LEGO reveals game-changing new ‘bucket list’ element in Speed Champions 2023 sets
This year’s newly-revealed wave of LEGO Speed Champions sets includes a game-changing new ‘bucket list’ element, developed in collaboration with a theme you probably wouldn’t expect.
Following the release of 76917 2 Fast 2 Furious Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) on January 1, four more LEGO Speed Champions sets will launch on March 1: 76914 Ferrari 812 Competizione, 76915 Pagani Utopia, 76916 Porsche 963 and 76918 McLaren Solus GT & McLaren F1 LM. And included within those is a brand new LEGO piece for 2023 – one the theme’s Design Lead has described as a ‘bucket list’ element.
The part in question is a single stud wide and deep, but only two plates high, matching the 1x1x2/3 brick introduced in 2022. But unlike that piece, it includes a stud on the side – and, unusually, a curved back. The result is an element that at first glance seems weirdly specific, but on further inspection is actually incredibly versatile for the opportunities that it allows.
“This is an element that was on our bucket list for a couple of years now,” LEGO Speed Champions Design Lead Chris Stamp told New Elementary. “We don’t actually have anything like this, unless you put an Erling [1×1 headlight brick] sideways on its back. This new brick allows you to get a stud on the side at two plates high in a 1×1 module space.
“Currently, there are ways to do it without our new element: you could potentially use a bracket and then use plates stacked on top of it and things like that, but then you don’t get a stud on top to build from, and it creates other complications within builds. We do a bit of ‘3D Tetris’ with our models when we’re trying to figure out how to get all the pieces together, and this was the solution we kept coming up with.”
1×1 bricks with studs on the side are nothing new, but it’s not just in shaving a plate off the top that this new element shines: it’s also in that curved back, which allows it to be placed at an angle next to other pieces, and in its hollow side-stud, which can facilitate bar elements like lightsaber blades or flagpoles.
“We’ve really tried to maximize functionality, even though it would have been easier for us had we made a square 1×1 module element,” Stamp explained. “LEGO Speed Champions uses it to get a headlight or a small detail like an exhaust built in. Maybe it could be used for the fingertip of a robot or something like that? There’s so many different uses.”
While this particular piece will debut in LEGO Speed Champions sets, it was actually developed in collaboration with a theme you wouldn’t necessarily expect: LEGO Minecraft. The video game line’s sets traditionally rely on standard bricks and pieces, reflecting the blocky aesthetic of their source material, rather than a piece like this new 1x1x2/3 element – which better serves the complex building techniques Speed Champions thrives on.
“We both had interest in this new element and when we were looking at ideas, we said, ‘Why don’t we just make it like we want it? We think we can do it; if we put our heads together, we can figure out how to do it,’” Stamp continued. “We didn’t just jump straight to this design; the starting point was that we took the existing 2×2 with two studs on the side and sliced the back half off so it was a 1×2 with 2 studs, but it kind of did the same thing.
“We went through a lot of variations. We looked at a square version, and we did all of the testing with everyone from seven-year olds up to teenagers to ask, ‘Is this confusing? Do you need this? Does it help you?’ We checked in with many different projects, from Super Mario to Monkie Kid to ask, ‘Have you ever found yourself with a problem where this might help?’ And everybody said that yes, if they had this element, it could help them from having to add six pieces to do the job of one, and it would really simplify things.”
You’ll be able to get your hands on the new element from March 2023, when the four new LEGO Speed Champions sets race on to shelves. Expect it to show up in plenty of sets and themes beyond those further down the line, too – not least Minecraft…
Every LEGO Speed Champions set confirmed for 2023
|LEGO set||Price||Pieces||Release date|
|76914 Ferrari 812 Competizione||£19.99 / $24.99 / €24.99||261||March 1, 2023|
|76915 Pagani Utopia||£19.99 / $24.99 / €24.99||249||March 1, 2023|
|76916 Porsche 963||£19.99 / $24.99 / €24.99||280||March 1, 2023|
|76917 2 Fast 2 Furious Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)||£19.99 / $24.99 / €24.99||319||January 1, 2023|
|76918 McLaren Solus GT & McLaren F1 LM||£39.99 / $44.99 / €44.99||581||March 1, 2023|
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