A LEGO Glossary

When I decided to write a glossary for the blog, I knew it was going to be a challenge. Even though I considered myself to know a lot about LEGO, I knew I was a small fish in a vast ocean. You can imagine my surprise when I realized I wasn’t even a plankton! There was so much to learn, and as I was researching each entry, I went to so many different places that it took me a while to come back. I wanted to read more, learn more, write more… and here we are, with this glossary-like thing that tries to explain many aspects of LEGO as best as possible.

Before we go on, I’d like to thank those without whom none of this would be possible.

The LEGO Group – for simply existing.

Firestartoys – for giving me the chance to write this.

Authors of www.brothers-brick.com and www.newelementary.com – The information they provide on their webpage is invaluable. 

Brickipedia – Because what is research without going through an encyclopedia?

Bricklink – For the images I ‘stole’ from them, and the information they have.

One more thing. There will be many technical terms below, but I think 3 of them are more important than others, so I’ll explain them before moving on to the alphabetical order.

Stud: The circular bumps that are on almost every LEGO piece. They fit inside the anti-studs below another piece and form the interlocking system of LEGO. They are often used for  measuring LEGO parts and models. See here for a detailed image of how they connect.

Plate: A thin LEGO part, 3.2 mm high. When you put 3 of them on top of each other, you get a brick. They have different shapes, sizes and colors, but the height remains the same in all of them.

Brick: Any LEGO piece that is at least 3 plates high. While the most common bricks are rectangular, there are a significant number of round bricks as well.

Bricks are categorized according to the width, length and the height of the brick. The width and length are measured in studs, the height in bricks. Since most bricks have the same height, the height is only mentioned in  those higher than the regular brick. So instead of saying 2x4x1, we say 2×4 for the blue brick shown in the picture. For the “special” bricks that are higher than the regular one, like the brown arch piece here, the height is also mentioned, in this case 1x4x2. You may have noticed that when talking about the size of a brick (or any LEGO part, for that matter), the short side comes first. That’s why it’s 2×4 instead of 4×2.

Bricks come in many different types and colors. There are more than 200 types of bricks and more than 60 different colors. Of course not every brick comes in every color, nor each type is as common as others, but when you think about it, the numbers are pretty impressive!

You can probably write a whole book based on the LEGO brick, so let me stop here and move on to the glossary. It is, after all, why we’re here. 

 

A

ABS: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is the material LEGO bricks are made of. Now, I’m sure you all know the formula, but in case you don’t, it’s (C8H8·C4H6·C3H3N)n. These elements give the bricks their strength, resilience and shiny surface respectively.

AFOL: Adult Fan of LEGO. Most adults use this acronym, but there are others like AHOL, ALE, ALH, AFFOL, FFOL and FEFOL. AFOL is pronounced similar to hay-foal.

AFFOL: Adult Female Fan of LEGO. To be honest, I don’t like the distinction between AFOL and AFFOL, but there may be more male fans than females so I understand the need to express gender.

AHOL: Adult Hobbyist of LEGO. Apparently some people don’t like to use the word “fan” because it derives from “fanatic”. Personally, I wouldn’t use AHOL because of the resemblance to a not-so-nice word.

ALE: Adult LEGO Enthusiast.

ALH: Adult LEGO Hobbyist.

Ambassador: A person who represents a LEGO User Group (LUG) and acts as their liaison to the LEGO Group. See Communities at the end of the article.

Anti-stud: The indentation underneath most bricks, plates and tiles that connects with the studs to form the interlocking system of LEGO.

Architecture: LEGO Architecture is a theme released in 2008. Designed by the architect Adam Reed Tucker, LEGO produced models of iconic landmarks based on the existing buildings. There are 3 sub-themes of LEGO Architecture, Landmark Series, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Buckingham Palace, Architect Series, like Villa Savoye and Sydney Opera House, and Skylines, like Shanghai and San Francisco. 

 

Axle: A TECHNIC piece used in sets that have wheels and gears, allowing them to rotate freely. It’s also used to connect appropriate pieces together and prevent the model from falling apart.

AZMEP: Aus Zwei Mach Eins Plättchen. The German acronym for half-stud offset.

