2019 Most Common LEGO Parts

Most LEGO builders know that there are thousands of different LEGO parts in production, and some parts are a lot more common than others. Let’s find out which parts are the most common, which parts are available in the widest selection of colors, and which parts have become a lot more popular in the last few years!

Which LEGO parts are the most common?

This seems like it would be an easy question, but The LEGO Group is a privately held company that doesn’t share detailed information about which pieces they manufacture or how many copies of each set are sold. In order to answer this question, we need to work with the limitations of the data that we do have.

Thanks to websites like Brickset, BrickLink, and Rebrickable, we do have lists containing every known LEGO parts, every known LEGO set, and inventories containing a list of elements and quantities for each of those sets. We will use data imported from Rebrickable to estimate part production using inventories from sets released in recent years.

Why does it matter?

There are a couple reasons that I wanted to know which LEGO parts are most common. The first is pretty obvious—I wanted to make sure my collection of printable LEGO Brick Labels includes labels for all of the most common parts.

The second reason is that this information helps me offer better advice in the LEGO Storage Guide. As you move from a medium to large collection, you might want to sort the most common pieces by part instead of broad categories. Likewise, as your collection grows from a large to a very large collection, these are the first parts you might choose to sort by element (both part and color).

The third reason requires a little more explanation… Last year’s most visited article Hard-to-Find LEGO Colors (and what to do about it) analyzed which LEGO colors are “Common” because they are available in almost every part, “Uncommon” because they are available in many but not all parts, and “Rare” because they are available in so few parts that you can only use them sparingly. For that article, I created a list of basic bricks, plates, and tiles that I felt were necessary to build interesting models, and used that list of parts to assess how common each color is. For the upcoming 2019 update to that article, I wanted to use data (instead of my instincts) to select the most common parts, and use those parts to judge how common each color is.

Beyond these practical reasons, I found the list of the most common parts really interesting, and I thought my readers would find it interesting too. In this article, we’ll take extra step and analyze the data to learn more about the building blocks of our hobby.

Most Common LEGO Parts

The top 12 parts account for nearly 25% of all pieces manufactured. (Each part shown in it's most common color.)

The top 12 parts account for nearly 25% of all pieces manufactured. (Each part shown in it’s most common color.)

Even after trying to exclude printed parts, Minifigure parts, and Duplo pieces, you would have around 675,000 pieces if you purchased one of every set released from 2015-2019. That’s a respectable LEGO collection!

After adding up how many of each part you would get from each set, you end up with a long list of parts… I’ve included a list showing the Top 50 parts below. (The complete list of the Top 500 parts is on a different page to keep the page from loading too slowly.)

In addition to columns describing each part, you will find the number of pieces you would get if you bought one of every set, and the number of colors each part comes in. (Rows containing parts which come in 5 or fewer colors shown with light gray background.) You will also find the current rank, and the year-over-year change for that part (with +/- indicating increased/decreased popularity.)

