly recall the vintage 1960s/'70s LEGO logo that Francesco Spreafico is discussing today but may be surprised to learn it made further appearances in later decades, and even one in 2016. Francesco first published this article in Italian on his excellent blog Old Bricks.

The LEGO® logo has changed many times over the years, and around 1963-1965 they adopted the square shape that it still has today. Next to this square you could find another one, with a "rainbow" made of five coloured stripes: yellow, red, blue, white and black. These five colours were used together with the LEGO logo until 1973 and they kept using them for years even after that, without the LEGO logo.


But what are these colours? You might have read a few different explanations for them, but more often than not these explanations are incorrect or only partially correct.

8 January 2017

Old Bricks: LEGO® Minitalia

We have another historical article by Francesco Spreafico today, which he first published in Italian on his excellent blog Old Bricks.

In 1970 a new LEGO® theme debuted in Italy, and only in Italy. It was called "Minitalia" and you might have heard of it or stumbled across a few bricks from those sets... strange bricks that don't really look like LEGO bricks, even though they're perfectly compatible. It's very easy today to find people, even here in Italy, finding some of those bricks and asking what kind of strange clone they are. They aren't, they are 100% LEGO.

18 December 2016

Bravo Three One Eight

I am sure that many people, upon seeing these models, would cite them as proof that LEGO® have lost their way "since I was a kid, when it was just bricks". Whilst these are indeed new parts, the fact is that the changes that brought them into the LEGO System occurred in the 1970s.

4 December 2016

Old Bricks: Jumbo Bricks

I came across a new blog the other day, Old Bricks, which I thoroughly enjoyed even though I was reading Google Translate's version of the original Italian! The author, Francesco Spreafico, is the Ambassador for ItLUG, the largest and oldest LEGO® User Group in Italy. I like to examine old parts on New Elementary, but rarely find the time. Thankfully, Francesco is fluent in English and has kindly translated a post for New Elementary readers.

A few days ago I bought some Jumbo Bricks on eBay, so I thought to devote a few words about these strange, old LEGO® bricks, since all the information about them I could find is scattered all over the web and I haven't found a good roundup.

The LEGO Group (TLG) has always been interested in pre-school toys... now we have DUPLO bricks, which are twice as big as regular LEGO bricks and compatible with them. But before that? There were a few predecessors... among them, these so-called Jumbo Bricks that were marketed in America by Samsonite starting in 1964 up until the end of their contract with TLG in 1972.

18 September 2016

Seventh Heaven



Today we have an extensive review of the parts that come in LEGO® Ideas 21307 Caterham Seven 620R, peppered with comments from the designer of the original concept, Carl Greatrix. I could not be happier for Carl, who is a top bloke and a remarkable builder. He’s also fun at parties.

19 August 2016

Neo-Nexo Ice Planet Knights

It fascinates me that, when planning the LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ theme, the LEGO Group seemingly took inspiration from AFOLs. Specifically, the idea of building new models using the colour schemes of olden-day LEGO themes, such as the Neo-Classic Spacers do. The colour scheme the designers chose for Nexo Knights in 2016 clearly riffs on the LEGO Space theme from 1992 called Ice Planet 2002.

This made me wonder what a modern-day AFOL of super Space-building skills... say, Tim Goddard... might create for Ice Planet using Nexo Knights pieces. Thanks (once again) to the excellent support of the AFOL Relations & Programs team at the LEGO Group and Tim's incredible building skills, the idea has now come to fruition... so let's see how he got on!


I was given an interesting brief for this article: “the Nexo Knights range has a definite flavour of Ice Planet 2002: explore”. There is no denying the colour palettes overlap greatly; you just need a little white to mix with the blue and orange shades and you are almost there, albeit with a medieval twist to the theme. So I have created a few models investigating how the new pieces in the range can be used to add a bit of frostiness to spacey creations, how useful these new moulds are, plus a few other observations along the way.

