Teal We Meet Again: In search of Stafford’s Choice

In which, on discovering the reappearance of teal in the LEGO colour palette, I go in search of “Stafford’s Choice.” Have any colours been sacrificed in order to allow teal to return? Let’s tick off the colours as we review some of the recently announced new sets for 2018…

Stafford’s Choice:

Teals returns in 2018. But at what cost?

Mark Stafford is a senior designer with the LEGO Group. Recruited from the fan community, he joined the company over 10 years ago and has had a hand in many of the action themes over that period of time.  Themes such as NEXO Knights, Legends of Chima, Space Police 3, Ninjago, Alien Conquest, Power Miners and Atlantis, to name but a few. He also helped to turn Peter Reid’s Exosuit Ideas submission into a set.

At Brickvention in 2014, Mark gave a talk talking about a challenge he faced in his early days as a designer:  Early in his career at LEGO he was put to work, sharing his love of mechs, on the EXO Force line.

One of the first sets that he designed was the Dark Panther – 8115. And it was here that he was given a challenging decision: The initial models left the set leaning towards one of red, orange, purple (medium lilac) and teal (bright blueish green).  If teal were to be chosen, purple would be deleted from the current colour palette; if he chose to use purple, then teal would be deleted.  Had orange or red been used then both teal and purple would have vanished from the LEGO palette for the foreseeable future.He chose to use purple. The model pictured as it is here never saw the light of day:


And so it came to be known that Mark Stafford Killed Teal.

Until now.

Previewing 2018: Teal returns

We have a number of big anniversaries coming up next year: 60 years of the LEGO Brick patent, 40 years of the LEGO minifigure (and classic Space, Town and Castle) and 5 years completed of LEGO Friends.

In recent weeks, many of the sets due to be released in early 2018 have come to light, and in some of these sets we have come to see a few teal/ bright blueish green elements come to light: a helmet here, a surfboard there, one of those nifty little launchers that send 1×1 round bricks careering around the room tucked away in the back of another…and then there is the recently announced Downtown Diner, which features a good many bricks in this colour.

And so I find myself asking: has teal brought back as an addition to the existing 2016 colour palette? Or is its resurgence at the expense of an previously existing colour? Enquiring minds wanted to know.

And so I thought we might play a game of bingo.

Colour Chart BINGO

And so I would like to go in search of all of the colours in the 2018 palette. Will we be able to find them all? Or has one been removed to make way for teal’s reappearance?  Let us view sets with some of the highlights of each theme, and cross off the colours we see as we go. The 2016 LEGO Moulding Colour Palette is the most recent one published: Can we cross all of the colours off while previewing the 2018 sets?

Our starting palette…without teal. Do they stay in 2018, or has ‘Stafford’s Choice’ been applied?


LEGO Friends has undergone a major reboot in 2017. The series has been around for five years, and appears that the inhabitants of Heartlake City are getting an extreme makeover.  The Box graphics have changed a bit, many of the faces have been redesigned, and all of our friends seem a bit younger.  Is this like the fad for ‘Baby…(muppets/fintstones/scooby doo)’ that hit our TV screens back in the 80’s? One can only quake with fear (until the videos come out, and we see where the narrative is taking us.)

Friends covers the majority of colours in our palette this year, but not all of them.

As you can see, after reviewing the majority of the 2018 friends sets, with more than half of the colour palette readily on display. I suspect there are a few more ‘easy’ colours to locate before we will start having to look a little harder.


This years Creator Sets includes a few well balanced vehicles, a house and a small dragon.  Many of the models include mini figures, ut might be a slightly larger scale than the LEGO City Vehicles.

The creator palette adds a few transparent colours, bright yellow from minifigure faces, bright blue and dark brown.  This leaves only a few colours to track down…

2 creator


This year we have the mountain police, hot on the trail of some fugitives, with some great new elements including a beehive, which can be worn on the head; a log/tree trunk disguise, and more hats with long hair hanging down the back. We also have a mining sub theme, as well as some of our favourite vehicles .

3 citya.png

NEXO Knights

This line has a limited run this year, but can be relied on as a source of Transparent Fluorescent Reddish Orange. Transparent Fluorescent Green is added to the mix.  The cockpit covers that had previously been available in dark blue are now available in our favourite fluorescent colours. This is also the first theme we have come to with titanium metallic featured as a colour.



Finally we track down a transparent bright violet piece, used as the headlight of some motor cycles in the Sons of Garmadon series:


We now have only 2 colours left to locate: Light royal blue and sand green.  After last year’s sand green festival (21310 Old Fishing Store, 21136 Minecraft Ocean Monument and 70612 Green Ninja Mech Dragon), we should expect to see it continue in 2018, if only because those sets will still be available!

Building Better Thinking

Next year we see a revamped set of Classic type parts boxes, Building Better Thinking.  These look like great collections of boxes to bump up your brick collection.  With lots of different colours, they are bound to fill a gap or two in the collection:

I cannot find Sand Green on the packages here. there is, However Light Royal Blue.  I am excited to see these sets, and look forward to adding them to my collection (and getting hold of the 60th anniversary tile)



This leaves us with bright green (which I may have missed previously) and sand green, so why don’t we head to MineCraft, and see if we can find them both

Bright green can be seen in the leaves in the chicken coop, and sand green is available in a few places here: Alex’s torso in multiple sets and some plates in the Polar Igloo set. And with that, we complete our quest.


It would appear that all of the 2016 colours have survived through to 2018. And we now have bright blueish green elements in our palette. As seen in the new 10260 Downtown Diner, it is being put to good use!

What colour would you like to see brought back, or introduced into the LEGO palette? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

Until next time,

Play Well!

7 thoughts on “Teal We Meet Again: In search of Stafford’s Choice

  1. I so badly want to see very light grey return. Its pretty necessary for a lot of star wars vehicles, which are darker than white but lighter than light bley. Although it may be a bit blue for that. Sadly the old greys work much better for star wars, so maybe a very light brownish-grey?

  2. I think Mark Stafford was right to kill Teal rather than Dark Purple, bringing Teal back seems superfluous given the very similar colours used in Friends. I would much rather have seen a return of Sand Red.

  3. Does anyone know if the teal colour is a new variation, or is it identical in colour to the older one? A bit like how the greys were updated to slightly different colours.

    • It appears to have the same colour ID as the ‘old teal’ according to some better informed than I. There may be some batch variation (as is often seen with medium blue and bright yellowish orange).

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