Top 50 Parts by Number of Pieces

Rank Image Part ID Part Name # Colors # Pieces
1 — 3023 1×2 Plate 49 25662
2 — 4073 1×1 Plate, Round 40 23480
3 — 3024 1×1 Plate 46 20983
4 — 2780 Technic Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Center Slots 1 17222
5 — 54200 1×1 Slope 30° (Cheese) 50 11436
6 — 3004 1×2 Brick 39 11307
7 — 3069b 1×2 Tile 45 11047
8 — 3710 1×4 Plate 34 10254
9 — 3005 1×1 Brick 42 9249
10 — 3020 2×4 Plate 34 8965
11 — 3022 2×2 Plate 30 8737
12 (+1) 6558 Technic Pin Long with Friction Ridges Lengthwise 1 7215
13 (-1) 2412b 1×2 Tile, Grille 25 7119
14 — 15573 1×2 Jumper 28 7056
15 (+1) 98138 1×1 Tile, Round 32 7009
16 (+1) 3070b 1×1 Tile 40 6319
17 (+1) 3021 2×3 Plate 28 6292
18 (-3) 3003 2×2 Brick 37 6244
19 — 3666 1×6 Plate 30 5981
20 (+1) 3623 1×3 Plate 31 5786
21 (-1) 2431 1×4 Tile 38 5722
22 — 11477 2×1 Curved 39 5704
23 (+2) 85984 1×2 Slope 30° (Double Cheese) 32 5295
24 (-1) 4274 Technic Pin 1/2 3 5248
25 (-1) 3010 1×4 Brick 32 5228
26 — 3062b Brick Round 1 x 1 Open Stud 34 4823
27 (+4) 2420 2×2 Plate, Corner 21 4511
28 (+1) 87580 2×2 Jumper 30 4460
29 (-2) 3001 2×4 Brick 29 4371
30 (+6) 15068 2×2 Curved 34 4282
31 (-3) 43093 Technic Axle Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise 1 4230
32 (+1) 3795 2×6 Plate 28 4116
33 (-3) 3068b 2×2 Tile 33 4088
34 (-2) 3040 2×1 Slope 45° 33 3923
35 — 87079 2×4 Tile 33 3778
36 (+1) 6636 1×6 Tile 25 3609
37 (+1) 4032 2×2 Plate, Round w/ Axle 21 3575
38 (+6) 15712 1×1 Clip, Top 12 3488
39 — 87087 1×1 Brick, Stud 1-side 27 3483
40 (-6) 33291 1×1 Plate, Flower (4 Petals) 16 3464
41 (-1) 32062 Technic Axle 2 Notched 2 3225
42 — 3622 1×3 Brick 26 3168
43 (-2) 4589 1×1 Cone 34 3071
44 (-1) 4070 1×1 Brick, Headlight 16 2986
45 — 3941 2×2 Brick, Round w/ Axle 26 2898
46 (+18) 85861 1×1 Plate, Round w/ hole 17 2830
47 (+3) 99780 1×2 Bracket, Inverted 15 2802
48 — 3460 1×8 Plate 24 2780
49 (-2) 32123 Technic Bush 1/2 Smooth with Axle Hole Semi-Reduced 2 2769
50 (-4) 3009 1×6 Brick 27 2673

Analysis

While it’s interesting to simply look through a long list of common LEGO parts, it’s more interesting to look for those parts which stand out. Let’s learn more about the distribution of parts, see which parts come in the most colors, and highlight those parts which are gaining (and decreasing) in popularity.

Part Distribution

While there are well over a thousand unique molds, not all parts are created in equal quantities. The most common part is 1×2 plate (part 3023)—if you bought one of every set from that 5-year period, you would have over 25,000 of that part alone, accounting for 3.8% of your pieces.

By contast, there are many parts which are included in just one set. It’s amazing that they are willing to design and cast a mold to produce a part for just one set! (A lot of unique molds are created for Minifigures and accessories used in the popular Collectible Minifigure Series—It must be profitable!)

A small number of LEGO parts make up the vast majority of LEGO pieces manufactured.

A small number of LEGO parts make up the vast majority of LEGO pieces manufactured.

When we look at this variability across a large pool of data, we are trying to understand its distribution. In cases like this where a relatively small number pieces of make up the bulk of the collection, we describe the data as having a long-tail distribution.

The good news for people who want a beautifully organized LEGO collection is that you can sort 50% of your collection by part using around 50 compartments, or 90% of your collection by part with fewer than 500 compartments.

The bad news is that the long tail is quite long; In the chart, I only showed the top 500 pieces, but there are thousands more pieces extending off the right side of the chart. There are thousands of unique parts in production, and that’s not including printed parts, minifigures, and retired parts. If you aren’t careful, you will have a lot of tiny drawers with just a single part in it.

Colors

The current LEGO palette includes 41 solid colors, 14 transparent, 8 metallic, 1 glow-in-the-dark white, and 2 transparent with glitter, for a total of 66 colors. This includes the addition of 353Vibrant CoralCoral this year, and last year’s re-introduction of 107Bright Bluish GreenDark Turquoise / Teal.

Part 54200 "1×1 Slope 30° (Cheese)" comes in more colors than any other part.

Part 54200 “1×1 Slope 30° (Cheese)” comes in more colors than any other part.

