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Summary of new LEGO elements in 2018

by admin on January 18, 2019

in Community Articles

(Written by BLProductions)

With 2018 at an end, all the new pieces LEGO introduced last year have become available, so now is an excellent time to review these interesting elements. In 2018, over 145 new elements were introduced in LEGO sets, and that number doesn’t even include all the new LEGO DUPLO pieces or most of the new LEGO minifigure accessories. You can find a list of all of the parts debuted in 2018 at the Brickset database: 2018 New LEGO Parts. Note, however, that the 3000+ parts listed are mostly new prints and new colors of older elements. In this article, I want to highlight some of the most noteworthy new element designs from last year, noting how many colors and sets they came in during 2018. 🙂

The most common element of 2018 is that which appears in the greatest number of 2018 sets. This award easily goes to Flower 1×1 (Design ID: 24866), which came in 12 colors across 89 different sets! You can see all these sets here: LEGO Sets with Design ID 24866. Second place belongs to Plant, w/ Plate 1×1, No. 1 (Design ID: 32607), which came in 4 colors and appeared in 46 sets. The more useful Plate 1×2, Rounded, No. 1 (Design ID: 35480) appeared in the same number of sets but was available in 7 colors. The design of this part avails it to numerous applications, and several sets have indeed found neat uses for it. Another part with many possible purposes is Brick 2x2x2/3, Inverted Bow (Design ID: 32803), which could be found in 5 colors and 38 sets. Notably, all four of these parts appeared together in only one set, #41196 LEGO Elves The Elvenstar Tree Bat Attack pictured above.

However, the parts I consider the most useful are Plate 1×1, W/ 1.5 Plate 1×1, Upwards (Design ID: 36840) and Plate 1×1, w/ 1.5 Plate 1×1, Downwards (Design ID: 36841). In 2018, the former piece came in 5 colors in 15 sets while the latter part was found in just 3 colors and 8 sets, but both appear frequently in 2019 sets. These latest additions to the LEGO bracket family can serve to attach small details and strengthen structures only one stud in width. The downwards bracket also supplants minifigure neck-brackets, which provide the same connection but don’t work with other bricks as well. Another very useful part is Gear Shifter, w/ Cross Hole (Design ID: 35188), which so far appears only in the #42083 LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron. In contrast to the older gear shifters, which are red levers, this part shifts gears by rotating on an axle. Because of its circular properties, one shifter can simultaneously manage up to four shifter rings, which in turn can control eight different gear chains. Using several of these parts together, then, can create some very complex gearboxes.

There were also several very interesting, but less useful, parts introduced last year. One of my favorites is Tile 2×2, W/ Deg. 45 Cut (Design ID: 35787), which has the potential to create some cool tessellations, especially when used with the various angular tiles introduced by the LEGO Nexo Knights theme. This part was available unprinted in 4 colors and 5 sets last year and had two printed versions found in two LEGO BrickHeadz sets. Roof Tile 1×1, Deg. 45, w/o Knobs (Design ID: 35464) is another neat triangular piece, appearing in 3 colors and 8 sets, but this one can be used to create ridges, small details, or even houses in micro-scale models.

For minifigures, one of the most exciting new parts last year was a new type of minifig legs assembly. LEGO hasn’t properly inventoried this part because it only appeared in the #71022 LEGO Minifigures Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series, so I just call it Minifig Lower Part, Medium (Design ID for unprinted versions: 37364). Although shorter than normal minifig legs, this part nonetheless possesses many of the same characteristics, which are demonstrated in this article at Brickset. Currently, this part only comes in black and bright-blue, with several printed variations, but hopefully it will make further appearances in 2019. Minifigure attire was also improved by a new dress piece, the unprinted version of which is called Mini Skirt, No. 3 (Design ID: 36036). All variations of this part, including 9 different prints, can be seen at the BrickLink database, but altogether it came in 9 colors across 8 sets last year and makes an excellent replacement for the 2x2x2 slopes previously used for dresses.

Finally, I must mention the new animals of 2018 to complete this overview. I refer to 2018 as the “Year of Animals” because there were 39 totally new creature and animal parts introduced, more than in any other element category! These parts were created for a variety of product lines, including LEGO City, LEGO Elves, LEGO Minecraft, LEGO Jurassic World, and even LEGO Wizarding World. You can view most of these parts at the Brickset database here and here. Below are images of six cool animal parts you won’t see at those links: a dog body from LEGO Super Heroes sets, a LEGO Elves bat, a mouse, a snake, a Carnotaurus head from LEGO Jurassic World, and an eagle.

It appears LEGO has no shortage of ideas for new parts! Although some of them seem quite specialized, most new pieces can still be used in a variety of ways. LEGO designers have proved this by using nearly all the pieces discussed above in 2019 sets. In addition, over 50 new pieces have already been introduced in 2019 sets, and these should further enhance the designs of future sets. You can view the currently released 2019 sets, along with most 2018 sets, at the Online LEGO Shop.

So what do you think? How do you like any of these new pieces? Do you have some of them? Have you found any useful applications for them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below! 🙂

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Master Builder January 18, 2019 at 11:36 AM

Good summary. Thank you. I wonder why they are not using the bending legs for all short minifigs. They introduced them but never used them again. The skirt piece has been long overdue, so it’s great to see it. I also like the brackets and the wedge tiles. Are you going to write about the 2019 pieces also?

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TomTom January 18, 2019 at 11:42 AM

The new skirt piece is a big improvement. It also fits better because of the longer studs. The old skirt pieces kept falling off because they were just slopes with normal studs. My favorite new piece from last year is the leaves and the triangle tiles.

