Can Lego Break?

A lego recreation of a scene from a demotion of a building.

Legos are loved and hated. Respected and feared. They can provide endless hours of entertainment, or cause an explosion of expletives when your foot finds one in the middle of the night.

Lego has essentially created its own subculture, which leaves many fans asking can lego break? The answer might surprise you.

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Can You Break a Lego Brick?

If your foot has ever found one on the floor, you may have picked up a lego piece and tried to break it. It doesn’t take long to realize this is an exercise in futility.

The question here isn’t can you break a lego, but exactly what does it take to break this simple piece of plastic.

Thankfully, we have an answer from lego fan Phillipe Cantin. According to his experiment, you can rebuild a lego set 37,112 times before they break.

But how much force does it take to break a single brick? An experiment at Open University decided to find out. They placed a single standard lego on a hydraulic ram. Then applied pressure until the building block broke.

It took 950 pounds of force to break the brick. This means for legos to break themselves, the stack would have to be 375,000 legos tall.

Lego Technic and Mindstorms

This is a close look at a  pile of lego technic pieces.

When discussing lego, there are several distinct product lines. Lego brick sets are designed for younger kids, although you’ll find plenty of complex lego sets for older children and adults as well.

Lego Star Wars, Lego Duplo, and Lego Builder are a few of the themes you can find on the lego website. However, when it comes to adults and older kids, lego technic and lego Mindstorm offers advanced building.

Lego Technic provides specialized plastic pieces. You can even find motors to power your lego creations.

Lego Mindstorm allows you to create a robot, or in the case of engineering experiments, machines to test the strength of legos.

Many of the lego experiments are performed with the technic or lego mindstorm line, so all of the parts aren’t plastic.

Can lego Break Steel?

This is a close look at a  constructed toy truck made of lego pieces.

Legos might be the most durable toy you can place in the hands of a kid, but how do they stack up against items that should be harder to break?

The Lego Brick channel on youtube has conducted some interesting lego experiments.

A recent build used two Lego Power Functions XL motors. Lots of gears were added to decrease the speed and increase the torque of the motors. The machine was able to twist a stainless steel axle, so yes, lego can break steel.

Can Lego Break a Metal Beam?

After the successful steel axle experiment, the lego enthusiast at the Lego Brick Channel decided to attempt to break an aluminum beam.

Initial attempts resulted in the beam being twisted instead of broken. Many lego pieces were broken in the process. Eventually, the correct structure was created.

Once again, it required two technic motors and a technic brick holder in the center of the beam, which was molded to the dimensions of a standard technic beam. The build successfully broke the aluminum beam, without breaking a single lego brick.

Most Common Broken Lego Pieces

This is a close look at various colorful pieces of lego.

Most lego brick pieces are extremely sturdy. However, there are certain types of lego element that are prone to breaking.

The lego parts that break are usually connectors, joints, chain pieces, and brackets. Propellers, wheels, and signs are also known for breaking.

A few structural pieces are infamous as well. Wedge-shaped pieces and hinge plates tend to break. The hands of mini lego characters, usually called minifigs, also have a reputation for breaking.

Of course, these days replacement pieces are easy to find. In preinternet days, a broken or missing lego piece could sideline an entire build.

Legoland

This is a close look at Legoland with lots of children playing with lego pieces.

Legoland is a testament to how durable legos are, and what a person can do with them. Legoland is a lego theme park with locations all around the world.

In addition to lego themed rides and attractions, you’ll find larger-than-life lego structures. Glue is used to keep the structures together.

There are also building areas where kids can play with 1,000s of legos. They can add to someone else’s build, or create their own.

Legoland also includes legoland hotel. It has themed rooms, kids entertainment, and a daily scavenger hunt. Complimentary legos are included.

Illegal Builds

If you aren’t a hardcore lego enthusiast, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually “illegal” builds. These builds aren’t illegal in the technical sense of the word. No one will come to your house and confiscate your lego set for illegal activity.

Instead illegal is used for builds that are determined by lego (official illegal build), or the community at large (unofficial illegal builds), to be a bad idea for the structural integrity of the parts.

For example, a technic pin must be fully inserted. If its not, it puts excess pressure on the pin. When using technic parts with other lego pieces, plate with studs can’t be inserted onto a technic brick unless it’s a 1×1 brick.

Following the rules and avoiding illegal builds can help you avoid the dreaded broken lego.

Can Lego Break FAQS

Why do lego parts break?

Lego parts will break when exposed to high temperatures over a period of time. Sune exposure can also weaken the lego element. Accidentally washing lego pieces with detergent can also weaken them. 

Is there a certain color of lego that breaks?

Reddish brown lego bricks are infamous for breaking. In 2018, Lego responded to the issue. They stated they have fixed the issue and asked for anyone with broken parts to send them in for replacement. 

Why is abs used for lego?

ABS plastic is used for legos because of its strength and durability. Lego changed to ABS in 1963. It is stronger, warps less, and is more resistant to color fading than the plastic that was used before. 

About 2% of legos are currently made from sugarcane-based polyethylene, which is a sustainable plastic instead of ABS, which is oil based. Lego states that their goal is to make all elements from sustainable plastic by 2030. Currently, tree and plant pieces are made from the sugarcane plastic. 

Does stepping on a lego hurt?

After many barefoot torture sessions where my foot inevitably finds a lego piece on the floor, I have determined that stepping on a lego is one of the most excruciating things there is. Why does this innocent little piece of plastic carry such a bite? Many toys are designed to give under pressure. Legos are designed to be extremely sturdy. This allows lego fans to build extravagant structures and makes legos durable. This same strength means that they don’t give when stepped on. The studs on legos add insult to injury, creating mini pressure points when you step on one. 

How tall can a lego tower get?

A single lego can support 375,000 bricks, which would be 2.17 miles tall. Of course, gravity isn’t taken into account in the weight experiment. A lego tower would fall due to the pull or gravity or wind force long before the weight of the legos caused it to fail. The tallest lego structure ever built was 114 feet tall, and used 550,000 legos in all. 

Are legos good for your brain?

Yes. Legos are great for kids brain development. They can also help adults destress and become more mindful. 

Can you repair a broken lego brick with glue?

It’s possible. You’ll want to use ABS cement for a good hold instead of regular glue. 

What can I do if I’ve lost or broken a lego piece?

If you’ve lost or broken a lego piece, contact lego through the lego website. They will often replace broken bricks, and you can buy replacement pieces as well. 

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