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Lego set 80038, 'Monkie Kid’s Team Van', repeatedly uses yellow Technic Brick 1 x 1 with Hole (item 654124) where it could simply use a standard 1 X 1 brick (item 300524).

For instance, in Instruction Booklet 2, you can see where these brick holes are covered up in step 120, or even immediately obscured in step 150.

unused hole

Is there a design rational for the use of these bricks (a significance to Monkie Kid, or Chinese culture in general?) or is it more likely a simple surplus of Technic Brick 1 x 1 with Hole?

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    Disclaimer: I haven't built this set. But I would speculate that there are parts that do require the Technic brick. So not only does it make it easier to package the set (as the factory doesn't need both bricks) but it cuts down on build frustration if someone uses up the Technic bricks accidentally early in the build, and then can not finish it because the normal bricks won't work for the later step.
    – RSchulz
    Mar 25, 2023 at 13:45
  • @RSchulz Or if you lose or damage one of the bricks...you will surely have enough technic bricks for where they really are needed, and can replace the lost bricks with technic or regular bricks, whichever you have available. I think it's even less plastic. Really everyone wins. Mar 27, 2023 at 18:49

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This likely has to do with the cost to manufacture the set. It is logistically simpler, and therefore more cost effective, to add an additional element already present in the set rather than to add a new unique element to the set.

The Technic element you mentioned is used functionally in the set to attach one of the doors:

Step 102

This Technic element is then reused in several places throughout the build where a 1x1 system brick would typically used. This saves having to include the 1x1 brick in yellow in this set.

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