Some parts are available in a lot of colors and some parts are only in one or a few colors. Typically, parts which are only in one color are functional or connective parts that are not very visible in a finished model. The best example of this are Technic pins and axles which are generally only one color to aid in sorting and finding the right piece well building a model. To help in reading the part list below, you will find that parts which appear in five or fewer colors are shown with a light gray background.

In a different article, we will look at which colors are most common, but I did want to highlight those parts which are available in the most different colors.

Top 25 Parts by Number of Colors

Rank Image Part ID Part Name # Colors Most Common Color
5 — 54200 1×1 Slope 30° (Cheese) 50 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
1 — 3023 1×2 Plate 49 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
3 — 3024 1×1 Plate 46 1White
7 — 3069b 1×2 Tile 45 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
9 — 3005 1×1 Brick 42 1White
2 — 4073 1×1 Plate, Round 40 315. Silver Metallic (Flat Silver)
16 (+1) 3070b 1×1 Tile 40 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
6 — 3004 1×2 Brick 39 26Black
22 — 11477 2×1 Curved 39 26Black
21 (-1) 2431 1×4 Tile 38 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
18 (-3) 3003 2×2 Brick 37 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
8 — 3710 1×4 Plate 34 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
10 — 3020 2×4 Plate 34 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
26 — 3062b Brick Round 1 x 1 Open Stud 34 1White
30 (+6) 15068 2×2 Curved 34 26Black
43 (-2) 4589 1×1 Cone 34 1White
33 (-3) 3068b 2×2 Tile 33 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
34 (-2) 3040 2×1 Slope 45° 33 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
35 — 87079 2×4 Tile 33 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
15 (+1) 98138 1×1 Tile, Round 32 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
23 (+2) 85984 1×2 Slope 30° (Double Cheese) 32 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
25 (-1) 3010 1×4 Brick 32 1White
82 (-3) 50950 3×1 Curved 32 1White
20 (+1) 3623 1×3 Plate 31 194Medium Stone GreyLight Bluish Gray
60 (+6) 6091 1×2×1⅔ Curved 31 1White

Additional Considerations: It important to note that in a few rare cases, a different part ID is used when nearly the same element is made using solid versus transparent plastic. This can make those parts appear to come in fewer colors than they really do.

An evolving library of parts

In addition to offering a detailed list of the most common parts, I took the extra step of comparing how common the part is based on the last five years versus a window starting one year earlier. When a part has significantly increased or decreased in the rankings, this reflects a shift towards important new parts and away from parts which are not as widely used anymore.

Increase or decrease is measured as a percentage of current ranking, rather than the number of steps it went up or down. This is due to the fact that it’s much harder to go up by one step near the top than lower in the rankings.

Parts that increased or decreased in popularity in 2019.

Parts that increased or decreased in popularity in 2019.

31 pieces jumped up in the rankings by 20% or more, and 67 pieces jumped by 10% or more. Most of these are relatively new pieces that filled an obvious gap in the LEGO parts library. Because they are general-purpose parts, they were quickly adopted by LEGO set designers and can be found in many new sets.

