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How many "systems" are there within the LEGO brand, and how many ways can you connect two pieces?

henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 208
edited November 13 in Collecting
I think most LEGO builders are are of at least four current "systems" within the LEGO Group umbrella:
  • System (standard LEGO Bricks and pieces)
  • Technic
  • Bionicle (you could argue it is under the Technic umbrella)
  • Duplo

...there are definitely others from the archive such as:
  • Quatro
  • Primo
  • Znap
Which systems am I forgetting?  (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:
  • LEGO Brick Connection
  • Technic Pin/Socket connection
  • Technic Axle/Axle Hole connection
  • Small Towball
  • Large Ball and Socket (Bionicle)
  • Hinges
  • Click Hinges
  • Rotation Joint
  • Small Pin (for small wheels)
  • Pully/small wheel clip holder
  • String/Bands/Pulleys
  • Clip/Bar/Handle/Ring/Hollow Studs/Minifig Hands
  • Duplo Brick Connection
Along the same lines as my first question - How else can two LEGO pieces connect that I forgot to include?  (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?


Thanks,
---tom
omniumSeanTheCollectorcatwrangler

Comments

  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 566
    System can connect to Duplo and Duplo can connect to Quatro. It's pretty amazing when you think about it. I am not sure how the Primo studs fit in, though I think a Primo block can fit on top of a Duplo block.

    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.
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 327
    oops sorry for the Galidor line running with the photo link above ^


    stluxAddicted2Oxygenbandit778kiki180703
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 208
    Damn,
    I always forget Modulex, even though it's a brilliantly predictable and rational system!

    ---tom

    @DeMontes, thanks for sharing the photos - great help!

    DeMontesbandit778kiki180703catwrangler
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 393
    One thing worth mentioning is that some of the systems you mention are intercompatible. For instance, a 3.2mm clip can attach loosely to a female click hinge (a technique used occasionally for making components relatively secure and still easily removable). The small towball piece can also attach between a pair of 3.2mm clips, a technique used previously on a Lego City parasailer and to secure the tripod of the camera in Assembly Square.

    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.
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 327
    @henrysunset

    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

    Elspeth

  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 208
    @Lyichir
    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.

    ---tom
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 501
    Some specialized connections I could think of:  hoses that tightly fit to nozzles or some other similar piece (x467c10 for example), the colored covers that fit over light bulbs (4773), train tracks, monorail track.
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 501
    Also "glass" pieces that fit inside windows and doors.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 4,288


    I think the best way to organize this would be to inventory legal connections within System, within Technic, within Bionicle, 
    If I were you I’d use “Character and Creature Building System” or CCBS instead of Bionicle - that way you are talking about the system used rather than the specific theme.

    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.
    CCC
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 393
    edited November 13
    Shib said:


    I think the best way to organize this would be to inventory legal connections within System, within Technic, within Bionicle, 
    If I were you I’d use “Character and Creature Building System” or CCBS instead of Bionicle - that way you are talking about the system used rather than the specific theme.

    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.
    I would hesitate to label them differently since functionally, both CCBS and older Bionicle sets still ultimately used the same types of ball, ball cup, and Technic connections (with later Bionicle and especially CCBS also using 3.2mm connections more heavily). Older Bionicle sets didn't even really use much more basic Technic than modern CCBS sets. The only difference is that CCBS created a new, more organized system of multi-use beams and shells, with ball cup connections for both and a few shorter limb elements than Bionicle generally offered that lacked Technic pin and axle holes altogether.

  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 4,288
    Oh i agree with that, my point was more that calling that system Bionicle instead of CCBS was likely to cause confusion.
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 393
    Shib said:
    Oh i agree with that, my point was more that calling that system Bionicle instead of CCBS was likely to cause confusion.
    For better or for worse, "Bionicle" has come to encompass the entirety of Technic/ball joint-based building in most AFOL circles (up to and including even pre-Bionicle sets like Throwbots). That's the label you'll find similar MOCs under at conventions, or on sites like Brickshelf. Labeling it all as "CCBS" would not really be any more accurate, since that only really applies to the modern incarnation of the system introduced in Hero Factory's second year, not to its predecessors. "Constraction" would be maybe TOO broad for the purpose of this question, because it would also encompass non ball joint-based figures like Galidor or Knight's Kingdom II, and arguably even Mixels.

    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

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,941
    edited November 13
    In writing my 9 volume LEGOEncyclopedia series (still a work in progress), I too had to separate the LEGO systems, and do not include Bionicles nor Duplo in my guides (Duplo has so few collectors, and Bionicles is already very well documented). 

    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.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 1,940
    edited November 14
    What about Jumbo bricks? Are they the precursor to Duplo bricks? Or are they more like Quatro? 
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,941
    Jumbo are in between the (hollow stud) Duplo and Quatro....  you could almost call them 'Triplo'!

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bfbricks/26359791175/sizes/l
    stluxrdflego
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 208
    edited November 14
    @Istokg
    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.


    @Lyichir
    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.)


    @natro220
    Good additions.  I hadn't thought of hose connections or the window / glass connections.

    ---tom
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 811
    Can old style windows with the fingers that go around studs be connected oddly to anything using those?

    And does official LEGO string count?
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 208
    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.
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 811
    Thinking further on Windows into frames made me consider opening ones with their small bumps and dimples. And that reminded me of visors, goggles etc clipping to helmets.

    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.
  • henrysunsethenrysunset Member Posts: 208
    I would characterize the visor as one of many proprietary connections within Minifig accessories world.  There's also the flick guns which are comprised of two parts.

    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!
  • MrShinyAndNewMrShinyAndNew Member Posts: 214
    Don't forget the pin on the plumes and other minifig accessories; it fits in the ends of some hollow bar-sized objects and even in the hole in the bar-sized pin on the upside-down face of a 1xN plate.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 495
    Istokg said:
    In writing my 9 volume LEGOEncyclopedia series (still a work in progress), I too had to separate the LEGO systems, and do not include Bionicles nor Duplo in my guides (Duplo has so few collectors, and Bionicles is already very well documented). 

    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.
    Sorry for the diversion, but is there a reason you use "Bionicles" as opposed to "Bionicle"?
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,941

    Sorry for the diversion, but is there a reason you use "Bionicles" as opposed to "Bionicle"?
    Oh yes.... thank you for correcting me.... I've been working on the 1997-2002 Technic System... and been having this on the brain... the predecessor to the Bionicle series... and in North America it is a plural noun....



    ... while in the rest of the world they used the singular noun... SLIZER name.  No one ever said TLG made it easy... ;-)

  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 495
    ^ They should be more considerate of hard working chroniclers like yourself :)
  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 255
    The 9V train engine's brackets come to mind. 

    But that's more a one off thing, isn't it?
  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 255
    And part 3481 isn't standard pin size. How does that one fit in the whole picture?

    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.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 495
    How about:
    The hinge in "trap door" plates,
    The connection between rollup garage door pieces,
    Opening windows like the opening skylight.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 495
    Not sure if these have been mentioned:


  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 157
    Sorry for the diversion, but is there a reason you use "Bionicles" as opposed to "Bionicle"?
    FWIW - some people would say "IBM is bringing out a new computer soon" and some would say "IBM are bringing out a new computer soon" - and both can be entirely acceptable and considered correct.

    Even though some are WRONG, DAMMIT!!!!!

    (:
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 5,847
    edited November 17
    "IBM are" is never correct because IBM is a singular entity.


    sid3windrDeMontesnatro220
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 157
    Huw said:
    "IBM are" is never correct because IBM is a singular entity.
    Personally, I agree with you.
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