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How many "systems" are there within the LEGO brand, and how many ways can you connect two pieces?
I think most LEGO builders are are of at least four current "systems" within the LEGO Group umbrella:
...there are definitely others from the archive such as:Which systems am I forgetting?
- System (standard LEGO Bricks and pieces)
- Bionicle (you could argue it is under the Technic umbrella)
(I excluded Galidor as it isn't really buildable.)
An alternate way to look at the various systems within the LEGO umbrella is by looking at the many ways two LEGO pieces can connect with one another:
Along the same lines as my first question - How else can two LEGO pieces connect that I forgot to include?
- LEGO Brick Connection
- Technic Pin/Socket connection
- Technic Axle/Axle Hole connection
- Small Towball
- Large Ball and Socket (Bionicle)
- Click Hinges
- Rotation Joint
- Small Pin (for small wheels)
- Pully/small wheel clip holder
- Clip/Bar/Handle/Ring/Hollow Studs/Minifig Hands
- Duplo Brick Connection
(I know there are a variety of illegal connections that take advantage of the LEGO Brick geometry, but that's not the focus of my question.)
Lastly, When thinking about your own LEGO collection, do you draw a hard line between these systems
(ex: Technic vs. System vs. Bionicle), or do you organize your collection based on the fundamental connection types
I described above, or do you organize in a different way
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Recent discussions •
For my BL/BO store I only have Duplo and System (which, in my mind, includes Technic also), and I store them apart. For my own collection everything gets thrown in together.
Primo to System connections by Ryan Wood
Galidor - System connection by Logey Bear
I always forget Modulex, even though it's a brilliantly predictable and rational system!
@DeMontes, thanks for sharing the photos - great help!
There are plenty of other interesting and obscure systems in Lego as well. For instance, the newer 4x4 turntable base is compatible with many parts, including the 10x10 octagonal plate, 6x6 round plate, and 4x4 round plates and bricks (the latter of which actually "clicks" to various angles, creating different sorts of applications depending on which you're using. And getting even more obscure, the movable "jaw" pieces from the Lego Elves dragons are compatible with some of the Chima constraction figures, and vice-versa.
Theres much more connectivity of course, I try to save Flickr photos like this for my own interest.
i don’t count Bonkle with Technic and I’d be hesitant to say you ‘cant’ build with Galidor https://twitter.com/PrinceGalidor?s=17
I'm familiar with most of those connections and I applaud LEGO builders who find creative new connections and use them to great effect in their MOC's.
My core goal is to understand the official systems of play, and how pieces are intended to interface within a given system, and between systems.
I think the best way to organize this would be to inventory legal connections within System, within Technic, within Bionicle, then show how these systems can connect with one another.
This is especially useful as the original Bionicle theme used more Technic connections, from Hero Factory onwards the CCBS system used more specially developed parts.
As a side note, I recently learned that Lego toyed with the idea of branding Hero Factory
with the "Bionicle" name, making it into more of an anthology series of sorts with multiple, disconnected stories tied together with a common name. If that had been done, then the AFOL tendency to label all such themes as Bionicle would have become more accurate. :P
Although Duplo is compatible with LEGO (and the first few Duplo sets came with LEGO bricks), it is mostly a separate system. Ditto for Bionicles... although the Technic Slizer/Throwbots sets of the late 1990s were a prelude to those sets.
But I had a tougher time justifying not including the Expert Builder/Technic System from the regular LEGO System. And there are several reasons for that. One reason is that until the 1990s introduction of the liftarms... the technic bricks and plates (regular bricks/plates with holes) were still part of the LEGO System. Even Technic sets of today, which use liftarms exclusively... there are still some bricks and plates used in Technic. And even regular plates and tiles (and a few other LEGO System parts) are still used in Technic sets today.
What makes dividing them up even more problematic is that many LEGO System sets, especially those with 4.5V or 9V motors contain Technic parts. Wheels and axles are often found in both Technic and LEGO System sets, in fact there is no subheading 'Technic Wheels', since regular 'Wheels' are used by both Technic and LEGO Systems, almost interchangeably.
Although modern Technic could be identified as a separate system. Modern Technic and LEGO System still have a lot of overlap. And yes, my guides do include Technic, as well as its' predecessors... 1960s Samsonite gears and 1970s European gears.
That's a great photo!
I do tend to agree that there is a conceptual difference between Technic and System, even though most Technic sets use a few System pieces, and most larger system sets with moving features incorporate some Technic pieces.
I'm inclined to agree with you — while CCBS is probably the most technically accurate description of this alternate system of play, I've always heard of it referred to simply as Bionicle by the AFOL community. (The fact that they toyed with naming the whole category "bionicle" is interesting.)
Good additions. I hadn't thought of hose connections or the window / glass connections.
And does official LEGO string count?
Sure - It's a part within a given system. While Technic sets occasionally use string, I think it's fair to call it part of System since that's where it's used most frequently.
Also, magnets would probably count.
And then there are part uses that bring elements into contact but are they connections? Such as shutters or garage doors in groove bricks, sliding doors between rail plates or crane hooks through loops.
Thinking about it a little more - Minifigures are always considered part of system, but in practice they are their own world with their own rules - especially when you look at the broad set of accessories.
Magnets are a good addition to the list, thanks!
... while in the rest of the world they used the singular noun... SLIZER name. No one ever said TLG made it easy... ;-)
But that's more a one off thing, isn't it?
It's the same connection type, but not compatible with the modern version.
And then there are the electric motors with boat propeller that you can slide on to the underside of a boat hull.
The hinge in "trap door" plates,
The connection between rollup garage door pieces,
Opening windows like the opening skylight.
Even though some are WRONG, DAMMIT!!!!!
I think I beat Lego to it, then, because my brother got the #324 House With Garage in 1968 with its scores of blue slimbricks, and they were useful for putting fins on models of fish or aeroplanes.
But now with the 2x2 macaroni bricks (3063) being replaced by the 85080 reinforced underside bricks, the earlier ones in a staggered use are considered an illegal build.
Just having a column made of the 85080 macaroni's stacked on top of each other would make for a not-so-sturdy build. But the introduction of the 4x4 round bricks and plates, makes this type of build more practical, with the intermittent use of the 4x4 rounds within the column stack.
It's worth noting that this applies to plates, not tiles. Tiles are actually ever so slightly less tall than a full plate, so do not stress the studs as much.
There's also LEGO Muji, but ... I'm not sure that qualifies.