 

B

Baseplate: These are what you build on. They’re a bit different than regular plates, there are no anti-studs below, so they have to be at the very bottom. I’m guessing that’s where the term “base” comes from. They’re thinner, too, almost paper-thin, though surprisingly sturdy.

Baseplates come in different sizes, measured in the number of studs each side has, like 48×48 or 16×32. There may be color variations on a single baseplate, creating a certain landscape pattern, like a stream or the beach. However, all the studs of these baseplates are on the same level.

Apart from the regular baseplates, there are also “raised” baseplates and “road” baseplates. Raised baseplates have some kind of built-on terrain or structure on them (like hills or the base of a castle), which gives the baseplate 2 or more levels to build on, although the terrain doesn’t necessarily need to have any studs to attach bricks. Road baseplates have two parts, one with the road and without any studs, and the other surrounding the road, with studs.  There are straight and curvy roads, T-junctions and crossroads. These are great if you’re building your own city.

Belville: A theme that was introduced in 1994 and discontinued in 2009. Its target audience were mainly girls. While the sets were mostly made out of System pieces, the biggest difference were the figures, called Belville Figures. These were larger than regular minifigures, with multiple joints  and more human-like features. There were many specialized parts in Belville sets, like furniture, animals and food.

Big Figure or Bigfig: A figure larger than a regular minifigure. I mean, way larger. Some examples are the Hulk from the Marvel Universe, Wampa from Star Wars, and the Goblin King from the Hobbit. While some are similar, the mould of every bigfig is not the same.

Bignette: A LEGO scene that is larger than a vignette but smaller than a diorama.

Billund: A town in Denmark where the headquarters of The LEGO Group (TLG) is located.

Bionicle: A theme that used Technic parts and ball-and-socket joints to create large figures. It was first released in 2001, discontinued in 2010, returned in 2015 and discontinued again in 2017.

Bley: Stands for bluish grey, given by the fans when LEGO changed the tone of the grey bricks to be more bluish than greenish in 2004.

Blind Bags: Blind Bags are the little sealed foil packets that all of the collectible Minifigure Series come in. these sealed packets are used with all sorts of collectible items such as trading cards, or sticker albums.  The idea of course is it’s a ‘blind’ bag because you have no idea what you’re going to get inside. With LEGO it’s more significant than with trading cards because it’s become a fine art form to be able to feel which figure it is, through the sealed packets. Each packet contains one random Minifigure, so unless you can feel which figure it is, you have no idea which one will be inside.

Brick-built: A creation made out of bricks instead of using a pre-fabricated part. While some of these creations may not be as “good-looking” as the pre-fabricated ones, it gives the creator more flexibility to do as they like. Also in some cases, a pre-fabricated version of the build may not be available. The hippo in the left image only comes in DUPLO, while the one on the right is made out of System parts, by Takamichi Irie.

Brickheadz: Released in 2017, Brickheadz allow fans to create buildable characters with almost a 1:1 head-torso ratio, both of which are cube-shaped. While most of the characters are from licensed themes, like Batman or Star Wars, there are characters that represent Easter, Valentine’s Day or Halloween as well. There’s also a ‘blank’ Brickheadz set called “Go Brick Me” which lets you build and customize a Brickheadz any way you like.

Bricklink: See Digital Platforms.

Brickowl: See Digital Platforms.

Brickset: See Digital Platforms.

BOLOCs: Build Of Lots Of Colors. A build that contains many different colored bricks, usually done out of necessity rather than design.

Boost: Boost is a robotics set created for children aged 7+. There’s a Move Hub included in the set that communicates with a tablet and can be coded using an app, which allows the robot do certain commands. Also see: Mindstorms.

Build: Any design that consists of 2 or more LEGO pieces.

Buildable Figure: An action-figure sized character that uses CCBS. Some of the themes with buildable figures are  Bionicle, Hero Factory, Legends of Chima, Star Wars and Super Heroes.

Builder: Those gifted individuals who can create wonders with LEGO bricks.

BURP: Big Ugly Rock Piece. A large moulded piece that resembles a rock. Not very famous among builders, since they prefer to create their landscapes out of bricks instead of one big chunk of pre-fabricated piece. See also: LURP and POOP.

