April 22

The history of the LEGO® brick separator



Once upon a time, you had to use your fingernails – or, worse yet, your teeth – to separate your LEGO® bricks. Even then, there was no guarantee you’d ever be able to disconnect those tiny plates; they essentially fused together the moment they were clicked into place. “There must be a better way!” cried LEGO® fans the world over. Then, suddenly, in 1990, there was. This is the history of the LEGO® brick separator.

The first LEGO® brick separator was introduced in 1990, and it was so revolutionary it remained unchanged until 2011. It was primarily released in old dark gray and green, though you may find a few other colours floating around if you’re lucky.

An updated design came out in late 2011, this time slightly smaller and in an eye-catching orange (a big help for builders who struggle to look for it among their collections). The 2011 design has added functionality, too – it features a short axle that can be used to push Technic axles out of tight spaces and a thin wedge-shaped section that helps you separate tiles.

But the LEGO® Group wasn’t done yet. In 2020, a third iteration of the brick separator was launched with the LEGO® Art mosaic sets to help disassemble 1×1 round tiles and plates. It is much wider than its earlier counterparts, and by some reports is a little bit too effective – going too fast can make tiles and studs fly off in all directions, sometimes never to be seen again.

It’s not hard to see why the brick separator quickly earned the nickname ‘the fingernail saver’, but that’s not all it can do. With so many in circulation (as of April 2022, the 2011 version has been included in 12 percent of LEGO® sets) builders have started to get creative and use their brick separators within their builds – not just to take them apart.

Here are some of the creative ways LEGO® builders use their brick separators. Perhaps you can find some inspiration? We’ve all got a stash at home…

How do you use your brick separator? Email photos to support@brickresales.com.au. You could win a $50 BrickResales voucher!


Build ideas, History

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