13 August 2014

When LEGO was never just bricks


I had a mild argument with a (non-AFOL) friend earlier this year. He swore blind that when he was a kid in the '70s, he only had about seven different types of LEGO® parts; all basic rectilinear bricks. He liked to build windmills. "How did the windmill turn?" I asked. He conceded that he must have also owned wheel parts.



The release of 21050 Architecture Studio in the UK this month seems to have sparked another glut of ill-researched articles spouting the same old lines that bore every AFOL that reads them to tears... or rather, to online ranting. My turn today!

14 May 2014

Benny's Neo Classic Space Ship

Is 2014 just the best year of LEGO® sets ever?? Of course not... that was 1979. But this summer's wave of new sets contains some absolutely thrilling sets. If it weren't for the upcoming LEGO Ideas Exo-Suit, I'd say that my most anticipated set of 2014 was 70816 Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!

Of course, I'm biased because this set represents the ultimate in nostalgia for me, but that also brought a huge weight of expectation to this build. Could a modern set really evoke the kind of love I felt for my Space sets as a kid? I was really worried it wouldn't capture the intangible magic of Classic Space and just leave me feeling like it was any other modern-day Space set but in blue/grey/trans-yellow. I'm happy to report that this was not the case at all.



28 March 2014

You raise me arch

There are many reasons why LEGO® parts get redesigned, for example to strengthen a part or to improve the moulding process. But sometimes a whole 'family' of parts will get redesigned, and this process can take years for TLG to roll out because moulds need to reach the end of their working lives before the expense of replacement is undertaken. Over the last five years or so, the family of arched bricks have been altered and I was prompted to write this post because what I think/hope is the last of these, the 1X8X2 arch, has now begun to appear in its new form. The essential change to arched bricks is that they are being "raised" - the interior curve no longer sits flush to the bottom of the brick.

1 December 2013

New legends

How does one connect LEGO® parts? The classic 'stud and tube' design is the obvious answer but of course it's not the only technique. A myriad of 'connectors' have been introduced over the decades such as clips and bars, Technic snaps, various hinges - to name just a few - and in 2014 another kind is coming;  a new style of ball and cup connector. We first learnt of these in July this year when the new theme Mixels was announced and immediately caused a sensation - as these new joints have strong friction, so can be positioned at a wide range of angles. I've been dying to get my hands on them, but Mixels is not due out until March. It turns out these new parts will actually first appear in the new Chima sub-theme, Legend Beasts, which are due for a January release but are already available in many countries. The kind folk at LEGO's Community and Events Engagement Team have sent New Elementary two of the Legend Beast sets in advance of this official release so I'm rather grateful to them and rather excited to be able to tell you all about the contents!

29 October 2013

Neo Elementary: Peter Reid's favourite Classic Space LEGO® elements

Inventive AFOLs have been creating their own LEGO® “themes” for a long time now. For example, Lord of the Rings was a popular MOC choice for many AFOLs long before the Peter Jackson films arrived and became licensed by TLG. But my favourite AFOL-invented theme has to be Neo Classic Space (NCS); models that respectfully bring the “Classic Space” era of LEGO sets (1978-1987) into the 21st Century with new techniques and elements mixed in with the old.

NCS is about to be showcased in the new book LEGO® Space: Building the Future, which (just in case you missed it) I published a cool little teaser trailer for yesterday. Although I’m yet to see an actual copy, I'm expecting a science fact/fiction narrative that builds on the disparate stories suggested by those original Classic Space sets, all richly illustrated with the exquisite models of Peter Reid and Tim Goddard - as you can see from this exclusive preview image of a perfectly-formed little shuttle; the LL-290. Click/tap to enlarge.