 

C

CCBS: Character and Creature Building System. It uses balls and ball connectors to build an  action-figure sized LEGO character instead of studs and tubes. See here.

Cheese Slope: A sloped part that is 1 stud wide, 1 stud long and 2 plates high (1x1x 2/3). The yellow ones resemble a piece of cheese hence the name.

Clikits: Another theme that was designed for girls. It was released in 2003 and discontinued in 2006, although some of the accessories continued to appear in some sets until  2008.

Clone brands: Construction toys that are similar to and sometimes compatible with LEGO, but cheaper in terms of price and often quality. Also known as bootleg or fake LEGO.

CMF: Collectible Minifigures. In 2010, LEGO started to sell single minifigures (usually with accessories) in blind bags. These were new designs, made especially for this sub-theme. There are 18 main series, plus more than 10 additional ones like the LEGO Movie, Team GB or the Simpsons. Each series contain 16-22 minifigures, with the exception of the Team GB series, which only has 9.

Constraction: Constructible Action Figures. See Buildable Figure and CCBS.

Cracklink: A nickname for Bricklink, implicating how addictive it can be.

Custom: Parts that are not officially produced by LEGO, but a third-party company. They can include decals, printed parts and minifigures, or accessories. If it’s a print, it’s generally printed on an official LEGO part. The accessories have their own special mould, and the quality of the material can be very close to LEGO’s, depending on the company producing it. More on this at the end of the article.

Customizer: Someone who uses different means like painting, sculpting or cutting to modify LEGO parts. These guys do not play well with purists, who prefer to use only official LEGO parts.

Cuusoo: The name of LEGO Ideas during its beta phase.

 

D

Dark Ages: Remember that one time, when you were too cool to play with LEGO? That was your dark ages. Basically, a period of time when someone stopped playing with LEGO for any reason.  Only valid if that person comes back to being a FOL (fan of LEGO).

Decorated parts: A LEGO piece with something printed on it.

Design ID: The number that is written (but not so easily seen) inside every LEGO part. It refers to the mould shape of the part but not the color.

Dimensions: See Digital Platforms.

Diorama: A large scene or landscape made out of LEGO parts.

DSS: Dreaded Sticker Sheet. Sometimes instead of printing on parts, LEGO prints stickers and you need to apply them as you build. These stickers are not very popular because it’s really hard  to get them perfectly aligned, especially on small pieces.

Dual Moulded: Remember when LEGO used to print shorts, skirts and boots and the back of the legs weren’t the same color as the front? Now instead of printing, they use dual moulds so both sides have the same color. It’s used both in legs and arms.

DUPLO: The product line of LEGO intended for children between 1-5 years old. A 2×2 DUPLO brick is twice the size of a 2×2 system brick, in width, length and height. DUPLO bricks are compatible with system bricks that are bigger than 2×2, both in width and length. There are DUPLO animals, accessories and figures as well as bricks, which are designed for small children. Compared to regular minifigures, DUPLO figures are bigger and cannot be taken apart.

 

E

Element: The generic name for each unique LEGO part. I think it’s better to explain this with an example. Both a red 2×2 piece and a blue 2×2 piece are bricks, but because their color is different, they’re counted as different elements.

Element ID: This is very similar to the Design ID, but instead of referring to the general shape and size, it is describes the color as well. So if we were to take the above mentioned bricks as an example, both their Design ID would read 3003 written inside, but the Element ID is 300321 for the red brick and 300323 for the blue brick. The Element IDs are usually found in the instruction  manuals that come with sets, and can be used to find a specific part on sites like Bricklink, Brickset, Brickowl and Firestartoys, as well as the Pick a Brick section of LEGO’s official online store. 

Erling Brick: Named after its designer, Erling Dideriksen, it is also known as the “Headlight Brick”. A 1×1 SNOT piece with 2 studs and 2 anti-studs. You can find more about it here.

Eurobricks: See Digital Platforms.

 

F

FFOL: Female Fan of LEGO

FAFOL: Female Adult Fan of LEGO.

