I write about many subjects typically surrounding my kids, including fundraising, gifts for children, vacations, and Boy Scouts.
General Lego Terms
If all you know about Lego is what you see in the local Target or Walmart toy aisle, then you are missing about 80% of what is out there. To navigate around the rest of the Lego world, you'll need to learn some terms and abbreviations. I've been buying and selling Lego collections since 2014, and I enjoy sharing what I've learned about the hobby. Below is some essential vocabulary for Lego fans.
- Bionicle - A type of set that is typically a large figure creation.
- Brick - A single Lego part. Sets are usually measured in the number of parts or bricks the set contains.
- Bulk Lego - Bulk is a term used to describe Lego that isn't sorted (maybe by color or type) and is contained within a bin or container. Bulk is typically measured in pounds (US) or kilos and can be found on most auction sites or online market places.
- Duplo - Duplo are Lego that are twice as big as their normal counterparts. These are big enough for toddlers to build.
- Lego - The Lego Group is a toy company headquartered in Billund that makes interlocking plastic bricks.
- Legos - The plural of Lego is not Legos. A lot of purists get annoyed with this term and will tell you the plural is Lego bricks. Instead of saying Lego bricks, Legos is used a lot.
- My Own Creation - A MOC is something you created yourself that you didn't use instructions to build.
- Set - This is what you buy in the toy aisle. Each box has a number that identifies the set.
- Studs - The little circles on top of a brick that allow the bricks to connect to each other. These are also used to determine the size of each brick. For example, a 2x4 indicates the brick is 2 studs wide by 4 studs long.
- Technic - A type of Lego brick that is utilized in building moveable sets. It includes gears and axles.
- Theme - A group of sets built around the same genre, like Star Wars, Harry Potter, City, Ninjago, and many others.
Lego Parts Terms
Each term indicates a certain type of brick.
- Brick - This is also a specific term that indicates the pieces that are not flat.
- Plate - These are flat pieces with studs on top. The plates put together will be the same size as a brick.
- Slope - These are bricks that are sloped to make roof lines and other angles.
- Tile - Same thickness as a plate, however, there are no studs on top.
- 2x4 Brick - This indicates the brick is 2 studs wide and 4 studs long.
- 1x2x5 Brick - The third dimension typically indicates height. This would be a 1 stud wide, 2 brick long, and 5 bricks high.
Lego People (Minifigs) Terms
The people that come with sets have some differences as well. The figures in the set will be one of the factors when a retired set rises in value.
- BigFig - These are larger figures like the Hulk, Trolls, Thanos, Rangkor, Jabba the Hut, etc.
- Collectible Minifigure Series - Lego began to create and sell minifigures in individual packages in groups of 12 to 24. These included genres like Disney, Harry Potter, and the Lego Movie.
- MiniFig or Minifigure - Standard figure included in most sets.
- MiniDoll - Figures in Friends themed sets. These are not compatible with the standar minifig.
- MicroFig - MicroFigs are the small figures you find in the Lego games and the new Harry Potter castle. I'm not a big fan of the MicroFig.
Lego Abbreviations: Common and Not So Common
There are some common abbreviations that you will see on websites and in other stores.
- AFOL - Adult Fan of Lego, see also CFOL, KFOL, and TFOL
- BURP - Big Ugly Rock Piece - See LURP
- CFOL - Child Fan of Lego, see also AFOL, KFOL, and TFOL
- KFOL - Kid Fan of Lego, see also AFOL, CFOL, and TFOL
- LTC - Lego Train Club - LTCs are a community of Lego Train enthusiasts in a local area. LTC's typically put on many of the train shows that are around.
- LUG - Lego Users Group - LUGs are a community of Lego enthusiasts in a local area. LUGs get together and talk Lego and put on Lego displays.
- LURP - Large Ugly Rock Piece - See BURP
- MOC - My Own Creation - A build that is free style and not from instructions.
- NPU - Nice Parts Usage - Using a Lego part not in the normal way. For example, on Lego Masters, a team used many red Lego snakes as lava coming out of a volcano.
- PAB - Pick-a-Brick - The wall at a Lego store that have individual bricks. You can purchase these bricks by filling a cup for a single price.
- SNOT - Studs Not on Top - This indicates that the build doesn't show a lot of studs and typically has a smooth finish.
- SOTS - Studs on the Side - Heard this one on Season 1 of the Lego Masters TV show. On the side means the studs are not facing the ceiling and instead are facing the walls..
- TFOL - Teen Fan of Lego, see also AFOL, CFOL, and KFOL
- UCS - Ultimate Collector Series - a UCS set is typically larger and more detailed than a normal set. These are typically large Star Wars ships.
Uncommon Lego Terms
Here are some uncommon Lego terms that I didn't know until I was doing some research for this article.
- Ballasting - Ballasting is a term used in the Lego Train community and is a technique to make train tracks look more realistic. Here's a great article on the different ballasting techniques.
- Dark Ages - Time in life when you are going from Teen fan to adult fan, and can't afford Lego during this time.
- Parts Monkey - Someone into the parts of the sets and not what the parts can be used in a sets.
- Rainbow Warrior - You don't care what color you are using when you build a set or MOC.
You will also run into terms that many people think are Lego, but are not.
- Lupin - A Chinese company that utilized the pictures and sets that Lego created to sell a knock off brand of Lego.
- Megabloks - A competitor of Lego that you see in the same toy aisles as Lego. These are very similar to Lego with different creations. Halo is one of the larger selling themes.
Learn More About Lego Bricks
- 9 Really Expensive Lego Parts and Pieces
Whether due to their color or rarity, the prices for these Lego parts are unbelievable. I keep track of some of the most expensive pieces.