What is the rarest LEGO element according to the following criteria:

  • 1
    Agood example of "part of sets produced not to be sold" would be the green BURP, as it's only been used in that one set which was only given to Vestas employees (not that some didn't make it to the market, of course, and I've seen the green BURP in bulk actions in some rare instances). Barring that, I believe that at some point LEGOland parks did have access to more elements in alternate colours, but that probably doesn't count either since these weren't supposed to be released to the public.
    – Joubarc
    Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 8:26
  • @Joubarc Nice example, I have updated the question to include it. (Now I want to go and buy some Green BURPs!)
    – mcqwerty
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 2:51

9 Answers 9


I would tend to say that any part produced for only one set would qualify, especially if said set is priced high. Looking at the inventory of 10179 Millenium Falcon UCS for example, the following candidates come to mind:

Considering the price the set goes for nowadays, and the fact that most people who buy it will probably build it once and leave it so (that is, if they open the box at all), I think the grey boat mast rigging is a very good candidate. There are four people selling some on BrickLink as of february 2013, but a glance at the prices asked comforts me in my reasoning. Even the printed radar dish is cheaper.

  • 1
    Agreed, I think the mast rigging is a good candidate. I think printed elements are acceptable but since both the radar and the mast rigging are both from the same set, I suppose it doesn't make any difference. Interesting point on the minifig - I would say that since it is made up of parts, then I would say the minifig as a whole doesn't count even though it is only used in that one set.
    – mcqwerty
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 2:30

I'm not sure whether to consider these real Lego parts or not, but many of the old HO scale vehicles and greenery are incredibly rare. For example, the Jaguar is quite rare in any color, but especially in red and black.

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  • 3
    @jncranton I never thought of the old HO scale vehicles. I suppose we should also consider the Pull-Along Duck from 1935, there can't be many of those still around.
    – mcqwerty
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 2:43
  • +1 for this - although I feel the question is a bit vague in this respect in that @mcqwerty didn't actually specify what "element" meant ;) Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 11:31

712pb01 Plate, Round Curved 4 x 8 Left with Red Line on Curved Edge Pattern

To be honest, I don't know if this is especially rare. I do know, however, that to find the rarest part we'll need to factor in:

1. Parts that appear in small numbers in very few sets

For example:

  • "White Minifig, Headgear Hair Female Pigtails" piece only appeared in a few sets.
  • The parts unique to the 10179 Millennium Falcon UCS.

Often, rare parts have an unusual design or colour.

2. Of those, sets that had a limited production run

Sets with a limited run might include:

  • Promotional sets (although these rarely have unique parts)
  • Sets that are limited to a single locality

The Millennium Falcon might be a candidate here.

3. Of those, parts that are unlikely to have survived the ravages of time

This might include:

  • Old sets - anything from the 1950s, for example
  • Sets designed for community play, e.g. Educational establishments

All things considered, I imagine that the rarest piece of proper LEGO is from one of the oldest sets: which is why I suggest something like, "712pb01 Plate, Round Curved 4 x 8 Left with Red Line on Curved Edge Pattern" that appeared in a single set in 1958.

Alternatively, (if you care to count them as part of the system) many of the parts from the 1940s Automatic Binding Bricks era will be quite rare by now.

  • 1
    How could I forget about the white minifig female hair... (although in all fairness I've seen some sold at auctions a few years ago, and these were even provided by LEGO itself)
    – Joubarc
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 8:21

I was just reading about the 8485 Technic Control Center II, where you can make a dinosaur, helicopter, or hovercraft controlled by a big panel, and which I have on hand. According to a reviewer (http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=75864) there are a few rare pieces that were included with this set, which retailed for $219 in 1995. The price of the set and quickly-outdated electronics probably could imply that the set is relatively rare. Some of the parts are pictured here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mostlytechnic/8158411568/ Red wing plates (x2 Left, x2 Right) that were used in the helicopter build, and one other set. Little white coils for bundling wires together, only used in an earlier Multi Control set and educational sets (probably quickly lost). And a black steering yoke used in the dinosaur build - only ever included in this set. It was released in white in a 1980s car set.

This might be one of the rarest individual parts that's not from a promotional or movie-themed set.

  • None of these seem to fetch too high a price - admittedly, that's not necessarily an indication of their rarity, but since the demand isn't particularly high it's still possible to get some relatively easily. Good find, though - and welcome to bricks.se!
    – Joubarc
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 20:10

Based on the conversation in this thread, the 2x4 brick in trans-neon-green is also quite rare. Last selling price on Bricklink was from Oct 2014 and was set to $75.

  • As that part was never in any set (the linked thread says so), it probably is a prototype element or something and thus fails some of the OP's criteria. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 8:44

Perhaps the Chrome Green Rock 1 x 1 Crystal 5 Point?

It is the only chrome green part.


How about a surprisingly rare part: the Lime Green 1x1 plate. Only produced in one set in 2005.

Edit: Re-issued in 2014,so for 9 years, it was rare.

  • Oh? Bricklink says it was in three sets. granted, one of those sets is a monthly mini model build. OTOH, Bricklink says 6 different colors of 1x1 plate came in only one set each. Of those, the Maersk blue only had two in a set from 1980.
    – gev
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 8:14
  • I didn't realize they re-released it! Brickset still lists it as only coming in the one set from 10 years ago, and when I went looking to buy some last year, they were $1+ each on Bricklink. Anyway, I think a much more interesting answer to this question than a rare one-off piece for a licensed set is a common color and common part that in combination are rare.
    – oddTodd
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 14:57
  • At this point, I'd be interested to see what mcqwerty has to say, what with all this new activity and STILL without a chosen answer.
    – gev
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 8:15
  • @gev I am here, watching and enjoying the conversation. I'm not sure there is a 'correct' answer since it depends on even more factors than listed in my original question.
    – mcqwerty
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 2:29

It's impossible to provide an accurate answer without accurate information to base it off of. Without knowing production quantities on every set, it is impossible to know if there's a part that only comes one per copy of a set that sold 10 million units, or if there's another part that only comes ten copies of a set that sold 10,000 units. Age of sets can also affect the answer because parts that have not been made in decades will exist in much smaller numbers now than when they were brand-new, due to all the various ways that a LEGO part could be destroyed over the years. Some sets have been recalled and changed, which may have allowed a small number of a rare element to make it out into the wild, after which the supply was cut off. And some elements have been retired almost immediately after they were first put into production. Assuming stuff like SDCC minifigs are excluded (not meant to be sold), I have to put my vote on 8-spoked wheel #51377. In 2005, they first introduced this wheel in metallic-silver for a Designer set and a Tiny Turbos set. In 2006, they produced it in pearl-gold for the first Batmobile and the Catwoman/Dragster set. Before those two Batman sets went out of production, they had introduced the reversible wheel #55981 with six spokes on one side and bolts on the other. In the two Batman sets, they replaced the 8-spoke wheel with the new reversible one, which means they made the 8-spoke wheel in pearl-gold for only a few months before the mold was permanently retired. I bought one copy of each Batman set at release, and a second copy soon after, and only got the 8-spoke wheel in the first copies I bought. And that's too bad, because it's a really cool looking wheel.


Antannae piece from the 70s. The ones nowadays are almost all broken, so these are rare. Also Chrome Gold 2x2

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