Fabuland: A theme that lived between 1979-1989. It was meant for children aged 3-7, to be a transition theme between DUPLO and System. The builds use regular System bricks, with the addition of unique parts and accessories. Fabuland figures are similar to DUPLO figures in the sense that the parts are not interchangeable, but they are smaller in size (though still larger than minifigures). All the residents of Fabuland have humanoid bodies with animal heads, and they all have a name, making them the first licensed theme. The one you see in the picture is Cornelius Cat.

Firestartoys: See Digital Platforms.

FIRST LEGO League: An alliance between FIRST and the LEGO Group to encourage children to design and build a robot using LEGO Mindstorms and apply science, technology, engineering, and math concepts (STEM) to solve a real-world problem like food safety or recycling. You can find more here.

Friends: The latest and so far the most successful sub-theme that was intended for girls. Released in 2012, Friends sets introduced many different colored bricks as well as accessories and animals never seen before. It follows the stories of five girls, Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Emma and Stephanie. The theme does not have minifigures, instead there are mini-dolls.

 

G

Greebles: The small details used mostly in large builds of space-related themes, so instead of a flat surface, you get a more complex look, like the close-up of the Millennium Falcon you see in the picture. 

 

H

Half-Stud Offset: A building technique which lets you step outside of the limitations of the studs. Usually done by using jumper plates, though there are other elements as well.

Headlight Brick: See Erling Brick.

Hero Factory: A similar theme to Bionicle which was produced between 2010-2014. Like Bionicle, the sets had mainly Technic parts, and followed the adventures of robotic heroes.

Hidden Side: See Digital Platforms.

 

I

Ideas: LEGO Ideas is a crowdfunding site which allows fans to create a potential set idea and share it with the world. If an idea gets 10,000 supporters in a given time frame, it’s reviewed by the LEGO Group and has a chance to become an official set. LEGO Ideas started as Cuusoo in 2008, operated until 2014, and gave birth to sets like Back to the Future and Minecraft. In 2014, the beta phase ended and the name was changed to LEGO Ideas. Since its start, 24 sets have been released under the theme Cuusoo and Ideas. The latest one can be seen below.

Illegal: Building techniques that are outside the suggested instructions provided by the LEGO Group, either because they stress the elements more than intended or produce an unstable model. A simple example would be placing a plate vertically between the studs of a brick. Here is a presentation made by the LEGO designer Jamie Berard. While it’s more than 10 years old, it’s a good source to see what is considered illegal and legal. 

Inventory: The list of parts included in a set. These can be found in the instruction manuals that  come with sets (except the old ones) as well as online sites like Brickset, Bricklink and Brickowl.

 

A Jumbo Brick next to a regular brick. Image taken from The LEGO Group’s website.

J

Jumbo Brick: First released in 1964, Jumbo Bricks were a product made for Samsonite. They were approximately 3 times larger than the regular bricks we know today. They were manufactured until 1970 in Canada and 1971 in the U.S. You can find more about Jumbo Bricks here.

Jumper Plate: The part that allows the half-stud offset to happen. There are 3 types of jumper plates, all of which you can see in the image in comparison with regular plates. 

Juniors: A theme that is designed for children between 4-7 years old. Like Fabuland, it is meant to be a transition between DUPLO and System. However, the parts and minifigures (or mini-dolls) used are no different than regular parts and minifigures. The main difference is that the models are simpler and easier to build.

 

K

KFOL: Kid Fan of LEGO.

 

L

LAN: See Communities.

LCP: LEGO Certified Professionals. The gifted individuals who, by using LEGO bricks, create amazing pieces of art on a big scale. These people do not work for the LEGO Group, but they are officially recognized by them. According to the LEGO Group’s website, there are 13 LCPs at the moment: Dirk Denoyelle, Nicholas Foo, Rene Hoffmeister, Yenchih Huang, Any Hung, Wani Kim, Ryan McNaught, Jumpei Mitsui, Matija Puzar, Robin Sather, Nathan Sawaya, Georg Schmitt and Riccardo Zangelmi. 

LDD: See Digital Platforms.

LDraw: See Digital Platforms.

Legal: Building techniques that are approved by the LEGO Group, to provide more stable models and better playability.

LEGO: Those round shaped things you get from a bakery. Very sweet until you step on them. It comes from the Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.

