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2 x 2 Tiles with/without groove

drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
edited May 2012 in Collecting
While putting together my latest blog posting I dug up a number of my old Homemaker sets and noticed that some of them contained a mixture of tiles with and without a groove at the base. For those who aren't aware, LEGO tiles didn't originally have a groove running around the base, but in the 1970's LEGO grooved the bases, presumably to make them easier to remove from other bricks.

Anyway, some of the sets which contained a mixture of tiles had been bought from eBay from people clearing out their lofts etc., and I'm fairly confident that they hadn't been touched for decades. Given this, it seemed unlikely that newer tiles could have been mixed in with the older ones, which got me wondering whether some sets were released in the 70's containing a mixture of old and new tiles. Can anyone confirm or refute ths ? Maybe it's a question for @istokg !


  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    Pictures? :o)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    edited May 2012
    Without groove - image

    With groove - image

    Pretty uninformative, but at least I tried...

  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    I must be dense because I'm still missing it. :o)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    edited May 2012
    Grab any 2x2 tile in your collection and look at the lower surface where it attaches to other bricks. You'll see a thin groove there, just wide enough to get a nail, or brick separator, under to lift the tile off. Before those grooves were present it could be well night impossible to remove tiles...
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    Groovy tile:
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 531
    I am also interested in this question, I purchased a lot of homemaker sets off eBay and have the same. Some 2x2 tiles with grooves and some without, also some 1x2 tiles.

    I had assumed the guy had purchased replacement tiles from bricklink.

    In his ads, he indicated he had printed some replica stickers.

    When I collected, he mentioned bricklink several times, on inspection when I was home noticed the difference in the tiles.

    Also the majority of bricks are also saying pat pend.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    I've also bought older lots that have mostly pre 1980's sets, and I have a mixture of grooved and non grooved in the homemaker sets. pretty sure they have a mix. but I'm not expert either
  • peterlinddkpeterlinddk Member Posts: 170
    I know that some sets in the 1970's first came with non-grooved tiles, and then some time later with grooved tiles, without anything else being changed.

    I have a feeling that TLG simply changed the mold, but continued pouring all 'white 2x2 tiles" into the same bin as before, thus making it possible for some sets to have both grooved and non-grooved tiles. I don't know this for a fact, but I don't think that the factories distinguish between different generations of the same design/color.

    In a very related way, some newer 2x2 tiles don't have the cross-support-beams underneath, and I wouldn't be surprised to find a brand new set with both types of tile.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    Thanks to all of you for your comments on this.

    If the old and new tiles were indeed mixed up in sets, it got me wondering whether LEGO also mixed up the old and new greys during the changeover; I strongly suspect not, but same principle...
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    @drdavewatford I have to concur with the mixing of the old and new tiles. I own a MIB 266 Child's Bedroom Set, and it had 2x2 tiles with grooves, and 1x1 tiles without. Same type of scenario as with old vs. new gray elements in LEGO sets of the last decade... you had old mixed in with the new, until the old ran out.

    TLG never threw anything away, as we all know, and that goes back many decades. When TLG switched from the slotted early LEGO bricks of 1949-56 (with no "LEGO" on the studs, but with LEGO once printed on the underside)... some parts that that never had the slots (and also no printing on the studs) continued production for many years. The 1x6/1x8 bricks were among them, as were the 10x20 thick baseplate and the old flip-up garage bases (from set #235).

    When I got my first LEGO set (#700/1 basic set, shipped from my uncle in Germany to the USA) at Christmas 1960... it came with a "no LEGO on the studs" 1955-56 era gray 10x20 thick baseplate.

    This same scenario repeats itself over and over with many LEGO parts over the years... the 375/6075 Yellow Castle sets had some yellow bricks with the moulding pip on the studs (1x3, 1x4, 2x4 bricks, 1x4 arches), while other parts had the moulding pip on the side of the brick (1x1, 1x2 bricks, 1x6x2 & 1x8x2 arches).

