Ask a Lemur – Brick Separators, Mold Variants and Twerking Squidbots

Gidro aho, Dearest Readers!

lemur face & tail

As you know, I am the intern for The Brothers Brick. Yes, I am a lemur and I’m here to answer your questions regarding LEGO, the fan community and inner workings of The Brothers Brick. Talking to you all is truly a highlight for me. I look forward to it all week long! I have finally gotten caught up on my backlog of lemur loot. I just put the last pile on Simon’s desk and will ask him to mail it out tomorrow on his way to the airport. He is heading out to get ready for his weekend with the lucky winner of our “Win a Weekend with Simon” promotion. It was one of our most popular events yet. We had to set aside the conference room for entry overflow because the mail room couldn’t handle the flood.

Remember to post your questions in the comments. Each week I will be sending some loot out to the people who ask my favorite questions!

Now on to the good stuff.

Are you aware of any plans for a new brick separator tool?

I am not aware of any plans for a new official brick separator. LEGO upgraded their separator recently and I doubt they would change it again so soon. But, really, you never know. The new version is interesting. It feels a bit more flimsy than the old one but it has new features, such as being able to use the end of the handle to remove tiles and having a short technic axle on the back so you can push pins out.

I recently found out about a third party brick tool called The Brick Popper. I haven’t gotten my paws on one yet but it looks like it could be rather useful, especially for removing plates. Anyone out there have one? I’d like to hear if it is any good. I’ve been using my teeth to remove really troublesome plates and the contributors are getting irritated by the teeth marks.

How come I find both kinds of jumper plates (with and without groove) in one colour in the same set?

This is an excellent question! LEGO has multiple molds for most of their pieces. The exact number varies as the more common pieces need more molds while lesser used pieces need fewer molds. Each mold is good for thousands and thousands of shots and will last many years. However, eventually the mold wears out and has to be replaced.

LEGO often uses this opportunity to update the piece, sometimes making small upgrades and other times making drastic changes. However, whatever changes are made cannot be made to the other molds and they generally remain in use for the rest of their service life. This results in variations of the same piece being issued at the same time and often in the same set. As the old molds wear out, they are replaced by the new version and the eventually all the pieces are the same, at least until another change is made.

Is it true that the Brothers Brick compound used to be located on a far-off private island, but was relocated as a result of one of Iain’s disastrous experiments that caused the island to be overrun with giant twerking squidbots?

This is true. It was terribly frightening. What is seen cannot be unseen, you know. However it wasn’t just Iain’s fault. Ralph had his hand in the pot as well. Over evening cocktails, the two of them were arguing as to whether or not self-replicating robotic squids were culturally relevant. They came to the conclusion that having the ability to “twerk” would solve the problem.

Unfortunately, once the squids were activated it was impossible to stop them, especially since they quickly learned how to use cell-phones to document and share their gyrations on Youtube. The superstructure of TBB-1 seriously compromised and it was deemed advisable to abandon the facility and relocate to the current location. The strength of the evening cocktails was also reduced to safer, more sane levels.

16 comments on “Ask a Lemur – Brick Separators, Mold Variants and Twerking Squidbots

  1. TopBrick

    They’ve started including branded variants of the Brick Popper with the Pley service. Having used it I’d rate it about a B- with Lego’s new separator at a B+. While the metal backing gives you a lot more omph the problem is that it doesn’t work in a few ways that I’d like. First for round pieces below square (such as small 1×1) the Brick Popper does little to help whereas the top side of Lego’s popper can do this quite well. Also for same size pieces stuck (such as plates) it also fails to separate unless you sort of set it up to be able to pop. Where it does excel though over Lego’s version is in parts that are large (like a 4×4 plate) stuck on a bigger plate. Lego’s popper makes it hard to get in and provide lift either using the fulcrum or the end part, whereas the Brick Popper can easily dig under and lift no issues. In truth I think you should have both because they both can help where the other fails – but if you had to choose – go with Lego’s.

  2. Kosmas Santosa

    1. I love the TBB’s idea of Q&A with the awesome Lemur, but why Lemur? Is there any philosophy behind that?
    2. Any tips on where and how to display your LUG’s creation for public if there are no LEGO exhibition in town?

  3. TheoLego

    Is it purist to use a Lego leg, because in order to take the leg off the hip you have to bend/break a little peg that holds it on. So you technically have to break the Lego hip piece to get the leg off. Is this considered customization or just the type of damage a Lego is supposed to take in the line of duty.

  4. Guy Smiley :-)

    Why does the brothers brick need a compound to run a website? Or are they hiding something……

  5. zhuckins

    You a the brothers brick are always giving away prizes, and holding contests. Where do you guys get you loot? Is there a private stash on a secret island? Or are you sponsered by afertmarket companies such as brickarms and brickforge? Perhaps even lego itself?
    Thank you for your contribution to the lego community,

  6. SEdmison

    Faly mahalala anao.
    Thanks for confirming what the ship captain told me about TBB-1; I wouldn’t want to have been put through all those duck farts for nothing. I hope that everyone is giving you all the brick you can eat. Oh, and if you ever need a source of sustenance that won’t be missed, just sneak into Iain’s workspace and fetch the minifigures out of his sets. I’m sure that you’d be doing them a favor versus whatever fate he has in store for them….


  7. Ralph

    The less said about this incident, the better, but know that I have cut back on Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters and Flaming Lamborghinis.

  8. bmerrill

    A Lemur,

    Have you tried using a guitar pick in conjunction with a brick separator to remove plates? I’ve found that I can generally get enough space between two plates to slide a guitar pick between them, which is gentle enough to separate the pieces without damaging either.

  9. semiotic

    I am a collector of legos since my nephew was interested. to date we have many set, but in my country chile, the lego products reach a price costing about twice what they cost in other countries. My country has free trade treaties and other international trade benefits, but we have many lego stores all the items reaches twice its value either as lego retails stores. for example a set that cost in the us $ 20 in my country cost $ 40 at best. if I buy online at stores like toy r us or other similar I keep the product price in $ 20 but for importation, transportation and other value ends likewise being $ 40. considering this would not be right for lego store prices without usury had understood that matters in amounts and not by unit. This has created a growing market for piracy. what you think of this? lego know that someone is staying with his money or the same lego the villain?

  10. LimitedLegoBuilder

    I see many LEGO system, bionic, technic, but no EV3 or Mindstorm builds displayed on this blog. why is that.

    Their is a whole galaxy of great physics and mechanics that would greatly enrich this blog that are found in LEGO Mindstorm and EV3.

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