22 October 2013

To be or notch to be

Aeroplanewing 4X9

Design ID 14181


Colour White | Element ID 6040362

Colour Black | Element ID 6048849

Colour Light Bluish Gray [BL]/Medium Stone Grey [TLG] | Element ID 6048848


A new design (shown here in Light Bluish Gray) for the old part 2413 (shown here in White) began appearing in sets this year. Viewed from the top, they appear identical but seen from the bottom the change is obvious; notches have been added along the diagonal edges so that they can now be attached to elements underneath. It appears in five sets so far (but may also be used in older sets as the previous version runs out). White is in 60012 Coast Guard 4x4 & Diving Boat and 9664 First LEGO® League Challenge 2013 Nature's Fury. Black is in 76007 Iron Man": Malibu Mansion Attack and 76001 The Bat vs. Bane": Tumbler Chase. Light Bluish Gray is in 60015 Coast Guard Plane.

Decisions about whether or not to use notches have a long history at LEGO. At the time when System in Play began in 1955 you could buy little spare parts boxes of 'macaroni', the 2X2 round corner brick (part 3063), but this part came in notched and notchless versions simultaneously. Not like Schrödinger's cat though. Distribution of the two versions was seemingly random, just like when parts get new moulds today and you're unlucky enough to get both types in your set. Although the notchless version certainly looks nicer, its limited ability to attach to elements below meant a swift death, in 1957. Also killed was the larger macaroni sister, the 2X4 semi-circular version, also available with and without notches - but even the notched version was deleted, deemed superfluous. This left only the classic 2X2 notched macaroni to survive (until a somewhat irritating redesign in 2008, but let's not go there right now).

4 September 2013

Walkie Scorchie vs. LEGO®

The last time London architecture threatened my very existence was in June 2000 on the day the Millennium Bridge opened and then unexpectedly wobbled a lot. It was thrilling (until I thought about those "When Things Go Wrong" kind of TV shows and wondered if I was about to end up in the Thames). So when I read yesterday that a new city office block under construction, nicknamed the Walkie Talkie thanks to its shape, was inadvertently creating a concentrated beam of sunlight strong enough to melt the plastic on the body of someone's Jaguar (and, it was soon discovered, hot enough to fry an egg), I had to check it out. If only to answer the terribly important question facing us all - can it melt LEGO?

17 August 2013

Don't fence me fence in

Whilst new LEGO® elements are the raison d'être of my blog, they are not the be-all and end-all. (Does that sentence need another cliché added?) One diversion I'll be taking occasionally is to look back on parts released years ago, or even decades ago. The Old Elementary, if you like. Thanks to a now 60 year-old concept at the core of LEGO sets, System in Play, a cool old part (ooh, say like 1960s letter bricks) can sit happily in your MOCs alongside a 2013 element. But we're not going that far back just yet; only two decades.

Fence 1X8X2 2/3

Design ID 6079


For me, this part has long languished in my mental category of "parts that can only be used for one thing, and a rather dreary thing at that". But recently I noticed the amazing geometry of this part makes it far more flexible than I had imagined. It cropped up on some Pick A Brick Walls in UK Brand Stores last year, and after I employed that useful self-justification "why, I'm sure I'll need to make a big long fence one day", plus some egging-on from fellow addict friend SilentMode, I bought a large cup. And so it was that I began fiddling with fences and rapidly realised the original Parts Designer put seriously nice work into this element's design back in the early '90s. Nothing is wasted here.


10 June 2013

Things that make you go ooooooh.

Post #1... another LEGO® blog, I hear you cry? Well, yup. I decided to put my 'money' where my mouth is recently, after complaining for years that it's not easy finding out about the new elements LEGO release or what sets I'll find them in. I use Bricklink and more recently Brickset's interesting parts database to find out about them, but it involves wading through lists and various cross-referencing to find out all I want to know.
Baby + umbrella + dog = vet bills. 3121 Summer Day Out
Things like; is this the first set to contain that element or have I just not been paying attention? Is that a new colour or a resurrection from a long-forgotten and slightly spooky girls' theme... and if it is the latter, what other pieces might I find to build with? Does it come in bley yet?

So I'll still be wading and cross-referencing as always - but hey, let me do it for you! I'll be showing you elements that you can expect to be getting your hands on soon, and when I get my pet and smoke-free hands on them I'll be showing you what I come up with. I'll also take the occasional diversion and maybe talk about things like long-forgotten parts or interesting facts about element production.