    The worst offender of this scenario was Samsonite LEGO of USA/Canada. Not only did you have many sets with bricks/plates with 4 different fonts (1950s, 1960s Samsonite, modern font and non-italics font)... but some bricks were re-tooled so that there were more than 1 font on a brick... and not always going in the same direction. Also, the plastic that Samsonite used wasn't always the same. In USA/Canada Samsonite continued with Cellulose Acetate plastic as late as 1970 in red and yellow, with the rest of the colors switched over to ABS by 1964... whereas in Europe/Britain/Australia the switch happened pretty much all at once by 1963-64.

    And there's the part types... waffle bottom plates were found in USA/Canada until 1971... while circle bottom plates were all that was available in continental Europe, Britain and Australia by 1964.

    I call this "LEGO Mayhem"... and it's why the LEGO DVD is 3 times the size of what it should be! ;-)
  • caperberrycaperberry Member Posts: 2,226
    ^Maybe you should offer the DVD in "with groove" and "without groove" versions ;o)
  • julian977julian977 Member Posts: 65
    Slight tangent, but just last year my freebie Sun promo 30053 polybag came with a mixture of grooved and non-grooved bley 2x1 jumper plates.
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 531

    Yes good shout, mine also. I had forgotten about that.

    On seeing @Istokg detailed reply, encourages me to buy the DVD.

  • needmorelegoneedmorelego Member Posts: 4
    I have an old kitchen set that is the same way. The 2X2 tiles with the stove burners printed on them have no grooves. The 2X2 tiles with the plate stickers on them have grooves. I bought this new as a kid so there are no replacement parts involved.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    Yep - I was aware of the change to the jumper plates (Plate modified 1 x 2 with 1 stud), namely the addition of a groove like the tiles. It's unnecessary IMHO, particularly since the new brick separator is designer to deal with jumper plates, but no doubt a focus group somewhere decided that kids struggled with the old-style jumpers so now we've got new ones.

    Thanks to @istokg in particular for the comments, although I note that Gary had found old and new types of tiles in general in his newly-opened MISB set rather than old and new versions of the SAME tile element. Even so, it seems highly likely that this is a distinct possibility, so I'll maybe stop beating myself up about the need to ensure the tiles in my old sets are all of the same vintage...
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 Administrator Posts: 2,364
    This is a frequent occurrence with 1x2 grille pieces I find in sets nowadays. I prefer them with the groove as it certainly makes tiles much easier to remove.
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    Thanks to all of you for your comments on this.

    If the old and new tiles were indeed mixed up in sets, it got me wondering whether LEGO also mixed up the old and new greys during the changeover; I strongly suspect not, but same principle...
    The 10030 set was produced before, during, and after the grey to bley changeover. The ones produced during the changeover would contain elements of both old and new grey. Although to your point, I'm not sure if they contained old and new grey colored elements of the same type.

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    @drdavewatfor Whatever you do drdave... don't buy any 1961-71 Samsonite LEGO sets... they will drive you insane!!!! ;-)

    To those of you who have old blue track era (1966-79) train parts... you will notice that the 2x8 white rail ties all have a matte finish and don't have that shiny ABS white that you are accustomed to... I don't know what plastic that TLG used for large white plates in the 1950s and 1960s.. but it's not CA (they don't warp) and it's not ABS (they're not shiny).... but they do have that dull finish to them. Even the mid 1970s 455 (USA/Canada) Lear Jet set has these same 2x8 matte plates.

    Circa 1970 Samsonite LEGO came out with a 349 Mini-Truck set. It has a 4x8 waffle bottom plate in red and in black. But these are made of that same matte plastic as the rail ties, and it has a "pearly" finish. Also the 157 (Samsonite) 4 Car Auto Transport set has 4 4x8 gray waffle bottom plates.

    I just came across a 4x6 circle bottom plate (also from that era of Samsonite).... and it is black... has a pearly finish... and has the non-italics font on the studs that some large circle bottom plates had circa the late 1960s.

    More LEGO mayhem!
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