The basic 2x4 brick has many versions. For example the modern one has thinner walls and funny shaped tubes compared to an early 1980s brick. What were the changes over the years and how did they affect building?

1 Answer 1


I can't provide a list of all the minor changes, but I can at least tell the most significant change made in the history of the basic 2x4 brick (which applies to all other bricks and parts, too):

In general, there are no essential changes made: a brand-new brick still fits together with one from before 1963 as long as the Cellulose Acetate hasn't deformed too much during ageing (which is the main reason they switched to ABS, it's more robust, scratch-proof and doesn't deform so easily).

The main "change" that really affects building is the continuously improving precision in production - this happens all the time, so there's no point on the timeline. The effect is simple: better fitting bricks improve the stability of your construction.

*Transparent bricks consist of Polycarbonate, axles consist of Polyamide

  • 1
    You can see from the patent (i.stack.imgur.com/QRwhY.jpg) that the basic design hasn't changed markedly. Oct 28, 2011 at 15:13
  • 4
    The brick as it stands now hasn't seen structural changes since 1958, which is why LEGO celebrated the 50 years of the brick in 2008. The brick before 1958 didn't have the bottom tubes, which were part of the patent you mention.
    – Joubarc
    Oct 28, 2011 at 19:53
  • @Joubarc - Current 2x4 have thinner walls (with vertical "ridges") than earlier 2x4 bricks from around 10-15 years ago. This seems to have more rigidity as well as a reduction in the amount of plastic. I'm not sure if it improves or reduces the clutch power.
    – Cade Roux
    Nov 1, 2011 at 20:35
  • @CadeRoux — right, but it's not really a structural change. I think the clutch power should be the same, since they've left plastic on the part of the walls where the studs touch it. But they're less plastic, that's for sure.
    – Joubarc
    Nov 2, 2011 at 4:56

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