LEGOs: The biggest mistake you will ever make if you try to use this word as a plural of LEGO. In the catalogs published in the 1980s, the LEGO Group politely asked parents and children to use “LEGO Bricks or Toys” instead of LEGOs. More recently, they answered a tweet in 2014, saying neither LEGO nor LEGOs should be used as a plural, instead we should say “LEGO bricks” or “LEGO sets”. It makes sense, since LEGO is the brand of the bricks and not the name, but it’s easier to say “LEGO” instead of “LEGO bricks”. Long story short, use “LEGO bricks” if your first language is English and if you’re talking about it in a serious platform. If not, go wild 🙂 

LEGOLAND: See Attractions.

Licensed Theme: These are sub-themes of LEGO which are based on TV Series, movies and videogames. The very first licensed set was called Wooden Pluto, a pull-along toy based on Mickey Mouse’s dog. It was made in the 1950s when LEGO was making wooden toys. After LEGO became the toy we know today, the first licensed theme was Star Wars for System and Winnie the Pooh for DUPLO, released in 1999. Today, there is a variety of licensed themes like Marvel, DC, Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Minecraft and Overwatch.

Life: See Digital Platforms.

LFM: See Communities.

LOC: See Communities.

LUG: See Communities.

LURP: Little Ugly Rock Piece. Sibling of BURP.

LXF: See Digital Platforms.

 

M

Mecabricks: See Digital Platforms.

Microfigure or Microfig: A single sculpted piece that consists of a head, torso and legs, but smaller in size than a regular minifigure (1x1x2). These are usually used as pawns in tabletop LEGO games, such as Heroica or Ramses Return. Microfigures were discontinued in 2014.

Microscale: A build that has a scale much smaller than a minifigure, so that when you put one in it, it will look like Godzilla attacking. It can vary between a build just shy of being in the minifigure scale to a whole city that can fit in the palm in your hand, in which it wouldn’t be possible to see a figure at all.

Mindstorms: Similar to LEGO Boost, Mindstorms allow older children to create robots with Technic and System parts, and code them using a desktop software. It has an intelligent brick that can be programmed. In addition to the color and distance sensors Boost has, Mindstorms also have a touch sensor, an infrared sensor, and a remote infrared beacon. The two systems are not compatible with each other.

Mini-doll: The figures included in sub-themes Friends, Elves, Disney Princesses and DC Super Hero Girls. The parts of mini-dolls are interchangeable, like regular minifigures, but the legs can not move separately or backwards. Unlike minifigures, the skin color of mini-dolls is either light  flesh, flesh or medium dark flesh. There are 3 different torso types, for teenage girls, adult women and boys & men. The legs have different moulds as well, giving the option to choose between skirts, shorts, trousers or dresses. Also, almost all mini-dolls wear shoes, printed on the leg parts. The hair of most female mini-dolls is made of soft plastic and compatible with regular minifigures. However, the neck connection is thinner than of a minifigure, so the heads are not. While the size of the hands are the same, mini-dolls can’t move their hands like minifigures, but they can use the same accessories. 

Minifigure or Minifig: The little LEGO people which are included in almost every set. The minifigures we know today were first released in 1978, and haven’t changed since, in terms of design. The printing, however, is a whole different story. It began with two dots as eyes and a smile for each and every minifigure, and now you can find almost every emotion along with different types of faces, male, female, with glasses, moustache, freckles, make-up and so on. The police officer you see in the picture was one of the first minifigures ever made, and it was re-released in 2018 as part of the CMF series celebrating the minifigure’s 40th birthday.

There are many books about minifigures alone, but let me give you a quick summary and fact timeline about the milestones of minifigures based on the infographic the LEGO Group has kindly provided on their webpage.

1978 – The minifigure is born!

1979 – Introduction of the male hairpiece. Before this, all the male minifigures wore hats.

1989 – Release of Pirates theme brings facial hair and different body parts, like peg legs and hook hands.

1990 – A special minifigure who glows in the dark and has a spooky wearable mould arrives: The ghost! Also, lady minifigures can wear dresses now. How fancy!

1993 – The separate beard element is introduced in a wizard minifigure.

1997 – The first digital minifigure appears in the videogame LEGO Island.