Increase of 20% or more

Rank Image Part ID Part Name # Colors # Pieces
497 (+84.71%) 36840 Bracket 1 x 1 – 1 x 1 Inverted 6 169
319 (+74.29%) 35480 Plate, Modified 1 x 2 Rounded with 2 Open Studs 9 342
103 (+48.54%) 25269 Tile Round 1 x 1 Quarter 26 1309
283 (+48.06%) 33909 Tile Special 2 x 2 with Only 2 studs 10 402
294 (+42.18%) 27925 Tile 2 x 2 Macaroni 18 389
46 (+39.13%) 85861 1×1 Plate, Round w/ hole 17 2830
413 (+37.77%) 29119 Wedge 2×1 with Stud Notch Right 12 226
200 (+34%) 26047 Plate 1 x 1 Rounded with Handle 8 591
412 (+33.74%) 29120 Wedge 2×1 with Stud Notch Left 12 227
440 (+33.64%) 25214 Brick Round 1 x 1 diameter Tube with 90 Degree Elbow(2 x 2 x 1) and Axle Holes(Crossholes) at each end 8 212
235 (+33.62%) 26601 Wedge Plate 2 x 2 Cut Corner 16 486
255 (+32.94%) 26603 2×3 Tile 14 441
104 (+31.73%) 24866 Plant, Flower 1 x 1 14 1305
302 (+31.13%) 32952 Brick 1 x 1 x 1 2/3 with Studs on 1 Side 14 380
142 (+30.28%) 24201 Slope Curved 2 x 1 Inverted 14 901
424 (+29.48%) 32803 Slope Curved 2 x 2 Inverted 6 223
140 (+28.57%) 20482 Tile Round 1 x 1 with Pin 13 924
329 (+27.96%) 32607 Plant, Plate 1 x 1 Round with 3 Leaves 5 325
484 (+26.45%) 32828 Plate Round 1 x 1 with Hole and Horizontal Bar 3 182
278 (+26.26%) 22961 Technic Pin Connector Hub with 1 Axle 6 405
280 (+26.07%) 28192 Slope 45┬░ 2 x 1 with 2/3 Inverted Cutout and no stud 10 404
461 (+26.03%) 34103 Plate Special 1 x 3 with 2 Studs with Groove and Inside Stud Holde 10 197
256 (+23.83%) 26604 Brick Special 1 x 1 with Studs on 2 Adjacent Sides 5 439
500 (+23%) 22890 Plate Special 1 x 2 with End Towball 1 168
102 (+22.55%) 18654 Technic Pin Connector Round 1L [Beam] 10 1338
262 (+22.52%) 24316 Technic Axle 3 with Stop 1 425
78 (+21.79%) 22885 1×2×1⅔ Brick, 4 Studs 1-side 7 1768
206 (+21.36%) 99563 Money / Gold Bar [Ingot] 9 570
224 (+20.54%) 21459 Weapon Sword / Katana / Shamshir with Capped Pommel [Square Guard] 9 525
362 (+20.44%) 24307 Wedge Plate 2 x 2 Right 13 278
30 (+20%) 15068 2×2 Curved 34 4282

While are lots of pieces which have gone down a few positions in the ranking, just 28 pieces have decreased in the rankings by 10% or more. That’s a lot fewer pieces than those which increased by the same percentage.

Decrease of 10% or more

Rank Image Part ID Part Name # Colors # Pieces
117 (-30.77%) 15379 Technic Link Tread with Beveled Edge 2 1170
292 (-25%) 61184 Technic Pin 1/2 with 2L Bar Extension 2 390
491 (-23.63%) 13971 Wheel 18 x 8 with Fake Bolts and Deep Spokes with Inner Ring 3 178
18 (-16.67%) 3003 2×2 Brick 37 6244
314 (-15.92%) 4079b Minifig Seat 2 x 2 with Center Sprue Mark 10 351
322 (-15.84%) 2458 Brick Special 1 x 2 with Pin 7 338
120 (-15.83%) 30374 Bar 4L (Lightsaber Blade / Wand) 17 1145
425 (-15.29%) 32001 Technic Plate 2 x 6 [5 Holes] 6 223
308 (-15.26%) 58176 Light Cover with Internal Bar / Bionicle Barraki Eye 11 363
40 (-15%) 33291 1×1 Plate, Flower (4 Petals) 16 3464
476 (-14.92%) 90640 Hero Factory Armor with Ball Joint Socket – Size 4 24 188
444 (-14.19%) 30162 Equipment Binoculars 4 211
289 (-14.19%) 2817 Plate Special 2 x 2 with 2 Pin Holes 4 392
61 (-13.11%) 3700 1×2 Technic Brick, 1 Hole 16 2297
168 (-12.5%) 6231 Panel 1 x 1 x 1 Corner 13 778
371 (-12.4%) 32530 Technic Pin Connector Plate 1 x 2 x 1 2/3 [Two Holes On Top] 5 269
226 (-12.39%) 6587 Technic Axle 3 with Stud 2 512
471 (-12.1%) 3742 Plant, Flower – Small 5 190
358 (-12.01%) 50745 Mudguard 4 x 2 1/2 x 2 with Arch Round 16 282
386 (-11.92%) 3679 Turntable 2 x 2 Plate – Top 1 259
178 (-11.8%) 32525 Technic Beam 1 x 11 Thick 14 735
439 (-11.16%) 64782 Technic Panel 1 x 5 x 11 10 213
350 (-11.14%) 2476 Plate Special 2 x 2 with Pin on Bottom 3 289
163 (-11.04%) 10247 Plate Special 2 x 2 with 1 Pin Hole [Complete Underside Rib] 6 790
297 (-10.44%) 3045 Slope 45┬░ 2 x 2 Double Convex 17 387
422 (-10.43%) 42446 Neckwear Bracket [One Stud] 6 223
166 (-10.24%) 2450 Wedge Plate 3 x 3 Cut Corner 19 782
473 (-10.15%) 32271 Technic Beam 1 x 9 Bent (7 – 3) Thick 11 190
379 (-10.03%) 56145 Wheel 30.4 x 20 without Pinholes, with Reinforced Rim 9 264

