Fun with the LEGO elbow macaroni piece

by admin on August 11, 2017

in Reviews & Comparisons

A very interesting LEGO piece that was introduced last year is the 1×1 90-Degree Round Elbow Brick, which looks very much like elbow macaroni… yum! There was an earlier version of this element produced between 1995 and 2008, but that piece did not have axle holders inside the end holes, and it only came in chrome-silver in twelve sets to simulate car parts (see picture below of one of the sets). While the new piece looks the same on the outside, having the added axle holes on the inside makes them a lot more versatile. In fact, in just the last two years, LEGO already released this new element in seven colors (white, light-bluish-gray, black, red orange, yellow, and pearl-dark-gray), and in fifteen sets! 🙂

The elbow brick is unique in many ways; it is completely round and smooth, it has no studs, no LEGO logo, and has an unusual curve and angle for a LEGO element. In fact, for someone who is not familiar with LEGO, it might not even look like a LEGO piece!

So how do you use the elbow brick without any obvious standard LEGO connection points? Well, it actually does have some connectors that make this piece compatible with the LEGO building system. The outside diameter is the same as a 1×1 round brick, and the inside diameter receives standard LEGO studs. So, this means that the elbow brick can be attached to pretty much any LEGO element with at least one stud. In addition, hidden inside the two end holes are small ridges to accept a LEGO Technic axle, or even standard LEGO rod/antenna piece.

The 90-degree angle and the connection points make the macaroni piece excellent for connecting elements at different angles, as it is demonstrated in the #70901 LEGO Batman Movie Mr. Freeze Ice Attack set (see above). And, if you connect several macaroni pieces, you can make some fun twisty-curvy contraptions, like the pipes in the #70900 LEGO Batman Movie The Joker Balloon Escape set (see below).

Speaking of twisty and curvy, because of the natural smoothness of the element, it can also be used to mimic organic shapes, like the neck of the beautiful swan in the #10257 LEGO Creator Carousel. This is the only set so far where the piece appears in white (two are included).

And, of course, the elbow brick can still be used as pipes on cars, as its predecessor. The #21307 LEGO Ideas Caterham Seven 620R incorporates the elbow brick both for its exhaust pipe (3 light-bluish-gray elbow bricks) and roll-bar behind the seats (2 black elbow bricks). And it is also very effectively used in other vehicles like the #60151 LEGO City Dragster Transporter, the #70589 LEGO Ninjago Rock Roader, and the #70905 LEGO Batman Movie The Batmobile.

One of the most fun ways the macaroni piece has been used in an official LEGO set is the colorful pipes on the #21306 LEGO Ideas Beatles Yellow Submarine. This is the only set so far where the part appears in orange and yellow (two of each).

Due to the unusual shape, angle, and smoothness, the elbow brick is an excellent piece for greebling LEGO machinery, factories, vehicles, and more. Take a look at this little vignette by LEGO fan Karf Oohlu, who uses the element to make pipes in what looks like some kind of industrial setting.

And Legobird3 takes building pipes to a whole other level with the abstract creation pictured below. It doesn’t even look like LEGO any more, but in a good way! As the elbow brick becomes more and more available in standard LEGO sets, I’m sure LEGO fans are going to continue having fun with this unusual and very useful piece.

If you would like to try out working with the elbow brick, and you don’t have any yet, some LEGO sets are better than others to get a good quantity. The #21307 LEGO Ideas Caterham Seven 620R has five (three light-bluish-gray and two black), three small sets from The LEGO Batman Movie have several in red (#70900, #70901, #70913), the #21306 LEGO Ideas Beatles Yellow Submarine got two in orange and two in yellow, the new #70618 LEGO Ninjago Movie Destiny’s Bounty has eight in pearl-dark-gray, the #60151 LEGO City Dragster Transporter has six in pearl-dark-gray, the #70905 LEGO Batman Movie The Batmobile also got six in pearl-dark-gray, and the brand new #17101 BOOST Creative Toolbox robotics kit includes four black ones. The piece also appears in some other sets, but in lesser quantities, so look out for them.

What do you think? How do you like the elbow brick? Have you played with it already? What other interesting uses can you think of? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob August 11, 2017 at 10:06 AM

Personally I think the gray and red pipes on the green background are giving me throwbacks to a certain PC screen saver! 😀


admin August 11, 2017 at 10:54 AM

LOL! I vaguely remember that! 😀


TomTom August 11, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Love these! Especially the gray and red intertwined pipes! I don’t have enough of the piece to build something so complex, but I will definitely look out to get more!


brickmaster August 11, 2017 at 11:57 AM

Very cool ideas! I immediately liked the piece when it appeared in the Batman Movie sets. Particularly the potential for greebling!


DavidH August 11, 2017 at 1:08 PM

I would love to build a big factory or power plant, using these pieces. Even though they are not good for the environment, factories and power plants always fascinated me.


admin August 11, 2017 at 9:09 PM

I actually maintain an album on flickr with my favorite LEGO factories. I should probably write about them one of these days. 😀


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