1999 – The launch of the first licensed minifigures with the Star Wars theme. Also, a special mould head appears for the first time with Jar Jar Binks.

2001 – Double sided heads are introduced.

2002 – Star Wars sets another milestone! Yoda is the first minifigure who has short legs.

2004 – The minifigures included in licensed sets have flesh colored heads now.

2009 – Minifigures are minimized (!) and microfigures are born.

2010 – The madness called “Collectible Minifigure Series” begins. Also, minifigures are even further minimized and become trophies (also called statuettes or nanofigures – more on this later).

2014 – The minifigure has its very own movie! The LEGO Movie hits the theaters.

2016 – It’s now possible for minifigures to have babies! The baby minifigure is born. Also, LEGO makes a wheelchair mould and makes it possible to have disabled minifigures as well.

2018 – The minifigure celebrates its 40th birthday!

According to this infographic, there are more than 8,000 made since 1978 – 8,000 different minifigures, mind you. However, if you look at Bricklink’s and Brickset’s database, the number is increased to 11,000. The reason behind that is they include every figure ever made, whether it’s DUPLO, Technic, Fabuland, Friends or System. Also, Brickset categorizes the figures according to years, and you can see that the number of figures released each year increases exponentially, with a few exceptions. Now if that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is!

A more extensive history and the infographic can be found here.

A size comparison of different figures. In the front from left to right: Nanofigure, microfigure, minifigure, mini-doll, Fabuland figure. In the back from left to right: DUPLO figure, big figure, Technic figure

 

Regular minifigures with different heights. A toddler with a single mould body, a child with short legs, an older child (Hermione in this case) with medium legs, an adult with regular legs, and Woody, with long legs.

 

Minifig Scale: A build that is created in the scale of a minifigure.

MOC: My Own Creation. Anything built with LEGO bricks without using instructions. Pronounced like “mock”.

Modular Buildings: Designed by Jamie Berard, Modular Buildings is a sub-theme of the Creator product line that targets mostly adults. One set has been released each year (starting in 2007), and when put side-by-side, they create a minifigure-scaled street. The sets are large and highly detailed, and the floors can be taken apart to see the interior. There is also a micro-scaled set of the first five Modular Buildings, seen in the picture.

Modulex: A different type of brick that was created specifically for architects. They were smaller than regular bricks and were not compatible with them, however some connections were made thanks to the curiosity of AFOLs. The color palette of Modulex bricks was different than of System bricks. They were produced between 1963-1965, after which Modulex left the LEGO Group and became a separate company. If you’re interested, you can find a detailed history here.

Modulex bricks in comparison to System bricks and a minifigure, and some different colors of 2×5 bricks

 

Molds or Moulds: These are the key elements of how LEGO parts come to life. Molten plastic is injected from one side and LEGO parts come out from the other. Of course, it’s not as easy as that. See here, here and here for some mind-blowing details. It can also be used to describe a brand new LEGO part, or a minifigure head different than a standard one.

 

N

Nanofigure or Nanofig: These are the smallest figures yet. They’re an exact replica of the minifigure, but they’re only 1.5 bricks tall. The first time they appeared was as trophies, in gold, silver and bronze, so they’re known by that name as well as statuette. After a while, LEGO went wild and printed all kinds of details on them, making them a smaller scale of the minifigure. While the official LEGO name for these tiny people are microfigures, fans usually call them nanofigures to distinguish them from the discontinued game microfigures.

NLP: Non-LEGO Person or Non-LEGO Parent. Those unfortunate souls that are not in the LEGO universe… yet!

NPU: Nice Part Use. Using a certain part in a different way than its intended usage, like a croissant for an eyebrow or a surfboard for a beak.

 

P

PAB Wall: Pick-A-Brick Wall. A wall located in LEGO Stores that has containers sorted by color. You can fill a cup with the parts of your choosing, and as long as the parts fit in the cup, it doesn’t matter how many there are, you pay for the cup and not its contents.

Polybag: Small models that come in plastic bags, usually given as promotions.

POOP: Parts Out of Other Parts. It refers to single-mould pieces that can easily be built with smaller existing parts, such as BURP or LURP.

