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The common minifigure wrench is tapered at one end. Why? None of the other minifigure tools are shaped this way. Is the wrench meant to also serve as a minifigure pry bar? Or perhaps as some sort of flathead screwdriver?

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The wrench is also supplied (usually in red) in the LEGO Games sets as a handy way to remove the faces (2x2 tiles) from the die. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Feb 3 at 10:11
@Zhaph-BenDuguid The ones supplied in games were also black. They were indeed later replaced by a red part, but a different one: the crowbar, which has a similar tapered end. In general, both do help remove tiles from just everywhere, but I wonder if that was the intend when the part was created for 1979 sets. –  Joubarc Feb 3 at 14:38
@Joubarc Good point, you're right it's a red crowbar now. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Feb 3 at 15:52
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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Your second guess was correct. It's not just a wrench. It's listed as a Screwdriver/spanner on Lego.com:

on LEGO.com

This part was also included in several sets in the Games line as a human tool to remove tiles from the dice. It's unclear (at least to me) whether this part was intended to be used for tile removal when it was introduced in 1979. Here's an example from the Creationary instructions:

Creationary die tile removal

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Okay, but that raises more questions: Is it supposed to represent a screwdriver for minifigures' "use" (in which case it's even more disproportionately large) or for humans (in which case, to drive what screws)? –  jamesdlin Feb 3 at 20:38
It's intended as a screwdriver for minifigs. As a human tool, it has been included in the Games line for removing tiles from dice. I'm not aware of any instance where this was intended as a usable screwdriver. –  jncraton Feb 3 at 21:53
I think what feels a bit unsatisfying is that it seems bizarre as a screwdriver. While I normally have a suspension of disbelief when it comes to the proportions of minifigures and their handheld tools, it doesn't work for me here since in the real world, screwdrivers are not normally the size of wrenches. It's odd that they chose to create a combination that, AFAIK, does not commonly exist. If they wanted minifigures to have a screwdriver tool, a separate piece would have been much better. –  jamesdlin Feb 4 at 20:02
I agree. This seems to be a particularly strange decision considering that there is a separate screwdriver tool for minifigs (although it didn't appear until 1995). peeron.com/inv/parts/6246a –  jncraton Feb 4 at 21:39
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