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BLProductions January 18, 2019 at 1:09 PM

The new medium legs are 1 plate taller than the normal short legs, so I doubt LEGO will use them for short minifigs (like the children in City sets) because they are unsuitable in height. They’re more fitting, I think, for teenage-like minifigs (like the Harry Potter minifigs), so we’re more likely to see them in themes with characters in that age range. Hopefully that means we will see them outside the Collectible Minifigs theme, as a lot of people want this part.
Yeah, the skirt is a much needed part. As TomTom said, having the proper minifig-leg-studs makes the connection much stronger. Also, the shape is far more dress-like than the old slopes.
I will probably do an article (or two) like this for the 2019 pieces at the end of the year, if I have time. It’s easier to discuss the parts when they have all been released. There have been several interesting parts introduced so far this year, although most are rather specialized. I’m hoping to see some more general purpose elements like the 1×1 brackets from last year.

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Håkan January 18, 2019 at 3:04 PM

The thing is, there really aren’t that notable height differences between teenagers and formal adults, not any bigger than between men and women and various adults, anyway. And the latter arent considered major enough to be marked for the rough estimated scale of the minifig.

The skirt part is an interesting addition, however.

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kingcobra January 18, 2019 at 11:54 AM

What I don’t understand is that sometimes they release a really good new piece, then only used it a few times. I think this mostly happens with accessories and minifig parts. Like the short legs, the round pieces for balloons so it has no holes on the side, hockey sticks, etc. If they have a good piece, why don’t they just keep using it?

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Håkan January 18, 2019 at 3:06 PM

This had something to do with the minifigure (CMF) accessories being produced in China, and the main brick and minifigure parts for the sets being produced in Denmark, Eastern Europe and Mexico, if I remember correctly. A bit uncertain on the details.

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admin January 18, 2019 at 9:02 PM

Yeah, that’s my understanding as well, although I’m not certain on the details either.

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jabber-baby-wocky January 18, 2019 at 1:07 PM

I think we could also talk about all the new colors. They really changed the look of sets and mocs. Something like Apocalypseburg and the Ninjago sets from last year don’t even look like Lego with all those earth tones. I like the changes, but I wonder how many new colors they are going to introduce.

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Håkan January 18, 2019 at 3:08 PM

Well, there were two new colors introduced, the reintroduced teal (bluish green) and the new coral (vibrant coral), but most major earth tones have been around for quite some time, now.

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LEGOJeff January 18, 2019 at 1:28 PM

I feel somewhat unsure about the new leaves and flowers. The leaf looks too much like Duplo, and the flower is not as useful as decoration as the old part was. On the other hand, I really like the 1×2 rounded plate. It is so useful!

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gid617 January 18, 2019 at 4:06 PM

As others have said, it was about time we got a proper minifigure skirt, I’m really hoping we get some good prints for that this year (although I didn’t realize there were quite that many already! – a couple of them seem pretty versatile).
Mostly I think the value of the short pants is in their poseability. The shorter ones are probably a better height for children, and teenagers could pretty easily get away with having full size legs. But still, I do hope we see them continue to be used!

Personally I love the new plant piece, the flowers I could have lived without but it is nice to have some more variety in shape and it’s especially cool to see them in orange – I at least didn’t (still don’t) have any flowers in orange! Several other useful pieces introduced this year too – thanks for the recap!

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Legostuff14 January 18, 2019 at 7:02 PM

I love the mini figure mini legs for children or short people. The fact they can Bend like the normal size mini figures is so awesome to have. I thought it was odd to have a child mini figure to stand on the chair and not sit on it. I hope more of that would come. As for the new skirt design , sometimes if the mini figure isn’t balanced even on top so it falls over.

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Håkan January 18, 2019 at 7:14 PM

I guess that could depend on if you play or pose your minifigure. If you have them posed on plates or studs, it shouldn’t matter…

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admin January 18, 2019 at 9:09 PM

Oh, really? That’s interesting about the skirted minifigs toppling over. I don’t have any of the new skirt pieces yet, so didn’t have a chance to try them out. Are they too light? Or the bottom too small? The old skirt piece was pretty solid.

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BLProductions January 19, 2019 at 7:08 PM

While I don’t have any of the skirts either, I would guess that the shape of the part, namely the concave slope in the back, makes it more likely to topple. The 2x2x2 slopes have a straight slope, so there is more plastic above the rear 2 studs. This moves the brick’s center of mass backwards and downwards, which helps make minifigs with the slopes more stable. The new skirt lacks this extra plastic, so there is no counterbalance for accessories, making it easier for minifigs with the new skirt to topple. Then again, this difference is likely small; my Vitruvius minifig uses the slope and still falls over fairly easily. I think posing the minifigs on studs as Håkan said is the best solution.

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admin January 20, 2019 at 11:09 PM

That makes a lot of sense. The new skirt piece has much less volume, but again, it is connected to the torso much more securely. So there are plusses and minuses.

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Legostuff14 January 18, 2019 at 9:52 PM

It happens mostly when the skirted mini figure is holding something. I noticed it on one of the star wars and Harry potter mini figures that had the skirted piece.

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gid617 January 19, 2019 at 8:35 AM

Yeah, since they don’t have the ability to bend backwards like normal minifigures it’s easier for them to be off balance when holding accessories.

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admin January 20, 2019 at 11:06 PM

Oh, that makes sense, but then regular minifigs don’t stand very well with accessories either. 😀

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