Purist: An MOC that only uses official LEGO parts, or an individual who is strongly against third party customizations.

 

 

Image taken from www.dagsbricks.com, showing a System, a DUPLO and a QUATRO brick – hey that can be the start of a joke!! 🙂

Q

QUATRO: Created for children between ages 1-3, QUATRO bricks were the largest bricks ever created. They were twice the size of DUPLO bricks, and compatible with both System and DUPLO. They lasted only 2 years, between 2004-2006.

 

R

RLFM: See Communities.

RLOC: See Communities.

RLUG: See Communities.

S

Scala: Scala was another theme intended for young girls. It was first released in 1979, discontinued in 1980, re-released in 1997 and discontinued again in 2001. There was very little construction needed in Scala sets, they were mostly about the dolls and their accessories. They were, however, generally compatible with System parts.

Sigfig: Signature Figure. A cartoon version of an AFOL made out of LEGO, used as an avatar of sorts. 

SNIR: Studs Not In a Row. An advanced building technique that creates a row of bricks diagonally instead of horizontal or vertical. See here.

SNOT: Studs Not On Top. Another advanced building technique that allows the build to go sideways. The Erling brick is one of the earliest and most popular parts to allow this, although there are other parts as well.

STAMP: Sticker Across Multiple Parts. It’s pretty self-explanatory, a situation where you need to apply a sticker to more than one part, making it almost impossible to take out and re-use said parts without ruining the sticker.

Studio: See Digital Platforms.

System: The main product line of the LEGO Group of building elements, minifigures and sets – in other words, the regular LEGO bricks we all know and love. It comes from “System i Leg”, meaning “System of Play”. Find  more about how it came to life here.

 

T

TECHNIC: Released in 1977, TECHNIC sets use parts like gears, axles and connectors to create more mechanical models. They are mostly compatible with System bricks.

TFOL: Teen Fan of LEGO.

Tile: A part which has the same height as a plate, but no studs on top. Usually used as a finish to provide a smooth surface.

Theme: A product line with a specific subject. It can be licensed, like Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings, or a LEGO original, like Space or Castle.

TLC: The LEGO Company.

TLG: The LEGO Group. It was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen.

Tower: See Digital Platforms.

TLM: The LEGO Movie.

 

U

UCS: Ultimate Collector Series. Supersized and incredibly detailed Star Wars sets.

V

Vignette: A small LEGO scene.

 

W

WIP: Work In Progress.

 

 

Communities

LAN: LEGO Ambassador Network. This is the LEGO Group’s official program for adult fans. They give ambassadorship to people from Recognized LEGO User Groups (RLUG), Recognized LEGO Fan Medias (RLFM) and Recognized LEGO Online Communities (RLOC). They support and communicate with ambassadors through the LEGO Ambassador Network.

LFM: LEGO Fan Media. According to the LEGO Group, these are “outlets such as physical Magazines, online Magazines, Blogs, YouTube channels, etc. They focus on LEGO History, LEGO Product Reviews, LEGO News and produce articles focusing on everything relating to the LEGO Brand.”

LOC: LEGO Online Community. A group of fans that meet on an online space rather than geographical space and organize online activities about all things LEGO.

LUG: LEGO User Group. These are fan clubs created by LEGO enthusiasts from a particular geographical location that hold certain activities regularly, such as meetings, photo safaris, or building sessions.

RLFM: Recognized LEGO Fan Media. If the LEGO Group officially recognizes a LFM, LOC or a LUG, it becomes an RLFM, RLOC or an RLUG, and an ambassador is chosen to represent the user group to the LEGO Group.

RLOC: Recognized LEGO Online Community.

RLUG: Recognized LEGO User Group.

 

Digital Platforms

Bricklink: An online marketplace where you can find old and new sets, minifigures and parts. It’s a good place to buy LEGO in bulk, or to get a single minifigure from a big set.

Brickowl: Another online marketplace to buy sets, minifigures or separate parts.

Brickset: A website with a huge LEGO database, where you can see the released sets and get information about the unreleased ones. You can also record the sets/minifigures you own and keep track of your collection.

Eurobricks: A site worth checking out, especially if you’re into MOCs. Even if you’re not, it’s still worth checking out 🙂

Firestartoys: An online store that sells minifigures & parts, official and custom made. Also the host of this blog.

