Recent Lego developments

This year's Lego sets will include some pretty nifty stuff. The stand-out for your average kid will, I hope, be the new Castle sets featuring such things as dudes firing flaming spears at undead horsemen (on undead horses!). But those of us who will not rest until we've faithfully reproduced a 100% self-aware Johnny Five in Technic will be intensely interested in the new tank-track pieces, to be seen in sets 8272 and 8275 (featuring IR remote control!).

The older, narrower black tracks, as seen in classic Technic sets like the 8851 Excavator and 856 Bulldozer, are relatively delicate, because their central chain part has to mesh with standard Technic gears. And they're not cheap, either - 15 cents a piece doesn't sound like much, until you realise that your fantasy crane or Shuttle Transporter or whatever needs sixty US bucks worth of treads even if you assume you're never going to break any of those dinky little hook connectors.

The new tracks, like the very old chain links that engaged the ancient peg gears, have a coarser drive gear pitch (and, therefore, new special drive gears), and should therefore be tougher.

But nobody really seems to care about that very much, because they've all immediately started perverting the new parts into weird and wonderful contraptions.

The heck of it is, though, that people keep coming up with brand new things to do with parts that've been around for ten or twenty years.

Like the old chain parts, for instance. Check this out. Do not miss the movie.

And, to give a more abstract example, how about spheres made out of radar dishes?

(This is from the same dude who came up with the most famous Lego sphere technique, which breaks free from the constraints of the obvious shape. It's been expanded into various creations by others.)

I can't quite pin down the exact part for the things on the bottom of the dish-sphere, by the way; they're close to these hair clips (I envy those who don't know about Lego's "girl products"...), but they're not the same.

A useful function for this clip has yet to be found. It slightly suggests a tentacular mouth.

Very Honourable Mention: This.

4 Responses to “Recent Lego developments”

  1. corinoco Says:

    I've got a few of those old 'peg' style gears. I have no idea what kit I got them in though. I used to have some of the old-school white axles & red bushes too.

    Those new treads look very nice, and the Mana-powered truck gives me an idea that has been rattling around in my head for a while - a large-ish scale (if scale is the right word) Tron tank. Complete with working gun made of those Bionicle disc-guns. Not quite the chevron-thingies (they've always been my visual analogy for virii) but close enough.

    Hmmm... more thoughts - those disc-guns could make a nice Lego 1:1 scale Triffid Gun. Hmmm....

  2. Stephen Says:

    Cool stuff!

  3. Stephen Says:

    BTW, I believe those are just your everyday standard girl's hair clips, not Lego ones. My wife uses those for our little girl. Maybe a bit of a cheat?

  4. Daniel Rutter Says:

    They look like normal clips, but they each have a single Lego stud on the end.

    Should I find myself needing to attach Lego to my head or, for that matter, a cat, I shall inquire into exactly what Lego piece those particular clips are in more depth.

Leave a Reply