It makes sense that new elements gain popularity quickly as they are included in a lot of new sets, but fade out of popularity much more slowly as building styles evolve over time.

The LEGO community gets really excited about the introduction of new parts, but barely notices when older parts are retired. I guess you can say that the “cult of the new” is real for LEGO fans.

See Also

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy…

The LEGO Architect, by Tom Alphin, No Starch Press.

Learn 7 styles of architecture using LEGO. The book includes a brief history of each style, photos of amazing buildings to use for inspiration, and instructions to get started. Written by Brick Architect founder Tom Alphin.

4.7 Stars at Amazon, and available in 10 languages.

LEGO Storage Guide, by Tom Alphin.

Get Organized! My LEGO Storage Guide offers in-depth suggestions to organize, sort, and store a LEGO collection of any size. Be sure to take a look, as there are some great storage rpducts for the LEGO Lover on your shopping list.

See how a well organized LEGO collection can unlock creativity!

Akro-Mils 64 Drawer Cabinet

Plastic drawer cabinets by Akro-Mils are the top pick for most LEGO enthusiasts in the USA. The drawers are easily removed and stack-able, deep enough for 16-stud bricks, flexible which makes them durable, and competitively priced.

Add printable LEGO Brick Labels for the ultimate in organization!

Conclusions

I was surprised to learn that the #1 piece accounts for 3.7% of parts produced, and the top 50 parts account for 50% of the parts which are produced. While I already knew that LEGO parts followed a long-tail distribution, I continue to be amazed by their willingness to create new parts which aren’t used very often. The only way it makes sense to design and create specialty molds which are used for only a few sets is if they have learned how to make high-quality molds much more cheaply that I was led to believe, or if they are making a ton of money from sets with specialy parts. (Both are likely true.)

I was also surprised to see how quickly new parts enter the mainstream… Every year, the LEGO Group introduces a few parts which are so useful that they get used in a ton of sets. While the changes in a single year caused by new System and Technic parts is fairly small, the change over a period of 5-10 years is remarkable. It’s hard to imagine building LEGO models without classic bricks and plates, as well as new classics like the 2×2 Jumper or 1×2 brackets. In the near future, people will look at parts like 1 x 2 Rounded with 2 Open Studs in the same way—how did LEGO builders live without it?

If you enjoyed this article and want to keep up with your latest reporting, join our mailing list! Do you have other questions about LEGO that could be answered by analyzing the data? Let me know—leave a comment below!

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3 Responses

  1. Stéphane Beaudet says:

    Really interesting analysis. It would be interesting to see how the ‘tail’ of the distribution evolved over the years. If i had to guess, i would say it is elongating much more quickly now than before (but at which rate is the question)

  2. Jason Mork says:

    Tom. Great article as always. Some of my quick observations without getting into the data too much are:
    •The number one spot has more than double the number five spot in terms of overall parts quantity. That seems fascinating to me because it is *so far ahead* of number five in terms of quantity. What a huge jump that is!
    •The top five parts total quantity is about 100,000 pieces. It takes twelve more parts to match that quantity. To me that tells me that the first five parts are extraordinarily common and reaffirmed how common they really are.
    Nice data mining! I’d be interested to know what the standard deviation is between the parts in the top 50 are.

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