LDD: LEGO Digital Designer. The official software for building digital LEGO models. Runs both on Windows and MacOS.

LDraw: A fan-made software for building digital LEGO models, rendering them, and animating them. Runs on Windows.

LXF: The file extension of LDD files.

Mecabricks: An online platform to create and render digital LEGO models.

Studio: Another software for building digital LEGO models, created by Bricklink.

LEGO Dimensions: A console game with a crazy mash-up of themes and characters. Imagine Gandalf, Beetlejuice, Powerpuff Girls and Sonic the Hedgehog all in one place, along many, many more. In addition to the digital game, these characters can also be purchased as separate minifigures (or mini-sets) and integrated into the game by using the Toy Pad provided in the Starter Pack.

LEGO Hidden Side: An upcoming LEGO game that will combine model building with augmented reality. The players will need to find the ghosts in the “haunted” building sets by using their mobile devices. It will be released in late summer 2019. The app will be available in both App Store and Google Play. There will be 8 sets released with the game.

LEGO Life: A social media app for children. LEGO Life lets children photograph and share their models and builds, while keeping their identity safe. The nickname generator creates random nicknames for the child to choose from, and everything gets moderated before getting posted online.

LEGO Tower: A mobile game LEGO has developed with NimbleBit, the developer of Tiny Tower. The players have the chance to create a virtual tower for minifigures to live, work and play in. It is available in App Store and Google Play Store. See the trailer here.

LEGO Videogames: There have been many LEGO Videogames, but the earliest is LEGO Fun to Build (1995) developed by Sega. It was only released in Japan. The PC games started with LEGO Island (1997), and there have been many different developers making LEGO games since then. The most current one is Tt Games (also known as Traveller’s Tales), and since 2005, they have developed and released more than 30 LEGO videogames, for various platforms like PC, PlayStation, XBOX, and Nintendo.

Building the Tt Games logo

 

Attractions

LEGO House: I would describe LEGO House with one word: Heaven. The LEGO Group, however, describes it like this: “LEGO® House is a newly opened experience house. The 12,000-square metre house is filled with 25 million LEGO bricks ready to give LEGO fans of all ages the ultimate LEGO experience.”

LEGO House from above. Image taken from the LEGO Group’s website.

 

LEGO Store: The official, physical store that sells all things LEGO. It may not count as an attraction for most people, but for those who do not live near one, it certainly is. 

A LEGO Store. Image taken from the LEGO Group’s website.

 

LEGOLAND: While LEGOLAND can refer to the sub-theme, the videogame or the minifigure, it’s more widely known as the theme park chain around the world, called LEGOLAND Parks. There are currently 8, in Billund -Denmark, Windsor – The U.K., San Diego – California (U.S.A.), Günzburg – Germany, Orlando – Florida (U.S.A.), Nusajaya – Malaysia, Dubai – U.A.E., and Nagoya – Japan, with the 9th on the way to open in 2020 in Goshen – New York (U.S.A.). LEGOLAND Parks are owned and run by Merlin Entertainment.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre: Known as the “Ultimate indoor LEGO playground”, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres’ target is families with young children. There are various attractions like rides, workshops, 4D Cinemas, and MINILAND, cities built in a miniature scale. There are currently 23 LEGOLAND Discovery Centres in the world.

 

Custom Minifigures, Parts and Accessories

A custom figure with hand-sculpted head

When official LEGO parts are not enough, the fans turn to companies that provides custom minifigures and accessories. Here are a few links to get an idea of what’s available in the custom world.

www.firestartoys.com

www.minifigures.com

www.brickwarriors.com

www.brickforge.com

www.eclipsebricks.com

www.outsidebrick.com

www.bricksanity.com

www.citizenbrick.com

 

Thank you for reading! Let me know if you find anything I’ve missed!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Wow – what a great glossary

    1. Thank you, Paul. It means a lot, coming from you.

  2. This is one awesome blog. Great work. 👍

Leave a Reply

Pinar

Some girls play with Barbies while others create small worlds with minifigures and continue to do so when they grow up. You can probably guess which group I belong to :)
Close Menu