Which LEGO sets have the most part count of a single element? [Feature]

LEGO enthusiasts love uncovering every tiny detail and bit of trivia that they can get their hands on. One of the questions that resurfaced recently was to identify the set that has had the highest number of the same parts — parts that are repeated not just in element design, but also in color. We found this thread on Facebook (login required) where the question was raised, which led to a Brickset discussion, and thanks to dvdweyer, we have an answer. He’s extracted the Rebrickable database for the most up to date status — at least until the next “biggest LEGO set ever” takes over one of the spots in this list.

We’ve then used the extracted details to form an infographic and added additional statistics to highlight the percentage of elements in comparison to the whole set. Here are the Top 13 sets visualised with the highest part count.

Decomposing the findings

The LEGO Architecture Robie House released back in 2011 takes the top spot, with nearly 800 dark red 1×2 plates. There’s a tie for third place with both the LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron and new Empire State Building at the same piece count for repeated parts. Having said that, I feel Technic pin counts are a “cheat” because as you get bigger, you’ll just need more of them. So from a LEGO System standpoint, it is the Robie House followed by the Empire State as the first runner-up and the Tower Bridge taking 3rd place.

What stands out from these numbers is how the Empire State Building’s part count is taken up by a whopping 39% of the total parts for 1×2 tan grille pieces. Imagine the build process where 4 out of every 10 pieces you pick up to build with is a tan grille. Having said that, and stating the obvious (more parts, better details) it does a better job of bringing the iconic New York City skyscraper alive compared to the two previous versions that LEGO has released — 21002 Empire State Building and 21028 New York City.

Every other set in our list ranges below the 20% mark, between about 12 and 19% — 1 to 2 pieces for every 10 elements.

If we analyze the sets by their LEGO themes (with the assumption that the Death Star and the Roller Coaster are playsets), the bulk of the sets with such high single part counts are from the Technic family and the LEGO Architecture sets.

The Bugatti Chiron, Statue of Liberty, and the Bucket Wheel Excavator makes an appearance twice in this list because they have two parts each with a high number. Here’s a slightly different view to get a feel of the overall repeated parts compared to the remaining elements. Technic builds don’t really show the number of pins as they’re all embedded, but the system parts stand out with the single color theme.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Mosaic subtheme from LEGO Sculptures contains more single elements, but we decided that they’re not exactly under the buildable sets and did not want to include these.

This theme was ended in 2003 but reminds us of the recent introduction of the Personalised Mosaic Portrait which also has a large number of single-colored elements.

Well, no stats last for long in the LEGO world, with the results above and the impending release of the Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800, one can bet that it will likely make an appearance in this list, with even more Technic pins to top the charts. Are there any obscure fun facts you’d like us to cover? Drop us some of your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

Here’s the full list of the 13 sets, in case you feel the need to add any of them to your collection.

21010 Robie House | 2276 Pcs | Bricklink

42055 Bucket Wheel  Excavator | 3929 Pcs | Bricklink

21046 Empire State Building | 1767 Pcs | LEGO Shop USD 129.99

42083 Bugatti Chiron  | 3599 Pcs | LEGO Shop USD 349.99 

42082 Rough Terrain Crane | 4057 Pcs | LEGO Shop USD 299.99 

10214 Tower Bridge | 4295 Pcs |  LEGO  Shop USD 239.99 

10261 Roller Coaster |  4124 Pcs | LEGO Shop USD $379.99 

42056 Porsche 911GT3 RS | 2704 Pcs | Bricklink

3450 Statue of  Liberty | 2882 Pcs | Bricklink 

42009 Mobile Crane MK II | 2607 Pcs | Bricklink

10143 Death Star II | 3447 Pcs | Bricklink

42043 Mercedes Benz Arocs 3245 | 2793 Pcs | Bricklink

42078 Mack Anthem | 2595 Pcs | LEGO Shop USD 179.99 

9 comments on “Which LEGO sets have the most part count of a single element? [Feature]

  1. cimddwc

    Building Robie House with 771 1×2 tiles sounds like an interesting challenge, especially when you want to move it around. :) With the 1×2 plates that are actually included in the set, it’s a bit easier…

  2. LegoFin.

    I’d hate to ruin your dope graphs and stuff, but pretty sure Robie House has 771 dark red 1×2 plates, not tiles, just a small detail, really interesting stuff otherwise!

  3. Russell Chapman

    This is great stuff! Would have been interesting to see what set/part combinations would have been in the list without the 9 pin related entries.

  4. Håkan

    I recall tthat the Lego Mosaic theme was a good source for Very Light Gray parts, a color which is now discontinued.

  5. Exxos

    I took apart my robie house in preparation of moving. The parts are in a clear bucket between other architecture sets and it makes this dark red line 3cm thick with those 1×2’s. XD

    I love that set though.

  6. Jimmy

    @ Russel Chapman

    I think Taj Mahal for sure, with 388 trans clear 1×1 plates. (not to mention a couple of other parts in the 200s).

  7. Purple Dave

    It’s kind of bizarre to consider that there’s actually a set out there with over 1100 Technic pins. And that’s just the two most common types. Add in all the rest (excluding axle-pins and pins w/ bushings) and it runs just shy of 1300, which means ~1/3 of the set is just pins. And that’s how black 2L friction pins became the dirt-cheapest part on Bricklink.

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