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Ever solved a problem you didn't know you had? On a recent trip to the Lego shop we spotted a small funny looking piece of plastic. We couldn't work out quite what it was but the bag told us it was a Lego separator. A Lego what I hear you ask? Precisely...
But, once we knew the separator existed we knew we could probably make use of one. The separator itself is a funny looking thing (ours is orange unlike the picture on here, and has a bit standing up over the circle in the picture). It kind of resembles a tiny door wedge with the Lego symbol at the bottom, a series of raised lines and then the top sloping bit has a bit of the cross shaped axle type shape sticking out of it, and two Lego dots above that. We paid around £2 for the separator, and it was packaged in a typical Lego cellophane bag.
The packaging itself just provides very basic information - more or less the part number (603) and that it is a Lego separator. Apart from that you're on your own! The Lego website is (only just) slightly more helpful as it states "This tool makes it a snap to pull those small plates apart."
As most experienced Lego builders know, most of the pieces come apart relatively easily, but there are always the stubborn ones (which are pretty much always the thin pieces). Prior to buying a separator, I used to have to risk life and limb (well, finger nail really) to prize them apart and occasionally one would just not budge. But this does make it a lot easier and more painless - you basically have to push the thin end of the wedge underneath the corner of the troublesome pieces and keep pushing until the parts separate. This only really works on the thin pieces or the board pieces, it's no use for chunky pieces. I'm presuming it can do more otherwise why bother with all the little markings and other nobbly bits, but sadly I've not managed to figure that out yet - presumable the axle shaped piece can be put to work on stubborn wheels, but I haven't had the right bits to try it out yet.
Overall this is one those purchases that if I had paid more money I would have been very disappointed, but as long as you remember it only costs £2 it's not a bad addition to our Lego kit and it does solve a few problems that would have been painful to tackle otherwise.
The first time I encountered one of these in a box of my nephew's lego, I thought it was a ramp or some other odd looking piece of lego belonging to one of the many different kits he owns. I didn't realise it was actually designed to be useful.
In fact this useful bit of kit is designed to stop you from breaking your teeth or nails trying to get pieces of lego separated from each other like we used to do when we were kids. The times I remember going to mum or dad saying I can't get these bits apart - usually two very small flat pieces - I can't count, and I'm sure I drove them nuts with it. Anyhow, this odd shaped thing is designed to stop all that, so no more teeth marks on the bricks, and no more aching teeth from pulling bits apart either. - Well, in theory anyway.
The tapered design is quite nice looking and makes it easier for small hands to hold I think. At the other end, there is a bit that lets you attach it to the bricks you want to separate - it basically looks like a 'twosie' size brick has been cut out of the fat end of a wedge shape. You press it onto the brick that you want to remove, and sort of leaver it up giving you more leverage and grip than fingers alone have.
Does it work - well yes for the most part. Do kids use it... hmmm... well, I've witnessed both my nephews with pieces between their teeth trying to rip the pieces apart, so you might think not, but I actually think it's more that they prefer doing it this way, and it's quicker than trying to find the separator! When I've tried it, I've generally found it to work, and it certainly never hurts to have one of these available to use for when one of the kids bounds up and says 'I can't get these open' (my teeth are more delicate now than they were when I was 10!).
These little devices cost about £1 from most places, and as far as I'm aware, they only come in grey. To be honest, I think they might get more use if you could get them in a really bright colour like florescent orange or something - it would make them quicker and easier to spot amongst all the other lego pieces after all!
Overall, its definitely a useful tool to have, but don't expect to avoid getting teeth marks on the bricks completely, it'll neeeever happen!
I can remember having one of these in my logo box when I was a child and found it so useful.
This is a very simple thing that is to be used with the small lego to ensure that you can take the lego apart without trouble. It has a long slanted flat part that you hold between your finger and thumb while you are holding the other part of the lego in the other hand. At the other end you have two holes that look like lego that simply fit on two bits of the lego. This then acts as leverage to prise the pieces of lego apart.
For normal lego in the buckets this is handy but it is much more useful for the lego city or starwars collections and for any other collections that have small flat pieces to take apart if needed. These can be purchased from the lego web site and will cost 1p there is a delivery charge of over £3 but if you order some more lego products from the site it makes it much more worth it. I am not sure if the new lego boxes that they do come with one in but my old one did. I would advise and dedicated lego builders to buy one of these so you do not have to use your teeth to take the bricks apart or hurt your fingers in do this.
It is a cheap and easy to use invention that is a must have for lego builders.